Documentary Family Photography: London Walking Tour | Artefact Motherhood Project | Cambridge and London Family Photographer

Ever since the both of you were little, I would take you into London to explore the city during our weekends and holidays. I loved taking you to the different museums and attractions, which you would always find fascinating. Although I was sure at times you found the journey of getting there by train and then hopping on the London Underground was more fun than spending the day in some museum. We would play “I spy” to keep you entertained on the long journeys, but thankfully you have discovered the joy of reading and like to bring a book nowadays with you too.

London Walking Tour

During the first half of autumn term, you were learning about the Great Fire of London in school. Your class teachers had organised a history day for all the infants and you had a school visitor come in to re-enact the event. One of you went into school dressed up as a person from the medieval era for the day too. All of which really caught your imagination and I could tell you enjoyed learning about the history of this big event, as you shared many of the facts and dates with us at home.

Two children reading a book on the train

I am always interested and delighted to hear about your days at school and the lessons you have done that day, even the school friends you were playing with. As your parent, it is reassuring to know that you don’t have many struggles and you are both enthusiastic about learning and making friendships within school.

Learning is more than just about sitting at a desk and poring yourself into books or making sure you completed your homework. I also wanted to be able to foster your sense of curiosity and learning in some way outside of the school environment. I know that structured lessons are invaluable for your learning, but real-life experiences and observations has great benefits too. Even something as learning the facts about the past history of a place or time can be brought to life or build a sense of connection through seeing and comparing it to present-day changes. 

Boy taking a photo of The Monument outside Monument tube station

As half-term approached, I wanted to take you to visit some of the famous landmarks and wander around London where the Great Fire had taken place. I used a book about the Great Fire that we had borrowed from our local library as a guide. I also found this brilliant map online and came up with a route that took in the key sites of Monument (located near Pudding Lane where the Great Fire started) to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Museum of London. 

Queuing to go up the Monument in London during a family day trip
Black and white photographer of two people sitting on the concre
A father and son stands at the top of The Monument looking down
Black and white photograph of St Paul's cathedral poking out of
Black and white photographer of a boy walking down the spiral st
Family looking at a street map sign by the River Thames in Londo
A photo of a boy leaning over the side by the river Thames with
Black and white photograph of a father and son walking by the ri
Family walks on the pavement near the Monument station during a
A plaque to commerate the Great Fire of London in the City of Lo
St Paul's cathedral at street level with a London red bus in the
Boy running down the steps of St Paul's cathedral black and whit

You said at the end of our walking tour that your favourite part of the day was when you climbed to the top of Monument and could look down onto the streets of London. I enjoyed that part too. Although, if you had asked, I would say I enjoyed the most the special time we spent together that day and being able to discover this part of the city through your eyes. 

We ended the walk by looking at the artefacts inside the Museum of London which documented this time in history and London itself.

Black and white photograph of children outside the Museum of Lon
Two children looking at the painting of the Great Fire of London

This is part of ARTEFACT MOTHERHOOD - a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words.

Go to my friend Hollie Stokes to see the next blog post in this series.

Cambridge Day in the Life photos: Family in Action | Diana Hagues Photography | Cambridge Family, Newborn and Maternity Documentary photographer

You know when you have children. You start realising that life becomes a fine balancing act and you’re doing your best to juggle parenting duties with your spouse, trying not to lose your cool over the kids when they’re not doing as they were told or take their playfulness to the next level.

You might also be picturing what it was like for your parents as you were growing up — imagining what it felt like for them to manage the household and delegating the duties, while simultaneously looking after you and perhaps your siblings. When one parent works away from home for extended periods of time or your family goes on the road, maybe transatlantically moving across countries. The balance of family life is shifted even more. This I have learnt from my own experience of having my dad working aboard and my mum taking on the full-time job of solo-parenting my brother and I, while also running our home. 

Photographing the Perry family for their half day-in-the-life documentary family session reminded me of my own early years. The mother had told me that she had looked into getting some professional photographs of the children done in the past, but because they had moved around different countries in both the U.S. and south-east Asia, she never managed to have the pictures taken. Indeed, I hardly saw any family photographs in the home. 

Now being based back in England, she wanted some photographs of her children while they were still young and have some memories of their daily life captured… Who knows where her husband’s job might take them again? For now, they were glad to be in one place and carry on a normal family life together.

Thank you for inviting me capture a typical Saturday morning for you.

