6 Tips For Telling A Story – UK Family Photographery

6 Tips For Telling A Story – UK Family Photographery

National Storytelling Week 2017 28th January-4th February


Words fail me. A lot actually. I’m one of those emotional people that feels everything far deeper than is probably necessary. Sometimes words don’t come easily or quickly enough to convey what I want them to, and that can be frustrating for me. So it’s no surprise I became a photographer, a ‘visual storyteller’ if you will.

Stories, in any form, connect us to our emotions and our humanity. They are what link us to our past. Since humans first walked the earth, they have told stories, before even the written word or oral language. Through cave drawings and over fires, humans have told stories as a way to shape our existence. It’s a universal feature of every country and every culture. On a much smaller scale, each family has a unique story of their own that needs to be preserved. Each tiny moment lived adds to that story. A camera can capture, when the mind could easily forget. Making sure that your family’s story is told in years to come, to your grandchildren’s grandchildren, is easier than ever. Digital technology has allowed us to record every detail in our lives. Our children can flip through snapshots of nearly every week of their lives since they were born. I know my 6 year old can. Each photo invokes an emotion in him, jogs his memory and adds another piece to the puzzle that is his life. One day he will sit with his own children, as we do now, and he will tell them a story about the time in each photo.  When he’s not around, they will have the evidence of a life lived, a character that is familiar or unfamiliar to them. They can tell their own stories based on what they’ve seen. They will become the keeper of our family’s memories.

If you feel inspired to make sure your family’s story is preserved authentically, I’ve got 6 tips for you. These tips are not hard and fast, they are merely suggestions.

1 – Don’t Direct

The stories that unfold in front of us when we just observe, are sometimes far better than anything we can plan.

Storytelling through family photos

2 – Record Everyday Moments

Sometimes the most beautiful and telling stories come from the everyday moments we can take for granted.  Slow down and observe the little day to day moments, because soon you’ll realise nothing is ordinary.


3 – Feel The Emotion

If you can invoke any kind of feeling in the viewer of your photo then you’ve created a story. As humans we are attuned to facial expressions and body language. You might have a split second to capture it so be ready.

using expression in family photos

4 – Use the Environment 

Step back and include any obvious environmental objects that add to the telling of the story. Outdoors and indoors. Don’t worry about the clutter so much in your home. In fact, you can even embrace it. Objects captured in photos can jog memories as much as the people in them can.

outdoor family photography story

5 – Change Your Perspective

Really tell a story by changing your perspective. Getting down lower to take the shot can emphasis scale, vulnerability, intimacy. It helps the viewer relate by bringing out their inner child.

fun family stories

6 – Add Depth

You can tell the viewer that there is more than one important aspect to the shot, without words. Bringing a scene to life, by creating a 3 dimensional feel to a 2 dimensional still image, is a trick that’s not too difficult to master. Having a foreground and background plays to the innate human voyeuristic instinct, which creates impact in a photograph.  


Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions, comments or would like to see of these posts please let me know below. I’d love to hear from you. While you’re here, take a look around my website and see all the family stories that have been started or added to over the years that I have been a photographer.

Ricky and Malika – London Marriage Proposal Photography

Ricky and Malika – London Marriage Proposal Photography

I answered the phone one Friday afternoon, a guy called Ricky nervously asks me if I’m free the next morning because he needs a photographer in Greenwich Park. He told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend and would like to have a photographer there to capture the moment. I must admit, I let out a little squeal at the prospect of capturing such a moment! So yes, of course I was free!!

About half an hour after than initial conversation we were on a recce for the perfect ‘proposal location’ in Greenwich Park. It had to have the view but it also had to be located close to the central pathway. Ricky was going to tell his girlfriend Malika he was taking her to lunch in Blackheath, so they’d have an excuse to walk through the park. The location he chose was perfect for them, right in between the Queen’s House and Royal Observatory – oh yes, and they’ll never ever forget the location, it’s a pretty famous spot… it’s only where time begins!!

Ricky was a man with a plan. It was going to be nothing less than perfect. So, he spent the day hunting down everything he needed for the big proposal. The idea was that he was going to have me set it up in the morning, this meant I took care of the bag and ring overnight (!!), after I set it all up they just happen upon it during their walk through the park on their way to breakfast. He hoped that Malika would be curious enough about the unattended balloons in the middle of the park that she would go over and check it out. Not only would there be balloons, but a classic Chanel handbag! Which would be surprise enough for any woman but the pièce de résistance – the beautiful rose gold, drop stone engagement ring, would be hidden in the bag. She would discover all of this as he reads an emotional heartfelt letter and gets down on one knee. Sounds like something right out of a movie…

Well guys, that’s exactly how it went. Everything was planned so meticulously that the plan he had in his head was the exactly what played out in real life. To top it all off, she said YES!

