*Sponsored post in association with American Express®
I think if I had to say what my two biggest passions in the world are, without a doubt they would be my camera and travelling. Yes I have other passions, I love to write, I love interiors, I love to soak in the bath with a bath bomb while reading my book and eating chocolate… I could go on. But my ultimate two passions are my camera, whether that’s making videos or taking photos, and travelling. As parents, we have to let our children go off on their own path, find their own loves and interests, but inevitably they may well become interested in similar things to you. And it seems we have a budding photographer on our hands.
We absolutely love to travel as a family and our children have already developed our travel bug even at such a young age. Mads has such a huge interest in the world around her, learning snippets and phrases of the language from the country we are in, researching interesting facts about the places we are going and just generally loving the whole process of travelling and going somewhere new. Nothing makes me prouder than seeing her take an interest in the places we travel to. They have been incredibly lucky to travel to a fair few places already and we have some amazing memories captured forever from taking photos. In years to come I have visions of us sitting at the kitchen table, looking at the photos I took along the way and saying ‘Wow we had some amazing adventures.’ In my garage I have hundreds upon hundreds of dog eared photographs. I was born in an era where my parents printed out every single photo, but like me they were probably quite time poor and never got round to putting them in albums. I love getting them out from time to time, I smile at my Dad’s dodgy moustache when he is holding me on a family holiday to Lanzarote, I must have been about four and I look so much like my eldest daughter it’s ridiculous. Or seeing photos of our old dog Hobo on holiday to Cornwall, I remember spending ages painstakingly building a huge sandcastle with my Dad and then the dog ran straight through it and wrecked it. It’s funny how seeing a photo can bring back the most vivid memories.
Because my camera is never far away from my hands, it could have gone one of two ways when it comes to the girls. They have grown up with me taking so many photos of them, and it could have meant they got fed up of the camera. But recently Mads especially has really shown an interest in photography and taking photos with my phone. A few weeks ago I wrote a post all about the new American Express Family Travel Hub, which includes inspiration for parents to make travel more exciting and memorable. One of the features on there is the ‘Whipper Snapper’ Book which is an activity guide that encourages children to use photography to document their travel experience. American Express challenged me, or should I say Mads, to document our recent ski holiday to the French Alps through photography. She couldn’t have been more excited about this – following my passion for photography and travel. While we were on the plane I read through some of the Whipper Snapper guide to her and soon she was ready and raring to go!
I loved seeing her so enthusiastic and excited about this. True to her word she rose to the challenge and in-between making new friends, learning to ski, and having lots of fun, she also took lots of photos. It was lovely getting home and seeing what she had taken. Rather than me write about the photos, I thought I would ask her to explain a little about each photo and I wrote down exactly what she described…
‘It’s very blue and you can see the clouds. I took this of the plane when we were in the air.’
‘I took this of my little, grumpy sister. She was grumpy because she wanted the camera. This was on our first day we arrived in France.’
‘This is of my brother smiling. He’s cute.’
‘His eyes are very blue and I like his outfit. He was a little bit poorly on holiday cause he was getting a tooth I think.’
‘Imagine if Mummy and Daddy fell off the mountain, that would be funny. The mountains are very big and as high as the sky.’
‘This is of Mummy watching me ski down the big mountain. I was brave at skiing and moved up a level in three days.’
‘These are all the badges you can get if you ski. I got the one at the bottom for doing ski lessons and my friend John got the one in the middle. This was when we went for a hot chocolate on the mountain.’
‘I took this of my Mummy and Daddy when we were sat having a drink after watching me ski. The wine is very red and hot. We were still high up in the mountain then.’
‘These sweeties are very colourful. They are called Haribo Dragibus and I don’t think they have them in our country. They were yummy.’
‘This is of Mummy, Daddy is not looking and is interested in something else.’
‘This is my sister Lottie when we went out for hot chocolate with all the nannies and Mummy and Daddy and my friends. She’s got a cute hat on and is wearing a blanket as it was cold.’
‘It snowed one night and the snow is very white. I took this out the window of our chalet.’
‘The snow has lines on it. I went on the chair lift when I was skiing and I didn’t find it scary but my Mummy did.’
‘This is when we went ice skating. I fell over lots of times but I found it funny. I pushed my sister on a little chair.’
‘This is my hot chocolate. I liked going for a hot chocolate with Mummy and Daddy after skiing. There was lots of cream on it.’
‘This is cute of my Mummy and brother in the bubble lift coming down. They were really high up.’
‘My baby brother is asleep. He is very cute and slept a lot while we were skiing.’
‘When we went bowling. Daddy won bowling and then Mummy and then me. I like it, it is fun. There is a Coca Cola sign in the background.’
‘ This is of Mummy and Lottie and they are kissing. This is in the cable car going down after we went up to the very top of the mountain. This is on our last day of our holiday.’*Cue hilarious giggles* ‘This one makes me laugh. Lottie looks so funny.’
I absolutely loved giving her the freedom to take her own photos and I love that we now have memories captured through her own eyes. She is fast growing up to be such a lovely little girl, who is fascinated by the world around her, and I love that by taking these photos we are able to see how she thinks a bit more, and what she chooses to take photos of. Funnily enough some of the photos she took were similar to what I would take them of and I love that she took photo of her food- she probably has seen me do that from time to time! Things like the her sweets and hot chocolate are obviously things that have excited her. Since we got home she has been taking photos non-stop, we bought her a polaroid camera for her birthday and she is loving taking photos of different things, and it is lovely to see the early stages of a potential passion for her come alive.
Next time we go away we will definitely give her a camera to take photos on again. I think it will be so nice in years to come to not only look back on happy memories that I took, but also see how Mads saw the world as well through her eyes. The photos she took are lovely, my favourite is the one she took of myself and LL kissing. I might even frame that one!
If this has inspired you to give your kids the camera and try out the American Express ‘Whipper Snapper’ activity book for ideas with your kids on your next family holiday, head to the American Express Family Travel Hub.
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