Yesterday I travelled to Hoofddorp for a cozy indoor session with the Rogacion family. My host, Dennis Rogacion, picked me up and immediately took a one-hour detour to pick up his brother’s family as well, which is *technically* cheating but they promised to make me lunch and, people, I’m not made of stone. Not when there’s Philipino cooking involved.

The cast included Dennis, his wife Rhea and there little princess Rheaen, then his brother, sister-in law and nephew: Alvin, Christa and their curious imp Aidan — a fine Irish name, I may add.

As beautiful as the sunset was, the weather was far too inclement to go outdoors so we spent the afternnon sharing food, chatting, and playing with the kids. Despite repeatedly being offered a seat I sat on the floor; I’m a tallish chap, so I prefer to make myself small and approachable to let kids acclimitize to my presence.

Space was at a premium, so I was glad I’d been practicing with my wide-angle lens over the last few weeks. Young Rheanna gave my camera’s focusing mechanism a solid workout as she insisted on spending every second running about; tiny Aidan on the other hand was content to lounge and watch the merry chaos with measured scrutiny.

I’ve recently developed a relatively simple, highly flexible handheld lighting setup that doesn’t require clumsy tripods and stands, so I could follow the action as it unfolded or set up for the portraits in seconds. I dislike asking people to wait for me to get set up, it breaks the natural spontaneity and chemistry that emerges on its own when family gathers.

Of course, I must have looked like a bit of a space-man while swingnig around that flashing dish, belly-crawling and climbing on furniture. The adults tolerated my antics, but the kids were quite honest, in their expressions, that they judged me a bit weird.

Well, I am rubber and you are glue, kids. I wasn’t the one wearing a Santa outfit or a dress pinned back with kitchen clips, was I? Nor did I wear antlers — I’m looking at you, Rheaen :)