In my last few weeks of pregnancy the amazingly talented documentary photographer, Antonina Mamzenko came to record our last few days as a family of 4. I’m so pleased we managed to squeeze in a shoot with her not only to document the pregnancy, but to also our home which we will soon be moving out of. So many years of love have been contained within these walls. Although we have outgrown the house, we will miss this space we called home for 8 wonderful years.
The thing I best love about Antonina’s work is that as a documentary photographer, she shoots exactly what she sees. There is absolutely nothing added, there is no fluff. It is not an idealised recreation of how we would like to remember ourselves. It is real life, exactly as it is. She came on a grey Sunday morning and melted into the background. We made pancakes in our pyjamas, did homework, and just mooched around. Just like any other rather uneventful Sunday morning.
As a photographer myself it’s a useful experience to have my own family photoshoot once in a while, as I get to feel exactly how my clients feel during a photoshoot. From the moment the shoot was scheduled I found myself unsure about what to wear, and anxious about how huge and awful I would look in the photos. The house was a mess after my sons 6th birthday party the day before, and I was exhausted after 36 long, uncomfortable weeks of pregnancy filled with chronic nausea, heartburn and extreme exhaustion. Truth be told I never feel particularly comfortable in front of the camera. But now when I look at the images I forget all that. Instead all I see is my beautiful precious bump, the children being themselves, and the home we shared and loved for 8 years. And what a wonderful gift that is. xx