I used to get this so wrong.
I used to think that there must be a perfect beautiful storm of having plenty of time and plenty of money, of looking better than you've looked in ages, of the children going through a good hair phase and having all their teeth present and correct, of having a brand new wardrobe and maybe a brand new kitchen, when no-one has had an argument or a tantrum for three days in a row and when nobody needs to carry a cuddly toy everywhere they go. Oh, and it has to be sunny too.
Perfect doesn't always happen. And if we wait for it then our little ones are starting to stand, to walk, to run, to grow up. And suddenly they don't need or want to hold hands walking down the street. And, let's face it, whether or not we're getting any thinner, our kids aren't the only ones getting older.
Let's give ourselves a break. We're good enough now. It's all good enough now.
Oh, and by the way, cloudy days are just perfect for photos!
Nowadays, I WANT to capture the gap in the teeth, the crazy hair, the favourite party dress that has been too small for ages, the familiar playroom mess and the old faithful cuddly bunny. It's our real family life and I want my kids to be able to see that when they're older. Yeah, it would be great if I still looked like I did before I had kids, but my kids don't care one bit, so I try not to care quite so much too.
The beauty of documentary family photography is that you don't need to pretend. Don't dress up, don't sit still, don't say 'cheese', don't worry. Relax, be at home, be yourselves, be funny and silly and sleepy and playful and cuddly. Wear your favourite everyday clothes and let the kids wear half the dressing up box at once. Do normal things - the things you do everyday. And not because 'everyday is special' but because it's the little everyday things that are special to your children.
Get in touch if you're thinking of booking your own family photo session in Cambridge or Ely.
The photos are for your children too. Take them yourself, or hire someone to make art from your everyday life and to include you too, but take them now.