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