Family photography in Chiswick - simple studio fun with Jaya

Lots of fun and laughter with two-year-old Jaya and her parents in the studio yesterday. I set up a simple three-light system and, with a little prompting, let her do her thing.

A little shy at first, she soon realised she was the star of the show and could do pretty much whatever she liked.

Cue the cuteness.

A bowler hat made of a fun little series

Then we found some more hats

Very proud of her counting

Family sessions at my studio in Chiswick start at £250 with high resolution images given to you on CD, and helpful advice re professional printing and framing comes free.

Children's and family photography in Cobham

A glorious June day, with cloudless skies and not a breath of wind...too hot, in fact, at lunchtime, so we began indoors, with a black backdrop series of family shots. The sunlight was flooding through the windows so I shot it all with natural light.

Thereafter we headed into the garden for some fresh air, the children delighting in the unaccustomed sunhine.

A short walk and we were out in the real countryside.  The children played hide and seek, and raced each through the long grass.

This was my third photo shoot with this beautiful family.  It's always a treat to be invited back, and to see the children growing up.  It gets better every time, as our rapport is now well-established.

Happy clients

It's always lovely to hear positive feedback from clients, and happy brides can be particularly effusive.  There is an area of my website, under 'Weddings', entitled 'Happy couples', dedicated to these delightful messages. I was thrilled, then, to receive a 12-page newspaper in the post this week, from a happy couple, featuring not one or two, but HUNDREDS of their wedding pictures, along with a charming covering note.

They designed it themselves, had it printed and circulated it amongst all their family and friends as a memorable thank you for their support on the day.

The newsprint medium means the colour reproduction isn't 100% accurate, but it looks fantastic nontheless, and the layout and picture selection really capture the mood of the day.

It's rare to see so many pictures laid out next to one another in one place, but the collage effect works brilliantly.

Their civil ceremony and reception were held under one roof at the gorgeous Cripps Stone Barn, which is in a magically isolated spot, set amid rolling Cotswold countryside.  The total seclusion and privacy, not to mention top-notch service and fabulous catering, meant that all 120 guests really got into the spirit of the day.

It was, more than most, a day filled with laughter, and tears, enormous emotional highs, and a number of more reflective, sentimental moments.

Seeing the pictures again - hundreds of moments, funny, euphoric and sad, captured forever - reminds me how lucky I am to have such amazing clients, and how privileged I am to bear witness to days like this.

Capturing emotions

One of the many enjoyable things about photographing weddings is the opportunity to capture a wide range of emotions over the course of the day. Every wedding day has its share of tears and laughter (and every other emotion in between).

I make it my business to try to record them all, as, unlike the obvious things such as the dress, flowers and cake, these fleeting emotional highs and lows are so quickly forgotten, lost in the blur of the day, and these are the memories my clients tell me they value above all others.

A recent wedding I photographed at Nonsuch Mansion in Surrey serves as a case in point.  I've picked out a selection of 42 pictures of the bride, taken over an eight hour period, but what a huge range of moods on display.

Everything starts calmly as the bride and bridesmaids begin their preparations, bathed in sunshine and three hours to get ready.

Texts from frineds and last minute preparations ratchet up the tension a little

During the hair and makeup phase there is usually a bit of time for reflection.

As the dress goes on there is palpable tension in the room, tempered with excitement, and gasps of delight as the dress is finally revealed

Dad's arm, and the sight of family and friends smiling and waving help to dispel any lingering tension.

Once the ceremony is over, the laughter begins, as everyone rushes to congratulate the happy couple

But there are tears too, in response to a friend's surprise musical tribute.

During the 'happy couple' shoot, away from the hubbub of the reception, the bride and groom can briefly relax together in private and share the moment as newlyweds.

The speeches are a priceless time for a photographer, with tears and laughter in abundance, but it is the bridegroom's words to his new wife that usually produce the most golden moments.