Family photography with Gabby and Kayla

I did another joint shoot with friend and fellow photographer Sharah Smith last weekend, her friend Gabby brought her daughter along for some family photography.  The original plan was to create some gorgeous maternity portraits with Kayla talking to her soon-to-arrive little sister.  Unfortunately once Kayla found her way into the studio with all it’s interesting lights and equipment, posing with Mum’s bump was the last thing on her mind.

No problem, one of the things I’ve learned over the years photographing children is that you get the best results by working with their excitement and what has grabbed their attention rather than trying to force them to pose.  It does mean you may not always create the images you had planned to but by working with them you capture so much more of their personality it’s really worth it, and if one thing was certain about little Kayla, she’s got bags of personality 😀

 (Mike Gatiss)

 

Family portrait photography has never been about “stand here”, “do this”, “do that” to me.  It’s all about capturing the relationships between family members with the love and trust that you find in close families.  I’ve always found the best way to capture this is to let people be themselves.  I’ll help where I can and steer people gently into the most flattering poses but it’s always a relaxed affair which I think shows in the portraits.

 (Mike Gatiss)

 

Of course when your family includes little ones like Kayla you have to pay attention and make sure you know when they’ve had enough.  Happily Kayla isn’t shy about letting us know when she’s tired.  She just finds her blanket and curls up for a quick snooze.

 (Mike Gatiss)

 

While she was resting it was time for mum to get some attention, with less than four weeks to go ’til her due date this is later than I would normally plan a maternity portrait.  Carrying a baby around is hard work, and this late in the pregnancy most mum’s are getting tired really quickly.  Not Gabby though, she was still firing on all cylinders and was happy to pose for a few maternity portraits.

 (Mike Gatiss)

Whilst we can always retouch tummy’s if you’re self concious of any stretch marks, I’m with Gabby when she says they’re hard earned stripes and can stay where they are.  Too right, and now I’m looking forward to being able to photograph the new arrival next month 😀

And don’t forget I’m still looking for five families who would like a free family portrait.

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