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Rachel, Dave and Naomi

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THE FAMILY

Rachel - a healthcare CEO from New Zealand.

Dave - an investor from Lancaster.

Naomi - their London-born baby, just over a year old at the time of the session.

 

 

If our family was a film it would be...

‘Just Go With It’

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THE FAMILY

Interesting facts about our family

We travel a LOT. In her first year we took Nim to Kenya, New Zealand, the USA, Iceland, Italy, France, Scotland, and the Netherlands. By the time she was six months old she’d taken a flight on average every two weeks of her life.

We love walking and running in the outdoors. Both Dave and Rachel spent a lot of time as kids in the mountains, and both of our dads were/are really keen mountain runners. We take Nim on long walks ocasionally and we’re really looking forward to doing more and more of this as she gets older

Dave and I also played a lot of music when we were kids – coincidentally we both play the saxaphone – and Rachel loves karaoke. In fact our wedding reception was bandeoke (where you have a band but no lead singer). We suspect Nim’s going to be into this sort of thing too, given her personality so far

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Interesting facts about our family

Our favourite picture from the session

It’s so hard to choose a single photo as a favourite. I love the one of Nim in her cot, playing with Dave. It’s an image of peace and calm as well as movement. The composition is gorgeous, as is the light.

The cot is the site of a lot of emotion when you’re a parent – negative ones like boredom and despair when you’ve been rocking the baby for ten thousand years and she’s still not asleep – but also the most overwhelming love. Usually when the baby is asleep and you have forgotten the pain it took to get her there. If I’m out in the evening and Dave puts Nim to bed I will always sneak into the room at some point and take a peek at her snuffling away in her cot. It is heart-melting. The photo reminds me of all of these things.

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Our favourite picture from the session

How would you describe yourself as a mother?

I am a bit of an obsessive researcher. I was one of those people who read loads of books about parenting. I’m open minded about most things and the things I read changed my initial opinions on a lot of things. For example, I’m far more of a hippie parent than I would have predicted I am. I started out quite authoritarian in the way I thought about parenting, but now I think the most important thing is to bathe your child in an atmosphere of love and support, and trust that their development will happen in its own sweet time and its own sweet way.

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How would you describe yourself as a mother?

The picture that best portrays our family

Dave’s mum’s favourite photo from our session, which she now has on her wall, was a really simple one of the three of us in the kitchen. It’s very real and authentic, which is the whole point of the documentary style.  I absolutely love the style of the picture – and all the pictures from the session – as it’s so simple and clean, and reflects what we are truly like.

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The picture that best portrays our family

The best thing about being a mum is...

I love hearing Nim singing in the morning in her cot. She wakes up so happy. From our bedroom you can hear this sort of tuneless cooing, interspersed with the words she knows, like ‘No!’ and ‘Up!’ Dave refers to it as her ‘booting up’ for the day.  

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The best thing about being a mum is...

The most difficult thing about being a mum is...

The hardest thing is not being able to help her sometimes when she needs it.  When she’s crying in the night, and you don’t know why, and you’ve given Calpol and milk and it hasn’t helped, and all you can do is stroke her back and hope that helps a little bit. When she gets her first ever cold and can’t breathe through her nose and looks at you with the saddest face, like, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ and you can’t solve it for her. And you know that she’ll learn to sleep through, and to blow her nose, but then harder things will happen. Someone will be mean to her at school. Someone will break her heart. She’ll face medical problems that are more serious than a cold. She’ll need to make her own way in the world. That’s the kind of thing I think about when I am stroking her in the middle of the night, and it’s heart-breaking, but also sort of exhilarating because I feel it so deeply that it also reminds me of how much I simply love my daughter. And that’s all you can really do for now.

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The most difficult thing about being a mum is...

The picture that best reflects our child’s character

There are some lovely photos of big expressions in Nim’s face, wide mouth open shots of her laughing or calling out. She doesn’t have many words yet but there is no doubt that she’s going to be a big talker once she gets going. The vibrancy of her personality and the way she connects with other people really quickly and easily comes across in loads of the photos.

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The picture that best reflects our child’s character

Our funny family memory

The usual ‘funny baby story’ involves poo, vomit or both. We have certainly had our share of these but they were not always funny at the time! I spent most of the flight to Kenya covered in Nim’s vomit. It was a life experience. The man next to me – who was not Dave – perhaps did not find this amusing, although he was very nice about it.

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Our funny family memory

Why are family pictures important?

I recently read Marie Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying’ and I loved the idea of being surrounded only by things that ‘spark joy’. I love the idea of having a home where every single thing your eye rests upon sparks joy in your soul.  That means, for me, being surrounded by images of the people I love most of all.  I am halfway through a project of covering our huge fridge/freezer in some of our favourite photos.

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Why are family pictures important?

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