Pandering To Boys: A Colourful Afternoon In The Life | Unposed Family Portrait Photography


BBQ’s, bubbles and boys. An Afternoon In the Life on the hottest day on the year.

Being invited into someone’s very personal space, their home, is such an honour and I am always forever grateful that people open their doors, hearts and souls to me when they’ve never met me before.

When I first walked in the door of Chara and James’s house I was filled with joy, happiness and colour! Lots of colour! Three little boys came to greet me in the kitchen with immediate trust and started chatting away to me. The littlest one was very happy for me to start taking pictures of him straight away. The trust of these little ones is so moving. I started chatting to Chara but almost immediately started photographing because I knew I didn’t want to miss of second of this beautiful families life. What I love about documentary is that I have no idea what sort of images I will get from a shoot, it’s always a surpise. I won’t direct anyone, it’s all unscripted. I have to wait and see what unfolds, and wait for those magic moments to happen in their own good time.


The boys gave me a whistle stop tour of the house before settling into the play room and showing me all their colourful toys! The littlest one was still angling for the iPad so Mum cleverly suggested we all go in the garden and blow bubbles! This was so fun and the boys loved chasing and catching the bubbles their big brother was blowing for them. 

 Three young brothers stand in their garden blowing and catching bubbles during this unposed family photo shoot  in Manchester, UK.

The garden was amazing. It was a child’s dream. It was surrounding by these huge beautiful trees which made the light gorgeous. The boys had all these different areas and a special magical area that was hidden from sight which they called their den. I wish I’d grown up with a garden like this! 

 A beautiful blonde toddler boy stands in his garden staring up at the camera during this unposed family photography portrait session.

We spent most of the afternoon in the garden hanging out, swinging on swings, blasting each other with water pistols, licking ice lollies and generally being wonderfully wild beautiful children. Chara and James are fantastic. Very chilled, laughing and joking with each other and very attentive to their three boys in equal measure. Offering cuddles and kisses for each boy if and when they were needed, and stepping back when they weren’t.

 A portrait of a young boy standing on a swing in his garden, staring into the distance during this relaxed family portrait photo shoot in Manchester, UK.

James then started setting up the BBQ and had the ingenious idea of putting a baby gate around the bbq for safety. Dad was a pro at the BBQ and the children helped him by bringing him dishes of food to cook from the kitchen.


This seemed like a good time to nip indoors and do a quick sort of some laundry, with a few toilet breaks thrown in for the little ones. The littlest one loved watching his Mummy sort through the colourful piles of laundry and even wanted to try on a freshly washed tie-dye t-shirt! The seemingly boring and uninspiring moments of your day are the BEST part - because that is where real moments of affection, tenderness and love happen. It’s those ‘in-between’ moments.

 A mother sorts through the laundry whilst her little toddler boy looks on curiously, during this unposed family photo shoot in Manchester, UK.
 A portrait of a young boy sat on a stool in his play room surrounded by toys during this relaxed family photo shoot in Manchester, UK.

The three boys helped their Mum in the kitchen - or should I say they played in the kitchen - whilst Mum finished off preparing dinner. What I truly love about documentary is that it enables me to record moments that are so fleeting and seemingly insignificant. Yet it is these very ‘insignificant’ moments that will become so significant in years to come; a snapshot of your family on a Saturday evening whilst you prepare dinner.

 A mother and her three sons are all in their colourful kitchenn playing and preparing food during this unposed family portrait photography session.
 Two brothers lie on their sofa laughing together whilst they are being tickled during this relaxed, unposed, family photo shoot.

Dinner was ready and Chara and James were so kind and asked me to stay for dinner which was so lovely. And I have to say it was one of the best BBQ’s I’ve ever had! Bravo James! It was delicious. The boys seemed to think so too and ate all their dinner- even their broccoli (after a little bit of coaxing!). 

 Three brothers sit at their table waiting for their dinner as their mother lays their cutlery down during this family portrait photo session.
 A little toddler boy sits licking an ice lolly during this fun, relaxed, unposed family photo shoot.

The afternoon turned into early evening and my time with this gorgeous family was coming to an end. The boys were winding down for the day and after one final ice lolly, they collapsed on the sofa with a movie. 


Thank you Chara, for inviting me into your beautiful colourful home and gifting me with the most incredibly real, raw, honest, vulnerable and mesmerising moments of you and your family. It was such a privilege capturing these joyous moments of you all. 

If you are interested in finding out more information about these types of documentary family photo sessions, or would like to book a session, click here!

I am Jess Cheetham, an award winning family photographer based in Bath, Somerset. I specialise in documentary style photography that is unposed, natural and real. Every single family is unique and therefore each shoot I do is different and brings new surprises, emotions and memories. I am honoured to be invited into your lives and capture some of your most private and intimate moments. These sessions are beautifully intimate and respectful and aim to capture you as family in the most authentic and connected way.