Today I want to feature a children’s photo session in the center of Delft. The atmosphere was so magical it fits Christmas holidays perfectly.
Alaina called me for a photo session of her three children. An expat family from the US spent a few great years in the Netherlands and were now moving on to a new destination. Living in Holland was an important part in their children’s life. The youngest girl, Ella, was even born here. The family needed a beautiful photo story as a lasting memory of their beautiful time in the Netherlands.
Alaina had an idea to hold our photo shoot in an old Dutch town so that the photos would have typical Dutch architecture and other speaking details in the background. These details would later work as immediate memory anchors to bring back the atmosphere of these years. Since the family lived close to Delft and often walked here, the right location was easily found.
We started early in the morning in the heart of the town. It was very special to see the ever busy Market square empty and quiet. It is certainly one of the most beautiful squares of Holland (and I believe, of Europe), and we could have it just to ourselves. The children run and played in the middle of it and really owned the space. We could also easily make photos in front of the historic City Hall, a wonderful example of Dutch Renaissance style. The Nieuwe Kerk on the opposite side of the market, picturesque old houses all around, Dutch souvenir shops, and then all these old streets, canals, bridges and bicycles: we had all sorts of beautiful and typically Dutch backgrounds. But our reportage was still about the children’s personalities and their band. Seven-year old Graham is a bright and confident elder brother, five-year old Caroline a gentle princess with artistic soul, and little Ella, only two years old, is adventurous by nature and always eager to run after pigeons and play with dogs.
A pleasant autumn morning felt like a gift. You never know how the weather behaves, so the family took several umbrellas with them. Luckily it remained dry and quite warm. The children even liked to sit down on the pavement stones. I find it important that nobody gets cold, so I wouldn’t let the kids sit like that for long but I am very happy with the nostalgic pictures from these moments. I also like how the soft light and pastel tints we had that morning added to the timeless atmosphere of the photos.
The classic outfits of the children were perfect for this kind of photoshoot. There is even a special story to the girls’ beautiful white dresses: their aunty made them for her daughters almost 30 years ago. These dresses look timeless and the fact they have been in the family for decades gives them symbolic meaning.
As a family photographer I love to capture moments showing the children’s characters and the connection between them. Such photos will now shine in the family’s new home. There is also a lovely storytelling photo book. I am sure that as the kids will grow up they will look into their “Delft” album and the warm memories of their time in Holland will again become as vivid as they are now.