If you're anything like me, you've nearly run out of storage space on your phone and you spend hours flicking though countless baby photos of your little ones when you're supposed to be catching a short break from anything child related. It's easy to get carried away with photographing everything they are doing, but here's my own list of what I personally feel to be a top 10 list of shots to take of your children every month as they change so quickly.
1) Getting messy...
They say a child with grubby hands and knees is a happy one and my own little one is no exception. After a particularly messy dinner time or an eventful muddy puddle splashing session, grab that camera and capture them looking less than squeaky clean, these are the times you will remember them in their wild, happiest gloriously grubby whole self.
2) "Say cheese"...
A child's own interpretation of a smile for the camera can be so funny and can change depending on their mood and age. Capture their cheeky expressions before they master the art of a 'proper' smile and grab those opportunities for gappy toothed grins.
I have never really taken enough sleeping photos of our daughter. Sleep has always been a bit of a precious commodity in our house and the thought of risking waking her from nap time with a click of my shutter put me off taking them as it was too much of a risk. Looking back, it's now something I wish I had more of now that nap times have stopped altogether.
4) Being cheeky...
That look when you catch them doing something they know they shouldn't. You probably see that look every day but photograph it and capture it.
5) With family...
It's not just your little ones that change. More often than not, most grown ups can be a little camera shy but make sure you capture those precious memories with Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and of course those lovely moments with siblings.
6) Quiet time...
Our daughter sings to herself all day. She hums when drawing or will belt out a wholehearted rendition of something if the urge takes her but one of my favourite times to capture her is when she's humming away while drawing, in quiet( ish) contentment.
Let them just be, whether reading a favourite book or totally immersed in their own imagination, it's a great time to capture them at a time when they aren't running around in a blur!
7) The details...
Those little fingers, the dimples on their little hands, the curl of hair at the nape of their neck, those eyelashes. Those things as parents that we simply marvel over the beauty of and ask ourselves, how on earth did we manage to create something so perfect?
Whether it's the month that your child takes their first steps, starts school or just the first time they have scribbled a wobbly portrait of you, celebrate these triumphs, big and small and get them on camera.
9) Grumpy Face...
Let's face it we'd love our family photos to show the best of our children and be all smiles but how much fun is it when we catch that perfect pout.
10) With you...
Probably one of the most important but the easiest to forget. Try to get in the frame yourself with your family, even if you're not the most comfortable in front of the camera, you will treasure them in years to come.
Please get in touch to ask about booking a family photo shoot.
On a chilly Saturday in January, I headed to Kensington, London to photograph Sandy, Jesse and their gorgeous children Harrison and Rossi for a winter family photo shoot.
It's such a wonderful thing to be asked to return to a family for ongoing shoots, to witness the children changing and to be part of their lives as they grow. This was my third shoot for this lovely family and I knew that whatever the weather, it was going to be another fun one.
Our original plan was to wrap up warm and head to a local park for an artistic outdoor location shoot, but in good old British tradition, The London weather decided to have other plans. We opted instead for an indoor shoot at home and made the most of the high ceilings and natural light through their grand Georgian windows.
When I arrived, I was instantly made to feel part of the family when greeted with high fives from Harrison (such a little dude) and a cuddle from an extremely cute dinosaur. I couldn't resist taking a few shots before little Rossi had her hair brushed was changed into her pretty dress for her shoot. I love these unplanned opportunities to capture the essence of childhood so naturally. While children are a little unkempt and their hair a little wilder!
True to form Harrison and Rossi were adorable throughout and we captured some lovely images of the closeness of their family and the fun they have together. They made it so easy and fun. Grabbing a cute umbrella, we even managed to capture a quick extra photo outdoors when there was a short break in the rainy weather.
When planning to photograph your family it can be tempting to put off taking photos until the sun is shining but I'm so glad we didn't.
Sometimes all you need is a little imagination, a lovely family... and if you have one, a dinosaur onesie is always an added bonus!
Thank you Sandy, Jesse, Harrison and Rossi so much for a lovely rainy day photo shoot. I loved every minute.
And here's what they had to say about me...
"It is a delight working with Jen! We have worked with her for several family shoots and birthday parties. We are so pleased with her work and her professionalism. She creates a calm and fun environment for my children and always has great ideas for our shoots. Importantly, Jen’s attention to detail shows through her work and photographs. She has the natural ability to make everyone smile and captures candid moments, which is priceless. It is always a pleasure working with Jen and we look forward to our next shoot with her! "
To ask more about a family photo shoot, please get in touch.
On a beautiful Autumn day in late November, while the leaves were in their richest tones of gold and russet, I met with Ellen and her family in the grounds of the majestic Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, London, for their maternity shoot. With it's tranquil gardens and abundance of nature, it was lovely to take a step away from the bustle of the city and breathe in the fresh air and smell the earthy leaves underfoot.
Winter can be an unpredictable season for a photographer. Weather wise, you have to be prepared for any eventuality but it is a lovely season and the light can be truly magical. Caught in the morning, in my opinion, the best time of day, the low winter sunshine shone through the trees, making the leaves glow.
