Family Day to Remember

Those of you that read this blog regularly (and thankyou to all 3 of you) know that I am a bit camera shy. Total stage mom when it comes to exploiting my children's beautiful faces but not so happy for me to appear.

Truth is I hate having my photo taken because I quite factually know I am going to look manic (at best) or about a thousand years old. (at worst)

This is not false modesty, it is a fact. Just ask anyone who has tried to take my photo with a digital camera. There is always a lot of looking into the view window and "oh" noises as they try to find a decent shot.
So imagine how delighted I was (NOT) when Mr Hammie answered the door to a fellow offering family portraits and agreed to book a session in the new year.

I could see where he was coming from, we have never had a formal family photograph taken.

(well, one that didn't involve me annoying a high ranking member of the government and a freelance photographer working for the national press)

My family have also complained about the lack of happy snaps.
Apparently telling them to check my blog isn't enough- sorry Grandma!

Any "family" photos we have are taken one handed with a camera phone while the other one of us wrangles the children. And with our recent behaviour curve, I couldn't see this changing.
Getting the four of us into the frame is a no-go; or so I thought.

However this cold evening a guy called Derek knocked on the door offering to "save you the time and effort it takes to get to a studio by bringing the studio to you in THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME"

The idea is they find that kids are more relaxed in their own environment and "this allows us to get them at their most natural state, with a big emphasis on having fun" - or so the website says.

When we booked the session, Derek said it would take about 20 minutes to set up his equipment, and around an hour for the photos.

We said: You've got 15 minutes - shoot it. And he did.

The session was reasonably relaxed and while it took a few goes to get everyone in the same room at the same time, we managed it in the end. We also got some nice little paired shots and Derek managed to leave with all his expensive equipment intact (phew!)

We saw the proofs last night, which Derek has kindly allowed me to share with you. We have ordered our first framed family portrait EVER and a really nice triptych that Derek put together.

When we get those back I am going to pick out some little ones for my sisters and family in Aus. Solid ones they can put on top of the TV - promise!

I am really happy with the experience, which is amazing considering the potential for anxiety and absolute disaster that it could have involved. It wasn't expensive (and you know what a tightarse I am) and the results are very valuable.

A good memory we can tangibly share.

So much of our lives is about challenges and pushing shite uphill. Sadly it is often the awful days that stick in your mind. The good days are such a relief that you forget to mark them and suddenly you find that a couple of years of birthdays, Christmases and even a communion or two can pass without any record.

We looked up recently and found that 11 hard years had passed without us sitting down to mark it together. So I guess Derek found us on the right day.

I think he did a lovely job, don't you?



Gorgeous photos!

Thanks for sharing them!!
Anonymous said…
HURRAH! You ALL look simply marvelous and I'm so glad you had this experience. You do realize that you look gorgeous in these yourself, Hammie. RIGHT? Don't make me come over there.
Adlibby said…
Wow! What a beautiful family! That must have been a God-send for him to come to your house. The stress of dragging kids off for portraits is enough to swear them off forever... but these are absolutely lovely and I'm sure you'll cherish them.

P.S. You are gorgeous, my dear! And younger than I had imagined!
pamela said…
can't type much, blurry eyed, ah shucks you got yourselves some lovely shots there. You all look great (isn't mister Hammiie looking trim these days) and what great looking at the camera bratty and Boo are doing xxx
Sister Wolf said…
I was just about to echo adlibby....what a beautiful family. Breathtaking photos. xoxo

I need to print them out, so I hope you don't sue me for copyright infringement.
Te said…
Aww, boo and bratty look so much alike! You all look gorgeous and if you say otherwise then you ARE just being modest! I especially love the photo of you and boo. :)
Kat George said…
Very beautiful... I even have a little tear in my eye thinking about my family at home in Melbourne! 2008 was the first year I haven't been in our traditional Christmas family photo... Harrowing!

So... From The Rat are you? I'm new to your blog, obviously! Thanks for commenting on mine...I'll be back checking up on you... Any friend of Imelda is a friend of mine!

Seeker said…
Beautiful you, all of you look amazing and I agree with Sal about this experience.

So gorgeous pictures, thank you for sharing with us!!!

Clive said…
These are such great photos!! Can't believe how grown-up the kids suddenly look! I absolutely love the one of you and Liam. You look such a proud Mommy! It was a great idea and you'll have the photos to treasure for years to come.
Kat George said…
Oh and you can order Cherry Ripes online! Ex pats rejoice! My boyfriend ordered me a bnunch for my birthday and rationing them was the hardest thing... is the site! xx
K.Line said…
Oh, these are so beautiful!!! You all look terrific. I love the family shot at the top and the one of Bratty with your husband in the triptych. This guy deserves some big love for getting such great shots in 15 minutes! I just love this post.
Lisamaree said…
Mrs C: Thankyou.

