photographing children

Family Photographer Richmond-Upon-Thames

I can't believe I haven't shared this shoot before now because it's one of my favourite family sessions of last year. I'd photographed Serevine and her family a year before this shoot at their home in Putney, London. Then last Spring she got back in touch to say she wanted to do another shoot, this time, outdoors in the wilds of Richmond Park.

We met early one evening in May with a picnic and three eager children all ready to explore Richmond Park. The light was soft and pretty and the children climbed trees, blew dandelions and gathered handfuls of long grasses as I shot their session.

This is a family full of love and with a great sense of humour, I can't wait to capture them all again, this Spring, one year on.

I really love shooting in beautiful London locations like Richmond Park. Late Spring is a magical time for photoshoots and taking a picnic for an early evening session means you get a relaxed and informal collection of images during the golden hour.  Whilst I'm based in Richmond and do most of my work on location in the park here, I'm always happy to travel too to other wild and beautiful spots. If you'd like to find out more about booking a shoot with me, whether it's a family photographer you're looking for or you're interested in capturing your pregnancy or newborn, drop me a note. I'd love to work with you.

All photographs are copyright Little Kin Photography: Baby, newborn and family photographer in Richmond, Surrey, London.

Holly & Jay, Family Photoshoot in Richmond-Upon-Thames, London

Holly and Jay got in touch back in the Spring to ask about a family shoot with their one year old daughter and their loveable puggle Snoop (a Pug, Beagle cross breed). 

On the day of their session the wind roared and it poured with rain but we braved the elements determined to capture them all come rain or shine. We headed to Petersham Meadows just outside Richmond Upon Thames, making the most of the breaks in wet weather and giggling over the mud, cow pats and puddles. I love their shoot so much, their devotion to this little girl was incredible to see and their good sense of humour despite natures attempts to dampen things really warmed me to them. As we wrapped things up and headed back to our cars we realised a herd of cows had decided to barricade us into the field. Some quick moves from snoop and we managed to escape in tact. 

Here are my favourites from their shoot.

If you'd like to book me for a family session, do get in touch, I'd love to hear from you. Your pets are most welcome to come along too!

Tips for how to photograph your children

As a baby and family photographer I get a lot of people asking me for tips on how to photograph children. For me, photographing kids is about capturing their personality, their cheekiness, their playfulness and their spirit. My shoots aren't directed or choreographed in some stark white studio, quite the opposite in fact. I specialise in capturing real moments as they happen, catching the genuine magic that children make as they go about their day. 

Because little ones have a tendency to be on the move a lot of the time, the best way to photograph them if you don't know how to control your camera's settings manually, is to catch them when they're settled into activity. Set up some of you child's toys or books in a nice airy space in your home where you have access to lots of natural light. Think about the toys you choose when creating this activity, the ones that will photograph well are the ones to pick. Things like well made wooden toys or pretty illustrated books rather than the ugly illuminous dinosaur with flashing lights, (and we all have them!) Before inviting them into the space to play, try to clear any unnecessary clutter out of the room - anything that could be an eye sore in the picture and draw attention unnecessarily away from your child, (think piles of laundry or unsightly toys that may not photograph so well). 

Once the room is ready, take a couple of pictures of the toys you've set up in the space to check the light and make sure there isn't anything unsightly in view. Then invite your child in, and encourage them to play. Let them get settled and into their play for a while before you get your camera out, you want them to be unaware of you taking photographs and really content in their natural play. When you think they're occupied, start to take their picture. be discreet, you don't need to ask them to look at your or tell them to smile, in fact by doing that you'll interrupt their play and they may get frustrated. Instead just photograph them as they are, just doing what they do. Once you feel you've got some shots of them playing away you could start to interact with them a little. Ask them what they are looking at or ask them to show you where their nose is or if you have a frog on your head. These simple interactions will help to get them to look your way so you can catch them looking to camera as well as engrossed in their toys. 

During my photoshoots I will often spend a long time observing children at natural play before I take their photograph. It helps me to understand how they interact with the world around them and it helps them to feel comfortable and confident in my presence. I prefer children not to be too aware I'm actually photographing them when I work, this way I am able to catch them uninhibited and avoid the fake smiles and 'say cheese' situations that never end up with a good photograph. 

The best way to photograph your children and capture their own unique personalities is to take your time, give them space to let them be free, observe while they play and quietly document in the background. It is often the subtle documentary images you create that will be the ones that move you the most when you look back through your family photo albums. Seeing your children at play will transport you back to what life was like, and remind you how magical a time childhood really is.

All photographs are copyright LittleKinPhotography. Little Kin Photography specialises in the natural-light photography of pregnancy, newborns, babies, toddlers, children and families in West London and Surrey (Richmond upon Thames, St Margarets, Twickenham, Teddington, Hampton, West Molesey, Kingston upon Thames, Surbiton, Kew, Chiswick, Barnes, East Sheen, Putney, Fulham, Wimbledon, Dorking, Clapham, Battersea, Kensington, Chelsea, Esher, Weybridge and Cobham)