Certain clients walk into your studio and you know they are special. That is how I felt about Bay Area family photography clients Christine and Giles. She radiated happiness and brightened my studio.
- Tell me a little bit about yourself, Giles, how you met. How you decided to have kids, what are your hobbies, what you do in your free time, etc.
Giles and I met through a lovely mutual friend over 14 years ago, at a pub of rather questionable repute. We got to chatting about all sorts of things that evening, and we soon became friends. Coffee turned into dinner, long conversations turned into longer ones, and friendship turned into love. Our common passions in life are traveling as much as possible, experiencing different cultures, and eating really great food along the way. I’ve actually lost count the number of times I dragged Giles what seemed like a million miles away from whatever hotel we were staying at, because I’d read about some sort of great/new/experimental restaurant that I wanted to go to. He’s very patient. For example I’m not sure anyone else would put up with me dragging them across Tokyo in search of a tiny restaurant making handmade noodles, without really having a clear idea of where the restaurant was actually located and then having to ask for directions in Japanese…a language in which I’m not at all fluent. Trust in a marriage is a wonderful thing.
For a long time Giles and I thought that we were solely committed to our careers, and the question of us having children sadly seemed a distant one. When we moved to California from Western Australia, it was then that the idea of having children started to crystallize for us. In 2011 our beautiful daughter Vivienne was born, who changed our lives instantly and forever. I think back to the day she was born and realized how blissfully ignorant I was of the many fundamental shifts that would happen, and are still happening, because of her. In 2015 we welcomed the arrival of gorgeous little Sebastian, who has brought so much joy and laughter into our family. So many things have changed for the better in my life, which I never could have anticipated before becoming a mother.
- Tell me about why you decided to have professional family or maternity photographs, and why you trusted me to take these special photos.
To say that I wouldn’t want ever want anyone else but Jennifer as our family photographer is absolutely true! We had such a wonderful experience with her when we had a photography session with Vivienne; when Sebastian was born there was absolutely no question in our minds that we wanted Jennifer to photograph us again. Returning to the beautiful studio in San Francisco and seeing Jennifer again was like meeting a dear friend and it brought back all of the great memories and laughs we had together. Jennifer has that extremely rare talent of making people feel confident, expressive, and above all – comfortable in their own skin. Her empathy and
understanding of the nervousness or shyness we can sometimes have when standing in front of the camera makes all the difference in the world. In both our sessions, Jennifer elegantly sidestepped any of our awkwardness or nervousness, and I felt that she was able to instead capture our true faces and our true joy. She has a wonderful gift in helping people to see, reflected through her lens, the joy and happiness they have in themselves and their beautiful families.
- Please feel free to include anything else you like that is interesting about you or your parenting philosophy. AKA books you read, or like whatever. I am particularly interested in …
I think probably the best parenting philosophy that anyone can have is just a commonsense philosophy, without getting too caught up in aligning yourself to any particular style of parenting. Every family is different and every child is different, meaning that you really just have to trust your instinct to make grounded and logical decisions. That said, we’re always open to advice on how we can do things better, and we ask our immediate families and family friends for help when we need it. I think there’s far too much pressure to be a ‘perfect’ parent these days, and that just causes more stress for everyone. Instead I think it’s about working towards being the best parent you can possibly be, instead of being a perfect parent. You’re never going to get it right 100% of the time, but that’s actually a really great thing – it means you’re always motivated to try harder.