Tag Archives: Family

Father’s Day Portraits…

PHOTOGENIC Father's Day 2015

Our parents always seem to be the same age, don’t they?

It’s only when we look back through our photos that we see our parents as the young things they were when we ourselves were children. More often now we look back in virtual, digital formats on ‘devices’ but some of us will still have prints to look at, to laugh at  and to cherish.

Parents love portraits of their children – no contest. But what about portraits for the children? Pictures of parents and children together often get left out of sessions here – parents can be reluctant to be in photographs, for all sorts of reasons. Thankfully, children love pictures of their parents and in our experience, adult children love looking back at their childhood photographs with their parents in them.

That’s the simple reason why we think our Father’s Day and Mother’s Day portraits are so special.

You can avail of our Father’s Day Gift at this link until June 21st 2015.

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What’s the best camera? It’s a simple answer, really…

As you can imagine because we are photographers, we are asked about “…what’s the best camera…” all the time. Of course, there are many answers to that question because you have to factor in the budget and level of technical functions required and, and…. that’s usually when you get brain freeze!

Chicago/ Marsha

Marsha in “Chicago – The Musical”

So, maybe this anecdote will help with the answer to this question. Recently, our daughter was in her school musical and of course lots of people took photos of the event itself and backstage. It was one of those times when the camera phone just wasn’t enough either for the parents or the students to capture the magic on the stage and the camaraderie that built up backstage.

But what do you do when your ‘good camera’ has no power or, worse still, no space left on your card just as you are ready to use it? It’s hugely frustrating and then photographs that you really want of a very special event end up being snapped on a phone. And that really won’t cut the mustard for life’s big occasions like weddings, communions or school plays & musicals – trust me on this one.

So, you know that way you have a ‘process’ around your mobile phone? You always know where the charger is, you back it up regularly, and if you’re like me, you charge it up in the same place every night. We create processes around the things that are important to us at home or at work.

It helps to take the time to create a process around your camera too. Download, file and date your images soon after they’ve been taken (and back them up if they are very important). It’s worth learning how to do this properly, and it really is easy to do. It helps to quickly check that the images have all been saved properly and, if they have, then you can safely clear or format*  the card in your camera so it’s empty for the next time. Take out the battery & place it in the charger somewhere that won’t be a nuisance (like, not in your kettle plug).

Then, the next time you grab your camera as you walk out the door,  it will be fully charged with a clean card and ready to go.

By the way the very best camera is the one you have with you – fully charged with a clean card and ready to go. And I know that you knew that.

*Format is the technical term for clearing your card and making it ready to accept files in a camera. You can find out all about your own camera on the manufacturer’s website and on numerous photography websites.

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Children & Animals – all in a day’s work.

There’s an old adage about never working with children or animals. But children and animals are at the very centre of our portrait work, so that adage can’t apply here.

To be honest there are occasions when things don’t go according to plan. Or to be more accurate – sessions do go pear-shaped.

One client recently captured a classic moment in the camera room and I’m showing it to you here along with my photograph of the same family with their pet – who also decided to lie down on the job!

All in a day’s work..

The real work of capturing small children at their best involves managing these situations and coming through them with a smiling & happy child.

Sometimes a child can be feeling unwell, sometimes they can be tired (so picking the right time of day for young children is really important) and sometimes we are being treated to a performance.

The skill is to know which scenario we are dealing with. Then we work with the child & their family and manage the child back into the picture or else to defer the session and try again another day. The latter is thankfully a very rare situation.

The years of experience we have helps us take a child from melt-down to portrait magic. The melt-downs are usually just storms in a teacup which can be diffused very easily with a bucketload of  patience.

The little girl on the floor in this picture was sitting up with her sisters within the following few minutes and we have beautiful, happy images for the family.

How did we do it? Well, that is one of the secrets of our success.

Children? Animals? All in a day’s work.

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Happy Days…

I spent last week doing something I thought I’d never do again. I was in a college, surrounded by students and working away building a model, with my daughter, my brother and her friends, for an architecture degree finals. In the background, the sound of Bob Marley and Eric Clapton serenaded me like old friends.

I now realise why, as a student, I never really noticed how “bad” things were in the 1980’s. Students don’t listen to the news or watch TV or concern themselves with ‘current affairs’. They work, listen to music, chat to each other and focus on the next thing they have to do. Looking back, that was exactly how I was in college too and I’m guessing all of my contemporaries were pretty much the same.

There was a calmness about the whole experience, even though I had literally dropped my life and all its pressing and urgent tasks. And naturally a small amount of drama arose whenever construction work didn’t always go according to plan, which was quite often. The college is in a small town which still has some quaint features – the most remarkable of which is the lack of credit card facilities in most restaurants and even at the hotel we were staying in. This is 21st century Switzerland with a 1970’s twist.

I’m so glad I did abandon my life to help her through this stage of hers – and as I type, Barry is with her celebrating her final critique earlier today, which went very well. I’ll never know if it was all the 2mm fences or the 350mm trees I glued in last week that made her models stand out – but I’d like to think that all that work with tweezers, rulers and craft knives helped.

All we can do for our children sometimes is stand and watch – other times we can roll up the sleeves and help. And as it turns out, it’s quite possible that I have changed my life more than I changed hers.

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