Greenwich Family Portrait Session – London Family Photographer

Greenwich Family Portrait Session – London Family Photographer

Family Portrait Photographer London

Greenwich Family Portrait Session – London Family Photographer

Greenwich Family Portrait Session – London Family Photographer
Being a family photographer in Greenwich, there is nothing more that I love than to spend time with families in their home. When they are at their most relaxed, especially the kids, it means they can really let go and enjoy the session.  A relaxed photography session means beautiful, natural images as a result.

MaryJane and her family made me feel very welcome in their home, we started the photo shoot in the bedroom where I like to get the family shots first. The playfulness of the family comes across so well in these shots, they have a lot of fun together! I’m a little bit (ok a lot!) in love with each and every shot in this blog post, each one shows such great connection and character. For me, professional family photography should be all about that. It should bear no resemblance to stiff school photos or studio shots. It should show the personalities of each individual and the place where they come together, the home. The most important of places that hold the memories made there.

If you’d like to have a photo session in your home then I’d love to hear from you – contact@andreawhelan.com

You can see more photo sessions here 

Family Portrait Photographer London

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Gift Voucher for family photography sessions | Greenwich Family photographer

Gift Vouchers

An Andrea Whelan photography gift voucher makes a unique, timeless gift for expectant parents, birthdays, weddings, family events or as a thank you to someone special.

gift voucher andrea whelan photography

Birthday, Christmas, Family Gift Voucher

You can choose the amount you wish to spend and even personalise it with a message for the special recipient.

Email me at contact@andreawhelan.com or call me on 07793053318

Family Photographer Greenwich – 5 reasons why I love photographing families in Autumn

Family Photographer Greenwich

Family Photographer Greenwich

Being a family photographer in Greenwich is pretty darn special.  Being a family photographer in Greenwich during our cripsy Autumn months is positively enviable to photographers all over the world! It is my most favourite time of the year to shoot, despite being my absolute busiest. What could be better than wrapping up warm in your beautiful knitwear, or donning the fashionable wellies and having a kick about in the autumn leaves while basking in the golden sunlight?

Why I love being a Greenwich Family Photographer…

1) The Colours
The colourful tones of autumn are a joy to photograph in Greenwich especially. Having one of the best parks in London on our doorstep is a gift that we need to make the most of!

family photographer in Greenwich

2) The Light

The light is much more flattering in Autumn, the sun stays low in the sky for most of the day. I feel like I have the best job in the world when there is a crisp blue sky, and when the still warm sun casts the most beautiful light on the family I’m photographing, it just makes it all worth while.

Greenwich Family Photographer
3) The Historic Buildings and Parks  

As a photographer who specialises in families and children I have made a point of scouting for the best locations for a shoot in Greenwich and the surrounding areas. With my experience I’ve gotten to know specific locations through and through and I am able to offer clients a variety of images with my signature consistent high quality.

The Royal Naval College,
The Queens House,
Greenwich Park,
Sutclife Park,
Charlton Park,
Eltham Palace

Greenwich Family Photographer

4) Throwing Leaves!

My style of photography is very much natural lifestyle with minimal posing. I heartily encourage lots of fun to be had, not just by the children but by us all!!! Throwing leaves is a classic childhood activity. A simple but beautiful one that deserves to be captured, so I make it my business to!


5) Hats and Scarves! 

Who does not love a fashionable autumn look? So many options with the layers and textures. As a professional photographer who knows that every element matters to the finished images I have lots of useful ‘what to wear guides’ for you.



If you’d like to make the most of our changing seasons and wonderful borough you live in then get email me at contact@andreawhelan.com


Baby London Magazine {SE11 family photographer}

Baby London Magazine {SE11 family photographer}

I am super excited to be a feature photographer in Baby London Magazine. Check it out here!

Eloise and Arnel welcomed me into their home for the first Baby London magazine shoot. Their gorgeous daughter Tess was having a snack when I arrived so i had a chat to Dad and he told me about his job and the cool pictures on the wall in their home.

Once Tess was finished we had lots of fun while she showed us her awesome cruising skills around the living room furniture and her super fast crawling across the floor while I tried to capture her every move. Muma dn Dad told me that she was a very inquisitive baby with new people and therefore didn’t do much smiling to begin with… I think we got around that challenge!

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