Emma Godfrey

Playing in the forest | Story of the photo

Brothers playing together 

Reem and her family have been coming to Crans Montana since she was a little girl. She contacted me for a maternity shoot for her third child. She had some pictures that she asked me to emulate from when she was pregnant with each of her boys. The photos were on the beach and we were up in the mountains, so I went for a similar pose and tried to match the colours. As this was the main reason for the photo shoot, I used the walk to the location to get to know the boys. This would warm them up to me and the camera before we tried to get the shot mum wanted.   We walked along, looking for fish in the lake. The youngest picked flowers for mum and we had a few obligatory running races. They were great fun, really chatty and the whole family quickly fell into my very relaxed way of taking photos. After getting the family photos we decided to head to the park where Reem had played as a child. This had been the reward for the boys being good during the photos. 

The story 

This photo came about because I couldn’t resist the soft light in the forest. I took some shots of dad and his boys before asking the boys if they could help me make their parents smile. In great spirit, they stood behind me pulling faces and running around. When I turned around, they had moved onto a tree stump to be able to see. It wasn’t big enough for them both at the same time, so they were taking it in turns. As one moved off he would leap into the air and this was what was making mum laugh. I asked them how high they could jump and was rewarded with a great competition. The youngest was a little bit cautious at first but I encouraged him by asking him if he would like to try to fly. Then he did this, and it feels just like flying! 

The best games for your photo shoot 

I often photograph small family picnics and people will bring along lots of fun accessories. Yet the photos of kids that I love the most have to be the ones that remind me of what it felt like to be perfectly at play. There is a zeal and wonder that comes from those games that just need a tree stump or a straight road, a big hill to roll down or puddles to jump in. I encourage families to keep a mental note of the things that their kids do that reminds them of their childhood. With these ideas, we can set up games that lets their personalities shine through. 

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