France Through the Eyes of Children


Animals learn by imitation and so it goes for our species – children copy their parents. Roddy and I are never without a camera, and gradually it seems to be that neither are our children, and the way they are documenting their lives is fascinating. Along with iPhones and iPads, they are also using proper cameras, both their own and ours, and as a result I thought today I’d share with you how they see France through their eyes. All of the photos here are theirs, reflecting what they see and think. Here Gigi recently happened to be in Paris, lucky girl!

Our tribe of five run from ten to twenty years old, I asked each of them to forward me copies of some of their favourite photos and they were very excited to help. “We’re going to be featured on the blog!” was a typical reply, and truly you would think their work was heading for the Tate Gallery, they were so happy! Most of these photos are simple snapshots from phones – no special fancy lenses –  but every subject is from ‘our’ France, and from all around the country. So grab a coffee or glass of wine (depending on the time of day) and sit back and enjoy –  remember that it is YOU and your interest in the blog that has helped foster their interest in photography, and by default, appreciation for their surroundings. I am so so grateful that the blog has created this situation, and if you have a few moments to offer them some words of encouragement at the end, they will love you forever!

No journey is ever dull if one looks around. 14034809_10206445739371631_6618936023933029950_n

Slowing down on this country road, Gigi opened her window and snapped what she saw in the wing mirror, this is looking backwards at the road we had just travelled.18470675_290191218089155_217194753_n

Watching our baby chicks is a fabulous way to waste a considerable amount of time. At five days old they have already learnt so much from following their mother’s lead; never far from her side.P6080789


All our children love taking photos, in many ways they have gained their inspiration from this blog and that’s thanks to you, to every single person who is reading this now. If you didn’t read and follow, I wouldn’t write, and then I wouldn’t be forever taking photos. The children follow my lead. They notice things around them that, like me, perhaps they would have taken for granted before. They have become very visually aware.

Spring flowers in Morlaix, Brittany, during Millie’s trip there whilst sailing last year.18308905_1310984435663364_96326822_n

The evening sun captured by Jack 18387343_290191284755815_369290125_n


and April showersIMG_7256

bring forth an abundant flush of spring flowers.18386870_290191264755817_1063011366_n



Boats, harbours and beaches, in fact anything coastal related naturally features heavily in all of their photo albums!18450009_1310984828996658_1515319818_n







As well as lazy days lying on the grass and evening walks.IMG_7253



Back up to Morlaix in Brittany by Millie on a rainy day18449914_1310984488996692_1111913908_n

and then on to the Île d’Yeu just off the Vendée coast in western France.18447910_1310984622330012_1538002565_n

Nantes Cathedral.18424970_1310984538996687_1683163837_n

And of course they had to include animals and insects! Hetty’s photo of Clara, one of our cats, is an all time favourite of mine!18424661_303552603413498_767833432_n





When Izzi is home from University she loves wandering the local streets of Rochefort14022165_10206445724691264_912393553489515257_n


and everyone loves taking photos of home cooked, home grown or locally gathered food.18425931_303549723413786_462582304_n



Being an art student, Izzi has a fascination for signs.14068041_10206445721811192_8617238678349717985_n



It really doesn’t matter what peeks one’s interest, for we are all different of course; we all see things in our own unique way, and what fascinates one may bore another. When one photo may delight the photographer, another observer may find it dull. For me however, my journey into photography is all about noticing things and not taking anything for granted. If a simple phone-camera can make a car journey, long or short, interesting; or if the passenger looks around, chatters, snaps away and asks me to slow down or pull over, then surely that is time so much better spent than simply ignoring everything with eyes glued to a mobile screen until a destination is reached. Even when in a heavy traffic jam, there’s always something to look at, and if that something just happens to be the Arc de Triomphe (lucky Gigi), then so much the better!


Some photos have been taken through glass, windows or otherwise – but you may have noticed!



196 thoughts on “France Through the Eyes of Children

  1. What a visual treat, I am assuming you don’t want us to pick a favourite! But I am going to all the same, it has to be the cat, those eyes, well captured Hetty!

  2. I think the worst invention ever was in car DVD players. What happened to a good old fashioned game of I Spy? The problem nowadays children don’t know how to amuse themselves, there is always instant entertainment on hand. Being bored is good, but now when boredom strikes children turn on their electronics, many have totally lost the art of conversation altogether. I’d better not get started on this or I will go on for hours! Great post, well done kids, you’re going to grow into intelligent, interesting adults. Keep it up.

    1. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on who is reading this, we have never had dvd’s in our cars or gone down that route, yet what is interesting is all our children love long road trips, hours in the car is viewed as fun, watching the changing scenery, so something must be right somewhere! xx

    1. I can imagine! and going back to my childhood when I would take photos and then have to wait a week whilst Boots developed them! Life is so easy now, we discard what we don’t like and just keep on snapping away and even in a phone the lens is so good nowadays! xx

  3. Oh how wonderful this is to see France 🇫🇷 through their eyes . What amazing inspiring pictures. It’s wonderful they are seeing what’s around them instead of eyes stuck in a game. You must be so proud of them all. Keep taking pictures xxx

    1. I am so proud, but then as parents, aren’t we all! But yes, I am pleased they look around them. When we are in the car, we chat, no one ever sits on their phone, I’m a bit of a stickler about that! xx

  4. Great series of photos. A recent study I came across showed that people who photograph what they are looking at enjoy the experience more. I think your family definitely falls into this category.

