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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

At Home Family Photography Dublin. The stories so far...

So, here is a quick catch up. Some of my recent at home family photography Dublin. Updated just this week with some new edited pictures. I am usually working on a few projects at the same time. I go between them all whenever I get the chance to shoot new pictures.

Often these pictures are indoor family portraits. Simply because it is easy. I can take 5-15 minutes to photograph my son. With a bit of bribery he might do the classic or quirky portraits using props that we figure out together. If it's documentary, I make the most of moments that arise naturally at home when he's not glued to his gaming device!!

In those natural, unscripted moments he is often interacting with the pets (Tony the Frenchie & Zara the cat).

(By the way, it can literally take a few weeks (or months) for me to get round to editing pictures taken in the last couple of months!)

Here is a new series I've been working on. My son and Tony, the French bulldog puppy we brought home in Feb when he was 3 months, playing together. Now he is close on 7 months and has grown so much in a space of 4 months. He's transformed. We have also seen the transition from cool, dark, short winter days to... summer. This is reflected in the pictures I have taken of him at home. From cool to golden light...

Lately I've been working on shooting quickly (more quickly & without hesitation) at home so as not to miss out on the action. Here is my son playing on the master bed with the pup in end of day golden hour light.

"Fly On The Wall" - Documentary Family Photography.

This style of photography - documentary style - is all about capturing the action as it unfolds naturally. With no interference from me. I offer no guidance and simply react to what I am observing. There is no posing.

boy looking into the eye of his pup square on. On the master bed with golden light, end of day. emotive at home family photography dublin
The Face Off

Finding ways to show the connection between the two of them playing. Looking out for expression & gesture. When I make my way through the pictures I have taken, I'm looking out for the portraits that best show the connection. Also more unusual or interesting compositions. If I don't have enough pictures from a short 5 minute photo shoot, I can always return to the theme of the two of them playing on a different day.

boy dangling fingers in front of french bull dog puppy on the master bed in golden end of day light
Jingle Jangle

Paying attention to all the parts of the body as the two of them play together. In this case my son's legs are getting so long as he becomes a teenager. Just like our puppy, he is growing & changing. I love how his feet are big but his ankles still so small & fragile...

wrestling playfully with puppy on bed at home on the master bed with a floral print in natural window light
Wrestle Me

I am playing on de-saturating my color child & family portraits Dublin. I am a big fan of deep, rich & darker natural color tones as well as lighter colors. In either case I love muted, less saturated tones. I am always learning about what works & what doesn't in terms of color. All editing is always a work in progress, (I've found my voice but the pitch changes, something like that...).

Boy playing with french bulldog puppy, each on opposite sides of bed. family photography dublin by cara. at home photo shoots.

Aside from my son & Tony series which is ongoing, I am working on a photo story which involves Zara our long haired cat being showered. This is allowing me to practice more spontaneous family photography. I haven't blogged my favorites from this session yet (I hope to soon!). Now I want him to shower this space.

young boy washing his cat in the shower with water droplets on shower door. at home natural documentary family photography dublin by cara
Washing Zara

I may end up, I'm mulling this over as I write, with a photo story called "My family And Other Animals" based on the Gerard Durrel's book of the same name. Basically, life with children & pets. In this case I will be limited to our own family's modest number of "animals" (one boy, one cat & a dog). I'll see what happens as the pictures evolve...I even have some old pictures of my son from a couple of years ago with our cat Miss Tiddlywinks who was a rescued street kitten. I wonder what they would look like revisited in color..?

You can catch up on my documentary family photography on my Fly On The Wall page here. For unscripted family photography in the comfort of your own home & garden. This genre of family photography Dublin is great for Dublin family photo shoots with small children & babies who are messy & chaotic.

Further reading: Documentary Family Photography. "Nothing Is Better Than Real Life" awards. A great look at some inspiring documentary family pictures from all over the world.

Classic child & family portraits. (Including environmental child portraits.)

The main difference between documentary family photography and classic child & family portraits is that this genre allows for a degree of posing. The aim as ever, however, is to create an honest, natural portrait.

I personally love to use a bit of posing or guidance and, in particular, to create an environmental child portrait which tells something about the child in their environment. In this case, I might look to which elements in the surroundings, or props at hand, might help "tell the story."

This portrait of my son and Tony the french bulldog is from a series I blogged about again just last weekend. In this case I used an old, battered (and soon to be chucked or recycled) Reebok trainer. Here in winter light, earlier in the year, the colors are naturally darker & cooler. You can see more pictures from this series, family portraits Dublin: boy with a french bulldog puppy here.

boy playing with his french puppy with an old Reebok trainer with dangling laces.. at home child photography
Playing With Pup

"Quirky" Fine Art Child Portraits

These are less environmental child portraits and more "quirky". Using props to simply create atmospheric child portraits. This is a black & white series I am currently mid way through editing with my son and a vase of tulips. I used a bunch of glasses that were to hand & had just come out of the dishwasher simply to reflect light and create shapes. Sometimes with these sorts of child portraits its about having fun, being silly, experimenting & exploring compositions that are aesthetically pleasing just for the sake of it. A still life with a tongue in cheek twist.

Further reading: Black & White Child Photo Competition 2018, Bored Panda. Here, some of my personal black & white child portraits

boy with tulip in his mouth in a kitchen at home in golden hour natural light. at home family photography by cara.
Tulip Fever

boy resting againt kitchen counter with collection of vases catching the light.

Dramatic lighting where there is a high contrast between highlights & shadows works well for a black & white child or family portrait.

Sometimes these child portraits merge into documentary family photography.

He will genuinely forget he is being photographed. A truly natural expression or gesture will happen.. Some of my published fine art black & white child portraits are on this blog post (below at the end).

Whenever I do a family, child or newborn photo shoot at someone's home in Dublin, I will always look out for rooms with the best light. I will notice walls that are lit by sunlight. Mirrors can also be places which reflect a lot of light, and are great for portraits with reflections. For natural newborn at home pictures I will simply ask you to throw open the curtains & blinds and let in the light! You can find out more in my frequently answered questions. How to prepare for a family photo shoot outdoors or in the comfort of your own home

To see more pictures from my family sessions please see my family highlights page. You should find a mix of documentary, environmental child & quirky fine art here - in some way, shape & form they overlap each other and help inform my family photography sessions in Dublin. Whether it be an outdoor photo shoot or at home indoors.

For more information on my family photography Dublin sessions, or documentary family sessions, please Contact me.

Have a great week, Cara xxx

award winning child portrait, boy near chopping board in the kitchen

boy next to a book open with page of a dancer

child portrait showing boy in fig tree

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