We’ve run a campaign with Dr. Martens before, but this was a first for us — meeting and photographing full families, with young children, and showing how you’re never too young or old for a pair of Dr. Martens. We were initially apprehensive at first, never knowing how children might behave or react in front of the camera, but by the end of the day, we were pleasantly surprised.
We started the day on familiar ground — at Grain Traders, one of the places that we’ve recently visited, and which is also a place that our first family has a strong tie to. Ken is an experience designer, and Grain Traders is one of his newest projects, so his family — made up of wife Jade, and kids Oliver and Jessica — were clearly comfortable with the place as well. We found the group having their breakfast before the shoot began, getting the fuel they needed to power through the shoot.
Oliver was a ball of energy in front of the camera and behind it; he was fascinated by the shiny reflector we used on set, and loved running around the space, with toy in hand. His little sister Jessica was a tad more composed, especially after mother Jade offered her some sweets in exchange for the biggest smile she could muster. It was clear that Jessica was daddy’s little girl, while Oliver was mummy’s boy, and together the loving family made for a picture perfect photo.
It was then over to Ginette and Shawn’s eclectic home, which recently welcomed its newest resident — 4-month old baby Luella. We had concerns that, given Luella’s young age, she might have been cranky and restless, but she was the complete opposite. It was Luella’s first time wearing ‘proper’ shoes, and although it must have been an entirely new sensation to her, she didn’t even kick up a fuss.
She was exceedingly well behaved, taking her cue from her parents, and staring curiously at the camera each time the shutter clicked. The family’s pet cat, Koko, made a cautious appearance at one point, but went back into hiding upon realising how many of us had invaded the privacy of the family’s home.
We next visited Yanto and his family, consisting of wife Gina, 3-year-old Aidyn, and 3-month-old Eelan. We headed over to Yanto’s shop, The Golden Rule Barber Company, and set up the shot even as customers were still trickling in to get their hair cut and trimmed. Aidyn was running around, happily eating some French fries before the shoot, but when it was time to get changed, he had changed his mind about being a part of the photoshoot.
It took a toy car, several chocolates, and Yanto’s well-aimed tickles to get Aidyn into his shoes and in position for the camera, and he cracked us all up with the funny faces he pulled, one after another, as soon as we started clicking. His little brother Eelan was peacefully nodding off throughout the shoot, oblivious to everything happening around him, and when Aidyn had tired himself out, he too dozed off on his father’s lap.
Our last stop of the day was at Luxe Singapore, where we met Kate and Javier after they had picked up their daughter Jill from school. Jill didn’t seem to be worn out from a long day at school, and rushing home to change and back out again, and was incredibly obedient on set, taking direction like a professional. She told us that one of her favourite shows is America’s Next Top Model, and perhaps that is where she gets all her poise from.
Jill tucked in hungrily to some hotcakes as we continued to photograph the family, and entertained herself on her mother’s phone, even asking for permission before she went onto YouTube while we sat Kate and Javier down for some questions. Kate had said we were only seeing the obedient side of Jill, but it was hard to imagine her being anything other than gentle and quiet.
As we wrapped up the shoot we were all pretty fatigued — as to be expected, the kids were full of so much energy that we wondered whether we would be able to keep up. But at the same time we were also inspired; the children and these young families were filled with the excitement and hope of new experiences to come. After all, their journeys have just begun, and with the encouragement and support from all their loved ones, we can’t wait to see what’s in store for them.