capturing the spirit

sibling portrait in landrover

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, News, Portrait photography, Sibling photography

Ancestry and National Portrait Gallery competition

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.

Spring family photoshoot

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Spring Family Photoshoots

Finally, two households are allowed to mix again.   Hooray!   I have been counting down the days to this moment.   This means that I’m officially now allowed out to capture some spring family photoshoots.  My goodness I have missed photographing children and family photoshoots.   Bookings are flying in again now.  I still have a few spaces this Easter holidays but am almost fully booked in the summer half term (with just one slot left).   In fact, July is also already looking pretty busy.   So please get in touch soon if you’re thinking of booking a shoot.  Be it to commemorate lockdown hairstyles, celebrate a birthday, or capture the whole family together again after months of isolation.

To see more examples of my children photography, please visit the portrait section on my website.   Or if you’d like to discuss in more detail, please email me at [email protected] or call me on 07815 750 141.

Teenage Portrait Photography

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Teenage portrait photography

One of the perks of lockdown has been testing out my new Canon R6 on my teenage daughters.   And practising different techniques and styles for teenage portrait photography.   I find teenagers much more relaxed when they can be doing something they enjoy.

I’ve been considering investing in a mirrorless camera for some time now.   But when Canon launched their R5 and R6 last summer, I felt the time had come for me to bite the bullet.  After extensive research, I concluded that the R6 best suited my requirements.  I also invested in two bespoke RF lenses: the RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM and RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM.   I was quite simply blown away with the camera and both these lenses.  The speed and accuracy to focus were incredible.  And RF 70-200 f2.8 was so light in comparison to my EF equivalent that I could take photos one handed!   And what’s more, the quality is every bit as amazing as my Canon 5D iv.

I have since sold all my old cameras and lenses through a fantastic new 2nd hand camera company called MPB.   They collected all my kit free of charge, offered very fair prices and speedy payment.   An incredibly slick service.   This enabled me to invest in the full shebang of RF lenses, including the RF 85mm f1.2 USM.   Indeed, I took this portrait of Flora with this very lens, at a f1.2.   I love how it throws all the background completely out of focus, despite the fact that this was in fact no further from me than I was to Flora.   I can’t wait to share more images with this incredible new camera and lens.

Please visit my website to see more examples of my teenage portraits.   And please contact me if you’re interested in a family portrait photography session.   Whilst I’m based in Dorset, I travel throughout the UK.

 

Stunning Wedding Photography,

Posted on in Wedding photography

Stunning Wedding Photography

It’s not hard to provide stunning wedding photography when you are blessed with a beautiful bride.   Even easier when she is dressed in one of the most incredible wedding dresses I’ve ever seen.   Bearing in mind I’ve been a leading wedding photographer in the UK for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen quite a few!   The dress was made by the insanely talented Fiona Clare Couture.

Whilst I take a mixture of colour and black & white photos of the whole day, I generally prefer black and white for the ‘classic’ portraits such as this.  I find colour too distracting.  You end up studying the colours of the flowers, or wallpaper etc.  Black and white wedding portrait photography is timeless, classic and captures the mood of the day so much more effectively.   Where possible, I also love to work with natural light which I find much softer.  It also enables me to work really fast, which is one of the key skills for a wedding photographer.

I took this portrait just before leaving for Sherborne Abbey.  We only had a few minutes to spare.  But long enough to lay out her lace coat in a perfect circle.  I love how the tiara mirrors this circle.

Please do visit my wedding gallery to see more examples of my wedding photography.  And please email me if you are interested in finding out more about the packages I offer as a wedding photographer.  Please include your date, location of the ceremony & reception, timings, and approximate number of guests so I can send you a bespoke quote.  Alternatively, you can call me on 07815 750 141 to discuss your day in more details.

 

 

 

young girl on swing

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Outdoor Children Photography

Although many of my photoshoots involve activities indoors and outdoors, there are times when my clients have a specific location in mind.  Somewhere that encapsulates an era in their children’s life.  On this occasion, the family were moving house and school.  So it seemed fitting to have an outdoor children photography shoot in the grounds of Cheam Prep school, Newbury, Berkshire, where the girls had both been at school.

We started the shoot by playing lots of games in the main grounds, using the beautiful avenue and stunning gardens as backdrops.   And then headed to the fabulous outdoor play area, which offers an abundance of entertainment.   We had so much fun.    Playgrounds are perfect locations for outdoor children photography.   I love to capture the children’s adventurous spirit whilst they explore, climb, slide and swing.  Indeed we explored every nook and cranny, climbed every ladder, slid down every slide, and swung high into the skies.   I find static swing shots can look as void of emotion as motion and prefer to capture them moving.  This is obviously more challenging photographically but nothing beats that feeling of wind through your hair as you swing high and low.

This shot was one of my favourites. I absolutely love it.  There is so much joy, energy and movement.   You can feel her excitement at reaching high into the sky.  It’s an image that is full of emotion and spirit.   It can’t help but make you smile when you look at and remind you of those exhilarating feelings of ‘flying high’ when you were little.   This is what I strive to provide in my children photography sessions.

For more examples of my children photography, please do visit my children, teenage and family galleries.   Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss the possibility of me coming to your home and photographing your children and family.

