29.09.21 Emotive Family Portraits: Photos with Meaning

Time spent with family is precious. In our busy lives, those moments when we fully switch off from other demands, relax and have fun are to be valued. Photographs enable us to hold on to these precious times. In the future, photographic images help families to connect with their stories. 

 

The Missing Piece

As a professional portrait photographer and a parent, I have plenty of photos of my children. I’ve been tracking their growth and capturing their personalities and interests. They grow up so fast, so I want to have a record of their unique development. 

The challenge is that I rarely feature in these images. Being behind the lens means that when my children look back through my collection of photos, there is no evidence that I was part of the story. That is why I love this image, taken on a recent family holiday.

We had escaped to sunny shores. The scenery was spectacular and we were all feeling calm and happy. I love reading to my children, so whilst waiting I’d opened a book and began telling a story. The shared activity and stunning backdrop made the perfect shot.

When looking through the images taken on your smartphone or camera, do you realise that you are always absent? Are family members having great adventures or engaged in familiar pastimes with no record of your presence? Professional family portrait photography provides the ideal solution. With a photographer behind the lens, there are no missing pieces.

 

Family Portrait Photography

When you think of family portraits, do you have an image of stiff, formal arrangements? We’ve all seen those photos of the family lined up in their best outfits, told to look at the camera and smile. These photos tell us nothing about the individual characters or the family connection.

Knowing that nothing looks as artificial as people forced to stand in a fixed pose and smile, I have a different approach. I aim to create a setting where everyone feels at ease, where interactions are natural and expressions are genuine. 

When families look at my images, I want to spark an emotional response. Beyond the faces, I want to transport them back to that moment in time. 

Some families like the professional setup of my photography studio. The controlled lighting and homely environment are ideal for intimate family groups. For other family portraits, it’s great to step out of the studio. With portable equipment, we can head off to a place where everyone feels comfortable, a place with personal meaning. Where is your happy place?

 

Treasured Memories

When I look at this photo of me and my boys, I see our bond and their eager anticipation as the story unfolds. I can feel the warmth of the sun and am reminded of the fresh, subtly salty air. I recall the refreshingly cool drink we had enjoyed before the book was opened and a giggle that followed a funny twist in the tale. More than a visual record, a great photograph offers a full sensory experience.

Long after my boys have grown out of their dungarees, I will value the memories held in this single image.


 

18.08.21 Tracking Time in Photographic Images

I adore this photo of my son. He looks so proud as he holds an image that I took of him as a newborn baby. This picture perfectly captures his development. As a portrait photographer, my son is my most loyal model and the wonderful images of him will always be treasured.

 
    
 


Featured Newborn Photographs
The baby photo makes me proud too. It was one of two Abigail Studio images that were selected to illustrate a newborn photography masterclass for a fellow photographer, Jo Plumridge. The front page of ‘Essential Guide to Newborn Photography’ features this coloured image of my son. He looks straight into the eyes of the viewer as if inviting interaction. As humans, we are naturally drawn to eyes and this direct contact adds to the appeal of the image.
The second photograph is a black and white shot of a baby sleeping in his father’s outstretched arm. This image has a peaceful quality and shows the contrast between the big, strong dad and his tiny, fragile baby. Children grow so fast, that it can be difficult to remember how small they were. For this reason, my newborn photographic shoots are popular.


Lighting for Newborn Photography
Newborn babies are very sensitive to light, sound and temperature, so special care and consideration are required when preparing for a photoshoot. Natural light is desirable for any image, but as a professional photographer, I need to control the lighting. The aim is to focus on the baby, without putting them in a glaring spotlight.
Flash should be avoided in newborn photography, so I draw on other options in my kit., I used my trusted Nikon D4S camera with TL60  light tubes from Godox, that creates wonderful light quality. The soft, diffused light effectively brings out the pure, subtle tones of a baby’s skin.
Whether awake or asleep, keeping the baby comfortable and content is a priority for photographers. A startled baby is likely to cry and that isn’t the memory we want to capture! I create a calm, restful environment and aim to minimise disruptions. The silent mode on my camera is an asset in these photography sessions.


Photographic Images for Press Articles
I began my career as a photography assistant, taking images specifically for press articles and magazine features. I understand that the ideal images have to illustrate the message with consideration for the layout. With 20 years as a professional portrait photographer under my belt, I can confidently provide the images you need. If you are looking for specific images for press articles, please get in touch on 01494 481137.

 



 28.07.21  Natural Family Photography


I am delighted to be back behind the camera. As restrictions lift, Abigail Studios is open for business and it is fantastic to be back doing what I love.
I have recently been working on family portraits, creating relaxed images that capture the character of my subjects. Just take a look at these happy girls!

 




 

Outdoor Family Portraits
For children, coming into a photography studio can be a little daunting. It is an unfamiliar space and it takes time to help them relax and interact naturally. They are usually more comfortable outside where they are not enclosed. They can explore and there is plenty to capture their interest. For this reason, some families prefer an outdoor photoshoot. The right location can work wonders. A secret garden made the perfect backdrop for this family photoshoot. We discovered lots of places where these glorious children were happy to sit, play and enjoy being photographed. Their smiles are full of natural joy from simply having fun outside. The British summer is unpredictable, but on a warm, dry day, the natural light makes every subject radiant. Sitting amid blue skies and lush green foliage, the images look fresh and full of life, just like the family in this photoshoot. I feel that the large leaves and flowing water add a magical quality to the images, do you agree?

British Summertime Photography
In summer, the days are long, so there is more time to interact, build trust and take a wonderful collection of shots. Located in the Chiltern Hills, Abigail Studio is surrounded by stunning scenery. Your photographic session could take place in woodlands, open fields, meadows or rolling hills. Maybe you have a favourite spot that would make a meaningful backdrop to your family portrait. As a less controlled environment, outdoor photography can be less predictable than in the studio. I work with the natural light and features to find great locations to bring the family together. In family photography, I’m always on the lookout for those unplanned interactions; the shared smiles, the subtle interactions. This is where an individual’s character is revealed.

Capturing Treasured Moments
If the past year or so has taught us anything, it is the importance of family. In the blink of the eye, your gorgeous children are taking their next steps and growing up. The past year has challenged us all, yet, as a tight-knit family, you have thrived. My family portrait sessions capture happy memories of times together. My website offers further information about my Family Collection Packages.

To discuss availability for your family location photoshoot please get in touch on 01494 481137.

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