boy laughing in a field of wheat

Boyhood Unplugged

The Knights Family

I joined Sam, Chris & Ollie on the most beautiful family lifestyle session along the Suffolk coast. Their home is surrounded by an incredible palette of earthy tones, a different crop in every field and what seems to be their own private beach. For me, as a photographer, this is heaven on earth.

To add to the incredible luck of the Pinterest-worthy scenery, this family are my kind of people. Not only my namesake, their family values and belief system strongly match my own. While it has its place, technology is only part of their son’s lifestyle. With surroundings like this, Ollie is encouraged to go outside and play. To explore his world in the only way a six-year-old boy can. Watching these guys explore and play together was a real joy for me. It encouraged me to get my own children out and playing in the dirt and the grass.

Getting splinters and grazed knees should be a rite of passage for every child. It should be the norm, and not something that only happens when you’ve realised they’ve been on their iPads for too long. Unfortunately it is becoming a real issue where children form addictions to technology as toddlers. It then becomes so difficult to break this habit as they get older as they become so used to being baby-sat by these slabs of metal, they lose the ability to entertain themselves.

This is definitely not the case for Ollie. Sam & Chris have really made the most of the land around them and Ollie has benefited and will continue to benefit from this. Already full of beans and excited to get out there, Ollie reminds me of my own childhood – before tech took over.

Get your children outside. Find feathers, throw stones into the sea and have play-fights in the sand.

They are only this small once.

To find out more about our pricing for your own family lifestyle session, click here.


lifestyle session

The Aldous Family

lifestyle session

A Lifestyle Session is for Life!

A lifestyle session is one of the most important sessions I believe I do. In my opinion, not enough importance is given to these within the family and it’s my mission to change this. I, for one, am guilty of letting time fly by without giving it a second thought, and then I realise that I have zero pictures of me with my kids or my husband. Recently I noticed that I had not been in a family photo for over a year! So when families get in touch and ask me to document their little tribe, of course I jump at the chance.

Lifestyle Session: Meet the Aldous Family

I recently did a lifestyle session with the lovely Aldous family and their new baby, Daisy. We had such a lovely time shooting in their beautiful Suffolk home and baby brother Charlie got extra time to cuddle his new baby sister. The house was gorgeous and they are clearly smitten with their new addition. Frankly, who can blame them!

Charlie showed me his room and some of his favourite cuddly toys then had a great time jumping on his bed for photos. He told me his favourite thing is dinosaurs and showed me his favourite red nose too.

Steph and Chris also asked to have Daisy photographed on Steph’s wedding dress. I gently laid Daisy on the dress with some support underneath her and took the shot using natural daylight. The dress was beautiful and she looked so small amongst all that organza!

Many families contact me to take their photos and it is such an important thing to do. Photographs are imperative to your memory and you can pass them down for generations to come. Too many women avoid the camera at all costs. But what happens when you are gone? Your children will not have anything to remember you by and this is an absolute tragedy. This article outlines exactly how this can pan out for people when they avoid the camera for vanity’s sake.

If you are interested in booking a lifestyle session, take a look at our packages and contact us.


Take better pictures of your family...

This is real life.

There is something you all need to know. Nobody loves the hundreds of photos you have on your phone of your kids grimacing out the word “cheese”. Even less so the ones with the ‘cute’ snapchat filter on that makes them look like some kind of weird pixie cat. While we’re here, I’m just going to throw it out there that with that filter on, you look ridiculous too.

So there it is – I’m just telling you what you already know. And if you didn’t… you do now.

Here is how you fix it.

Taking pictures of your family, whether it be your kids or your Grandma, or you sister or your dog, should not be just about how pretty it looks. It should not be about how to manipulate them into looking like creatures from another planet. Family photography should be about capturing the moment. Immortalising snippets of your life so that you can go back and remember what it was like, for real, when the kids have grown up and flown the nest. With all the incredible mobile phones and point-and-click cameras available on the market, there should be no excuse for taking naff, meaningless photos.

Here are a few ways to improve yours:

Make sure there is enough light.

Taking photos outside, at daytime, should mean that you get crisp, clear, bright images. You will notice that the photos you take in the sunshine are always the sharpest ones right? Light is important. If you don’t have enough, switch on your flash or turn on some lamps/lights. If you don’t you risk your pics being blurry.

Focus!

It might seem obvious, but try and take the time to focus your images. On a phone, this usually means tapping on the area of the image you want to be sharp, before you take the photo. With most cameras, it means holding the shutter button down halfway to focus and then pressing it down all the way to take the picture. A lot of the modern cameraphones (such as the iPhone X) have some incredible new features, including depth of field. This means that you can focus on your subject and choose how blurry you want the background to be. Very cool for a phone.

Compose.

Think about the scene. Is there a lamppost sticking out of the top of his head? Is the top of her head cut off? Where have his feet gone?! Make sure that you have everything you want to photograph INSIDE the frame. Equally, think about what might be in the frame that you might not want in there. (What a lovely photo of your little boy! Shame the dude in the background is knuckle deep up his nostril, digging out a booger).

DON’T say ‘Cheese’!

This will NEVER get you a natural smile. Try making silly noises, making a joke, distracting or getting them to say a rude/silly word, and then take the picture when they’re laughing afterwards. It’s all about natural smiles.

Don’t get frustrated.

Let’s face it, children especially can be sooooo frustrating when you are trying to get a good photo of them. But getting ratty will not get you natural smiles. Walk away and try again later or get someone else to take the pic.

Capture the natural.

The absolute best photos of life are taken when no-one realises you are doing it. Observe, appreciate and document what happens in real life but try not to orchestrate. At the end of the day, you want to look back at these photos and remember exactly how it used to be. When your children have all grown up and flown the nest, you WILL go back over old photos. How sad would it be if all you had was photos of you and your children looking NOTHING like yourselves but highly resembling something somewhere between a cat and a Pokémon.

Answer: It would be tragic.

Last of all, if you really want some good photos of your family, whether it be portraits or lifestyle, pay to have a professional do them for you. It is one of the soundest investments you will ever make. Whether it’s documentary style or a studio shoot, you will never, ever regret having them done and on your wall.