I know some people hate stuff like this, but each New Year's eve, I like to do a mini review of the previous year. I make my husband do it with me, and any poor unsuspecting friends who we are celebrating with! Most often, this takes the form of a series of questions about the year that is coming to an end: 'Describe a memorable evening'; 'What are you most proud of?'; 'What's the best meal you've eaten this year?' etc. It's always surprising what comes up and how talking about one thing reminds you of others.
This year, I decided to do a review of 2017 in pictures, too. All my favourite photoshoot moments from last year. And I was reminded, whilst going through all the photos, of how lucky I am to meet so many wonderful people, have such interesting conversations and laugh so much! All whilst doing my job!
I love taking portraits, particularly of children. I spend time building up a good rapport with little people, but it pays off in spades when I capture a truly natural portrait, that describes something of their character. As well as portraits of family members, I did a photoshoot for a fabulous ethical jewellery company (Little by Little Jewellery) - photographing the bling and also the beautiful founders.
Oh, gorgeous, edible babies! I had the great pleasure of photographing a number of newborns and tiny babies this year, along with their incredible parents.
The real high points of my job: recording relationships! Look at all the incredible interactions in these photos, below. Each one tells its own story of a unique family. A true privilege to be invited into a family and trusted to capture the dynamics and personality of each one.
The fun thing about photographing siblings is that they are less likely to paint a beautiful, idealised picture of family life! They often fight and have tantrums while I'm there. They often kiss and cuddle and giggle while I'm there too. I aim to take photos of all of it!
I don't think I could do a job that didn't involve a lot of laughter. Being a primary school teacher for almost a decade had an awful lot of challenges, but it was also one of the funniest jobs I could have hoped for! The kids were constantly saying or doing unexpected, outrageous and hilarious things! Now photography gives me an opportunity to laugh as frequently! It struck me as I reviewed the photos I've taken this year how often my clients are laughing too. Not 'photo laughing' (which, admittedly, is a good technique for getting a natural smile!), but proper, throw back your head, mouth open, eyes closed, full-on LAUGHING! And a lot of the things that kids did during 2017 photoshoots made me laugh too! Playfulness is a wonderful family dynamic to photograph!
New Year Resolution
Photoshoots are full of fun, noisy, joyful times, but sometimes it's important to take a moment to reflect on life's wider beauties. Like marriage, commitment and long-term love. These two couples reminded me of what it looks like to have roots that have grown together. My 2018 resolution is to learn from them and build relationships that last.