I’m basically the opposite of a traditional studio photographer, preferring my photographs to be unposed, informal and fun! I’ve always been drawn to both portraiture and documentary photography and like to combine the two to create beautiful natural images of children as they really are.
To achieve a more natural looking image I only ever use available light which means that a) there are no harsh flashes going off in your baby’s eyes and b) I have the freedom to move around quickly without being tethered to cumbersome equipment – always good when photographing toddlers!
Sessions take place either in your own home, in the comfort of your own surroundings (with favourite toys nearby to use as handy props!), or for older children out and about on location somewhere special. This could be a local beach, favourite wood or nearby park, making the shoot and resulting images even more personal to your family.
In terms of the shoots themselves – I prefer to let the children lead the way, we’ll get much better results if they’re happy, and if they’re happy – I’m happy! My aim is for everyone to enjoy the shoot as well getting great pictures. If they want a splash in the sea, a running race or to go off and climb a tree then great! I’ll just snap away… Similarly if they’d prefer a cuddle with Mummy I’ll just step back, and quietly take a few shots, capturing real moments in an unobtrusive way to tell the story of your family. Of course there’s the odd prompt every now and then, and large groups definitely need a bit of positioning but in general I like the images to be as uncontrived as possible. It’s important to me that the shoots have a relaxed feel to them. If a baby needs feeding or a toddler has a tantrum mid-session – not to worry… I’m a mum, I’ve seen it all before and am more than happy to take a break, work around them, and I definitely won’t be watching the clock, I’ll just go with the flow.
Personally speaking, my favourite shots are often the most simple, I have a strong preference for clear, clean images as well as black & white photography – I love to strip a picture back to the content and composition without the distraction of colour. Whether it’s a cheeky baby sticking his tongue out at the camera, a detail shot of a mother’s hands cradling her baby’s tiny feet or a little girl running on a windswept beach I love images that are clutter free and unencumbered by too much information – allowing the child’s personality or the beauty of a newborn baby to speak for itself.