    1. How interesting, well I think I can honestly say we all get the most we can out of life and enjoy even the most simple things. By the way, sometimes I can comment on your blog, like the other day, and at others I can’t, like yesterday when I tried to talk about cherries after your post! Very odd!! xx

  5. Rear shot in wing mirror and evening sun are great shots! Well done to all the Hay’s large or small!xx

    1. Thanks so much Penny, I love that wing mirror shot, I have to keep looking at it to make sure I am getting it the right way round, especially with the trees on top above the mirror looking just the same! xx

  6. Seen through the eyes of your children. Precious memories, precious children. Loved the mothers hen with her babies.

  7. You are right in that we enjoy your eyes view of things and places around you. It helps me become aware of the beauty around across the pond and the simple beauty around me.

    1. I totally agree, being able to show photos to other people does make us look around and take note of our surroundings more and I am so pleased the children are not just taking everything for granted, but really appreciating what is around them. xx

  8. What a delightful selection and how nice to have such comprehensive documentation of your lives, you will treasure these memories in years to come.

  9. Bravo! I enjoyed each and every one! I hope you will continue to post treasures seen through your children’s eyes. A ‘good eye’ must be in their genes! 😍

    1. I will from time to time, because I find it fascinating too to see what they are seeing, they love taking photos, they always have a phone with them, it’s 2017 after all, and they snap away! xx

  10. I am duly impressed. A friend once told me that the more you take the better you get. She encouraged me to join one of the online picture a day challenges, I didn’t and my photography shows it! Thanks for sharing. Great views of the life they lead.

    1. I think we are so lucky that with digital cameras we can all just shoot away. When I was growing up, of course I had to have each film developed, it was expensive and time consuming and seemed such a waste just to throw things away. Now of course, we can take 20 photos of one thing and just choose which one is best. It certainly makes it much easier and a lot more fun!! xx

  11. Absolute perfection! It actually brought tears to my eyes – I’m not sure why. Just made me overwhelmed with happiness. Kudos to all! I am applauding for an encore, again and again.

  12. Fantastic photos and so impressed that all your children take general views as opposed to just selfies, well done you and Roddy for encouraging them

    1. Ahhh, the dreaded selfie, they do take those too! But even on their social media pages they actually post interesting photos and scarcely ever selfies. So something right is happening! xx

    1. Thanks so much, that was Jack’s photo, he took whilst wandering with friends on an early release from school day! He will be so pleased, he said it was his favourite photo too! Have a great end to the week and weekend xx

  13. How wonderful to be inspiring to your children. To see them react to what you love and capture their own impressions. Do you think iphones will replace the traditional camera? At this point not sure if they are multi dimensional enough. Somehow would be sorry to see the traditional camera fade away.

    1. I am truly not sure. I love using my iPhone for photos and do so a lot. I also use it for all my videos of the children. But, where I find it lets me down is if I want to zoom in, then the photos become pixilated. But for a general view whilst out walking the dogs, can’t beat it, plus I always have my phone with me and not always my camera! So in answer, I don’t know, possibly, who knows! xx

  14. Thank you for the visual tour of France. I really enjoyed the spirit of God as you captured the beauty and simple pleasures of nature in this diverse world He created. I, too, taught our son to see things through a camera lense. One day he took a picture of an eagle feeding her young in their nest by placing binoculars over his camera lense; it really allowed us a close-up view…enchanting. Your children took relaxing and interesting photos, and you are doing a wonderful job of parenting.

    1. Thanks so much Susan, how fantastic that your son was able to take such a shot and how inventive, who had the idea of placing the binoculars over the camera lens, that is so clever, I have never thoughts of that and nor have the children, but I will tell them and I am sure they will be trying this at the weekend, such a great idea, thank you. xx

  15. It was the opposite in my family. My daughter took up an interest in photography. I started seeing the world differently and now I snap pictures with my iPhone constantly.

    1. So often I find our children are an inspiration to us, as you have found with your daughter. Thank goodness for iPhones, I use mine for lots of my photos as it is always with me when often the camera isn’t. I wouldn’t be without it! xx

  16. All of the photos and the text accompanying them wove together perfectly – kudos to all. The photos of Morlaix and the handful of chestnuts (?) get my vote.

    1. Thanks so much, I love all of them, but then I am biased, but yes I do love the Morlaix ones and the chestnut ones, because for me they bring back so many memories! xx

  17. Something to love about each of these photos. What strikes me most is how your children are so sensitive to color, choosing striking blocks or sets of color as their subjects, or an intense single color like the blue of a sky or deep burnished chestnut. If the color of an object is more bland, they go for an interesting angle, as in Gigi’s Paris photos, or dynamic play, as in the stop-action photo someone took of Millie (?) jumping down over the driftwood log. I loved the soft pink glow on the buildings and all the compositions in Izzi’s Rochefort photos. And of course, the animal photos are absolutely charming, as the kids know how to capture their personalities. Hetty’s “gendarme” is so elegant and leathery! Hard to pick a favorite, and I do hope you will encourage them to submit again, perhaps on a theme. Most nostalgic and beautiful to me in this set was that simple late sun photo that Jack took in the colza field. I was transported to my own childhood and a very similar photo I had taken one summer in a field of Queen Anne’s lace when I was about 12. Please thank all of your children for sharing these pictures. I hope that whatever else they may want to do in life, they will always take time to save memories like this.

