Thursday, November 25, 2010
Last Days before School
This family were about to have their world changed, and so wanted to capture those last moments, those last memories, of how it all was, before it all changed. Molly was going away to boarding school, and although she had been wanting this for such a long time, despite her parents preferring she wait, the reality of it coming upon them was suddenly hitting home and a family photo was definitely necessary. The best times for Anna, Simon, Molly and Daisy are spent around the dinner table, all eating together and learning from each other every day. Life would be very different once Molly headed off, so they were so happy to capture some memories of them all together in their home doing what they love best - just being together.
Simon feels outnumbered at times by all the women in his life, but he loves every minute and all the closeness that comes with having a gorgeous wife and two beautiful cuddly daughters.
Molly and Daisy are fiercely protective of each other and the four year gap between them has allowed the closeness to intensify with each depending on the other in so many ways.
Molly is almost twelve and is a very thoughtful, deep and questioning child. She loves her friends and her family, and is deeply loyal, kind and caring. She is also funny, but takes a lot of time to get to know people and only shares that side of her once she feels totally comfortable. She adores her sweet little sister and is wonderful at including Daisy in much of what she does.
Daisy is coming up for eight and is extroverted, vocal with a very kind heart. You know exactly what she is thinking and feeling, for she doesn't try to hide a thing. She wants to save the world and her parents are sure she has been here before. When she grows up, she wants to own and run and orphanage, and is always thinking of ways to earn and send money to Haiti. Her big sister is her best friend.
One of the things I love about doing shoots at people's homes is that it is so simple to include things that are deeply personal. Molly loves her Eyore so much and I doubt if we had done the shoot at a location, that he would have made it into the bag of props, but here, these images outside the bedroom, capture those last moments of childhood, and I hope they will mean the world to both Molly and her parents.
Simon is typically English and not very keen on displaying emotions publicly, so when I asked he have a cuddle with Molly, he was shy at first. I stepped away to give them some privacy as he started to tell Molly how he felt about her going away. I was so moved by what unfolded that I had to stop shooting for a moment to compose myself for I couldn't see through my own tears. So tender were these moments. This is what life is about, and indeed, what being a lifestyle photographer is really for.
These family shots of them all together after the intimate moments seem a bit flat emotionally, but I thought it may be necessary, just in case they want a more traditional shot for the grandparents!
Once all the key shots were out of the way, the girls showed me how they spend their days.
Apparently the second favourite pastime for the family, after eating a meal together, is preparing it - or should I say pre-supper disco cranked in the kitchen and dance moves to boot! Anna brought out her i-pod and the girls showed me some of their moves.
These beautiful aged walls are where the girls have drawn many a picture in chalk. I was touched to see what Daisy wrote for her sister.
This entire exchange was silent and their hug intense - I felt moved to be there and honoured they could be so real in front of me.
Thanks to all of you for inviting me into your home, and into your lives. It felt so personal and so real and I only hope that these images capture a fraction of the beauty and closeness that your family is so lucky to share. So happy Molly is settling in well at school and even happier she will be home again soon for more family dinners and disco in the kitchen. xxx