If you follow the blog, you’ll know that I’m a huge advocate of capturing moments in photos. Just one image can take me right back to that place. A quick glance and I’m transported through time; the feelings as strong in that second as they were at the time. Even more so when you factor in nostalgia and the beauty of hindsight. It’s funny how quickly a memory can fade without the reminder. How we remember the big events; weddings, births, parties, but forget the little things.
Sometimes the little things are the most important.
For all those big events in our life, we’ve had a photographer; our wedding, our son’s first few days… those images are ones that I cherish. They’re so full of love, of excitement, of anticipation at what’s next. And yet they’re also not real. They’re us on our best days.
My favourite days are ones where we’re not on show. The days where we bicker in the car about who forgot the change bag. Where we give in to our son’s demands to walk. Where we have aching arms from carrying him for miles after. When we’re scruffy, tired, excitable and everything in between. Days when we’re just us.
Recently we met up with Mike from The AMP Photo Co. Mike and his wife, Anna, are original wedding photographers and work all over the country (and world!). Over time, the couples they’d photographed on their wedding days started families and wanted them to continue to document their lives. And so, their family photo shoots were born. After a couple of emails to arrange a time and place, we met Mike at Woodbury Castle; a beautiful pre-historic fort covered with trees and perched on the edge of the barren looking Woodbury Common in Devon.
Even before we met, I knew we were going to get along. Mike understood family life from the very first email and so, when we turned up clutching armfuls of parenting paraphernalia and bits to contain the dog, he barely batted an eyelid. And just like that, we were off. The AMP Photo Co. use a documentary style photography style. On your family shoot, you act exactly as you would normally. That’s the beauty of it. The photos aren’t posed, they’re not set, you’re just you. There’s no trying to tackle your toddler into submission or try and make the dog stay still. In fact, it’s kind of the point not to.
From the toddler’s fascination with sticks and pebbles, through a brief attempt on the rope swing and plenty of exploring we chatted. And the more we chatted, the more we relaxed. The more we relaxed, the better the photos. Within minutes we’d forgotten our awareness at being photographed. It didn’t feel like a shoot. It felt like a walk with an old friend, one who was more than happy to pull faces and make noises at the little one and groan alongside us as the dog found the only bit of mud on the hottest of summer days.
I’d wanted a way to capture our son at one. I’d looked extensively into photography sessions in order to try and ensure we didn’t forget what this stage was like, didn’t lose it in a blur of sleep depravation and nappies. And yet none of those sessions had seemed quite right. So when we were offered this opportunity, I snapped it up. A chance to memorialise a moment in time as a family. I would do it again in a heartbeat, just looking at those photos made me see all the things that get lost amongst the day to day. A time that we will never have again. A time when the best of days, my most favourite of days, is just us… enjoying the sun, hiding in the woods, soaking up each other.
Why wouldn’t you want to capture that?
You can book a family shoot with The AMP Photo Co. via their website. There you’ll find full details of their packages and prices. We’d like to thank Mike of The AMP Photo Co. for gifting us a photoshoot in return for an open and honest review. The photos and the experience were everything we’d hoped for and more.