Annabel is starting school!

So tomorrow morning my very own little one will be heading off to school for the first time!

Annabel’s uniform is the cleanest it’ll ever be, with labels diligently sewn inside; her shoes are sparkling, though they will no doubt be scuffed before the end of day 1; and we even have coordinating hair accessories laid out and ready to go.

I am so very proud of the girl she is becoming - adventurous, curious, active (she has cycled 9 miles in an afternoon without stabilisers!), but also a lover of books and a deep thinker - and I wonder how she will develop over this, and coming years, as she embraces a greater level of independence and is exposed to wider ranging opportunities. It feels like a turning point in her life and, although I know that day-to-day very little will appear to change, I wonder what how much will have changed when I look back and reflect this time next year.

While I am really excited for her, it also feels rather poignant for her to be taking her first step on her education journey. As with the other school starters who have come to see me recently, I have captured this moment on camera so that it will be preserved and we can both look back at it in years to come. I hope that one day she will even share it with children of her own, as I have shared a photo of me heading off on my first day at Primary School with her. We will send her photos to family overseas who cannot be here to witness the moment, but who will no doubt recall when they headed off to school for the first time and who will feel closer to her for having this experience in common.

It was with my daughter in mind that I developed my School Mini Sessions last year - I can see how quickly she is growing up (yes, I know its a cliche, but so true) and I wanted to capture not only that shiny anticipation, but also to record some of the things that make her (and each child who visits the studio) who they are at that exact moment. It is impossible to capture everything, but this is a start and will be a fabulous talking point over the coming years.

I have had some children return for their Year 1 photos and parents have been amused to see how their children’s preferences have changed in just 12 months. One little girl’s future career preferences have matured from ‘mermaid’ to ‘marine zoologist’ and another would like to be a ‘dragon-rider’ '(no prizes for guessing what movie she has been watching recently!).

Can you remember what career you fancied when you were starting school? I’d love to know via the comments box below… any advance on marine zoologist or dragon-rider? (Both equally brilliant choices in my opinion!)