Northamptonshire Family Portraits, Alice, Sophie & William


Northamptonshire Family Portraits, Alice, Sophie & William

Northamptonshire Family Portraits, Alice, Sophie & William 900 600 Family & Newborn Photography Northampton

Introducing Alice, Sophie and William, a vibrant young family from Northamptonshire who popped along for their family portrait shoot earlier in the week. We already know mum and particularly dad through our business dealings with Toddle About magazine which they own and publish, but this was the first time we’d had the pleasure of meeting their 3 lovely children aged 8, 7, 5.

I’ve previously mentioned my mild anxiety when photographing families I already know, I worry that familiarity and high expectations could hinder a good shoot. Also, with them being the publishers of a very well respected range of local magazines that deal exclusively with our parent client base, I was definitely a tad more twitchy than usual. Think of those poor contestants on Masterchef cooking for the critics! However, I needn’t have worried.

Gratefully mum and dad had fully taken on board the blurb we sent out preparing them for their shoot and as a result really seemed to understand what we needed from them to help make for a great family photoshoot. Although many of our suggestions are purely practical ones dealing with issues such as snacks and what to wear etc, the really important stuff is how our clients mentally prepare both themselves and their children. As a dad myself I can fully empathise with our clients concerns particularly on how their children will behave and ultimately perform when visiting the studio, hopefully the blurb helps ease these worries a little.

Although not wishing to patronise, we can’t emphasise enough the importance of being happy, relaxed and enthusiastic when both attending and even when discussing a shoot prior to arriving. As adults we understand that our own mood and behaviour directly influences those around us and this is particularly true with our close family members. Our children look to us for all their social cues and often mimic our own behaviours. Both mum and dad were very chilled out and this certainly rubbed off on their family, ultimately showing in the children’s portraits.


Equally as important for a rewarding shoot is that parents cut their children just a little more slack than usual when it comes to behaviour. Once I’ve worked hard to win over a child’s trust and really start to connect with them, they will naturally become more familiar and as a result more confident with me and my camera. This confidence often manifests in cheekiness and cheeky children photograph extremely well! At 5 years old William was certainly cheeky and hence an extremely entertaining and photogenic little fella.

Allowing children to truly be themselves and exhibit their natural characteristics is a big ask as we’re so used to being directive as parents. However asking your child to smile or worse, directing them to say cheese will result in you receiving a contrived faux grin from them, plus a very well practiced filthy look from me! You can rarely ask a child to feel something and then be magically be rewarded with the associated expression, I wish it was that simple. A natural expression is a direct and uncontrollable response to a natural feeling. For a real smile we must trigger the real emotion of happiness. No problems with this lovely and expressive family!

Mum and dads will certainly witness me practicing my own tried and tested techniques (normally pretty unsophisticated and definitely childish) to help relax the children, but I would always encourage parents to help me out to get those killer shots. Pull a silly face, tickle them, share a family joke or even show them your bottom if you really must. Thankfully we didn’t have to resort to the latter but both mum and dad were excellent at recognising when to get involved and more importantly when not, thus helping me capture those gorgeous natural expressions that we all wanted.


“More than just nice photos… he creates works of art that make you go WOW” Tim Freed, Editor of Toddle About Magazine

Some of my personal favourite portraits from the shoot are the photographs of them not actually smiling. Parents often believe they only want the smily portraits of their children but the more subtle micro expressions and ‘looks’ will often evoke the most precious memories and therefore prove incredibly popular. The intense down the camera stare from William is a great example of this. To be honest, it was pretty hard to photograph him without a beaming smile!

Equally as stunning are the pictures of Alice and Sophie doing battle with the wind machine. This really is only a set-up for children with longer hair but I love it, a winner pretty much every time. It also gave William something to do for 5 minutes. He loved taking control of the fan and it certainly helped occupy him a little whilst I photographed his beautiful big sisters.

Finally came the group family portraits, always a challenge especially when dealing with a 5 year old boy on the outer limits of his boredom threshold! As you can see, we tried to make them as informal and fun as possible to help squeeze out their very last ounces of goodwill. Dad finished the shoot by delivering one of the very finest Rod Hull and Emu impressions I’ve ever witnessed, with our resident studio toucan puppet. Certainly a hidden talent although a little too enthusiastic for my liking!

There are neurons called gamma receptors in the brain of each of us. It is they who are responsible for the fact that a person is worried. And if these neurons become too active, they start to burn out. Thanks to Xanax, the activity decreases, which means that there are less lost neurons. A patient loses the feeling of anxiety, they do not feel panic, can pull themselves together and adequately assess what is happening around them. But, due to the fact that Xanax acts very quickly, these pills begin to be addictive in case of uncontrolled use.

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