I’m privileged to meet some truly wonderful people with the job I do, fascinating characters from all walks of life. Indeed a photoshoot can often feel more like an informal chat with friends rather than a proper job. Not only is it one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job, it’s also an essential part of the portrait process enabling me to capture those gorgeous natural photographs I’m renowned for. Even though I might not be photographing the parents, I notice time after time that the more relaxed mum and dad are, the more relaxed and generous the children are with their personality. The gorgeous Henderson family are perhaps the greatest example of this as since coming for their first family photoshoot in 2013, we’ve gone on to become close family friends.
Familiarity can come with it’s problems. I’ve written in the past about my anxiety when working with close friends and their children. Not only do I feel the pressure of high expectation, probably all in my head, but also those children whom I’m already familiar with can often be the hardest cookies to crack. This is why as parents we often struggle to get decent natural photographs of our own children, cue the stock cheesy grimace. Needn’t have worried though as Seb and Sienna gave me a lovely natural range of expressions and looks.
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Interestingly, thanks to mums quick snaps of me in action on her iPhone, I’ve also managed to incorporate a few before and after shots which will hopefully demonstrate the difference between a quick ‘snap’ and a professional ’portrait’. No offence mum! Since the proliferation of cheap digital photography, many people no longer see the value of a professional portrait. Hopefully these examples will help make the case for us professional portrait photographers… hopefully!
After capturing my personal favourite, the individual character portraits, I then moved onto capturing Seb and Sienna together. Again, I’m not mad on heavily posed group portraits, especially of children, so we tried to make it a little fun, amazing what a bit a piggy-back can do! There’s way too many gorgeous photos to share here but hopefully you can see the wonderful bond and closeness between brother and sister.
Finally the family portrait. Dad was less than keen here, which is fairly typical from experience, so again I tried to make it as relaxed and informal as possible. Making adults comfortable in front of the camera can be a challenge, one of the main reasons I prefer photographing children, but I absolutely love this family shot, really captures the closeness of this fab, fun-loving family!