Candid children photo shoot Gloucestershire

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Candid portrait from a children photoshoot

This is a candid portrait from a children photoshoot near Burford in Gloucestershire.  It also reminds me of the fun we had that day.   We bounced on beds, played hide & seek in the laundry basket and cupboards, choo chooed trains along their train track etc.  And we did all this before we went outside for more games and a lovely walk.  I took this photo during a game of ‘I spy with my little binoculars’.  It makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it.  Perhaps because of the way the younger brother is holding his binoculars in a closed position.  No idea what he saw through them.  But that didn’t matter as he was pretending to be as grown up as his big brother!

I also take beautiful and timeless portraits of the children together and apart during the shoot.   But these candid portraits capture the essence of their personalities.  They also create lasting timeless memories of what they loved to do in the home they grew up in.  And they are often the ones I love the most as they are so rich in nostalgia.

Our childhood memories are often the most mundane – lying on a favourite sofa with the dog, playing lego, hiding behind our parents’ bedroom curtains, reading a book with mummy, helping Daddy in the garden.   So when I’m taking photos at your home, I love to photograph your children both indoors and outside.  I often prefer inside light for portraiture, especially on a sunny day.  So don’t worry if it’s raining.   We can still capture so many wonderful memories inside and there is almost always a dry spell when we can get outside and splash in puddles!

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 and family photography to give you a more extensive feel of my style of portrait photography.

Emilie & Ian

Posted on in Wedding photography

Wedding photography during Covid-19

I’ve been a wedding photographer for over 20 years now, photographing weddings all over the country, from small country gatherings to large more formal affairs.   And I have to admit that I was a touch nervous about wedding photography during Covid-19.  But I was blown away by the intimacy, love and emotion in these weddings.    The sense of achievement in defying the odds and tying the knot during this pandemic presents itself in a contagious euphoria that engulfs every one present.  Including me!   The images are uniquely powerful and historical.  I feel honoured to have been part of such historical events.

This portrait of Emilie & Ian on their wedding was their 4th attempt – the first in the States, the 2nd a large country wedding in June, the 3rd a wedding for just 30 in October and then when mid September the guest restrictions were reduced to 15, they managed to re-arrange the wedding AGAIN, a mere week later, so they could keep their 30 guests.    The strength and resilience they have found in their love, surmounting each of these many frustrations and disappointments together, stands them in good stead for a long and happy marriage.   I think this image captures the essence of all the built up emotion – achievement, elation and LOVE.   They did it!

Please do visit my wedding gallery to see more examples of my wedding photography.   If you are interested in booking me as your wedding photographer, please email me with your date, location of the ceremony & reception, timings, and approximate number of guests so I can send you a bespoke quote.  Or, if easier, you can call me on 07815 750 141 to discuss your day in more details.  I’m based in Dorset but travel throughout the country, photographing weddings regularly in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and further afield too.

urban children portraiture

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Candid Urban Child Portrait

How old are we when we stop skipping down the road, or jumping on street walls?   Some may say never, but in essence there is definitely a time when we become too self conscious, when we are suddenly too grown up, too rushed, too stressed…   One of the many joys of photographing children is that they remind me to stop and enjoy the little things again, hold hands, skip down the street, even try a bit of jumping.  And wow, the thrill comes straight back – along with a few strange looks admittedly!

When I moved out of London over 10 years ago, I craved rural backdrops for portraiture, but I fear I was simply unaware of quite how fantastic urban backdrops are for children portraiture – especially in black and white.  Every street offers something unique, graphic, dynamic, quirky, but equally, every street invites the imagination of a child by offering games, adventures, magic, fun, play…

This image captures Ben enjoying a little alley way just around the corner from his home – he apparently does this wall jumping each time they walk along there.  I hope one day that this image will remind him of a whole chapter of his childhood.

 

 

Dame Judi Dench

Posted on in Editorial photography, News, Portrait photography

Portrait of Dame Judi Dench at home in Surrey

Country Life Magazine commissioning me to photograph Dame Judi Dench, was a lifetime and career highlight.   My portrait accompanies a wonderful interview by Michael Billington in the special issue, edited by the Prince of Wales in celebration of his 70th birthday.

Dame Judi is every bit as wonderful in person as I had imagined – warm, friendly, charming, interested, humble and very funny.   I love how this portrait captures her sparkle and spirit – the essence of our much loved National Icon.

 

Perrott Hill

Posted on in Children photography, Editorial photography, Portrait photography

Capturing the Spirit

Capturing the spirit of school life and providing schools with compelling images to use for advertising, prospectus, website, PR and social media is one of the areas of my work that I most enjoy.    Indeed I photograph regularly for schools across South West England, from Perrott Hill School (as per the above image) in Somerset, Sandroyd & Pinewood in Wiltshire, Leweston, Hanford and Castle Court School in Dorset, Cheam and Twyford in Hampshire, Horris Hill in Berkshire and the Westminster Choir School in central London.

I love the colours, light and composition in this image, but it’s the way that the boy is looking cheekily up at the little girl that brings the image to life – reflecting the most important qualities we, as parents, look for in a school – the happiness factor – and the same reason that Country Life Magazine chose this for the front cover of their annual supplement School Life.