There is nothing more boring than listening about other people’s kids. Let’s face it. It’s brain numbing. Everyone thinks theirs are smarter, faster, develop better and use their brain more. And in some cases this may be true but on a whole, the subject of other people’s children is as exciting as a smell of a cheap cologne or rendition of Michael Bublé songs. So why the non catchy title?
Her life consists of gifts. She gets presents for anything from a new belt in karate to simply not kicking off for a day. The subject of spoiling her is meat for another blog, because today I want to focus of a gift that I find absolutely priceless. Not the education she gets, not the holidays, not the fact that in global terms she should be happy to have a roof over her head and someone feeding her so she doesn’t have to wonder where her next meal is going to come from. I won’t discuss the gift of time we commit as parents as that’s a debatable point.
Not long after Eva arrived, I decided that each year we will have a professional photoshoot with someone different, to capture her upbringing and changes over the years. I never had anything like that when I was younger, as it just wasn’t a thing to do. Cameras only just entered the mainstream and the main photographs we still have are polaroids and some passport pictures. A bit yellow, but absolutely priceless. I used to look at them for hours, every time when I visited our family home.
The gift of memories was something I appreciated from a young age and this love for hoarding moments never faded. My memory has deteriorated quite substantially but those glossy pieces of paper keep those moments alive for me, so I took it upon myself to build my daughters biography in the photos we collect together.
No matter how good we are with the camera, for some unknown reason our children will always respond differently to us taking the photos versus a complete strangers. I discovered this anomaly early on in the game and decided to save myself the frustration and so outsourced the whole process to my fellow professionals. Since I am not quite sure what style of photography she will appreciate and love when she’s older, I embarked upon a journey of discovery and had the pleasure of being photographed by some of our country’s best professionals. Today I decided to share a glimpse of the vast selection of images we have now amassed, ranging from lifestyle to fully stylised photoshoots. Whichever type of photography you are into, whatever it is you prefer, make sure you are always in the picture <3
This is what I am going to leave behind, for her. Hopefully alongside a house and a savings account, but this is my absolute priority. You can always get another dress, another pair of shoes, but we can never get those moments back.
1. Indigo and Violet. Apart from a newborn photoshoot, this was our first session as a family. In the middle of the day, in full Sun and bluebells. Eva was not even 2 years old. She was tired and couldn’t keep up with our walking speed. Yet she is still ridiculously cute.
2. Rob Mank Photography. I convinced my friend Rob to take some photos of my daughter and I when she was around 2.5 years old. She was very tough to photograph and we only really managed to nail this photo, but it’s close to my heart and I have it up on my wall in a beautiful frame by Gabriela Koopmans.
3. Natasha Ince. I briefed her that it would be tough. That Eva does not respond to bribes. She cares not about threats. Or treats. She is her own mother. Refuses to comply. Get tired and shy. I was ready for a disaster. Natasha enchanted my child. Not only did Eva listen but she smiled and followed all her instructions. I had to collect my jaw off the floor, before getting dressed in one of her beautiful gowns and joining in. This woman is a master of her craft and a magician, wrapped in the body of Beyoncé.
4. Lisa Lobanova. I lived in London half of my life. My love for the capital never faded. It’s where I met my husband, made some amazing friends and absorbed the history I studied at school. I love the smell of it, the sound of it, the opportunities. It was a logical step to include London as a subject in a family sessions. This way all I love is in one place.
5. Suzi Mitchell. I love colour, but interiors change and I wanted my wall art to stay timeless so we decided to book Suzi to capture some images for our walls. The girl is amazing, and ridiculously friendly. You want to take her home and make her your live in friend. She started the session with a gift for my daughter, to break the ice. She handed her a white teddy bear and some plasters and played doctor, fixing Teddy’s arm. It’s the little things. Eva warmed up to her instantly, and within minutes she was dancing and feeling at home.
6. Karah Mew. I don’t think there are words to describe this human. Whatever words I pull out of my arsenal, those will never be enough. She is the definition of “they don’t make them like this anymore”. An absolute soul, her body carries the persona that is bigger than life, yet so humble and not in your face. She is my favourite photographer, which may surprise some, as there is no styling in her work. No fancy anything. It’s a reportage of our life. A photojournalistic take on the memories. You see it as it is. She blends seamlessly in your surrounding capturing what’s important to you. We had the honour of having her join us for a brief holiday at my parents’ home in Poland and given a chance, I’d do it all over again. Those few days allowed her to capture my family exactly as they are.
7. Paulina Duczman. One of the most recognised names in the photography world right now, global sensation, soul catcher, artist in the full meaning of this word, and one of my closest friends. A photoshoot with her is an investment as in 2-3 years she will be out there, next to Leibovitz, and I will be proud knowing she captured a moment from my daughter’s life. She is a perfectionist.
8. Gabriella Koopmans. We were driving back from a road trip in Europe. Decided to pop in to see Gabriella. It was gloriously sunny outside and the golden hour was setting. She grabbed her camera, and took some photos of my daughter. Her real self, happy, natural, messy. My hair was a disaster, her feet were dirty, I had no make up. I have them all around the house, framed. Those are the memories I cherish.
Some people invest in cars, some invest in watches. I invest in memories for my favourite human. She may not understand this now, maybe even I cannot quite grasp the importance of those moments frozen in time, but at some point in the future, this is what I will leave behind, after the kids blow through all our cash and look back at the childhood that shaped them.