    1. Thanks so much Ellen, I know the children are all reading these comments and will continue to do so at the weekend, they were fascinated to hear that people were actually interested in their photos. You have really understood each of the things they have captured so well. I am shocked that each one thinks in such an artistic way, but so proud too and extremely happy that they take the time to appreciate things around them, I think it means they really do get so much more out of life. I hope you have a lovely end to the week and weekend xx

  18. I was struck by how varied these photos were. Sky, beaches, animals, towns, flowers. It appears your children are truly taking in the whole world around them! I have several favorites in this collection: the wing mirror shot–love the perspective and especially the road behind. I love pictures of small country lanes; the photo in motion of one of your girls jumping over the log in the beach; the shot of the single flower; the table shot of food and flowers at your home; Paris, of course and the street scenes in one of your small towns. Please do another post of their photos. It gives us a chance to view your beautiful France!

    1. I purposefully mixed them all up, rather than having one set from each child as they each have so many different things they love but at the same time they all appreciate the same things! I most certainly will post more from time to time, perhaps during the summer, it is rather fun seeing which photos they liked the most and also feeling their excitement, they are reading the comments and they are just amazed and so happy that people are so enjoying the photos! xx

  19. What a gift you have given your children to just open their eyes! I loved all of the photos and send links to your postings to several friends. I look forward to each new posting – you may not know how many people you touch.

    1. Thanks so much, I really appreciate you sending links to friends and I am so grateful that people actually like reading the blog! The children have been reading the comments, they are amazed that so many people love their photos! Hope you have a lovely end to the week and weekend xx

  20. Susan, what a brilliant idea for a blog post. It is amazing how we all see things differently…and notice different things. Well done Clan Hays….


    1. Thanks so much Ali, we all have our favourites and the children were really so so excited to have their photos included, that is no exaggeration! Thank goodness for iPhones!! xxx

    1. I totally agree, appreciating the simple things around us really does make life so much more fulfilling and I hope our children really do understand that. xx

  21. These form a great scrapbook of your lives in France. I particularly like the photos of things like the ripples in the sand, the cat’s face, raindrops on glass. But really, I don’t like to choose. They all offer vignettes of your daily round. They’re great!

    1. Thanks so much Margaret, you know what it’s like here in France, there is so much to photograph and so much inspiration all around us, but because it is here all the time, we can sometimes take it all for granted, so I am so pleased that the children do stop and take the time to appreciate what is around them and realise how lucky they are. xx

  22. This is WONDERFUL……….kids you will have your PARENTS EYE when you arrive to become an ADULT!Keep snapping and make albums.I still like to print out a few photos from time to time to frame or use as THANK YOU CARDS!I do feel ONE day that computer may EXPLODE and ALL will be GONE……… have a back up of your favorites somewhere!!!XX

    1. Back ups are absolutely vital, I agree. Photos are such an important source of memories. Printing some out to use as thank you cards is a brilliant idea. The French don’t write thank you notes in the way we Brits do. We will always drop a note to say thank you for dinner, but the French think we are bizarre, they say thank you there and then! But I still make all the children write hand written thank you cards for all of their birthday and christmas presents! xx

  23. There are some absolute crackers here and not a single dud. I love Millie’s rainy day in Brittany and Hetty’s cat, Jack’s sunshine, Gigi’s rear view mirror and Izzie’s wanderings. Honestly, you have every right to be proud of them and they have every right to be proud of themselves. Move over Bailey and Lichfield (but you would have to explain to them who this old fossil is talking about 😉) xx

    1. You are so sweet, mentioning each of them, but then as you have a tribe of children yourself, you know what it’s like, plus mine are all very competitive!! I mentioned this comment to them at supper, Millie knew who David Bailey was, but Lichfield no! The others, just stared blankly, no idea whatsoever!!! There’s nothing like children to make us feel old! They still think I grew up in the dark ages, I mean, I had no iPhone to take photos, just a Kodak instamatic! xx

      1. You did grow up in the dark ages. Along with me. I do have a tribe and I couldn’t dream of not mentioning them all … mine also are very competitive and I still often feel like the referee or hear myself coming out with some sort of Ham Buddhist wisdom when I feel a competitive battle brewing. For example my elder two are both in Media Marketing – one works for THE industry magazine and show and the other is digital. One works in London, the other all over the Far East but based in KL. You would think they would compare notes but NO … they are competing and I have to don the wise sage hat and keep very level and non-partisan. Hilarious. Chapeau to Millie – she gets the gold star (but don’t tell!!!) xx

        1. We did indeed, remember when the phone rang and we would have to sit by it, or stand in just one place. I thought of this this morning as I was chatting to Izzi. She always calls me via messenger (it’s free) as she’s walking to Uni, I put my phone on speaker so I can empty the dishwasher, clear away breakfast etc as we chatter. How times have changed. I know all about the competition, we have one pair that are in constant competition, and another too, but I won’t mention names until I see you!! But then they are best buddies at the same time, rarely an argument, just a need to win!! I wonder where they get that from! Must be all the pony club days! Xx

          1. Oh from the mummy’s doubtless … I’m very competitive in my way. I do remember having to be still in one place on the phone …. it was very hard when a teen and the phone was in the hall just outside the kitchen door where my mother seemingly lived permanently …. happy days though and though communication is so much improved (I use messenger for all mine too) there are so many things I don’t think improved. And best friends? To the end! Xx

          2. Our phone was in the kitchen, nothing private about it at all. However, every now and then I could sneak into my Fathers’s study and use his phone, totally undetected of course! Things have certainly changed for sure, but I am so happy that communication is so much better, I cannot imagine not being able to talk to Izzi whenever I wanted! xx

    1. Thanks so much Debra, I am so happy that they all appreciate what is around them and that they take their time to stop and snap a photo here and there. I certainly can’t ask for any more than this. Have a great weekend xx

  24. So wonderful your children are noticing and enjoying the world around them. Seems today, children are into iPad, computers and video games and are almost oblivious to the world around them. I pray we all would stop and smell the roses. So refreshing. Thanks.

