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How would you like to be remembered by your family and children?

Happy, upbeat, slightly bonkers, in the moment and fun! It’s a no brainer really isn’t it!?

Even though at times we might not always feel like this, I’d rather resemble a somewhat frazzled Mrs Doubtfire (in a fun and silly way, not a cross dressing way – nothing wrong with that obvs, but just saying!) than Mary Poppins any day (too goodie goodie). Plus I can’t sing or run for toffee, chocolate maybe!  Anyway what I’m trying to say is… what we choose to surround ourselves with in our homes, framed on our walls, should be the real version of ourselves, not the version of who we think we should be!  For instance, there is no way Andy of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures, could ever carry off Mr Tumble’s ridiculous red nose and obscene trousers. Nor could Monsieur Tumble trot through the Natural History Museum with the grace and style (ahem) of Fatima Whitbread’s lovechild. We are what we are, simples.

Your family shoot needs to reflect you, yes the real you! Only when you are truly relaxed are you reflecting your true self. That’s why your family shoot needs to bring out the best of you and your family. No Instagram filters, or Pinterest perfection needed when I’m on the case.

It was lovely to meet the super chilled Vikki and her beautiful boys on a sunny saturday in September. They have obviously inherited Vikki and Steff’s chilled personalities and fun is a big part of their family’s story.

I could instantly feel their energy, so wanted their gallery of portraits to show this side of them.  My aim is not to get you all to look at the camera at the same time or smile as if your lives depended on it. It’s to create a set of images that you are proud of and can look back upon years from now and still recognise yourselves in. I can’t help the fact that you might hate your hair or wish your other half hadn’t worn the top you had precisely told him not to. But I can reflect the real you. So there will be no posing or moments of “fromage” on my watch!

The Rees family made sure we celebrated one of the last days of summer in style. We fed the ducks, played some rugby, sang some songs, ate some snacks, mooched about trying to spot a “Gruffalo” (my signature technique to occupy toddler humans, please don’t tell Julia Donaldson, she’ll sue me under usage rights!. Although I could branch out and use “The Stick Man” instead – geddit…Taxi…). But most importantly we had a total blast. I actually didn’t want our shoot to end. And the sign of a great shoot for me is that I can’t wait to get home to see my very own happy little humans. (It doesn’t last long but at least the thought was there right?!.)

Joy, silly fun, an al fresco wee in the woods (the children not me I should point out) a toddler strop or 2, but whatever happens will be real and pure. And that is exactly what I want as a photographer. That’s the beauty of photographing children, whether happy or sad they don’t put on a act. The purity of their emotions shine through.

A bit like naughty, annoying Norman in Fireman Sam, however hard he tries he can’t deny who he is, annoying and stupid! So the moral of the story is, don’t try and be something your not. Have fun, relax and your photographs will tell a beautiful story. Even if that story involves some natural chaos, a snotty nose or 2 and giddy upside down shots, they will be your giddy upside down shots. Unique and beautiful, never to be repeated.

Thank you so much Vikki, Steff, Dylan and Joseff x

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