Earlier this year I was lucky enough to spend a few hours hanging out with the very lovely food blogger Bethie Hungerford and her two children. If you don’t know her, you should check out her delicious meal plans at hungermama.com which are full of simple, delicious everyday kind of meals – we are now totally hooked on her wonder pots which involve noodles, prawns, lots of healthy ingredients and of course just the one pot!
We made a plan for a shoot that would document everyday life rather than a more formal session. Her little girl met me at the door, chatting away from the start and looking every bit like a character from my childhood – Milly Molly Mandy. While her mum busied herself getting her younger brother ready and handing out slices of chocolate cake (homemade of course) , we slowly got ready, choosing cardigans and buckling shoes before heading out the door for a scooter ride (kids, not us!) through the park and on to Dulwich village. Dulwich village lived up to all expectations as one of those magical parts of London, that make you feel as if you’re in a film. It was real life though, so there were tears of course, and over tiredness at times as with all small people, but they cheered up pretty quickly and showed me their favourite hang outs in the park, and blew bubbles in the sunshine. We needed sustenance so popped into local bakery, bought beautiful flowers just because we couldn’t resist and took a sneaky portrait outside one of their favourite local restaurants.
What I love about this kind of photo shoot with children in tow is that you can photograph them in lots of different settings. Both the quiet in-between moments when they’re lost in a book or picking flowers, or when they’re playing up to you and smiling. There’s no need to coax or encourage them to face the camera, as they are kept constantly busy and engaged with the world around them.
We ended the day out with a bus ride back home, and I particularly love the final photo of Bethie with her little boy taken through the grimy glass at the bus stop. Characterful, and full of everyday moments. I hope tha these images will always remind them of this little chapter in their lives.