Leaving Party Photography At Brockwell Park Lido

My fellow photographer pal Tash asked me to photograph a leaving bash for one of her good friends at Brockwell Park Lido and it was a corker.

Tash and some of her other friends had gifted me to Bridget and David… what an utterly gorgeous idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple so adored by their friends and no doubt they will be deeply missed in South London as they start their new lives across the waters in Canada.

Tash went for a two hour coverage, half reportage and half the photo salon… Bridget and David were utterly thrilled to have all the people who have been such a big part of their lives in London gathered together one last time. What a lovely bunch of people…. Sxx

“Thank you for the most amazing photos!!!! We absolutely LOVE the pics and are so, so happy to have them to remind us of all our friends and a fabulous night. Thank you so much for bringing all the props and capturing so many people.” Bridget

“Soph, you brilliant thing. Thank you so so much. I can’t look at them without weeping. In a really good way.” Tash

Photographing friends...

So when we moved to Cuckfield from South London we left behind lifelong friends and opened the door to new amazing friends in Cuckfield. So inevitably the lifelong friends slip away from your everyday life and they become like family that you see intensively every other month or so, your kids become like cousins and fall straight back into their easy way of being together… so this is what happened this weekend, although I only got my camera out for a dog walk in New England woods (which is literally on our doorstep) and a play in the garden after lunch.

I love weekends with our newly named ‘London friends’, we’ve all known each other for at least 20 years and consist of 5 families… feel blessed.

Anyway here are a selection of the images, mostly of the kids. These are my pals and their kids but this is basically what I do when I photograph the lives of my clients.


Photographing A's christening at the spectacular Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London

Brompton Oratory is a truly magnificent place of worship and a pure feast for the lens. The interior exudes calm with a stunning main altar and many side chapels which each have their own distinctive aura. It really is a place of overwhelming beauty, I felt very privileged to be photographing A’s christening in such an important place of worship.

The family were keen for just a short coverage of the ceremony so they could fully immerse themselves in the occasion and celebrate their memories in the pictures.


West London family photography with Bubble&Bean Family Photography

I’ve just been accepted to the prestigious FPJA (Family Photojournalists Association) which I’m absolutely thrilled about. Creating images of families truly immersed in their lives is exactly what I’m passionate about and the FPJA is focused on pure documentary making, which is something I aspire to do in the most beautiful way possible.

Needless to say being a family photojournalist means that you need to love kids and not just the cute teeny ones, also the awkward, gangly teens and pretty much everything in between. At the end of the day we’re not having a photoshoot we’re doing something you love doing and I’m photographing all the family dynamics in your own environment to create the best pictures you’ve ever seen of your family. So I quite often find myself setting the world to rights with a 6 year old or being let into the world of a 12 year olds imagination as I join them on their adventure, photographing all the way. I love my job.

Having been photographing families for over 8 years I have a lot of repeat customers and it always makes me laugh when parents tell me that their kids have been begging them for another Bubble&Bean photoshoot (don’t worry I’m under no allusion that it’s me - it’s the fun factor of eating chocolate at 10am and having ‘kids in charge’ moto on sessions).

Here is a selection from a ‘New Life’ shoot with my cousin Chessie, who I hadn’t seen for ten years, eek!! So utterly gorgeous to reconnect and to meet her husband and kids. Chessie just wanted pics of the kids at home, all very natural, having a chilled Sunday at home… mission accomplished.


Ultimate Father’s Day Gift - memories to treasure forever

What could be more magical than capturing those father-daughter or father-son moments as they happen, in your own family environment recorded in photographs to treasure forever. Whether it’s at home, the park, the beach or somewhere else meaningful to your family, this very special family photoshoot opportunity is an ideal Father’s Day gift.

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The Bubble&Bean recipe for a successful family photoshoot.

I’ve just photographed a family (The Milewski family) who really took on board all the pre shoot tips and it was an absolute belter.  To give a bit of context the family are American, have three kids (Jack 8 yrs, Will 6yrs and Kate 2.5 yrs) and moved from New York to Sussex for a few years.  They really wanted the images to reflect their time in England so that in years to come they can look back and enjoy their memories in a very real, evocative way.   As well as wanting their images to capture their Sussex life for future memory indulgences they also wanted some beautiful portraits of the kids to frame and hang on the wall.

My advise to them was to pick a location which holds lots of memories for them.  That location would count for half the shoot and then the second half would be spent at home doing something they’d typically do on a weekend.  In their case it was making pizza from scratch as a family.  I also spent time discussing what the kids were into so that we could focus a bit on that too, in the case of the boys it was fossils, which was really visual and fun as they had pretty large collections.

I’ve been photographing families for ten years now and after the Milewski shoot I came up with the ultimate recipe for a family photoshoot:


The Bubble&Bean recipe for a successful family photoshoot:

Limitless BRIBES of both the sugary and toy variety (I joke not), making the experience special with lots of fun incentives and treats.  I have a box full of bubbles, sweeties and confetti cannons which always creates a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.


An outdoor LOCATION which is both visually interesting and is somewhere that you regularly spend time.


Decent LIGHT can really elevate a family photoshoot.  The best kind of light for us photographers to be able to shoot all day is a nice diffuse light created by clouds. 


Making the photoshoot a really FUN experience for the kids, something that they’ll really engage with, whether it’s playing games, cooking or just hanging out at their favourite place.


So at the end of the day if you plan lots of fun stuff that you know your kids will love and the locations carry meaning then it’s 100% down to me to engage with the kids (and get the images).  Once the kids are in the zone you parents completely relax and the shoot just flies by.

So here are the Milewski’s images, it’s a really good shoot to illustrate what can be achieved in a few short hours.

Oh and here’s a gorgeous Facebook review from Melissa Milewski:

“Sophie did the most amazing job with our family photoshoot! She was so much fun and made us all really comfortable. She brought fun props like bubble guns and silly string that made the kids really enjoy it too (in an amazing gold treasure chest no less). She just made it all seem like one big amazing adventure and my kids (who usually don’t like their photos taken) really got into the spirit of it and kept finding new spots for her to photograph them and couldn’t stop laughing.

We just received our photos (only 2 days after the shoot!) and they blew me away. She somehow managed to capture everyone in my family perfectly in really natural, beautiful shots. The photos are beautifully framed and composed and the level of detail in each is incredible. By far my favorite family photos we’ve ever done. I highly recommend Sophie and Bubble & Bean!”

If you fancy capturing your everyday I have an exclusive FATHERS DAY OFFER… you can purchase a Bubble&Bean gift voucher as the ultimate gift.


The voucher costs £300 and includes:

90 mins family session

75+ fullsize digital files

Wooden presentation box containing 30 5” x 7” prints and a wooden usb

An online gallery of your images

A pre shoot phone consultation