Kate Griffin Photography // London Family Documentary Photographer » Celebrating family life in London and across the UK » page 11

Kate Griffin Photography // London Family Documentary Photographer » Celebrating family life in London and across the UK

I do love babies. I love to photograph families. But sometimes it is nice to go a little bit further back in a story – before they were a young couple with a new baby, before they were married, when they were just two people in love.

Being in front of the camera doesn’t come naturally to most of us. It’s awkward to feel watched like that, sized up, photographed. We get trained into a certain way of being, of positioning ourselves, or arranging our faces when a camera lens comes looming into view. And that training starts early, from well meaning parents who want nothing more than for their kids to smile, on command and naturally if at all possible.

But if you ask a kid to smile, they will probably give you a shining example of cheesy grin. The trick is to encourage the smile to occur, rather than ask for it as a shape on their face. Those toothy grins can be funny, but the wind changes and gurning faces fix. So before you know it you’re graduating from university, wearing a cap and gown, clasping a fake, plastic scroll and contorting your face into what you mistakenly believe to represent joy, and your mum says, much later when looking at the photographs, “I’ve never seen you pull a face like that before.” This happened. To me.

Perhaps I’ll show you the offending image if you are good. Just let me know when you need cheering up. I’ll post it here for you.

Anyway.

I know you feel awkward and shy. You don’t quite like this about yourself, that about yourself and you worry about it being captured in a photograph. I get it. I REALLY get it. But let me tell you, the people in your life that love you, they love the whole of you. They want to see you in an image, desperately want to own a print of you, something for them to hang on the wall, or place by the bed, or tuck in their wallets. Photographs matter to family members.

Which brings me pretty neatly on to LOVETWO portrait sessions and the pictures I take during them. You don’t need to be getting married. You don’t even need to be engaged. You just need to be in love and want to capture that relationship in an image, for you, your families, for each other.

And my job as your photographer is to make that process easy for you, relaxed,  and even enjoyable. I won’t ask you to make a certain face, or adopt a pose that makes you feel uncomfortable. I take my lead from who you are, the people you are together, the real relationship you have.

So here’s a LOVETWO session, with real people, initially feeling awkward, who warmed up in no time at all, spending time with a photographer who knows what love looks like through a lens.

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If you have a person you love and want images to treasure and share with your families, you’re in the right place, reading the right words. Here is the right number to call: 0784 147 9035. And the relevant email address: kate@kategriffinphotography.com.

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…you stare wistfully into the camera, all the while looking quite gorgeous and edible.

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Or you wait for daddy to come home from work, don’t allow him to change, demand a little walk across the room. Before resting, and staring at the camera wistfully again.

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Or you show off your DELICIOUS dimples and big blue eyes. A little bit of dribble on the chin, but we can forgive that.

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Maybe you just want to chill out on that fluffy rug, looking up at me, discovering how tasty those fingers really are.

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Oh my god, and those toes. The toes are also delectable.

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Daddy is interesting, yes he’s fun, but come on. My toes! My toes are INCREDIBLE.

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Yes sir. This boy is a handsome chap. But he always gives me the feeling, looking so intently, that he is sizing me up, thinking about what is within grabbing distance. For to grab is to chew.

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Outside in the park, surrounded by late afternoon light, dappled leaves, and a mum and dad who find you constantly hilarious, you are a worthy centre of attention.

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Don’t give me that face. I know you’re gorgeous. You know you’re gorgeous.

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See? Crack out the dimples, watch us all melt.

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Serious face. Thinking face. Chewing finger face.

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This is a family of tinkers. That is the dimpled, chubby-cheeked face of a tinker.

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Utter tinkerdom. Shortly before walloping mum in the face. By pure accident you understand.

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TOES! I’ve just remembered about my toes.

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Hanging out on the rug, practising his crawl, aiming for the leaves, throwing his giggly, gurgling laugh around.

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Because when you’re happy and you know it, and you REALLY want to show it, when you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

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I grew up in Guildford and I played in Stoke Park. Often.

I paddled in the pool, scraping my toes on the bottom’s rough surface, hid on the island over the bridge, hopped across the stepping stones, queued for a blue slush puppy at the refreshments hut. Friends lived nearby, we lived just around the corner. At 8 years old, it was my local.

So having a family session there was great fun and a lovely dip into my own childhood nostalgia. Despite the cold on the day. Despite the devastating lack of slush puppies.

And they were fun kids to photography as well. Siblings that got along, who held hands without prompting, who hung their arms around each other just because. They ran through the paddling pool, mercifully empty of water. They played in the park, sliding down the helter skelter, climbing the colourful frames that I remember from growing up. So when I took their pictures, I knew I was capturing something for them that I always wanted as a kid – the pure fun of a day at the park.

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