Capturing the days of our lives with Catherine O’Donnell

Award-winning local photographer Catherine O’Donnell offers advice on how to capture the magic of childhood this summer…

British summers are made for children and children are made for summer.

Come rain or shine the summer holidays mean freedom for our children – finally they are free to run, skip, splash, climb, dance, build sand castles and secret dens, play, explore, devour ice creams and just be the gorgeous sticky little souls that they are.

And that’s why more than anything I love photographing children this time of year and capturing that beautiful sense of joy and wonder.

If you want to make your children’s memories last this summer make sure you grab your camera, they will thank you for it in years to come.

And when you capture that special photograph that fills your heart with joy; print it, frame it, enjoy it.

In fact, print off a whole set, make an album or a scrapbook, your children are going to love looking back on this time with joy in their hearts as they relive special family memories.

Try and capture your little ones simply having fun and being themselves, be discreet, and remember children don’t need to be smiling to create a beautiful photograph.

Though if you do want to capture a little smile without a forced grin, engage with them, or ask them to tell you a joke (my trick is often to tell children not to smile – this often causes a sudden outburst of laughter).

Try different angles too, get down low, take pictures from above, enjoy the process.

Go for a walk with your children on a warm summer’s evening, head to the park, or if you’re on holiday take a sandy walk along the beach, and when the sun begins to sink in the sky and the light turns all golden and gorgeous, this is your chance to capture your family in the most beautiful light, not only making for magical memories but beautiful photographs too.

Catherine O’Donnell won Best Photographer ‘Gold’ at the Smallish Design Awards 2017 and has been published by Vogue Italia. She specialises in creating beautiful bespoke lifestyle portraiture and also teaches photography tutorials. For further information visit

This feature was published in the June 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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