The Haines Family - East London / Family Session

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When you do a family session with a four year old, the one thing you can be sure of is that they will be the star of the show. And this amazing kiddo was no exception. So full of energy, excitement and spirit, it was no mean feat keeping up with her while I was 31 weeks pregnant. It made me realise just how physical my job can be at times, unless I’m photographing babies or really young kiddos, I’m usually running around, climbing on furniture and constantly moving up and down to capture all the shots. It’s definitely getting harder at this stage of pregnancy!

This was one of my favourite ever family sessions, they had such a wonderful bond, were so full of fun up for anything I asked them to do. I wish I had got to spend a whole day with them to capture more of their everyday moments, because when you have a four year old in fairy wings baking fairy cakes, you just want more of the same. These guys were the perfect example of when a family really takes the time to read my questionnaire, think about the answers and pay attention to all the tips I give them to prepare themselves, their home and their outfits before a session. It really makes such a difference, and the more I get to know a family beforehand the more ideas I have for things we can do during our session. The Haines Family had given me so many great things that they love to do, it was a little heartbreaking that I couldn’t capture it all. One of the things they mentioned they love to do is take sunset walks on the Walthamstow Wetlands. I mean, come on. Talk about a dream session. I’m coming back later in the year for that, for sure. When I’m not heavily pregnant and it’s a little warmer outside!

I’ve always loved true documentary style photography when capturing families, but to be honest, it’s not always something that’s easy to get. You’re running through a list in your head, all the combinations of family members and those gorgeous images for framing and sending to grandparents, and in a two hour session there isn’t always a lot of time to capture a family just truly being themselves - unless you engineer it that way. It’s something I’m working on bringing more of into my sessions, where we do activities like baking and painting as the cornerstone of our shoot. I’m training myself, too, starting a 365 Project to capture all those moments of my own life too. The more I share, the more I can spread the word that these are the photos that truly tell our stories. The framers are great, and necessary, and I love them a lot. But those images of you, just being you, they are priceless.

If you’re interested in a family session of your own, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me here, or send me an email: hello(at)siobhancalder(dot)com.