A nervous wait in the waiting room. Cold gel and a scanning screen. The exciting happy view of a heartbeat and a little jelly bean sized baby bouncing up and down in my tummy.
But hang on, if that jelly bean is the baby, why is there another identical jelly bean just over there…
That how my twin journey started, and I expect you all have a similar story to tell. I think I laughed for about 5 minutes when the sonographer announced ‘TWINS!!!’ because I couldn’t really believe it.
And I’m sure everyone was asked the next question too – “Are there twins in the family?” I forget how many times I explained that identical twins don’t run in families before I gave up and answered ‘There are now!”.
Along with it seems everyone else on the planet I am fascinated by twins. I’ve read lots about how to make sure they develop as individuals, but having a twin is going to be a big part of their lives. From the moment of conception they have that twin relationship, sharing each other’s space, sharing their birthday, their parents and home.
When my twin boys were born I found taking photos of them and their growing relationship was my best way of grabbing a few moments for myself out of the chaos of babies, milk and nappies. From this my photography business ideas grew and I started my own family photography business when they were one.
So as a photography project I decided to start collecting twins! As a member of several twins clubs and running a TAMBA discount in my photography business I get to meet a wide range of families with twins. My photography project involves photographing young twins with their family in the family home, and just the two of them together, then asking the parents about the difference and similarities between them to give us a glimpse into their family.
Taking a picture of the children with their parents is usually the easy bit, as young children love to be clinging onto mum and dad and parents can tickle or swing their children to get them giggling. For the photos of the twins I wanted a close up of them interacting together rather than looking at the camera.
My philosophy when photographing children is that if they are relaxed and happy they will look their best, so I allow plenty of time to chat to them and try and let them show off their games or favourite toys. I try to avoid the demands to ‘smile for the camera’ as so many children will then do their ‘camera smile’ which looks more like a grimace. The most interesting pictures can come when they have forgotten about the camera completely, for natural pictures capturing the moments of childhood that will race away faster than we can imagine.
See the other twin families in this photo project www.tinyshoots.co.uk/unique-
This article was first published in ‘Multiple Matters’, the TAMBA (Twins and multiple births association) magazine, in December 2017. Visit the TAMBA website to read more about their support for twins and multiple birth families.