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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

The Unscripted child. Natural family photography Dublin.

Candid natural family photography, of my nearest & dearest. My little & big niece here. An ongoing family project.


These were taken in Glastonbury, England. But whenever I get the chance to capture raw, unscripted family moments, I do. I love to include this "Fly On The Wall" authentic family portraits in my family sessions in Dublin. As well as classic, "eyes on me" family portraits, I love spontaneous connection. Those moments you can't plan for!

They just happen!

Natural family photography Dublin that is also known as documentary family photography


Here was a week in the garden last summer, documenting how the sisters play. My beloved nieces. With documentary family photography I want to see the smiles, laughter, joy. In this series, I also want to see the emotions that come fast & furious. The fury, the exasperation & impatience. The sadness (yes, sometimes, the tears...)


(Even, the boredom...) That's because family life is never perfect and that's okay.

And the emotions which are harder to define, that leave the viewer guessing, are the most compelling for award winning family photography...


When I have a LOT of family pictures to look over, I will start off by pulling each one in Photoshop. Doing a quick edit. If I LOVE the emotion in the picture, it should stand out straight away. Family photography should always aim to illicit emotion.


I will always go back & give a lot of time & attention to the editing process of the family portraits that make the final cut! You can see the complete series: "Untamed Summer Story" HERE. For this particular series, I love classic black & white which brings out the drama of the storytelling and the light. This series was shot in HARD LIGHT with a capital H. THIS MADE IT A CHALLENGE! This meant embracing the glare of midday summer light. In particular, high contrast between light & shade. The sun at its highest point in the sky creates short, sharp INTENSE shadows. It can be seen to best effect here in black & white.


I have to make this light part of the DRAMA. The business of light & shade mirrors the busy activity of the girls... It is also excellent practice for family photography Dublin sessions that might be outside at noon. For example, a communion family portrait session I shot recently at 2pm on a really bright day in Donadea Forest Park, Kildare. It is so important to adapt to intense light. More on this communion family session soon on the blog...


Meanwhile...here in Dublin, Ireland...Spring time family photography Dublin mini sessions. You can find out more about my most recent three popular lifestyle & family sessions here. Including my seasonal minis HERE


There are some AMAZING cherry blossom trees around my local area of Blackrock & Seapoint. I've noticed dramatic shadows cast by the cherry blossom trees. I am dying to capture some child & family portraits with these beautiful shadows cast on the grass. These shadows, unlike the short ones in midday light here, are lengthened in the evening. Creating beautiful patterns in flattering golden hour light. Here is an example of a Spring mini session in a local park in Blackrock. More from this photo story, a little boy & his French bull dog pup soon!


boy carrying frencg bulldog puppy who is mumching om cherry blossom drooping from tree branch in a park in blackrock, dublin. for natural family photography Dublin mini spring sessions

Candid family & lifestyle photographer, specializing in emotive family, child & baby photography. Including natural at home newborn sessions!

Also communion portraits, confirmation, baptism & christening. And all other special occasion photography.

To see more recent child portraits & candid family photography Dublin sessions please go HERE

Also to see my page dedicated to "Fly On The Wall" natural documentary family photography, go HERE.

Fly On The Wall is great for small kids, babies & newborns. For at home newborn photography Dublin, when you really can't make it to a photo studio & would prefer a photographer to capture the first weeks at home with your family & newborn.


Contact me to book your family session including my Spring mini family sessions in my local area! HERE


Have a lovely week, Cara xx


family portrait with girl sucking lolly and looking into an oval mirror in the garden. award winning, natural family photography dublin by Cara Hodge. internationally published emotive child & family portraits

little sister poking hand through big sister's hair, playing hairdresser. natural family photography dublin by cara

little girl holding old, ragged dolls in evening light as she walks across her garden path. award winning emotive child portraits

child portrait with big sister's mascara running down her eye and flower in her hair. award winning child portrait by natural family photographer dublin by cara hodge

big sister holding out her long plaits, summer evening light & haze. also bits of grass on her T shirt adds to unscripted feel

siblings grass fight with grass forming a heart shape in the air as it is thrown.  emotive summer portrait taken at home in garden

three siblings in a garden in midday light, holding apples

little sister holding a hydrangea bloom in her garden at home

big sister with grass in her hair and incredulous expression, emotive child portrait. at home family photographer dublin by cara hodge

family portrait with little sister decorating big sisters hair with wild flowers

family portrait with two sisters holding each other tightly





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