I had the privilege of capturing a Saturday morning with the Hazeldean family last weekend. I've been following Em's blog for awhile now and like so many others, love how she strings words together so beautifully in a way which always resounds so deeply in me. We connected over instagram and then ended up staying in the same house at a creative women's retreat a few months ago and spent the weekend chatting about photography, bouncing ideas off each other and Em mentioned she'd love for me to capture her family... and so here we are! I arrived at their home first thing in the morning and walked in the door to find the two eldest children snuggled up together on the couch whilst Em pottered about in the kitchen and music played in the background. She quietly opened her bedroom door to where her husband and youngest little girl were still fast asleep in each others arms. I got busy taking photos whilst thinking to myself how it was a little bit strange photographing someone that I'd never met before, whilst they slept! Yet at the same I time felt so honoured to be invited into their home to capture them in such a natural authentic way.
I spent the next few hours standing back and observing as their Saturday morning unfolded before me, capturing the beauty all around me. Their kitchen is situated in the centre of the home and I quickly noticed that it was the heart of the home too. Em spent most of her time there, preparing breakfast for each family member, washing up dishes and putting them away, wiping bench tops, sipping her morning coffee and sweeping floors. And over the course of the morning the family would come and go, each child coming in for food or cuddles at various times before then heading off to play again.
I've never done a shoot in a home like this before but as I was standing there photographing I just knew that this is what I want to do, this is what makes me come alive. There was nothing posed about this shoot. Em made mention the night before that her house wasn't as tidy as she'd like it to be and she hadn't gotten around to doing the things she had wanted to do before the shoot and my thoughts were... "perfect, that's what I'm looking for!" As I photographed, Em and I chatted about our journeys toward minimalism in the home, being content with what we already have and coming to the realisation that the best things in life are the people around us, not the stuff we accumulate. And this family really lives that out.
I hope as you watch the video and look through the photos, you feel the love that I witnessed between this beautiful family.