    1. I so agree with you Pat, there is so much more to the world than just electronics and I am so pleased that the children actually enjoy snapping photos and that’s why I was so happy to share their photos. xx

  25. I love them all! What a splendid idea. I often feel a little sad that “picture-taking” wasn’t common when I was a kid. I so wish I had photos of my mother and father, and even myself, taken in everyday situations.

    1. Hi Angela, I don’t think any of us who grew up in the pre-digital era took so many photos. It was expensive and far more complicated. Nowadays, we can snap away, taking 20 photos or more of just one thing to get the perfect shot and what we don’t like we can discard. Can you imagine doing that when a film only had 24 or 36 photos! I was lucky my mother had a huge interest in photography and learnt to develop her own and set up a dark room in the house, perhaps that’s where my love of photography came from! xx

  26. Your children’s photos show that they have a flair for composition and capturing the moments as they come. What a wonderful gift you’ve modeled for them. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing France through their lens’.

    1. So happy you have enjoyed this Lorrie, they really were so excited to be included and this evening they are even happier that people actually liked their photos! Have a lovely weekend xx

  27. Ahhh, you have taught your children well! Great photos, each and every one! However, that cat photo needs to be a poster. Love the quote “No journey is dull if one looks around”, so true. Love your blog!!!

    1. Thanks so much Gwen, I love driving and I adore car journeys, I cover far too many miles every day taking children here and there, and I love it! There is always something new to see! I am so happy that the children do take the time to look around and to take photos, they have their own special memories captured forever. xx

  28. What a wonderful collection! I can’t say my children take many photos and usually what I get is ‘Do we have to wait while you take pictures before we eat?’ I particularly love the cat one. xx

    1. All of our children love snapping away, Izzi has a very grown up camera which we gave her last year, but she does need it for Uni. The others use their iPhones, but they do love taking photos and fortunately not just selfies! Mine know only too well the saga of taking the photos before we get to eat and then taking another and another!!! Have a great weekend, I gather it’s meant to be getting really warm, yippee! xx

        1. I wish I was as organised as you! I frequently forget my camera but I do always have my iphone with me and I find it really does take fabulous photos so long as I don’t zoom in!! Fabulous weather here this weekend, the children swam for the first time this afternoon!! Hope the sun was shining with you too xx

  29. I think each of them has a good eye, even though not every photo turns out perfectly, just as ours don’t. It’s fun to be able to take a photo from the car…if you’re not the driver, although I’ve taken a few while stopped. We never had a DVD player in any of our vans, although they probably weren’t available for the first few. But we had lots of things for them to do, such as stickers and sticker books, art materials, books and songs on tape (we’re going back a bit here), etc. Sometimes we’d look for license plates from every state or even, gasp, talk or look out the window. Our girls are good travelers for that reason and don’t need to be constantly entertained.

    You’re doing a great job, Mom and Dad! 🙂


    1. You’ve done the same thing as we have. We look at number plates and work out which department they are from and we also love spotting foreign cars, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, they are common, but sometimes we’ll get plates from Lithuania or somewhere further afield, it always causes much excitement! Definitely remember the songs, although they were on cd’s, Bananas in Pyjamas comes to mind and also cd books, we’ve listened to plenty of Roald Dahl and amongst other things on long journeys! xx

  30. What lovely photos! Your children are extremely artistic and talented by the looks of it! My favorites are the castle off the Île d’Yeu and the little harbor with the wall and the boats! Pass along my congratulations to whoever took them!

    1. Thanks so much Josephine, both of those belong to Millie and she will be absolutely delighted! They were taken when she was sailing with her godmother last summer all down the west coast of France, a great trip and huge adventure! xx

  31. the apple never falls far from the tree and all kids really make an effort. To see the world through a lens extended their ken (?did I use it correctly?) enormous and I wish photography becomes one of their hobbies.

  32. I thought I was going to be able to choose a clear favorite, but that’s impossible! Every photo is blog worthy! Wonderful and thanks, kids, for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca, the children are so so happy and amazed that people love their photos, I think it really will encourage them to keep on snapping away and that means they take notice of everything around them which is so important. Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  33. Those are very good photographs. I’m struck by how almost all of them are beautifully composed and make great use of color and contrast.
    A few faves, although no space to list all: Jack’s raindrops, Gigi’s blue railings and pink flowers, the bleu et blanche et rouge of the lighthouse, Millie’s Vendee fortress, Hetty’s (?) cow with good camouflage, the close-up of a handful of chestnuts. The colors, the light! Oh, my.

