Documentary family photography

When I quit my job in marketing a couple of years ago I knew I wanted to set up my own photography business. I’ve always loved taking pictures but, although I studied photography for a while back in Amsterdam, I felt like I needed to refresh my knowledge. So, I joined the London School of Photography (whilst being five months pregnant). 

As their course covers all areas of photography it’s a great way to find out what direction you would like to go into. I had never really previously considered family photography as an option but, being pregnant with Ivy at the time, it began to appeal to me more and more. There was only one small problem. When I thought of family photography, pictures of babies dressed up as flowers, wrapped in blankets and being put into a basket, popped into my head. Don’t get me wrong - there are a lot of amazing family photographers out there that provide these kind of images and the demand is huge. But that isn’t me.

After doing some research on family photography though, I discovered there was so much more out there! I ended up doing a course specifically about documentary family photography and modern storytelling. And discovered that this IS me! Photos of real family life: toddler tantrums, bath time, messy breakfast tables, nappy changes - your regular ordinary days are actually the special ones. 

So let me document your day, photograph your family, and tell your story. 

Slice of Life - family photoshoot in Brockley

I love meeting new people and, as a photographer, I am lucky that I get to do that all the time. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of doing a “Slice of Life” shoot in Brockley. I had no idea what to expect as beforehand I had only spoken to Anna over the phone to go through the outline of the shoot. As soon as I arrived at their place though, I knew it was going to be a fun and relaxed family shoot. 

We started of upstairs in the play room to get the kids (but also the parents!) used to my camera. I mainly work with a Nikon 35mm when I’m shooting in family homes. There’s often very little space (we are in London after all!) and I find that a 35mm lens allows me to capture my subjects relative to their environment. It really helps you to tell the family’s story and gives the pictures that true “documentary feeling”. This means I’m often quite close to my subjects so it’s extremely important to make the family feel comfortable around you and the camera before you start shooting.

The kids were  gorgeous and loved every minute of the shoot - especially the little girl, Leela. We had a lot of fun dancing to “Frozen” and she absolutely rocked that princess dress. Niko, the little boy, was super chilled and it was lovely to spend some time with this amazing (and extremely relaxed!) family. It honestly didn’t feel like work and that’s a great feeling!

My first wedding shoot!

Last week I did something a bit out of my comfort zone - I did my very first wedding shoot! This was something completely different from my usual family photoshoot. This time I wasn’t chasing kids with my camera, but instead had to direct my subjects - something I normally avoid doing during my family photoshoots. 

I’d already had a great consultation with the bride-to-be, and I knew the venue having been there myself previously. I also thought about what I loved about the photographers at my own wedding, and the kinds of wedding shoots and images that I most loved. But even though I was well prepared I have to admit that I was quite nervous on the day of the shoot. A wedding is such a special day and you basically can’t afford to make any mistakes on the job. There are so many important moments that you really need to capture - and you only have one chance, if you miss them they’re gone. 

I felt incredibly honoured to be part of Anna and Richard’s very small and intimate wedding ceremony which was held in the Southwark Registry Office in Peckham. It was just the couple, their two witnesses and…me! It was important to me that I didn’t interfere in their special day, that they could enjoy it ‘in the moment’ and that I could blend into the background to document it without disrupting the flow.

The ceremony itself was lovely - and I was constantly shooting to try to catch every moment: the rings, the tears, the kiss…  and we were also able to continue the shoot in the garden of the venue, and were blessed with a really lovely sunny day that helped bring added warmth and colour to the photos. 

As soon as I got home I transferred the images to my laptop - to see them on a proper screen, and begin the careful process of selecting and editing. 

One thing I love about wedding and event photography is the way the timeline of the event can help you tell the story of the day and the people involved. 

I’ve tried to combine the big events in their (short!) wedding day with those little moments that speak volumes about them and their relationship with each other, and with their friends.

I hope you like the pictures!

Using Format