Why Family Portraits Are Important, And You Cannot Afford To Delay Getting One Any Longer

“Family - where life begins and love never ends.”

The F-word is founded on unconditional love, joined in strength and bonded by the trust. From parents to grandparents, aunts to uncles and nieces to nephews; family is one of, if not, THE most important thing in people’s lives. As time goes by, you and your beloved family members live and weave memories together, celebrate functions, experience significant changes in your lives and share so much. Years later, you will want to relive the memories you’ve shared with your loved ones. And more importantly, you will certainly want to look back on the most important period of children’s lives.

Still confused about what to do to ensure your stories are recorded?

A beautiful family portrait is the best solution! Let’s find out why!

Good memories to cherish

We all want to create good moments with our families and be able to cherish them forever. Once you have grown up, you tend to say goodbye to your lovely home and move away to different places for different reasons - education, profession, marriage, and so on. If you are emotional or homesick, a good family portrait can be a great source of solace. It will remind you of the celebrations, smiles, jokes, banter, laughter and all the good times you had with your family members. Many years down the road, when our memories have faded, wouldn’t it be sad if there was nothing to share with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren? Having pictures can avoid that “I wish” situation. Remember it is the only way for your future generations to understand what it was like to live in your day and how life changes with age.

Connect us to our past

For human beings, photography has long served as a bridge between the present and past. Time once lost is forever lost. There is no second chance to catch the moments you are enjoying right now. Only photographs and videos can transcend the narrow clutches of this thing we call life. And when you photograph your family life, it will then be seen and enjoyed by your future generations to come. Your life doesn’t remain the same at all times, on the contrary, it is an ever-evolving process that at times goes way beyond our comprehension. Right from the time of your child’s birth, smile, first crawling, cruising to walking and teeth falling, you will be able to save lots of precious memories that took place in your life for a reason.

Just imagine the time you got married, you were only two. And a couple of years later, there was a new addition to the family. Again a few years later, you were blessed with a baby. It would be quiet amazing to see how two kids have changed your life, from the portraits you have saved.

Best home decor and gift

A beautifully taken, professional painted family portrait is perhaps the best decor a living room can have. Family portraits are often a testimony to a life well-lived and exude a great deal of happiness, which in turn adorn your surroundings. Family portraits displayed on the wall can make your space feel more comfy and cosy. There’s a reason why well-crafted family portraits can inject new vigour of life into the most austere walls your home. If you want to surprise your special ones on important occasions, what better way to do it than with a good family portrait. For sure, this is the ideal opportunity to appreciate and strengthen the love, togetherness and trust between the whole family members.

Take your stress away

Sometimes the hectic schedule of your life can make you feel all stressed out. These kinds of situations cry out for a break. Relax and take a look at the wonderful family photographs you have. When you look at those images, you will get transported to those good old times in your life. You will remember the excitement you felt and milestones you reached along the way. For sure, your mind is going to be refreshed. A wave will never hit the shore in the same way, we have precious moments in life which you can’t go back in time and revisit. When we observe their whole range of expressions from happiness to joy, anger to surprise, confusion to the excitement, we realise the importance of capturing and framing them in time.

A well-crafted family portrait photo stands the test of time. So don’t let the time pass and look back in regrets over not having one for your family. It's time for telling the story of your family through the lens of professional photographers - your family is worth it, right?

7 Easy Tips For Convincing Your Kids To Take Part In The Family Portrait

The prospect of photographing children often presents parents with nightmarish experiences. The typical photography incidents involving little ones looks something along these lines: one minute they look pretty comfortable and roaring to go, and the very next minute they turn into their most uncooperative selves. As photographers specialising in family portraits, we have personally known many parents who would go to any length to have their way around this problem. Thankfully, our professionals have many creative tricks up their photographic sleeves to make your kids feel right at home.

So, next time you take your kid to a family photo shoot, follow these 7 tips from our experts for capturing memories to treasure.