    1. Thanks so much Emm, you got them all right apart from the cow which is actually Jack’s! But it’s immaterial anyway, I am just so happy that they are noticing things around them and appreciating them, ant ask for anything more than that! But then there is much to photograph here, what’s not to like!! xx

  34. Susan,congratulations are highly in order for both you and your talented children.
    Your example(s) have given them inspiration,and how wonderful that they have taken this gift and developed it
    in their own ways,with marvelous results.Their photos not only impress us,but most of all, will be just never to be forgotten reminders for them of “their” France,and the glorious childhood they shared together and with you.
    A loving family and a glorious place to live ;including health(of course) what a blessing for all!

    1. Thanks so much Natalia, we are so happy that they actually do look around them and that they appreciate the simple things, a bee, a butterfly, an insect, a new flower or a special view. They notice how the barley sways in the breeze and they take photos on their phones. I am sure it means they enjoy life so much more here. Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  35. Dear children of Susan and Roddy. I loved all your photos and I shouldn’t have favourites, but some really stood out for me. I loved that beetle shot- just fabulous, and the chestnuts in the hand, and also that very blue toy shop photo.Prizes will be awarded when I visit in October. Francesca ( I hope these three weren’t all taken by the same person!)

    1. Thanks Francesca, no they weren’t all taken by the same person, all three were different! So looking forward to meeting you in October, but I also don’t want to wish the summer away, it is so fantastic to be enjoying warm weather and greenery everywhere, we are all just loving this time of year! xx

  36. What a wonderful life for your children and the proof is that they actually notice their surroundings. Great work kids xoxo

    1. Thanks Lisa, I agree with you in that it is fabulous that they do stop and notice what is around them, can’t ask for anything more than that! Have a great weekend xx

  37. What a brilliant idea to show these photos. I loved every one and simply can’t choose a favorite, each one told a story about a life in France. So enjoyed the tour, thank you.

    1. Thanks Bev, phones have many advantages, certainly they have enabled the children to take their photos and store their memories. I use my phone for photos so frequently, I would hate to be without it! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  38. Every picture was so special! As a retired teacher, I love things from a child’s point of view. Of course the photos are beautiful, but the subjects are so much fun! Everything from a beautiful insect, to a famous site, is displayed as important enough to capture. Loved every one! Beautiful work from your beautiful children!

    1. Thanks so much Mandy, I love the enquiring minds of children and their constant yearning to know more, to learn. When they take photos they go back through them and then they notice things and it starts a conversation, the power of images! Have a great weekend xx

  39. Oh, many, many thanks to you and your children for sharing their wonderful photographs with all of us!! What a treat it is for me to see France through their eyes as well as yours. Your observation about taking life slowly enough to appreciate the details and one’s surroundings is so apt. I couldn’t agree more. My corollary is also to try to see as others see and experience life. One does that for many reasons, principally to develop and experience empathy, but also because it is so enriching. For example, not being an art student like your Izzi, I have never thought of focusing on the different fonts, colors and compositions in signs! Beautiful and so interesting to me. I would love her to tell us some time what considerations, if any, influence these selections besides pure aesthetics.

    1. I asked Izzi this when we chatted this morning, we talk most mornings as she is walking to University! She is drawn to the different styles, the bold colours, on the for rent sign, she particularly loved the simplicity of it. She actually studies Design so she is very helpful when it comes to anything blog related! I am always quite shocked to see what the children take photos of, I am so happy that they actually appreciate the little things and nature rather than just endless selfies. Hope you have a wonderful weekend xx

  40. Darn it: Francesca comments first from here Down Under and always seems to say what I was going to! Susan, this is a wonderful compilation as you do not be told by us. Parents ‘bring’ children up – you have done a fantastic job, and, amongst many other facets, we are lucky enough to reap just some of the benefits. On my weekend list: look at each one slowly and carefully and savour! OK: this may be undiplomatic, but just adored Gigi’s clear and beautifully positioned wing-mirror pic, Hetty’s ‘Clara’ of course . . . and, coming from a country of beaches, that wonderful driftwood one made piquant by one of your pups finding interesting smells . . . .

    1. It’s obviously an Australian thing, wanting to say the same thing!! I think it’s fine to have favourites, the children are big enough to understand that, but I can tell you they read all the comments last night! They are a competitive bunch, Millie and Gigi by far the most though! I, like you, just adore anything that is beach related, but that’s because I am a coastal girl, I love nothing better than to walk along the sand or look out to sea. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. I should add that the photo with the dog on the beach, is Bentley, he’s Australian, born in Sydney! Xx

      1. Well, I grew up in Sydney [tho’ a long time before Bentley!] so that gives us a tenuous, well very, very tenuous link one to the other *huge smile*!

        1. Ha ha, well it is a tiny link indeed! He left there when he was six months old, but he is Australian through and through. Roddy always jokes that that is why he loves nothing better than to lie in the sun all day! xx

  41. I think you haven’t taught them photography so much as you have taught them to see and that is a fabulous gift. Some of these photos are stunning–and what an array! Thanks for showing them.

    1. Thanks so much, you are probably right, as I am no photographer, I just snap away and they follow my lead, but yes they have learnt to look at things far more closely and to appreciate the ordinary. Have a great weekend xx

      1. I think learning to look is a really great thing–and you’re photos re great! I remember when I was using film thinking 1 or 2 really fabulous pictures off a roll of 24 was a good rate. Of course, now I can look, delete and try again!

  42. “No journey is ever dull if one looks around” That is so true. Lovely photos from your children.

