So a couple of weeks ago, my dear, sweet friend and fellow wedding photographer Helen Howard and I were chatting and the subject of swapsies came up – I could photograph her and her son, Jacob, while she could photograph me and Avalon. Now, as a wedding photographer I am good at capturing the special moments of other people’s lives; I’m perceptive, I pay attention, I’m naturally curious, I have a good memory and my employment history is all about customer service, retail and sales – so me and other people go together like peas and carrots. A boss of mine once said I could get rapport out of a statue. But I’m the first to admit that when it comes to documenting my own family, I’m pretty lax. Although I have hundreds, literally hundreds, of images of our daughter I still don’t have a single print displayed at home – I know, I know, I am a terrible mother. I myself don’t mind having my picture taken either (I went to an amateur dramatics after school club for a while so maybe that explains something…) but it still feels more natural for me to be behind the lens looking through a viewfinder than it does to be the subject.

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Helen is looking to branch out into a slightly different direction alongside her wedding photography and is setting up a lifestyle photography side to her business, and like the good friend I am I was happy to be a guinea pig. She wants to photograph people as they are; maybe barefoot at breakfast time, playing with your kids at home or out for a walk, or just simply being together doing everyday stuff. I love the fact that we spent the shoot just hanging out in Helen’s living room, drinking coffee, chatting and laughing; Adele followed by Frozen on in the background. This is us.

Real life.

So on the day itself I had a chest infection and Avalon had an eye infection and I came close to cancelling because, despite daydreaming about it, I do not look like a woman from The White Company catalogue. But that’s life. That’s our life and it’s awesome. And Helen captured us being imperfectly perfect.

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I cannot thank Helen enough for capturing these moments. To me, this imperfect, everyday, slice of life stuff with my daughter is as good as it gets.

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You can see more of Helen’s work and get information about her lifestyle shoots here: www.helenhowardphotography.co.uk