I photographed a lovely family in the studio this morning.
When I have a weekend session, my husband tends to take the kids out of the house. But since it's cold and snowy here today, we decided to keep them at home.
As usual, I spent the morning meticulously cleaning and tending to every detail before the family arrived. As well as spending time on setting up the lights and checking my camera, spare batteries and SD cards, I always scoot around making sure every square inch that clients see of the house is spick and span. Floors gleaming and bread maker doing its thing (nothing says ‘welcome’ like freshly baked bread), I warned the kids not to use the main bathroom after I'd cleaned it- to use our en-suite instead. (I’m sure it’s not just me who does this.)
I’ve been using the studio as a temporary holding ground while decluttering the house. I hide the mess away in our bedroom when I have a session to shoot. This has been the norm ever since I revisited my ‘tidying festival’ at the start of the year. So this morning, bin bags of all of the items to be discarded, as well as all the random stuff from categories still to be dealt with were crammed into our bedroom. They were piled high on top of the bed and they covered the whole floor, leaving a narrow path from the door to the bathroom. (Anyone who has followed Marie Kondo’s advice will know that the mess gets a whole lot worse before it gets better.)
When the family arrived, Thomas, my 6-year-old, popped his head into the studio to say hello. Not often having the opportunity to meet my clients, he was full of excitement. I allowed him to introduce himself then asked him to show Mum to the bathroom while I left ahead of him to make the coffees. He was delighted to be given such an important task and it meant that I got him out of the studio. Great plan. Except Thomas showed Mum into our horrendous room of doom instead of the immaculate bathroom. He must have thought, "I'd better not let her use the main bathroom since Mummy's just cleaned it."
My frantic shrieks (and probably the sight before her) stopped Mum in her tracks before she had the chance to wade through the carnage.
It was bad. I couldn't even pretend it was a spare room (which would have been bad enough) because in my flustered state, I explained that the kids were using our bathroom so as not to make a mess. Even if the bedroom had been pristine, it would have been most cringe-worthy. But that room… just hideous. Both Mum and Dad were so lovely about it and laughed a lot. We all did. I’m sure they heard my husband’s roars of laughter coming from the kitchen when he worked out what had happened. However, every part of my body was squirming in embarrassment. And still is.