May 29, 2020

The Top 5 Things We’ve Missed During Lockdown

Hey all! (Scroll down to skip straight to the list of The Top 5 Things We’ve Missed During Lockdown).

Things We’ve Missed During Lockdown

So I’ve been thinking a lot in recent weeks about the so-called ‘Coronacoaster’ that we’re all riding.. I don’t know about you, but for me it goes a bit like this: One minute I’m desperately missing normality, feeling down and anxious about the future – particularly my family photography business – and generally feeling like a caged animal. Whereas the next I’m absolutely loving just pottering about at home, Netflix bingeing, baking, going for long walks locally, living a simpler life in so many ways.

young boy reading on sofa day in the life photography

It’s made me think about the things we’ve missed most in lockdown. Friends, family and travel are most definitely the top three for me. It goes without saying that I hope I’ll continue to really appreciate these more in the future. I’m really lucky to have all my close family living nearby, but that hasn’t always meant that we’ve spent enough quality time together.


Family Photography in London and Kent

I’ve also of course really missed my work – photographing families, babies and children in London and Kent. I’m hopeful that things will pick up again with my Kent and London Family Photographer business now that it looks like I’m allowed to start doing family photo shoots again – maybe capturing precious family moments will be even more of a priority for my clients after lockdown. I absolutely love photographing extended families. Whether it’s a photo shoot with my clients’ parents from abroad visiting them and their kids in London, or an extended family photo shoot to celebrate a big birthday or anniversary. My favourite part of my work is capturing those moments of connection and family love. Of course now lockdown has been partially lifted, there will be grandparents, aunties and uncles meeting new babies for the first time ever! I have a new nephew myself who I’ve so far only met through a window. That first cuddle will be pretty special.

newborn photo shoot at home parents looking down at baby

Benefits of Lockdown?

All that aside, I wonder if there’s anything about my way of living in lockdown that I’ll take with me when things get back to normal (or the ‘new normal’, however that may look). I’ve perfected my lemon drizzle cake (I never had time for baking before) so I’ll continue to make that regularly for sure! I’ve realised there are a few things I don’t miss – clothes shopping, traffic, or queueing for 20 mins to get a drink at a busy bar.. I’d be pretty happy right now with a garden get-together with my family and friends, the BBQ and plenty of fizz. I’ve enjoyed not having to worry about having enough social engagements in the diary to ‘fill’ my weekend, and just to enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation instead. Maybe ‘work hard, play hard’ isn’t the answer after all?! I’ve also loved taking my SUP (stand up paddleboard!) out to sea and local canals and enjoying nature and alone time, and I’m really looking forward to exploring more of the UK’s waterways this summer (admittedly it would be nice to be able to enjoy the odd pub garden en route though!).

summer family photos in kent folkestone harbour arm child with camera

I thought it would be interesting to ask some of my lovely pals, former clients and Facebook fans for their input on this too. I asked which bits of their old lives they’ve missed most during lockdown, and whether there’s anything about their lockdown experience that they might hang onto in the future. Lots of them kindly agreed to me sharing their thoughts in this article.

The List | Here are the Top 5 Things We’ve Missed During Lockdown!

1). Hugs

Hugging family and friends was by far the most missed thing during lockdown. How lovely is that?! Family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

So we have a lot of catching up to do ;)

london family photographs parents and toddler with dog sitting on steps

Juliet Landau-Pope – “Hugging my mum. That’s it really.”

Linda Schryver (my Mum!) – “Hugging my family, eating out, holidays”

2). Family

summer family photos in kent folkestone harbour arm child with grandmother

Family was of course one of the top things that people have missed during lockdown. Parents specifically, as well as extended family. And of course those new parents waiting to be able to show off their new addition to the baby’s aunties, uncles and grandparents! I’m really looking forward to getting back to doing Newborn Shoots in London and Kent, and hope that at some of these I’ll be able to capture those precious first cuddles with family members! (Contact me here to enquire about a newborn baby photo session).

Laura Halfon – “Showing off my newborn baby, and spending time with my family.”

Francisca Cordeiro – “1.socialise with friends and family 2. Nursery 3. My parents haven’t met my new born baby because they live abroad”

Matt Pudan – “Family and friends meeting and holding our new addition, and football!”

Orsi Jojart-Dong – “Family. We moved back to Europe from the US so my kids can grow up close to my family. Now I’m sitting here with a 1 and a 2.5 year old and they haven’t seen my mom, sister or their cousins for almost 6 months. They all live in Hungary and we’re in the UK, so I’m not even sure when we get to visit. I know there are lots of people with much worse situations than ours, but still, I want to cry every time I think of this.”

I also know some parents who sadly haven’t been able to see their own children or step-children as they’ve been spending lockdown time in another parent or caregiver’s household. And I know my own parents have missed their grandchildren desperately.. My daughter has been keeping in touch with her ‘Ganny’ on the Caribu app – a child- (and grandparent-!) friendly chat and games app.

Sharon Corbett – “Seeing my pregnant daughter and her husband, and tea with my amazing ex mum in law.”

Claudia Coppetta – “Seeing my family who live in Italy. Freedom of travel. But I realise I’m lucky to see the sun go down every day… thoughts go to all the people that can’t do that anymore.”

