• Cara Hodge

In the Dordogne over this long hot summer, there are two rivers to cool down in - The Dordogne and The Vézère, the latter being a tributary of the former. The rivers run through the Dordogne valley, famous for steep cliiffs and forests as well as extensive farmlands. This area, after all, has been dubbed the food basket of France. Also famous for The Ratatouille movie - remember the tag-line? Everyone can cook. Anyway. For children, as well as tasty treats, the rivers are so much fun to swim in, and escape from the intense heat of July & August. Just outside Les Eyzies, there is a part of the river sheltered by trees and with a rope swing. We go there quite often. On this particular day I'd bought my camera - a Nikon D610, and Sigma Art lens - and was trying to get some shots of my son in his element, hurling himself into the river from a rope swing. Unstaged, spontaneous. This picture is one of a few dozen I took of him playing. With any lifestyle, family & child photography, it can be great to hang back and get the children in motion, in the middle of whatever moment rocks their world. Let go, and let the moment take you. In whatever direction. The action can be fast, unpredictable. Unscripted. It can be best to just shoot fast and look later. Often the imperfect photograph triumphs. A picture can have elements of blur, over or under exposure, an unusual caught-in-the-moment composition (how often have I loved haphazard pictures of people just entering or leaving the frame?). So wrong it's right. Precious moments can be preserved forever with this sort of uninhibited lifestyle, child & family photography. As Alice in Wonderland asks: How long is forever? and the White Rabbit replies, "Sometimes, just one second." The time it takes to let go. Fly. Take wings. I am back in Blackrock, Dublin, in just a few days, and I can't wait to take on new clients. Send me a message from the Contact me section of this website for more information on my sessions and mini sessions, Cara xc

e: "How long is forever?" White Rabbit: "Sometimes, just one second" Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll

Updated: 5 days ago

The other day, still on holiday in France, I took some pictures of my son with an old frame I found lying about. This picture, here below, is what I might call an "in-between" moment. A moment in-between the shots I was concentrating on trying to get. But being a bit of a joker, a bit of a messer as they say in Ireland, he started to really have some fun. Revelling in his own love of being the centre of attention, and here, literally, centre-frame. This resulted in a moment with his head was thrown back in a beautiful radiant smile. My absolutely favourite photographs do not always have obvious emotions, such as laughter, as I tend to favour a mood that is less distinct, even mysterious if I'm lucky enough to capture that. A little quirky, even. There can be so much to be gleaned in the eyes, mouth, even the placement of hands in an effective portrait...And, after all, a big smile usually eclipses every other emotion possible. However in lifestyle photography, and child & family photography, what parent doesn't want to see their child really thriving, radiant, and happy?! Unbridled, unapologetic joy. In these rough times, who doesn't want to see a genuine smile. This photograph makes me happy, forget for a moment about what's more effective artistically. Black & white portraits are wonderful for capturing a moment of raw emotion. Soulful black & whites are atmospheric and dramatic, and timeless. Often classic in tone. The best have a wonderful contrast of light and shade, emphasising the blacks and whites to best effect. Aside from the smiling boy below, though, I am taking on clients for photo sessions. Sessions for portraits, including engagement, maternity, new baby, family & child photography, and any other special occasions. Including the debs. Please see my client section for examples of my photographs there, Cara x

  • Cara Hodge

I am still in Perigord Noir with 10 days or so before I return to Blackrock, Dublin. The days are still hot and sunny - truly the long dog-days of summer. At least for a few weeks more. The house here belonged to my dad, and before him, my grandparents, so it's been a summer getaway since I was a wee child running about in, from what old photographs have captured, not much and yellow wellies. Over the years we have renovated the old barn and have still to renovate the essential farm house that stands in the old meadow that is often dotted with hay bales. Anyways. We have done a lot of renovation and work in general to the house, including reupholstering, sorting through the bits and bobs that have gathered over the years, a bit of dust. A whole lot of memories...We still come across the odd item. In this case, an old picture frame begging for new bright picture. Well then. The other day I did a photography session (aka snapped a few pictures in under 10 mins) of my son and an stray frame. He had fun framing himself and I had fun trying to see how both he, and simultaneously, the landscape could be framed. A frame within a frame, very meta indeed...Props, indeed, can be a great starting point to a storytelling aspect of a picture. Don't get me wrong, I love love documentary & street photography, real and authentic and spontaneous. However, it can be a rare thing to get the composition, light, and storytelling aspect all at once, eek!! When It happens, it's awesome, but it can be a hard ask. Props then, can add a little helping hand, a gentle push in the right direction. You don't really want a giant shove. Nothing too obvious and stilted and hey! Here I am with this prop. From there, though, something authentic can come in and of itself, as long as the engagement with the prop feels genuine. Anyways we had a bit of fun at least, a bit of a craik as they say in Dublin, Ireland. I will have to go through the best ones in Dublin, when I get back to Blackrock and have a bit of extra time. Mood. Storytelling. Gesture and expression. Emotion. Raw emotion. These are all aspects to be considered in a portrait. I love black & white photography for its ability to create, or rather, draw out, raw emotion in a picture. I'll be back in Blackrock Dublin in a couple of weeks so please contact me for more info on photography sessions. My Dublin photography sessions include long sessions, and minis. For portrait, engagement, maternity, new baby, and child & family photography. I'm also keen for Debs photography too! For all your Dublin photographer questions please go to the Contact me section here of my website. Cara x

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Cara Hodge Photography Blackrock Dublin