Family sessions usually have a very impromptu vibe anyway, but when I stayed with Andrew and Chrissie this January, it really was off the cuff! As the team who run the incredible wedding venue The Westmill, in Derby, we thought it high time they got some family photos in the gorgeous setting.
Family sessions are tough when there are multiple siblings under 5. Now don't get me wrong, I'd have it no other way. The chaos, the jealous moments, the tears, the running off, all of it; having to duck and dive and adapt to these shifts is probably why my work can be so raw. And any photographer will tell you, the toughest shot of them all is having everyone looking to camera in one frame. And it's only taken to tick it off a list. We usually revel in the imperfect chaotic tornado of someone else's family life.
So to that end, I wanted to share this family session as a view into the way I work at In-Home sessions. Most of these shots are taken in Andrew and Chrissie's family home, and then on a short walk around The Westmill.
What I particularly love about these photos, is how the family home becomes such an integral part of the photos. Take the shot of India for example, gazing out the window. She's a little hacked off because she can't see her Mum in the other window.. But in twenty years time, that will be the story. That window which looked back into the kitchen window, that house, that place; the fact that she was so small she had to climb up the sofa to reach the window sill. These at home sessions are so magic for that reason alone. Rather than creating perfect staged moments, I am sneaking into your real moments and creating photographs you'll love.
Also, on a personal level, this session means a lot. I've known Chrissie a long time. We first met when I was assisting my father on shoots in my early twenties. I was a young scruffy uni student helping Dad out when I could, with no interest in photography as a career. Chrissie was (and still is btw!) a talented writer at OK! Magazine; we'd go on abroad shoots and work on stressful magazine weddings together. And now, here we are, still catching up over a glass of wine, but I'm shooting solo at her venue, and photographing her children. We're both in weddings, all grown up (sort of).
Thanks for having me take these photos guys. I know it's stressful making these sorts of sessions work sometimes, but it's totally worth it. And I'm so glad we took a moment for some photos of just the two of you, you're dreamy together!
Here's to more family photo sessions, more weddings at The Westmill, and more catch ups.
SPOILER ALERT- Wait until you see the Henley-on-Thames wedding I've got ready for next week. O.. M.. G.