This area of my photography came about almost by accident. Several years after I had photographed their wedding, the couple asked me if I would spend the morning with them and capture their time as a family – as two had suddenly become four. They didn’t want a formal family photography portrait session, just great photographs of them being them. This happened a few more times and hence James Darling family photography was born…

At the same time my own family was expanding and this inspired me even more to capture the amazing moments that childhood presents. My relaxed, natural, reportage approach to family photography is a world away from formal studio photography.

“We all had such a fun time when James came and spent the day with us. There was a huge amount of laughter from our two boys as James captured their real characters jumping off sand dunes, surfing and climbing trees. We had never met James before but he put us all at ease and we almost forgot he was photographing us which made for fantastic, natural photos which we absolutely love.”

Tamzin & Ben


I hope you enjoy the selection of real family photography commissions below. They should give you a feel of my reportage style and how I capture the essence of family life.

It’s such an honour to stay in contact with wedding couples and photograph their growing families – occasionally I even photograph some families every couple of years, simply because children evolve so quickly and once that time has gone…it’s gone.

That said its not a prerequisite that I have photographed your wedding or even that you are married! The idea is I spend a morning or afternoon with you all and simply photograph what happens – naturally and unobtrusively. I am lucky enough to live in a beautiful Cornwall where many families come on holiday, so many of my family shoots are centred around the beach, using lovely Cornish light and capturing those idyllic childhood moments.

My family portraiture packages start at £550 for a morning or afternoon shoot (2-3 hours) and they all include 50-100 prints, high resolution USB stick and online gallery with private log-in. I can also provide beautiful hand-made leather book-style albums which are a lasting physical memory & which you can return to again and again.

“James took the most outstanding and skilled photographs of our little baby girl. His manner is professional, approachable and relaxed for the children who without exception found him easy to connect with and were completely at ease. He has a great talent at catching these ‘special’ moments naturally and spontaneously. This makes everyone (parents included) feel that you’re just having fun together and I hardly noticed that James was snapping away.”

Helen & Darren


“Carole and I just wanted to put in writing how very pleased we were with the family photo shoot.  For our golden wedding celebration with the family we chose to be at Watergate Bay because we all love it, particularly the grandchildren. We were particularly keen to employ a photographer who was an expert in informal family photo shoots and you certainly proved to be so. We wanted as a memento of that special occasion – a series of informal group shots incorporating the whole family . The ultimate aim being to have that special shot of all of us adorn our wall at home, and to give framed photos to our children and other family members and close friends. Besides the photos we also have the abiding memory of an hour’s fun that you engendered and we all enjoyed, especially the grandchildren. Your pictures have captured all the various personalities involved! We would certainly recommend your services to any family wanting what we hoped for and got.”

John and Carole


If you like what you see and hear please do get in touch.