Sal: it is amazing what a few dabs of preparation H under the eyes, a slab of Teinte idole and about a litre of Touche Eclat can do. But I think credit should go to Derek O'Rourke - the snapper. Thanks Hon! If he hadnt called I was seriously thinking of getting you and HM to style us. Next time hey?

adlibby: It is one of those "why doesn't everyone do this?" kind of ideas. And photos meh, thank god for camera phones or we would have nothing. For youth read my above recipe. thankyou!

Pam: yes Mr H is very fit these days hey? and the singing we did to get those faces looking up. Now Derek knows the Big Banana song too.

Sis: if Derek ever gets to Venice Beach he can hunt you down and sue you. (or photograph you and Charlie?)

TE: thanks. I have been accused of using a surrogate as they are so much better looking me. Something about the thing being greater than the sum of the parts...

Kat: welcome! and thanks for the cherry ripe suggestion. I made the 3 kingsize I got from Melbourne airport last a month, so in deep withdrawal now. Yes, the Imeldas and I got way back!

Seeker: High praise coming from you. Thankyou xx

Blogdog: thanks, I will treasure this. It came at a strange time but as you say they are growing up into the next stage so quickly.

K-line: yep he worked a miracle alright. I hope other special parents in our post-code are similarly inspired. Hope you and yours are feeling much better soon too. xx
Vaklam said…
That is one seriously good looking family.

Thanks for sharing the pictures =)
Skye said…
I love those photos! You look beautiful and I love the way Derek captured those little moments between you and your husband and the kidlets. I'm so happy for you guys that you have such a wonderful memento now.
Make Do Style said…

You star it looks lovely and well worth doing. You see cute kids in photos are always a winner xxxx

PS You do not need filler!
Anonymous said…
Aw Hammie, They are absolutely gorgeous piccies, you are right to be thrilled with them. It is really great to see you all looking so happy and well. You deserve it. Hugs to you all.
Darragh said…
They are genuinely lovely shots. Really great. It looks like the family enjoyed getting them done too!
Anonymous said…
The portraits all look so natural, not that staged photo shoot look that many photographers do. Derek is a legend.
You are such a loving (and lovely) family and these shots really show that.
WendyB said…
Fabulous, happy and relaxed shots!
~Tessa~Scoffs said…
Very nice. I like pictures that show "who" the people are. Too stiff and perfect isn't real. These pix show a happy, loving family. Perfect.
Nan P. said…
For a manic thousand-year old you look FANTASTIC... I just knew you had it in you. Well done for not only allowing yourself to be photographed, but also for posting some onf these on the blog. As for the kids, they have your genes, so obvious! And Mr. Hammie... hmmm!

All in all, just beautiful photos.
drwende said…
Absolutely gorgeous! (And you certainly managed never to look at the camera. People with a lot of character in their expressions often do better at an angle...)
The Spicers said…
Are you looking in a funhouse mirror, Hammie?! You're positively gorgeous, as is your lovely family. Great photos, and a fantastic idea, coming to your home.
Kerry said…
Those are awesome photos of a lovely family! You all look great!

That photographer is great--I hope he gets lots of business.
Songy said…
They are fab photos. What a gorgeous family! :)
Jules said…
hi there friend!!
you don't have to worry,you all look fab on your photos.specially you...
and i'm sure that it's because of you that's why your family looks very happy...=)
Anonymous said…
Very nice photos of the family -kids (which, let's face it, with those kids is not too hard) and especially you. Angles work well on you in photos. And I love the white background. V
jazzygal said…
Fabulous....Fabulous.....Fabulous! And gorgeous as well!!

I am SO thrilled for you that you got some beautiful pictures of your beautiful family. And everyone looks so happy to get their picture taken!!

Well done to all!!
Nick McGivney said…
Best 15 minutes ever. Well done Derek, and you all look splendid, Hammie.
You look fantastic. Really, you are beautiful and look wonderful. Enough, I am not going to rave on and on just about you when there is a whole family to rave about. Fantastic family photos. Thanks for sharing them.
Anonymous said…
These are just delightful! You must be so relieved to finally have some decent family pics. And you, my dear, look simply lovely. xx
Anonymous said…
Your photo's are gorgeous. xxx
Elizabeth said…
Those photos are wonderful, natural, and engaging. Nice one, Hammie! You look beautiful.
Anonymous said…
Hammies - FABULOUS photos - you all look devine. & your success has inspired me to do something similar - just need about 3gallons of liposuction & half a ton of preparation H !! LOL
u-bloody-beaut...these are fantastic pic's and the babies..oh-the-babies, the look divine. The photog has captured your Southern Cross 'refresher' beautifully.
Cal said…
Oh my gosh...these pictures gave me chills. Seriously. I feel like they totally captured your family's spirit! And as everyone else has said...YOU look gorgeous. It sounds like that photo shoot was just meant to be.
Sesame said…
dats on my to-do list and if urs anythin to go by will b worth the effort...they are lovely shots...u av a truly beautiful family der hammie....and ur a natural in front of the lens so stop already bein so