Have you had a baby last year? Then I have something for you. I promise you will love it!
As a professional baby, child and family portrait photographer I passionately believe that every family deserves to have beautiful photographs of their kids, to have all the love captured and milestones documented.
Recently I have been thinking about all the women who became mums last year (through giving birth, surrogacy or adoption), among all the pandemic uncertainty, restrictions and chaos.
I have been trying to imagine how it must have been for you. To not be able to easily reach out for support, help or just some human connection. I remember how much I relied on my wonderful little tribe of sleep-deprived and somewhat, inevitably, clueless NCT mums and what a lifeline our meetings were. Or how life-changing it was to get help from a breastfeeding consultant, or easily and safely have my baby seen by a GP. I think about it and my heart breaks for all of you who didn’t have that. I wonder how much fear you must have felt – we still know so little about how Covid-19 affects pregnant women and babies.
And I am really sad for all the parents (including my clients whom I had to turn away during lockdown) who haven’t been able to have their new babies photographed.
I have prepared a super helpful, step-by-step guide on ‘How to photograph your baby like a pro’ to help you make that happen. If you follow my advice you will be able to create similar images and capture your child’s story as in this video
(make sure you view it full screen for all the sweet little details :-))
No fancy equipment or specialist knowledge required; all you need is your camera or phone.
As a family photographer I want to not only take beautiful portraits of babies, children and families, but also tell stories. Here is a story that’s both heartbreaking and uplifting. A story about hope, loss, despair and triumph. And most of all – about love.
“I am 31, married and living in London. This is my story…
In September 2013, after nine months of trying to conceive, we found out that natural conception was extremely unlikely – IVF, or ICSI to be precise, was required. The day we found out I was scared. I had always hoped to have a large family and I feared we may never have a child. However once we met with our consultant and found out what the process entailed I felt enormously reassured and hopeful. IVF was unfortunate yes, not to mention stressful and expensive, but we were told that the outlook was good. I was only 29. I felt positive and determined to succeed.
After needles, pills, suppositories, mood swings, scans, an egg collection, an embryo transfer and an agonising wait we were thrilled to be pregnant. Full of excitement, hope and expectation we dreamt and fantasised about life with our baby. Baby names were discussed, pram research was undertaken and nursery wallpaper samples arrived.
But devastatingly it was not to be. Our world shattered when we were told at our 20 week scan that our baby was suffering from a debilitating condition which would severely affect its quality of life. Crushed, utterly inconsolable and completely shocked, we made the heart-breaking decision to terminate the pregnancy. I remember the hospital, the delivery and coming home feeling everything was broken. I remember waking the next day and then realising what had happened, what was lost, and feeling like things would never be okay again. The ordeal was awful, but not in comparison to the challenge of coming to terms with the horrendous turn of events. Having triumphed with the fertility treatment it seemed especially cruel for it to all be snatched away.
We rebuilt ourselves after the overwhelming sadness and grief. Grief for the decision we had to make, the loss of our special baby, and the emptiness that engulfed our lives and hearts. My husband was my rock, my hero, my constant support. It brought us closer than we could have imagined.
Time seemed to stand still as we waited until we could try again. I was desperate to be pregnant again. I missed the baby I had carried for 5 months. My best friend and many others I knew were pregnant and that was difficult. We had been planning to go through the stages of motherhood and enjoy maternity leave together. Now every bump I saw was like a knife through my heart.
We had two frozen embryos left from our IVF cycle and we were fortunate that three months after our tragic loss we became pregnant again. This time, grateful though we were, we were filled with anxiety about our baby’s health. It was hard to imagine that we could have a positive outcome. Despite the doctors reassuring us that our baby was healthy I couldn’t relax until I held him in our arms.
One year ago Levi Nathaniel was born. When he arrived our dreams came true. To say we adore him is an understatement. He is the centre of our world. He healed us and made us feel like the luckiest parents in the world.
Our parenting is undoubtedly influenced by our journey. I view him as completely miraculous and extra special. Consequently I have been more over-protective of my precious baby than I may have ordinarily been.
Despite the many hurdles and challenges you can encounter on the road to motherhood there can be a happy ending that exceeds all your wildest dreams. We have had an emotional journey through infertility, IVF, pregnancy loss and parenthood. Thankfully the storm has passed and the sun is now shining brightly.”
Deborah’s image and story were part of my photographic project ‘Waiting for the Mmiracle; Through Infertility to Motherhood.’
18 wonderful, brave women took part and shared their most personal and intimate stories to raise awareness of infertility, miscarriage and baby loss. Our main aim was to support others who are still on their journeys to parenthood and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles.
I will be publishing their full stories on the blog over the coming weeks. Please sign up to my mailing list if you want to follow them and get notifications.
I’m super excited, proud and grateful to have my work recognised by an established body for professional documentary family photographers: This is Reportage: Family (https://thisisreportagefamily.com/)
Some of my most admired mentors and talented colleagues submitted their images and to be awarded alongside them is a huge honour.
