Holmes Chapel in Cheshire has become an important destination for me over the last ten years. I’ve photographed lifestyle family portrait photography sessions, pet portrait photography sessions and equine portrait sessions in and around in some of Cheshire’s most beautiful villagesincluding Holmes Chapel regularly since 2010. The village and the surrounding countryside make beautiful backgrounds for family portrait photography.
When I went to photograph this session late last autumn we had a beautiful day and a bit too much sun really. I think photographers are a but like farmers; always complaining about the weather. Our clients booked this session because they wanted an up to date family portrait to give to Granny for her birthday. They also wanted the chance to have new portrait photographs of their own family groups, of their children and individual portraits of each person.
For me, family portraits are really important as they are a legacy for future generations, as well as a record of a family at a particular moment in time, captured forever. Family groups are special because they show a group of people and the relationships between them. It’s rare to find an exceptionally interesting location to use as a backdrop but in the first picture we were able to use the garden swing to bring everyone together and then arrange them in their family groups with as much symmetry as possible. I love symmetrical images that are well balanced. Everyone is looking athlete camera in this photograph because it’s what Granny wants. That’s how she wants to see her family who no longer live with her.
The individual portraits were each taken capture the faces of each person. Again, like the main picture, the parents wanted photos with the children looking into the camera so they had eye contact when viewing the photographs. As the natural light was quite harsh I used fill in flash from my Profoto B2 with a 24″ collapsible beauty dish with the bounce card removed. I photographed the whole session using a Canon 5d Mk iv camera and used 50mm and 85mm lenses.
Often it’s more interesting to take portrait photographs where the person is not looking at the camera, almost as though they are unaware ofd being photographed and I love this style, particularly in an environmental portrait. However when a client is commissioning you to photograph them and their family it’s important to understand what they want to achieve from the session.