Real life not insta life: compelling fine art portraits that capture the essence of your family. London documentary family photographer

London documentary day in the life photographer
Ever thought your house is too cluttered for an in-home photo session? Too small? How about too dark? Not finished the decorating yet?
As a south London lifestyle and documentary family photographer I often hear this and it’s the number one reason why people choose a location photo session over an in-home one. Not that location photography sessions need be frowned upon – there’s nothing like a gorgeous park or woodland as a backdrop to some great family fun. BUT you may be missing a trick if the only reason you choose an outdoor session is because you don’t think your home is up to scratch to be captured on camera.And as the days turn colder, darker, rainier as the winter months approach, there’s nothing like snuggling up indoors as a family for a fantastic documentary photo session.
For me there’s nothing like an in-home photo session to really see a family as they truly are. On home ground – their own turf – kids, and a lot of adults for that matter, can really relax and just be themselves. There’s nothing like children letting you into their world, showing you their toys and books or jumping about on their bed or running around their garden to get some fabulously candid portraits of them.

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"Those digital files look great on the wall" said no one ever! Celebrate the ordinary with stunning works of fine art that tell your family story. London documentary family photographer


So when did you last take a photograph? And when did you last print one?
I’m willing to bet you probably took at least one photo today on your phone. But I’ll bet you haven’t printed any photos in a very long time unless you’ve just had school portraits done or got married!

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North Sea blues – dancing in the waves | London documentary family photography


We recently spent a week in Northumberland – where I was brought up – at my parents’ house. I miss the beach in my life. But it was such a joy to see my children finding such simple pleasure and delight in nature. Oh to be a kid again and dance in the waves! My daughter spent about an hour simply dancing with her reflection and jumping in and out of the surf. She was so soaked and cold by the time she’d finished she may as well have gone for a swim!

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Bathtime is a serious affair in our household! London documentary family photographer.

London lifestyle photographer Clapham
My kids take bath time very seriously – donning safety goggles and all! The littlest sometimes takes the brunt of the splashing from the biggest and it’s all a bit too much. It’s easy to get frustrated in the moment at her carelessness and lack of consideration for her brother. But viewed through a lens, I’m reminded of the raw emotions bundled up in these small people and just how fleeting these moments are. Minutes later and harmony and happiness was restored!

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Top tips for photographing kids | London family photographer

London family photographer Greenwich
As a London documentary family photographer I often get asked how I get such lovely images of the children that I photograph. Kids are notoriously unwilling to play ball when you get the camera out as parents will know too well. As soon as the camera comes out they either hide or pull a silly face!
So the real answer is how I get such good images is that ‘they’re not my kids!’ Other people’s kids always behave better than your own. But I do manage to get an occasional good photo even of my own two children. Obviously I also have 20 years of experience and training behind me and a wealth of technical knowledge which does help. But here are my top tips that anyone can follow:

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London natural documentary family photographer – Brockwell Park family session

South London documentary lifestyle family photography Herne Hill
This was not only a delightful south London family photo session, but also one of the loveliest and thoughtful birthday presents. Rory and his daughter Freya booked me to do a family photography session for wife and mother Siobhan. The Brixton family wanted some natural photographs that were true to them as a family in a place that meant something to them – their local stomping ground Brockwell Park.

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How to use you phone camera like a pro! London family photography

London documentary family photographer Crystal Palace
Lugging a great big camera around can be tiring and even I, as a London lifestyle and documentary family photographer, don’t have a ‘proper’ camera on me at all times. The best camera you have is always the one you have with you at the time. I’ve taken some great photos and even had them published in my press photographer days with a small basic camera because that’s what was in my bag when the photo moment arose. Most of us always have a phone on us and for most phones these days the camera is pretty good. You probably won’t be getting published in National Geographic or seeing your photos in the National Portrait Gallery (probably – but who knows!) as the resolution isn’t that high, but they will be perfectly adequate to print out snapshots and publish on social media – which lets face it with digital photography is what we mostly end up doing anyway!
So here are a few tips to get the best out of your phone camera.

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