A few weeks ago, someone said to me that —for them— to photograph someone well, you have to fall a little in love with that person. Visually, metaphorically, spiritually, etc. (or any other “-ly:), this is total and absolute truth — for me and I’m sure for many other photographers who love what they do and value each and every interaction with their subjects. It means that you “see” the person as they are, and beyond. You see the things that others miss. You see the moments that others may pass up as “normal”. And you see the beauty in each and every single person.
That certain something, the spark, the mojo and the “je ne sais quoi“.
I fell in love with my dear O when I first met her and her fiance at their engagement shoot a few years ago. And every time since, I see her anew and fall in love a little more (as with her maternity shoot many months ago). This time around I am falling fast in love with her adorable, gorgeous bub, who was just a dream to photograph. As many of you know, I don’t normally venture into the world of kids photography, but if they were all this fun and breezy, I may just have to reconsider. xxx
(Photographed on film, on a mixture of Fuji 400H, Kodak Portra 400 and Ilford Delta 3200)
O + S are “fellow Muscovites” whose engagement shoot I covered in 2012. We really got along spending the day together in Hyde Park and ended up keeping in touch. When Olga found out she was expecting, I was delighted when she asked me to document her and S again, this time with Baby Bump in tow. We spent a really relaxed and lazy afternoon together, meandering in and around the cute streets of Notting Hill, talking, laughing reminiscing and enjoying the sunshine. We spent some intimate moments indoors at first, and then made the rounds of the cafes, parks and shops, where Olga — a professional violinist — bought a cute pastel coloured ukulele for fun.
We all know social media can be a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it. When I first got on Twitter, for me it was kind of love at first sight – all these people, willing to talk, to share, to be open – it was wonderful. This was where I first “saw” Galina – in true Twitter fashion, I clicked on a tweet to a tweet to another tweet that had a link to Galina’s website. She caught my eye with her insightful writing and her sharp wit, and it was also a wonderful bonus that she was a fellow Russian – it meant I had someone else I could geek out with for my love of pickled mushrooms and blinis and varennikis! Heaven! Soon after that we finally met in person and it wasn’t long before we became friends.
After months of talks about likes and dislikes of styles of photography, we decided to work together on a lifestyle shoot, where I would capture Galina at “work”, creating imagery of Galina herself and her wonderful sense of style. What followed was a 4-hour shoot at her home, the results of which you can see in her profile photos on her website (galinka.co.uk) and which is also blogged on her blog (See “A Peek Inside My Shoot with Aneta Mak“)
We had great fun picking out her outfits and props, locations in and around her home, and conceptualizing the look and feel of her shoot. It was like an afternoon of “just us girls” – the hardest part was deciding when to shoot outside or indoors, as the sun just couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to be in or out! Fun nevertheless!
The reason for Galina’s abundant laughter shots? Well, her adorable daughter and mum were watching from the window the whole time, which helped draw out her natural endearing nature. I am so glad to know a person as warm, honest, kind and smart as she!
Enjoy the rest of this truly enjoyable shoot.