I’m often asked if I do family photography – and the answer is a very clear and loud yes!

Family photography usually comes in one of two kinds. The first is the lifestyle shoot. When a client books me for a lifestyle shoot, they are usually asking that I photograph their family in a natural style. The family will choose the location of their choice, either their own garden, a park or the coast for example. I will then take photos of them being themselves.

My blog post today however, is about family photography within the context of a special celebration. This is most often a landmark birthday, and I’ve completed quite a few of these. 40th, 50th, 60th, 80th and most recently, a 90th. It can also be a significant wedding anniversary, a christening, a first communion. For these occasions I’m most often asked to attend a party, to take documentary shots and to focus on the family and friends as well as the person doing the celebrating.

When my dad turned 80, we threw him a small party, complete with 80 candles on his cake. (The icing wasn’t so good with that amount of wax though)! And of course I took the photos. Then, I designed and ordered a photo book. Nothing fancy, just a decent quality hard back book from printers I knew would print the colours faithfully. My dad loved that book. He asked for one of the photos in it to be printed separately and framed, and then for the short amount of time remaining to him, he had the book by his chair where he could see the cover, and the picture on a side table in full view of where he sat. The book captures one of the last big occasions we were all together as a family.

The photos below are of Celia’s 90th. Her daughter, Pauline, booked me on behalf of all their family. It was a beautiful occasion that I was happy to be at. One of the photos that struck me the most, was the collage the family had pinned to the wall. Each photo on it was another memory for Celia, who clearly enjoyed looking at them all and reliving all those moments. I hope one day the photos I took of this lovely family will in their turn, provide pleasure for those who were there, as well as those yet to be born. For me, this is the essence of family photography.

This blog post is part of the Sisterhood Circle. Please click on the button to go to my friend Isabelle’s blog post, the next one in our circle!


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