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10 beautiful portrait photos that will melt your heart

There are some posts that I just love putting together – and this is definitely one of them. When I asked top portrait photographer Emma Freeman (we are so lucky that she happens to live in the Weald of Kent) to select just a handful of the favourite family photos she has taken it was no easy request. She had to trawl through 40, 000 of them to make her selection for a start. Just a quick look at her newly designed website will tell you that she could have chosen any number of images as they are all truly stunning. What sets Emma aside is the beautiful simplicity of her natural shots and above all her ability to capture the story unfolding before her. Here she tells me the story behind her most memorable portraits and gives her Top 10 Of All Time (in no particular order)…

1. ‘Kin’


During this shoot I witnessed a closed-off academic become unravelled by the sheer delight of his grandchild. It was tangible how he softened and allowed himself to be entirely enraptured by her.

2. ‘Peter Pan in Neverland’


This perfectly portrays a young boy on the cusp, caught in the magical time of neither young boy nor man. His face is both trusting and curious.

3. ‘Mercurial’


To me, this image represents so much of what teenage life is today. A question of identity, a myriad of insecurities. Here, I see a deep sense of this girl’s ‘self’ and while her eyes mirror her inner hesitance there was also calm and innate strength within.

4. ‘Martha’


One of the most memorable images to date. Martha’s elder brother had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and he died shortly after these portraits were taken. Martha represented hope and love. It was an emotionally charged shoot and humbling to the core.

5. ‘Siblings in the Woods’


I have been working for this family for the past five years. Their closeness is tangible and tender to witness, such as this totally unscripted natural moment shown here.

6. ‘Free Spirit’


I specialise in equine and canine photography as well as family portraits. It’s the relationship that horses or dogs have with their owners that fascinates me. At the end of the day, they represent a tranquility and enjoyment of nature in this very fast life of ours we lead.

7. ‘Unconditional love’


What I cherish about this image of a mother and her five-year-old son is the complicity and simplicity of their togetherness. There was no play to the lens, rather a stolen moment that the camera happened to find.

8. ‘Grandmother’s Footsteps’


I just love this photo – these are some of my own children many years ago. Due to the camera I was using at that time and the slow film photographs back then rather than being sharp the image captures the sense of movement. It could be argued that technical ‘imperfection’ enhances a photograph because it’s part of the ‘story’ – in this case it’s one of mutual trust and a sense of adventure.

9. ‘Family reflection’


This image always makes me smile.  The Mummy did not want to be photographed and her daughter was very shy, but, we did manage! I think the final result reflects the quiet charm between the three of them.

10. A Gift


This image reminds me of the simplicity of what I do as a photographer. On this last one, I’m not going to comment here but ask you, the reader, the mother, the parent, or the daughter to sense what this image reflects.

Emma Freeman Portraits, Fuller House, Cranbrook Road, Staplehurst, TN12 OEP, Tel: 01580 893491,

Find more ideas here


4 comments on “10 beautiful portrait photos that will melt your heart”

  • Ro October 13, 2016

    Family urging to have a one off before we miss this moment forever.
    Wonderfully touching and atmospheric photographs

    • aliagnew October 13, 2016

      Hi Ro – yes you’ve hit the nail on the head there – ‘atmospheric’ is the word. I’m a big believer in seizing the day and capturing those moments – I don’t think you ever regret it. Let me know how you get on if you have some family portraits done. xAli

  • Emma Freeman October 17, 2016

    Ro – do consider and I am more than happy to discuss.

    Best wishes,


  • Ann Booth-Clibborn October 18, 2016

    Stunning work Emma


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