The awards are given to “exceptional single captures – family moments captured with artistry and flair”.
I may blush a bit, but I’ll take that!
Which of the three awarded images is your favourite?
As a London-based family and child photographer, my main goal is to create images that people will fall in love with and tell stories of beauty and love through pictures.
I offer both studio portrait and documentary/lifestyle photo sessions and photograph clients all over London, including my local Hampstead and Highgate, as well as other areas of North, South, East and West London.
Please contact me to talk about your professional family photo shoot and how you would like to be photographed.
I have noticed a few new people visiting here recently (yay, you are here!) so I thought I’d reintroduce myself.
I am a documentary and portrait family photographer based in London.
I am also: a recovering psychologist, proud immigrant, an unapologetic feminist and a notorious oversharer, creative perfectionist and a very imperfect mum.
I live in North London (Highgate) but work all over the capital. Most of my clients come from the neighbouring Hampstead and Camden but also Kensington, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Richmond, Wimbledon, Mayfair, Belgravia and many more. I also travel all over the UK and internationally.
I am obsessed with helping families create a meaningful photographic legacy:
– photographing families
– helping parents to take the best photos of their children themselves.
If you would like to get useful tips and tutorials on photographing your little people, please CLICK HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and get them straight into your inbox!
I am a natural people photographer but couldn’t take a decent landscape picture to save my life.
I have a background in psychology which I draw upon in my work with families and in my attempts to bring up my own two kids as happy and decent human beings. I love sharing helpful psychological insights on parenting and swapping stories – the funny and the difficult ones – with other mums.
I have two amazing (obviously!) IVF children: Maja and Leonard. I speak openly about my infertility history to raise awareness and support others.
I’m Polish by birth, British by choice and a Londoner by passion.
I love reading, particularly books by different nationality authors as they give me a window into cultures different than my own. My favourite authors are: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigerian), Thirty Umrigar (Parsi Indian living in the USA), Zeruya Shalev (Israeli) and Majgull Axelsson (Swedish).
Now I have started seven paragraphs with ‘I’, which feels rather uncomfortable and more than enough! I can’t wait to help you create beautiful images of your own family, filled with love and meaning.
Because, if I were to sum up what I do in only one sentence, it would be:
“I photograph love.”
I’d love to find out more about you – please say hello in comments.
PS. The images are self-portraits – one of the very few things a photographer can do in a pandemic!
So now I not only have award winning photographs but also an award winning website! Agata Photography has just won Gold and Silver Lovie Awards, for Personal Website and Best Design!!
Thank you to the fantastic eDesign team for helping me make my internet home so beautiful, it truly feels like my space and reflects who I am and what my works stands for.
Overtaking the Italian Vogue in “the best in originality and creativity” competition is no mean feat and I’m in a mood to celebrate in style. In addition to cracking a champagne bottle open I also have a special offer:
FIRST TEN FAMILIES WHO BOOK A DOCUMENTARY PHOTO SESSION IN OCTOBER, AND CHOOSE ONE OF MY COLLECTIONS, WILL RECEIVE A COMPLEMENTARY 6” FINE ART ALBUM!
A perfect present for grandparents. (There, your birthday present conundrum solved.)
It doesn’t matter when your session actually happens, as long as you make the booking in October you are in.
To find out more about my documentary family sessions please CLICK HERE.
To organise an informal chat about your session and the offer or make a booking HEAD HERE.
A little while ago I met a fantastic young professional family in North West London for a family photography session.
I met Anna, James and their five month-old baby Darcy at their home in St John’s Wood for a family documentary photography shoot. Anna and James chose documentary photography to capture their family memories in the most natural and relaxed way. We spent a couple of leisurely hours in their flat and then headed out to one of the local parks where they often run and cycle or just play with Darcy. Anna and James are both super sporty and take little Darcy outdoors as often as possible to get her used to enjoying active play outdoors.
The little girl was a dream to photograph – happy and curious about the camera – even though she wasn’t feeling on top of her form because of a cold and teething. Luckily, with the reportage approach to family photography it is all about the real, genuine interactions between parents and children. Which meant that nose wiping and applying Bonjela to sore little gums were not distractions or obstacles during the session but real moments of love and care worth capturing just as cuddles and play.
Anna and James loved their pictures and agreed to share them online, together with their family story. To get to know them better and see the images we created on the day please CLICK HERE.
If there is anyone up there listening, in my next life I would like to be a ballet dancer please.
Or maybe not – it is probably a lot of work. Can I just look like one? And have that grace which makes my every move look like an incredibly elegant dance sequence. Can I be that kind of person who sits, eats, walks and even wipes her nose elegantly?
And, on top of that, If I can have an incredibly sharp and curious mind, one that can dream of becoming and astrophysicist, that would just be fantastic.
Thinking of it, maybe it’s not a dancer thing. Maybe it’s just Sophie.
Please watch the photo film below to see some beautiful images Sophie and I created together recently.