    1. There is always something to see, something to talk about, it doesn’t have to be pretty, anything can spark a conversation! Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

  43. What lovely photos, Ms. Susan. I don’t have a favorite, they are all lovely. They inherited your eye for beauty. I do have a question though. Where is that golden sand with fallen log (?) and driftwood (?). These photos make me want to move to France..or visit. Feast for my eyes, as we are in the hottest month ever. Very hot and humid here. My big thanks to the children for sharing their photos. Have a lovely weekend.

    1. Thanks so much and I will pass this along to the children, they have so enjoyed reading the comments and sharing their photos and they are amazed at how many people liked them! The beach is Bonne Anse in La Palmyre on the western Atlantic coast, very close to where we live. It looks across the Gironde Estuary to the Medoc, the very famous wine producing region. I don’t envy you the humidity, hopefully it will cool down soon. Have a lovely weekend xx

  44. Well, there are so many photos which are truly exceptional in this collection! The rearview mirror, Clara, the beetle, stepping off the log into the sand, that glorious flower (He loves me, he loves me not), the hen with her chicks, and the wonderful lavender light caught when photographing the signs. I could go on and on. Congrats to all five of your children!

    1. Thanks so much Judy, they were amazed at how many people liked their photos! It makes me so happy that they notice things around them and don’t just take selfies! Hope you have had a lovely Mother’s Day xx

  45. What I love most to think about as I looked at these amazing photos is that your children actually stopped for a minute, an hour, an afternoon, just to appreciate something. We move so fast and are so busy that I fear our children will lose the joy of appreciating the soft fluff of a chick, the shapes in a cloud, the glisten of rain on a leaf. You are teaching your children to see all of these and so much more.

    1. I so aree Cyndi, this is why I was so exited to share their photos, because I was so pleased that they take photos of things around them, of buildings, of nature, of anything other than just selfies. It is fabulous in this fast paced world that they do have time to stop and enjoy the simple things. Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  46. Really enjoyed these photos, Susan. What a wonderful idea and what gifted photographers you have. So many favorites! Along with those already mentioned, I also loved the shots through fences… It gave me ideas for my own photos.
    Yes, I too look forward to seeing more through the eyes of your whole family. (And just when i thought a wonderful blog couldn’t get any better!)

    1. Thanks so much Adelia, it was just as much fun for me to see what they had chosen and to know that they do take the time to stop and appreciate all the natural beauty around them. It’s wonderful when our own children offer us inspiration! Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  47. Very lovely lot and enjoy seeing through the children’s eye. And a very photographic eye they have learned to develop! (pun intended). These were fun and interesting, post some again sometime.

    1. Thanks so much Sara, It would certainly be fun to do this again, maybe in the summer. It is fabulous to see that the children actually do note things around them. Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  48. Very pretty photos, well done. I love the one of the house with the wisteria. Looks so cosy.

    1. Thanks so much, the wisteria was fabulous this year, as I am sure it was with you too. All over for a bit now, but usually we get a second flush of flowers mid summer. Hope you have had a lovely weekend, fantastic weather here xx

  49. Thank you for sharing the photos. I so enjoyed seeing so many different and interesting shots, and would be very hard pressed to chose a favorite! Your children have presented a real visual treat, and I hope we will see more of their work on future posts.

    1. Thanks so much Jae, I am sure I will do this again in the summer, I am so so pleased that they are stopping and enjoying things around them and taking the time to photograph nature. Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

  50. well as you are, so too your children are “noticers”…i am as well…most folks would be more calm and peaceful if they learned to appreciate their surroundings, especially animals and nature…your children have a keen eye and i love all the photos…thanks for sharing and i love your blog…hope to visit france some day but your blog makes me feel as though i am there…happy mother’s day!

    1. Thanks so much Mary, I think it is so important that everyone takes the time to appreciate the simple things around us and I am so happy that the children do actually stop and look and bother to take a photo. I so hope you do get to visit France some day, it is a beautiful and varied country, there really is something for everyone. xx

    1. Thanks so much Janet, I am just so happy that the children actually take the time to notice things around them and the fact that they then take photos is just the icing on the cake! I can’t ask for any more that that. Hope you have had a lovely weekend xx

      1. As you said in your blog…they are following your lead which is taking them to all sorts of creative places….and there’s nothing more powerful than that. I love it when young people begin to ‘see’ rather than just ‘look’ – Wishing you and the children dlovely one and week ahead…Janet 🙂 xx

        1. I do so agree with you and I think the camera enables us to see so much more, we look that much harder and notice so much more. Fantastic start to the week here, 30C today! Hope you too have a lovely week xx

  51. Your children have certainly inherited their parents’ photographer’s eye. Fabulous shots, do thank them for sharing with us, they are all lovely of course but the ones that caught my eye were the wing mirror, the daisy, the rapeseed field and of course the cat. What a talented bunch you have.

    1. Thanks so much Fiona, I hope you are well recovered and have been able to enjoy some fun filled days whilst you are here and also some good weather, this weekend has been absolutely fabulous here, the children swam for the first time this afternoon! xx

  52. I know I’m late in posting, but did want to say Thanks to your children for the great tour! All were favorites and everyone did a Fantastic job. I did not have the good fortune to grow up in a household where Mom and Dad participated in our lives, so I find this wonderful and am so happy for them. Good on you and Roddy!

