I wanted to have pictures taken before Issac started school. This was an opportunity to capture a memory of my boy before he became a product of the education system in any way – purely selfishly, I wanted something to remember how he was when he was all our own work. Poly was about to turn two as well – I think that as long as a toddler is “only one” they are still a baby in some way, and saying hello to two is saying goodbye to my last baby.

I’ve watched Mei’s photographs for a long time.  And the photos are so evocative – you could practically smell the autumn leaves, feel the sun on your own skin (despite it being the depths of winter), feel the velvety texture of the flowers they are playing with.  To have such amazing photos full of the moments captured just the way they were – you cannot put a price on it.

The only thing I was worried about before the shoot was my kids being their normal, stroppy, uncooperative selves! If my kids set their mind to it, they won’t do anything other than what they want to.  I was looking forward to seeing Mei and seeing what magic she could work with my children. If anyone could charm them it would be her.

During the session it was incredibly relaxed. We just followed the kids around and watched them darting about to see things that took their fancy, the trees, the wildlife, the horse that was obligingly placed at the end of the lane. Any minor stroppiness melted away upon production of a chocolate chip biscuit each (I hadn’t brought them, Mei had – she certainly knows how to mount a charm offensive with my kids, at least). I liked the way a couple of images of me with the kids were taken – I’m normally the amateur behind the camera, trying to catch the light, the moments of them being utterly themselves while not completely covered in chocolate/dirt or wearing someone else’s pants in a novel fashion on their head. If someone looked at the photo albums they’d almost think they were motherless – I’m just never in those pictures.

When I saw the pictures, to be honest, I cried. I cried because I’m fiercely proud of my kids. Of their marvelous little personalities, of their inquisitiveness, of their beautiful, crystal blue eyes (not my doing, mine are the colour of the Thames at Westminster – complete with floating brown bits), their velvety soft skin, the smile that lights up their faces. What made me cry was the fact that it was all there. Every single thing about them that I know and love – it was there, shining out of Mei’s pictures. They are a brilliant representation of my gorgeous children. Even the biscuit crumbs.

It’s taken me so long to get around to writing this review because I couldn’t put it into words how good the images are. They were beyond my expectations. So much so that I’ve found it difficult to explain. Words don’t quite do them justice. I plan to frame the pictures, and display them, and I may have to redecorate my house in order to do so!

I would happily recommend a shoot with Mei. The thoughtfulness, the keen eye for detail, and the just letting kids be kids. It’s a little bit of magic she does.

Rachel (Issac & Polly's Mum) May 17, 2016