Last month I travelled from London to Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire to photograph this lovely family. We spent the afternoon in the woods, capturing some lovely natural moments among the trees and celebrating the short time left before this family of three became a family of four.
I love spending time with families, not posing, not perfoming, just doing what they do. I love the sheer joy and enthusiasm that small children have for playing and the brief moments of calm as their parents sit back and watch them having fun. I love documenting the fleeing time that is a child's day to day life, going so fast and yet seeming so absolute. The 'he is so obsessed with trains' phase, before it passes, the time when running and chasing and being chased is as exciting as anything gets, because it all goes by so quickly and before you know it there will be a new deep obsession, a new more sophisticated sense of fun, a new role as older brother or sister.
Formal photographs are nice to have but it is these moments that are going to mean so much when you look back at your child's life, whether from next month or in twenty years time. Already the album that I made of my daughters' first year seems like a lifetime ago, although now they are only three.
I end every session like this feeling deeply grateful that families invite me into their lives and trust me with documenting their most fleeting moments and most precious relationships. It is always a joy.