Chorlton family photographer {Rachel, Chris, Alice + Thomas’ doorstep shoot + lockdown interview}

As part of May’s doorstep shoots, I asked families about their own unique experience of lockdown. I wanted to build up a little collection of our different memories and experiences of this strange old time – hopefully a meaningful little ray of sunshine amongst all this chaos. Many families answered these and they’ve been so heartwarming to read! I’m sharing them on the blog during June, and I really hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did.

I’ll hand you over to the lovely Rachel!



What has lockdown looked like for you and your family?

In many ways, it hasn’t changed too much for me and Chris as by and large we work from home and are used to spending way too much time together! The big change of course has been having the children at home and attempting to home school alongside work and have no form of break from each other at all. We’ve got into a bit of a rhythm now whereby we try to do schooling in the morning and immediately after lunch, but then have free time after that. We try to demarcate the weekends by having big yummy weekend brunches. Friday night is kids film night and on a Saturday morning we like to do crafting or colouring in all together.


Favourite lockdown activities?

Chris, Alice and Thomas have been working their way through the Marvel Cinematic Universe in chronological order… which fills a lot of time and now they are all Marvel mega-geeks. Tying in with that we have also started a 3000 piece DC superhero jigsaw puzzle. Funnily enough it turns out that if you’re a novice jigsaw puzzler, it’s not a good idea to start out with a 3000 piece beast! The kids also have developed a serious colouring-in habit. We’ve printed off zillions of colouring sheets and the felt tip pens are running dry…

We’ve had a fire pit in the garden, an indoor camping experience, built a 6ft beanstalk out of empty loo rolls, done a lot of bike riding, hours and hours of trampolining, loads of gardening, painting, reading, workouts, Zoom quizzes (of course – the most memorable being a mega decades quiz we devised for my Dad’s 60th for all the extended family with 18 households taking part), Zoom cook-alongs… and my very favourite a hilarious nostalgic weekly What’s App quiz with my pals from uni.



Most memorable / moving / thought-provoking lockdown moment?

One morning out of the blue Thomas said to us, “I have to go back to school. I have to. We missed our trip to the zoo and we have to go.” It was really heartbreaking to explain to him that he wouldn’t be going on the trip to the zoo. As time has gone on it has been interesting to hear the children’s vocabulary shift to, “If we go back to school,” and, “Will we ever go back to school?” It really is such a long time for them.

However, on VE Day I had a lovely chat with my grandfather on the phone. He was 6 when WW2 started and 12 when it ended. He told me he had constantly interrupted schooling during that time and that he loved being at home and being with his family (and this was London during the Blitz). He said missing school never did him any harm (indeed it didn’t – he went on to become a university academic in the field of chemistry). Made me feel better about the kids being at home…


Funniest lockdown moment?

When Chris offered Thomas £100 if he could get on a bike (he’d never ridden a proper bike before) and just ride it. Needless to say he did it (and when I say did it, he was slalom-ing round cones within half an hour!), we are £100 worse off but Thomas can now ride a bike!



Most joyful lockdown moment?

My sister sent us a video of my nephew who is 20 months old saying all our names – he has only just learned to say them. Alice and Thomas were over the moon! They miss him so much and get so much joy from regularly FaceTiming and sharing videos with him. Also my Dad’s reaction to his 60th birthday quiz – he was really touched that everyone had got together virtually to do that for him.


What do you most want to remember about this time right now?

How we made time for each other and were creative with our time and activities. The slow pace of life. That we didn’t see a plane fly over for months. That the children could play safely outside in the road. The sound of the birds singing and the much clearer blue skies.



Has lockdown changed you, either as individuals or as a family?

I think lockdown has shone a light on everything that we do and made us really see clearly what is valuable in life and what we can cut loose. I’m hoping this means whenever we go back to a semblance of normality we maintain some of the space, time and prioritisation that has happened. In many ways lockdown has had a very positive effect on our family, as Alice and Thomas have grown a lot closer. Of course there is still the usual sibling bickering but it seems to be much reduced and as they have come to realise they only have each other to play with: their bond has really grown. They’ve developed shared interests and enjoy spending time together a lot more which is making our family a much happier unit.


Aside from the obvious of being able to see your family and friends again, what are you most looking forward to in life after lockdown?

Going on holiday (although we are all devastated at the thought of the end of the breakfast buffet!) The kids have an annual pass to Legoland and have been desperate to go back. I’d like to swim again and Chris misses the gym. Dare I say, even just the normal routine of school and work and regaining a bit of our own space.



Thanks so much to Rachel, Chris, Alice + Thomas for brightening up my own lockdown, I had a blast!






A little pdf I put together containing some simple techniques to get better photos of your kids – these are relevant no matter what camera you’re using, phone, DSLR, compact, anything 🙂


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5 Tips for Taking




If you’re after a Chorlton family photographer (or indeed if you’re somewhere else, I happily travel!) please feel free to download my family photography e-brochure if you think you’d like me to come and capture a bit of your own family’s magic 🙂


By completing this form you're consenting to be added to the Anna Hardy Photography mailing list, from which you'll receive information and updates, including this free pdf. I handle your data with the utmost care, and you can opt out at any time.

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Because the best stories are always the real ones… So many of these magical little adventures happen to us and our families every day, often without us really stopping to appreciate them. This free Facebook group is a little project set up to encourage us to regularly record, honour and enjoy images of our own family’s precious everyday stories.




If you liked this article you might also like:

Get Better Results with your Camera Phone: 10 Top Tips

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Finding Time To Connect With Your Kids

Staying Sane as a Working Parent: 10 Top Tips

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5 Reasons I Love Family Photography

My Top 10 Productivity Tips

I also love chatting with other folk on social media and I’d love to see you on there – you can find me hanging out mainly on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest

Take care folks and enjoy those lovely families of yours!

Anna 🙂

Chorlton family photographer


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Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK

Creative, documentary family photography in Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, London

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