I love photographing baptisms at the Hagia Sophia – it’s one of my favourite churches in London. It’s such a beautiful space and the light is so atmospheric.
Having your loved ones gather for your child’s christening is such a special event, and one that doesn’t often happen again after a wedding – what a great opportunity to capture photographs of them all enjoying a special day with you.
I love photographing guests arriving and greeting each other, and capturing all the emotion and excitement. It’s so great to be able to show your child when they grow up who was at their baptism, and what the day was like.
I love that outfit parents chose for their little girl – the bonnet was adorable. It can be difficult choosing christening clothes for older babies, and this little dress was perfect – the dainty flowers and satin ribbon looked stunning. I always look to photograph the details in the build-up to a service, including the clothes ready and waiting – and the baptismal oils, candle and necklace.
It’s very dark in the cathedral, and the mum’s bright dress contrasted beautifully with the dramatic darkness. It’s a great idea to wear something brightly coloured if you’re feeling bold – it’s really eye-catching for photographs here.
The Santa Sophia cathedral offers so many interesting perspectives for me a photographer – the vantage points looking through the candle and crucifix makes for an interesting composition, and I always bring a range of lenses so I can include more of the striking interior in photographs as well as closer-up photographs of the people involved.
Having a pre-christening phone consultation is really helpful as all families have different priorities – the way I work is always tailored to the family, so if there’s anything you particularly want from the photographs I’ll always incorporate that.
As the christening was also this little girl’s first birthday party, there was birthday cake and merriment to photograph afterwards! We went on to the reception, where an amazing spread was laid out. The flowers looked extraordinary, huge respect to the florist.
I made sure to photograph both the parts the adults were enjoying – the harpist, champagne and canapés – as well as the parts that were making the children’s day: the magician, the cakes and the games of hide and seek under the tables!
This was such a fabulous day, and a real honour to have photographed it.