Sometimes it can be a little tricky during family photography shoots to keep three year olds interested long enough to keep going for over an hour but in true superhero style, Oliver smiled from beginning to end and kept us all laughing throughout. We spent the morning crunching through leaves and clambering over branches. This shoot was fun, sweet and very natural albeit a little muddy!
The anticipation and excitement of the arrival of their newest family member was clear. Beautiful Amelia arrived just before Christmas and when I arrived at their home in North London, for their newborn shoot, Oliver was extremely proud to tell me he had a new baby sister for Christmas and led me by the hand to meet her.
Just like her big Brother, Amelia handled her newborn photo shoot like a professional! She was so calm and comfortable throughout.
At the perfect moment, she gave me the most precious little smile. OK, it may have been wind, but it was so perfectly timed, I like to think it was intentional!
The bond between these two as Brother and Sister is so sweet. It's amazing that within just a couple of weeks, they had formed their own special relationship. Just look at those little faces!
Something tells me that these two will be best friends for life. It won't be long before Oliver is teaching Amelia how to climb those knobbly sycamore trees on Hampstead Heath and exactly where to find the muddiest of puddles.
Thank you Ellen, JP, Oliver and Amelia for asking me to be there to capture such precious times in your lives. It was such a pleasure. I'm such a lucky person to be able to say that a typical working day involves sipping hot chocolate after a winter walk in the woods and having a cuddle with a newborn baby. Lucky me!
And this is what they had to say about me...
“Jen, thank you so much for the many beautiful photos! They are absolutely gorgeous and we love them! We can't stop looking at them and decide which ones we like most. Thanks again for your patience and fun way of capturing our family during both shoots" Ellen & family.
To ask about availability for a Bump & Baby shoot, please get in touch.
London couple Amy and Terry were married in October after a romantic picnic proposal on Primrose Hill and a one year engagement.
They wanted a day that was fun and laid back and managed to create a wedding that felt effortlessly cool and relaxed.
They are a couple, who make you feel instantly at ease and I just knew that their wedding day was going to reflect their personalities in the nicest of ways.
Amy and Terry are the type of couple who have no idea how gorgeous they are and were concerned about looking awkward in front of the camera. When their wedding day came, it was a case of the exact opposite and I ended up with the job of editing down a huge selection of shots that captured a pretty amazing day.
They had their wedding ceremony at Stoke Newington Town Hall, Hackney, East London with it’s beautiful interior, balcony and high ceilings. Their guests were whisked off in a vintage route master bus with a good supply to bubbles to keep everyone refreshed, to their reception at The Easton Pub in Clerkenwell, where there was a warm welcome waiting.
Meanwhile, I jumped in a London black cab with the bride and groom to take a few couple shots of them together around the streets of East London. It was time well spent and we laughed our way round the cobbled streets while I generally got them to squish into any picturesque alcove or doorway around Clerkenwell I could find for a smooch, and there were a lot!
Hand in hand and beaming, with Terry now wearing a smudge of Amy’s red lipstick, the newlyweds made their way back to their guests at The Easton for a full on party. After an amazing feast, speeches that had the exact right balance of sweetness and hilarity, there came dancing to the beats of DJ Anna who had the whole pub on their feet, with their arms in the air, seeing the wee small hours in in style.
Congratulations Terry and Amy, what a perfect wedding!
Some lovely words from the bride and groom themselves:
"We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect photographer.
Jen was kind, open and patient from the time we had a 45 minute chat to discuss our plans for the day, right through to reassuring me a few days afterwards when I got a case of post-wedding anxiety!
On the day, it was like having another friend at the wedding. She made us feel entirely comfortable, was keen to make sure we got the images we wanted and suggested plenty of others. She took the time to learn all of our VIP wedding guests by name, and they all commented on how relaxed she made them feel.
The final photographs are, quite simply, better than we could have ever dreamt of" Amy&Terry x
Aaaahhhh Portugal! I have been meaning to share this wedding for a while and on grey October day here in London, just looking at Emily and Nuno's wedding photography again, I can almost feel the warmth of the sun from their glorious wedding day on my skin...
Emily and Nuno's story is one of romance. They found each other in London at the time when they both were ready to find their soulmate and were inseparable from the first time they met. They have travelled the far flung corners of the world together and who know where their next adventures may lead them.
I love destination weddings and in the heart of the beautiful Mafra Valley in Lisbon, Portugal, Emily and Nuno were married in one of the most truly breathtaking wedding locations I have ever seen. Quinta de S'ant Ana, is an idyllic working farm estate, with traditional Portugese yellow, ivy coloured walls, wine cellars and baroque chapel with bell tower. Quinta de S'ant Ana is nestled amongst it's own vineyards and forests of eucalyptus , I can smell it's beauty on the warm air.
Emily and Nuno's wedding was effortlessly beautiful in so many ways, from the dress, to the veil, to the bride and groom themselves. It was a day filled with sunshine, romance and don't even get me started on the wine tasting..... Take me back to Lisbon so I can re live it all again please.