Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Doing What They Do

For all of you die-hard Cool Rule Blog followers, you may recall that at least one or two posts here have been dedicated to my starry-eyed expectations for decent photos of my children. The classic, 'Cheesy Peas' post in which a seemingly wonderful gift of a 'mummy makeover and family photo shoot' went disastrously wrong. And then there was the school 'Photo Opportunity' which had me abandoning a perfectly good photo shoot and running for the hills (plus a strong coffee and a stack of custard creams).

So imagine my delight when, on Twitter, a local photographer, despite having read my accounts of photo shoots from Hell, actually offered to visit me and the Tots for the very purpose of getting some 'nice, natural pictures'. Hello? Was she from this planet? Didn't she know both of my children had an in-born-photo-shoot-intolerance-type-thingy from which they would never recover? Clearly she did not.

But then I closed my eyes and imagined all the possibilities. There were my children . . . dancing through fields of cornflowers. Skipping through tall grasses. Flying high on a swing in the afternoon sunshine. Running to hug their mother in the park. I was absolutely certain that once we deducted the use of white photo studio walls and big scary flashes on tripods, my Tots would be modelling material.

And this photographer lady, Simone Rudolphi of SR Projects, seemed to agree. We tweeted and tweeted about the things we could do and finally got together one freezing Sunday December afternoon to see what happened.

Big Tot has me under the thumb as usual

Big Tot, of course, had been briefed about what would be happening that day. He likes to know his schedule and so he had it all planned out. Simone would arrive, Big Tot would befriend her with alarming rapidity. There would be coffee and therefore biscuits which he would monopolise immediately. The camera, which he knew he was not allowed to touch, would become a source of intrigue and unlock his ability to charm Simone until the camera was not only allowed to be touched, but also held and fiddled with. Plus, he would wear his best, smartest clothes, despite having had the phrase 'natural photos' explained to him repeatedly and vehemently.

And all of this unfolded as planned, keeping Big Tot happy and Simone on her toes. We went out for a walk down to the local farm shop and although we had to settle for deserted industrial estates instead of fields of cornflowers, and a grey, murky sky instead of afternoon sunshine, we just got on with things. If this was going to be natural, then we had to go with whatever the world threw at us, didn't we?

Simone did a grand job. She certainly got the measure of Big Tot within about thirty seconds and figured out rather swiftly that Little Tot needs to be given his space. I felt like I was just spending a day with an old friend. She snapped away so that we hardly noticed and never made a big issue of having a camera.

My very own poster boys

She told me, as we were walking, that she was intrigued by the natural way people moved, talked and interacted. She was particularly interested in photographing children because of the challenge but also the potential to get that one shot that can show their innocence, their strength and their beauty all in one go. "Children don't have the inhibitions of a grown-up," she said, "They just do what they do."

And there were my two, just doing what they do. Big Tot playing 'Temple Run' all the way down to the farm shop. Little Tot insisting on pushing his Action Men (inexplicably named Dory and Max) along in his buggy. Refusing nose wipes, demanding snacks, jumping in puddles, fighting with sticks. This was the reality of my Sunday and I was glad to have Simone there to capture it.

Action Men enjoying the fresh air

So this is one blog post about a photo shoot that does not end in tears. It actually ended with two very tired Tots, happily munching toast in front of the telly and the central heating cranked up. Oh, and a Mummy having a sneaky cuppa in the kitchen, wondering how to tell the world how fab Simone Rudolphi actually is.

Go well,


To find put more about Simone Rudolphi and her wonderful photographic services, find her on facebook.com/SRProjects4Photography or follow her on Twitter: SR_Projects

Want to celebrate happy living with your toddler? See Abi's amazing range of Cool Rule products at www.thecoolrulecompany.co.uk, join in the fun on Facebook and follow her on Twitter too!

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