Katie, Pete and their dog Pilot just welcomed baby Lonan aboard their family home on a canal boat in Hackney, London! And as you can imagine, I was not only ecstatic to do a spring newborn family lifestyle session, but also to get onto a canal boat for the first time!
The Finlay’s wanted to document this season of life where the only sort of ‘routine’ they had was breakfast time. Pete makes the best coffee (Lok Sze and I got treated to a cuppa and it was the best coffee ever) and often puts together a bowl of granola for Katie after she feeds Lonan. Katie + Pete describes the initial stages of parenthood as “eat, sleep, stare at Lonan and repeat”, so it’s always fun to be a fly on the wall to capture these small and often missed details of daily life.
Lonan’s name is Irish and means ‘black bird’. His gender was a surprise and they even thought they would be expecting a girl until the last few weeks! Although Katie and Pete found that thinking of girls’ names was easier than thinking of boys’ names, they knew that the name Lonan was his when he arrived. One thing they really wanted to document was Lonan’s eyes – how blue they were, and how long his eyelashes were.
The whole family are smitten by Lonan – even Pilot the dog who couldn’t stop kissing his new brother and checking him out. Pilot is also the most excitable 5 year old dog who totally still thinks he’s a puppy. He can definitely sense the change but is still just as hyper!
As soon as I stepped into the Finlay’s gorgeous canal boat (which they had only just finished renovating a few weeks before Lonan arrived!) my creative juices were flowing. Every corner of their home, from their cosy bedroom to rustic fireplace, inspired me, and we were so blessed with the sunshine coming in through the circular boat windows. Living on a canal boat is definitely a lifestyle – Katie and Pete shared that you really have to learn to slow down (the boat doesn’t move fast at all haha) and you always have to plan ahead for things like a shower and laundry.
Lonan was born into a strange time in the world (Pete finished paternity leave and got literally sent back to work from home!) and I’m so thankful that I just about managed to shoot with this family before we had to cosy up at home. In the midst of all the crazy outside, Katie was breastfeeding Lonan with Pete beside her. And when I asked what they were thankful for, they realised that there were still lots to be grateful for, including the safety of their family and friends.
Lok Sze and I were also so moved by how Katie and Pete asked about our businesses, tried to offer their support, and discuss new ideas. It is meeting these gems of people that makes me love my job so dang much!!!!
Heather Sham x
London Newborn Family Photographer | Modern family lifestyle photographer | Surrey Family Photographer | Natural and relaxed family photoshoot UK