As a Mum and as a photographer, I know just how important it is to document your memories. To capture those moments that illustrate your life at any given moment. To freeze time on your family, exactly as they are, right now. Photographs are key to telling our stories, to ensuring that we are seen and known, to guaranteeing that future generations understand where their roots originate and to make certain that they can connect who they are now with those who came before them.
The thing is, as a Mum and a photographer, I’m rarely in the photos with my family. I have thousands and thousands of images of my girls – as individuals, in various different pair combinations and all together as a trio. Many of those photos include my husband too. I have very few with me in. I have many ‘reasons’ why I prefer to stay hidden and invisible behind the camera but they’re not really reasons, they’re excuses. And not very valid ones either.
I made a promise to myself to get in the frame more with my girls, even if it’s just a silly selfie on my phone every once in a while – it still counts, it still matters. But I wanted something more than just selfies. Back in 2017 we had a family photoshoot with the superbly creative Steve Gerrard and I loved every single frame he captured. I wanted more. I decided to make it an annual thing – that once a year we would have a family photoshoot all together. Sadly, we couldn’t make it work in 2018 but I was determined that we wouldn’t miss out 2019 as well.
When we booked our family adventure to Boston, I immediately got in touch with my wonderful friend Amy Murgatroyd who happens to live there. I 100% knew that I wanted her to capture us on camera whilst we were in Boston.
I first met Amy at Leap Retreat in Colorado in 2017 and we instantly connected. I knew from the moment I met her that we would be firm friends and I was right – even with an entire ocean between us we have stayed in touch. I met up with her and her family in London last summer when they stopped over on their way to further travels in Europe. We chat regularly over Facebook and Instagram messages as well as email. She is kind and soulful and immensely talented.
I absolutely love her work. The photographs she captures for her clients are filled with heart. The family films she creates – for her clients and the ones of her own family – frequently bring me to tears because they are so beautiful. (That’s the next thing on my wish list – to have her document my family on video).
The day of our family photoshoot came and the light and weather were awful. We re-arranged it for our final day in Boston and I kept everything crossed that we could make it work. Thankfully the morning sun came out to play and so we headed for Arnold Arboretum bright and early for our family photoshoot. I had some intense last minute nerves. Ridiculous I know, but the fear is real. Amy was the ultimate encourager, coaxing me through my very real, almost phobic response to being in front of somebody else’s lens, and cheerleading me the whole way. Honestly, I don’t think I could have gone through with it if it had been anyone other than her capturing us.
An hour and a half later we were done and it felt like no time at all had passed. We headed to a café and spent a few hours hanging out with her awesome family over a delicious brunch of pancakes and waffles smothered in whipped cream and maple syrup and fresh fruit plus steaming mugs of hot chocolate as big as your head. Her two daughters and my three girls were instant friends, bonding over music and books, whilst our husbands chatted about sports – Amy’s husband gave mine a quick tutorial on the rules of baseball in readiness for the Red Sox game we were to be watching later that evening. Amy and I talked about anything and everything, from motherhood to photography to moving house to travel and all the things in between. It was wonderful.
Less than two weeks later she delivered our gallery of images and I am absolutely thrilled with the photos she captured. I love them all. I wanted to share every single one of them and have found it so hard to narrow it down to a smaller selection to post here.
Thank you Amy for seeing us and capturing us exactly as we are. Your magic will last a lifetime and I am forever grateful to have you in my life.
These are my favourites.
This photoshoot was just one morning of our time in Boston. You can find posts documenting our trip here and here. And below is a travel vlog showing what we got up to. I love making these videos and I’m so glad I was able to capture a tiny bit of our photoshoot in there too.