The truth behind my perfect children photoshoot

Last year, I asked my trusted collaborator Heleen Larsen to capture my children on photograph for a special occasion. Heleen is a real artist in photography work. I have done some photo courses myself as an amateur and understand the importance of having the right material and investing in proper lenses. You don’t have to be a pro to invest in pro equipment (my inner shop-aholic is smiling).

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Kruisheide, a nature reserve

We took the kids out to the Kruisheide in Keerbergen, another one of Belgium’s nature reserves. This piece of nature used to be part of the moorland that streched on the shifting sands of the surrounding area. The original natural landscape, oak and birch tree on nutrient-poor sandy soil, is cleared for grazing sheep: so arose the moors. The area is dry: you will find mainly heather. Grasshoppers and various species of butterflies, such as the silver-studded blue, can be found here. If you enjoy a walk make a point of coming on a summer evening to enjoy a concert of cricket songs.

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Dressed in white

Don’t let that little girl smile fool you, I was pretty much a zombie after this photoshoot because spent the whole time shouting to watch out not to dirty her beautiful white frock. But I wanted to keep the picture balanced in sponteneity so I let my daughter run wild, and was terrified simultaneously that she would fall.

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Yeah look at me

I specifically went to the Kruisheide because I really, really wanted this shot. Again, scared stiff that my daughter will tear or dirty her dress on the green moss or the dry dirt,  instead of “enjoying the moment”.

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Don’t they just look like little angels ?

Guess who didn’t know that you can’t stop children from running, climbing or falling until they were half way into the photoshoot? I was not prepared at all. Also guess who had never considered the consequences of having them dressed up and then letting them run wild in nature? This woman.

A true artist

Heleen Larsen is one photographers that make your internet surfing more interesting and motivate you to go for a hike, even in the middle of winter. Whether on the mountain or around Wales, Heleen lives for the outdoors and has turned shooting her life from a passion to a career. Heleen freelances for various companies.

— Keerbergen, Belgium (May 2016)

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Bolloheide, a nature landmark in Belgium

The Bolloheide is a popular area for walkers. When it comes to fresh air walks, greeting goats and more, we’ve got you covered in Tremelo.

The Bolloheide is a nature reserve in Tremelo. This is a tiny village situated in the centre of Belgian. Known to the outside world for being the birth place of Father Damiaan and home to Niels Albert, a former professional cyclo-cross racing cyclist. All things that make Belgium great!

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The Bolloheide is a pretty authentic relic of the original large moorland stretching from Bonheiden to Baal. The former heath is wooded with pine and has been parceled out to residential areas. The houses built in this residential area are pearls of architecture and not for cheap.

Undeveloped relics of the former dry, arid vegetation are scarce and scattered. Today the Bolloheide consists largely of open heath, with coarse pine forest. Besides heather on dry, nutrient-poor and acidic soil, you will find more species-rich, nutrient-poor grasslands.

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The grazing block is accessible through several gates. The grazing is done by sheep and goats who can handle this vegetation.

What is there to do but walk, we hear you ask? We go there for fun. Playing hide and seek or mushroom picking, we think you should add these to your “carpe diem” bucket list.

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Whether we like to admit it or not, going for rambles in nature is addictive. This is not one of the most incredible nature reserves out there, but it’s close to home. In our heart it is one of the best landmarks around in Belgium.

— Tremelo, Belgium (Octobre 2015)