BABY PORTRAIT SESSION IN THE PARK
I first met Michaela two years ago in a hotel room on her wedding day. I had been invited to second shoot for Photographer Tony Gameiro and this was the first experience I ever had of being a photographer at a Wedding. Michaela was excited, open and vivacious and had a quality that made every one feel at home and welcome, and on that day I fell in love with shooting Weddings. I took a photograph of Michaela singing a line from the famous song in the Dirty Dancing movie towards the mirror while getting ready, and this remains one of my favourite portfolio getting ready images. So, I was chuffed when she asked me to photograph her now not so little baby Alec. This was like the continuation of a story I had briefly been part of.
We met at Mote Park, which I had never been to before, but which was immediately impressive and beautiful. It was a day where you don’t need a coat, with a lovely care free feeling about it. We began to walk and look for a good spot to start.
It feels completely different photographing a baby to photographing a young child. There is definitely less movement and unpredictability, purely because babies are not yet that mobile and this really placed the focus of the session firmly on capturing Alec’s expression and engagement. Absolutely the best asset I had in capturing both of these in a genuine way was most definitely Michaela. The connection between her and Alec is so strong, and he absolutely adored her. While he was clearly developing the urge to look outwards and explore, he knew where she was at all times. Michaela intuitively knew what to do to cause a smile, a squeal of excitement, a look of interest through the genuine and deep connection she has with her little boy. She came armed with drinks, nappies, clothes and toys; the luggage that all mums need to carry around for the first few years of a child’s life. She knew exactly how to prepare for a day out in a way I have almost forgotten.
So my job as a photographer became about placing Alec in good light and in situations which we felt were safe, but where he could start to engage with what was around him. The sun was hot and very high in the sky, so we sought shade and at other times looked to place Alec with the sun behind him, to achieve a different look to the photographs. We chatted and walked, enjoyed the heat and the gentle pace of the morning and little Alex was just placid and adorable throughout
Michaela most definitely did all the hard work on this shoot and all the laughter, love and looks for reassurance in the resulting photographs are for her, so she is present in all of the images even though you can’t see her.