Branching out.

Life is busy and exciting at the moment. Not only is Junebug becoming more delightful and more trying as each new day comes, the weather changing and reminding us that Christmas is coming and usual family life stretching me in a million different directions. But I have been taking official bookings for ‘Photography by Helen’. I’ve decided to give it a go and share what I love doing with others. Starting up is fun; you get to design CDs, you get to offer bargain prices and you get to practise every shoot with your own child first so you get it right. It’s also scary; you have to big yourself up, you have to decide how much to charge people and you have to not act like a nervous wreck when it comes to shoot day. I’m struggling a lot with that last one.

We’re taking it slow, me and my new venture. I don’t want to race too fast and end up in a heap with unhappy customers and a neglected family. It amazes me how time consuming it can be researching locations and planning set up, getting together props and equipment and don’t even ask me about the editing! But I really love being creative in this way and hope the lovely families I work with will love it too.

Here are a few of the practise photos of Junebug before a fun family shoot in a nearby park. I think autumnal outdoor settings are my favourite, I could do some everyday. Junebug does not agree and got quite grumpy when she couldn’t just play with the bricks.

DSC05728 DSC05752 DSC05658 DSC05606

I am looking forward to some winter snow too – imagine the possibilities! Watch this space.


I’ll do anything…

Over the past few days I have been constantly humming “I’ll do anything, for you dear anything…” to myself. If you don’t know that song you should watch Oliver, immediately. It’s a bit annoying really but it’s one of those songs that really gets stuck in your mind, and any little thing can make you think of it and gets you singing again.

“I’ll do anything,
For you dear anything,
For you mean everything to me.”

I’ve been singing it to Junebug, and you know what – I mean it. There is such a strong protective force which comes from being a parent. I sometimes think I gained super powers when I gave birth. I’ve been known to catch toys which are rolling away when I sure didn’t have the spacial awareness to do that before. I’ve reached across whole rooms to stop her from falling and wiped away snot and tears with my bare hands. It’s love compelling me to be there for her.

“I know that
I’ll go anywhere
For your smile, anywhere
For your smile, ev’rywhere I’d see.”

Unfortunately the reason the song came into my head is that I came across something I can not do.

We were playing in the garden and Junebug merrily led me up towards her swing, which she loves. Seeing some cobwebs I went to find a stick to brush them off with, I cannot stand cobwebs so I found a long stick. However as I went back closer to the swing I saw there was not just the cobwebs to contend with but actual, living, moving, eight-legged, able to dangle and come and get me spiders. Trying to put on a brave face I tentatively batted at a few but as soon as one descended on its web, quickly, I couldn’t handle it a moment longer. Discarding the stick and grabbing the toddler a made I swift beeline for the safer end of the garden. So there… I cannot face spiders for you Junebug and for that I am very sorry.


How could I refuse that face anything? Sadly I had to and kept having to distract her from wandering back over to the spider-infested swing until it was time for tea, boy did I feel like a failure. Luckily she was quite happy throwing all the plastic animals I’d put on a towel to dry back into the water we’d washed them in.

“I’d risk ev’rything
For one kiss, everything,

Yes, I’d do anything 


Anything for you!!”

Being a tiny bit more serious I do mean it – I would, or at least I hope I could, fight off wild beasts, lift cars or jump from bridges for my little one. I’m sure other parents out there would agree to feeling a fierce need to defend and shelter our babies. And making her happy seems to be my life’s pursuit. I pull faces, sing songs, play fight and entertain like I have never had the patience to before. A kiss is her greatest reward but I often settle for a clap, a cuddle or one of her sweet laughs.

What emotional highs and lows we parents experience!