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  • Writer's pictureCara Hodge

Documentary Family Photography. Two beloved nieces in a Glastonbury garden

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Here I am showing some more pictures from my documentary series I am working on - two beloved nieces in the garden in Glastonbury, England.

I have not settled on the final selection - and have a fair few pictures to go through yet -before I settle on my favorites

But here are a few more from the series.

Of course, when I set out to take pictures of my adorable nieces and nephews I have a vague idea in mind for a photo series, but I never know quite how they will come out. The element of mystery and not-knowing, put pressing on all the same, can eventually lead to a flash of inspiration. After all, it can take only one or two pictures to set the mood for a photo series, the ones that capture the spirit of the story.

Documentary family photography is about seeing what unfolds naturally, not giving too many prompts if at all. I have to have a keen eye to keep up with all the best moments. Sometimes the action can unfold really fast. Other times, when there are windows of connection, the pictures are child portraits or environmental portraits

As ever, my absolute favorite for my own personal work is black & white child & young adult photography. I love how a black & white can really bring such a dramatic mood to a picture. I love it when the black & whites are at high contrast.

Here in the Glastonbury garden, these girls would play out all hours of the day. I experimented with much harder light then I would do usually for a family photoshoot. Around midday, here in the garden, the light was very harsh. I wanted to play about with hard shadows, even blown out highlights.

I love doing personal work, it really helps to inspire me in my family & lifestyle sessions. It is only playing with compositions & story telling elements that I can give my family sessions more heart, more emotion & drama. As I've said, and heard many times before from other photographers, pictures are less seen then felt.

I am hoping that when I settle on my final selection, I capture the messiness of the garden which is undergoing transformation - as is the whole house - but along with the chaos, I hope to capture the moments of stillness.

As well as the two girls, I might introduce a third character, the garden as it is, reflecting back the unruliness of the children. So I have to look out for pictures of just the planting in the garden, and some more unusual ones. I am a sucker for eye contact too, so must remind myself to look out for pictures where looking at the camera isn't needed.

I love that with photography, in order to grow, there is always something new to learn & discover. The journey just keeps going, there is always something new around every bend in the road.

Have a great week, Cara x

two girls lying in a garden, younger sister arm over older sister's face

girl with running mascara and flower in her hair

girl with running mascara, background of a tangled bush

girl holding three dolls

girls hands poking through a fruit tree

girl holding a flower whilst sitting in a plant pot

girl holding tangled branches across her face

girl with running mascara and flower in hair, background of fruit trees

girl putting apple on her brother's head

two sisters, one with grass on her head like a hat

girl lying back in grass, pulling a silly expression

two sisters hugging

girl with a hat of grass and leaves, sister jumping off low garden wall

girl sat in garden chair, grandfather mowing lawn

siblings having a grass fight in garden

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