So honoured to have been asked by HRH the Princess of Wales to take a birthday portrait of Prince Louis as he turns 5. Of my two portraits released by the Palace, this image of Louis in the wheelbarrow with HRH The Princess of Wales, laughing down towards him, is my favourite. It not only captures Louis’ spirit and cheek but also the relationship he has with his mother, and the fun they have together. You can’t but help feeling joy, love and laughter when you look at this photo.
For more examples of my children portfolio, click here.
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.
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]
I’ve been photographing these siblings every two to three years since they were just toddlers – it’s been such a joy to witness them grow into wonderful and fascinating teenagers.
On each shoot, I photographed them within surroundings that are part of their childhood which not only makes the portraits so much more special, but rather nostalgic too. This shelter, in the park next to their house, has seen many different stages of their childhood – be it to shelter from the rain, play hide and seek, skate around, hang out with friends etc.
When I first started out as a children photographer, I found photographing young children so much easier – because they are unselfconscious and spontaneous – but as my children themselves grew into teenagers, I have found photographing teenagers every bit as rewarding. And the added bonus is, when I ‘previsualise’ an image they follow directions, as in this portrait here! This shelter engulfed them when they were little, but now they seemed to own it and the memories within. It also provided a wonderfully graphic frame in which to place them.