It's My Personal Mission to Capture the Lost Preteen Years.
·Hi there! My name is Alex Kilbee and I have been a portrait photographer specializing in portraits of children for 20 years.
In that time, I have won numerous awards for my portraiture and have written articles on how I photograph children and get the best from them. Currently I am writing a book on the connection between portraits of children and how the experience of being photographed professionally can improve the child’s image of self worth at this difficult age.
Many children are bombarded day in and day out with negative feedback about themselves. Their looks, their dress and their interests. There is so much pressure to try and be something that they are not. Children love taking selfies, but balked at having ‘proper’ portraits created. I saw this often at family portrait sessions where the children weren’t having fun and there under duress.
The family portrait wasn’t about showing them as they saw themselves.
BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND A POSITIVE SELF IMAGE
·Something else I have noticed over the years is that quite often when creating family portraits, the mum would love the rest of the family, but hate herself in those portraits.
‘It’s lovely and you all look beautiful, but I ruin the picture’. Needless to say, there was nothing wrong with the appearance of these mum’s, it’s just that they saw pictures of themselves in a negative light because when they were younger no one ever took the time to create amazing portraits of them as children that helped show them that no matter who they were or what they looked like, they were amazing people.
Because of all these insights I created the concept of portrait experiences created specifically for children aged between 10 and 14. At this young age I want to be able take all the good I see in them and reflect it back via my portraits. I want to help those kids to grow up confident and happy in front of a camera so that when they are having a family portrait with their own children all they see looking back from the print is a beautiful and loving family – not their imagined second chin or wonky eyebrow.
These portrait sessions also combine words with the imagery to create an emotionally uplifting experience. Parents, relatives and friends are invited to contribute positive feedback on special talents or achievements the child may have accomplished. Along with special memories, how they have made other peoples lives better and other uplifting anecdotes, these powerful written contributions are presented alongside the portraits to reinforce the positive message portrayed in the portraits.
Children see the portraits from the sessions and are literally begging their parents to be allowed to put those portraits on their bedroom walls.
Probably the best way to show the benefits of these sessions is from the feedback I receive from parents:
“Can't even tell you in words how incredible talented Alex is. My girls thought they were top models that's how much fun he made it. We had the best experience ever and the photos are incredible and so pure . Love it. Could not recommend him enough. Thank you Alex” – Daniella Curry
Cannot recommend Alex enough. Created beautiful images of Evie to treasure for ever with the Who am I project. I'm so pleased with what he has captured and can't wait to collect them. Thank you Alex, you know which one is our absolute fav. – Amy Newson
Alex was amazing. So relaxed and calm. Explained the experience behind the photographs to my nearly 11 year old, and took some amazing and intense photographs too. He took the time to talk to us to get the best of my young man, captured his essence. Thanks Alex! – Emily Angiolini
My daughter Olivia took took part in the who am I project for 10-14 year olds and she really enjoyed her photoshoot. She was made to feel at ease by Alex's laid back but very professional nature, she also enjoyed going to look at the slideshow of the pictures especially the surprise quotes that myself, my husband and my mum had written it really put a big smile on her face. Would definitely recommend Alex to others. – Charlotte Farrow
We had a fabulous time with Alex when we recently had a photo shoot at his studio. He had a lovely manner with our daughter and unequivocally drew the very best out of her. We were hugely impressed both by his technical knowledge of his art as well as the imagination and sense of creative invention which he exuded. His untiring patience and palpable passion for his work brought about some outstanding results in the final photos - Nina Ingelby
I want to help make this positive vision a reality for your child. It doesn’t matter if they are shy, confident, introspective or outgoing, every young person deserves to be celebrated for who they are and what they have achieved in their lives so far. It’s my ambition to make sure that every child develops a positive and healthy relationship with their self image, but I need help from parents like you. I want you to think about how amazing your child is and how much they would enjoy being part of an experience that would celebrate all that is great about them.
Pick up the phone, or drop me a line below so you can tell me about your kids - each and every story I hear is powerful and heartfelt, no matter how short or long. I would be honoured if you would be so kind as to share yours with me.
This is mine:
I see my son growing up – first he was tiny, just a pink face wrapped in soft blankets. Every day something new takes place. Sometimes these are joyful moments, sometimes they are infuriating and at other times just plain funny. Even though he is still young I want him to grow up straight and true, to be sure of himself and his place in the world. I know that this won’t always be easy and that my wife and I will need some help as he navigates his way through life.
It won’t cure every problem children face in this world, but I hope that I can make a difference to enough kids and their parents, that when the stormy waters do wash up on their shores they can look at the portraits I created for them and say, yes, this is me, this is who I am.
There is no charge for these special Who I Am portrait experiences which are taking place throughout May and June, and as an added bonus I would also love to offer you £50 print credit towards any portraits you purchase.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these sessions, please get in touch using the form below.