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boy sitting on a wall amongst pink bougainvillea blossom with bog flower blooms in soft focus in foreground and hazy summer light.


learning family photography dublin with cara.

If you want to have fun learning to take more expressive and emotive photos of your family, children, or baby, you have come to the right place. Or anyone (or anything) you love.
Because here's the thing. When we connect with what we love best, we can feel our way into taking beautiful pictures.

Photographs are less seen with the eye than felt with the heart.

With that said, we learn to let go of perfection. Pursuit of perfection can get in the way of exploration & learning, and above all, get in the way of making really interesting pictures. Pictures that are emotive precisely in the life they hold, aside from, and because of, imperfection. Yet effortless pictures that just look right (even if sometimes they should be wrong), takes time & practice to achieve.

It definitely helps to know the "exposure triangle":
Shutter, aperture, ISO. Learning manual mode is incredibly helpful for you to begin to express what you want to express. Where technical know how meets with your own creativity, inspiration & instinct that cannot be learned in a text book or a camera manual. You have it inside you!

I have designed these 4 lessons below as starting points on your photographic journey. They are available to absolute beginners who want to start exploring photography. They are also there for more practiced photographers who want to further their craft by taking part in these workshops. All workshops will be a mixture of taking pictures, with and without me, editing what you've taken, and going through them together. The workshops will include themed shoots to get creativity flowing, selection of pictures to tell a photo story, and a look at your editing preferences.

The workshops reflect my passion for the environmental child portrait, sometimes using natural objects in the environment as props. Portraits that tells us something honest about a child, how they are feeling in the moment, & how we feel looking at them. The picture is the result of the emotional exchange between two. There is a commonality between the child
environmental portrait and documentary family photography. Both capture authentic, natural expression in different and the same ways.

Bio at a glance: You can see my published work & awards HERE.

(Also, I promise you, we will have fun creating these memories for yourself!)


Yes, I'd like to book/ find out more!

Thanks for submitting!

cara hodge photographer: family photographer dublin & child portrait photographer. learn photography with cara. based in blackrock, south co. dublin

as a gift? vouchers available towards all workshops

half length workshop 4 hours: 375

The emotive child
(flexible hours)


2 weeks in person & online interactive workshop. Including going out on shoots together and liaising with me in person. or on Zoom.

This course is designed to create more emotive, expressive, storytelling family portraits.

A focus on the lifestyle environmental portrait & exploring connection. Going  deeper by exploring gesture & "in between" expressions.

Using every day objects lying around the environment, readily at hand, to  create focal points to create more passionate, unusual & storytelling themes.

Exploring the influences on own personality we can explore our personal  creative voice. We see the world as we are & our most powerful emotive pictures will be a reflection of who we truly are. An expression of our hopes, dreams, and everything we have ever experienced.

Creating 2 photo stores of 10 picture each based on a theme you would like to explore.

young boy looking down at french bull dog puppy who is staring up at hime with big, appealing eyes.
boy leaning down and washing cat in the shower with blurry water on the shower screen through condensation

Letting go of perfection
(flexible hours)


2 weeks online & in person interactive workshop. Including shoots and  liasing with me in person or over Zoom.

Understanding the textbook definitions of what makes a good picture. The exposure triangle, light, composition e.g, rule of thirds. And then why we need to break the rules sometimes.

Let go of "perfection" and explore what scares - imperfection, getting it plain wrong. Tricky lighting conditions, such as hard light & low (or little to no) light.

Embracing old cameras and equipment that aren't top of the range to show that a picture is more than equipment. It really is the ghost in the machine!

What creativity resides in the flawed. How imperfect child & family portraits can hide treasure for expressive storytelling pictures.

Themed photo shoots and 2 photo stories.

The documentary  child
(flexible hours)


2 weeks online & in person interactive workshop. Including going out on shoots together and liaising with me in person. or on Zoom.


This course is aimed at people who want to capture portraits of their children as honestly as possible.Including our older children, teenagers & young adults.

The fundamentals of documentary family photography & focusing particularly on environmental child portraits with some staging when appropriate.

In this Insta generation, there is a push for flawless, unquestioning beauty.

However a smile can eclipse every other emotion.

Exploring connecting with our children that allows us to capture honest emotions & gestures in more powerful ways. Moments of uncertainty that create intrigue.

A project centered around gesture, including hands, and facial expressions

teenage girl with mascara running down her eye and face as she looks frankly into the camera with unruly hair across her face and a background of summer blooms in soft focus
young boy with arms wrapped around face leaning across a chopping block on a kitchen counter with remnants of food such as onions and ginger and garlic and a statue of a greek goddess next to him.

Using props in fine art child portraits
(flexible hours)


2 weeks on line & in person interactive workshop. Including going out on shoots together and liaising with me in person. or on Zoom.


Ever wondered how to use props naturally in child portrait photography?

This workshop is about creating fine art child portraits that are compelling and have a story telling, sometimes quirky, element. 

You can be influenced by any objects you find lying around your home to create stories. There may be a still life element to these portraits.

You will be asked to explore the art that you are drawn to - it may be paintings, music and other photographers that inspire you to tell a story.

There will be time dedicated to editing the black & white child portrait.

Project developed around working with 3 props that can be easily found in your environment or purchased if you wish.


young woman in light white cotton dress and rope sandals laughing with her knees up in a rusty wheelbarrow
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