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.
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.
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]