A few weeks ago, in a moment of bravery I offered my local friends and followers on Facebook the opportunity to have a free photoshoot with me on location in Cannock Chase during the gorgeous Autumn months whilst the trees are at their most beautiful and dramatic.
I know I can capture my own children on camera pretty well now – I know their idiosyncracies, I can tell when they’ve had enough of having a camera pointed at them, I know exactly how to coax out a smile, and I can (almost) anticipate their movements. But photographing other people’s children is a whole new ball game and if I want to start taking photography more seriously and potentially turn it into a business, I need to get some practice at capturing families other than my own.
As soon as I posted the offer I logged out and switched off my laptop. It felt entirely too vulnerable to offer myself up as someone ‘good enough’ to capture those precious moments that I knew people would want.
When I logged back in the following morning I fully expected to see zero responses. But much to my complete amazement I had five different people eager to take me up on my offer. Frankly, I was stunned. But I’d offered it, so I needed to follow through, no matter how scary it felt.
I wanted to try and fit someone in during the half term break and my lovely friend/yoga teacher was available, so on Friday morning of last week I met her with her two gorgeous children Bella and Lucas, her Mum Angela and her niece Phoebe at the Stepping Stones, which has already featured plenty of times on this blog. It’s a location I know well, with hidden places to explore and treasure for the children to find. Plus we could make the walk as long or as short as we wanted.
My goal was to provide a set of images that told the story of their family, that captured the moments of love and connection, that documented the quirks and personalities of each family member – everything that makes them who they are. I wanted to give Claire memories that she can keep forever, a tiny slice of time that she can look back at years in the future and still feel all the feelings she felt at the moment the shutter was pressed.