Category Archives: Siobhan’s Blog Personal

Letter to my daughter – Olney Photographer

Letter to My Daughter

There have been some beautiful Autumn mornings in the last couple of weeks – on these mornings I make sure I take time for a walk – often taking the scenic route home after the school drop.  It’s a time for some peace, for a chance to take in the beauty of nature and to think.   At the moment I’m doing a lot of thinking, contemplating, reminiscing.  I often do this but currently I’m doing this because its Autumn – beautiful, crisp, bright, colourful Autumn – my favourite time of year.  Many mornings of late have been a perfect example: an endless clear  blue sky, mist in the distance making the trees look like they are floating on clouds, the perfect sunlight illuminating the golden carpet of leaves across the dew-drenched grass.  My favourite time of year.

Autumn is the season when I feel most like I’m marking the passage of time – because the season is so visibly altered, because the colours change and leaves fall and its a really clear transition of days and months slipping away.   As we age and the world spins faster, I think we do notice the passage of time more – with wonder, disbelief …. even fear.  I’m especially contemplative in Autumn because that’s when you were born my little baby girl – the same little girl who will soon be nine, something barely possible.  Every scattering of red and gold leaves on the ground marks another year gone by for the world and for the two of us.  Another year filled with your laughter, your smile, your wonder at everything around you.

We are in a time of transition – you are growing older, more independent.  You have a room filled with One Direction posters and you talk of your love for Harry Styles and yet you are still little – you love your cuddly animals and still come and snuggle in bed with me in the morning.  When you are asleep you could be any age – its hard to tell from the endless sleepy pictures that I still love to take.

Walking to and from school is one of the times of the day I love the most.  The paths leading up to the school are a great place to observe human behaviour – there are parents stationed at various distances from the school gate depending upon what their children will allow, or how embarrassed they are currently of their Mum or Dad.  I am one of the lucky ones – you still let me hold your hand, you let me walk with you all the way to the gate, you still let me walk you right across the playground and even let me give you a hug and kiss.  I don’t suppose you will let me do this for too much longer so I have to savour it while I can.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been sorting out old pictures – pictures of you from when you were tiny – this makes me reminisce and get a bit emotional – not that I need too much help on that score.  There are so many photos that I love.  In some you had the exact same quizzical look  in your eyes as a baby that you get now, if you don’t understand something or you are confused.

You have always smiled and laughed so much – you have serious moments of course and occasionally you have quite a rant but you’ve never been a solemn child – you’ve always had a sparkle in your eye.

And over the years you’ve kept that lovely balance – the fun, the craziness and the tiny percentage of seriousness…

So for now I cherish the fact that you run out of school and throw yourself into my arms for a hug – no matter who sees.  And I cherish the fact that in the morning you keep turning and looking back and waving at me all the way to the door, occasionally blowing kisses.  You wave right up until the last second you disappear inside the building … every day you do this I think you won’t do it the next day – but you do – at least for now.

I will soon be one of the Mums stationed at a suitable distance away – I will hate it when that day comes – but you are getting bigger and I have to get used to the idea.   And just when I think you can’t get any more sweet you come out with a new night-time message when you hug me  – You say “I love you Mummy” and I say “I love you more” and then you say “That’s just not possible”.

Love you to the moon and back little girl xxxxxxxx

Previous letter to my daughter can be read on this link

New Year – End of my 366 Photo Project and Start of my 52 Photo Project!

Well its 12th night and I’ve been packing away all the Christmas decorations and just thinking how incredibly fast this year has gone.  Lucky for me though I have an amazing record of the year gone by because on New Year’s Eve last year I (perhaps foolishly) decided to take on a personal 365 project.  Lots of Photographers do this as a way of challenging themselves to try new things with imagery and stretch their creativity – I wanted to do both of these things but I also thought it might be fun to capture the day-to-day life of my little daughter.  So I took it on – 1 photo a day for the whole year and of course it turned out it was a leap year and so I had an extra image to take.   My thoughts to begin with were to make it a portrait a day trying to come up with new and inventive ways to photograph the same subject.  However it took on a bit of a life of its own and became about all the silly little things my daughter sometimes does and her day to day life at school and with friends and her interests and toys.  It was a wonderful and busy year – there was snow, endless, endless rain, the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics, she started a new school, ran in the famous Olney Pancake race, had lots of visits from the tooth fairy, spent the summer in France with all of her cousins .. and as always there were cuddly dogs, haribos, and sausages.    So I have a whole catalogue of memories to look back over – some were taken properly with my fancy camera, some were with a point and shoot and some were using apps on my now smashed iphone – but I did it – 1 photo every day.  And along the way I managed to get one or two all time favourite images .. which is why … I’ve decided that I’m continuing this project ……  I can’t commit to another 365 but I hope to produce something once a week – on a 52 project and have another year of special moments to treasure.  The first one below is an example of one of the ones I just love from this year – and the last possibly my favourite Christmas picture.  The rest are just a handful – some from each month – I hope you enjoy them and maybe you’ll join me on a 52 project of your own family 🙂




Letter to my Daughter_End of Infant School

You’ll have to forgive me this one blog readers as this week has been a bitter sweet week of emotion and inspired by something I saw on another photographer blog I decided to write a letter to my daughter.   Soppy Mummy Alert –  if you are prone to blubbing look away now …

To my little girl .. this week you finished your last year in Infant School – something that seems hardly possible as it feels like yesterday I was bringing you home from hospital in a funny little hat made out of a tubi-grip bandage – I forgot to pack a hat thinking it was needed to bring you home not keep your tiny head warm after you were born so the nurses made you a hat … with a little knot on top that was really a bit too tight for your head and looked like it might cut off your circulation.

