...the older they get the better they are. Or Maybe they are like Peter Pan, and they never grow up; I'm certain that my husband is that kind of dad.
When I first started asking for fathers and children to help me with my "father's Day blogs" I expected to have responses from mums who thought their partner and children would be ideal, but what I got most was from older men who either had a son they loved or a dad that meant the world to them. These next two stories are prime examples of the replies to my add.
This is Peter and his son Chris. As a child growing up Chris spent a great deal of time here at Wilton House, where his Grandfather worked for many years on the grounds. Peter taught Chris to learn to ride his bike here and I gather it was just the most magical place to grow up.
Learning to ride a bike seems to be one of those things many parents are desperate for their kids to learn, but the actual teaching can sometimes be quite testing. It was fun to get these two reliving that trusting moment when a dad lets go so they can ride on their own. Almost a metaphor for many things in a parent and child's relationship - magical, inspiring and just amazing to see when children finally find their feet in lives little journeys.
Peter and Chris have a quietness about them that seems to come from their bond between father and son. The sense of respect and love that's built from shared times, lessons learned and ties of blood.
Peter and Chris showed me some of their favourite places around the grounds. WIlton House is a stunning setting to have as part of your childhood, if you are local or visiting then go in and see for yourself. Take your kids and make some magical memories. And if they ask you how you heard about them, please tell them my name x
We headed up to the most stunning the bridge; the boys were just walking along, then one turned to the other and there's a look of "race ya'!!" before they took off. Competitive and fun, when they finally stopped they were giggling like young kids who had broken some unsaid rule of adulthood.
When we got up to the bridge Peter and Chris sat on the wall; it was one of those moments when you know you probably shouldn't, but that inner child that likes to break the rules a little was just too much to resist
Peter was telling me that before he had his own business he was a fireman, and Chris has followed in his father's footsteps and now serves as a fireman himself. It seems that these two share more than a cheeky smile and a sense of humour...
Come on son, no dawdling :)
The river the bridge crosses, runs along a beautiful pathway towards other parts of the grounds. a scattering of benches, and wonderful views; it's easy to understand how important this place would have been to this family when growing up. Three generations coming to love the place, so much so that was just the perfect place to have this shoot. Sharing quality time with your parents is really important, to both of you. Hanging out with your dad away from the day to day stresses of life is such a perfect way to spend a day.
What is it with boys and rivers?? Any excuse, as if they need it, to skim stones and see who can get the most skims in a throw. I can see that this is not a generation thing, from my previous fathers day blog, skimming is just the excuse boys need to get near the water and be kids again.
... can be seen in a look, a gesture, a smile and laughter; a sons pride in his father is mirrored in his eyes.
This is Steve and his dad, Trevor are a couple of cheeky chappies. Steve volunteered them for the shoot and after taking a sneaky peak at some FaceBook images I got the impression that these two are much more like best mates than father and son. Steve told me that his dad was seriously cool and brilliant to hang out with.
Like peas from the same pod, they're obviously used to each others crazy ways.
I'm wondering if there's ever a moment where these two are serious when they are together. There's no falseness to the smiles with these two, it starts on their faces, reaches their eyes and touches the hearts of everyone who sees them.
Steve has a history and passion for Kung Fu. He's been teaching his dad all about it. Perhaps a little cruel of me to suggest the pose when wearing jeans/trousers, but they stepped up and did themselves proud. I think I'd be impressed if I could kick like that now, ever mind when I was over 55 ;)
I asked the guys if they'd just pose a little by the water, and the seriousness lasted for a bout 30 seconds before they messed about. It was just too easy to join in the laughter, these two would never leave you feeling miserable.
The Grasmere House Hotel is lovely, the grounds aren't huge, and the weather was trying to rain over our shoot, but that didn't stop Chris from finding another place to have fun. With Dad's direction, Steve tried to climb the tree, or at least hang upside down from it. Sadly (or thankfully depending on your point of view) the tree won and we had to walk away defeated - although still laughing!
When the shoot was originally arranged it was planned just to be Steve and his dad. Just as it happened, a happy accident at that, Jeni, Trevor's daughter, was here too. It was too good an opportunity not to get some images with her too.
You've got to agree that Trevor has THE most infectious smile. From ear to ear, splitting his face in pure joy. Awesome!
It seems that dad is very VERY ticklish.
Kisses for you dad on Father's Day and every day
A fathers pride and the love of his children.
My sincere thanks to Peter and Chris as well as Steve, Trevor and Jeni, for your time and hard work, and for allowing me to share the wonderful relationships you all have.
These blogs have been such a wonderful experience. Seeing dads/fathers and their children sharing precious time together. Before the children go to school. when they move away because of circumstances, when they grow up and leave the family home. Going back and spending time with your dad can be the best way to celebrate Father's Day this year.
If you have been inspired by these blogs (See the first and the second father's day blogs) and you would like to book a shoot then please get in touch. Or you can find more information about portrait shoots on my Portraits Page.
Wishing you all a truly magical Happy Father's day on June 16th