I love loyal repeat clients. I have a lot of them. The benefits of cultivating a relationship with a client over multiple sessions and many years is that I know what they love, I know what they’re looking for, and I know their family dynamics and personalities, so I can give them the absolute best images possible every time. I know what’s meaningful to them.
In this case, I know Emily, Graham and Toby, because this is my SIXTH session with them. I photographed (get ready for it) their engagement session, their wedding, Emily’s pregnancy, the days straight after their son was born, their beautiful baby Toby at eight weeks old, and now this family session. They are some of my very favourite people in the world, these people, and being able to photograph their lives together is a real pleasure. Check out any of those links to see their family history unfolding in front of your very eyes. I absolutely love that about this job – through these relaxed, candid photography sessions I have created images, albums, and keepsakes for them that will long outlast them and become part of their family’s collection of heirlooms forever. How rad is that?
Because I know Emily and Graham so well, I know what’s important to them – and I know that Olive, their pug, is a Big Fat Important Figure in their lives, and needed to be featured in all of her slobbery, hilarious glory. I feel like it’s also important to mention that their son Toby, at around 18 months old, was in a stage of development when I’m told lots of people like to avoid taking family photos – not quite a baby, not quite a toddler – because kids this age can often be hard to predict, scared of non-family-members, wildly uncooperative, difficult to please, impossible to bribe, and prone to impressive tantrums when asked to stay still. And that’s true, they can be challenging to shoot, even for seasoned professionals like myself. But they’re also adorable, exceedingly funny, likely to turn into a pint-sized acrobat at the mildest provocation, full of wonder, easy to cuddle, brimming with giggles, unfolding with personality, still baby enough to capture dimpled knees and chubby cheeks but big enough to be exactly who they are and to show it to you. And this documentary approach of mine seems to work in perfectly with this age – long lenses, lots of play, no pressure to smile – just a toddler being his toddlery self, no pretension, no drama.
For this session, I ventured to their local area of North Sydney and we just lived a regular Sunday at their place. It was lovely, and simple, and absolutely personified my ethos of “unposed family photography”. I’m thinking about making these guys my official spokesfamily, since every time I photograph them they embody the very joy of my professional life.
Enjoy! I know I did.