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  • Katie Martin-Sperry

Behind the scenes this week...

Updated: Mar 5, 2023

This week you get a little sneaky peak into posing and capturing the magic on a family shoot.

I photographed this lovely family about 2 years ago and I kid you you not, when I tell you it has taken about a year to schedule this session in. I think this was our fourth time lucky! Earlier this year, the night before the scheduled shoot, I got a text message saying " I am so sorry, my youngest has got a whopping black eye" or a "high temperature" so it has certainly been a long time coming. This is certainly not the first and with all the bugs going around and recent wet weather, my diary has been a constant juggle!

I thought I would share with you some behind the scenes, shot by my trusty side kick Verity.

Before the shoot session commences, I always do a quick recce of the house, for the most light and airy rooms, as I shoot only in natural light conditions. This sitting room was beautiful, pockets of light coming in from both directions with pretty neutral furnishings, it was the dream!

As we gather around for a quick prep talk on how the session will run, a mum will often say, "we're not very good at this" or "I don't know how to sit and pose naturally?" That is, drum roll....where I come in.

I always tend to start with the family shot first, by getting them all to sit on the sofa naturally as if I was a fly on the wall and watch them all interact as if I wasn't there. I then creep in and start getting up close and personal, getting mum to smell hair, or point to the person with the smelliest feet, it always gets a few laughs!

The session usually lasts around an hour, so I keep the room moving and break up the dynamics of the family, to individual or kid group shots. A tickle competition can often be a great way to break any stiff smiles.

These two were an absolute dream behind the camera, very natural. They both came up with their own posing suggestions, which I always welcome as a sign of their little personalities shining through.

As mums, I always find myself sitting on the floor with my little one, getting down to their level and in reality, it is where I spent a lot of my time...picking up tiny beads that have unleashed themselves across the house!! Often it is where mums find it most comfortable!

One-on-ones with Mum are always fun involving staring competitions, eskimo kisses, or discussing what is on the Christmas list will get some genuine looks of joy!

I know I don't tend to advertise the cheesy family portrait of everyone looking at the camera, but rest assured that is usually what grandma is after, so I will certainly make sure I capture that for you. Also, I think it is also important to capture portraits of the kids to really encapsulate their age at this moment in time.

For me, the reason why I love home shoots is to capture is the home and surrounding environment.

I always think it is wonderful to be able to look back in time and remember the garden, the favourite tree or the terrace where many a lunches were had.

I do love watching the kids engage with one another. I try and set up a classic posed photo and then sit back and watch the chaos unravel which breaks into unexpected and energy fulled photos!

At the end of the session, we'll burn off a little steam outside and often get requests from the kids for specific shots that they want to do. These guys were such sports! In this case it was jumping in the pool with all their clothes on, Mum was also quite up for it!!

It was such a fun and energetic session and the photos will hopefully be a lasting memory of Singapore as kids in years to come.

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