Ancestry and the National Portrait Gallery are collaborating to create a Nations Family Album – the first ever holistic visual representation of the British population in photographic form. So they are inviting the British Public (all ages, backgrounds, cultures) to submit photos of family members (old, recent, together, separate). The winning entries will not only feature in this online Nations Family Album gallery, but also in an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens early next year.
I am honoured to say that I’ve been elected as one of the four judges on the panel of experts, along with the baritone singer Peter Brathwaite, renowned for his series of photographs on Rediscovering Black Portraiture, the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator, Dr Alison Smith and Simon Pearce from Ancestry.
Themes for the photos are: legacy, belonging, connection and identity – all of which reflect the emotions experienced when looking through old family photos or starting a journey on your family history. You can submit up to 3 photographs per person. And the deadline is 11.59pm on 30th June. For more information, visit the Ancestry website.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all your entries.
This portrait is from a children and family photoshoot I did last summer (2020) in Motcombe, Dorset. I can’t wait to get back out and do more children and family shoots again, I really miss them. I’m all the more excited as to try out my new and utterly amazing Canon Mirrorless camera system and lenses.
Every parent loves a portrait of their children together. Whilst many of my favourite images result from spontaneity, a more ‘staged’ approach is sometimes the best way to capture four children and their dogs. I found the father’s landrover to be the perfect rural backdrop for this portrait. I love its informality and the way the door frames the siblings. It also will remind them of their childhood trips. There is something so special about a landrover. Rather like a VW campervan epitomises festivals and young travellers, landrovers are about family country life. I love to incorporate animals in my children and family photoshoots. They not only keep everyone more relaxed, they often also add spontaneity to the portrait.
Children and family bookings are flowing in for this summer so if you are interested in booking a family or children photoshoot, please do get in touch. I’m based in Dorset but happy to travel all over the country. I’m regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall. Do also look at some more examples of my children, teen and family photography to give you a more extensive feel of my style of children and family photography.
Today I am sharing an example of my children photography with pets. I took this last summer in between lockdowns for a wonderful family, near Newbury, in Hampshire. This was my second shoot for them. We had so much fun and laughter together. And as a consequence we captured some wonderful, informal, natural and fun portraits which really capture their personalities.
Teenagers can be reluctant starters when it comes to a family photoshoot. But with 3 teenagers of my own, and 20 years of experience as a leading family portrait photographer, I’m quick to put them at ease. On arrival, the first thing we do is sit and chat around the kitchen table, so I can hear about what they enjoy doing, what makes them tick. Or not! I love to include their interests in the photo shoot. This could involve playing sport or a musical instrument, or hanging out with the family animals. This results in meaningful portraits which reflect their personalities. It also makes the shoot fun, which ensures the images are full of spirit and character.
On this visit the children wanted to be photographed with all their favourite pets, which included 3 dogs, 2 cats and lots of chickens. I love photographing children with their family animals, as they bring spontaneity. This often results in fun and unpredictable pictures. I love everything about this image: the light, the composition, the chicken’s tilted head and the boy’s expression. It is a natural, candid moment which captures his sense of humour, spirit and love of animals. It’s such a joy to capture those impromptu moments.
If you would like to find out more about my teenager and young children photography, please do take a look at the link. And if you’d like to book a shoot with your family once lockdown has lifted, please do email me at [email protected]