This project ‘Bespoke Family Memories’ has been based on the family and the family album. My aim was to create a set of images that represent the ideas of family album images. My reason for this project is to create a portfolio suitable for the use of business advertisement on completion of my degree, I will be looking into expanding on my own business and offer packages for families, creating a range of images that suit people’s needs when it comes to professional family photo shoots.
To achieve this I had first looked into creating family images professionally and techniques used during studio shoots, as ell as how to create certain images such as newborn and family photographs. As well as researching into how to create an image I looked into what people expect from a professional photograph. To get an idea of what people require and expect. I began asking families what they wanted in their images.
I first started with my first newborn shoot, asking the mum what she would expect in a professional family photo, what she would like to add into her own family album. She explained the following;
”To me family is those that are with us and those that have passed, so my images would need to include the new and the old, with such things such as memorabilia to represent my loved ones who are no longer with us”.
I then asked another mum on my second newborn shoot, this one I arranged after a training session in newborn photography. She also explained to me how she would expect her family album images to be taken;
”I like to make sure my images show all the stages of my kids lives, they grow up so quick so I like to look back at their photos of their tiny feet and their little fingers, so I like to look back at how much they have grown, I also like to keep things natural so I want my baby shoot to show him in the nude, this is how he entered the world and I feel like it represents new life”.
Moving onto toddlers I did a 1st birthday shoot, again I asked the mum what she would like for her family album images;
”I just like the happy photos where she’s smiling, shes always happy and that’s what I want to remember, I also want to get some close photo’s with her and her Grandma’s family is important to me and I love the bond between my daughter and her Grandma’s”.
I also asked a family if they’d like to take part in my project, and visiting them I spoke to both the parents and the children and asked what they likes in their family images, the mother spoke to me first;
”We’re a really giggly and funny family so I don’t want no serious photo’s I want them to all look natural and even a bit silly, we’re always joking around and being silly as a family so some silly faces rather than serious posed images”.
Once I spoke to the mother I then asked the children what they wanted from the shoot and how they wanted their images to look, the youngest of the family, an 8 year old boy had told me what he liked to see in the family album;
”I like lots of cuddles and kisses with my daddy and I like silly faces too”.
I also got the opportunity to work with the Born In Bradford project and took family photos for the NHS, during the 1st BIB birthday party, I was able to speak to one of the families from the party who we’re wiling to answer some of my questions on their version of a perfect family image. The father spoke to me about how he expects his family album to look.
”I like to have plenty of family photographs with everyone present, I have a large family so getting everyone involved is important, I prefer the images to be uniform with everyone dressed smartly and well posed for the camera”.
Then on my last shoot, a daddy daughter shoot I asked the father what images he would like in his family album and what made the images important to him;
”I like to include my possessions and my home, I like to look at what I’ve achieved so want something I can look back on, I’m proud of my daughter and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so I want everything to be included in my images”.
As well as asking the people who have been apart of my project I also took to social media in order to ask others ‘what is important in a family photograph to you?’ below are a few of the answers I got from this experiment;
”My kids, their my world and I have millions of images of them just being kids”
”Getting everyone together, like a family gathering”
”Laughs and smiles”
”Memories, like birthdays and Christmas”
”Natural moments together”
As a whole I noticed the same comments popping up, for example, the words ”happy” and ”smiles” were mentioned the most, people expressed how it is important for their images to be of happy smiley faces, more importantly not forced or posed but natural. I also noticed people referring to preserving their children’s adolescents as they don’t stay young long, we as families like to keep these moments in our memories.
I also noticed a few people we’re keen to add, possessions as something they like to add in their images, such as children’s toys or even cars and houses.
After gathering the information throughout my project on the feelings of others when it comes to representing the family album I have to now create a set of images that represent my findings;
My images must contain all the important aspects of family life, presented in a professional manner, so my images must include all the points raised during my time speaking with family members, these include all the recurring points made.
My final portfolio will include images that show;
- A family bond – many people had mentioned how much family means to them and the bonds they share with others.
- A family unit – As well as mentioning the bond family members have the importance of the full family unit has also been mentioned.
- Happiness – This has been a common word used during my project and people thrive on happiness within the family.
- Memories – This includes not only the memories of young ones, preserving them as they are but the memories of family members that have passed.
- Occasions – Such as birthday’s and other family celebrations.
- Natural poses – Not only do I want to show all of the above I want to show natural moments I have captured during my project.