I was up bright and early (or, rather – dark and early since we’re talking December in London here) to join this wonderful family at their home in Islington at 8am. An expat family from LA, California, they were keen to capture their time in London and include not only their time at home with their son, but also the wonderful neighbourhood they call their home in England.
They booked a half Day in the Life session which is becoming really popular with many of my clients, as they want to capture a big chunk of their everyday activities, from morning until naptime, in addition to some directed lifestyle portraits.
Wow, what a year it’s been! I’ve photographed families in London (and beyond) from all across the world and laughed with them – a lot! I’ve captured pregnancies, newborn babies, toddlers, walks in the park, bathtimes, mealtimes and bedtimes. I’m thankful to every single family that trusted me to document their life for them.
One of my favourite things to do as a photographer is to document the average, sometimes pretty boring, family days. See, I don’t think they are boring. I look at your life and see the wonder, and beauty, and humour, and something worth remembering, in every moment, however insignificant.
How would it feel if, many years from now, you could look back and remember exactly how it was today? Exactly how it was, in every little detail.
Not just how you all looked, but how it FELT.
It’s been an impossible task of choosing just 16 of my favourite photographs from family sessions to showcase. I photographed so many beautiful families – inside and out, grew as a photographer and a parent (having an inside view on how other parents deal with all the shit that happens when you have kids is a masterclass in parenting like no other) and a person.
I could have easily made this list twice as long, as there were so many beautiful moments, but here it goes. My 16 for 2016 – with brief explanations of why I chose these, and the story to give you a little more context.
It all began with Pinterest. Row upon row of perfectly styled Christmas trees, creatively wrapped presents and stylishly dressed children skillfully making star shapes out of cookie dough. Everything in perfect order.
As a photographer who documents real life of real families – mess, warts and all – I of course knew this perfection was an illusion. I know how these photographs are created, mess creatively cut out of the frame, decorations skillfully arranged in good light, children expertly entertained with fart noises to get the most gorgeous smiles, all the tantrums left on the cutting room floor. I know how it’s done because I’ve done it myself for many years.