At the risk of sounding like a stuck record,
photos matter to me a lot;
it's so important to me
to capture our memories of now,
to look back on in the future.
Time flies past so fast and we don't know what is just around the corner,
we'll only be in this moment once,
and I want to grab it and remember it.
I love that we make the effort to capture monthly family photos,
But we often miss out on some of the other relationships at play within our family,
the bond of the boys,
the gang of the girls,
the daddy's girl moments,
and the mummy's boy moments.
All those moments in between which are what make us a family,
and are what make our family uniquely ours.
It's those little details that are so often missing from our family photos
... until now.
I've spoken to the lovely Marie of Marie Donn Photography on twitter for a while.
I've always really admired her beautiful photography
and the stunning, dreamy images she creates.
So when Marie asked if we would be interested in coming along to a shoot for ourselves,
I was over the moon.
She was running a series of mini sessions at Hitchin Lavender Farm and invited us along,
and as stunning lavender photos have become something of a trademark for her,
it seemed like the perfect spot.
I couldn't wait.
We met Marie at Hitchin on an absolutely sweltering summer day,
I had two boiling hot kiddos who were both feeling a bit under the weather,
and a husband who was complaining that he was actually melting.
None of this seemed like the recipe for a great photoshoot,
but we were excited to explore the lavender fields,
and I was pleased to be meeting Marie in person after talking online for ages.
Marie was amazing.
She chatted with us,
kept the children's attention,
helped us make the most of our visit to the lavender fields.
But most of all she just went with the flow of what suited us;
taking the children's lead and snapping us "as we are."
We stopped for a few specific shots at intervals,
but it always seemed fun, never forced.
Mostly it just felt like the four of us had come out to explore together,
and just happened to have a friend there with a camera.
Marie is a mum,
she has three beautiful children of her own,
so she knows what families need to keep everyone happy.
She understands that happy and relaxed children,
make for happy and relaxed parents,
which makes for happy and relaxed photos.
So she makes a beeline for the children
and makes friends with them straight off the bat.
With the children won over you're instantly onto a winner.
I had seen Marie's portfolio
and knew she took beautiful photos,
but I also figured that's the cream of the crop,
the best of the best
and that while we'd have some lovely photos
they probably wouldn't be quite as amazing as some of her gorgeous work.
We had poorly kids for our shoot for goodness sake,
a sweaty, flustered mummy,
and a very hot and bothered husband,
on a very humid day.
So nothing could have prepared me for how utterly beautiful the results of our shoot would be.
The woman is an artist with her camera
and we are completely thrilled with the photos she took.
Honestly, I could talk all day about what a natural Marie is at shooting families,
but the proof is in the pudding so they say,
and I think the photos do all the talking that's really needed.
Marie gave us this shoot and the photos for free
in exchange for our time and for an honest review of our experiences.
I really can't rate her enough.