August 19, 2020

5 Reasons to photograph your family in 2020

2020 – it’s been a bit questionable so far, and in fact whilst we might rather it was struck from the history books, life has slowly, silently been creeping on in the background. Given the year we’ve had, it makes it more important than ever to capture photos of your growing family – whether by booking a professional documentary family shoot, or by getting out there with your camera.

  1. They don’t stop growing

Just because it feels like it’s still March rather than more than halfway through August, so much has happened. Old school uniform no longer fits, they need new shoes, they’re another notch up on the height chart. My own son turned one just before the beginning of lockdown, and is now nearly 18 months – he’s walking, and saying his first words and he’s changed so much. And although I’ve captured some of that both my ‘real’ camera and with my phone, when it’s to hand, it’s still not the same as having some beautiful shots of the three of us. I don’t know whether it’s getting older, but time just seems to evaporate, I want to freeze it, and am planning on booking a professional family shoot soon to do just that.

2. Celebrate this strange and wonderful time

Although Pandemic parenting has certainly been a challenge, there’s also been something kind of magical about spending all this time together. Creating our own fun, staycations in places we would never think to go (and for that matter, you can come and book me for all your holiday photo shoot needs.)



3. Do it for the grandparents

Or your other friends and family members who you may have only seen from the end of a driveway or via Zoom, especially if they live on the other side of the globe. Grandparents absolutely adore photos of your smalls regardless, and they always make an excellent, easy gift (that’s Christmas sorted). We sent this less than technically perfect photo of Edwin on a card from Thortful to my elderly Uncle who lives in a care home and didn’t see anyone throughout lockdown. Even though restrictions are easing and we can now see friends and family – travel still presents its own issues so photos help us feel closer together.


Even this fairly average photo was enough to put a smile on the face of my elderly Uncle, living in a carehome during lockdown.


4. Capture their curiosity. 

My interest and approach when photographing kids is capturing who they are, their curiosity, their quirks and personalities. Dirt covered hands, climbing, laughing. Anyone can take a nice photo of them looking at the camera (well, maybe almost anyone) and whilst I think the classic snap of them standing in their uniform against the front day on the first day back at school (which will be all the more poignant now) has an important place in your family history; for me it’s the images that document their days that really excite me.

If that’s your bag too, then I’d love to hear from you.


5. Shoots are Covid safe, so let’s do this

if you book a documentary family shoot with me, you can be assured I’m following all guidelines, not limited to maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask in all indoor spaces and thorough sanitisation, as well as not photographing more than one family in any given day. If either party should fall ill and need to isolate, we can reschedule the shoot at no additional cost. The same is true should the area you’re based in be subject to any local lockdown rules.


6. We’ve got time!

I promised 5 reasons, and this one is a little bonus! As a wedding photographer primarily, I rarely have free time in the summer for family shoots, but this year I have loads of it! Want a weekend in late August? No problem. Capture those autumn leaves, get in the diary! Oh, and support your local photographer. It’s been a bit of a tough time and lovely things like family photo shoots are lifting our spirits and putting food on the table.

All of the images used to illustrate this post are of my own son, Edwin, and taken during the Covid-19 Pandemic 2020.

Ellie Gillard is a documentary family photographer based in Norwich and covering Norfolk, London and anywhere in between, though she’ll gladly travel further too. For more information check out the gallery and send an enquiry. Shoot session fees start from just £75 for a weekday shoot, with a range of prints and digital files to purchase afterwards. Or why not book onto a 20 minute mini shoot session?