Personal Pick 17: discreet christening photography in London – St Peter in Chains, Crouch End

Personal Pick 17: discreet christening photography in London – St Peter in Chains, Crouch End

Toddler at a christening

Why I chose this photograph (from a London christening at St Peter in Chains, Crouch End):

The simple answer is, it made me chuckle!

As well as documenting the key moments of a christening or baptism, I love also documenting the little moments that are unique to each family. This little chap had grown tired of the service and was looking for someone to play with. I saw him fiddling with his baby brother’s shawl and realised something funny was about to happen. The adults started discreetly playing peekaboo using the shawl, which bought them a few more moments of calm. I only had to turn my camera from the main action for a second or two to catch this hilarious moment – and I’m so glad that I did.

I love the contrast between the formal clothes, the beautiful flowing gown, the smart shoes with the silver converse and the comedy shawl on his head. I love recording the little details that each family will recognise as absolutely theirs – the double decker bus brought to entertain the toddler, the amount of thought it takes to get a toddler through a long service without too much drama. I love how the men’s legs merge into an animal shape, like the horse outfits in pantos with two men at each end. I love the cheeky grin on the toddler’s face, at total contrast to the solemnity of the service taking place above his head.

A word from the parents…

Why did you choose me to take your family photographs?

Louise had previously photographed our first baby as a newborn and his christening, and we were so pleased with the shots that we wanted the same for our second baby.

If you were to recommend me to your friend or colleague, what would you say? Why should they choose me?

Louise was really great at integrating with our family so we felt relaxed, and our toddler loved her within minutes, which meant that she was able to get some great shots. She’s obviously got a lot of experience photographing children and it really shows, as our children’s personalities shine out of her pictures, which hasn’t been the case where they’ve been photographed elsewhere.

Louise’s pictures had a great natural quality to them.

How did you find the experience of having your family photographs taken?

Louise was very discreet at the christening and excellent at blending into the background where appropriate and coaxing the best out of us for more formal moments. I felt very relaxed with her, and she really managed to bring the personality of my boys out.

What do you especially like about your photographs?

I love that Louise managed to capture both the formality of our christening, but also all the little fun moments, like our boy playing peekaboo or running around, or we’ve also got a couple of lovely shots of our friends children exploring and chasing each other.

Can you say a little about your favourite photograph/s?

I found it really hard to pick which pictures to print, because there were so many great ones. There’s a couple of beautiful pictures of our baby in his christening gown and our toddler being cheeky, but I think my absolute favourite would be one of me holding our baby and smiling at our toddler before the service. It’s a really lovely natural moment with both my children that Louise captured.

What were the highlights of the overall experience for you?

Getting to see the pictures! As this is the fourth time Louise had photographed us, I was really excited to see them and share them with family /friends

Can you describe a memorable moment from the day?

I think it would have to be the moment photographed; it was difficult during the service to keep our exuberant toddler entertained and he was getting antsy, but playing peekaboo with him and his brother’s shawl and his little giggle coming out was just lovely.

How important was it to you to have a christening photographer?

Really important. We wanted to make sure that we had our memories captured, because children change so much and so quickly, so for us being able to have the pictures of us all to frame was a priority when planning the christening.

Was there any reason you decided to have your portrait session at this particular time?

This one was our second son’s christening, but we also did a family session to commemorate the births of both our sons. We wanted to make sure we didn’t get so caught up in the day to day we looked back and realised we hadn’t got any visuals of the big moments as a family.

Have you given prints or frames to family members or loved ones? If so, how were they received?

Yes, and they loved them. Displayed in pride of place.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Really enjoyed all of our sessions. Our pictures from you are up in our hallway, and we’ve had so many people comment about what beautiful pictures they are. We’re really pleased we did the sessions and picked you.

Thank you so much!

Mother holding her two children at a christening in London
Parents holding their baby boy in a christening gown
family portrait at a baby boy's christening in London
baby boy laughing in his buggy after his London christening
St Peters in Chains church - in crouch end
interior of St Peter in Chains church showing the altar and high ceilings
guests gathered around a baby at his christening in London
family sitting on a church pews during a London christening
guests laughing and enjoying themselves at a London christening
parents and godparents during a London christening as the priest reads a prayer
parents and godparents during a London christening as the priest reads a prayer
two children playing in a church during a London christening
a natural moment showing a family absorbed in a London christening
priest reading from the bible as he delivers a christening service
priest blessing a baby's head during a London christening
priest pouring holy water over a baby's head as he's baptised
godfather lighting a candle at his godson's christening
guests clapping as they watch a baby's christening in London
two boys comparing their toy cars
guest laughing at a christening reception
bag for christening presents
champagne being poured at a London christening reception
little boy pushing his toy car on the floor