Weekends are the best, aren’t they? If you don’t get to spend that much time as a family during the week, they give you that little bit of time to relax together. On the other hand, maybe you can manage to take a little bit of time to yourself to recharge for the week ahead.
Whatever you do, make sure to get rid of the chores and put away the phone for a few hours to reconnect and be in the present.
What are favourite family weekend activities?
Are you one to plan day trips to get out of the house or visiting family members? Or are you going to relax and hopefully enjoy the nice weather in your backyard or the local park?
I realised that there was no point putting pressure on myself to do something special when I’d rather relax in pyjamas at home. Spending time with our daughter as a family is the most important. When she has the two of us to herself, she doesn’t care where she is. So if we go to the beach, it’s because I want to.
However simple, those moments are going to be so precious to her one day and I make sure to photograph bits of them every weekend.
Here are some ideas of activities that might be part of your plan for this weekend. You probably didn’t think of bringing me along, but think of how it would feel to be able to relive those moments again and again and again…
Going to the beach
I won’t ask you to dress up all in white and stand with the sun in your eyes and smile at the camera. What I want is you to enjoy the beach the way you would do if I wasn’t there. I want to photograph the real YOU.
It might mean building sandcastles, enjoying a sandy picnic, licking dripping ice creams, splashing in the sea, collecting shells, fighting with siblings, putting sunglasses backwards, refusing to touch the sand (been there!) or eating it… Maybe the sun will play hide-and-seek and the wind will pick up and you’ll all need to put your winter jackets and who cares?
Please bring me to the beach with you!
Lazy morning routine at home
I am reading a book who categorises people between “lark” and “owl”. I am definitely an owl even though I kind of envy “lark” people and how many things they manage to fit in the early hours of the day… I love staying in bed late. Obviously, nowadays, late means 8 or 9 am when it used to mean 11 am a few years ago. Even when my daughter was a baby and she woke up early at the weekends, I would feed her in bed and then place her on the carpet beside the bed and go back to sleep. She would happily play and chat for a while which was brilliant. Then she started rolling and crawling and that was the end of that. Now that she is bigger, we read books (her little head against mine) and cuddle until she’s so hungry she pushes her dad out of the bed!
If that is your idea of a perfect weekend, let’s document it! Cuddles, tickles, wet kisses and morning nursing sessions, it’s all part of your life and worth photographing (or filming!)
Morning/Afternoon/Dinner at grandparents house
Whether it’s a tradition or a last minute decision, a few hours at your parents or parent-in-laws with the children is a great time to ask a photographer (me!) to come along. Not only do you get to capture the relationship between the three generations, but it can come handy when it’s time to choose and order your products, as I offer a smaller duplicate album for family members.
The grandparents’ house is also a place where children feel at ease while taking part in different activities and showing different habits than they would show at home. If cousins are there too, even better!
Best friend coming for a playdate/sleepover
My best friend and I have been friends for nearly 30 years. During holidays or long weekends, we would sleep over for one or two nights in each other’s houses. I have brilliant memories of us chatting in our beds until 1 am in the morning and getting up at noon! (She is even more of an owl than me.) The funny thing is, I don’t really remember what we used to do during the day, and I don’t have a single picture of us together as kids.
If your daughter (or son) has a BFF and they just love to hang around the house for hours on end, why not chat to her/his parents and see if you can do a joint photo session? I would make sure to capture each of them separately as well as together, and parents can choose to be a part of it or stay out of the picture.
(Picture above of future BFFs?)
When we don’t have time to go to the West Coast, we love to spend a night at North Beach Camping Park in Rush or Hidden Valley Holiday Park in the Wicklow Mountains. We’re actually planning to do it for the first time since our daughter was born in the next few weeks.
If that’s part of your plan for this weekend, I would really love to join you on your camping trip and photograph part of your little adventure!
Going into town / shopping and going for coffee
I know a lot of children who just LOVE to go out for “coffee” with their parents or grandparents. They feel like grownups and love getting a treat with their hot chocolate.
Maybe that’s something you do as a one-to-one activity with one of your child. If that’s part of your relationship and a little tradition between the two of you, it’s most likely something you will want to look back on later.
Bring me along and I’ll join you for coffee and then pretend to go to the bathroom to capture your little bubble. (I hope nobody will think I’m a stalker!!)
Going for ice creams
If the prospect of going for ice creams is THE one thing that makes your children giddy with excitement, and you enjoy watching them closing their eyes taking the first mouthful, then it’s worth documenting! Simple things are often the best.
Don’t forget the usual teasing (“Sorry honey, it looks like there are no ice creams left today…”) so that I can capture their reactions (At what age do they stop falling for it?).
Backyard activities / Gardening
Do your children love spending time in the backyard on the slide, in the sandpit, playing with water guns or bubbles? These are all great activities to capture joy and laughs and you should definitely join them too.
Gardening is also a brilliant activity to document if it’s an activity you love sharing with your little ones. I personally like a bit of a mess for outdoor sessions!
Crafts at home
Children concentrating on crafts is something I love to photograph. Give me a half naked toddler left to his own devices with paint any day of the week!
Mess is not mandatory though! The more quiet and introspective moments are often the best ones.
Baking at home
This activity always makes for great photos (or videos) involving parents too. If members of the family are not into baking, maybe they are into eating the finished product.
The key is to have everyone doing what they enjoy doing, not to force something that’s not natural to them. No pressure to perform or to be perfect, we’re looking to capture real life and connections.
If the best part of your day is putting the kids to bed, why not document this? (Just kidding!)
I personally love bath time. I don’t always have the energy to include it in our evening routine, but when I do (or have to), I love sitting next to her and watch her pouring water from one cup to the other. It always grounds me to the present moment like very few other activities. Looking at her, all giddy, running naked from the bedroom to the bath or doing a little dance in front of the mirror is also so funny.
I filmed this part of our day a few weeks back but I am not sure if I’ll get it edited before Christmas (the cobbler is always the worst shod).
Obviously, this session doesn’t have to take place on a bank holiday weekend only (none of the activities actually), but it might be the right time for you because you simply have more time.
Capture your Favourite Family Weekend Activity
Bring me with you and let me document this special time for you!