Two Thousand And Sixteen – Part 2: BLACK AND WHITE
Today I’m sharing PART 2 of my photography round up of 2016. It’s a bit of a mixture of family sessions and some weddings which I shot over the course of the year (though I insist that I don’t shoot weddings somehow…). I like to think of my black and white images as the ones that should have no distraction – no colour, just texture, tones and raw emotion.
Leo and Liz. Technically, I am slapping myself on the wrists for this one. Grainy, poorly lit and my camera basically refused to focus properly at this moment. But honestly, then I remind myself that the real beauty is not in the technically perfect, but the emotionally connected. When we are all in the same room human interacting and experiencing the stuff that really matters, well, that’s a win for me. And this my friends, is why I love this image. I captured the light and curiosity in Leo’s eyes as well as Liz’s joy in spending time with this sweet little guy.
In the middle of Lara and Jamie’s family portraits, this happened. I absolutely LOVE this image of this newly married couple. Standing in the middle of the craziness and movement happening all around them, just having a good laugh while waiting for everyone to get to where they need to be. The in between moments can be the most beautiful ones in my book.
This image was shot during Lacey & Arren’s engagement shoot from Westminster Bridge, overlooking The River Thames. During the start of my session I often have the couple or family take part in some simple exercises to help them relax into the session and ‘break the ice’. I love the cheeky expression on Arren’s face in this image, as well as the movement in Lacey’s hair. We can see a really beautiful interaction between this couple, without needing to know what was said to the other person. I’m just carefully watching, waiting for sweet moments like this to naturally happen during our shoot.
I love finding ways to incorporate significant spaces into my images. This session took place at Tracy and Gareth’s home in South Africa. I photograph this wonderful pair (who also happen to be my sister and brother in law) every time I visit home, and cannot wait for the next one. Our next session will be after the arrival of the newest little member of our family. I am so excited to be an auntie!
I’m not sure I have enough words to describe how this image feels. I first photographed Julie and Hamish for their ‘Save The Date’ images for their wedding in 2015. This past September, I met their newborn daughter Abigail. I love how Julie is holding their sweet baby girl, in sheer wonder filled presence. It’s in moments like these that I am filled with so much gratitude for the work that I do. Sometimes my session whizz by in a flash, but there are moments which crystallise in my mind for each and one. For this session, Julie was describing to me just how wonderful it was to be a parent. I remember thinking that she didn’t really need to say it, her joy was written all over her face and it practically hung in the air for our time together.
It’s not always about the smiles and the giggles. I also want to show that the real moments of full blown tears, can be just as beautiful. Sweet Benji was such a champ, and this was only towards the end of session that he became overtired of being changed and fussed over. What can I say, it’s tough work being this cute.
And breathe. Life can get so crazy busy. It can be emotional and manic and non-stop. I like to remind each person that I photograph to take a moment to close their eyes and breathe it all in. Be really present in this moment, really feel how you are feeling. Something changes in the air when you take a deep breath and ground yourself, even if it’s just for a few seconds.
Unencumbered joy. This sweet frame of Kelly and Harrison was captured during their family lifestyle shoot in Richmond. This is by far one my favourite frames of the year, so I had to include it in my yearly round up. The framing, expression and tones all came together perfectly. So much of incorporating a documentary approach into my work is partly about working with what is happening in front of you, combined with some luck. I happened to see this candid interaction in-between everything going on, and managed to grab it. Kelly mentioned to me after seeing this image that she had always been drawn to images where you can see just one eye. Did I know this? Absolutely not. But I was present and tuned into what was happening in front of me. A half second later and the laugh would have dissipated. A bit earlier and I would have captured a completely different composition.
Sometimes you just get lucky.
I certainly feel that way. A MASSIVE thank you to all my amazing clients who shared these moments (and more!) during 2016. May this year bring all that you have wished for and more.
Sending much love your way, Jodi Xx