Our Family Shoot with Schryver Photo

Remus has wanted some proper family photos practically since Lucian grew big enough to stop looking like a tiny alien, so for his Christmas present I organised for us to have a photo shoot with the lovely Helen Schryver of Schryver Photo so he can have one big picture to put on the wall and some smaller ones in frames around the house, and for me, my favourite bit – plastering them all over facebook!

I met Helen at the Mile in Memory of Matilda Mae walk and loved the photos she took of me and the boys and especially of me playing the violin. So I booked her this Summer to capture some pics of my Classical Babies On the Beach concert at JW3.

This December, she came up to our place in NW London and took some photos of us in the living room. She is such a relaxed, friendly energy to have in the house and somehow managed to catch us looking natural right away, even while we were still settling into it.

These are just some of my favourites, in all we have something like 70 great shots to choose from.

Helen was keen to get us outdoors in nature for at least half of the shoot and we are lucky enough to live five minutes walk from one of the most beautiful spaces in London and at this time of year the light is unbelievable (if you’re lucky enough to get a dry day.) So we pulled wellies and coats on and walked round the corner to Golders Hill Park. It was so freaking easy, we forgot she was there, we just walked and talked. We didn’t have to pose or do anything at all.

 Remus’ favourite is the one of us holding the boys so we will probably get this one framed.


But the ones that made me suddenly feel emotional were these amazing shots of Gabs and his Daddy messing around together. You can see how how similar they are, the energy between them and how much they love each other. Of all the photos I can see us treasuring these ones the most when we are really old and Gabs is a grown man.

I also love this one of Luci and me because he reminds me of me when I was little and I love that we are the same. He was getting a bit tired at this point but it is so him.


Then we took the kids to this hollowed out tree and fallen tree trunk they used to play in last Summer. They’ve grown too big to both fit in the tree at the same time but she captured gorgeous ones of each individually and the two of them together. They move at the speed of light so I’m not sure how she managed to catch them but she did it! I love these.


The log was wet and slippery and Luci wouldn’t stand on it unless he was holding Gabs’ hand.

But my favourite ones of all are of Remus and me, looking like we’re out of Hello magazine or Country Living or something! Now I don’t want to suggest that we’re not photogenic, just that we’re not usually both photogenic at the same time:


So these are like gold-dust:


The light was really special and the day was as much the present for Remus as the actual photos as we really enjoyed ourselves. It is a really happy memory for us.

If you want to see more of Helen’s work, go to schryverphoto.com. She specialises in family photography and weddings, and she’s so skilled in getting the best out of children and photographing them at their best while they run around and play, but if you look at the photos of my concert on the beach (see link above) you’ll see that she can probably do anything well! I can’t recommend her enough.


Happy New Year 2015 love from the Azoiteis! Coco, Remus, Gabs & Luci xxx


Lucian’s New Room

It being 2015 now, and therefore the time of new beginnings and makeovers, I’m finally committing to an idea I’ve been toying with for months now: Splitting the boys up and putting Lucian in his own room. In case anyone is new here and hasn’t met my 3 year old, Luci (Loo-ch-ee!), this is he: IMG_8462

He shares a room – at least, theoretically although he often sleeps with me – with Gabriel, 5 who is completely obsessed with Space and is responsible for their bedroom looking like the Cosmos projectile-vomited all over it:


Luci quite likes Space so he doesn’t mind too much, but only because he goes along with whatever Gabi does really. They don’t do much sleeping in there, it’s really hard to get them to sleep because they play and jump on their beds and get each other all riled up, or argue. Basically if one is sleepy the other is wide awake and their infectious energy wakes the other back up. It was my mum who had the idea of turning the playroom upstairs into a bedroom because when they stay with Nana Pip and Grandad in Cornwall, they sleep in separate rooms really nicely and seem to love it, and not miss each other at all.

I ummed and ahh-ed about it for ages, feeling too emotional to split them up when they’ve been joined at the hip both as brothers and best friends all of Luci’s life. I shared a room with my sister until I was 15 and I feel that it’s really bonding and I wanted that for my boys too, but gradually I realise they are already so bonded, they are the best of friends and now the differences in their personalities are starting to come to the fore and their different tastes and playing styles mean their own space would be good. Luci is obsessed with Jubilee line trains, cars and Brio train track and is the only one who ever plays in the playroom which is constantly an absolute bomb-site. Whereas Gabs reads constantly, draws and writes stuff, almost never plays with toys and really wants his own desk and quiet area to do his crazy physics stuff and play minecraft.

But mostly it’s the sleep thing. I want them to go to bed earlier and be calm at bedtime, and I’m pretty sure their own rooms is the way to go. Not that I won’t cry when they finally go their separate ways at bedtime. It will be the end of an era:

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So, anyway, *sniff, sniff..* enough of that soppy shit. I know, me and my first-world problems! We are very lucky to have enough space to give them a bedroom each and this just doesn’t seem a good use of it right now: IMG_4486 Plus, it takes me about two days to get it looking like this: IMG_4475 and precisely five minutes for them to make it like this again … IMG_7137 … after which no one goes in there again for ages. So, I’m decided and I have big plans to make it a lovely room for Luci.

Lucian’s Room

To start with, safety first, Remus has to fix a safety-catch onto the skylight window because Lucian can and WILL climb out onto the roof, and it’s freezing now, but in the Summer it gets boiling up there, and the landlord company has to put a new black-out blind in. We’re also getting shelving made for inside the toy cupboard (see above). Then, in goes his lovely wooden bed and bedside table which we got when we moved in last year, from Taurus Beds on the Finchley Road. I just ordered him this camper van bedding e6b9b8fa83d678146661e13ceef04816 I ‘ve got my heart set on this Rainbow star rug from notonthehighstreet.com because Lucian’s name means ‘light’ and he’s my little star. But it ‘aint cheap so I don’t know if I’ll convince Remus!… and I’ll put stars around his bed like this:

I already bought this poster from store.greatlittleplace.com and alphabet letters to spell his name (and for Gabi too) and some number transfer stickers.

I can’t wait to get him his own room in his own style and see if I can get him to sleep any earlier. Night, Luci… x