Copy of Breakfast scene boy eating his bowl of cereal with milk moustach
Copy of Mother wiping her boys nose in the park
Copy of dad and his two children share a tender moment together - Diana
Copy of two siblings having a playfight in their home -Diana Hagues Phot
Copy of Conversations at the table during the family mealtime - Diana Ha
Copy of Black and white photograph of girl landing on the sofa
Copy of Playing ball on the stairs in day in the life photo session
Copy of Son giving his mother a kiss goodbye at the door - Diana Hagues

Diana Hagues Photography is a Cambridgeshire-based documentary family photographer, who specialises in creating natural, candid and emotive storytelling family photos. Find out more details about my photography sessions here and to book email Diana hello@dianahaguesphotography.co.uk

Here and Now: A day-in-the-life of the Newbery family | Documentary family photography | Cambridge and Peterborough family photographer Diana Hagues Photography

The pictures we have on our walls, the framed photos sat on your mantelpiece. What do they show you? Are they pictures of your wedding day, holiday photos, treasured baby portraits? Proud and happy moments you love remembering and will never tire of looking at them.

What about your everyday moments? Do you have pictures that remind you vividly of the here and now? The ones where you are playing family board games with your child or having quiet time reading a book together under a blanket. What about the 'magic' moments where your child is rolling around on the floor laughing at being tickled or the affectionate hugs they come over to give you. Moments that come unscripted and are equally precious to you.

I say that with a polite smile because I know you'll be thinking about the mess that's not been tidied up or tiny arguments that come along with the unscripted moments too. The 'not-so-glamorous' moments shall we say. The ones where you catch yourself saying it's not good enough to be preserved in photos. Or let me rephrase this and ask: when do moments have to be photogenic enough to serve a purpose or become part of your memory bank? 

They don't, right?

We can blink and everything can change in mere seconds. One moment won't look exactly the same as the next, even if you feel your 'normal' daily life is the same and your everyday looks mundane. The feelings and emotions that underlie each moment and underpin your memories are different. It's rich and varied. It's NOW.

There's no better time than NOW. Create those visual memory banks for your children, create them for you. 

So, what next? 

Go take pictures. On your cameraphone or DSLR. Nothing is stopping you from capturing your everyday moments. Unless the one thing that is stopping you is you being in them. Like it's as much about YOU being in the pictures, as much as your kids. You will want to have pictures of you being there and being present in your family albums. 

In that case, 

treat yourself to a day-in-the-life family photoshoot. 

 

Hire a documentary family photographer who can artistically capture your daily life and show you how important you are to your family. Because beyond those moments, or the activities you are actively taking part in together or individually, you are also the HEART of your family. You are a central player that deserves to be in your pictures and seen in the way your family sees you.

You and your loved ones are the ones that matter. The memory banks you are making these photographs for. 

This is what a day-in-the-life documentary photography is REALLY about. It's capturing your real everyday moments in its authenticity and emotions, and allowing you to be in your photos at the same time. It is what I strive for in my day-in-the-life sessions and memories, which, I have no doubt, you'll be reminiscing for years to come.  

Day in the life of the Newbery family

Watch the slideshow of a mini day in the life family photoshoot I did for the Newbery family a couple of months ago and read the mother's comments on seeing her album too:  

"We had the privilege of Diana's services for a 'Day in the Life' shoot. She made an ordinary Saturday morning into a work of art. She sent the draft pictures in a little video and I was almost in tears - she had captured little everyday moments, expressions, snapshots of time with the kids, and had been able to see and show such beauty. During the shoot, she had just been around, unobtrusive, observant, and the boys seemed to have forgotten she was even there. We had originally wanted to include a nature walk, but due to bad weather we stayed at home. This worked out so well, as the boys could relax and play in their own environment. Diana's communication before and after was excellent - she had understood what we had wanted and as we had already discussed the rough plan for the morning, the shoot itself could all flow easily and smoothly. Afterwards she sent us drafts, file uploads and a personalised USB containing our photos (print-ready and web-friendly). What an amazing relaxed experience, with fabulous natural but incredibly beautiful pictures to enjoy at the end. The only difficulty is choosing which pictures to get printed to put up round the house! This is definitely something I'd like us to do as a family every couple of years! I would highly recommend Diana if you want a gorgeous family photoshoot in a relaxed environment."

 

Diana Hagues Photography is a documentary family photographer, who specialises in creating natural, candid and emotive storytelling family photos. I am based near Cambridge and cover places, including Ely, Peterborough, Huntingdon, St Ives, Hemingford Abbot and Hemingford Grey, Newmarket, Royston, Saffron Walden, Bury St Edmunds. Find out more details about my photography sessions here and to book email Diana hello@dianahaguesphotography.co.uk