March 25th, 9.55am. Slightly knackered from moving to BST and forgetting to prep the kids. My phone buzzes. I pick it up with a twinge of panic – I’m due to photograph a family late on in the afternoon, and I always worry that they’ll need to cancel. But no. It’s a simple question:
Lemon meringue, or chocolate brownie?
Chocolate brownie, obvsiously! I practically yell it into my phone, perplexed at what this might mean. Are they testing me? Could they be so generous to offer dessert to a person they’ve never met?
Hours later, intrigued and excited, I packed up my gear and drove a few miles in the early spring sunshine to meet Sam and Natalia, and their children, Alisha and Caspar.
I’d already chatted to Sam about what they were after and how to craft my family photography service to work for their family. He explained that the kids were very young, and wouldn’t be able to really be doing their own thing in the woods. They mainly wanted a few photos they could keep forever that captured their family bond in an authentic way.
I was instantly happy to meet this family – a funny dad, a lovely mum, and two awesome little kids to keep me on my toes. We’d decided to have a simple walk around at Shipley Country Park in Heanor, so that the action and the kids personalities could just unfold and I could observe.
Alisha and Caspar really are little kids. They’re both toddlers, with little over a year between them, and as always with such families, I was completely in awe of just how stress free Sam and Natalia were. I was so pleased to see that they were wearing the sort of clothes they’d usually wear – this is always a great indication for me that a family is comfortable.
Alisha has to be one of the prettiest toddlers I’ve ever met. Her piercing blue eyes seem to look right into you, weighing you up before she warms to you and rewards you with a huge grin. Once we walked down near the lake, Caspar was in his element! He was so happy to skim stones and just be near the water. I love seeing kids out enjoying nature, learning and delighting in what they find.
The sun came out as our session neared its end, and no one fell in the lake. Sam handed me a disgustingly humungous chocolate brownie flavour Easter egg, and all felt good.