1)  All they need is some love

The best way to get kids in the right mood for photography is by allowing them to hold on to what they love. Kids tend to be in the most playful mood when they are in their fancy costumes. Likewise, kids thoroughly enjoy a good roleplay in their favourite costumes. If they are having a good time in their costumes, then it stands to reason that they might just love to have their photos taken in the same costumes. Be creative. Perhaps ask your kids to play out a roleplay during the photo session. This tactic will not only get kids to feel comfortable before the camera but let you document the quirks and foibles of the innocent age.

2) Let your kids loose for photography!

Kids always like to be in the thick of everything fun, be it running around the park or causing a ruckus with playmates. When kids are in the mood for fun, there is no stopping them. Your job as parents is to tap into this fun side of your kids. As you let your kids enjoy themselves, you give us photographers the chance to capture candid moments. From the photographers’ standpoint, nothing compares to the joy of photographing the adventurous side of kids. These are precious moments that would make for beautiful photographs.

3) Taking a playful approach to photography

“Let them jump up and down on the couch or sing their favourite tune at the top their lungs”

Kids jumping in the air

It’s only natural for kids to be uncooperative when they are forced to perform things that they don’t really enjoy. The only way to shake off their sulkiness is if you inject some fun into the family portrait session. The first step to making things fun is to allow kids to be themselves. Instead of making them pose in a certain fashion, get them to feel carefree.

Photographing kids in such fun situations will make for great family portraits. For instance, something as playful as a random peekaboo could go a long way in cheering up your kid. When you let your kids be their wildest selves, you are giving photographers the perfect chance to capture glowing smiles with ease.

4) Let them play their favourite games

If you want kids to be cooperative during the family photoshoot, you should play things to their tune. When you find that your kid is starting to sulk at the things you want them to do, it’s time for you to play things their way. Just ask them what games they want to play. Trust us, kids always know. The big idea here is to take their mind off the fact that they are being photographed. So, indulge them in little games. For instance, ask them if they are interested in taking part in a race when you say “ready, steady, go”. Now this will work as a pleasant little distraction from the photography session. Now ask them similar game-related questions that could put them in high spirits.

5) Let them become their own photographer

Kids just love it when they realise they are in total control of the things they do. So, during a family photo session, it could well be a great idea to let kids be photographers. How can you let them be photographers? Well, you can achieve this by playing a little game with them. Get them to hold the camera (or bring along toy cameras specifically for this purpose) and push the click button, thus giving them an illusion of capturing the photographs of their parents and siblings. Next up, ask the kids for your turn to take their photograph. In most cases, you would find that kids simply want to play along, without ever knowing that they are being tricked.

Father and son portrait

6) Tickling your kids into happiness

As a parent, tickling your kids is something you never get tired of. So why not rely on it when you desperately want to see your kids laugh out loud. More importantly, a proper dose of tickling can bring out the most natural smiles in kids. At AJ Photographic, whenever we find kids pouting or feeling down, our photographers instantly get their parents to tickle them. If you can get kids to tickle each other, there will be greater laughter and happiness.

7) Keeping your kid engaged

‘You should develop a ‘yes’ attitude when you’re dealing with kids’

It’s highly recommended that you give kids something to do. When kids are immersed in some activity, they forget about everything around them. A few minutes in, and most kids even forget what they are doing in the studio. When kids have come away from a task they didn’t enjoy, the last thing you want is putting them through another ordeal. Before you set your kids up for a family portrait session make sure you have got something engaging in store for them. This is where our photographers think outside the box and take the most unconventional route to keep your kids engaged.

The primary goal is always to capture your kid in the middle of doing something they love to bits. Try giving kids presents that may arouse their curiosity. Giving them some painting exercises and playing their favourite songs in the background while they are at it will certainly make things more engaging. Don’t forget to make them feel great about themselves by complimenting their work. Kids are usually tired of the rejections and no’s they hear all day. Therefore it’s important to be their go-to ‘yes’ guy during the family portrait session.

