Capturing Us

From the time I was pregnant, I have had a desire (The Native may classify it as a compulsion) to get professional photographs taken of our family.  Not this kind of photo…..

Big Brown would NOT be impressed.  Image:

….because I’m not really into studio photography.  Hey, if it’s your thing  – go for it!  Get your behind right down to that studio and pose inappropriately with your dog .  I’m not here to judge.

It might be the memory I have of my Mom yanking my hair around sponge curlers the night before a big studio sesh.  It could have been the time when my sister bit it on the pavement on our way to the studio and the feeble attempts to stem the flow of blood between shots.  Whatever the case, in my mind studios involve tears.  I wanted something that was more natural, perhaps outside – and with less tears and blood.

But I do appreciate that even outdoor shots can be *ahem* a tad bit unnatural –


From time to time, I’d hop on Google and look for photographers that I hoped would have that skill, that gift of capturing us – not posed in a tree, but simply being a family.

I heard about Ali because of his Mum.  We used to work together.  I saw her last summer and asked about her family.  She gave a quick run-down on her husband and kids.  “Ali’s a photographer now.”  I nodded my head and didn’t think much of it until late one night when that compulsive need for family photos found its way to the forefront of my brain once more.

We booked to do a family session with him on a Saturday morning in a field that  holds significant memories for us.  It was in this field that I told The Native I was pregnant.  It was in this field that we took our last walk as a couple.  That evening, we would be a family of three.   It was where, strapped to my chest, The Duchess would peer over the top of her baby carrier and for the first time, try to focus on the colour of the trees and texture of the grass.

Having thought about a family photography session with disturbing detail, I had a picture in my mind of how it would go down.  The night before, I packed a bag with toys that would help coax The Duchess into cooperating with Ali.  I set out the hat that she loves wearing.  I made a mental list and decided that we should all bring our wellies since the ran has been so heavy recently.  I was prepared.  I was going to make sure this was a great session.

The morning of, we pulled our wellies out of storage in our garden to discover that they had been ruined by the rain, I forgot the hat in the house and the bag of toys in the car.  We walked through an absolute mudpit of a field to get to the site and The Duchess shouted, “NOOOO!” at most of (if not all of ) Ali’s  requests.   And THIS is what he has done.  We have streaks of mud on our clothes.  We look cold.  Our hair isn’t perfect.  And I love them.  I freaking love them.

Grams was in from America and even got in on the action.

He really did capture us.

Ali Paul specialises in wedding and potrait photography.  He is based in the Southwest, but is available for sessions all over the UK.  You can see more of Ali’s work and get details of how to book a session with him here.


All of the above photos are the property of Ali Paul Photography.  Photographs cannot be used without the express permission of Ali Paul.


6 thoughts on “Capturing Us

  1. Jeremy

    Those pictures are brilliant, you’d never know Layla was not entirely positive about the whole experience. Love the one of JM hiding from Layla especially. It would be nice to see a picture of you all on a tree branch with Ernie though…

  2. Deborah

    So cute! We’ve definitely been there. My favorite picture of Darin and I with L, he was uncooperative almost the whole session but she still got a few ones. Also we learned that the expression right before a cry can look like a smile sometimes. 🙂
    You all are beautiful. So fun that your mom got to be there.


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