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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Family portraits Dublin. With our new Frenchie.

Say Hi to Tony, our new Frenchie! I've updated this post with some recently edited boy & Frenchie pictures from February when we first bought Tony home (yep..the pup's called Tony).


My dear beloved Pomeranian dog Pebbles passed on January 1st 2023, leaving a big void in our hearts. I sat with the grief, but walking around Dublin parks brought too many memories, and in the end, Tony was welcomed into our home. We don't replace a dog, they are all so different...


Tony is very sweet (and small, for the time being). And here are some first pictures of him as a 3 month old pup. (newly updated).


little boy on master bed holding his french bull dog puppy, and puppy peering up at him. by cara hodge, family portraits dublin

Sometimes I have to decide between black & white and color portraits for my child & family photography Dublin. If I'm undecided, I will try both and see which one I like best. For more classic black & white child portraits please go here. In general, classic black & white is my FAVORITE, but experimenting with color is something I never get tired of. There is so much possibility to color, my preference being dark, rich & natural color tones which are usually from LOW LIGHT conditions, where there is strong contrast between light & shade. Alternatively I like pale colors in my child color portraits, again with not too much saturation.


Some of these child portraits with puppy were shot with a polorizer lens ( not needed in winter, an accident on my behalf. But a happy accident as they led to sombre tones I really like here and a lot less saturation. (Something I will explore more of with the polorizer filter...)


When it comes to my family portraits Dublin, I never do an automatic black & white "conversion" from color. I hand edit all my black & white portraits from scratch. Layering different black & white effects to create texture & depth.

boy looking at his french puppy in bed by window light illiminating some skin in profile.

Tony the Frenchie pup likes to snooze (A LOT), and bite on people's socks, even when they are being worn by someone. Also likes to chew on the bottom of frocks & trousers. He has a thing for tennis balls, sticks, and dandelions (he likes to eat them)

He has an affectionate, sweet, & most famously for the breed, clown like nature. He doesn't snort too much except when excited, (...thankfully his nose is not too flat...)

My family photography journey started by documenting my own family story, The Beginning, as the kids grew up, first in Abu Dhabi U.A.E, and now here in Dublin Ireland.


Here is my son playing with Tony with an old Reebok trainer. I deliberately sat them down on old newspaper to give the child portrait a sort of old world "ragamuffin" charm. I also gave my son the oldest shoe I could find to try and create a timeless, old-feeling, portrait.

boy dangling an old batterred trainer for his french bull dog puppy to play with. award winning child and family portraits dublin by cara hodge

When I am doing at home newborn photography, or family photography Dublin at someone's house, having good window light makes all the difference!

My favorite light for indoor family pictures is LOW light. But even with low light, I need a slither of natural light to highlight features on the face.

This can create dramatic family portraits, reminiscent of a painting.


In this case, with our French Bulldog pup, an hour before sunset, the cloudy weather meant little light. (These pictures were first taken in February when Tony was only 3 months).

You can tell how dark & cold it was on this afternoon in January by the steely stark, cool tones of the color picture. To warm these pictures up would look off. Cold weather creates naturally cool family portraits as opposed to warm portraits from golden hour light. On top of this cold light, I had kept a polorizer filter on my camera by accident.

But I'd say a happy accident because next to black & white, I LOVE dark muted color tones that are less bright & saturated!

child in dressing gown holding french bull dog puppy and old battered show on old newspaper. award winning family photography dublin by cara hodge

I am still going through and updating my series of "Tony Pictures"...watch this space.

boy staring into camera with stern look as he holds an old trainer show with trailing laces for frenchie pup to play with

And, by the way, I LOVE to include pets in my family photography Dublin sessions.


I find that pets really bring out the best in people. They help generate candid, authentic connection. Promote especially tight knit family interactions with lots of connection. When people are naturally warm, open & receptive it makes for the best family portraits. You can see my maternity Dublin photo shoot with two sweet Daschunds here. Also portraits with my Pomeranian, Pebbles in an Autumn photo shoot Dublin.


In January 2023, I introduced some exciting winter mini family photography sessions in my local area. That's a Blackrock park & garden or low tide at Seapoint.

Plenty of options to choose from with my lifestyle & family sessions. Gems, Luxe and The Family Keepsake are my main packages but a la carte print products are available as well.

You can go for a complete digital gallery that allows you to print as and when you like. I have information I give my families about a professional, gallery quality printers here in Dublin that does luxurious mat printing. I also have packages that include albums & fine art books, professionally printed in Yorkshire UK. The albums come in a range of the finest quality covers, both leather & material. A large variety of different colors to choose from.

Read more about my family photography Dublin session packages here.


I am an award winning family photographer with over 10 years experience photographing families, children, babies & newborns! My work has been internationally published & I am passionate about black & white portrait photography .


On location family portraits Dublin in a place you love & feel at home. Please see more Dublin family photo shoots here, where I have some of my fave pictures from the session. Here is my main gallery of family highlights.


For best family photography Dublin moments, and natural at home newborn photography - please contact me to find out more. Simply fill out the contact form & I will get right back to you!


Cara x


family portrait with boy holding french bull dog, close up of pup's face & blue eyes. natural family photographer dublin by cara

detail of boy's hand holding puppy, award winning photo

family portrait with boy and frenchie puppy playing in bedroom, at home natural playing

award winning family portrait with boy in robe smiling tumbling with new puppy

detail of french bulldog face & expression, family portrait of child with puppy

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