Also, remember, the more fun kids have, the greater your chances of getting their happy faces in the family portrait. The next time you take your kids for a family portrait session, follow these tips experts at AJ Photographic to keep them happy and get excellent results

Wedding Fayre at Farnham Maltings today

Many couples come and see us because we have photographed a friend or family members wedding. Others see us on the recommend list at some of the regions finest wedding venues. Some people find our wonderful photographs on the internet and come to see us in the studio. However many couples see us for the first time at the various wedding fairs we attend .

Today we’re at the Farnham Maltings along with a whole host of other suppliers, DJs, cake makes, suit hire companies, wedding cars, etc. It’s a bit of a wet day today so forget going for a country walk, or that bit of gardening and come along to Farnham Maltings and say hello. You never know we might just be the photographers you’ve been looking for!

Today’s wedding fayre display stand

Today’s wedding fayre display stand

Laura & Ryan's wedding photography at The Elvetham

Laura & Ryan had a fantastic wedding at The Elvetham near Hartley Wintney, Hampshire. A great setting for a fun day with their families and friends with some wonderful opportunities for us to capture iconic images of the happy couple. This concluded with a great set of firework photographs as one of the highlights of their wedding day.

Lizzie & Richard's wedding at Cain Manor

Lizzie & Richard were married at St James' Church, Rowledge and held their wedding reception at the fantastic Cain Manor, near Farnham in Surrey on 18th May 2018. A great day with lots of emotions on show, children running around and a wonderful backdrop provided by the sunset sky.

Wes & Isabelle's wedding at a castle near Stockholm, Sweden

The phone rang in the studio: “You photographed my friend’s wedding recently at The Elvetham and we just love the pictures. We’re getting married at a castle near Stockholm in August. Would you like to come and photograph it for us?”

The answer was obviously “Yes - of course”. How could you resist an invitation like that?

So arrangements were made by phone and email and Mo and I travelled over to Stockholm on a Friday afternoon to photograph the Welcome Drinks Party on the Friday night, the outdoor wedding ceremony and reception on Saturday and then flew back on the Sunday afternoon. A fantastic weekend with some lovely people, and some party animals and a huge set of wonderful wedding photographs for Isabelle & Wes to treasure.

A few weeks after the wedding we received this wonderful testimonial from Wes which we’re happy to share with you here:

After hearing rave reviews from a friend, we decided to approach Adam and Mo to photograph our wedding in Stockholm, Sweden. The process from start to finish was seamless, slightly surprising given the amount of logistics involved (booking of flights, hotels, the fact that we needed them to arrive on the Friday, etc). Every step of the way Adam answered our questions promptly and thoughtfully, which we especially appreciated as we planned the wedding from abroad.

On the day of the wedding itself, Adam and Mo were absolutely brilliant to have around. Their easy-going style instantly made us feel at-ease, and this is reflected in the fantastic photos they took. They are genuinely kind and caring chaps, and were a pleasure to have around (sentiment which was echoed by our guests) – poor Mo basically became a surrogate uncle to the ushers, helping them with everything from correcting their ties to the appropriate button-hole placement! Having two photographers ensured nothing was missed, and we especially enjoyed the different angled photos that having two photographers allowed. Prior to the wedding we sent Adam and Mo an example of a photo we really liked and hoped to capture for ourselves; they did this perfectly and it became our photo of the day.

After the wedding our photos were received promptly online and in a personalised tin (which was a lovely touch), and we were absolutely thrilled with the results – the photos captured the entire day perfectly. The value for money for the service we received was brilliant, especially given we had two photographers!

Adam and Mo, thank you so much for taking photos that we will treasure for a long time.