    1. Thanks so much Audrey, I am so pleased that the children actually do take the time to stop and appreciate the simple things around them. They were so excited to do this and so surprised that so many people liked their photos! Hope you have a lovely week xx

  53. So many beautiful pictures, it’s hard to choose a favorite. The raindrops on the car window. The action picture of one of your girls hopping over a log. All beautiful.

  54. Congratulations to all your children, each and every photo is a masterpiece in its own right. They deserve to be very proud of their achievements. I imagine that your walls must be full to overflowing with their framed prints? They are all amazing shots, but the standout for me is the lighthouse (and Clara the cat, of course). Camera phones have given so much more freedom to capture a moment instantly. I always loved to take photos with my Brownie, the anticipation of opening the envelope of prints, then the disappointment when only one of the 12 turned out as hoped! Hooray for digital!

    1. Actually our walls are jam packed with their paintings, they are all quite good little artists and of course we are proud parents!! Digital photos have given us all so much freedom and made it possible for us to explore so many opportunities and make mistakes and learn from them. I too remember getting back our long awaited packet of photos only to find over half were awful! Happy memories xx

  55. What a talented family you are- such fabulous photos! I keep meaning to do a photography course at night classes, but think I need a new camera first. My camera is one of these you have to hold away from you & I can’t see what I’m taking (well, that’s my excuse!). x

    1. I would love to take a photography course because I always feel there is so much we can learn, but I just don’t have the time. I read what I can and I think with digital we are so lucky as we can experiment non stop! xx

  56. I love seeing France through your eyes as well as your children. It is always interesting to see what catches someones eye. Love your baby chickens.

  57. To start with; I haven’t read your post until now (Tue 17 May) and neither the comments, so I might probably repeat things that have been said over and over. All my apologies!
    All of last week until yesterday lunch time we had my mother in law on hols at our place. I have never NOT READ less than in those last 8 days…. no blogs, no favourite books, no nothing. I was ‘on stand-by’ nearly 24/7 (8!) – but on Wednesday we went to Giverny, visiting Monet’s Garden and house. I took, in a few hours, 270 photos!!!! It was AMAZING, we saw so much, were mesmerized again and again, (this was my 3rd or 4th visit), we were just SO HAPPY to partake in all this beauty! Mum i.l.’s birthday was on Thursday – so I cooked her favourite meal – and for the weekend we invited her to a night in Orléans where we had an assignment and a BBQ invite on Sunday. Again, so many pics were taken, although I left the camera back in the car on Sunday for the BBQ…. After a wonderful meal (both on Saturday: Italian and Sunday: BBQ) we went for a walk to digest all the goodness – and yesterday pm, after having delivered m.i.l. safely to her place in the TGV taking her back to Zurich, I ‘rewarded’ myself with a visit of the Pissarro exhibition at the Musée du Luxembourg (garden) and with a long an lazy stroll across this so very beautiful, cool and for once uncrowded Garden. Another ….. photos, I haven’t been able to download them even! Today, four machines of washing (we went to CH to pick mother in law up so the weekend before we were off too!), all being hung out into the fresh air and sunshine – whenever a new load was done, the load before was dry and smelled wonderful. I wash with Indian wash nuts and add some drops of English lavender essence to the wash, so all smells fresh and nice….. You are literally the first ‘stop’ of my LIFE AFTER HER VISIT 🙂
    I’m seduced by the animal shots, love, love them, even though I’m not a special fan of cats but Hetty’s close-up is mesmerizing, there are some rather amazing nature shots too (yeah, I too take tons of mostly horrible photos through the car window ((always dirty!!!))) and of the view in the side mirror ((NOT when I’m driving!)), AND the action shot, and the ‘feel’ of the Time of the Day, and the often ‘small’ details which come to the ‘front’…. You are most definitely one happy, hugely talented and properly ‘NORMAL’ FAMILY. I am glad to have been spared the 10’000 selfies — I have once bought a stick for €1.- at Auchan (had only to buy stuff for some 3 gazillion Euros! NOT) and haven’t even unpacked it….
    Thanks for this tremendous ‘welcome back’ gift I found in my inbox. Now I think I will get to hang up the last lot of my washing before ‘re-dressing’ my beds and cleaning up the guest bedroom.

    1. I am so envious you got to visit Giverny, I have been once, more years ago than I care to remember, it was with my Mother and I was a teenager, I enjoyed it but that’s all, now I know I would be totally transfixed and like you take so so many photos. It sounds as if you have had a wonderful time and I am sure your MIL is very grateful. Roddy once gave me a selfie stick, a joke as a stocking filler one Christmas, I don’t even know where it is, yes I am guilty, I take the odd selfie and then laugh at how awful it is, the children do the same, but I am so happy to see they also enjoy other things too, the simple delights of nature. Now the rain is coming down and no doubt with you too, no more washing on the line for a day or so!!! xx

      1. Giverny is a place you can NEVER have visited often enough. Should you ever come to visit us, it’s a MUST.
        An English girlfriend will be touring France with a group at the end of the month and their first visit upon arriving in Paris will be Monet’s Garden! Lucky group ….

          1. Oh Y.E.S…….. If it’s so delightful with mum-in-law, just think of how much fun it would be with the 2 of us (or 4….) 🙂 🙂 🙂
            Wishing you a most happy week – beautiful weather again, back from a truly soul-filling choral weekend, the world is once more a beautiful place!

