Acton Town – Natural portraits for couples in love
I’ve a lot to prove in this article.
The heady thrill of booking a portrait session. It’s a rush. Then comes the doubts, the niggly fears, the sense things might not quite go to plan.
It’s the oldest story in the book. The fear that we may look foolish. In public, publicly.
Hannah and Chris asked to work with me in the summer of 2013, they wanted a family portrait session in London, one where the whole clan were gathered together laughing and smiling. See more from this session.
Whilst the children were off playing I asked if they’d be brave and let me show them how I capture expressive portraits, full of genuine connection with heart-felt smiles.
I wanted something more, something real, something that stood out from all the other portraits. Here’s what I told them.
Look at the camera and smile.
That works once – a one trick pony. We all laughed and Hannah squirmed nervously. I put the camera down and walked over. There was a little twinkle in my eye, so … how did you both meet?
Then I stand back. Hannah and Chris forget that I’m even there. I don’t need to hear their conversation, their shy smiles as they turn to each other is enough.
And it’s begun.
I call over to Chris, I hope you’re telling Hannah what you thought the first time you met her!
The simple suggestion – sharing those first experiences on a date – the sweaty palms, the realisation that he might be the one, the giggles and laughter when you’re giddy with delight.
Quietly in the background I capture one of their favourite images.
I put the camera down again.
Strolling over I share the time I first met my husband (and locked myself out of the house). Asking if they’re OK to carry on, I reveal the rest of my story as I move along the bank of grass.
I knew my spouse was the one because he wasn’t fazed by my disaster with the front door. How about you Chris, how did you know Hannah was the one?
It’s all there – the way Hannah leans into Chris, waiting to hear what he says, the heart-felt response when he shares a secret. The look of delight on Hannah’s face when she recognises the truth in what Chris says.
And all because of 3 simple questions.
In the background the children are playing with a feather, making a wish. The park is empty on the weekend, perfect for a family picnic.
I turn around and walk away, leaving Hannah and Chris time to collect themselves. I don’t need to be intrusive with the camera, the best moments are captured when everyone feels relaxed and engaged with each other.I never ask what the couples talk about.
What I do know is that Hannah quietly took care of her step daughter throughout the day – changing, feeding and caring for her. Chris spoke of their acting work, relishing the fact that they often worked together on set which made the day all the more enjoyable. That they often shared a look over the camera lens that said volumes.
It’s OK if this approach feels stupid or weird. It’s enough that I can whisk you away for a moment and prove your portraits are going to be fabulous.
If you’re interested in trying this for yourself, I’m only a phone call away.
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My aim is simple – to ensure a truly wonderful experience. I custom each photo session, from the beginning of the shoot right until your items are delivered. My goal is to personally look after you every step of the way. That way I know you’ll get a service that is second to none.