Meet Freya.. Freya is the beautiful red-headed girl I had the utter privilege of photographing last week. Her pretty name is derived from the
Old Norse word 'Freyja' meaning 'Lady'.. and what a little lady she was.
At the tender age of three months old, Freya was already able to clearly focus, and engage with my voice and eye contact. She charmed with many smiles and giggles. I only wish you could hear her gurgles and coos whilst I snapped and chatted away. My last 'Welcome To The World' was with the amazing Fin, and I kept that photo story very pure, clean, unfussy and honest. It felt right that Freya, a little older and with an ever growing character, was given a little more colour and story.. after all, I wanted to do everything I could to accentuate that stunning red hair.
Laying a fresh white towel on the warm grass, surrounded by daisies and dappled sunshine, we lay her down. It was not long before the family were making daisy chains and softly running the flowers over her face.
Sheltered from the beaming sunshine under a great tree, she watched the movement of the branches;
charming us with her ever growing vocabulary of sounds and expressions; she even managed to hold on to a daisy which her grandfather gave her (sighs and head tilts all round). Even though she is not yet able to sit up, she was incredibly dynamic, and there was so much for me to capture and work with.
And that light.. that light.
The illumination of the green grass around her, and the gorgeous yellow floral romper suit (made with love by her grandmother) set off her colouring so naturally, which is what I wanted. Giving these little people the space and time, without forcing anything in the photo, is what I aim for when photographing them. Being with the family and with her for some time before shooting, helps me to slot myself into the unit within which she is most happy and comfortable, and a chance to get to know her myself. I want there to be a sense of honesty and intimacy in the pictures.. the temptation to pose them and move them is huge, but I resist; the magic of the young is in their spontaneity and utter honesty; a frown or a speck of grass, it all stays in.
Freya, you were a beautiful 'lady' indeed. Never has a little lady ever made daisies look so cool. I can't wait to photograph you again. Phoebe Cary, nineteenth century American poet, has a few lines which sit prettily next to these photographs, which seemed too fitting not to share...
"...You may wear your virtues as a crown,
As you walk through life serenely,
And grace your simple rustic gown
With a beauty more than queenly.
Though only one for you shall care,
One only speak your praises;
And you never wear in your shining hair,
A richer flower than daisies..."