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Readers will know that the face of My Travel Monkey isn’t me, but my photogenic eldest son, who is so used to being in front of the camera that he automatically flashes his winning smile when told!

I’m often asked why there aren’t many photographs of myself, but the simple answer is I’m always taking the pictures – and I am also critical of the way I look in a lot of them, preferring to stay behind the lens…

Since Monkey came along, my husband and I have been wanting to have a family photoshoot for some time but it never transpired. So when Peanut was born, we were more determined than ever to have some professional photos done – and to try to make it a tradition every few years to chart the boys growing up.

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Memories of family photoshoots from days gone by aren’t fantastic, however. Do you remember those naked baby pictures from the early eighties on sheepskin rugs – or those overly posed studio shots in front of a painted screen? Perhaps that’s why it’s taken us so long to organise a shoot – because subconsciously we’d been avoiding the ‘cheese factor’.

Things have moved on now, thankfully. So when I met the lovely Katie from Katie Woods Photography, she knew exactly what I was looking for – an outdoor photoshoot with plenty of fun and natural pictures.

On the proposed day of meeting Katie it was chucking it down – no surprise there for the MTM family! But Katie was more than happy to reschedule for the following day, which ended up being crisp and bright; the perfect weather for some outdoor family fun.

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I didn’t really know what to expect having never done this before but Katie, who met us at our nearby local park, put us at ease straight away. It was cold, but with a few instructions of where to stand and what to do, she began snapping away, even while we were just chatting, mucking about and throwing leaves. Meanwhile, Peanut was a little grumpy and not forthcoming, but Katie wasn’t at all fazed and promised she was certain to have captured some images of him not grizzling.

Even though Katie allows an hour for a session we were done within 45 minutes, which was a good thing as the children were beginning to get fed up. I was desperate to see some of the images, and Katie assured me she would send a few preview shots later that day – just as a teaser.

When I finally got all of the images a week later I was totally blown away. Katie has really captured the spirit of MTM family – how we love being outside and exploring. And I even like a few photographs of myself, which is a rare occurrence.

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It’s definitely made me determined now to continue capturing these moments as the boys get older – and I am so pleased we finally have some photographs of the four of us…

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* Katie Woods Photography: One hour sessions start from £80; Photos from £5 each; Katie also offers different photographic packages. Katie gave us a free session for the purposes of this article. As always my views are my own.