I’m a self-confessed book worm. I learned to read aged 3, and growing up, books pretty much replaced toys and friends. Imaginary life was definitely way more interesting than any of my immediate surroundings!

Now, as a mother, I find less time to read for myself, especially fiction books. I mostly read (well, listen to) business books when driving, and read children’s books together with my son.

He’s not as big of a book worm as I was, but he still loves our bedtime reading sessions. His current favourites are – hands down – the Rabbit and Bear series that I highly recommend. It’s the much needed bridge between shorter illustrated books for pre-schoolers, and longer stories without many pictures, not to mention the fact that the stories are very sweet and have important messages in them. Same applies to our most recent favourite, The Wild Robot books – that was the book that my son decided he wants to read himself so he could do all the different voices!

So books being a huge part of my own childhood, and my life as a mother now, it’s no wonder that I often encourage my clients to include reading time into our photoshoots.

Here’s why.

It’s an important part of your daily life as parents

When your child wants the same book read to them over and over – and over – again (which, according to research, is a good thing, even though it drives you crazy) and you’re losing the will to live, try to think 10 years ahead. When they are finishing school, and no longer cuddle next to you for their bedtime read, wouldn’t you want to have a visual reminder of those sweet moments of you reading together.


To remember the books and stories they loved when they were little

Every child has a favourite book at certain age. I know what mine was when I started reading independently (it was a Wizard of Oz retelling by a Russian author Alexander Volkov called “The Wizard of the Emerald City”) , but I’d sure love to have some pictures of me immersed in that book.

And then there was the book that, aged 2, I wanted to read over and over again to the point of driving my parents and grandparents mad because I wanted to do nothing else, but even my mother can’t remember the name of that book – but how cool would that be to have the picture of me reading it?!

To remember their faces when they are being read to

Some children smile and giggle, others have a blank stare when the book is being read to them – what’s your child like? Would you remember 10 years down the line?

To capture the connection between you

My own son is becoming more and more independent day by day, but our reading time is still a sweet snuggle time when he’s a little boy again. I know it’s the same for most families, and it’s so important to capture.

A great transitional activity when things get a little crazy

When we’ve been out playing outside or running around in the house, books are great to help us switch the energy up and bring some sanity to the proceedings.

Can get everyone in the same spot for the family portrait

When you have very young children it’s often very difficult to convince them to come together and stay in one spot for longer than 5 seconds. But whip up a favourite books, and more often than not they will all climb all over you and stay in one spot for as long as you need.

I’m  Antonina Mamzenko – an award-winning natural light newborn, baby and family photographer based between London and Surrey. I specialise in creating candid, natural family photographs with zero cheese and no posing. I work all over London and Surrey, including Cobham, Esher, Thames Ditton, Richmond upon Thames, St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton, Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton, Kew, Chiswick, Putney, Fulham, Wimbledon, Holland Park, Kensington, St John’s Wood and Hampstead. Find more information about my photography sessions or get in touch to check availability and book your family photoshoot.