          2. It would be utter heaven, we shall make it happen, someday and some way! Fabulous weather, forecast all week too, so glad you had such a great weekend and hope this week is just as good xx

  58. Sorry, one more question: Is that yellow shot a ‘rape field’ (colza)? I took similar ‘fake’ close-up’s from our ‘prairie’ which my HH decided to let grow for a few months….. It’s not very handy as we now have 60cm high marguerites (daisies) growing in between the stepping stones and vast devastations where nothing much would grow anyway – but one hour ago he decided he would cut ‘the grass’ – well Good LUck to him and thanks for that glorious summer-feeling photo in gold 🙂

      1. We drive past so manc colza fields, it’s an always amazing sight! Sadly, we have no sunflower fields, THAT I would love….

        1. I love the sunflower fields here in the summer, they are incredible and they are everywhere, we are surrounded by them and I love how they turn their heads to follow the sun, nature is so clever really when you think about it. Xx

  59. Wonderful piccys from your children. In this respect at least they could be said to be following in your footsteps whilst adding their own perspective. How proud you must be of them.

  60. This is just a fabulous post. I can see exactly why you are thrilled with them, for they are very talented with excellent eyes for perspective, design, color, angle and human interest. My parents were photographers and I had a camera of my own at a very young age and really started ramping it up when I got a little older. Photography really helps you “see” — not just the things in your photos but the area around that allows you to choose that particular shot over another. The things we crop out are also revealing. I am impressed with their work and with your fine insight to make sure they can tell the stories with their images. Bravo to you all.

    1. Thanks so much, I am so happy that they take photos and that they notice the simple things around them. I too find photography fascinating, it’s so interesting to take a shot of something and then to look at it, I find I see things that I never noticed before, it is a great eye opener. xx

  61. Oh my goodness I should have known that your children would be as talented as their mother.
    It is wonderful to see France through Gigi, Millie, Jack Hetty, and
    Izzi lens. I AGREE “No journey is ever dull if one looks around.” 🐝
    I want to do a shout out to each of the children and their wonderful photography. Each and every picture could definitely be in a book sitting on a coffee table or in any entry way.
    Gigi: The Eiffel Tower picture is “spot on.” The backwards road picture has me mesmerized. Need I say more than L💞VE
    the Arc de Triomphe picture!
    Millie: You captured the very essence of beauty in the picture of spring flowers in Morlaix, Brittany. So wonderfully photographed. C’est Tres Bon…🇫🇷 💐
    Jack: The evening sun pictures are some of my favorites. You have talent! 📸
    Hetty, my goodness girl the photo of Clara is Spectacular…those eyes! How old are you? You look like you have been taking pictures for years! 👏🏻
    Izzi: I ❤️ the Fleuriste sign in Rochefort and the store front with the Pressing sign are wonderful. Your photography is going to be such an asset to you in your career. 🎯
    Bravo to each and everyone of you…It is so fun to be able to get to know each of you a little better through the eyes of your lens.
    This journey will take each of you on a different path…but in the end what really counts is family, friends and what each of you individually sees through your lens! Have fun!
    Keep those photographs coming…And know how BLESSED you on to have such a wonderful Mom as you do…
    On that note Happy Belated Mother’s Day Dear Susan! ❤️

    1. No journey is ever dull, be it through a city, the country, wherever, there is always something to talk about, it doesn’t have to be beautiful but it always starts a conversation! Each and every one of the children say a huge Thank you, and Hetty, but the way is 12. I am just happy that they are able to appreciate the small things around them, what more could we ask for! A belated Happy Mother’s Day to you too, although here you are not late, Mother’s Day in France is the last sunday in May!! xx

  62. Am totally in love with the vertical and horizontal lines. Clearly your children take after their mum with having a great photographer’s eye or as my German grandmother used to say, “the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree” (with no dispersions cast). This is definitely a compliment! You have so very much to be proud of with them all and for so many reasons. Well done.

    1. Thanks so much, I am just so happy that they all love to go out and take photos and that they notice things around them, can’t ask for much more than that! Hope you are having a lovely weekend with some sunshine and warm weather! xx

  63. What a sweet family project! I cannot choose a favorite, they all are beautiful and interesting. I admire your intentional parenting- you are not only passing along a love of beauty, but also the skill of observation. Well done and keep it up, you have such a great family!

  64. These are all lovely pictures.. Love seeing them and thank you for sharing. It’s such a wonderful thing to instill the love of photography in your kids as they grow up. I take pictures all the time to chronicle our life and travels. It makes me happy to share them with my family. My husband bought a digital frame that I have on my kitchen counter. We have pictures of family vacations over the years scrolling across the screen. What memories and smiles it brings as I see the images each day. You can never take too many pictures! Love reading all your posts and seeing France through the eyes of you and your family. Hope we will be able to return to France again soon.

    1. Thanks so much Carla, I totally agree, we can never take too many photos, memories are wonderful and it is fabulous to look back through them. Your digital frame on the counter sounds like a fantastic idea. Hope you do get to come back to France soon. xx

  65. I am a Francophile and a South Carolinian, and I really enjoy following you. I love the children’s photos. We gave my six year old grandson an old camera on a visit to France, and his child’s eye views are a treasure. Among his favorite subjects were fire hydrants and numbers!

    1. How fabulous, I don’t think it matters what he took photos of, although I actually love his chosen subjects! So glad that he just loved snapping away. Have a great end to the week xx

    1. But it is always wonderful to dream and if you do manage to make that dream come true, let me know, I will gladly show you around and help you plan your trip xxx

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