And suddenly you have finished year two for the summer and have already gone to France with Grandma like an independent little grown up.   I should have been at a meeting this week but cancelled so I could watch you do Sports Day in the rain and see you in the leaving assembly because so many, many times I tell you have to work … but not this time.  In years to come you probably won’t remember that I was there to watch you but if you’d looked around the crowd and not been able to find me to wave to ?  THAT you would have remembered.

So your bedroom is empty, apart from a million stuffed dogs that is,  and I don’t know quite what to do when its time for bed and can’t go in there and kiss you goodnight again .. because once is never quite enough.   And I love that you are still small enough to climb in my lap with your thumb in your mouth and curl up like a baby and yet still grown up enough to decide you are going on holiday without me.  And when I do kiss you goodnight your sleepy little face is just the same was when you were tiny.

You are a happy, crazy, funny little nutter, you potter around the house giggling and singing in your lovely little voice and when you find something funny you laugh so hard no noise comes out – or if it does only the dogs you love so much can hear it.

You are always filed with joy and laughter ..  you make up ridiculous names for people and draw sausages with funny faces on.  You can mimic people brilliantly and do funny accents and we have so much fun together – you make me laugh all the time .. and I’m still surprised to see big teeth when you laugh as in my head you still have your tiddly tiny first teeth.

You do completely random hilarious things with amazing comedy timing.

You are adventurous, loving and inquisitive – you adore everything to do with nature and little creatures and exploring – you named the spider who lives on the stairs Bob and you won’t let me get rid of him.  The word bum is still hilarious to you and you still love sausages more than anything else .. your 7th Birthday cake was even a happy sausage !

The other day you gave me a Love Heart that said “Real Love” and told me that’s what me and you have and you were right.  So for you .. my first ..  my last .. my only baby … here’s to the next exciting part of your growing up journey – I love you to the moon and back my precious girl xxx

Photo of the Day_ May 2012

And the images for May

The morning routine including teeth cleaning time

Racing some annoying little things called Zoozoo pets .. or something like that ..

Daisies, Bluebells and a good book at bathtime

The classroom bear comes to visit and gets lots of hugs and special picnic

The Little one loves a cup of tea in the morning out of a jug and into a very small cup, Malteser milkshakes as a treat and smiley potato faces for tea … I love flowers (though I can’t arrange them very well) and beautiful spring blossom

And the next few are all about kids having fun.  First one at the playground during a family photo shoot (little one assisted on this one) and the next couple taken during a Children’s Photography course.

Back from my course and welcomed home with a sweet-related gift 🙂

Another example of “Magic White Board Art”.  This is a school playground – which includes a picnic table where a mummy sausage and a baby sausage are having some food .. because this is what sausages do !

It’s Mufti day at school which means fancy hairbands

Friends come for dinner and of course they are welcomed on arrival by a potato with a friendly greeting …. this is the way that all dinner parties begin .. isn’t it?  No ?  Just this house then !

I’m conned into buying shoes for the dog recently made at build-a-bear … shoes .. it was bad enough it had clothes ….

Lovely roses from lovely guests still looking and smelling gorgeous

All wrapped up warm at after a lovely bath

A trip to the park with three toothless models for some Art Portraits

We have a special butterfly habitat as a gift – the caterpillars arrived in the post – here they are getting bigger and bigger and will soon become crysallises .. we are going to watch them turn into butterflies over the next few weeks ..

The next few days involved a trip to Romania to photograph a good friends wedding.  Currently reading the Hunger Games Trilogy which is very addictive, Romania felt like home from home as I was sleeping a bedroom belonging to a 7 year old girl filled with cuddly dogs.  Great fun had at wedding although Whisky with breakfast was a bit much for me – but did like the local beer (though equally not for breakfast)

Flew back from Romania on my Birthday to lots of lovely cards and hundreds of facebook good wishes 🙂  One of the cards even looked like me !

I’ve been away a bit of late and felt the little one deserved a treat – here it is – she’s been dying for a trampoline for ever so was thrilled – watch this space for many trampoline images going forward.  And finally to round up May – little one with her doppleganger doll !

Photo of the day_to end of April

The photo of the day is still taking place everyday – its just that keeping the processing and blogging up to date is a bit harder !

So here are the images from 17th April to the end of the month ..

Trip to France to collect daughter results in discovery there is a new (very large) cuddly dog to join the clan

Trip home on the Eurostar – ipod staves off the boredom

Daughter tries on new woolly dog hat from Nepal …. bit freaky actually

Back to work photographing gorgeous 3 week old baby boy

Visit to the cousins and more importantly cousins dog … iphone gives her Alien eyes

Little one directed the next set of images – which mostly contain various cuddly dogs and Hugo (pronounced Oogo) the snail from the French class.

Little one takes some prayer flags and her new necklace with Buddhist inscriptions into school for show and tell

Photoshoot in the cold requires lovely hot chocolate at the end

The endless rain continues … one very bored little girl missing being outside

The rapeseed fields are out in bloom but shoots rained off yet again … so here’s the one we took this time last year