The Raza’s Family Session in Wandlebury Country Park
In spring of last year, the Raza family (made up of Dad (Jaw), Mum (Farha) and baby Sophia) approached me while looking for a family photographer in Cambridge. This kind of session is always great fun as it enables me to focus exclusively on the people I’m shooting, unlike weddings where there are always guests milling around. The feel of these shoots is far more intimate.
With a family portrait session, the goal is not so much catching a spontaneous moment of family bonding – although that definitely can and did happen too. The main goal is to get high quality posed shots of the family together that might be suitable to be made into large prints for hanging on walls, premium albums or other wall display products.
Wandlebury Country Park
I chose this location because it is a great, open space in which to take advantage of the bright springtime lighting. With plentiful grassy spaces to play around in as well as fences, brick walls and bushes as backgrounds. The park is open from dawn till dusk, seven days a week and contains wildlife and cattle as well as an Iron Age hill fort. For the purposes of this shoot, we didn’t want anything to distract from the subject of the pictures but for other types of shoot those could be useful. Anyone looking to practice family photography in Cambridge should consider it as a location.
Crawling, Walking, Flying
One of the best things about this location was the space and the fact that it is totally uncrowded. This gave us the opportunity of capturing a few pictures of Sophia on her own, crawling towards the camera. For a family photographer in Cambridge, areas where this is safe to do can seem few and far between as many of our parks are very well used – Parker’s Piece being perhaps the best example. Because Wandlebury is a short drive south of the city, it is both highly convenient and a little quieter making it perfect for photographing babies and young children.
Different Combinations, Different Printing Options
In this set, I’ve photographed the family in just about every combination: mother with baby, dad with baby, baby on her own, dad on his own. The goal is to try to make sure that I capture the personality of every member of the family, separately as well as the way they are around each other. Family photos are for all the members of the family to look back on and reflect on the people they love and so a fair share of attention needs to be given to every member.
Within a few weeks after the shoot, at most, I am able to turn out premium display albums and various wall display products. This family was happy enough with the photographs that they chose to purchase large wall prints which I am sure will be lovely as the centre-piece of a family sitting or dining room.