Family Photographer Cornwall

family photographer jump waves

I love family photography especially in my home county of Cornwall but regularly travel further afield. I use the same unique, natural, reportage photographic style as I do when photographing a wedding, so the photographs are authentic; they look and feel real – because they are real.

My relaxed, natural, reportage approach to family photography is a world away from formal studio photography.

How I work on family photography projects

The idea is to spend a morning or afternoon with you all and simply photograph what happens – naturally and unobtrusively. Mornings are generally better for children as everyone is fresh, fed & ready to go. Afternoons can work, particularly if the children are older – plus there is the advantage of better light later in the day. Either way, I will capture a mix of spontaneous moments – reportage photography – as well as any posed group shots…which I try to make as fun and dynamic as possible!

I try to book both a primary and secondary date in my diary – so that we have options. I can’t always 100% guarantee the secondary date as it depends on my working diary…but I do my best to provide some flexibility however some of the best family photo shoots I have done have been in the pouring rain… 

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.

Often it’s a rare multi-generational meeting involving grandparents, parents and grandchildren….or a big group of cousins….or the celebration of a big family anniversary – all of which warrant photography to capture this rare coming-together. Either way it’s always huge fun capturing everyone. I think my record is four generations in one group photograph…which I’m unlikely to beat!

“Carole and I just wanted to put in writing how very pleased we were with the family photography 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 & Carole Field

Family photography portfolio

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. 

Many families come on holiday to Cornwall, so many of my family shoots are centred around the beach, using lovely Cornish light and capturing those idyllic childhood moments. 

WC Fields once famously declared “never work with children or animals. They are scene stealing and completely unpredictable.” Ironically this is exactly what I love about photographing families.

Family photography is challenging but always so rewarding, especially when you capture that special family moment which would otherwise become a distant memory. Photographing children and families, you never know what’s going to happen next, which is just the perfect recipe for an exciting, interesting set of photographs to treasure forever.

“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.”
Ben & Tamzin Tricky

Finding family photography through recommendation

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 loved their reportage wedding photographs and didn’t want a traditional, formal, family portrait session, just great photographs of them being them. This happened a few more times and hence James Darling family photography was born…

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! 

At the same time my own family was expanding and this inspired me further 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 photographs – which we absolutely love…” 

Children grow up so quickly and once that time has gone…it’s gone … unless it’s been photographed…

“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.”

Family photography packages

I offer two family photography packages:

The choice of location is yours. I can photograph at your home or somewhere you all enjoy spending time – the beach or park. The idea is to capture your time as a family as unobtrusively as possible. You enjoy yourselves, forget I am with you and I photograph the day.

Family Photography – Option 1: £890

Including an A4 book style album of around 25 photographs. The albums are beautiful hand-made leather book-style portfolios which are a lasting physical memory & which you can return to again and again.

Family Photography – Option 2: £550

Without an album

Both family photography packages include:

  • James Darling photographing your family for half a day (2-3 hours). Longer photo shoots can be arranged.
  • 50-100 individually edited 7×5 inch family photographs delivered around 7 days after your family photography shoot.
  • High resolution USB stick. The USB is supplied to you with an unlimited perpetual licence meaning the images are yours to do with as you wish, except for commercial profit.
  • Online gallery of your family photographs with download facility and reprint ordering service for use by you and your family.
  • Travel within Cornwall. I am very happy to travel anywhere, although an extra charge will apply for travel and expenses.
  • Family photography albums can be purchased after the photography shoot for £400
  • I do not charge VAT

“Timeless beautiful photographs which I will cherish forever on my walls for all to see. They are pieces of art as much as photographs. I will keep coming back to James for more as my babies grow and develop into young adults!”

To find out more and to book your family photography shoot please do get in touch