After my last couple of Me and Mine pictures turned out to be pictures that I liked rather than truly truly loved and wanted to put on the wall, I’ve been reading around and around and around trying to pick up tips and tricks to improve my photography, and the big thing that kept coming through was that for a family of five, I need to plan. The vast majority of my pictures are candid, or sort of semi-candid, we rarely go out on a specific photo shoot, I just take the camera with me almost every time I leave the house, the remote trigger lives in my handbag and the buggy makes a great impromptu tripod. If we see somewhere pretty we can stop and take a picture and the most planned we get is the increase in the number of trips to pretty places towards the end of the month.
But for this month I decided that we were going to have an actual proper photo shoot. We were going to go up to the windmill in the late afternoon sunshine and it was going to be glowing and lovely and everyone would be smiley and happy because it’s such a happy place to be.
Well this is England, and July, and when I finally glimpsed a teeny tiny gap in the cloud and the merest hint of blue sky, it was all systems go; children into car, camera and tripod and iPhone and finally H who I’m almost certain would rather have stayed at home to watch The Ashes, and off we went.
I’m claiming that that little bit of slightly brighter sky that you can see just behind us is the sunshine that I promised them. They don’t look entirely convinced do they.
But the advantage of the windmill on an ‘it’s almost about to rain’ afternoon is that everyone else has far more sense and it’s deserted.
The one man and his dog who were there had headed home but the time we made it up the hill so I thought we’d try a few long range shots to get the windmill in too, and while you may not be able to see it, these are the photos in which everyone has the biggest smiles.
Because my remote trigger doesn’t cover the 20 something metres between the wall and the camera, so the only way to do it was to press the timer, and run.
For the record, H, Kitty and I all managed the sprint by ourselves, but carrying a baby Pip and trying to run without jiggling him is …. more of an effort!
By this point the clouds were darkening and I was steadfastly ignoring anything that might have been a spit of rain, and after a ration of mini oreo cookies to all but the smallest member of the family, I tried for the illusive, all five looking at the camera shot.
But my sweet little Pip had other ideas. Poor boy, he’d been carried up the hill in the sling, sprinted across the grass and passed from pillar to post while we ran back and forth to the camera and he wanted out and down and time and space to wriggle and show off his latest trick
He’s so determined to keep up with everyone else, and if that means hanging onto the wall so he can stand up, then the wall it is. And while I know you can’t see his smile, I promise it’s there and broader than ever.
And then, as the first drops seriously started to fall, and mere moments before we all hightailed it into the bottom of the windmill to wait for the squall to pass. Kitty’s telling me that it’s awfully windy, Elma is waving and Pip’s expression is utter confusion, but we’re all looking at the camera – it’s a wonder the heavens didn’t open and a heavenly chorus appear (or maybe they did and angels travel by raindrops).
So here we are, my little family, in July.
Next month’s challenge; encouraging small people to smile at a black box on a stick.
And now of course for the best part: the outtakes.
I’ve only got one, taken just after the last family shot. The girls are sprinting for cover, H has walked forward to pick the camera up and Pip and I are following and it’s all very much as your would expect, except for Pip’s expression.
He does not look impressed with the camera; that’s a pure “you are not allowed to steal my Mama” look, usually reserved for sisters!