My favourite studio photos
If you’ve visited our Croydon studio then there’s a good chance you’ve met Debbie in The Photo Cafe.
Over the last five and a half years we’ve photographed her family grow. There’s no one better to speak to about all our different types of family and baby shoots as Debbie has experienced pretty much all of them!
I asked her to talk about some of her favourite studio photos from the perspective of a parent.
To start the year I’ll be sharing some of my favourite studio photos on the Memory Gate Instagram page.
This two are my favourites from this portrait shoot we had done with Michael when Dylan was 2 half. Many of our friends and family have said how much they liked all the photos from this shoot as he looks like a little dude and you can see his cheeky & quirky personality just starting to shine through in the photos. I love his little hipster outfit and hat in these and all the props used adds to a little vintage feel. I also have fond memories of it being a really fun shoot on the day.
Dylan was a little over two in these photos.
I found it hard to pick out favourites from this shoot as of course everyone loves a cute smiley photo of their child but I also love all the candid ones taken of him as those just ooze with what he his like and how much entertainment he provides us with daily.
My nickname for him is Jellybean as from his 1st scan picture he looked like a jellybean and it has stuck and because of this, any videos I shared of him when he was younger would be titled “Jellybean T.V” and he proved highly assuming to all that watched him. I was advised to set up his own YouTube channel as they thought it would get a lot of views but we never did.
A photo of a toddler picking his nose to me is so funny as it will no doubt represent to many parents just what it is like to have a toddler, they do what they like when they please even when all our best intentions are at heart.
Prime example here, on a photo shoot hoping for some nice cute pictures of him for memories and he decides to pick his nose on the set and its caught on camera but I do laugh and smile every time I see it now, so has become a favourite.
These favourite studio photos are from our 1st time with Bonnie, so capturing both kiddiwinks together. Bonnie was only 8 weeks old and Dylan was 3 and half. This was a 1st Watch Me Grow session.
It is getting a lot harder to choose my favourite studio photos as of course all the images taken are brilliant. Bonnie’s are because she is pretty in pink and Michael has managed to capture some really good ones of her looking into the camera, as 8 weeks is an odd age to take baby photos as she was already passed the sleepy newborn stage but not quite yet at the smiley stage, though I think the very 1st photo that was taken we got a bit of a smirk lol. The one with her hands by her face in a little pink tutu and headband is just too cute, yes I know I am bias.
The photo of Dylan leaning down and kissing Bonnie on the head and her looking at the camera is one of my ALL TIME favourites that Michael has taken of my two ever. We have it as the front cover to an album we got made through Memory Gate and on a canvas in our living room, I just love it that much, in black and white and colour.
Dylan in the blue suit I could have picked them all, as so many smiley ones and so many funny ones, once again capturing the quirkiness that is Dylan.
I think he looks cute and still has his toddler face in all these pictures but because in a suit, on the same hand he is starting to look a little older, now he has become a big brother.
2017 and 2019 Halloween Favourites
These are favourite studio photos from Halloween as can do a comparison with them in the same costume, kind of doing the same sort of poses, a cute straight chubby face and a screaming like a monster one, Dylan was 3yr and Bonnie was 2 half at the time each photo was taken, so around the same age ish!
I know just by looking at it she is saying “ I’m doing my ballet” as one leg is off the floor and behind her, that is her pose lol.
Croydon studio Watch me Grow 2 March 2018
This was one of Bonnie’s best Watch Me Grow shoots she was when she was 8 months old, which is a great age for pictures. She was comfortable sitting up by herself and so many smiles. She co operated so much that we were able to do 4 outfit changes in the 1 shoot to get as many different poses and different angles as Michael could do possible.
I have tried to pick a favourite in each outfit we were able to shoot that day, but as this was her best session to date there were so many to choose from, it does make it hard to narrow down the choice. Which is what you want from a professional photo shoot, for there to be so much choice to pick your favourites as keepsakes and memories.
As it is all too true what they say “time goes too quickly” and “they grow up so fast” Bonnie is now 3 and has just started Nursery as I write this but this session doesn’t actually feel that long ago. I do miss the baby stage and will always be broody but I am also excited to see their personalities come out more with each year and who they will grow to be.
I love all of the ones of her in the peach frilly knickers and headband and her looking up to the camera is a great cute photo.
The close up with the black background and shadows on it I LOVE, has a very arty feel about it.
Sitting on the cream chaise lounge again with the peach knickers and headband and her little Auburn hair, just shows how good any eye Michael has to complement colours together to get the best pictures.
Her in the Tinkerbell outfit just has the best smile like you can hear her laughing looking at the photo and in the black outfit with pink headband with her leaning forward has a hint of cheekiness shining through like her brother.
Cake Smash Croydon Studio June 2018
Clearly I find it too hard to only pick a couple of favourite studio photos for each shoot!
This was Bonnie’s 1st birthday Cake smash photo shoot which was actually taken 10 days before she turned 1.
A lot of these photos I have chosen because I can actually remember what happened in each moment as it was taken. Making memories is what it’s all about at the end of the day and a cake smash photo shoot is a great way to celebrate their 1st birthday.
