Dreaming about photographing families

December 14, 2016

Do you know the feeling when you have a dream, you turn it over and over again in your mind, but you procrastinate and never do anything to make it come true? You think it will never happen, you are afraid of failure, of what other people will think if you try and it doesn’t work… I am pretty sure you know what I’m talking about. Well, this year, perhaps because of the fact that I am dangerously close to 40 (middle age crisis, you know), I decided to make my dream come true. And my dream was to launch this blog and to photograph families. Don’t be mistaken, I love taking photos of my kids. They are my biggest inspiration and my passion. But, as a lover of photography, taking photos for other people was something I have really dreamt about. And it is starting to happen.

My first family photography session

This post is about my first family session and, as the first, I think it will always be very special. Let me tell you a little bit about Alex and Barbara’s beautiful family. They are the perfect example of a multicultural modern family. Alex is Greek and Swiss and has two handsome Mediterranean boys from his previous marriage. Barbara is German and together they have two gorgeous girls: one has inherited the Bavarian genes and the other the Mediterranean ones. They are definitely the perfect family to photograph.

My approach to the session was very clear in my head. I am a big fan of natural light and lifestyle, documentary photography. This is what I tried to achieve, with a little bit of anxiety, let’s be honest, as it was my first session (and as I had had a C section a few weeks before!). I don’t know how familiar you are with lifestyle photography: the approach is totally different from a photo studio shooting when you go to a studio with your best clothes and perfect hair, and you pose for the photographer. In lifestyle photography, you meet with the photographer at your house or a place where you feel totally comfortable and where you can be yourself. This allows the photographer to document your family life and the beauty of ordinary moments. I’m talking about those pictures that, when you look at them in a few years, your mind goes back to the moment where your kids were little.

What I really wanted in this session was to capture Alex and Barbara’s children’s personalities, how they all interact with each other in their natural environment, what they do together in a regular day. I believe this kind of non posed photos reflect moments, feelings and everyday situations in a very genuine and emotional way.

That’s what I wanted to do in Alex and Barbara’s house. And that’s why most of the session focused on the thing they love the most: music. Alex is, in addition to many other things, a brilliant musician and he has passed his passion on to his kids. In their house, the piano has an important place. He plays, his older kids play, and the little ones dance while they play. You can’t imagine the feeling taking pictures of them while they were playing. Magic!

I also took quite a lot of pictures of them reading, running in the garden, and of the girls getting dressed and getting their hair done by their mum. You know how girls love this.

As a natural light lover, I used no flash and, at the beginning of the session, the cloudy day didn’t help us a lot. Despite that, this gave me the opportunity to get some very nice low key shots which reflect very well daily life.

Although I still have a lot to learn, I feel really proud and thankful to have had the opportunity to start to make my dream come true with such a beautiful family. But, instead of me talking about it, let me show you some of the pictures of the session and then you will understand better what I meant when I said “the perfect family”.

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Marta thank you for these amazing photos! Your ability to put everybody at ease during the session and your patience & passion were extraordinary.

The results are impressive from both an aesthetic and technical perspective. They capture real life and real emotions. Your discrete, non-intrusive approach was a key factor, no doubt.

I know I will treasure these photos forever and would recommend you at a heartbeat to anyone looking to capture some magical moments in the most honest, artful manner. See you very soon for another session!

Thank you so much for your kind words, Alex.
It was really fantastic to have the opportunity to shoot your family.

Lovely photos Martha! The one with “dropping trousers” is definitely my favorite! You are super talented and love your work and new blog! X nienke

Thank you so much, Nienke. You are so kind.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.