Continuing my series of looking at some of my favourite images from the last year. You can see some of my other posts by following the link ‘ishoot’ in the menu bar. They are all in there! πŸ™‚

So this week i thought i would look at that elusive model..nope not the toddler but the teen!! *gasp*

Yes i do occasionally get asked to photograph older kids, young adults. Generally they are as part of family group! But they aren’t toddlers and they are certainly not kids..and would never want to be considered one of the old adults. I do really enjoy working with this sort of age though, they really stretch me and i have to put some thought into how to make them feel at ease and relax into the shoot. Some of my favourite images have come about from having a older kid in the family. They are particularly good at getting younger kids to do as you are asking them.

Here are a selection of some of my favourites and some of my ideas about how I got there:

This shoot was for two teenage sisters and we were in a large warehouse type building. I have found that walls are great for teens. Often they are a bit at a loss with what to do with themselves, what to do with their hands, etc. If you give them something to lean against. In this shot she was standing under a hole in the ceiling that was letting some sunlight in! Which was so ideal for the shot as it threw light in such a directional quality that we just had to use it! We got her to stand in the light and put some HUGE shades on and look up to it like a movie star. I love the texture of this shot!

I shot this image using flash! Yes really! It gives a little bit more of a edgey feel to the shot i think. Shot using high speed synch flash at a fast aperture to blur the background.

Adding a dramatic background and using some leading lines for this shot. Again getting a young lad to lean against a wall means that he doesn’t have to think about what to do with his limbs!

Leaning on something is another go to pose i have found that works. It looks natural and you can slap them straight in the middle of the shot, commanding the stage! I was asking this young man about his girlfriends which his family thought was hilarious..he was quite dignified in telling me though, it was serious stuff!

This is a great shot for a teen and also for anyone else really as it is really flattering. Lean yourself and your model against a wall or something similar and shoot along it, you can see how it gives a real depth to the shot leads the viewer exactly where you want them to look. Just remember to focus on the right point!

Always good to give them a chance to ‘cuddle’ their siblings!

Up close. Super sweet portrait shot, in soft sidelighting, i had mum holding a reflector to the right (being really picky i should have asked him to turn his head slightly). I really love this quiet seeming stillness, at the beginning of growing up!

That POSE. that all girls do πŸ˜‰ But it works really well and again is a good way of getting your model to do something with their hands. For boys have them stand with their feet about shoulder width apart with their thumbs tucked in their pockets.

Another portrait shot, this time with a slight angle on the shot as i took it and ive also added some texture in post processing which adds something. Plus this guy had incredible eyes! I have found as well that teens like the serious look, brooding with attiude. I think its great to let them do that. This guy also cocked his eyebrow in a really cool way, something which probably makes him..him if you know what i mean! lol,

Actually one of my favourite shots! Three brothers. Look at how the littlest one is trying to copy the cool older bro! Priceless!

Motivational Monday


A few weeks ago was remembrance day and since my daughters have joined the Brownies and got invited to carry the flag in the church and on the parade. It was a gorgeous, cold morning and after a lovely service where the girls did a great job of carrying the flag (the one flag, between the two of them – you can see there might be a problem brewing there!), the whole bunch of them, the boys brigade, the girls, brownies and scouts etc all disappeared down behind the church and marched past to the sound of the boys band. It was lovely.

We did get a bit of a hint of some brewing sibling trouble as the girls rounded the corner..some serious, frowning faces and we discovered that someone had told the girls that they couldn’t ‘share’ the holding of the flag for the march. In the church we had worked it out that one of them could hold the actual stick and the other could hold the corner of the material, then everybody was happy.

But that all went south when someone didnt appreciate the delicate balance of asking two sisters to do the same job!!

I think next time it might be time for an independent effort!

But it was so lovely to see the kids marching in the november sunshine to remember those gone before.



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

mummy mishaps

When you have a photographer as a mum. Well a part- time photographer. Your playroom often gets changed into a studio. There are strobe lights and big reflectors. A backdrop wobbling around against your piano and your toys all stacked in the corner and in other rooms in the house.

My kids are used to it, they often come down in the morning and peer into the playroom and ask me who is coming to have their photograph taken today. Most of the time they know not to go in and walk all over the backdrop in their shoes. They are pretty good about it.

But now and again, after a shoot, they all bundle in and i take some shots of them, which they love. This time of year we are starting to think christmas cards so i gave them some silly hats that might well make it onto our seasonal greetings. But might not as well! So far i know of at least 2 out of 4 of my kids classes that are doing that ‘design your christmas card and get it printed’ thing. So we will see.

