The Amarals were given a gift certificate for a family session so they chose to do the shoot at their family farm as this is where the children enjoy spending a lot of their time. It has become central to their upbringing and their way of life. Mateus and Sofia's grandfather purchased the farm in the early 1970s and this was Carlos' childhood home where he was raised alongside his four siblings. So many wonderful memories have been made here throughout the years and although the siblings have all grown and left and started families of their own, everyone enjoys the nostalgia they experience whenever they visit the farm. There is always a story to be told about the good old days. It has been wonderful for Tricia and Carlos to watch their children and their cousins playing here together, running around without a care in the world. Despite their grandfather's passing in 2010, his presence is still very much felt and this is where they come to feel close to him for he is everywhere they look.
Ever since the children were tiny, they have loved their dad's John Deere tractor. It was one of the first major purchases that was made once Carlos and his brother took over the reins of running the farm from their dad about 15 years ago. Sofia and Mateus love sitting on the tractor and pretending they are driving and they have seen their father do it so many times. It is hard to get the kids to leave the farm without them begging to have at least one turn of sitting in it.
Sofia will be five years old this summer and she was in love with the camera which is rare for me. She was such fun and was full of ideas. She loves to come by on Fridays after nursery school to help with the preparation for the Saturday roadside market and help her father water the greenhouse plants. It is amazing how a five year old just jumps right in and thinks she can do as much as the workers and her dad. her mother sees a great work ethic developing and is proud as can be.
Mateus, who is almost two and a half, was much more slow to warm up to me. His big brown eyes would stare at me and he would not crack a smile, no matter how I performed. But his sister worked her charms later and his sweet little smile was revealed at last. Poor love bug sometimes gets frustrated when he sees his big sister is able to do so much more at the farm but in not too long, he will be there helping out loads as well.
Sofia was all about the snuggles and kisses and it was so cute. Mateus was a trooper and allowed her to smother him with kisses and cuddles.
I was utterly enamoured with this field of sunflowers. The light was still a little bright so next time, will definitely plan to do a later shoot in a field of flowers, but it was heaven all the same.
One of their favourite things to do is to pick and eat strawberries. The children love running through the strawberry rows and it is wonderful to watch their unbridled joy and hear their laughter as they run up and down, and up and down again, eating strawberries and chasing butterflies as they go.
Mateus will eat an endless supply of strawberries if picked on the spot. But take them home and wash them and his enthusiasm is lost entirely.
I am sure the snail was not a welcome visitor but I remember as a child just loving those pesky things!
Mateus pulled up this onion for me - I was quite spoiled with all the treats they all kept giving me.
When Carlos was growing up, his father kept some livestock at the farm. Carlos started keeping pigeons a couple of years ago when Sofia was given a pair as pets by a family friend. From there, the pigeon coop has grown. The children love to visit the birds and to feed them. Sofia's favourite thing is when her daddy perches one of the birds on her head and they just sit there like she is a roost! Mateus is not keen on going too near them as he is still a little frightened, but he does adore to help feed them.
The kids love to run up and down the greenhouse rows as well. There are usually cucumbers or tomatoes growing there and Carlos remembers doing the same with his younger sister. Mateus was such a typical boy - the tomato is shaped like a ball, therefore it must be thrown!
having not been raised on a farm herself and knowing a very different way of life growing up, Tricia has come to love this place as well. She is so thrilled that her children are blessed to be able to experience growing up here and to appreciate the beauty and hard work that goes into running the farm and the bounty that is has to offer. Since marrying Carlos, she has come to understand the intense work of it all, but she doesn't think she ever truly realised the wonder until she became a mother and saw it all through the eyes of her children. And of course the best part is the access to fresh produce whenever they want it - heaven.
Tricia, Carlos, Sofia and Mateus - I had so much fun at your shoot. It was so personal and full of adventure and beauty, and I was on a high for a week after spending time with your family in such a magical place. This is what my job is all about - capturing real life and your lives are full of all the richness of love and meaning that life has to offer. Thank you for sharing a part of your world with me and thanks even more for the amazing fresh Bermuda produce - it was divine. xxxx