Look through photographer Kika Mitchell’s work and you might wonder at how she manages to capture such natural, carefree images of families and their children. Think of how tricky it can be to get your own little ones to sit still for a photo without getting distracted, and you may start to wish she could be on hand to capture all of your family photographs.
Kika enjoyed a long career in the television industry as a director and producer before choosing to become a photographer, and she believes that her background in TV has proven invaluable in her new line of work.
“I know I can walk into any given location and find ways to create images that will work. I don’t see limitations, I just see different perspectives. I’ve worked in foreign locations, wet locations, with children and with animals and occasionally with tricky presenters, so I’m not fazed by toddler tantrums or camera shy family members. I love people and I love putting people at ease.”
Having always had an interest in film and photography, it was the birth of her son five years ago that turned this interest into a passion. “I became obsessed with documenting every detail of his growth,” Kika explains. “It was a need to capture everything he did that made my camera a very powerful tool. It never really left my side, like my new baby really.”
We first worked with Kika on our recent #ExploreWithCEWE event. She shares our passionate belief that “in the digital age we still need images in a physical form”, so she was the perfect person to document the day.
As often happens, it was the loss of a loved one which made Kika realise the true value of photographs. “When my father died I realised all too quickly that eventually all you will have left of someone is photographs and memories. Those photographs can’t live on a hard drive, phone or computer. We need to print our photographs, that’s how memories come to life.”
Kika also understands the importance of surrounding our children with photographs. They are more than just pictures; they detail the moments that make us who we are.
“I feel passionately that children need to see themselves in family photographs, it helps them see where they belong, who loves them and what they are part of,” continues Kika. “And eventually we hand these photographs down to them, they are their family history. The thought that I create these images for families that live on in their frames and on their walls, literally gives me goosepimples.”
Despite the sage advice that you should never work with children or animals, it’s family photography that Kika loves. Capturing the fun of childhood on camera is what she does best.
“With children everything is pure. If they are unhappy or happy it’s always authentic, they don’t do fake which is ideal as we want pure emotion to shine through the photographs.
“I also love the fact that children are rarely still, so catching still glimpses of them is very valuable. The next time you see them, everything will be different, the light, their smile, the things they love. Never miss a moment to document them as they change too quickly.”
Her own children Rafferty and Emmeline are often the subject of their Mum’s passion for photography, but they are happy to be on camera. “I photograph my children as often as I can, normally every week. They are very used to it and rarely take any notice to be honest, typical photographer’s children.”
Finding time to commit to personal projects can be difficult when Kika is busy photographing other families, but she makes a concerted effort to keep up with photographing her own family. And after being introduced to the CEWE PHOTOBOOK as a way of bringing these family photographs to life, Kika is converted.
“I have really enjoyed creating my own photo books with CEWE and I’m thrilled with the results. As a time poor mum and business woman I really appreciated the ease of the whole experience and the beautiful books are gifts for the whole family. I wish I’d have known about them sooner as I had put off creating books because I thought it would take too long. CEWE have changed everything for me, and now I can’t wait to create more books for my family.
“Children LOVE looking at themselves, so creating photographs and photo books for them is the gift that keeps on giving. When people say “Why would I book a photoshoot?”, all I think is “Why wouldn’t you?”! I can’t think of any single reason not to document your precious family memories.”
If you’re not lucky enough to have Kika photograph your family, she’s put together a few top tips to help you capture beautiful photos of your own brood. Follow her advice and you’ll soon have a camera full of lovely snaps to showcase in your own CEWE PHOTOBOOK.
If you’d like to discover more of Kika’s wonderful images, or you’re looking for a Chelmsford photographer to capture your family in beautiful portraits, follow her on Instagram and Facebook. All images copyright Kika Mitchell.