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Photographing Family Chaos jo scott I M A G E S Discover how you too can see and take great photos of “ordinary” things in everyday family life.

Photographing Family Chaos

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Discover how you too can see and take great photos of “ordinary” things in everyday family life.

Text of Photographing Family Chaos

Page 1: Photographing Family Chaos

Photographing Family Chaos�

jo scottI M A G E S

Discover how you too can see and take greatphotos of “ordinary” things in everyday family life.

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Photographing Family Chaos

Thank you for downloading this ebook. You will discoverhow you too can see and take great photos of “ordinary”things in everyday family life.

It’s all about celebrating childhood and creating art fromthe unexpected.

My photography business strap line is ’….We do notremember days, we remember moments….’ And this ebookencapsulates how cool it is to capture these with yourcamera. You can do it if you read on!

jo scottI M A G E S

“We do not remember days;we remember moments”

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I was chatting with a friend recentlywhile the kids were playing (four boys underten…. it was a fragmented conversation!). We were talkingabout how hectic life is and how the chaos can beoverwhelming.

I reflected that although that is the reality of our juggledlives, there is a lot to enjoy about these times. It seems thatmost people don’t naturally see the beauty in the day today. Maybe it’s the photographer in me but I can look atthe unfolding scenes of devastation around me and see thelife and vitality there.

This conversation, and my subsequent thoughts, have led tothis ebook. If you are a mother (or father!), I hope that you,like me, will look beneath the surface muddle and see thebeauty. It is not so much about photographing yourchildren ...but capturing the moments of family life whichwill soon be gone for ever.

Why did I create this ebook�

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Have you kept your child’s first pair of bootees in a box inthe attic? Their first shoes? I have and it helped me toremember how sweet they were. But there are lots ofthings worth remembering at each stage even if they areless obviously warm and fuzzy. A photograph you can see isa better memory than a stash in a cupboard. Kids grow upso fast that the stages can be forgotten.

Here are some of the stages I want to remember in ourfamily which may give you some ideas.

Remembering the stages�

Obsession with a sport. My sons want to playrugby every waking hour, no matter what the weather, nomatter what they’re wearing. Muddy knees and rugby ballsis I’m sure going to be one of my enduring memories. But it could be something to do with dancing, horse-riding,lego...

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Mess can be the bane of our lives right now. Make themost of the abandoned boots and balls in the hallway, andcarts and toys in the garden. It’s the clearing up after thekids have gone to bed, on a summers evening (just beforethat un-interrupted glass of wine), with the still warm airand birds flitting around, that these images remind me of.

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Favourite toyswill be abandoned one day.Battered cars played withover and over again or acuddly toy taken everywherewill probably disintegrate inthe wash or end up in thecharity shop. Images capturethe moments while the toysare still fiercely loved.

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Poignancy of something that will end soon.They still love having Paddington Bear read to them (withall the voices!). But this is not going to last much longer Iknow as they are on to reading more grown up books forthemselves.

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You may think this is easy for me as I am a photographer.Well, let me go further and, show YOU how to capturethose moments, because, as all my friends with olderchildren say, before you know it the children will beteenagers and then leaving home!

Comfort Food can even take us back to our ownchildhood. Sticky fingers from making chocolate crispiecakes or biscuits evoke memories. For me however, it’s thickslices of fluffy white bread made into delicious jamsandwiches that were a favourite (a tradition that I havecontinued in my family!)

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OK, you’ve seen the possibility of capturing those moments,now you need to think about your camera. It is not somuch about the technology (compact or DSLR) but abouthaving one handy. Even the cheapest cameras these daystake good images, so get to know the one you have andstart experimenting. (Yes it may mean you have to read themanual, but if in doubt, point, shoot, play back, then do itagain).

A general tip is to consider the composition of the image.By getting closer or taking a step to the side, does itbecome more interesting? However, there are four specificaspects I want you to think about when taking yourphotographs that will make your image memorable:

Where to Start…

1. Colour 2. Shape 3. Texture 4. Angle

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Colour can inspire you for an image. You could look forblock colours, monochrome or a mad clash of colour. I’vechosen the fiery reds and oranges of our campervaneggcup, contrasted by the blue plate and brown soldiers fordipping. The egg cup has poignancy for our family as welove surfing (the boys buy campervan memorabiliawhenever we are in the West Country), and our youngestson loves boiled eggs on the weekends! You can see fromthe general shot that this might not have sparked aphotographic interest initially, but by homing in on thecolours it makes a really striking image.

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Find the interesting shape – itmay not be what you firstimagine. These papier machesurfboards made by the kidsstand leaning on our dresser inthe kitchen – I don’t normallynotice them due to all the clutteron the dresser you can see in thegeneral photo. However, moreimpact is made in the image byaccentuating the shape of thecurves by photographing onlyhalf of the boards. A full frameof the two boards might nothave had the same impact…

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At first glance this abandoned teddy on theunmade bed is unremarkable. But then Iremembered that he was given to our firstson by his grandparents and I looked a littlecloser. I loved the texture of his fur, and thelove heart on his foot. Look for things withtexture and try to photograph them withthe light coming from the side to emphasisethe shadows the light throws.

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Tilting the camera to use an unusual angle, or movingyourself higher, lower or sideways adds interest to animage. These medals hang on a corkboard on the wall anda straight shot is dull. However, by focusing on one reallyinteresting medal and tilting the camera slightly, I think thisis an image that I could frame and it will remind me of thepride my children gain from competing in team sports.

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So now you can get photos of moments in family life andmake them special. Hang your pictures on your walls soyou can see them!

Alternatively, if you love the idea of capturing thesemoments but don’t fancy doing it yourself – give me a call!

Your own family memories

jo scottI M A G E S

Here’s my final image of a lovely memory – chubby handstightly clasped around Mummy or Daddy’s neck…

Enjoy taking your photos!

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Do let me know about your own photos. I’d love to hear.

PPS Family portraits are usually better done by aprofessional. (And of course you need to be in the photoyourself!). If you live in South-East England and want afamily portrait do get in touch.


Jo Scott is an independentphotographer living near Windsorwith her husband (Gary – a sculptor)and two small children.

She was inspired to studyphotography whilst travelling in1999 and after more than 15 yearsas a Chartered Surveyor she set upher photography business.

Qualified with the British Instituteof Professional Photographers, shetakes striking, natural images ofchildren, teenagers and families,and has had her photographyexhibited.

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What people say about

Photographing Family Chaos�“My three year old has a teddy that he has with himconstantly and whenever I see him carrying it myheart breaks a little, and it never occurred to me tocapture him with the teddy to remind me of thisadorable stage, so thank you so much for inspiringme to create a reminder which will always make mesmile”Georgie, South West London

“What is so special about this book is that it is notonly a lesson in photography, it is also an eye openerthat the everyday and mundane are also beautifuland special if you look at them in the right way� It'sreally given me great ideas for photos of my family”Nick, East Sussex

“Jo’s images always tell a story��� such fantasticinspiration�”Roz, West London

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Tel 07793 205155 email [email protected] www.joscottimages.co.uk

Photography by Jo Scott.

“We do not remember days;we remember moments”

Thanks to Jean at Creative SparkCommunications for your guidanceand support - igniting me into action!www.creativespark.uk.com

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