Photographing Family - Ethel & Mabel

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Ethel and her sister Mabel, have such a sense of old world charm and style. I started documenting their life, (well actually at the time it was just Ethel), back in early 2015. I’d heard Ethel liked a cup of tea, and I wanted to record a Saturday morning with her at her house. If you’ve been following my new project on Instagram, I guess she was my first Tea For Two! And then, a year later, Mabel came into the world. Spending a morning with them was the first step into filmmaking for me, and the film I made still has such a special place in my heart. Roll on three years, and I went back up to document their morning together recently. I hope they’ll cherish these photos of them in their childhood home as much as I’ve loved documenting their life there. My style and edit choices might have changed a bit, but the sentiment remains the same. Here’s Ethel and Mabel, a story in mornings, so far.

It starts with Ethel. When I first arrived at her house, she took me by the hand, sat me down, and started to recount stories about her summer holiday. Her morning unfolded - reading books, dunking buttery biscuits into steaming cups of tea, all to the soundtrack of Saturday morning tunes on the record player.  

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And then, along came Mabel….

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And our latest shoot together…

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This is what we love about our portrait shoots, documenting these moments in life that may feel insignificant at the time, but looking back, are so poignant.  Beauty in the small things, beauty in the everyday.

If you’d like us to document your family life, we’ve just added some new packages. If you’d like to take a look, just click on the photo link below. We’d love to tell your story.





Stories of the Everyday - Winter Light

Sarah Mason Photography Monthly Theme

And in the blink of an eye, here we are wishing January a fond farewell and welcoming in a new month. We hope it’s been a good start to the year for you. After talking about having monthly themes to our Stories Of The Everyday Instagram hashtag for a while, it felt good to launch it this month. We’ve loved watching this community grow, our Friday round ups showing all our weeks in photos, and the interactions between everyone.

We’ve always thought having a theme can really help focus your mind when you’re taking photos, so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming when you’re out and about with your camera. As we are in the depths of winter, with the sun low in the sky, and with it being one of our favourite subjects to talk about, we thought our first theme should be Winter Light. Thanks to everyone for joining in. We’ve had cosy home days, snowy adventures, big skies, winter beach walks and the first signs of spring. Here are a selection of shots. As we launched this on Instagram, we have credited the photos and linked to Instagram accounts. Would you like to join in in February? Our theme is Frames. Think framing your subject by windows, doors, trees, mirrors, people. It’s a great compositional tool to make your photos stand out. We’ll be posting about it on Instagram over the next couple of days. And please share with anybody you know who’d like to join in.

But for now, let’s celebrate all that is winter light, and embrace its golden glow.

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




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