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

making family portraits a tradition

I’ve been sunning myself in Dorset for a couple of weeks. Well, officially working hard and getting things done in the retro comfort of the Griffin Family Seaside Residence. Or caravan. Or Shed by the Sea, as we affectionately call it.

But the working hard bit got shorter and the excursions out and about with Ella the Dog got longer. This equation was directly impacted by the appearance of the sun.

It’s been fantastic. Lovely to just be by the sea, fantastic to see Ella so happy and skippy, peaceful most days. I like the quiet. Those silences make the days stretch out longer.

And then the family turn up for the Bank Holiday weekend. And it’s obvious that these things do have a tendency to get better when shared. The selfish way you structure your day has to be compromised, but when something funny happens you have someone to turn to when you laugh. Laughs last longer, they roll round, come back to you, you laugh again.

Of course when you fall out of the caravan late at night, you’d hope for a little help. But the parents are old and deaf to everything, even their own spectacular snoring. So you lay sprawled on the ground, hoping you weren’t seen but knowing that a twitching curtain from the neighbouring caravan gives your shame away.

Nevermind. With family you have someone to check the bruises the next morning. And you forgive them the barely stifled laughter as you recount your tale of woe.

Born, blended, adopted – how ever your family comes to be, the time you spend together makes those ties tighter. Being a family is an activity. Making the time to be together is always worth it. You are more than just people sharing a home, passing by in the morning with schedules that casually overlap.

So being there to capture one very special family together, their youngest, their son now welcomed and wrapped in love, is a favourite part of what I do. Photographing them in the Guildford Castle Grounds, Kirsty told me she has a picture, treasured, of her as a kid, in a family portrait where she is the daughter, the sister, not yet a mother herself. So this session was about continuing that tradition, creating a gallery of images that celebrated them as parents, with two children of their own that they adore. A bright, beautiful daughter who fits the role of big sister perfectly. A brave boy, their wonderful son who loved to run, but who never ran faster than running back towards them.

I don’t think you could find prouder parents. They’re raising children with spirit, a sense of adventure, with warmth, with love. They knew they wanted that process, their family life together captured, treasured, a tradition continued. So when Megan grows up, a family of her own, she’ll have these images to look back on and really know what it is to be loved. To be a family. Like her mum does, of her family before.

If you want to make time together, I’d love to be there to photograph it for you. Smiles and cuddles and little hands outstretched, I’ll see all of those details and tell your family story in photographs that you can love and treasure and pass on to your daughters, your sons.

To check my summer availability and to book your session you can call me on 0784 147 9035 or email me on kate@kategriffinphotography.com.


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