I published my last post a few weeks ago now, and it got a lovely response! I have to say it is one of my favourite posts. I also got a lot of compliments about the photos in it, and I just adore them, so I figured why not post a post about them too and how they came about!
A few months ago, an opportunity arose to do some writing for a friend of mine, and in return, he offered to document our family in a ‘day in the life’ style photography shoot. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. I have 7,953 photos on my phone (I just checked) and about 99% of them feature one or both of the babies. Of that, I’d say maybe 10 have me in them where I didn’t take the photo myself in an effort to prove that I did exist in photographic form when they’re older and looking back at their own childhood photos. Let’s just say photography is not one of Gavin’s fortes! I don’t think it even dawns on him half the time to take a photo of something like Alex eating his first spoonful of food, or take a little video of Rian singing ‘You’ve Got a Friend In Me’. And that’s ok, but I’m just the opposite!
I adore photos. Some might think I overdo it – well ok I probably do. My Instagram account probably proves that. Some people might say, ‘You should live in the moment more’. I do live in the moment, and I love the moments so much that I don’t want to ever forget a single one. The time just goes so very fast – Alex is over 6 months already! He’s closer to 7 months actually. Every single day he is different, as is Rian. And what’s more, this time I have at home with them is fast running out so yes, I take a lot of photos. But I’m rarely actually in any of them.
So when this opportunity came up, as I said, I jumped at it. It wasn’t going to be a fancy, get my hair done especially type of thing. It was going to be a snapshot of just one normal day, no special occasion, no fancy outfit. Barely even any makeup (the tired circles under my eyes don’t necessarily need to be preserved in photos forever). Just me with my husband and our sons, doing our thing.
Why? Because aren’t they the best kind of days? Yes, sometimes there’s shouting, and crying, and really really bad nappies, and tantrums. And every day there’s fun and laughter, cuteness and absolute joy. And that’s our life right now! It will never be like this, the way they are now, ever again. And I love it. I was so thrilled to think that for a change I would be on the other side of the camera, when they held my hand, or hugged me, or I gave them a swing, I’d have a photo to capture that moment and treasure it. I didn’t care too much whether my hair looked perfect, whether my skin looked red or blotchy…this is how I am now, and most importantly, this is who I am to the boys. The last time I was going to a wedding I got my hair and makeup done – oh god that was so nice! – but when Rian saw me he actually squinted his eyes, put his face close to mine and tried to touch my eyes and said ‘Mama, what’s that on eye?’….!! So clearly, the makeup-ed me is not one he’s too familiar with at all.
So we settled on a day, and Johannes arrived early on a Sunday morning. We chose a Sunday, to do our normal Sunday routine which consists of nothing out of the ordinary. Within minutes he was taking pictures. At first it’s a bit strange having someone take photos of you doing normal every day stuff. But after a few minutes – no offence Johan! – I kind of forgot he was there. I had wondered what Rian would make of it, but you’d swear it was the most normal thing in the world for him to have his personal photographer document his every move!
We usually try to do something as a family on a Sunday, as it’s usually the only day of the week that the four of us can spend the day together without work or other commitments getting in the way. So we chose to go to the Japanese Gardens and National Stud in Kildare, which is not far from where we live. When we got home, it was naptime, so we read about Gruffalos and foxes and rabbits hopping to the moon and back as two-year-olds insist on doing before a snooze. Later on, we did some baking and played with some playdoh. We bathed the kids. Then we got changed into our pj’s and snuggled on the couch under a blanket and watched some Toy Story for the 4578th time. All normal things. But the thing that surprised both Gavin and I, on a normal Sunday we don’t really pay too much attention to those things, we’re just busy doing them. But because Johannes was there, it sort of made us focus on why he was there, it made us really live in the moment and appreciate it all the more. Even the non glamorous nappy times! It made us realise the other aspect of nappy times. The funny conversations that take place on the changing table. The cute little kissable baby toes. All the little normal things that make up our normal day, but full of magical moments which we now have recorded to look back on forever.
Huge huge thank you to our friend and seriously talented Johannes for the opportunity! I’ve a feeling we’ll be back for more during another chapter of our parenting adventures.