Just as winter begins to sinks it's icy claws in, and the days becoming ever shorter, I sit at my desk to work on this beautiful shoot.. It's gorgeous autumn palette and low warm sun seem the perfect anti-dote to the storm hitting the window as I write this. Leanne and her girls, Summer and Cici, literally light up the screen.
It took a little walk into the deeper countryside to find this spot.
With Cici bundled up in cream knits in the arms of her mother, and Summer walking alongside me holding my hand, her soft California tones chatting away, we strolled along the edges of long reaching fallow fields.
The spikes of summer's crop were still striking up from the ground, and some leaves still clung to the trees in the depths of the copses. Through a fence I saw the perfect spot, and in fighting spirit, all the ladies decided to venture through the bushes to get there. Within this little area of trees, the low sun was bleeding through the trees, and right into my lens. This perfect light only lasted thirty seconds, but we got it.
There's something about the family photo which is always special; other than all that love and loveliness that goes without saying, there is the plain and simple fact that the children will change and grow up too fast.
One day not far from now, these pictures will be passed around; fingers will point out particular details such as the weather that day, or those boots you loved to wear;
the gorgeous children who laugh and giggle from the pictures, will one day be grown up and showing their own children these photos.
Taking a little time out for these kinds of shoots, is not about the one canvas you will order and put on the wall, it's about the whole set. It's about all the smiles and characters, chemistries and love on that day, having a chance to shine.
It's not a snap shot, but an extended moment given the space and time to breathe.
I like to get right in the moments with whoever I shoot, and if it's a family, I'm in there doing up shoe laces and laughing with the kids..
but I'm still just an observer; my primary concern is to get the most honest and most loving look into a family. And I am yet to deliver a set to anyone, who hasn't wished they'd done it sooner, or who doesn't want to do it again.
Big thanks to these gorgeous ladies for venturing out on a chilly autumn day to get these. I leave you with a beautiful poem by Fay Slimm, only more poignant for it's frequent references to Summer- the name of the eldest daughter in these photos.
Too soon comes Autumn, as nipping the heels
Of unwary Summer, it stealthily seals
Small changes in heavily leaf-laden trees.
Summer fruits begin dropping, balanced astride
Branches festooned, in which Autumn takes hide
Before battle commences it's shivery breeze
Which scatters browned leaves, to bring to their knees
Beaten down Summer days of warm ease.
Autumn comes running, nor waits to abide
While brave Summer blooms adjust to it's ride.
It tosses, relentless, all 'Summer' it sees
Havocing treetops, nor does it allay
It's mischievous goadings for yet one more day.
Scurrying birds sense each warning of chill.
Consistently peck around my window-sill,
Fattening on seeds before temperatures freeze.
Autumn comes running