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As we left the park, me cursing that I hadn’t got the shot I wanted, Arlo and Rory fed up and wining… somewhere in between all the bickering, Sam said “You just don’t even seem to enjoy taking these photos”.

I DO enjoy it. I enjoy it a bit too much. My thoughts are prone to drifting away, scanning for the best place for THE shot, constantly keeping the sun under surveillance like it were my third child. Resisting the urge to direct people, not interrupting to gently coaxing them towards the place or facial expression I am trying to achieve, and then later silently cursing myself that I didn’t direct more.

I am conscious of the fact that other family members don’t like that photography tends to preoccupy mind during family outings. And so, I try to reign it in. I try to do THE photo towards the end so that it doesn’t interfere too much with our outing or lower the mood of the trip right from the start, even though I know that the best time to get a group shot is right at the beginning, when everyone is still in half decent mood.

I enjoy the results of our family photos. A lot. I enjoy the preparation process. But I DONT LIKE that it never goes to plan. The shot is set up perfectly, there is a window of maybe 5 seconds when everyone just about happy enough to want to be in the picture, but some other unforeseen problem occurs (it’s always the technology. ALWAYS) and soon puts an end to that. It all goes downhill. I end up angry at a perfect opportunity missed.

(Perhaps this will be the year that I finally find a successful remote shutter release method that I’m happy with).

And so here’s where I find myself at the start of this year’s Me and Mine project. Wanting to push outside my comfort zone in terms of setting, wanting to try new ideas. But knowing that I can’t get too carried away. There are three other people to consider. Everyone needs to be on board, it’s everyone’s photo project, and MY ideas might not be everyone’s idea of fun.

There is such a fragile balance between capturing a moment, and actually being in that moment, living it. Life can’t always be a photoshoot – and as I write this, I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a prevailing theme in my family portraits this year.

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This month, I am inviting you to check out Charlotte’s Me and Mine post. Charlotte and her family are at Center Parcs as we speak, and I believe she is posting remotely as they have taken their family portrait during their trip – can’t wait to see what the Crumby Mummy family have been up to on their holiday!

Have you taken a family photo this month? Join in with Me and Mine via the linky below:

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17 comments

  1. First of all I think you family portrait is gorgeous this month! It’s great you’re out and about and catchinghc the winter sun. Second of all I think your hat is amazing. Third of all I know just what you mean about it being a balance. It’s hard to ensure these photos are fun and full of life 🙂 really enjoyed your post this month.

  2. Ha! I know that feeling! I went through a stage where the boys could barely breathe on a trip to the park or beach because I was snapping every tiny detail. But do you know how many of them I have printed… none! It is definitely an art of capturing life as it happens, one I am trying to perfect. I always think Becky and Tom do this. Effortless. Looking forward to the rest of your year xx

  3. Haha. I think we ALL know these feelings oh so well. It’s tricky striking the balance between a gorgeous portrait and having fun while you get it. We tend to go for the approach of getting the photo first and then enjoying our day, but like you say, it can so often backfire when the technology doesn’t play along, or the children aren’t feeling it, or even worse the other halves aren’t. Because we all know that the other halves are the real game changers, when my hubby says enough is enough, then it has to be enough because he looks like thunder if I carry on trying. 😉 I think these photos are lush Chloe, love the setting and love the colours in your outfits. Beautiful. x

  4. I think your pictures are always gorgeous so I don’t think you’re missing the moment at all! But I know what you mean about having a vision of how it should look and then having to face the reality of three other people and not being able to divide yourself into enough people to both take the perfect shot and be in the picture – one of these days I’m going to get to grips with setting my focus brackets in the right place!

  5. Such a gorgeous photo! I totally can relate to this post. I have great plans and then something gets in the way. Hence our photo being a mobile selfie this month. I am going to work on my photos. I look forward to seeing the next 11 months worth.

  6. These are my favourites of yours so far by FAR Chloe. I love them. And I totally get this. I have such passion and want to photograph my family, but I am well aware that it’s me that wants to do it, neither J, or the girls particularly enjoy it and so I want to get happy photos not forced ones, but that’s hard in itself. I find myself occasionally getting stressed and that’s not what I want- I don’t want it to be about that. So I am going to try and find situations where we are having fun and it not being all about the camera. x

  7. It was really interesting to read this; I often feel really jealous of all the lovely me and mine projects I see. I don’t have the organization (or remote shutter release) to get the three of us together for pictures and I really wish I did! These portraits will be beautiful to look back on in years to come. x

  8. I LOVE these. Your photos are always so crisp and bright, I think you are so so talented.
    I think the husbands and children don’t seem to understand the image we have in our heads when we take these photos, and the fact that if one thing is wrong, then it messes up the whole feel of the photo.
    I love your skirt too xx

  9. I think your photos are lovely. But I do get that mentality, just this week I set myself the challenge of taking my little boy to the park and not taking a single picture, just enjoying playing with him instead of constantly scanning for that photographic moment. I look forward to seeing your photos this year 🙂

  10. well for what its worth your shots look completely wonderful to me! Jeez i am a little worried i don’t worry enough now….i just picked up my camera in the car and hit a selfie! oooops! But thats how we kinda roll as my tilly has sms and setting up shots with her is a NO NO! even holding my camera some days sets her off into huge meltdown! I think we have to say no the minute we feel stress creep into the enjoyment….hope the balance returns and you can have loads of fun…or perhaps designate an outing that is JUST FOR THE PHOTO? then you can set up and trial things to your hearts content…what about if the kids had cameras as well would that help keep them all focused on the shoot? do you know i may even try that idea! hey i gave myself an idea…how about that! Anyway i am waffling! Love your shots, love your family, love finding your blog through this project. hello and see you again soon! xxxxxxxx

  11. We started off with an easy shot at home for our photo this week, but I do want to get outdoors in the future. Your photos are lovely though, such beautiful light in them.

  12. Why does technology also ruin our plans? This happens to me often too and by the time I’ve fixed it my husband and Bob have got fed up. Love the one with Arlo on his bike. It won’t be long until you have one of both the boys on their bikes. 🙂 x x x

  13. Looks like you have a happy lovely family. I also enjoy taking photos of myself and family when outdoor especially if the weather is so good to have a walk outside.

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