Kate Griffin Photography // London Family Documentary Photographer » Celebrating family life in London and across the UK » page 36

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


little bookworm portrait // surrey child photographer © kate griffin photography 2012

This is Sophie. You’ve met her before. Lots of times. We are old friends, she and I. We go way back, before the bump, before the twinkle in the eye, back to university where her Mum and I became friends. We studied English together, but often bunked off “The Age of Chivalry” lectures in favour of a double breakfast at Sainsburys. Priorities, people, priorities.

Now that we are both old and greying (no less than 4 grey hairs spotted this morning), now that Laura has produced two of my favourite little people on the planet, I get called on for babysitting duties when her and hubby have a rare night out.

My favourite part of the evening, apart from Laura’s well-stocked chocolate cupboard, is story time before bed. Sophie, my dedicated little bookworm, gets to choose 3 books to enjoy. We read them together, she tells me without fail if I’ve missed a page, she finishes the sentences before I do.

You see, Sophie has a bookshelf filled to the brim with tall tales and she could recite the story of every single one. The words are largely just shapes still (that will change quickly) but the pictures are entire worlds to her. She knows the phrases off by heart. To hear her speak out loud, enjoying it more with every retelling, is a simple, beautiful pleasure.

So on World Book Day, who better to kickstart my little bookworm project than her.

I asked her to choose her favourite book to be photographed with. She chooses 3. They came together in a cardboard cover, so I’ve let her off. They were also a Christmas present from me, so I am biased.

When pushed, she had a favourite of the three. For her little bookworm portraits, Sophie chose How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. I can confirm, she has excellent taste.

little bookworm portrait  - book choice // surrey child photographer © kate griffin photography 2012

I chose them for their beautiful illustrations, warm wit, and charm. Sophie chose them because the stories light up her imagination and draw her into another, more colourful world every time she opens the book.

little bookworm portrait - reading book // surrey child photographer © kate griffin photography 2012

Every picture is a delight, every word is a wonder, every page leaves you hoping there is more to come on the other side. I adore it.

But I love that Sophie loves it even more. Because it makes me remember the exact feeling I had curled up in a corner, or swaddled in a duvet, or quietly hiding in a library, or browsing the bookshelves in a hight street shop – that feeling of disappearing for a moment, being caught up in a story, and in the end, that story becoming a part of me.

When I saw Sophie, sat in her chair, crossing her legs like a 30 year old rather than a toddler, little fingers delicately turning the pages, it made me smile. I hope she has a lifetime of stories, books and adventures ahead of her. I think of all the things I read and love, and then the wonderful certainty that they are waiting for her too.

little bookworm portrait - sat on chair // surrey child photographer © kate griffin photography 2012little bookworm portrait - reading on mat  // surrey child photographer © kate griffin photography 2012

If you have a little bookworm who would like to take part in my ongoing project to photograph children and their favourite books, I’d love to hear from you.

Tell me what you read together if they are small, or what they just can’t put down if they are older. Tell me the stories that make them laugh out loud, or the book they just finished that made them sad. But sad in a good way, in the way that all great books can make you feel something, and in feeling, learn a little more about their world.

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  • March 1, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    Alexandra Andrews - We love books too, in fact we have shelf upon shelf of them and those moments of discovery soon give way to independent reading, I only have one left who will be read to. What a great way to record those spe ial moments so that we can relive them again and again and again.ReplyCancel

  • March 1, 2012 - 7:39 pm

    rosie - Lovely lovely. What a fabulous idea and gorgeous portraits of course. I would like to read that book methinks. My favourite book as a child was the Tiger Who Came To Tea. A classic and actually incredibly sexist looking at it now (Daddy saves the day!) but such a charming story and beautiful illustrations. Can’t wait to see more of your little bookworms.ReplyCancel

  • March 1, 2012 - 11:10 pm

    Mim Owen - This is a wonderful idea for a project, and so perfectly you. I’m sure Hazel would love to tell you all about her bookshelf (it is HEAVING!) one day soon. At the moment the favourite is a book about the human body, but recently it’s been Mog books (Judith Kerr).

