When Heather first contacted me to photograph her family on Noordhoek Beach, she asked if it was okay to bring along the family dog. ‘Absolutely,’ I said. ‘Wouldn’t be the same without the fellow.’ You see, when I photograph families, I only have one aim in mind and that’s to capture them for who and what they are. When they look at their photos they need to hear the laughter and really feel the characteristics of each and every person. Whether it’s a weird, freaky look, a shy glance, an angry glare or a big, fat, loving hug, it needs to be captured to truly represent who and what that son, sister, mom, dad is all about. That then, includes the dog, the horse, the parrot or whatever other friendly friend makes up that family. Getting a family to drop their pretences and in some instances, pre-conceived idea of what a photo session is all about is a huge part of the trick for me. All to often I can immediately see that one or more members of the fam aren’t really keen on this whole photo shoot idea. I mean seriously, who wants to pose for photos? More often than not it’s dad whose a bit miserable about the thing (show me a dad who likes to pose for family photos – I dare you!) Second in line is the 19-year old. Fresh out of school, loves a bit of a party, got home late last night and now has to hug mom in front of a camera. Third in line is the pre-teen cymbalta generic eli lilly daughter. Oh. My. Word. She isn’t going to play along for love or money. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. So deal with it buddy. Finally there’s mom. Valiant, heroic, amazing mom – doing her utmost best to try and encourage the mob to ‘just do this for me – it’ll be nice, you’ll see.’ Ja sure mom, what’s so nice about getting up at 6.00am on a Saturday morning so that some guy we don’t even know can photograph us? Well folks, I’ll tell you what, by the time you leave, you’ll want to do it again. That’s a promise. Then a day or two later you’ll be checking out your photos enthusiastically and then changing your Facebook profile pic. Natty I tell you. You should try it, you’ll like it. Anyway, the Boudreau family were extremely amenable to this whole photographs on the beach bonanza thing and I reckon they really had a fine time hamming it up and just being normal, natural, good people. Polite kids by the way – very polite. I nearly fell over when they each came to me individually afterwards and thanked me for the shoot. Thanks Boudreau’s, you were an easy crowd to say the least! As for the dawg, fine fella indeed.