I want to hold my hand up and tell you here and now, that I was emotionally unprepared for this photoshoot. I’ll explain why… Bethan’s mum contacted me last-minute and asked if I had any free time on a particular Saturday.  It was because her eldest baby was about to start university life and this day would be their final morning together as they are right now. All seven of them (not forgetting Rosie and Maggie, the family dogs) taking a walk in the woods, before they drive off to the uni campus to begin a brand new chapter of her life.

Jo Haycock Photography

Bethan’s mum had been thinking for sometime about how to get them all together for a family portrait, then with overwhelming clarity – without telling the rest of her family when she booked, I might add! – she decided “why not make it on the day we take her?”

As a parent myself, I felt this bittersweet point after B’s family had supported and guided her into this next adventure of her life. Her ambition and excitement that morning was keeping up the stronger wall, with just a little keyhole of the unknown shining through.

The ‘flying of the nest’ thing, it’s huge one and I can’t help but let my mumma-time machine fly 10 years ahead and see us, on that same morning, doing exactly the same thing.

Jo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock PhotographyThey are an extremely close family, with the usual sibling pranks and outrageous teasing that takes place in most families. This morning was no exception. With younger sister, Carys and brother, Ioan teasing about how much more space there’d be at home, and the potential bedroom swaps, as they used fallen branches, tree trunks and woodland paths to act out their fictitious rivalry.

There was plenty of laughter, quite honestly it was the most perfect way to start any day. And I’d been doing so well at keeping my emotions in check…after all it was just another family ‘shoot in the woods, right?

Jo Haycock Photography Jo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock Photography
Jo Haycock Photography
Jo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock Photography Jo Haycock Photography Jo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock PhotographyJo Haycock Photography

When they got back to the luggage-ladened car, reality hit as Carys saw she was in with a real chance of her big sister’s bedroom. Tears flowed all around as the enormity of what was happening, happened. Not wanting to end this story as a ‘farewell to Bethan’ story because it isn’t. I should finish by saying that she’s nearly at the end of her first year in University, has made loads of life-long friends and her family enjoy many city breaks while visiting her. She’ll be home soon for a long summer, so I must find out if Carys got her bedroom after all!

Jo Haycock Photography