family portrait

This month, I wanted to use a phone photo for our Me and Mine family portrait. Because those are the photos that are taken in the throes of a real moment. By the nature of having to set up the shot, the family photos I’ve taken with my proper camera and tripod depict moments that are obviously more constructed. Although I love the process of scouting out a nice location, planning the trip, and editing the resulting shots into something that might make visitors comment on what lovely family portraits we have hanging in our home, my phone contains something much more memorable – the real laugh out loud moments, ‘being ourselves’ moments, casual moments, ‘spur of the moment’ moments – our real lives, unedited.

A few weeks ago it was ‘Open House weekend’, where many buildings and places that aren’t usually open to the public open their doors to visitors. Living in London, I figured this was a prime opportunity to take Arlo somewhere where he could gain a good view of London, and specifically, all its trains, taxis, and other forms of public transport (Arlo is mega keen on all things vehicular, in case you didn’t already know). I asked Twitter for recommendations, and got the perfect suggestion within minutes.


It wasn’t actually part of Open House Weekend, but Croydon bus depot were celebrating a big birthday and had therefore opened the depot to the public. So off we went for an afternoon of major geekery at the bus depot. There were hundreds of toy cars, buses and other vehicles to buy. There were books upon books about buses and trains (some of them just containing lists of different timetables throughout the years…. interesting).

There were buses that you could hop aboard, sit in the driver’s seat, open and close the doors, ring the bells as many times as you liked (toddler heaven). We got to ride a double decker bus through one of those car washes where the brushes come spinning past you – pretty cool.

Totally didn’t realise that Sam and I were matching until just now – This old bus route served our town’s station ‘Norwood Junction’, hence the photo in front of this particular bus.

This is also the first time that I’ve asked a stranger to take our photo. Rather embarrassingly, the perfectionist in me had to ask him to take it again as in the first photo he’d cropped out the top of the bus where you can see the route (I mean, how dare he?)

I think this is something I want to make more of a habit of (the asking people to take photos of us, not the criticising kind strangers for taking the photo differently to how I had planned). It’s always something that I contemplate doing, but never end up doing because it seems silly to inconvenience people and make a big deal out of taking a group photo – but the resulting photo memories are well worth it.


Just in case there is anyone who hasn’t heard of Mummy Daddy and Me , or witnessed Katie’s award-winning combination of gorgeous photography and loving, sentimental words, get yourselves over there now to check out her Me and Mine post and the rest of her blog! Every month, we send you on to another Me and Mine linky host so that, if you so choose, you can click through all of the blogs hosting Me and Mine until you wind up back where you started. And if you’ve taken a family photo recently, don’t forget to add your blog post to the linky below:

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  1. Such lovely photos, and I absolutely love that it was such an Arlo-led day out… good way to get a toddler to play along that’s for sure! I love all your expressions in the close up one. And we often ended up in matching outfits by mistake too, I’m sure people assume we do it on purpose. In fact we matched ourselves with the children in this months Me and Mine, and I didn’t realise til I was editing. x

  2. Aw Chloe I love the first photo- I completely agree with you about iPhone photos being totally in the moment. Sam and Arlo’s faces are just so funny! Although I love the posed shots, it is definitely the spur of the moment ones that capture real emotion. And I love that you asked the stranger to take it again, that is totally something I would do! It looks like a great day out. x

  3. This sounds like our kind of day out! Arlo would love it near here, we have a transport museum quite close to us and although it’s pretty basic children still love it.
    Well done for asking someone to take a photo, I wouldn’t be able to do that as I know my husband wouldn’t smile, and I love that you asked him to take the photo again! haha!
    I love the reason for you wanting to use a phone photo, what you say is so true about capturing the fun, laugh out loud moments. xx

  4. I love that you’re matching – right down to the boys’ socks! I’m gradually getting over feeling a bit self conscious setting up the tripod and time but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to hand over my camera just yet, but your bravery has paid off in spades; it’s a great picture and it’s wonderful that you have a connection to the route, as well as Arlo’s deep affection for buses!

  5. The picture on the bus is BRILLIANT. It feels funny that if I hadn’t moved from the UK to Istanbul my posts would have very similar scenery to yours. You look like you are rocking parenting two (though I know exactly how hard some days must be). Such a lovely post.

  6. I just LOVE the first photo – so much fun and so many smiles 🙂
    Love the coordinating outfits too xx

  7. Lovely pics (he looks so happy in that sling!) just had to comment because I used to get the 154 every day and it was a bit exciting seeing the old school version of the bus! 😛 x

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