Monday, 20 May 2013

Filling Our Family Memory Treasure Trove

One of my favourite quotes
Photo Credit: Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project
I've just booked a family photo session with Vinita Salomé. It's our second appointment with her and we'd really like to make an annual thing of a family photo session because whilst some days seem incredibly long looking after three young boys I'm very aware of how fast the years are flying by.

Fun was the key word of our first session with
Photo Credit: Vinita Salome
It's striking that we have thousands and thousands of family photos but the one thing that is notable looking through is how few we have of all five of us.  Take a look back at your family photo collection - how many photos do you have with all of you on there? A professional photographer capturing the five of us together at least one time a year is us "indulging in a (not so) modest splurge" (see Gretchin Ruben's The Happiness Project for more on this idea) to add something really special to our treasure trove of family memories.

We met Vinita for the first time last summer early on a clear, beautiful, sunny summer Sunday morning in an unforgettable setting: the Binnenhof in The Hague. The Dutch parliament square is usually bustling with tourists, media and politicians whenever it is featured on the TV news. It's been a hive of activity whenever I have been there in the past. This particular morning it was a deserted terrain. We had the Binnenhof to ourselves for at least the first half of the photo session. And our two eldest boys (then 2 and 5) revelled in the space and freedom to run around and play, chasing each other through arch ways and up and down stairs. Their energy was contagious and heart-warming. How funny to think they were having such fun just meters away from the political heart of the Netherlands!

Ending the session on an even higher note!
Photo Credit: Vinita Salome
As the minutes went by the Binnenhof began to fill up with people; police officers on horseback, the familiar face of the regular ice cream vendor and of course snap happy tourists from far off lands. So to round the session off we treated the boys to an ice cream and they were let loose with dripping, creamy covered cones.

Not only did Vinita capture precious moments with her camera but the six of us had a fabulous time. It was playful and relaxed - and that shows on every photo. We not only have prints and a CD of many wonderful pictures of my family, but we also have the memories of excited, carefree children running to their heart's content in a place they usually wouldn't be able to explore so freely.

The image of my two year old careering around a corner laughing uncontrollably to himself is ingrained in my memory bank. Peals of laughter filled the Binnenhof for ninety minutes - nice to think of such happy sounds replacing the usual political rumblings and grumblings that take place in that particular square.....

So, this year's session will take place in September so that gives us enough time to come up with another magical place.

You can see many more photos from our session on Vinita's photo blog.

Do you have any tips for our next location? Where have you had family photos taken? Do you think a family photo session with a professional photographer is worth the investment?

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