A simple morning at home, marking the first year milestone in little T’s life by celebrating his favourite everyday activities.
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Life with 4 kids under 6 ... A family photography session doesn't get more real than this. Thank you Maryanne and John for wanting to document real life in your real home - embracing rather than glossing over the inevitable chaos, letting your kids play freely (mostly!) rather than corralling them into an aspirational family advertisement. Authentic lives deserve authentic imagery. May these pictures serve as a beautiful reminder of the time and the home in which you became a family of 6.
Sometimes I come away from a session giving myself virtual high fives and pats on the back because heck, I know I aced it. This extended family session in Katong was not an example. I remember feeling anxious as I left because I knew that it should look amazing - a rambling house awash with morning light, characterfully decorated and filled with family members of diverse ages all ready to celebrate the recent arrival of a baby girl. I worried that I had focused too much on the house or hadn't incorporated it enough; that I had taken too few images of the baby because there was so much else happening that morning; that no matter what I had done, the images wouldn't be as great as this wonderful family deserved.
I remember sitting down to edit the photos and first feeling a huge sense of relief, then a sense of wonder at the opportunities I have to truly enter clients' homes and lives for a brief window of time. I observed the McGs for only two hours, but looking back at the images, I realised how much they had trusted me with unfettered access to their home and daily routines. They played, laughed, teased, fussed, comforted, rested and enjoyed each other's company without any artifice for the camera. They spoke to me honestly and shared their stories, their family heirlooms, their private moments. I saw many types of love and affection in that one morning - both loud and quiet, vigorous and gentle, playful and nurturing. And in the centre of it all, there was mum, happy to step back but always there when needed. Thank you for having me.
I don't know if it's because it's been a while - too long a while - since I've looked at this session, but holy smokes I was blown away by this family's gorgeousness all over again. Not gorgeousness on the outside, though I wouldn't argue with that, but gorgeousness in the 'loving tumbling laughing loving again' and 'friendly to the strange lady who walked in with a big camera' way. Big bro just turned two, which means more shenanigans are on the way ... I'm sure you guys will do just fine with your big smiles and bigger hearts.
I've let a silly amount of time lapse since I last shared photos from a session. Every time I get the images prepped for blogging, I become wrapped up in my concern over whether I can adequately describe the family and how their photos make me feel. This family session is the perfect way for me to let that go and just let the images speak (mostly) for themselves. Two parents unafraid to express affection, two cheeky and thriving boys, one baby girl gone too soon but obviously held near and dear in their hearts. I don't know if happiness is something that is easily within reach, even for families who have had to endure less, but there is clearly an abundance of joy in this family of five. I hope these images remind them of that for the rest of their lives.
What's that word where things work out in an unexpected but happy way? Well, that's how I feel about this family session with the Lehnerts and their gorgeous baby girl Gabriella. Esther contacted me via a recommendation from the talented Nina Tantzen Photography, needing to arrange a shoot in a hurry before they had to move homes. With a bit of compromise on both sides, we managed to squeeze in a weekday session and I'm really rather glad that we did.
Even though the Lehnerts had not started out looking specifically for a storytelling photographer, they were 100% game and committed to carrying out their cherished everyday routines in front of my lens. I think this was the perfect way to commemorate their first home in Singapore as a family of 3 - not just with beautiful smiling portraits with their house as a backdrop, but with a series of images showing how they lived in that house, how they filled its spaces everyday with love and care and lots of baby cuddles. As a rather super bonus I was able to create some of my favourite intimate images of all time - of Gabriella being bathed and nursed - so yes, serendipity, thank you.
I thought that finding sufficient superlatives was going to be the toughest thing about writing this blog post. I was wrong. 30 minutes spent trying to whittle down the highlights to a manageable yet representative number, and I am throwing in the towel and settling for manageable.
The Touchauds were an absolute dream to photograph. The only reason I am certain that they are real, is that my imagination cannot possibly be rich enough to conjure up such a dynamic, colourful, funny, personable family. From the very moment that I stepped into their home, they were nothing but warm, inviting, open and playful. Alexandra said that they had never had a family photoshoot before … I don’t know if they were this relaxed in front of my camera because or in spite of this. We chased cats, practiced yoga, ate homebaked Fathers’ Day cookies, read, landed on the moon, became superheroes, performed martial arts and gymnastics, wrestled, climbed, drew and read some more … and then left home to head for our park shoot.
Oh and did I mention that Alexandra is an incredible artist? Please, visit www.alexandratouchaud.com and fill up on some true beauty. To see how she has completed such an intensive creative project, while bringing up three confident and engaging children along with her husband Dominique, is at once humbling and inspiring. The Touchauds are a Renaissance family in spirit and practice, and I am grateful that their love and respect for artistry extended to giving me the space and trust to practice mine.
I have been going back and forth for days over the right words for this post ... Everything I write ends up sounding so sentimental because that is exactly how I feel about this family. Silke is a dear friend and her firstborn has been through, well, a fair bit with my son. The occasion of her recent pregnancy and birth of her second sweet baby has been such an inspiration, and I am so looking forward to finishing a special family film project for them. In the spirit of procrastination which I have thoroughly mastered, I will leave the sappy words for later when their film is completed, and let their maternity family pictures speak of their Saturday morning routine before baby V came along ...
