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How do we get photos of our families if we’re shy?

How do we get photos of our families if we’re shy?


When I think back to my childhood it was quite normal to have a professional family portrait done of our family. We may have gone into a studio or have a photographer come to our house. I also have very vivid memories of having my portrait taken at primary school each year. This for me was rather traumatic. I screamed and howled and point blank refused to be photographed or go anywhere near the photographer. According to my young mind he was not to be trusted, and if I was to be photographed I was to be told how to stand, what expression to have and what to wear, all of which were not how I wanted to be seen or captured. No wonder I didn’t want to be photographed!


Now that I am an adult (apparently) and a photographer I can now see things more clearly and from a different angle. I really see the importance of getting professional photographs of families as a way of capturing important moments in time as well as a way of remembering the growing process of children. As folk get older they are less bothered by gifts and value the time they spend with family.

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When I look back over my career as a photographer, I realise that when I photograph families I do the opposite of what I remember any photographer doing when I was a child. I’ve wanted to rebel against the stereotype of those bossy male photographers I remember from weddings as a child. The scary thing is I hear these stories now from people I meet at weddings. I get really cross when I hear that they’ve made the bride cry by taking over the wedding. This seems common so no wonder young folk don’t want a photographer, especially shy couples who want to keep it low key!

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Whether I’m photographing weddings, family portraits, children or dogs I love finding out about people, what is their story? I want to know how couples met each other and proposed. I love hearing about the character traits of children or their dogs. I’ve never asked anyone to smile, but instead created a rapport with each member of the family way before the camera makes an appearance. People are not puppets they don’t act on demand, if only life were this easy!

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When families are having their photo taken they often will focus on a particular child who looks grumpy, not at the camera or wanting to do his own thing and do their best to get him to smile. If this is happening I generally turn things around by asking everyone to let him be how he wants, often it’s to run around. On a recent wedding I asked the family to all do stupid faces and get the kids to jump in the air while the adults remained still and serious, it was a hoot! The kids loved it. When I do family portraits in the studio I also do the same thing, get everyone to do their grumpy face, happy face, favourite animal etc. It helps to take the focus off them being photographed and instead on to something else which is fun and enjoyable.

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I’ve done my best to think of ways in which I would feel relaxed if I were being photographed and have brought these elements into each shoot. I remember being told when I was studying photography at college, that each photograph is in fact a self-portrait of that photographer. I really see the truth in this. That’s why it’s so easy to see different styles from one another. If you take one subject and get ten photographers to all photograph it they will all be very different.


On some family studio shoots I use my props box, which is great for both children and adults. Again, this really helps people to have fun, feel relaxed and not being self-conscious or think about being photographed.

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With Mothering Sunday and Easter coming up this is a great chance for families to come together. So I want to offer families the chance to be photographed in a way which will be fun, easy and enjoyable. You can come to my studio in my home in Glossop or I can bring my transportable studio to your home.


I will require a 10 x 10ft of space for the studio to be set up. I can bring my prop box if you fancy having a laugh with everyone. It will take a small amount of time to set it up and break down when we are complete.


You can book your photo-shoot before you give your gift and give prints to your loved one or the shoot can be the gift for them. It’s up to you!


Shoots on Offer: Baby Shoot | Family Shoot | Bring your Dog Shoot



 1 ~      At my studio in my home in Glossop.

            1 hour Shoot

            5 digital files are included

            An A3 Print (not framed)



2 ~       At your home (within 20 mile radius of Glossop)

            2 hour Shoot

            15 digital files are included

            3 A3 Prints & 4 10×8 Prints (not framed)



To book please call or text me on 07884 487318

or email me


A 50% deposit is required to secure your slot.

The remaining fee is to be paid on the shoot date.

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