When I first received an email from Mandy-Lee Miller to be part of the Kid’s Emporium Making Memories Campaign, I couldn’t hide my excitement. I told everyone I could (those that would listen) that I was invited to be part of an amazing campaign, and my whole little family would be part of it as well!After a ‘bumpy’ ride and with the campaign kicking off in July, I was revealed and excitement to have my turn come around.
Here’s a little behind the scenes of the Making Memories Campaign: this campaign was about Kid’s Emporium giving back to their clients. They teamed up with local photographers to capture these memories. That’s where I came in; I was selected to pair up with Elizabeth from G.E.M. Photography to make the Making Memories Campaign a reality.
I’m usually behind the lens, capturing the cute little moments my sons’ have. Although I have been for one or two photo shoots before, never before did we have a family one done.Which made me nervous; like extremely nervous. I know my kids. They might look like they are cutely and cuddly and innocent, but those that know them well, know they are typhoons; exceptionally skilled at destructing my living room and making a mess.
So you can understand my concerns revolving around doing a photo shoot where they needed to give their attention and pose for the photographer. More worries rose as I thought about their strong-willed personalities and not wanting to work with Elizabeth. I was wrong (but I will get to that pretty soon!).The weather was amazing with a breeze blowing around the heat of the day, perfect conditions to go spend an hour at Willow Feather Farm, which is where we decided to do our shoot (I was super happy we decided to wait until October to do our shoot as we were surrounding by greens in every direction we looked!)
The morning of the shoot didn’t start off on a good start in our household though. Gremlin didn’t get to sleeping much during the night which meant I didn’t get much sleep during the night and then he was fully awake from 04:00, ready for the day. Finally, after some wrestling to get everyone dressed and ready, we were off to meet Elizabeth at the set location.
On our way there, Gremlin started becoming miserable because he wanted to take his nap and there was just no time for that.
As we started taking photos, my anxiousness faded away. Elizabeth knew exactly how to have the kids work with her. Both my kids are strong-willed so they won’t always follow instructions (anyone’s instructions) without a full-on fight. But not with Elizabeth. Nope, if she asked Monster to come sit next to one of us or climb the Jungle Jim or slide down, he did it with ease. No screaming. No ignoring. Nothing. No hiccups.When the distractions seemed to set in at some stage, I was taken back by Elizabeth’s patience and content to keep the show going. Not once was there a flicker of irritation or lack of direction on her part. Deep down, I felt like we weren’t going to have any photos taken with the kids not sitting still or running away from us. It just showed the level of professionalism this woman carried with her, and it made me appreciate the fact that I was paired up with her so so so much more.
Apart from all the photos and fun we had, I started thinking behind and around the Making Memories theme. And what it meant to me. Seeing my kids enjoying the freedom surrounding them, seeing the life emanating from them made me realise how lucky children are.
There is no real stress passing through them, or worries of tomorrow. There is just energy, burning energy to run, jump, laugh and having memories of a fun day with their parents. I saw Gremlin being brave as he tried climbing the Jungle Jim with determination and concentration written on his face. I saw Monster, who has low fine motor skills climb on the more difficult playground equipment and come out on top.
I realised just how quickly our kids grow up and learn. Their imaginations are so vivid and big that they could have the best plays with just thinking of them.
I also realised just how much I miss out on their growth and successes being behind the lens each time. When I’m so focused on capturing ‘the’ moment that I actually miss seeing it through my own eyes and not my camera. That day, I saw how much I miss out on. I realised that I sometimes fail to enjoy and experience the moment with my children.
I am so grateful that I could’ve been part of this campaign. Besides us receiving beautiful photos, I received memory keepsakes of a different kind. The kind where we had fun together (even Gremlin when the camera wasn’t turned on him) and we had a good day out. Where we all were together, surrounded by nature, on a perfect day.
A huge thank you again to Elizabeth, for all your effort and patience on the day. Also for your quick work and commitment to the campaign, and the sneak peaks you sent me before the time!
Another big thank you to Mandy-Lee Miller and Kid’s Emporium for letting me part of this wonderful campaign.