Family Photography in London by Theresa Olesen…
I’ve been saying for a long time how much we must have family photos taken; the last time we had anything done professionally was when Ethan was just a year old, well you can imagine how things must have changed since then!
Therefore, when Theresa Olesen contacted me to ask if we’d be interested in a photography session with her I was absolutely delighted. I went for a look at her website where I learned that Theresa specialises in family, children and newborn photography, the website was really well presented with lots of examples of her work and information about what to expect in a session.
Looking through the galleries I loved Theresa’s images both in the studio and outdoors but with the summer giving us glorious evenings I felt it would be a shame not to make the most of it! Theresa is local to us and familiar with the beautiful green spaces of West London and its surrounds so suggested a location and said she would check nearer to the date to find the perfect spot for the time. In emails exchanged with Theresa in the lead up to the shoot, we talked a bit about the children the style of photo I preferred and she suggested colour schemes. I was pleased to listen to her ideas and guidance, really wanting the images to come out well and already felt confident she would achieve this.
As we drove to meet Theresa the sky was grey and overcast and although it didn’t look like it would rain, it certainly wasn’t one of the glorious evenings we had been enjoying. I felt a little disappointed we may not get the sunlight sparkling through the trees although there was at least enough light not to spoil the photos.
We met with Theresa and she was so easy to talk to; she has 4 children too, their ages spaced almost identically although hers are younger with the baby just 9 months and oldest 7 years. We walked and talked about the various stages and phases they go through and all the fun of juggling a family whilst working freelance and whilst we walked the sun began to come out.
Theresa was impressed how well my children posed, having attended so many events and coping with me with a camera in their face so often, they know that it’s easier to stand still and ‘say cheese’ quickly and then they’ll be allowed to get back to having fun.
With them, Theresa’s work, rather than getting them to smile beautifully was more to get them to ‘unpose’ and become less aware of the camera, especially as she knew I was quite fond of the more natural, candid shots. She engaged them perfectly for this, challenging them to balance on things, forage, run and play whilst she quietly stood back and captured them as they did.
Theresa works to capture a variety of image styles whilst working with a family, taking a number of the children individually, in pairs and group shots that were both more natural and posed. She always ensures she gets an individual portrait of each person and I am so pleased with those she got of our children. Felicity, in particular, has a tendency to pull an odd grin when asked to smile and Theresa used a variety of tactics before she found the one to capture her most natural and genuine smile.
She does make edits to the photos to really make them ‘pop’ in their final presentation; on the day, Tilly had quite a nasty reaction to a cream which had caused a red rash down her cheek. Theresa has very gently removed it without making her skin appear in any way strange or unnatural. She also presented some images in black & white, leaving us with the very difficult decision of which we prefer. I adore the glow of their beautiful red hair in its various tones but find the black and white quite striking, what do you think?
As well as the face-on portraits, she also took some that were more relaxed. The group shots too were a mixture of more natural and posed and I really adore them all. Theresa does not put a strict time limit on sessions, knowing the time needed to get the ideal photos can vary by child. She also offers packages with wall art and prints, working with a printer to ensure your images retain the depth and tone of colours that she has captured.
I love how the eye of another captures angles you wouldn’t necessarily see yet in that still image the essence of their personality is still reflected. Some of my favourite pictures from the day are those which have captured a moment, often just before a pose which really displays the relationship. My older and younger couple of children are very close in age, they’re fiercely protective of one another yet that closeness often causes friction and rivalry too. In a group of four, it’s so hard to get a moment when one is not ‘acting up’ so to have these images with them all together and smiling is incredibly special.
I am so very grateful to Theresa for creating these wonderful memories for us to cherish because it was not just a photography session but a lovely evening walk in beautiful surroundings. We balanced on logs, jumped over a stream, skimmed stones in a stream and enjoyed time together as the sun set. I highly recommend having family photos taken if you’ve been considering it and of course I recommend hiring Theresa as your photographer if you can.
Autumn colours make for the most stunning backdrop to outdoors family photography and Theresa is currently taking bookings for this time. She’s also running a promotion with a free print if you book before the 1st September.