Before I got engaged and started planning our wedding, I would have recoiled at the idea of doing a photoshoot. The idea of us awkwardly posing, cheesy grins with hands on hips made me feel quite uneasy and I certainly never thought I would be the type of person contemplating blowing up some prints to mount on our walls at home! I use to find it quite bizarre when I would visit someone’s home and every which way you turned, you saw a family portrait smiling back at you! But I guess that’s what becoming a wife and mother does to some people – I have turned into a soppy, sentimental soul who is so proud of what we have done, and where we are now, I am happy to hang the occasional family photo about my abode.
The thing is, the few photoshoots we have done with Katherine Ashdown have totally convinced me that there doesn’t have to be any cheesiness or forced smiles involved – especially when you have a wiggly baby who keeps you giggling. Katherine was our wedding photographer and was like a soft breeze in the background, busy documenting the day in the most natural of ways – capturing those candid moments and orchestrating some shots with beautiful artistry. As a prelude to that day, we arranged an engagement shoot with Katherine and had the best time ever, messing about on the beach in Wells-Next-The Sea, Norfolk. They are some of my favourite photos of Rob and I and love that we were able to anticipate what it would be like having Katherine there on our wedding day.
Two years later and Florence entered our lives and I felt compelled to have a family photoshoot back at the same location where our engagement shoot took place. To sit on the edge of the same beach hut and walk along the same woodland path, now with our darling daughter, seemed like the sweetest idea (if a little sickeningly sentimental!). We had the best time and I am so pleased we took the plunge, driving over two and a half hours on one of the hottest days of the year with a 7 month old, because the end results are stunning and I couldn’t be more thankful to Katherine for capturing this little moment in our lives.
It is cliched but so true – “the days are long but the years are short”. I am so scared I am going to blink one day and wonder where my little baby has gone as I trot her through the school gates. So for now I know I will always have these photographs to remind me of this moment in her life – on a sunny September day in 2016, Florence had just turned 7 months and was finding her balance sitting up. She had a gummy smile and the brightest, biggest eyes. She was a girl full of funny expressions and was easily comforted to sleep on my shoulder with a gentle sshing in her ear.