This was the fourth session I had done for this gorgeous family and sadly, this one was the last as they have now left the island. After ten wonderful years in Bermuda, the family have moved back to the UK. But in that time, the island very much became home and they were incredibly sad to leave not only the beauty of Bermuda, but more importantly, all the wonderful people who had become dear friends. Bermuda is a very special place and this shoot was all about capturing the incredible feeling of beauty, freedom, energy and warmth which this family felt when living here. Danielle and Chris decided for this shoot, they didn't need many props, for the beauty of the surroundings, especially the unique sand and ocean, and the happiness of their family would be the focus.
Last shoot we did was at Southlands and the nearby beach. This time, we started the shoot at the family home where they had lived. The boys loved being outside where they spent hours running, playing, finding new flowers, leaves, sticks, rolly pollies and living a magical childhood dream.
Just down the hill from their home was Grape Bay, and at least once a week, they would all take a walk down to the beach. The walk itself was always an adventure through the wooded tunnel of bay grape trees.
We were lucky enough that just as we arrived on the beach, there was a sweet rainbow to mark the special occasion. Once on the beach, even when the kids had no toys, and generally they didn't, they still passed hours happily playing in the sand and surf.
Sweet Zach was only two and a half when I first met him and I remember him chewing on the leg of his fave toy and it was such a sweet shoot with him toddling along the beach. Now he is seven and was great sitting for the pics as long as I promised he could make a few silly faces too!
Darling little James was not even a couple of weeks old when he had his first shoot with me. He is now three, and in the beginning, he was definitely reluctant to sit and listen to my silly songs and preferred the safety and comfort of his mama bear's lap.
But he warmed to me eventually and joined in my games.
One of the things the family always found amazing about Grape Bay was that every time they would go to the beach, it seemed different. More so than other beaches in Bermuda, it is constantly changing in the way the rock formations appear, the placement of the sand, the strength of the waves and it never ceases to fascinate. I grew up on this beach and know exactly what Danielle means when she speaks of its changing facade.
This was my fave thing to do as a kid - I loved it when the changing tides left large cliffs of sand that I could stand on and they would collapse under my weight. I loved seeing the boys enjoying the same things on the same beach from my own childhood.
How darling was it that they had little Bermuda flags to wave - loved this idea and such fun for the boys!
No visit to the beach is ever complete without a treasure hunt. Danielle invariably returned home with her pockets full of "treasures" that the boys have found. On the day of our shoot, I thought I had found the perfect flat Bermuda stone to use as a soap dish but turned out sweet Zach had actually found it and I just refound it where he had put it down so was very embarrassing that it seemed I was trying to steal from a child when really, I just hadn't realised - oops! So happy they have it as apparently it now has pride of place in their bathroom in the UK and is one of the many things which takes them back to their very happy time spend on this gorgeous island!
Most times the family visit the beach, they would head down to the manmade swimming pool which the boys called "their swimming pool". I remember the storm which destroyed half of the pool, which 15 years ago was actually whole. It was Hurricane Felix and I played in the pool the day before the storm which turned out to be so dangerous but that is a story for another day. I just love that this lovely family are still able to enjoy the pool still, and that it still holds a bit of water in its remaining curve. I used to adore it when waves came and smacked over the wall and pushed me into the pool and although that didn't happen on the day we were all at the beach, the boys were all still able to have a great time jumping in.
Towards the end of the shoot, Danielle brought out the treats to spoil the boys for being so wonderful for me.
I was quite taken by the way James ate his donut!
Luckily, nothing was wasted for Danielle and Chris happily ate up all the left overs.
How lucky were we to have such a glorious sunset for their final Bermuda photoshoot?
Danielle, Chris, Zach and James - I will miss our fun family shoots - you were always so open for fun creative ideas and such a fan of my photography which was always such a compliment. I am so happy that you all have lovely memories to cover your walls with and hope that we will see each other again when you come for a holiday! Much love in your new lives xxx