Forest Family Fun

I've been so busy lately! That's never a bad thing when you own your own business. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in the slightest! All the business has just meant that my blogging is taking a while to catch up!

So, here are some photos of the gorgeous Rachel and Rex from AGES ago in my favourite place to take photos - Wilverley Inclosure. There is just something about this particular spot in the forest that reminds me of childhood holidays and exploring and having fun. So, what better place for fun family photos?!

Rachel and Rex had a gorgeous 'Mummy-son' session in the forest, that was a bit hectic... but in a good way. Some kids (most, if were being honest) aren't going to be too fussed about standing still and smiling for a complete stranger! So, I always have some ice breaker activities to get everyone warmed up during family sessions. We play some games, have a laugh and a joke, and if in doubt, I let the little ones run around, or ride their bikes until they feel comfortable enough with me to do a bit of smiling and then they can go about their business of finding excellent sticks or the like.

Rex is an absolute bundle of energy, so this technique worked really well for him! Mini sessions are only 20 minutes long, so they are very fast paced. We will try a pose for only one minute or so before moving on to the next one. I don't want the kiddies to lose interest, so I try to keep things moving as much as possible. Of course, I change my approach based on the personalities of the kids present, as well as their ages and what mood they are in at that particular time, but the run around like a headless chicken approach seems to work very well for toddlers! And it's even more successful if the parents are willing to throw themselves into the situation too, just like Rachel did. She embraced having a crazy 20 minutes of one on one time with her gorgeous boy, and look how wonderful the results are!

We also need to take a minute to appreciate just how amazing Rachel is. Rachel has alopecia. I'll admit that it's not something I knew a huge amount about before this session. It's something that has become discussed a bit more in the media lately because of the whole Chris Rock - Jada Pinkett Smith debacle. While that whole Oscars situation was horrible, I do think it's good that it has highlighted the issues of alopecia in general, as lots of people, like me, didn't know much about it. Alopecia is when a person's immune system decides to attack their hair follicles, and it causes hair loss. It's usually on the head and face, but can happen all over the body. It can be temporary or permanent. It can be hereditary, part of hormone changes, ageing or just luck.

I did know that Rachel had alopecia before her family session, so I had done a little bit of research to educate myself in general, but on the day, do you know what the first thing I noticed about Rachel was when I met her? It certainly wasn't her lack of hair. It was how lovely her eyes are. And then it was how gorgeous her bone structure is. And then it was how amazing she is at applying her makeup. And then I was just busy being impressed by how glamorous someone can be who is just wearing shorts and a shirt! Rachel radiates glamour!

Rachel told me that she's had alopecia on and off for her whole life and so has had time to get used to it. I imagine that if alopecia comes to you any later than at birth, say as a teen or an adult it is a bit of a shock, and probably quite upsetting too. After all, it is not really something you can hide easily.

At Rachel and Rex's session I really did see Rachel displaying the best way to deal with a condition like this;

Own it. Make it work for you. Embrace it.

And if you are reading this and are in a similar situation, or maybe you have a medical condition or body part or anything that you feel self conscious about, just take a look at the photos below. Take a look at how this gorgeous little boy looks at his Mummy. To Rex, Rachel is the most wonderful person on the planet. He doesn't see a medical condition when he looks at her. He just sees love and support and fun and beauty.

We can learn so much from children and how they see the world! They see it as it should be seen - without bias or preconceived ideas or opinions.

I hope that if you are feeling self conscious about getting your family photos taken, that this post helps you decide to go for it! Everyone deserves to have beautiful photos of their family. You can share your worries with me in total confidence, and I will make sure you fee comfortable in front of the camera. We can't all be confident rock stars like Rachel, so if you don't want your photos shared on social media or my website, that's completely fine! Just embrace the experience and the fun will show through in the photos!

*Thank you to the lovely Rachel for letting me share her story*