The festive season is photographer Anna Kidman’s favourite time of year. She’s a mum of four, and each year at Christmas time her home is filled with decorations and treasures she’s collected and crafted over the years. We caught up with Anna to get a glimpse into her beautiful home, and learnt more about her love of Christmas.
You’re an incredible photographer renowned for weddings and portraits that authentically capture special moments and emotions. Can you talk us through your career path and what led you to become a photographer?
Many years before I worked solely as a photographer, I worked in editorial for beautiful design and lifestyle magazines. This gave me an enormous appreciation for telling stories, as well as allowing me to develop my eye and appreciation for interiors, people, photography and portraits. I was surrounded by many amazing, incredible and creative women and I think just being in an environment like this day in and day out was creatively good for the soul, and I still miss it.
I made the decision to go out on my own 11 years ago when I had my first baby, and photography was very much in my bones. I grew up taking photos, we even had a darkroom in my childhood home, it was like returning in a sense of what I always knew.
Alongside photography, your love of all things Christmas and your beautiful decorations also seems to be something you’re well known for! What is it about the festive season that you love the most?
I’m very traditional. I make traditions out of everything and anything, and I love how the festive season brings out tradition in almost everybody… My husband makes incredible eggnog each year! The thing I love the most though is coming together as a family with nice food and champagne - the togetherness of it all.
For me, home is a collection of traditions and some of them are so simple. For example, I have a large collection of Burleigh and Spode China, and I know that when my children are 80 years old and they see a blue plate, they’ll think of home… I think it’s these things that keep your children returning - the sense of nostalgia and comfort.
Could you share one of your most treasured Christmas memories?
It’s a recurring memory, of waking up bright and early before my children, making a cup of coffee, and waiting to see their excited faces as they wake up and wander out on Christmas morning. I don’t put any presents out until Christmas morning, so their sense of wonderment when they see under the tree is just lovely! And by the evening I’m ready for champagne and cosy socks… and a pat on the back :)
Many of your decorations are crafted by yourself, we would love for you to share a decorating tip that can add a festive touch to the home?
I think my suggestion would be to collect things you love slowly with purpose over the years. If you always buy what you love, you end up with a home that’s meaningful and special to you as a family, that doesn’t look like it’s come from one store. My entire home has been collected slowly and it doesn’t all match - but I love every item.
I do also embrace mess and take the time to do crafts with my children. My eldest isn’t so interested in this anymore but my two daughters absolutely love making a mess and they make me some very meaningful and beautiful decorations for the tree - and of course they all go on it! Some of my most treasured decorations are made from toilet rolls by my children.
How are you and your family spending Christmas this year?
At home with the people we love. I always make a beautiful breakfast - Gordon Ramsay blueberry ricotta pancakes, egg cups, bacon, pastries, hot coffee, champagne and music. My mum across the road always does an incredible Christmas dinner, always with a standing rib roast and crème caramel. And on Christmas Eve we always get together with my extended family, millions of children, wheelbarrow races, incredible food and a lot of merriment.
While you’re often behind the lens, this opportunity allowed us to get a glimpse into your personal style, which we loved! How would you describe your own style, and has it changed or evolved over the years?
My style overall is very English. I am constantly falling in love with patterns, texture and colour, and I love how English interiors aren’t afraid to use colour and bold patterns.
I developed a love of antiques from my father and have collected many beautiful pieces over the years. Essentially I like pieces that tell stories and have history, that can take a knock and don’t need to be pristine. I want a home where people feel they can relax, somewhere friends enjoy being because they know you’re happy for them to settle in.