A family photography session with me is all about recording memories. My clients often get in touch when they go through big milestones in their family lives, whether it’s the arrival of a new baby, a special birthday or anniversary, or just before their oldest child is about to fly the nest off to Uni.

My friends Martha and Bob contacted me when, after 4 years in London, they were moving back home to New Zealand.

As a family photographer herself, Martha (http://www.marthagrieve.com) already had a vision of the kind of images she wanted out of the session: relaxed family images featuring iconic London landmarks.

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Iconic London landmarks

Martha and Bob’s baby daughter Lucy was just brilliant, so happy and smiley in between little power naps in the buggy. As we walked along the Thames, we were treated to wonderful views and managed to tick plenty of London landmarks off our list: Big Ben, the London Eye, London Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral but also black cabs, red buses, phone boxes, see how many of those you can spot!

family photos with big ben family shoot in london london documentary photo session st paul cathedral photo london couple photos london couple photo session family photo session in london

“Our session with Stephanie was an absolute joy. She had an effortless ability to put us at ease which made for a fun, casual and enjoyable day. She captured the essence of our shoot right down to the tiniest detail.  Being a photographer myself, I know how difficult that can be but she made it look so easy,  we are absolutely delighted with the results!”  Martha Grieve – NZ



With Christmas looming, I thought I would compile a handy list of Christmas gift ideas from companies I have had the pleasure to work with over the years.

1) First up, the beautifully scented candles from The Heartwood Candle Company, lovingly made in St Albans by Laura and Dominique. You can even catch them at the St Albans Christmas Market from today (3rd December) until Sunday. Don’t miss out on their special winter edition candle: Sweet Orange, Clove and Cinnamon, they sold out early last year!



2) A fab way to display those family photos, or to showcase your children’s artwork, The Little Square Gallery offers beautiful bespoke products. If you have missed the deadline for Christmas orders they also offer gift cards to give you a bit more time to gather your photos ready for a masterpiece!



3) Ruby and Freddies, based in St Albans offer a lovely range of British Made baby gifts as well as unique clothes for older kids too like these gorgeous knitted jumper, perfect for Christmas with their Fair Isle pattern!



4) Stock up on yummy Christmas food at Buongiorno Italia, Tony’s Italian deli on Lattimore Road, St Albans. At this time of year, Italian treats like  panettone and panforte make delicious Christmas gift ideas, and Buongiorno Italia also offers a great selection of hampers.


5) Last year I had the pleasure of doing a family photo session for Naomi, found of The Tipi and her home was a photographer’s dream, beautifully furnished with cool and unique pieces. On The Tipi website you will find products to make your little one’s rooms both fun and stylish, not an easy feat!


6) Also St Albans based, cool and on trend baby clothing brand Tommy & Lottie  have a really nice range of super soft 100% cotton baby clothes with a British woodland or Fairground based design.



7) One for your coffee addict friend/partner: a gift card from Charlie’s Coffee Company on London Road.



8) For wine lovers, find a special bottle at Zefino on George Street with expert advice from Ferenc, the in house sommelier!




9) Finally, ahem, if you are looking for a great present for someone who is into photography, may I suggest a fab present idea? Rather than spending money on more photography gear, how about a gift voucher for a photography course? It’s not about the equipment, it’s about how you use it! I offer bespoke one-to-one photography tuition session as well as a very popular 5 week beginner photography course in St Albans.


Another really popular Christmas gift for a grandparent or your spouse is a gift voucher for a family photo session. Most people purchase the Sweet Collection as a gift, with the possibility for the recipient to upgrade to a larger package if they wish to do so.

Christmas gift ideas

Have you got any other suggestions for some cool present ideas, especially from St Albans based businesses? Please feel free to add them in the comments below!

Really proud to share my first ever video! To celebrate the New Year, I thought I would compile a small selection of some of my favourite family session images from 2014, hope you enjoy it…

St Albans Family Photographer

I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to ALL my wonderful clients of 2014, especially to the children for their patience and their wonderful smiles. Here is to a great 2015!

I recently photographed Alessia and Chris’ Family for a Family photo session in Holland Park. I love it when clients call me back year after year to capture their family, it allows me to see their children grow up and make a closer connection with them.

Family photographer in Holland Park
Children portrait in Holland ParkThis is the fourth year that I have photographed Alessia and Chris’s family, just in time to make lovely Christmas Cards and calendars (great seasonal Gift idea!) for their friends and family abroad.

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When Chris asked me if we could include a couple of shots with his vintage car, I got just a little bit excited, what a great “prop”!

st-albans-photographer-021 st-albans-photographer-023Family photo session in Holland Park

Children portrait in Holland ParkThe leaf-littered pavements give the images a relaxing autumnal feel. The bright sun also acts as gorgeous natural lighting which illuminates the children and creates shadows on the path, which adds a little something extra to the images.

st-albans-photographer-026 st-albans-photographer-030 st-albans-photographer-046 Family photo session in Holland ParkIt was lovely to see the family again and we had a great time shooting both outside in the sunshine and inside in their beautiful home.

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged this earlier, Jenny got in touch with me previously this year in order to organise an outdoor family photo session in Ashridge. She wanted a really late summer afternoon feel to the session, so we scheduled it to start at 5pm to make the best of the light. The weather is always a bit of a gamble of course but we got really lucky, it was warm and sunny and the tall trees provided shade which was the perfect setting for beautiful portraits.

Twin girl portrait Outdoor family photo session in Ashridge

st-albans-photographer-015Outdoor Family Photo Session in Ashridge

Twin girl portrait Twin girl portrait Outdoor family photo session in Ashridge Outdoor family photo session in Ashridge Photo session in Ashridge Fun family portrait Outdoor family photo session in AshridgeI absolutely loved capturing the relationship between all four of the children, particularly between the younger twin girls, just priceless! The images captured of all four of the children running across the grass especially captures their close relationship and bond with one another.

Outdoor family photo session in Ashridge A boy and his pet

The children aged 10, 8, 4 and 4 were really excited about showing me round their beautiful garden and they had a wonderful time playing games, petting their adorable new guinea pigs, swinging on the climbing frame and I even captured some great action shots of them jumping up and down on the trampoline.

Outdoor family photo session in AshridgeThis final shot of all the family together shows their lovely close and special relationship with each other. I really enjoyed working with them to create this set of gorgeous family photos.

F o l l o w   m e   o n   f a c e b o o k