A lot of people that contact me or book me to come and photograph their families really worry that their "painfully shy little one" just won't co operate enough to get the shots they want and need to warrant booking a shoot. Fear not! for what ever reason I seem to always hit it off with children, and babies seem to be very relaxed around me (I have often been referred to as the "Baby Whisperer" :-) (something my late grandmother was always famous for). As some of you may be aware I am a mother myself, of two beautiful, lively, challenging at times, high spirited, often feral, little people, Evie 8 and Louie 6. I have been broody since I can remember and my very first portraits where in fact when I was studying Fine Art and Photography for my A Levels, when I photographed my two cousins Niamh and Brogan when they were about 2 and 4 and even then, as a teen I LOVED photographing them and their funny little ways.
I really think that being a Mummy myself is a huge part of my success with photographing children. I really believe a successful photographer must be passionate about their subject and this then really shows in your work which I'm proud to say does in mine. Children are very perceptive and usually you have about 10 minutes to "get"a child's attention, trust and willingness to work with you to create these precious pictorial memories, and being a Mummy of two crazy little monkeys, being little myself (not so intimidating to a little one), and not being afraid to behave like a complete clown (whether is be playing ninja turtles with a 5 year little boy, or jumping in puddles, and climbing trees with a lively energetic family in the woods) seems to be a good combination. Although as much as fun is a big part of getting the best out of children when photographing them, control, respect and good behavior must play another large part of a shoot. Kids will be kids and if they know they are in control you have had it!!!! Then what should have been a fun filled shoot can lead to a nightmare for all parties. I have had a handful of shoot's where the children are wired, the parent's have little control over their children, have filled them with sugar prior to the shoot and they also aren't that comfortable with me taking charge and not taking any nonsense (of course in a gentle way, a lot of the time I am a complete stranger and am not a parent so control, trust and respect has to be gained in a clever, gently way!). These shoot's have ended well in the end, but it takes a lot longer, and it's a lot more stressful for everyone this way.
I think my children and the people that know me and my family would say I am a fun Mummy and I am often chasing my children around the house in a nerf war, or dancing like a crazy to Michael Jackson (a family favorite in our home!) with my children, but at the same time I don't take any nonsense, we have rules, bed time is regimented in the week, and manners are a must and my children know this but we laugh A LOT!!! I think all in all this gives me the right tools and experience to have successful, fun, but controlled shoots time and time again. On the other hand my subjects often become my new best friend and want to be with me behind the camera instead of in front of it, but with a little pep talk and a sneak peek of how fab they look on my camera and we are good to go!!
I am very lucky to say that I have a lot of regular clients who book me year after year to capture their growing family which is wonderful, for me as my subjects become my friends which creates an amazing rapport, which really does show's in their photos, and for my clients because they are helping create this wonderful catalogue of beautiful pictorial memories which will last them, and their every growing families a life time. People change, come and go, but photos never do and that is the power of photography!!
Here are a selection of my wonderful regular clients who I have had the honor of photographing as their families grow and change, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for continuing to let me be a part of creating these beautiful photographic memories. - MWWWWWAAAAAHHHH X X X
Goodbye for now.
x Sophie x