    You’ve inspired me to try her with Mr Magnolia by Quentin Blake, and Frank Muir’s What a Mess books – my favourites when I was small, but sadly not well received last time I tried. She’s already got my Worst Witch box set, so I’m hopeful!ReplyCancel

Ever fancied a poke around in celebrity bins? Be honest, who hasn’t?

Well today is your chance to do just that. (Sort of, but nicer. No rubbish here!)

Dawn Porter has gathered up some celebrity pals for RUMBLE IN THE JUMBLE and it is all happening this evening in London at St. Pancras Old Church from 6 – 9pm.

Fancy sprucing up your wardrobe and having a good rummage through the jumble of the well-heeled and fabulously dressed? Then go and rub shoulders with Kate NashSara CoxGizzi Erskine to name just a few. There’s even a tombola and I’m delighted to be supporting them with a bespoke session for one lucky winner.


Oxfam Rumble in the Jumble, in support of International Women

Amazing people have been donating jumble throughout the week, so you never know what you might find and who it might have belonged to. And let’s face it, celebrity jumble is not like our ordinary old tat, is it?

So take a bin bag, practise your elbowing action and get busy – all in aid of International Women’s Day and and the fantastic work that Oxfam do. For more information and how you can get involved click here.


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Launch competition all done and dusted.

LOVETWO happily in existence and ready to capture some beautiful moments of couples in love. (That’s you by the way. Despite his neglect of you this weekend and his inability to cook properly. You adore him. And it’s also you. Even though she drives you mad with her OCD planning and lists, you can’t keep your eyes off her.)

Winners announced on Facebook and fantastic prizes now to organise.

And so, onto another week, and a natural progression of the family story – birth!

This week I’ll be launching my exclusive birth story sessions. They’ve long been an ambition of mine and I am incredibly lucky to be able to offer them to you. Experiencing a Christmas Eve-style can’t wait.

But until then, let me treat you to some sweet Ella loving and her antics in the snow. anticonvulsants. Ably assisted by her (sort-of) cousin Rory, who very kindly matched the golden sunset for me.

We need to talk about Rory.

Everyone has a “Rory” in their life. You know the sort. Never picked for the quiz team, baffled by the rules for noughts and crosses, constantly looking for that buzzing sound somewhere in the room.

Here is our family Rory, searching for a snowball I threw for him. In some snow. Special.

And then some last minute races and fun. There is something about snow under foot/paw that makes the dogs think they are puppies again. It is very sweet to watch. Even from the ground, where I sat, in the snow, to take these pictures. A wet, numb bum is payment enough for these sunset drenched images.

All too soon, you have to head home.

Except that is if you are elderly (60 this year!) and kept waiting. That shadowy figure at the end of the path, the one with the “Highway to Heaven” look about her, that is Mamma Griffin. She is lovely, if not a little camera shy. Like her daughter.

But I am persuasive. And she trusts me. A little.

Oh, hello Mummy. I’m so glad you let me take your picture. Now we have something recent to give to the police should you ever get lost anywhere. I don’t think your wedding photos from the 1970s would have tracked you down quick enough. I jest. But she does tend to answer the remote control when the phone rings. Bless.

That ruddy, rosy glow is a sign of good health. Or the fact I’ve made her trudge across Surrey heathland in freezing temperatures.

I love looking at this picture of her. She’ll point out the lines and wrinkles, and greying hair. I only see my glorious Mum, moments before she bursts out laughing because I tell her an inappropriate joke to get her to smile for me.

Pinching also works. She taught me that one.




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  • February 20, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    Kirsten - Kate, I LOVE these. It’s so seldom that you see someone make snow look anything other than blue/grey. And the dogs are fantastic. This coming from a cat person. Your mum is pretty cute too 😉ReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Kate - Thank you Kirsten! It was a lucky light day – actually my favourite sort of weather. Really cold, lovely and bright.ReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2012 - 11:42 pm

    Rosie - AAHHHHHHH LOVE your mum! And the doggies of course (goes without saying). Lovely pictures, beautiful light, as always.ReplyCancel

  • February 21, 2012 - 4:12 pm

    Vicky and Alex - Kate these are amazing as ever. Loved the one of mummy griffin! Miss you guys xReplyCancel