Kaya’s Mummy Cassie had wanted to book in a newborn lifestyle session earlier, however unfortunately their 3.5 year old Melia had other plans. Within an hour of returning home from the hospital with their 3rd baby Kaya, their oldest Melia fell and broke her arm! Not exactly the start you want when you have a new baby! We decided to schedule the shoot for when Melia was out of her cast and life was a little more ‘normal’. Cassie and Paul also have a 19 month old little boy Jay – so as anyone with three kids will know – life is a little chaotic! It’s fair to say there was a lot of noise during the shoot, a fair amount of chaos and tears, but a LOT of beautiful moments! I truly believe that there is beauty in chaos and I definitely don’t want any family feeling that their kids need to be focused and behaved throughout the shoot. Some of my favourite shots during this session are those ones where the kids are upside down, rolling on the floor, or laying in a tangled mess across their parents legs. This is real life – this is what life is truly like with little kids and THIS is what I want to capture! The beautiful chaos – the real life – the things you’ll look back on and smile because it makes you remember what it was all like, and it makes you feel something. This time will pass, and strangely enough one day you’ll miss all of the noise and the movement and the chaos. Looking back will let you revisit that time again – and maybe pat yourself on the back for getting through it all!
Despite all the noise and movement, we’re still able to find moments of calm and quiet – usually one parent can look after the older kids whilst the other takes time to bond and cuddle with the baby. Both Cassie and Paul had this time with Kaya, although often it was cut short with Jay and Melia running in for a cuddle as well. Often it’s the time when you’re focusing on someone else that the kids actually want to be in the frame! I just go with the flow on this. When the kids are happy to be photographed, I take advantage of that and keep them involved. When they needed a break to go and play in the car with dad, or get a snack, or go outside, we let them do that. When they needed encouragement to be involved, I helped them through that – some tricks involve showing them a photo of themselves on the back of the screen and asking them if they can do a better one, or asking them how fast they can run to mum or dad, or how tightly they can squeeze them, or how many fingers their new baby has. Going into their room is another way to keep them happy.
When placing this family all together, I absolutely loved the natural interaction they had with each other. I don’t need or want a family to just sit together stiff and posed – I want those natural interactions and the craziness and their real personalities. I want to see what happens when they’re close together and freeze that for them so that they can always remember it. Although parents often feel the need to apologise for their kids behaviour, I really don’t want them to feel that way! I want to capture what is real for you, and this family let me do that!