Home portraits are no doubt becoming more popular, people take pride in their homes, they make great locations to keep young children happy, and a cup of tea and a biscuit is only seconds away if you need a break!
On a recent shoot I revisited a family who I’ve photographed on a number of special occasions: weddings, family gatherings and on this occasion to celebrate a birthday. It was a spring day, not too bright outdoors but warm enough and ideal for babies and youngsters who’ll often remain entertained if they have a nice view to admire or places to explore. The family had spent the weekend gathered celebrating a significant birthday, enjoying each other’s company and purportedly some delicious home-made cake.
With out any hesitation we headed outdoors into the garden to make the most of the daffodils and the spring air. We found plenty of amusement, walked through hosts of daffs, ran around on the lawn, sat around near the log pile, explored the pine trees and then finally headed back indoors for some coffee and some more photographs with a selection of knitted pigs bought by a very smitten grandmother for her new grandchildren.
A shoot at home is a very relaxed affair, probably one of the best ways to enjoy photography with your family in relative ease and gives you a great social context to photographs taken for the future viewer. I hope you like a few of the images from this very enjoyable session, thanks for reading.
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As a photographer I try and make sure that all of my clients are as relaxed as possible when I photograph them. To achieve this with my family sessions I’m often either outdoors in a beautiful place or alternatively in, or at, their own home. Family at home portraits are often particularly suitable for young babies in the winter months. They benefit from both the warmth and convenience of home and its comforting familiarity. Without a doubt the benefit is more than two fold in that parent’s can also relax knowing that everything they need is close at hand.
Home portraits also provide you with a contextual aspect to the session. In years to come the house in which you live, particularly its decor, will become more important and probably more interesting as styles change.
In this session the young family included a baby who is about 4 months old and her parents. I’m often asked when the best time to photograph a baby is? There’s no definite answer to this question, I can only offer my opinion based on my experience. I find that sessions with babies who are just over 6 months of age are often the most productive simply because the baby is still very cute but also benefits from being able to crawl, often sit up and moreover smile beautifully. However my abiding rule is that the best time to photograph your young family is when you see fit, when you’re ready, and this shoot is an example as such.
This session was great fun, we photographed the family on what was weather wise quite a dull day, in several of the rooms in their beautiful home. We included mum and dad, baby and family dog, incorporated feeds, nappy changes, clothing changes and even a coffee break, all within a morning session lasting a little less than two hours.
I hope you like looking at a small selection of the images from the session.
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Being a Norwich portrait photographer is great fun, particularly when I work with young families. As a father of two young girls myself, I love to talk about the joys of parenting to other parents and to laugh about the less joyful bits. On this occasion I was photographing a family with two young boys. I was originally contacted so that the couple concerned could obtain a photograph of their eldest son that would emulate one taken of his father many years earlier. The original had been produced in a studio, so to reproduce something similar I took my portable studio gear to the family’s home, set this up and shot some studio style photographs. After these images were captured we moved on to a small natural session with the family, taking a small walk around a local pathway open to the public.
It was a lovely session with a great family, with baby and elder brother both enjoying themselves. It was interesting though to see how much more comfortable the elder brother found the outdoor session. He could run around, be himself, explore, have more fun and generally expend the masses of energy young children have available to them. I still think there is a place for studio shoots and sessions, they allow you to focus solely on the sitter, fine tune lighting etc etc, but there aren’t slugs in a studio, or autumn leaves to throw around, or sticks to find and use as whatever the imagination wants. It was really interesting to see quite a contrast in two photographic styles, and how they might befit different age groups. Conversely, the younger brother was probably a bit more comfortable in the studio style environment. As it was autumn, he needed to be bundled up a little in a big coat, couldn’t really sit around too much on the ground outside and couldn’t yet walk. So whether the younger brother preferred studio or outdoors is still up for debate?
Nevertheless, I cherished time spent with a lovely family, photographing them enjoying themselves both indoors and outdoors. It was nice to be able to present a legacy of formal photographs of the boys in the family and to see the family resemblances, and to photograph the family taking in some fresh autumn air. I hope you like a small sample of the images from the session.
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A great many of my family shoots are based in and around the beaches and holiday destinations in the north of my home county. North Norfolk photography has many plus points not least the amount of lovely places there are to visit, explore and produce natural photographs. The beauty of outdoor locations provides both the great backdrops to shoots and food for the imagination of young people that keeps them entertained during a session. It’s a win, win place to go for great natural portraits of you and your family and whether you’re a resident of the county, or one of it’s neighbours or simply visiting on holiday, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to utilise this great photographic resource.
This shoot from last year took place on the North Norfolk coast. Took in both the woods and the beach that characterise a large part of the coast and allowed for a mini family adventure and shoot. With woods to explore and a beach to enjoy the only thing that you really need to worry about is keeping children fuelled up for the fun. On this occasion, logs were walked, hands were held, the children ran around, found sticks and pine cones to play with, found the beach, splashed through tidal pools, discovered shellfish on the fore-shore, and eventually had a dig in the sand in front of a row of beach huts. In short it was great fun, and a great way to enjoy family time and a lifestyle portrait session.
I hope you enjoy a few photographs from the session.
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Suffolk Portrait Photography doesn’t get much better than when visiting the wonderful village of Walberswick adjacent to Southwold on the Suffolk Coast. Walberswick is a beautiful village that grew up on the opposite side of the River Blyth from the popular town of Southwold where this wonderful river meets the sea. As a result Walberswick has a great riverside walk which takes you past boat moorings, is famous for it’s crabbing opportunities on the bridges that straddle inlets, has a lovely stretch of beach backed by sand dunes, a small boat launching area, beach huts and a village green around which great pubs and tea rooms nestle. It’s gorgeous and as this family found out, despite the cold it can also be a brilliant place for a family portrait session in winter!
I met up with the family at one of the ample car parks serving the village, headed off for a bit of walk both to warm us up and to find some picturesque spots to shoot some portraits. The aim of the shoot was to supply some lovely family photographs to one lucky guy as a birthday surprise. He was at work, the rest of the family were modelling brilliantly 🙂 It was winter, I had more layers on than I normally need for a session. I try and move quite quickly from one opportunity to photograph people as naturally as possible to the next. This normally helps children to stay attentive to the session, prevents them getting bored and makes it enjoyable. On this occasion it also served to keep us all warm, to stop noses becoming too red, to keep bums from getting too chilly. The sky was a big grey duvet, which is a bit of a shame because winter blue skies are hard to beat what with a lovely low sun. For this reason we concentrated on slightly tighter framing of the subjects than is normally my style, concentrating on obtaining some subtle winter colours and enjoying the shoot. To this end there was a little bit of unashamed jumping from the sand dunes, normally cold weather makes people wrap themselves up and almost hug themselves for warmth so it was great to have the contrast of some seriously athletic jumps 🙂
A great session with a great family in the heart of winter. I hope you enjoy a few of the photographs.