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When I saw an advert for a volunteer photographer, I was immediately interested. I do a lot of photography as a hobby and hoped I would be able to capture some lovely moments that the families would appreciate.

I try to get there before the start of the event as it is nice to meet the other volunteers and find out who would like to be photographed. They are great days; it might be a farm, a circus act, making Halloween potions or photographing children with a princess. There are also parent/carer sessions and of course, the pool!

During the session I try and get a photo of each child enjoying an activity, perhaps with a sibling or family member. I try to blend into the background but sometimes the children will approach me and ask or pose. I always introduce myself to the parent as it is nice to know who is wandering round with a camera and it helps to be patient and wait for the moment – it might be a brief smile or a look, something that shows the child’s character and enjoyment.

I loved the opportunity to capture the children’s reactions to the visiting farm and the Father Christmas and elves visit. I like the family sessions where the parent and child are making something together – and the child only sessions where a child might arrive tearful or nervous, but then I photograph them laughing with the others.

Occasionally I have been asked to do a very special photo shoot with a family and child – I am honoured that the family have allowed me to be there at a very difficult time for them and that I have photographed some very special moments for them.

The most fulfilling part of being a volunteer photographer, is getting to know the families and the children – it is lovely to see them at the events. It is an amazing organisation to be part of and the staff are so wonderful with everyone! Editing the photos and knowing that it’s a great photo – and hoping that the parent thinks so too.

A hospice sounds like a difficult and sad place to visit but there are so many happy moments and special memories being made there, and a lot of laughter. The team have been welcoming and I look forward to the events that I am attending.