London’s Calling: family photos

For a while now, I’ve wanted to have our photos done.

Like, OFFICIALLY.

But I was lazy about it. I was bloated from having the babies, and didn’t necessarily want to be memorialized that way. Rich is never excited when I speak the word ‘photoshoot,’ even casually. And, honestly we were traveling a lot so it always got pushed to the back burner.

My pictures of the children tend to look something like this:

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Obviously I could use some help in the picture department.

In addition to that, in the fall we learned that we were moving back to the US. This meant that a “family photoshoot in London” shot straight to the top of the to-do list.

I searched for a photographer, and honestly was intimated by my ‘big city’ options. I didn’t know if I would find someone that would understand our family and be ok with chasing energetic children around who DON’T and won’t “pose” for you.

Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

And I don’t want them to pose anyway… because then it would be fake.

But, with enough persistence, I found our perfect match.  I can’t recommend her enough.

http://www.margaritakarenko.com/category/family/

Margarita…. the goddess of photographing children. You are the child whisperer. We shall create a shrine and bring gifts of chocolate and cameras to your feet.

Margarita embraced the craziness with patience and laughter. Often, good-naturedly asking me “Is this how they always are?” She set a relaxed tone and captured each child perfectly.

I stressed for a few weeks about our outfits and the weather, and if the kids would be warm enough if the weather changed. I always knew I wanted to have our photos taken in the fall, because I think it’s the most beautiful season in London. But the season is also hit or miss on sunshine and rain.

All of that worry was wasted however. We showed up at Tower Bridge in the morning to an incredible morning sun and mild temperature. The weather held, and the children loved being out in the city. Aren’t they always the best when they are free and outdoors?

I don’t know how to say anything else without being totally cheesy.

But, truthfully, it was magical.

I mean, they went almost an hour without asking for a snack.

That’s some photoshoot magic.

 

We started out in a green space adjacent to Tower Bridge and London City Hall.

 

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And we got a few pictures in, before the boys requested to be dinosaurs for a little bit. Margarita went with that.

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This is the moment that Theo got a bloody lip.

Because we don’t go a day without a bloody lip.

Margarita asked us to jump. And we did.

Rich was next to Theo and upon jumping – whacked him, mouth first, with his heavy duty watch.

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Then we ventured up on to the bridge, where Margarita asked us to ‘walk naturally”:

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And then I asked if we could flex our muscles.

Because we do a lot of that.

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Then she took turns focusing on each child.

Quickly and efficiently, I must say.

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This was on the definitely more candid side… but I just like that Theo and Viv are naturally holding hands.

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Then we walked down and around and back under the bridge on the opposite side from where we started. And the boys continued being themselves.

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Daddy found a second to swing Vivian around, and it was the first time all morning she let out an unguarded laugh.

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It was about this time that Finn settled into his newfound friendship with the photographer and started confidently telling her about different types Piranha species, as well as other types of marine life she would find in the Thames river.

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Then we walked around to the docks.

I don’t particularly love this photo, but I do love that Harry, unprompted, decided to make air-hand pistols.

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And we’re back to being incapable of a nice natural smile….

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A little bit more total candid.

But I love it because Finn is always, ALWAYS, the first to go digging for a snack.

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And don’t worry about Theo…

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Much to my surprise, Margarita pulled the kids again for individual shots by the phone booth.

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And if you thought that while each child was getting individually photographed by the phone booth that the other three were just sitting nicely on a bench waiting for their turn – then you need to get the heck out of here.

I mean, there was a turtle made of stone.

Irresistible.

 

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And, this is Harry, trying to decide (as usual) if the other three are unruly hooligans and he needs to help and calm them. Or if he just wants to join them.

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And Theo holds the phone upside down.

Even though he’s never seen a phone, he miraculously know’s it’s for talking – just doesn’t know the specifics.

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And then we’ve got Tiger Princess.

With her stare. That she gives us ALL THE TIME, and in many situations.

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We’re almost done. Harry’s over it. Finn is still high on the attention, and Viv didn’t want to be held – so she’s acting like a human bag of flour.

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Theo remembered he didn’t get his turn to play with the leaves and Viv decides she’s ok with being held if she can play with my hair.

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And, as we were packing up to leave (and dishing out reward snacks) Margarita caught one final moment.

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To celebrate and commemorate our time as a family in London, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Thanks kids, for being perfect.

And thanks Margarita.. for also being perfect.

 

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