Capturing Childhood

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When me and Suzi talk about our business together, and why we do what we do, it always comes down to how we’d like everyone to be able to capture family life now, either by a pro, or in their own photographs, as these moments we’re documenting are the ones our future families will be holding close. There’s never been a time when there’s so much emphasis on this, to celebrate lives and tell their unique stories, catching the beauty of the everyday as well as the things that make you you.

On the 30th & 31st of March, we’re running our third CAPTURING CHILDHOOD photography retreat. You can click on this link to find all about it. As family photographers, we wanted to pass on what we’ve learnt over the last 10 years to other photographers who might just be setting up their business, or to parents who’d like to be able to document their own family life.

Nestled on the edge of woodland and moor, our retreats take place in a beautiful barn just above Hebden Bridge. It’s the perfect place to relax, learn, feast, and be inspired. Over the weekend there are a number of shoots we’ll do together with different aged children, and this culminates in a family shoot on the Sunday.

Over the weekend we look at how to use different light, capturing movement and connections, editing photos, finding your style, and you’ll leave with a portfolio of images from the shoots we have.

We wanted to share some photos taken by the people who’ve been on our capturing childhood weekends, so the following photos were all taken by our retreatees.

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If you’d like to learn with us, we’d love to have you. You can find more information and book your place on the Capturing Childhood weekend here.

‘The practical exercises and shoots with children and families of all ages were essential in boosting our confidence and also learning on the go. It was incredibly helpful to look through Sarah and Suzi's work and ask questions about logistics, kit, technique and lighting - seeking out pockets of natural light has been a game changer!  However, for me, the retreat went much further than the settings of the camera. I am so grateful for the opportunity to explore my photography on a much deeper level and start to understand not only how to take pictures, but question why I am taking them and what feeling I want to evoke when other people look at them. I would recommend this course to anyone who has an interest in capturing childhood moments - either as a parent or a photographer.’ Rosie




Life on the Stairs

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When I arrive for a family shoot at home, I always have a little walk round to peek at the light. More often than not, it's spilling onto the staircase. You can almost hear the feet over the past few years. The rushings to school with half done laces, the slow procrastinating walk to bed, parents hollering from the first step that 'tea's on the table'. The patter of pets, carpet worn, and piles of things to take up. Staircases see a lot of life, they're a good spot for a photo.

Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography
Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography

I took the photo below the other day as first light crept into our house. 

Sarah Mason Photography, Yorkshire portrait photographer, family photography

I saw moments ahead of us around life on the stairs. In a few weeks, we'll be bringing our baby bean home and gently walking up the stairs for our first night together at home. Up for baths and down to welcome visitors. In a few years, tiny hands holding onto those spindles as first steps are made. Bum shuffles down them, school bags left at the bottom, winter jacket hood hooked over the bannister. Excited feet racing down on Christmas Day morning, a hug on the landing and a moment to stroke the cat on his favourite middle step. Moments to look at the photos hanging on the wall on the way up, and moments to look in the mirror on the way down. In this moment, I saw life on these stairs. 

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A Year In Pictures

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Me and Suzi love this time of year. We've spent time with family and friends over the festivities, we've allowed ourselves time to curl up on the sofa to begin to read the pile of books we've been gathering over the last few months. And now, we go into planning mode for the year ahead, both for the business, and what adventures we'd like to share together over the next twelve months.

Firstly, we'd like to say a great big  T H A N K  Y O U  for all your support, the follows, the bookings, we are so grateful and we've loved spending time with you all. 2017 was the first year of not doing weddings, and we felt like we were heading a little into the unknown, but it was the right time for us to do this to nurture our family photography, and let our training and commercial work grow and develop. So, here's our year in pictures - thank you so much for sharing it with us. Here's to a wonderful 2018!

The start of 2017  was all about logs on the fire, planning the year ahead, and crisp morning walks. We had some cute shoots too.

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In FEBRUARY, we headed up to Scotland to see if we could track down a starling murmuration, something we'd both wanted to see for such a long time. The sky didn't disappont.

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We made a short film about those beautiful birds too...

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The first signs of SPRING started to slowly reveal themselves.

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My Scottish trip plans came to fruition in MARCH, and I left the Hebden Bridge cobbles for the wilds of the Highlands. I travelled around the tip of the top of the country on the North Coast 500 route.

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And then back into the flow of things for some fun SPRING family sessions.

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In JUNE, we headed over to Dublin for 10 days. We were delighted to be commissioned by Tesco Ireland to create the stills for their new 'Family Makes Things Better' campaign. The ferry trip over was pretty blustery as you can see below. This little film looks like we were working with Guinness - who knows, maybe one day! 

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In the SUMMER, my Mum and Dad started packing as they were about to move house. I found lots of treasures from my teenage years, and decided to record each room in a series of self portraits. It hit me harder than I thought it would. You can read more about it here in a blog about my childhood home and the memories I have there.

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After Mum and Dad had just moved out of my childhood home, I became really drawn to doing more family shoots in the family home. I started to see echoes of my own childhood in these photos too,  and I really think this is what I'd been searching for. 

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Through Hanna (below), we both found a new love for wild swimming, and had a few late afternoon strolls to Gaddings Dam for a dip.

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OCTOBER came, we ran our first photography retreat and loved it! We'd been running 1-2-1 training courses for a number of years, so the retreats were a natural progression. We have more dates in for this year. To kick off the programme, we're starting with Capturing Childhood in March. You can check out our retreat page here for more info or to book....

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The days started to draw in, and with the change in seasons, along came the low light and those beautiful tones.

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This is one of my cherished personal moments from a family party when the oldest member of my family, my great aunt Eileen, met the youngest member, baby Daniel.

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And as we slowed down for the festivities, we started to think about what we'd like to bring into 2018...

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We'd love to spend more time with loved ones, and more time in the trees. We'd love to spend time with you, capturing your big beautiful hearts in our photos. We'd love to capture those precious moments, big and small, and create a little snapshot of all our lives today for our families in the future. We want to keep looking for the light and to soak up the sun. 2017 was the year we felt we could really hear our voices, felt truly comfortable in our style, so thanks to everyone who continues on this journey with us, and for all your support. It really does mean the world to us. We'll leave you with a picture one of our friends' daughters drew for us this year. As usual, in most of our photos, there's Suzi on the left, and me, a little bit smaller on the right. Here's to you, and here's to a marvellous 2018. 

Sarah & Suzi xx

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