Wes & Isabelle

Gemma & David's wedding photography at Danesfield House

Gemma & David had a traditional church wedding at St Mary the Virgin, Hambledon & and then a fantastic reception party at Danesfield House near Henley. An excellent day with a very photogenic couple where we made the most of the grounds of the hotel, the views down overlooking the Thames and the first dance complete with dry-ice clouds! It was a pleasure to provide wedding photography at Danesfield House, we look forward to returning soon,

Tash & Sam's outdoor wedding at Easthampstead Park

Tash & Sam picked a great venue and a really hot day for their outdoor wedding at Easthampstead Park near Wokingham. The collection of classic cars at the front of the building provided entertainment for their friends. Wedding photography at Easthampstead Park is always enhanced by the large stained glass window and the feature staircase which always makes for wonderful photographs. The icing on the cake was the chance to go out in the golden hour before sunset and capture some fantastic images of Tash & Sam in the wonderful early evening light.

Barbara & Jeremy's family wedding at The Elvetham, Hampshire

The Elvetham in Hartley Wintney is one of our favourite wedding venues. The house and grounds are wonderful with the avenue of trees providing a fantastic background to images of the bride and groom. The staff do an excellent job at looking after everyone in a professional and attentive manner while helping them to relax and make the most of their day.

Barbara and Jeremy and their families made the most of these excellent facilities on their wedding day. Many thanks to them for inviting us to share in their day and capture these photographs for them.

Carly & Amanda's wedding at New Place, Hampshire

Wedding photography at New Place is always great but same sex weddings are lots of fun as they present new challenges in familiar scenarios. Two sets of bridal prep shots, 2 x brides’ dresses, lots of bridesmaids, etc, but it all comes down to 2 people in love having a fantastic time with their families and friends.

Archana & Dan's wedding at the Cantley House Hotel, Wokingham

It’s been a while since we updated our blog with wedding highlights - mainly due to how busy we’ve been over the summer! Here are the highlights of Archana and Dan’s wedding photography at Cantley House Hotel, Wokingham earlier this summer.

It’s a gray day outside...

 ...but lovely and warm here at the Frimley Hall Hotel for their wedding fair today from 11am until 3:30pm. Come along and say hello and see the wide range of suppliers here to help for your wedding day.

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It’s Wedding Fair Season Again...

And we’re back into the wedding fair season starting today at the Hilton Hotel in Bracknell. Drop by and say hello and you can see lots of fantastic wedding photographs, dresses, suits, wedding cars, and lots more! 

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Our stand at the Bracknell Hilton wedding fair

Fiona & Matt's wedding photography at Wasing Park

Fiona & Matt were married last week in a wonderful ceremony at Wasing Park, Berkshire. Below is a short video of their wedding photography highlights showing the key moments of their day.

Special wedding offer from Highfield Park

If you would like to save money on an incredible wedding package at Highfield Park and get married there in May, June or July 2018 then this is the offer for you! Contact Megan, the wedding specialist at Highfield Park for more details.

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Tash & Matt's wedding at the Royal Berskhire Hotel

We had the pleasure of photographing Tash & Matt's wedding at the Royal Berkshire Hotel on Saturday 2nd December 2017. Tash was a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding which we photographed, and it's always nice to get recommendations from the family and friends of past clients, and great to catch up with people we have met before at previos weddings!

Capturing the Best of Your Evening Reception

We're often asked how long we stay for the evening reception and party. The answer is we don't put a fixed time on it as sometimes things run late and we don't want to miss your first dance or other key events. We usually stay for your first dance and a few minutes afterwards to capture the party atmosphere, sometime a bit longer if there is a rocking band and a full dance floor.

When there is something special going on in the evening then we can be persuaded to stay to capture that event, so we have photographed Chinese tea ceremonies, Lithuanian amber burning, sparklers and, of course, fireworks. Capturing you as a couple watching your firework display will create images you will treasure forever.

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Kate & Graham's wedding photography at Rivervale Barn

Kate and Graham were married yesterday at the Church of St Michael and St Mary Magdalene, Easthampstead and held their reception at the wonderful Rivervale Barn near Yateley. It was a fantastic day with over a hundred guests enjoying their celebrations. The unusual colours of the bridesmaids' dresses and shoes made for some very colourful photographs.