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

A while ago I was trying to decide whether to clip the curls from Ella Fitzgerald. You can see her in all her little Ewok-glory here. She doesn’t have the traditional cocker coat. It is thick and curly and great as a rug in winter. But in the summer heat, it can’t have been fun.

I like her curly. She looks slightly mad. It suits her.

But it grows back, right? So I booked her in at the doggy spa (which is less a spa more a small room containing a fine array of clippers and a man who is happy to wield them) and she got a grade 1 all over. It took me back a bit.

But she is very happy in her wrinkly skin and a lot cooler in the warmer weather. (When it shows up).

close clipped ella © kate griffin photography

Well ok. She’s not beaming and doing a tap dance about it. But trust me. Inside she’s doing cartwheels.

In other, more photography based news, it’s time for a trim of a different sort. The end of August brings the end of mini sessions. They’ll still pop up as special offers and competitions here on the blog and over at the  facebook page, but I’d like to concentrate the sessions I have on giving people the full custom experience.

Plus I’m making room for a very special session type introduced later on in September. I’m putting the final finishing touches to it – but when it’s done, you’ll be the first to know.

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I’m battling with the weather at the moment. I love an overcast, diffused light kind of day as much as the next photographer, but honestly, trying to have a photography session on a beach in the middle of torrential downpour is not fun for anyone. Moody skies are good. Sky that you can’t see for rain is not so good.

But I won’t be beaten – in fact I’m heading back down there this weekend for a maternity session with a great couple I met today. I haven’t promised a hazy sunset (although BBC weather forecast is so far on my side), but I’ll be pulling out my best “rain rain go away” dance moves in the hope that the backdrop for their session is as perfect as the reason we’re having it there.

You see, Dad-to-be proposed on this particular beach. All sparkly ring and on-sandy-bended-knee. I told him today he earned serious brownie points for effort, but he also set the bar very high for himself. He agreed that his next wedding proposal would have to be really good. I found that funny. He got a loving thump. That session is going to be fun – can’t wait for Saturday.

Last weekend, I had a weather reversal. Leaving sad, miserable Surrey behind I went on a road trip to Norfolk and was totally undone by the lovely, but scorching sun. I’d been invited up to stay in a beautiful house on the Norfolk Broads to spend some time with Ruth, Julie and their foster children, to capture them on holiday enjoying their time by the water. I don’t do heat well, but getting to drive the boat back from the pub was a total treat. You can’t really build up enough speed on the Broads to get a good breeze going, but you do get a little Master and Commander sort of feeling. I also managed to take home a very attractive shade of pink sunburn. Result.

Laura and Ruth are sisters, so it meant that my little muse was on hand to model a cute toddler-sized life jacket for me. Before we could go anywhere though, it was important to get a morning fix of Beebies and the strangely compelling Mr Tumble. I tell you, kids find this man hypnotic. I’m not so sure. But Sophie can’t get enough of that chameleon-like clown. When I interrupt his show she tells me, with just a look, that I had better hurry up and take her picture pretty quickly.a short break from Mr Tumble: surrey child portrait photographer

That’s alright. Because when the kids won’t play, the wildlife will pose for you.norfolk swans posing: surrey child portrait photographer

I think I shall call the following picture, “The Unhappiest Little Sailor.” She may have been deep in thought, contemplating philosophical problems – although I think it’s more likely that she was put out by having her time with Mr Tumble cut short.  But just tell her a rubbish joke, give her a tickle and she’ll fall straight back into her usual adorable self.sulk, tickle then laugh: surrey child portrait photographermini master of the sea: surrey child portrait photographer

A day out on the boat can really take it out of you though. If it gets to your bedtime and you only have enough energy to wear half of your pyjamas, then you just have to own the look and hope that your Farrah Fawcett hair will distract from your under dressed bottom half.

very nearly bedtime: surrey child portrait photographer

And the sun starts to set, and the light glows and is perfect for portraits, so you squeeze in some more time with some really special little people and their honestly, inspiring foster parents, before asking Sophie to just look up one more time to get the catchlights in her eyes.last look before bed: surrey child portrait photographer

She does. She is beautiful. But you know she wishes you were that clown. I can take it. After all, I’m half way there with my burnt red nose.

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  • August 27, 2010 - 6:42 am

    Sarah Thomas - Not only are you a wonderful photographer but I just love the way you write. Your narrative adds so much depth to and atmosphere to such beautiful images and demonstrates what a fantastic relationship you have with your clients.ReplyCancel

  • August 28, 2010 - 11:17 am

    Kate - Sarah you are very sweet!ReplyCancel

I’m not really the camping type. I like my mod cons, the absence of wildlife pawing at my tent in the early hours and the ability to visit the W.C. without a long queue in front of me. I’m getting on and the last thing I need is an extended wait, in the cold, with nature calling my bladder’s name.

But I heard that Vintage@Goodwood was a totally different festival experience – great music, film, art, fashion and design all rolled together to celebrate five decades of British brilliance. There were incredible acts to look forward to, vintage emporiums to rummage through and the blessing of fully plumbed toilets.

So last Saturday, I packed up my camera, stowed away my wellies and gathered up a lovely friend to enjoy it all with. Petra packed flip flops and a small umbrella. Obviously we are well versed in the art of festival going. Well Petra is, but she was nursing a hangover so her judgment was clouded. I just knew this would be the perfect opportunity to people watch and capture it all on camera. I wasn’t disappointed.

From the walk through the fairy light lit woods, to the red carpet entrance, the British High Street in the middle of a field, the glorious festival food, the wonderful music, the vintage stalls, the music tents celebrating 5 decades of music, the travelling vintage cinema, the create your own y-front purse, the funk music flowing from the tent as you walk to the roller disco, the line of retro caravans and the throw-back fairground rides, Vintage@Goodwood was a total success for me.

But what I really loved, what really impressed me were the people. There was such a great atmosphere filled with festival-goers who represented the decades they loved with such flair and fun. I’m talking fully paid up members of the camping club, who still managed a pair of stilletto heels, a flash of red lipstick and perfectly styled hair. The attention to detail was incredible – everywhere you looked someone was dolled up to look like a land girl, a rock and roller from the 50s, or a funky 60s siren, through to the flares of 70s disco or the overflow of accessories for an 80s outfit.

These people made serious effort and looked great – stand out fantastic. I think, maybe, those people were the greatest success of Vintage 2010. I’ll be back next year. I don’t know what decade I’ll go for, but I may even camp.

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What was your favourite part of Vintage this year?

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  • August 22, 2010 - 2:36 pm

    Michelle - Gorgeous series of photos! Love them – wish we had our own Vintage here!ReplyCancel

  • August 22, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    Paul Inwood-Pells - SuuuuuuuperbReplyCancel

  • August 23, 2010 - 9:11 am

    Petra - You captured the essence of the festival and it was (quite simply), a stunning day out – thank you!
    Too hard to pick a favourite part but people watching & the food stands are waaaaaaaaaaay up there!ReplyCancel

  • August 23, 2010 - 3:15 pm

    Louisa Rose - Such wonderful pictures that really show the atmosphere of this event. I so wanted to go to this and was unable to make it but these pictures gave me a little insight into the feel of the festival. I’m in awe of your photographic talent and thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • July 9, 2011 - 8:42 am

    Fiona Humberstobe - Wow Kate, these photos are amazing! I am sold… See yo at the next one xReplyCancel