Monday, 28 December 2015

Lessons Learnt

I bloody love a new year. I'm aaall about the planning, the goals, the resolutions and most of all - the new. I literally strive for a goal and a plan. I also love this time of year for reflection too. Looking back on our photos of 2015 made me realise not only that the children have blossomed and grown so much this year, but that I have learnt so much over the months as well.

- I have learnt that by putting on a face of make up and enjoying what I wear does make me feel good. And no, I am not ashamed. Yes, I do think we should unite as women and not have to do these things but if it makes you feel good, then why not? I am all for going for whatever makes you happy.

- I have learnt that social media is the route of all evil. I don't think I need to elaborate on this! It has so many pros, but the cons far out way it for me and I am a happier person for not being on it so much. I dare you to try it too!

- I have learnt to accept the difference in people. I will wholeheartedly admit that I really used to struggle with other peoples opinions that were completely different to mine. I guess this is an age thing too, lets face it I am still 12 (so many of my friends like to tell me.) but it really has dawned on me this year how much I am just letting go when a year or so ago it would bother me a lot.

- I have learnt that you can't false creativity. This year has been an odd one for me in terms of creativeness. Especially when it comes to my photography. When looking back at my photos of this year it really stood out to me how uncreative they were. There was nothing I had gone out of my way to create and that really does reflect my mood of the year, I wasn't in a great place for the most part of 2015 and as much as I said to myself I would get some real crackers, I just didn't. You can't pretend to be creative, it has to be from within and I know that is massively cliché but it is so true. 2016 i'm going to vomit creative all over you.

The consensus is that I think I have grown the fuck up. Thank you 2015.

Char x

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Favourites of 2015

As we near the end of the year one of my favourite things to do is reflect. I can't lie and tell you this year has been amazing, because it really hasn't. I'd go as far as to say it has been one of our shittest years to date since having children. Yet when I flick through our photo albums the pictures don't portray that. Its funny how in a single millisecond you can capture a smile but behind the scenes there is heart ache, stress, anger and grief over things that haven't even left our lives. And that is the beauty of photography. Those seconds, minutes, hours, that we are going through so much anger, the children are still nose-scrunchy-smiling and carrying on their care free lives and we have that all recorded. And when I think about it that way, I pat myself on the back and give myself 10 parenting points this year for not letting it all get to them as much as I have let it all bother myself.

So lets turn this around and look at all of those smiles and how much they have made this year soo much happier than it would've been had we not had the absolute pleasure of having them in our lives.

Scrunchy noses, sun kissed cheeks and eye squinting smiles are all part of our year this year and here are my favourite photos to round things up. They are not fancy, massively photoshopped or arty. Just a little bit of us in a lot of photos.

2016, we are ready for you now. With open arms and open hearts. Please don't let us down!

(Warning - Grab a cuppa before you scroll, it's a long one!!)

Char x

Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas Activity List

In previous years me and the children have written a mini bucket list over the holidays. We did one for Easter last year and they absolutely loved crossing things off and deciding what to do the next day. So after seeing my sister in law's Christmas bucket list we decided to do our own too!

We adore this time of year and I'm adamant that the lead up will be as stress free as possible. So here is our do-able bucket list for the festive period.

- Bake gingerbread biscuits
- Visit Father Christmas at the garden centre
- Go to the farm
- Have a movie night with popcorn (duvets downstairs included!!)
- Make some treats to give to neighbours and friends
- Make Christmas cards for family
- Go to Panto!
- Make a dried orange garland
- Make toffee apples
- Take some family Christmas pictures
- Video the Christmas week(s)
Oliver also wants to add on go to the Zoo but that is highly unlikely!!

The baking side of things is the main thing I struggle with. I don't 'do' baking with all 3 kids at the same time because I find it unbearably stressful! Joe is the complete opposite and loves it so I am determined to banish all the fears and get baking with them this holidays!

We will no doubt add to it as we go along too!

Be sure to check back on my youtube channel in a few weeks for our videos.

Char x

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Exist in photographs

I C A N N O T stress enough how important I think this subject is. I am going to start this post by saying I will try my upmost to not preach but when I feel so passionately about something it usually comes across as either patronising or rude. So apologies in advance ;) It has a heartfelt meaning behind it!!

When I look at (the very few!!) pictures of myself and siblings as children one thing for sure is I am ALWAYS drawn to pictures that my parents are in. And I bet its the same with you reading this too! There is nothing better than having a giggle at those 90's perms, the patterned trousers and full fringes! I have written about this before but I am going to write about it again because I think it needs focus on it more than ever right now.

I see so so many friends, acquaintances, strangers, saying how much they need to lose a bit of weight or need to get their hair done etc etc etc. I photograph so many families with at least 85% saying 'can you get mainly the children and just one with us both in?' or I approach the subject and it is instantly met with 'Oh gosh, no!! Just take some of the children!'. or even 'Please can you make me 3 sizes smaller!!'.

Let me ask you this, when you look at photos of you as a child do you instantly think 'Wow my mum looks a bit chubby around the waist?' 'Oh gosh, she didn't even get her roots done before this picture was taken!!' No. No you do not!! You see the smiles, the holidays, the memories and your childhood. And that is exactly how your children feel about you and exactly how they will see it in 10, 20 years to come. They will be so grateful for the pictures and so thrilled you captured them growing into little adults.

I know now that the reason behind me feeling so strongly about this is because I don't have many photographs of me as a child to which I have been recently told by mum is because they 'forgot'! I don't have many pictures to analyse and compare to my own children and I do not want that for my brood and I don't want that for you either! So lets get prepared to exist in photographs. If you don't feel comfortable, do something about it! But don't fret, because rest assured you don't have to show anyone if you don't want to but your children will be eternally grateful and actually, I am quite sure you will love them once you see them!

So whether its a cheeky selfie or a full blown family photo shoot, be in your photos! Get a cheap tripod and whack the self timer on, grab a stranger and get them to photograph you! Out with friends, even better! Take 5 minutes out of your Christmas Day to snap a few photos and you will not regret it.

So I have to practice what I preach. And my gosh am I pleased I did. Back in the summer I asked Georgina Piper Photography to photograph us at the ever beautiful Camber Sands. I was petrified. Completely and utterly dreading what the children would say or do, wondering if they would be complete pains and play up for poor Georgie but all expectations were smashed and we had the most brilliant time. It was freezing, windy and about to drizzle on us but that didn't put us off! Georgie is calming, made us feel so relaxed and it felt more like a good natter with a friend rather than formal portrait session. She totally got us as a family and we are all completely obsessed with the outcome. And it just so happens that the colours that seep through match our lounge perfectly, it will soon look like a shrine to ourselves in our house!!

Thank you so much, Georgina, you're fabulous. And we so can't wait to book in next year!

Char x