3). Coffee with friends

This one was mentioned time and time again, and is something that me, my sister and sister-in-law have all said we can’t wait to do once we’re allowed! Maybe it’s because we have kids, or we’re boring(!), but meeting up for a chat and a coffee in a cafe (usually with small children in tow) is one of those simple things that helps keep us sane. Given the choice, we’d be meeting up for child-free cocktails instead of course.. But perhaps because meeting for coffee was such a part of ‘normal’ life before, this was mentioned literally ten times more often in my survey than pubs, bars or restaurants!

family drinking milkshake Googie's folkestone kent family photography

Kenyan Tikki – “I’m a mother stuck at home with a baby and a preschooler – I miss personal space, trips to coffee shops, the ability to meet up with adults, and nursery!”

Anita Anand – “Relaxing in a cafe with a cappuccino, swimming and hugging!!!!”

Melissa Doussey – “Lunch dates with my mum and breakfast dates with my friends”

Mimi Dickson – “Sitting in a cafe with a book and flat white for a few hours!”

4). Freedom and lack of fear

I’ve grouped a few things together here.. but all around the same theme of the simple freedom to potter about in day to day life, without feeling anxious and ‘on edge’. These simple things were mentioned often. People miss popping into a shop without queueing, and walking around outdoors without worrying about getting sick. Also not having to plan supermarket shopping with military precision, and of course the constant fear of kids touching and licking things when out and about!

Puja Dusad – “All the things I used to hate, that I would give my right arm for now – Working, weaving my way past tourists on Oxford street, “popping into” Selfridges on my commute home, being turned away at a restaurant because it was fully booked, waiting in line for a coffee at my favourite cafe and queuing at airport security!!! How I long for those days!!!”

Georgina Graham – “Interaction with strangers. So in the past you chit chat with someone in a super market or conversation with a taxi driver or an exchanged moment with someone in a shop or a gallery. These days with social distancing in place it has meant really avoiding that and it’s those minutiae moments that are what makes a neighbourhood feel like a neighbourhood and society function as society. Also experiencing fear in people’s eyes or even anger if you are too close to them in the park, street or queues for shopping.”

5). Seaside

Family Photography Kent & London

Surprisingly for a group of people based mostly in London, the seaside is one of the top things people have missed! I wholeheartedly agree with this one though, and love to visit the coast often with my own family. I adore doing family photo shoots on the beach too! Now that lockdown has been lifted enough to allow me to do shoots outside, get in touch if you’d like to arrange your own photo shoot at the seaside. (I’m getting fairly booked up already, so will soon be opening up a waiting list for summer weekend dates).

Wendy Flynn – “Hugging my mum, and hugging friends, chatting in the playground, being able to send my son to Nana for a few hours so I can concentrate on my business. The list goes on… Oh and seaside I wanna go to the sea!”

Maria Nistor – “Going to the beach, going to Spain to visit our relatives over there.”

Heenaba Zala – “Meeting one to one with friends, and seaside walks.”

family on sunny sands beach folkestone kent family photography

Life After Lockdown

So what about those things that we might appreciate more after lockdown?Is there anything we might choose to ‘keep’ in our lives from our lockdown experience?

Here’s what people had to say:

Yuko Bailey – “For me, my lifestyle has become really simple and I’ve started to enjoy that. I think I’ll carry on this lifestyle and appreciate what I’ve got.”

Wendy de Reus – “Apocalypse aside I’ve rather enjoyed this lockdown and the break from the London rat race. Nature is thriving, I’m spending lots of time with my partner, teaching on Zoom is amusing, Parties on Zoom even funnier, well needed DIY in the house, baking all sorts of cakes and breads, cooking from scratch, gardening, planting seeds, making jewellery, playing ping pong with the cats, watching bees pollinate my courgettes to be and still have time to binge watch Netflix in the evening. I was lucky as I just went on holiday in February with my mum and as family live abroad I wasn’t going to see them again until July..”

Jess Strachan – “I host a quiz once a week for all my friends. I’ll continue that once a month for sure. I find getting all my friends together at one time before lockdown hard anyway unless it’s a birthday or special occasion. The lockdown has allowed more time for daily interactions with friends and family. It’s also slowed everything down. I thought at the beginning having a new baby and a 4 year old this was going to be hard work, and it was for a short time. But now I love taking my time to roll out of bed and see my baby who’s always happiest and smiley at 6am, and slowly going down to make breakfast. Not having to fit everything into the four hours I get at night once the boy is asleep and spending proper time with my family. After lockdown I’ll be back at work and things will speed up again, but I’ll find the time now because this has made me realise how important time really is.”

Marion Paddock – “It’s changed my goals and the goals of my child and my overall outlook. What matters most is how our inner core progresses through life. How we truly want to live and serve others.. Making daily small changes. It’s making me focus more on the blessings we have and the increased compassion for those that are really suffering.. I am more practical, more than capable. Oh yes last thing.. laugh and dance.. it heals the soul!”

So there are our Top 5 Things We’ve Missed During Lockdown. How do you feel about the things on the list? Moving forward, is there anything you’ll keep in your life from your lockdown experience? Let me know in the Comments below!

Helen xoxo

P.S. To arrange your own Family Photo Session in London or in Kent, contact me here. There’s a 60% DISCOUNT on the session fee on all Family Photo Shoot bookings before the end of June! x

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