Whether you are a parent wanting beautiful pictures of your children, an amateur photographer looking to learn more about portrait photography or somebody who just likes to read an interesting interview accompanied by pretty pictures, these posts are for you…
Hi there! I am Hannah. I live in Shinfield, Reading, with my wonderful husband and cute (usually) two year old son. My photography style is natural; I take relaxed family photos at home or in the great Berkshire countryside without staging or props to show real expressions, soul and connections. My website is here and you can come to say hi at Facebook.
When and how did you fall in love with photography?
Like many others, my love for photography grew with the birth of my son a couple of years ago. I‘ve always loved photography, but it wasn’t until he arrived with his yummy chubby cheeks, tiny toes, squidgy thighs, cute curls… that I became obsessed with capturing every little detail perfectly.
Have you had any formal training?
Yes, after various online and evening courses I opted to do the City & Guilds Photo Imaging course.
How would you describe your photography style?
Beautiful, modern and relaxed images of people having fun with those they love.
What inspires your work?
Oh everything, from the little models themselves to magazines and Pinterest (I’ve developed an awful addiction to it!), and most of all seeing how the light falls during the session.
When did you first start out in portraiture photography?
A little over a year ago now, I guess my fast growth is due to a mix of my determination and practice. I have also been lucky enough to have clients that shout my praises for me, so nearly all clients have been from word of mouth which is just brilliant – thank you guys!
Where in the UK are you based and how far would you travel for a shoot?
I am in Shinfield, a village near Reading in Berkshire. For family sessions I travel up to 20 miles, but further afield for weddings.
How many portrait sessions do you shoot per year?
Around 35, I try to book no more than a couple in a week so that I can be sure of a relaxed and unrushed session, then plenty of time to edit their images. I also shoot weddings which makes things a heap busier in the summer months.
But I have my own little family and I try hard to not let business consume me, to still have plenty of me left for fun time with the two most important boys in my life.
Could you please share some details of a shoot you particularly enjoyed capturing?
I don’t think there is a shoot I haven’t enjoyed, but my favourites are always when clients come back for repeat sessions. It is great to know they love their photos so much that they return for more as their families grow up.
What would be your idea of a dream portraiture shoot?
A newborn shoot outside – sounds crazy, especially with our typically cool climate. But on one of those hot humid summer days it would be just perfect to take a new family to a pretty countryside location for a golden hour session with the sun setting and lots of yummy hazy back lit pictures.
What is your favourite age to photograph and why?
Babies under 10 days, they are just so delicate and precious. Since becoming a mum myself I am super soppy and just feel so lucky to be able to document the start of so many new lives.
What difficulties, if any, have you come across with portrait photography and how do you cope with them?
Oh well you always get the odd grouchy moment with little ones, it would be a weird world if we didn’t. But the nature of my shoots mean we have plenty of time to turn that around, whether it is for a snack, cuddles or time out for some play.
What advice would you give to parents that want you to photograph their little ones?
For newborns it is best to be early, book in after your 20 week scan; we always pencil a date in that can be adjusted. But it is one less thing to organise as the big day approaches. For the session itself, heat the house up super high, we want it nice and toasty for a snoozy baby and give them a big feed to be sure they’re content.
What camera(s) do you use for your portraiture work?
I am crazy about my Nikon D700, I have another as a backup that I always pack too.
And your favourite lenses?
It would probably be my 50 mm 1.4, but I do love my macro lens for the little details like eyelashes, flaky skin, pouty lips…
Do you use any lighting equipment?
I really try not to as I adore the softness of natural light. It is very rare that I need to set up any lighting, as a tiny space next to a window is ideal.
What advice would you give to wannabe portrait photographers?
Practice, practice, practice! Take your manual and try out all the different settings, play with your focus, understand the effect of your settings on exposure and just have fun with it discovering your own style.
What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?
When I changed from online ordering to home viewing sessions, I just loved seeing the parent’s reactions when seeing their photos for the first time. I get so excited as I drive to their house ready for them to see their pictures.
Out of all the photographs you have ever taken (professionally or otherwise), which is your favourite and why?
This was taken last year in Sardinia of my husband and son, I love how they are walking in time and oblivious of me and my camera.
P.S Sardinia. Is. Beautiful. So many stunning beaches and yummy wine too!
If you could capture anybody or anything on camera what would it be?
I’m easy – any people in love and enjoying life are what I adore capturing.
Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell me 5 things you like that are completely unrelated to photography?
- Emmental cheese
- Jasmine bushes
- Travelling around South East Asia
And 5 things you dislike?
- Grey days
- Fluffy jumpers
- Being cold
What are your aspirations for the future, in photography or otherwise?
To keep growing as an artist, pushing myself to try different things but remaining true to my style.
Debs & Hannah