I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely family who I photographed a few years ago but this time there was a little 7 month old Jude added to the family dynamic. The last time I saw the oldest son Callum, he was about the same age of Jude. Here is a photo I took of Callum the last time I photographed him. The boys look so a like...the word 'adorable' comes to mind with these two.
This time around, I was trying out more the in-home lifestyle photo session compared to the white backdrop and mobile studio lights I brought to their home before. These two lighting conditions give of very different looks and feelings. I love both looks but I wanted to test new speed lite modifiers and give my client more natural moments of some of her family.
So I got them playing with their toys or just hanging out at first. Callum who is now three years old simply loves to run and bless little Jude he is not able to stand up on his own yet so seeing his little happy smile when he is standing with his mum helping him is priceless and with the slight blur of Callum running around him, well, that just adds to the moment.
The mum Katie and grandma Jo, were so welcoming and relaxed with me being there. You can see the love they have for the boys so easily and Katie suits that relaxed content mum role. You see it most when little Jude started getting upset in the midst of Katie reading a story to them. She just calmly carries on reading while gently comforting him. Such a pro.
Then within minutes of cuddling him and giving him his beloved dummy, he is calm and that little adorable smile comes out. Even though the above images are not really what you normally see in traditional posed family portraits, it is a moment in day to day life that reminds us what our children or grandchild or even own selves were like years ago. These little snapshots of time are needed to add some colour into the memories of childhood. Time to take off the rose tinted glasses and remind us that there is beauty in the daily, mundane and unexpected. They are evidence of all the stages of childhood and aspects of family life. I mean look how cute Jude looks with that expression below. Aah, you just want to give him a cuddle and not let go.It reminds us all of our tenderness and vulnerability in the world.
To aid me in getting children to look at the camera and not be scared by it or to look at it, instead of being distracted, I looked into getting some camera buddies which are crocheted animal that go around the camera lens. I enlisted my mum to make some for me as she is pretty good with the crochet needle. What do ya think?
Leo the Lion
Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc
Callum and Jude definitely like them and seemed to respond best to Leo the Lion and I think my mum enjoyed making them. If you have ideas of characters, that I can get a new buddy of and try out on my camera that will make that kids respond well, please type your suggestions in the comments below in this blog. I will see if my mum can try to make it. Cheers.
Here are some photos I took with Leo the lion on my camera lens. What do you think?
This one I was talking to Callum about the lion and naming it, which helped to start a conversation with him. Katie and I found Callum very funny with his responses while I photographed him. I also had a speed lite flash on a separate tripod in the room giving a little fill in. This modifier definitely helped add so extra light in the room, even though there were some gorgeous day light coming through their windows. Callum had a fascination with fiddling with his ears, which was so adorable to capture on camera as it shows his personality.
With brothers and any siblings, ( definitely with my two kids) food is a sacred subject. I have noticed there are two types of kids when it comes to their food. Those who love to share everything which is rare or kids who hate sharing food. To be safe, you don't take another kid's food from them. Clearly, Jude agrees with this as Callum tried to steal his biscuit. Callum, however found this rather funny. Brotherly love, ain't it grand. They were laughing and playing with each other pretty quick after food was no longer the subject matter. ha ha.
To be honest, my kids are the same, one minute fighting or grumpy and then laughing and playing together. My son Tyler has reacted many a times in the same way as Callum, when he steals his little sister Sophie's crisps. She is very vocal with her response but unlike Jude, she is physical as well. She is definitely feisty, well...she is my daughter after all.
I really enjoyed capturing these moments for Katie and Jo. It was lovely to witness how sweet the kids are with their mum Katie and their grandma Jo. This time Katie's husband and the boys' father wasn't in the session like last time but I would love the opportunity to photograph them again all together and maybe get the Jo's husband in the mix too. We mentioned maybe doing a photo shoot in the local bluebell fields in the near future. I look forward to that so watch this space.
I know the family has dealt with some family loss recently with two of their older relatives passing so I delayed releasing this blog post out of respect. Again, I would like to pass my condolences on to this lovely family and I hope these images can bring back some joy and happiness in their lives. Those children's faces are so precious and can lighten any dark times. I truly believe in the afterlife like the grandma, Jo does. We had a lovely chat at the end of the session about our beliefs and shared our experience and interest in mediums etc. I am sure their past love ones are watching over them all with such adoration and love. So much so those little boys will be in good hands with their loved one who past as guardian angels, watching their backs. They will be surrounded by light, love and major support by their family and friends so if they ever need anything, they have a great support system around them. With Jo as their matriarch, they are all going to be fine. She is one strong woman who has clearly passed her strength to her two daughter which is evident in Katie in these images.
I am always here for them too as I like to build a friendship or at least a connection with my clients. I would be honoured to photograph more of those precious family moments for them to help remind them of the love they carry as an ever growing family unit. Jude is a gorgeous new member of their clan and with his brother Callum by his side, they will continue to have that brother love and connection forever more.
These photos can help reflect the beginning of a beautiful friendship between two brothers and remind them of the strong family that holds them up with strength and wholeheartedness.
A family portrait should show the family's unconditional love and connection within its aesthetic beauty. I intend to make that one of my main aims in family portraiture, something reflected in my work that my clients will want to showcase. Family love, it is something to grab and tenderly nurture. I know I need to showcase my images of my family more in my home. I have many photos on my hard drive but not printed and displayed. That is a subject matter of the importance of showcasing your portraits is something I will explore in a later blog, so watch out for it.
Family life is something to cherish and in regards to lifestyle snapshots and portraits, I hope people will want to present them with pride and appreciation as much as I like photographing them for them. I hope my passion comes through in my work.