Back in autumn last year I decided to be brave, step outside my comfort zone and offer five free family photo-shoot sessions as a way of stretching myself to grow beyond the familiarity of capturing my own children and perhaps step a bit further into the world of photography that I long to be a bigger part of. Within a couple of hours all five slots had been taken (much to my amazement!) and I was committed to capturing those families.
I did three of the shoots in November and then life kind of got in the way – for myself and the two families still left to shoot. It’s taken months for the weather to be decent enough to get outside and explore, and various commitments on both sides meant that we couldn’t seem to get a mutually convenient date. Finally, after lots of to-ing and fro-ing, we figured out a day that worked for both of us and as a result I completed my fourth shoot last Sunday.
I know Jo and her children, Eva and Jamie, from the girls’ school – Eva is in Mimi’s class. I’m definitely more comfortable working with people I already know – I guess that’s to be expected. Soon though I’ll be pushing myself further and working with people I’ve not met before, working to build rapport and connect with them so I can capture them at their most authentic.
I decided to head for a different location this time – somewhere I’ve taken my girls many times but not somewhere I’ve ever captured anyone else’s children. I like to challenge myself 🙂 Fortunately the weather held up it’s end of the bargain and the sunshine that had graced us for the two week Easter break decided to hold for one final day. It was warm and sunny with a cool breeze – quite challenging in many respects because of the constantly changing light from the clouds chasing across the sky – an ideal day to have a bit of an adventure.
We headed off for a walk down the canal, watching the canal boats squeeze their way through the narrow lock, before trying to spot fish in the swiftly flowing river underneath the Essex Bridge on the outskirts of the Shugborough Estate. From there we moved on to climbing trees and seeing who could get the highest, before retracing our steps in order to play on the rope swing over the river.
The children were on top form – Eva was pretending to be a model posing for the camera at every opportunity and Jamie’s cheeky smile and big personality were the source of lots of moments of laughter. Jo and I chatted easily as we walked, and just like the other three shoots I’ve done this one really didn’t feel like work.
I had so much fun and I’m fairly certain that Jo and her children made some new happy memories together. I hope so anyway. The clue is in the name. Picture Taker, Memory Maker. I’m not just taking photos. I’m letting you create magical memories together and documenting it for you as you do so you’ll always have something to look back on and remember that moment by. I can’t wait to schedule the fifth and final free session!
Here is a selection of some of my favourite shots from our morning together. If you like what you see and are interested in booking a photo-shoot for your own family, please do get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to connect with you.