Lovely to meet up with Darren, Amanda & Mila for this Sussex family shoot at home. These storytelling sessions are fast becoming one of my favourite assignments 🙂 A story telling session differs from a portrait session in as much as that the goal is to capture images of a family or couple in their everyday surroundings doing things together that they enjoy and that are meaningful to them. This could be anything from going about a daily routine to taking part in an activity like baking a cake or having a stroll around the neighbourhood to documenting the day of a milestone birthday. One thing there will be almost none of during these sessions is any kind of posing and my job is to document everything just as it happens.
Looking back at photos from my own childhood, and more recently at those from a few years back of my own children, yes of course it is lovely to have images in which we are all looking presentable for, and actually at, the camera but it is perhaps even nicer sometimes to dig out the ones that didn’t make it into frames on ‘top of the telly’ but instead tell the story of what is really going on in that moment.
Spraying my eldest with freezing cold water from the hose pipe on a boiling hot day in Italy and the squeals of delight I can still hear now. The priceless look on my youngest daughter’s face on her 5th birthday when we got to the cake and the happy birthday bit and she’d just had enough! The cat as a kitten tearing around the front room with a veil from the dressing up box stuck on her head that still makes us howl with laughter when we see it 7 years on! The pictures of my smiling grandparents wearing party hats and tucking into lunch around the Christmas table, taken sometime in the mid 80’s – now all but one long gone. I could continue ad infinitum.
These photos might not be the most beautifully composed but they do remind me more vividly of how I felt at that exact point in time and of the memories the images evoke.
The couple’s creative talents are evident throughout their totally charming and quirky home (be sure to read Darren’s handcrafted optician’s Snellen Chart, taking pride of place in the living room, carefully as you scroll through the images!)
Joining them for a pyjama clad brunch made with eggs collected from their own chickens, and later for a cuddle with Mila in bed meant that I could capture the family going about their routine in a relaxed and unselfconscious way. Darren and Amanda both have a wickedly dry sense of humour and are clearly very much in tune with one another. This really shone through in the way that they made one another laugh all the time and in their body language. It was also magical to see how much they adore Mila and what a wonderful childhood this gorgeous little girl is going to have. Huge thanks to them for welcoming me into their home and letting me tell a little bit of their story at this amazing time in their lives.
If you have been thinking about having photos taken of just the two of you or your family, but feel a bit on the uncomfortable side about having to get yourselves organised into the more structured (but always relaxed!) poses of a portrait shoot, then a storytelling session could be just the answer. Do get in touch here if you would like to know more – I would love to hear from you 🙂