I know, I know, I'm a total sucker for babies ... but this 4 month old, well, I can't even look at these photos without wishing I could reach right in and squeeze her little cheeks. Mind you, I managed to control myself during the entire photoshoot, but that could have been because her wonderful parents were so wrapped up in playing with and caring for her, that I could not bear to break up the moment. She was all played out by the time early evening rolled around, and I'm glad I got to stick around to document her being put to bed.
Our time together was so relaxed that I even got to trial a new photo-and-video slideshow offer that I have been working on. Give me a shout if you'd like something similar for your own family ... you heard it here first!
Another family shoot in the Singapore Botanic Gardens to follow up my last post, but with a different look and feel entirely because of the family. I find that outdoor shoots in the same locations run the risk of looking the same, if the majority of the session is focused say on a few tried and tested poses (e.g. sitting on a mat and smiling for the camera). Letting the family roam and play freely is sometimes a bit more challenging, but makes for more personal and meaningful imagery.
The Thams already had a few favourite activities in the Gardens from their regular weekend visits, and were up and ready for a morning of fun and family bonding. Alongside brother Evan, little Nadia in particular was curious and eager to explore as a brand new toddler, even in the face of some bold birds and one angry looking swan! I must admit to being a bit more nervous than usual ahead of this shoot, as Dawn is an old friend with experience and impeccable taste across many spheres of life, including the creative. On this sunny morning however, she and Billy were first and foremost parents enjoying some free play with their young, active children, and I hope that these images help them remember a little of the plentiful joy and laughter from this period in all their lives!
My recent weeks have been filled with shoots for delicious little babies, and I think it's time for a break before I explode everywhere in a clucking mess! This family that I'm sharing with you today has the most gorgeous, cheeky boys ... little bro Isaac will be running after Elliot in no time at all, probably smothering each other in kisses or rolling on the ground in mock (or real!) fighting.
In some ways, I find outdoor shoots a little more challenging as my preference is to spend as little time as possible on 'look at me' portraits. I want the focus to be firmly on the family members and their interactions, no matter how pretty the surroundings. The Lees made it so much easier by being completely up for an afternoon of gentle horseplay and general hanging out. Our shoot was a couple of months ago (bad blogger Kerry!), but looking back at these images I can still hear their laughter and Elliot's chatter ...
This sweet family has literally not been far from my thoughts for the last 2 months. "You will be our first ever family photographer" ... these words came early in our communications, and created more than a little nervousness in me. Two beautiful children, with one more on the way, and no impetus to hire a professional photographer until now!
Some sneaky maternity photos and two newborn shoots later, I think we managed to get more than a few personal and intimate images to record this special time in all their lives. In the short time that I have spent with this family, I can already tell that Anouk will be brought up in an environment full of laughter, play, earnest discourse and mutual understanding. I particularly love the energy and joy that her siblings have for life, and the calm and inclusive way in which her parents engage the children. Hopefully some day I will be lucky enough to see how she has grown, and how her siblings have matured into their roles.
Just as I was their introduction to family and newborn photography, they were also exactly what I was looking for to trial a new little endeavour of mine ... Please check out this little clip of stills and motion from their in-hospital session, when Anouk was but a young 'un of 12 hours! Highlights from their in-home session are just below that.
Sweet little Lucas turned the grand old age of 1 over a month ago, and his mother had a birthday surprise planned out for him. I was lucky enough to be invited to document some of their family time together, and the unveiling of the beautiful cake Stephanie had baked and decorated for him. This fella has a keen awareness of the camera already, and if you look at the pictures carefully, you'll notice that he has pretty good ball sense too!
I have received quite a few inquiries in the last week about shoots to commemorate the big 1 year old milestone, and thought it would be a good time to share a few highlights from this family session. The family was a joy to work with - not only were they on-board with my vision and ‘fly on the wall’ shooting style, the mother ran away with it and planned a good variety of daily activities to document in our time together.
A lifestyle / documentary session such as this would be a particularly good way to remember what your family is like at your child’s grand old age of 1 (or 2, 3, 4 etc) … Not every baby develops at the same pace, but with a relaxed environment and familiar activities, I can promise you a shoot that will embrace your child’s personality and your family’s way of life.
Just in time for Christmas! This shoot was a little different as the focus was entirely on the littles ... Ginny needed a festive portrait of her oldest son and thought that it might be a good opportunity to capture some images of all three kids horsing around at home. It can get a little tricky to navigate a kids-centric lifestyle shoot where you are not doing any posing, but together we managed to come up with a few little games (and snacks!) to get everyone in the mood. Thanks for playing along with Aunty Kerry!
I first met Zhing a few years (and what feels like a lifetime) ago, when she was helping to design and plan our wedding. It was really lovely to reconnect recently and as an added bonus, I got to photograph her small but perfectly formed family in their small(ish) but perfectly formed apartment. She recently shared a few of her favourite images of their morning routine on her own blog, http://www.little-project.com, and I thought I would follow up by sharing a few of my own favourites. This is a bit of a bumper crop as there were just so many sweet details of their family life to capture! From morning brekkie to family time in little Blake's room to getting Blake ready for school.