Homeschooling and Wholesome Imagery


Young girl being homeschooled studying through technology at home
Young girl being homeschooled studying through technology at home

Homeschooling and Wholesome Imagery

I was honoured to meet a young girl who welcomed me into her home to shoot a day in her life at her school. She is homeschooled, a difficult decision for her parents but one that is paying off. I just photographed what I saw, no tidying, propping or styling, just the camera and one light followed her moves. In her bedroom at her desk she twirled around on the swivel chair. She used the laptop for research, scribbling notes and listening to music as she worked. In a quiet snug in the playroom she curled up on soft cushions to read a book. Occasionally her loyal dog joined her, only distracted for a moment to stroke his silky ears. Whenever she wanted to she headed outdoors to explore her natural environment, climbing trees and building dens. At the weekend she met a friend to explore the nature in the woods, again I tagged along capturing the friendship and trust between the young girls.

The structure of public school is not for everyone and the popularity of homeschooling is rising with studies showing that students who are homeschooled are scoring higher than public school students in standardised tests, they seem to be smarter and more mature earlier and become self directed learners as adults.

The educational, physical and emotional freedom means students are learning what they want when they want, they can pace themselves to learn when they are ready and live in a world unencumbered with peer pressure, adolescent trends and dangerous experimentation. They can learn in their outdoor environment, exploring and being inquisitive and adventurous. Of course, advances in technology together with the availability of resources over the internet make homeschooling easier and more effective today.

Reflecting on the shoot I learnt two things. First I had to scale down the production to limited equipment, using available lighting and one strobe enabled me to capture moments as they happened. Secondly I saw how being homeschooled can be good wholesome fun, promoting moral well-being, independence and a positive approach to learning.

Family Lifestyle shoot, Tarifa, Spain



dad and two young boys explore rocks at beach in spain

We arrived late Monday for a few days of R&R before shoot begins on Friday. Travelling with Anna, Maria, Jack and Harry aged 5 and 6, the talent for the photoshoot.

Hired car, drove to Tarifa. Stopped in Fuengirola for haircut and coffee.
Great apartment, food shopping, walk along beach to Atlantic/Mediterranean point.

Walked to old town am. Postcards, lunch (menu del dia €11). Fantastic hot sun and blue sky.
Drove up mountain to see wind turbines close up, location scout for shoot later in week. Very bumpy ride and very windy.

Road trip
Tarifa- secret beach – Casares to see John Graingers little house – Genalguacil to meet with Miguel to discuss photo workshops.

Jens arrived, assistant and model to join Maria, Jack and Harry for ‘family simple life’ shoot.
I like to use the evening or early morning light for my scenarios so the following days required early mornings to catch the sunrise or later as it sets.

Friday eve: Jens and boys at home playing chess, quiet moments crashing on sofa.

Up early to get to ‘Secret Beach’, climbing, sitting on rocks, walking in sea, time with mum and dad, subtle tender moments with gentle lighting and atmospheric back light.

Evening light : car travel, boys in car using electronic devices, looking out window.
Plan was to shoot some more football on beach but the wind had picked up.. It is Tarifa.. So abandoned for picnic on the terrace.
Later managed to capture a great shot of ‘dad and son’ snuggled up in den with laptop. The light from the device being the only lighting used.

Family lazy morning, in tousled bed, mum,dad,boys. Harry’s crossed legs while he uses the ipad makes it all so real and cuddly!
A drive up the mountain to the wind turbines and some exciting fun shots of Anna’s hair blowing madly about her face. Yes, she was cursing later!

We head home today but not before some great shots of kids in airport pulling their luggage and on plane in awe of the view through the window.

Travelling back from Spain with the kids, I grabbed my camera bag from the overhead locker and rushed off the plane. A women said to me, “Are you leaving your family?!” and my reply, “They are not my family, I just borrowed them!”

Excited to see footage clip used in a HP computer commercial on TV last-night.

In one year I have created over 200 video clips that are now available for licence through Getty images. The footage creation has been a exciting addition to the stills photography and brings new demands as a creator. I am looking forward to more production this year as expansion develops into this market sector.

Footage used in HP commercial
Footage used in HP commercial

Here is the few seconds of footage in the commercial don’t blink you may miss it!