I love taking the photos, I really do. It’s nice to have something to look back on and to share, but I’m never in them! My children will think I was invisible.
Every January I go to Ikea and buy a square frame and in it I put my favourite photographs from the year gone by. I have three of these frames now and I love just looking at how the years have passed and remembering the special moments we have been able to create as a family over the previous twelve months. To me they tell a story. One that of course isn’t perfect, but they’re the highlights.
One thing that struck me while creating our collage last January, is that I have no family pictures of the four of us. The only image I have of us as a family at my youngest’s christening three years ago and another rather windswept one that my cousin took of us on a beach in Dorset two years ago. The rest are selfies and while they are quite sweet, they’re not going to last the test of time and most are taken with a grainy front-facing camera.
As a Mum, much like many of you I imagine, I’m always the one taking the photographs and as much as I enjoy doing that, it means I’m never in them myself! I have visions of the children looking back on our albums ( projected digitally on a wall no doubt!) in years to come, wondering if I was even there.
I made a promise to myself to do something about that this year.
I first met Cassie last Christmas when I was let down last minute by a photographer who was coming to take some pictures at our annual charity Christmas party. Cassie immediately and very kindly offered to step in, which we were so grateful for.
On the day Cassie expertly worked her way around the event taking numerous natural and beautiful images and generally capturing the day without being intrusive. I was so impressed when Cassie miraculously created her own backdrop and photo area with a screen borrowed from the Community Centre, lighting kindly donated by another Mum and a Christmas tree we found in the reception area! This was all so that she could capture some images of the children with Father Christmas and Elsa our Snow Queen! I couldn’t quite believe what she’d managed to create from nothing and she managed to frame some quite stunning shots, which I know the parents adored.
It’s taken us 10 months to re-unite but when Cassie started posting on her Facebook about Autumn photo-shoots I jumped at the chance to have some family images taken before another year had passed and the children had grown another year bigger.
I LOVE the colours that Autumn brings and coupled with Cassie’s style of photography which is, in her words;
“I’m a natural light photographer, meaning I don’t use studios and I very rarely use any artificial light sources (apart from the odd bit of flash when needed). I prefer to photograph real moments than ones that are created for me. Above all else, I want to tell your story through the images I record.”
There’s something to be said about just getting out there and capturing the essence of a family, in our case Isaac’s grass stained jeans no-doubt, but this is us!
We headed to the STUNNING Coombe Abbey Country Park one Autumn afternoon to run, jump and chuck leaves at each other. It didn’t feel staged, (except I wore heels, which I would never normally do, but when your husband is taller than the average giant, it’s a must for pictures!). We were just able to enjoy our afternoon as we normally would. With our own paparazzi of course, hee hee.
Perhaps it’s because she’s a Mum of a two year old, Cassie slots in perfectly because she ‘gets it’, whatever it is. The understanding that kids can be a bit cray maybe!? She even let Isaac join in the picture taking and showed him how to take a perfect photograph, which was so lovely and enabled the children to relax in her company.
Here are just a few of the (170odd!) stunning images that Cassie has expertly positioned and created for us, each of them are perfect and we are so delighted with the final shoot. To me these pictures are priceless so, thank you Cassie for your time, patience and capturing ‘us’.
I have not received payment for writing this blog and all opinions are my own.
If you would like more information on Cassie’s family shoots you can head to her website here where you’ll find more of her stunning images from baby shoots to weddings.
“Photographs are a window to another time, a way to capture a feeling and hold onto it forever.”
– Cassie Leedham-Lewis