The number of times parents look over to me when viewing their portrait photography and exclaim: “She looks so old!” I can only explain it in this way. We see our children every day, their noise, happiness, irritation (on occasions). They are demanding, always hungry and they fight and scream and cry and laugh.
When you see them through our eyes, there is sublime peace. No noise to distract you, this is a rare moment indeed and one that is difficult to compare - other than when they are sleeping maybe, but here they have their eyes open! Parents, often for the first time, see family resemblances they had not seen before. They also see the beauty of their babies. Not only that, but the young person in a very young child, the hint of what they might look like as a young adult and that is utterly fascinating. Parents see their children in a new light. Eyes open!
Our black and white photography style really lends itself to this. It removes the distractions of colour photography and let’s you really see your child.
Nousha’s portrait photography is ‘art’, customers have said. I couldn’t possibly comment… but what we do should enrich your lives. It’s no mean feat, but we seem to make people happy. And for us that is very nice. - Lionel
More pictures from the same session
What We See
As observers, we find ourselves almost as amateur anthropologists; we have become very sensitive to facial expressions and the way a child will hold themselves when being photographed.
From our pictures, you can tell if a child is shy or gregarious, interested or bored. Irrespective of the character they have, we will endeavour to show you as many facets of their personality in our photographs.
You will see our signature portrait, the contemplative one. Don’t mistake this for sad: just because a person is not smiling doesn't mean they are unhappy.
We hear this, “I love it but can’t put that on my wall; it’s too serious!”
Be very careful not to fall into the conditioning we have all been subjected to throughout our lives, every time a camera is raised and pointed at us we are told to ‘Smile!!!’ or ‘Say Cheese’.
Take a saunter around the National Portrait Gallery and tell me how many of the exquisite portraits are of people grinning ear to ear?
More pictures from the same shoot
For us, the portrait is a study, a profoundly natural image. In my view, it should be a picture that you can see over and over again and each time see something new. I see the smiling picture as a joyful image, but it has fewer layers of complexity, fewer emotions to explore.
Compare the enigmatic and the smiling pictures to an obscure piece of prose and an accessible one. The prose that employs more natural language will be quickly understood. The complex one, however, will need to be revisited on numerous occasions. It will reveal more understanding the more you search its less accessible depths. All this to ask you to give the more difficult pictures a chance and not fall into the trap of just selecting happy smiley stuff!
Oliver at his first shoot aged 4 has unwittingly become the face of Nousha Photography
More pictures from the same shoot
Oliver now, aged 11
Excellence in Portrait Photography
At Nousha, not only will we present you with some extraordinary portrait photography for individual children, but we will also illustrate their relationship with their siblings.
Given the opportunity, and only if the children are happy about it, we will ask the parents to leave the studio.
The difference in their behaviour is palpable; they don’t misbehave, surprising huh?
We sit them down and chat for a few minutes; we don’t take pictures, we just talk with them. Then slowly, as we talk, the camera comes into play. The hope is that the camera and the lights have become invisible and unimportant, the chat continues.
The siblings play talk and show off and are themselves; we just take the pictures.
Above: Illustrated in six pictures from the sublime, almost formal, group picture to the inevitable deterioration when it all falls apart... better picture mind you!
Besotted with their little brother, he, seemingly, is bearing up under the strain of such adoration
We don't just photograph little children!
Primarily, Nousha Photography is influenced by the people that work here.We are the sum of our parts, the photographers, the editor, the retoucher all have an influential part to play in what you eventually see.
Claire’s and my involvement in photography also has a part in what Nousha looks like and produces - our house style.
I spent my very young childhood running around the warren-like corridors of Camera Press in Bloomsbury, London. Internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading independent picture agencies. My father, Tom Blau, founded it in 1947. He had a keen eye for the vocabulary of photography, and he
represented many great photographers, such as Yousuf Karsh, Sorciand Cecil Beaton, Snowdon and John Swannell amongst others.
I don’t pretend to have been directly influenced by these people, but some of it must have rubbed off on me along the way! My father trained me as a photographer, enthusiastically encouraged by my mother, and he gave me my first camera, a Rolleiflex. He would spend time critiquing my pictures and sending me on assignments. I was given free range in the darkroom and would spend many hours after school learning the art of a great black & white print. I see our influence as being a little 1950/60’s with a very heavy nod to the contemporary. Of course all the portrait photography we do today is digital, no film here.
A few more fine examples of older children.