The 1st one I remember her clapping her hands as we asked her to and she was copying us.
The one where we put the cake on her lap and she pushed it off, the look of disgust on her face in the photo is pure gold, a definite photo to be used to put up on her 18th Birthday.
Then we put the cake on on a sliver platter and gave her a wooden spoon and oh boy did she enjoy using both to bang and drum and make loads of noise which you can see and tell in the photo. I love all of the close up messy cake face ones, I think they come across as pure innocents of a baby and can tell that through her eyes and cuteness even if covered in cake.
I also love the angle of her looking up to the camera again it just makes for a really lovely photo and the fact she is smiling and holding the wooden spoon adds to the magic of it.
Then the clean up bath ones I remember her enjoying splashing about as most babies do. Also in the tin bath photos with her hair all wet she looks the spitting image of her big brother, she is his little mini me.
Starting School Uniform Shoot Croydon August 2018
Dylan was 4 is these photos nearly turning 5 in the October and was about to start reception, big school. So we got some professional photos done with Michael in his school uniform. For obvious reasons I used just a plain navy jumper of the school colour but without the logo. I do like to sometimes share photos on social media so our far away friends and family can see and this was a big milestone not to share.
The 1st three are my favourite studio photos as they are smart uniform pictures, the close up he is smiling and still looks cute, the other two standing with the stool and in the white shirt he is starting to look a little more grown up which can be scary but I love the photos.
The others I choose as I remember Michael telling him to pull different expressions on his face. For example the grumpy face 1, Michael said “ you just been told off by the teacher what face you gonna do?”
Then we have a crazy smile face one, so from one extreme to the other in a matter of minutes.
I also choose the picture where you can see and hear the giggle on his face, such a happy photo and of course being Dylan I had to choose one crazy pose photo with his hands near his face and back against the wall.
I hope to do this same sort of shoot next year with both of them when Bonnie starts reception.
Family Session Croydon Studio November 2018
Dylan was five at this shoot and Bonnie two.
It was a Family Session so we wanted to try and keep it simply in terms of our outfits. So a couple of pictures taken with us all in black tops and couple pictures taken with us all in white tops and as in November with took a few in Christmas jumpers with a few Christmas Props used too.
The family photo is a BIG favourite studio photos of ours and we did have it made into a wall art and it has pride and place in our living room.
I love how photos capture a moment in time and will always be treasured memories.
It is a nice one of our whole little family together and with a Daddy that works nights we don’t have many of us all together, maybe once a year photo at a Santa’s grotto as they are still young enough to be believers.
The photo of Dylan and Bonnie together is just a nice photo of them both, both looking smart, both looking at the camera. Bonnie looking a little cheekier than Dylan in this one and I am a fan of the cute bare feet in photos.
Then of course I had to choose the one where Dylan is completely photo bombing the whole picture but in such style. He definitely steals the show in that one and shows off his character to a tea, it is such a fun photo.
Then Dylan and Daddy a nice one of my boys together and know it is 1 of Dylan’s own favourites of him and his Daddy together, as he absolutely adores his Daddy.
It is a simply and classic family portrait but does stand out from the rest of the bunch.
Dress up session Croydon Studio February 2020
This was such a fun session we brought lots of dress up outfits they loved at the time and sports and hobby clothes of actual activities they do.
I actually could’ve chosen the whole album to be favourites, both kiddiewinks really played ball that day and were both enjoying it so much, we got smiles, we got silly, we got candid and we got playing pretend.
Michael started with both of them together just in the clothes they wore to the shoot and got some really fun ones of them together, smiling, laughing, jumping, they all are just brilliant. Actually need to order some to send to family as kind of recent photos of them both. But again choosing which one’s is going to be a mammoth task.
Bonnie on Dylan’s back is a fun pose and both looking at the camera.
Bonnie giggling on her own and holding her belly means I know Michael would’ve used his squeaker toys and she would’ve found it hilarious which is why we have such a great face from her.
Dylan in his Judo Gi again just fun playing and taking photos of it. The red lighting I think adds to the effect as the colour red does make you think of strong, fighting sometimes anger. Dylan was pretend to do a side fall in slow motion and has been caught at the start of the move.
Bonnie dressed as Elsa her ABSOLUTE favourite right now and I know in the pose with her hands in front she is doing her “Elsa power, FREEZE” and the other one she decided to turn around and start wiggling her bottom which made us all laugh.
Dylan dressed for tennis with his racket, in all of these photos he was being a right clown and having a lot of fun posing and playing pretend as no actual hitting balls in the studio. He was doing his ready feet, forehand, backhand, holding his swing. Again so, so hard to choose favourites as all photos make me smile and giggle as he is such a little joker.
Bonnie now dressed as Anna and sat on the stool I know we are getting towards the end of the session now as we have a great laughing photo of her playing with her foot and then to the next extreme as bit of a grumpy face as I know this is when she had had enough and was like “ no more smiles”.
It maybe a grumpy face but I still really love the photo and still think she looks cute in it.