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Documenting your life

The best gift you can give your kids

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The best gift you can give your kids

Hi Super-mums!

You know better than anyone, how quickly the time passes.  It feels like yesterday that you spent hours just staring into your precious newborns eyes.  You’ve been excited for them to grow up while at the same time wishing for time to stop so you can enjoy them at this age a little while longer. 

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In the pursuit of the perfect childhood for you kids, you’re tirelessly and selflessly making it happen. You’re up late at night sewing sequins on to ballet costumes, you’re cutting out shapes in their sandwiches to make mealtimes fun, you cave and spend another 20 minutes pushing your child on the swing because they keep shouting ‘more!’, you’re reading multiple storybooks before bedtime and you’re kissing their scraped knees to stop the tears.  Your little ones rarely notice in the moment how much work it is to give them this adventure-filled and beautiful childhood, and that’s okay.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, looking back on my childhood photographs that I said to my mum:

 ‘I don’t know how you did it all!’. 

My wonderful memories aren’t of my mother putting in all the effort, but they are because my mum put the effort in! Toasting marshmallows on family camping trips, getting to wear sparkly costumes for dance concerts, and collecting freshly-laid eggs from our chicken pens.  I remember my mum making a ‘pouch’ out of a sweater so us kids could hold and feed our baby kangaroo - Yes, i am that Australian.  These were the days that I had not a care in the world - our days were filled with adventure, fun and opportunity.

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These photographs, that hold all these special memories (even the ones I was too young to remember) are priceless and if I take good care of them, they will last even longer than me.  After my care-free childhood, my childhood photos are the most precious gift my parents have given me.

So much love goes into giving your child a great childhood and I know you are pouring in all your time, effort and love into doing just that -  but you can leave the capturing of that love and those memories to me.  My ‘Real Sweet Life’ sessions capture the moments that sometimes go uncelebrated and I will make it easy on you - I’ll join you for a morning where you don’t need to get all dressed up, or make your house look like a show-home, you can even carry out your normal daily routine of breakfast, walks in the park, story-time and naps.  I will document all the beautiful, small moments that happen every day.  It will reflect the crazy, beautiful, love-filled family you have and will be the same images that your kids look back on one day and say

‘Mum, I don’t know how you did it all!’

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Let’s capture your Real Sweet Life together!  You can find out more and book your session HERE.

Love Suzy

P.s.  The photos in this post are some of my treasured memories from my own childhood!

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Documenting your life: Part 2

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Documenting your life: Part 2

Here we are on Part 2 of Documenting your life and today I wanted to talk about a great way to prioritise this (and make it easier on yourself) to capture your life regularly.  If you missed Part 1 about how to flex your beauty seeking muscle - you can read it here

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A great way to make sure you're capturing your life from year to year is to create family (or couple) traditions.  Make something fun that you do every year - it could be camping, an annual all-out big family picnic, taking your family to the mountains, a board-game night, making a big deal over the first day of school, or taking on the local festival as a family.  Whatever it is - make it fun, make it special and capture it.  Another option is to have the tradition BE the photoshoot.  Every Springtime, you could do a professional photoshoot and hold it in a different location - a city adventure, amongst the springtime blossoms, or bundled up for an in-home session!

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You could make a small album of this special day every year.  How cool will it be to look back on in 5, 10 years time - memorialising this same event every year - seeing how you've changed, how much you've grown with the same constant theme running through it (your tradition).  

Creating family traditions makes time for the important things in life - time with your loved ones!!  I remember one of my close friends used to have one Friday night a month where they would have a 'family night' where they used to do all sorts of activities together - from board games, to going to the cinemas, to a dinner cooked by every one together.  No matter what, they all had to be there (they were older kids).  They all looked forward to it too, it wasn't a chore.  I was a little disappointed we didn't have something similar in our family at the time, but I vowed I would create something similar in my  own family one day.  

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Do you have any family traditions?  Would love to hear them in the comments below!

I am now available for Spring Family sessions in Switzerland!  Get in touch if you want me to capture your first family tradition!

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Documenting your life: Part 1

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Documenting your life: Part 1

It makes me sad that we know very little about those that have passed away some time ago when technology wasn't as readily available and we didn't have the fortune of having a camera with us at every moment of the day.  Maybe ancestry websites can tell you bits and pieces such as date of birth, date of death, cause of death, marriage details etc, but these tell us very little about who a person was.  How he smiled at his loved ones, the singing club she was part of that she loved so much, the thick-rimmed glasses that all his friends and family knew him for, the fact that after a glass of wine she always wanted to dance... all these little details is what we love people for.

We are in a new era!  Generations after us will know so much more about us.  There will be so many photographs and videos and Facebook status updates (*cringe*) that they can hopefully access.  I often ponder on this idea and feel such a strong desire to give them incredible images.  I'm not talking about a million mediocre, mindless iPhone snaps... but REAL, EMOTIVE, BEAUTIFUL images that reflect the stuff that matters like how madly we loved one another, the laughs we shared together, the way we grew up and learned.  

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Because this is so important to me (and hopefully you too), I'm starting a series on my blog to give you the knowledge and inspiration to document and capture your life in a thoughtful way.  It's almost like you're writing you'll be recording your autobiography as it actually happens.  My series will focus on a diverse range of topics from how to organise your photos to overcoming self-consciousness.    Today's topic is:

And above all,
watch with glittering 
eyes the whole
world around you
because the greatest
secrets are always
hidden in the most
unlikely places.
Those who don’t
believe in magic
will never find it.
— Roald Dahl

Finding the beauty in everyday

I think most people will be thinking:  "I have nothing to photograph on a day-to-day basis, nothing out of the ordinary happens".  

Nobody's life is unicorns, glitter and adventure 24/7.  Even the glamorous personalities you see on Instagram still do all the 'normal' activities you may see as nothing special.  However there is magic in the mundane, and stories to tell in the repetitive tasks - you just have to look a little closer.  

How to exercise your beauty-seeking muscle

  1. Select a part of your day that you usually just gloss over - it could be getting dinner ready, or your daily walk in the park, the first half an hour on a Sunday morning, or getting the kids ready for bed.  Approach this moment with the purpose of finding the beauty in it.  Look for the little moments and how you feel about them (and they don't always have to be happy to be beautiful). 
  2. Be observant of facial expressions and the movements of your/their body - particularly reactions to what is going on. 
  3. Observe how the light looks - is it harsh, or soft, or a glow from a lamp. What colour is it?  How does the light make you/your loved ones look?  
  4. What sounds do you hear - laughing, birds singing, the kettle boiling, how does your loved ones voice sound?
  5. Express gratitude - think about what makes you grateful in this moment, maybe its the fresh air, seeing your child's joy, the peaceful morning light.  There will always be something to be grateful for - even if you're staring at a pig-sty of a house - you can be grateful for all the living that created the mess, the joy it has brought you, the fortune of owning so many wonderful things!
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The way I express gratitude is by taking a photo of it.  I look at the whole scene, but consider what is it I want to highlight or express in my photo.  Is it their hair, or the details of their hand, the emotion, or are you telling a story by taking a few steps back and showing an entire scene. 

Seeing the beauty in the everyday is a bit of optimism and a bit of mindfulness.  You need to be in a positive frame of mind and be living in the moment.  No matter how 'boring' the moment may be - see the beauty and capture it!   A great way to practice this is by participating an a 52 week or 365 (daily) photo project - you can either just take a photo each day/week, or find a prompt list that you can follow. 

Happy beauty seeking!

 

 

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