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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Documentary Family Photographer. Cat and Mouse & other (new) 2024 stories...

Updated: Apr 18

Step into the world of Cara Hodge Photography, your go-to for authentic family moments in Dublin. Join me as I capture the essence of family life through genuine connections and unscripted beauty, specializing in natural family photography that includes documentary family photography.

I am not a big person for New Year's resolutions, but I know that in 2024, as well as focusing on my natural family photography freelance business here in Dublin, I also want to make time for my own photography projects. Concentrating on child environmental portraits, & documentary family. Still working with black & white, but also refining my colour style.

To help with developing professionally as a family photographer, I rejoined Click Pro Elite. I am absolutely loving, with coffee in hand, scrolling through the gorgeous online directory of talented Click Pro Elite members. This year I am looking forward to submitting to the Daily Project as well as the 2024 Voice awards on this professional platform.

There is so much talent on this platform, and LOTS of wonderful photographers across all genres of family & lifestyle photography.

My lovely badge of honor. I love the colour scheme of this gorgeous website too! It's happy & cheerful, just what's needed...

Click pro elite badge. cara hodge photography, natural family photographer dublin is now a member of click pro elite. for professiona, world class family & lifestyle photographers, directory, projects and Voice awards

ALSO, I joined This Is Reportage: Family. I have just submitted to their first awards round....Again, so much to absorb, looking at all the member's portfolios, and all the past award winners in documentary family photography style. It's a challenge to see what I can submit, looking through all my past projects on the Google drive, also on the ancient memory sticks - are there any pictures I have missed, that are perfectly imperfect? That I missed out selecting because, at the time, I thought they were too messy, too imperfect? Yep, I'm going to have fun this year in 2024...That's pure unscripted moments which are completely un-posed. (This Is Reportage: Family/Cara Hodge)

This is Reportage Family: Cara Hodge photography is a member of this is reportage family. entering awards for documentary natural family photographers. international best documentary family photographers

Being a member of these exciting, dynamic platforms is a great way to push myself in exciting, emotive areas of family photography, and go in the direction of my personal goals. These are to continue refining my child portrait photography, with some posing to create dramatic, emotive portraits - and at the other end of the spectrum - to create more documentary projects & embracing all the messy & chaotic moments of family life. Including the ugly beautiful and the beautiful ugly. In other words, embracing imperfection in style & technique when it helps the story unfold, as well as the moments themselves!

Here's an update. I won two awards in the recent round & you can see them here.

One is of the cat catching the mouse, featured further down on this blog. The second is here below, my son washing our Frenchie called Tony in the shower. Very thrilled.

french bull dog being washed by boy in the shower
Showering Tony

A vintage inspired colour edit.

On a more specific note. Lately, I've really been focused on de-saturating my child & family portraits when in colour. I have always been a fan of darker more muted colour - but what if it's full sun? Often my family sessions can be at any time of the day! Well, I have always been an admirer of the more subtle de-saturated portrait for a long time but unclear how to adopt it in my own editing style. Here is an example of a new edit I am excited about: my daughter tying back her hair...

young beautiful girl tying back her heair in a field. natural child and teenager portraits in an outdoor setting
Hair Up

And here is one more picture also edited in the same fashion. Let's see where it takes me...

little boy with shaved head and a lightening bold cut into it holding a little kitten as sister stands close holding flowers. family photography in your own home and garden. award winning

Also, in 2024 I am going to be working on my documentary family project: My Family & Other Animals...which started with my son washing Zara the cat, and getting Tony, our cute and naughty new Frenchie last winter (He is now 1 year and 2 months)...more to come on this project.

I have been photographing the bond between children, young & old (and by old I mean us adults) and their beloved pets for a long time...and on that note...

Back to my old blog post...

I've included a few more family portraits with pets on this blog post.

I always find that our pets bring out magical moments of connection in family sessions - our pets are so much part of our lives. I have also included two of my favorites with Miss Tiddlywinks that were both featured in international child photo competition, best of black & white child photography

I welcome you to bring your dog on any family session with me!

This portrait of my son watching Tiddlywinks catch the mouse was shortlisted for the 2020 Documentary Family Awards, an international award. I also took 5th place in the Nothing Is Better Than Real Life category for a picture of my son at a family dinner in France. Best moments from my family documentary sessions are in the award section of this website!

award winning family portrait of boy watching a cat capture a mouse mid air. shortlisted at international family awards

boy watching a cat capturing a mouse, child portrait

It happened so fast.

Tiddlywinks had her eye on something. She jumped. Pounced....I don't know if I saw the mouse before I clicked the shutter button.

Certainly I hadn't seen THIS coming

It was only when I looked back through the pictures on my camera that I saw.

The mouse in the upper left hand corner of the frame.


I was taking some personal family portraits of my son by the window (...I love end of day window light...). I just hadn't counted on Miss Tiddlywinks spying the mouse!

My son Ben rescued Miss Tiddlywinks from the streets of Abu Dhabi when she was a small kitten.

Her mum was a domestic turned street cat with lots of white fluffy hair.

A new mum, she only had the one kitten with her. Miss Tiddlywink's dad was (we think) was a ruffian. A bandit. A street fighting, kebab toting street king.

The dad disappeared and the mum left Tiddlywinks on the doorstep of our home.

A tiny thing.

Mewing to be picked up the whole time. Even then, she knew how to survive. She had us from hello.

The love affair started between Tiddlywinks and my son. Wherever he went, Tiddlywinks was sure to be. And vice-versa. Ben had her in a truck. In a cardboard fort. In his bed. She put up with anything my four year old son wanted. She was "his".

She came all the way from Abu Dhabi to Dublin, Ireland, when we relocated in 2018.

(I forgot to mention, she was the star in some many of my favorite family & child pictures with my son. I'll have to post my favorite photographs of Miss Tiddlywinks...) She was a wonderful companion for our impromptu family photo shoots shoots here at home in Blackrock, Dublin.

 Miss Tiddlywinks: Loud purring, big cuddles, adventurer, escapee, mouse-catcher.

We miss you so much Miss Tiddlywinks x

I am a professional child, newborn & family photographer based in Dublin. I LOVE documentary style Fly On The Wall photography. That's moments that come up naturally in a family photography session. I also love to add expressive child & baby portraits into my sessions. That's a more classic portrait that takes into consideration the setting of a portrait.

To find out more about, specifically, my natural documentary family photographer Dublin "style", have a good look around my website including my Gallery to take in my look n feel and contact me to ask about a session.

Cara Hodge Photography is committed to crafting authentic stories that resonate. I look forward to capturing more cherished memories together with your family in Dublin. Whether you're seeking a family photographer, a family photo shoot, or the best in documentary, I'm here to bring your moments to life.

Cara xx

boy playing with giant crocodile in a huge paddling pool
Croc attack!

award winning child portrait of boy with cat in bath

award winnning child portrait of dog with cat in bed

award winning child portrait with cat who has paw over child's face


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