Chris and Michelle put good thoughts out to the universe and in return, became the proud owners of their very first home, a Grade II listed house with 116 years of history entrenched in its floors, walls and gardens. The couple have long dreamed of renovating an old Bermuda home with history and soul and that dream finally became a reality earlier this year so they were keen to capture their early days as a young family in the home they plan to stay in forever. They had never really had a garden before and now they are enjoying lots of space for Zander to hide, climb and explore, closely followed by sweet little Harvey, who longs to do all his big brother can do.
This family has big dreams for the future. They can't wait to do more planting, improve the house, and build a tree house, but for now they are enjoying the bounty of their first veggie patch. Michelle is often seen in her pjs planting basil and kale in the early morning light.
Zander sleeps with George the monkey every night and he insisted that George dressed in his smart clothes for the shoot.
I actually photographed the family when Zander was a similar age to what Harvey is now so I took some time making sure Harvey had those snuggly shots on his own with his parents too - as a little sister myself, and mother of two, I am hyper aware of how easy it is to not find time to capture the moments of the second child in the same way you did for the first. I do long for some of those photos of my own childhood, even though I understand why they are not really there in such abundance.
Chris loves to dabble in DIY as his way of unwinding after being at his desk all day. Sanding down old cedar doors, stripping porches and patching then painting walls is the perfect relaxation with the bonus of having an even dreamier space to live in at the end.
A peaceful and tranquil space is important to the family so they plan to have hammocks and Balinese daybeds on the terraces to lounge on, and fire pits for snuggling in front of on those cold winter days. So far, they have only managed to put up one hammock, but it is one of their favourite places to hang out and Zander asks every day if they can go on the hammock in the afternoon for a cuddle and swing together.
You may recognise Michelle as my yoga teacher. She plans to convert the garage into a yoga studio and meditation deck. This will be after they have done some essential work to the house, but she is really excited about it, and frankly, so am I!
Harvey and Zander really love each other. Zander is so sweet to his baby brother and loves to make him giggle by playing peek-a-boo. Harvey is very funny and loves to make his big brother laugh at the dinner table by pulling faces as he eats or throwing his peas on the floor. They are both really affectionate boys who love to cuddle but also have tonnes of energy.
Can you believe how the eyes of these two boys are so intensely blue and mesmerising? I was spell bound so please forgive the excessive number of images posted - I just couldn't narrow them down!
Zander is a passionate and confident four year old who loves to climb trees, dig in the mud and generally be outside as much as possible.
He had been dying to roll down the hill for me but I made him wait until after we captured some shots of him clean and close up. He shot down the hill so quickly, I could barely keep focus, but such a fun memory of childhood and those curls just make me swoon!
Harvey is eleven months and is very chilled out. They call him the peaceful pillar of the family. He just balances everyone out. They find it amazing that someone so tiny can have such a calming influence on them all.
Talk about calming - even the butterflies were drawn to this baby - we couldn't believe this beauty simply landed and hung out on Harvey's leg for so long - such a magical moment and I was so happy I was there to capture it.
Michelle and Chris recently celebrated their ninth wedding anniversary. They met in London and were married here on the Island shortly after they moved back ten years ago.
Michelle, Chris, Zander and Harvey - I adored your shoot - it is so special to go to someone's home to capture a small slice of their lives. I hope to come again one day when the house has changed even more as there were so many nooks and crannies and just not enough time. You are such a lovely family and I can see why you feel so blessed to be living there. I am so happy for you that your boys will grow up in such a beautiful space but more importantly, so very loved. You will make so many wonderful new memories in a home that has so much history already. Lots of love to you all. xxxxx