Hackney Sunset with the O'Connell-Reynolds

Published on 6 August 2020 at 10:10

Young family swinging little girl in a sunny cornfield

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the O'Connell-Reynolds family (Paul, Vanessa, Skye and baby Ruby) on Hackney Marshes. Paul asked for my family photography package as a surprise birthday gift for Vanessa, who had also had a private yoga session with Marion and slap up Thai meal beforehand. What a birthday!

Young mother smiling and laughing with baby daughter in a sunny cornfield
Young family playing together on a sunny day in a corn field.
Father and daughter lying on their backs looking up at the sky.
Little girl dressed as a fairy with mother and baby sister on a sunny day.
Daddy and daughter rubbing noses in a sunny cornfield
Baby girl wearing a crown smiling in a sunny cornfield
Young girl in fireman outfit in a sunny cornfield.

Skye came prepared for the shoot, with a scooter, a suitcase, a grand total of 4 outfit changes and a whole lot of sass! The shot below with Paul has fast become one of my favourite photos ever.  Such attitude! It could be a hip-hop album cover! 

Father and duaghter looking questionably at photographer in a sunny cornfield.
Baby girl sitting on her mum's shoulders and smiling in a sunny cornfield.
Young father balancing his daughter on his feet on a sunny day in a cornfield.
Young father and young daughter looking at a flower on a sunny day.
Baby girl wearing a crown smiling at the camera.

As you can see, we couldn't really have asked for a better day for a photo shoot. We actually had to postpone the shoot twice down to very cloudy and overcast weather... which would have made for very different photos!  Thankfully on the morning of the shoot we knew it was going to be a good one, so we waited until the 'golden hour' (about an hour before sunset) for the shoot and then got going. This time of day along with the hour after sunrise is the absolute best for shooting photos, as the sun is so low in the sky that the light catches everything (e.g. the corn or people's hair) and creates a perfect warm backlight which is especially great for family shoots.

Father and young baby laughing together at the camera.
Young father holding his baby daughter upside down on a sunny day.

You'll probably notice there's a fair few photos of the girls being held upside down by Vanessa and Paul. This was a flash of inspiration right towards the end of the session by Vanessa and led to my absolute favourite shots of the shoot, with the setting sun casting a beautiful glow onto the faintly ridiculous but incredibly warm family scene of Paul holding Ruby over Skye and Vanessa. It did backfire on her however, as soon Ruby wasn't happy unless she was upside down!

Baby girl being held upside down playing with her sister.
Young father lying down on the grass holding his baby girl over his head.
Mother and young daughter with pigtails looking into each others eyes on a sunny day in a cornfield.
Young family holding hands on a sunny day in a cornfield.
Father playing with two young daughters on a sunny day.

All in all I had a great shoot, and just a lovely time in general with the O'Connell-Reynolds family. I love the creative posing they came up with and the props and outfit choices were inspired. They provided a perfect pink/blue colour scheme without me even asking them to! As I was walking home through Hackney I had a real buzz inside from having such a nice time and knowing with near certainty that the photos were going to come out fantastically... which they did! Thanks for a lovely evening guys, and happy birthday Vanessa!

Young family playing together on a sunny day in the countryside.

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