This first one of this next collage, was the 1…2….3….shot before the jump! Can you tell!! πŸ™‚

Looking back through them was really fun, it was the less than perfect shots that i liked the most. I gave them a little direction and then just left them to it and fired off a load of shots. They seemed to love it and it was pretty obvious to see that the youngest wanted to be doing exactly the same as the oldest but couldn’t quite pull off the ‘jump’ shots very well!!

What really made me smile when i was editing these shots was the ones that had captured a ‘down’ moment. When they weren’t performing and trying to shine for the camera. Little looks and interactions between them, closed eye giggles and chuckles and those little dropped out moments that my youngest has with her ‘boo.’ Then of course there is the inevitable crashes when you try and get five kids to all jump at the same time on a 5foot wide backdrop. They were all pretty good humoured about it though. It was only about 10 minutes of time but they really appreciate being able to be part of what i do. Just like they love it when they get an opportunity to come into the hospital and peer through the glass at the tiny wee babies in our intensive care rooms.

I guess they see it as special. A treat. Funny how what is so ordinary to me can be extraordinary to them.


cMotivational Mondaythe ordinary moments


I discovered a blog a little while ago and was inspired by a linky that i discovered. In a nutshell and there is a link here so you can go read about it yourself. But basically it is about connecting a song or some music with an image. This rings so many bells with me. Music is something that is so much part of my life, i listen to music all the time and i am one of those people who can watch a series of images or a video without music and not feel a thing but add a soundtrack or some poignantly worded lyrics and i will be moved to the next week and blubbing into a tissue.

I had stumbled across this blog just when her suggested song for inspiration was a song by Rod Stewart called Forever Young.

Kind of a advice type of song to his son it would seem and it made me think of the crossroads that my son is at right now..leafing through iphoto (does anyone use that still?) where i used to store my images i discovered this image

This is my little boy just before he started school. He is just 4 in this picture, it was the summer before his first year in reception. So little we knew back then, the years of school runs, parents evenings, nativity plays were all alien to us. I miss those days of innocence sometimes. When we were his world and the influence of the outside was so minimal. When the thought of an afternoon watching trains was the best treat EVER and when he still spoke with a southern accent and not a northern one!! πŸ˜‰

Things have changed so much. His hair is no longer those tight curls. He won’t let it grow long enough to find out. πŸ˜‰ But there is still so much of what is real about him in this image that is evident in the young man he is becoming. He is still pretty open about whats going on with him, he is a heart on his sleeve kind of guy and i hope that doesn’t change that much. Im not naive though and i know it will to some element.

We were speaking to him about the secondary school choices recently as we have been since before the end of his last term in year 5, his face suddenly crumpled and he looked so young and unsure. I guess he was just overwhelmed with the responsibility of it all.

He is still so young and whilst we can’t protect him from the future, we can help to arm him with ways to deal with the things that are to come and be behind him every step.

The words in the song are a little cheesey but the ones that resound with me..are these in particular. πŸ™‚

“May you grow to be proud,
dignified and true.
And do unto others
As you’d have done to you.
Be courageous and be brave

-Forever Young (Rod Stewart)

Motivational Mondaythe ordinary moments



I was flicking through some images this evening and i came across this one which i took on one summery afternoon before the school run in the garden and i realised how different the afternoons are around here, not just because of the weather although that is a massive contributing factor. But i moan far too much about the weather so i wont go on…

But because not having my second youngest around in the afternoon is a little strange and taking me and the little one a bit of time to find a new way of doing the lunch, pre-school time and also how to do the ‘lets not fall asleep on the way to school in the buggy and be a nightmare going to bed in the evening’ thing πŸ˜‰

and i realised that i miss her a bit. That sounds really bad, like im surprised that i do, which isnt the case at all.

But i am not a mum who laments when my kids move onto new adventures. Yes there is an element of sadness when you put the baby cot away for the last time, or you realise that the ‘baby aisle’ in the supermarket really holds nothing for you anymore save maybe the trusty packet of wipes. Β There is most assuredly a time for fond memories and that whistfull and slightly rose coloured jaunt down the memory lane of new babies and pre-school years when your consciousness fools you and plays a heart-stirring soundtrack over your parenting past and tells you that it was ‘all so wonderful back then’ πŸ˜‰

But I embrace the future, new adventures, new challenges, new lessons to learn and so im always cheering them on as they head off into new things.

With this little girl, she was so totally ready for school that she didnt need the cheerleader waving madly behind her telling her she was going to be great.

She just got on. did it. Embraced it.

thats my girl πŸ™‚


Motivational Monday