Joondalup Extended Family Session | The Lee Family

Last year I captured Amy’s family photo session and this year her and her brothers bought a voucher from me for their mum Mandy’s 60th birthday. Amy is a photographer as well, but it’s so important to also be in the frame, and to capture some images of their entire family together. Photographers also need a photographer sometimes!! They booked in their extended family session, and we chose a spot in Joondalup which overlooks the lake Mandy lives, and the pine forest opposite Amy. Getting the whole family together can always be a challenge with such a large group, but it’s so worth it! It’s not often you get to see how you all look together, and keep some memories of how life looks for you all right now. It’s also a perfect opportunity for cousins to get together, and to watch their special relationship. Little Emily loves her real live baby cousin Taj (who wouldn’t – he is gorgeous!!), and that was obvious in the way she constantly wanted to be near him and to be touching him. The older three were happy to run and spin and play ring a rosy – all gorgeous childhood memories. We also made sure to get some images of Amy with her mum, as they missed out on some together during Amy’s wedding. They’re very close as well, so it’s special to capture that bond. I had some photos with my own mum recently during our own family session, and it means a lot to have them. I hope that my kids choose to have photos with me one day too!

During an extended family session, sometimes there is a family who would prefer their images not to be shared, and that’s completely fine. I’ll always make sure that people are happy for images to be shared, and if they would prefer to keep them private, I’ll make sure not to include them. I had lots of fun shooting with Amy and her family, and I hope they enjoy looking back on their memories forever!

If you’d like to book in a session for yourself, or gift a voucher to someone you love, Contact me here. You can also view more examples of my work in my Family Portfolio.

 

The Pines Wanneroo Couples Session | Josh and Grace

Usually it’s the mum or female partner who contacts me to arrange a shoot, but after a little hinting from Grace, Josh was the one to organise a session! I know that often guys don’t look forward to photo shoots, so it’s extra impressive when someone not only agrees to go along to one, but also actively participates in arranging it! Josh and Grace arrived during the Golden Hour at The Pines in Wanneroo for their couples session amidst a ‘glitter explosion’ in the car – resulting in them being extra sparkly for their photos!

Meeting at good old Maccas 4 years ago, Grace and Josh now have two very young and very cheeky little boys who like to make a mess in the kitchen most mornings – budding chefs perhaps? On top of that Josh works FIFO and Grace studies a double degree at Uni, so their hands are very full. This makes it even more special that they took the time out to have a shoot together to celebrate their relationship – just the two of them, where it all began. I know it can be so hard to be in front of the camera, but these two did so well at having fun together and showing their connection. The end result is some gorgeous images to look back on forever and remember this time in their life. They’ll also be receiving a beautiful photo book to keep those memories safe and all together – there for them to have a trip down memory lane whenever they choose, and something for their boys to look back on and remember their parents as who they are now.

If you’d like to book a session for yourself, Contact me here. You can also view my Couples Portfolio and learn about Why I love photo books.

In-home Newborn Lifestyle Session | Baby O

Before Baby O’s Newborn Lifestyle session, I was warned about the yellow walls in their home, the fact that big sister R might be over-zealous in front of the camera, and the fact that Mum found being in front of the camera awkward and might pull weird expressions. Yet I found none of this when I turned up for the session (well, aside from the yellow walls but I actually loved them!). Despite having missed their morning coffee (I told them afterwards that they totally should have had one while I was there!), this family was full of fun and beautiful connection and no evidence of strange faces being pulled!! Baby O was perfect despite having been suffering from a bit of reflux, and little R was a natural in front of the camera – reading books, twirling in the hallway, dancing with her mum, showing me her crafty creations, jumping on the bed, and being affectionate with her baby sister. You couldn’t ask for anything more really!!

Mum contacted me as she wanted to capture some natural images of them now that they had their second baby girl and had recently moved into their new home. She said that they didn’t have many of the 3 of them before baby O was born, and now that she was here, Mum wanted to make sure they had some photos they were happy to look at – ones that showed who they really were.

There are so many images from this session that I absolutely love, and I’m extremely grateful to them for letting me share some. Some images they want to keep private, and that’s totally fine, I just really appreciate that they’ve let me share these ones with you. Although I obviously love being able to share images, your photos are YOUR story, and I would never want anyone to feel pressured to share them. So if you’re wanting a photo session but you’re worried it means that you have to share your photos, rest assured that I’ll never share any you’re not 100% comfortable with me sharing.

If you’d love to book a session with me, Contact me here. You can also view my Lifestyle Newborn Portfolio here and learn more about what Newborn Lifestyle sessions are here.

Things I learnt from having my own family photo session!

Every year my family holidays in Adelaide with my parents, which is where I grew up until High School. We always stay on the beach in Glenelg (which is the only time we go to the beach!), and this year I wanted to get a family photo shoot to celebrate our holiday together in a place that is very special to us all due to all the memories we’ve created there. I’m part of an amazing photography community called Click Love Grow, and through there I knew that I wanted my photographer to be Michelle Crush Photography as I wanted her to capture those candid moments and connections and I’ve seen that throughout her work. Even though I hate being in front of the camera (super awkward!), I also know how important it is to have those family memories. These are some of the things I learnt by having my own photo session:

Styling is Hard!

Especially when you’re trying to style for a family of 6, plus my parents. I knew I wanted to keep it light and that I wanted to include some pattern and texture, and that I wanted everyone to be comfortable. I was pretty sure of the outfit I was going to wear, so I based my colours around that. I ordered the clothes for the boys from Zara online – I wanted them to be similar but not ‘matchy’ – and in the end I decided to put Alby in the overalls to keep him looking a little different (and also because I love the texture of it and he looked ridiculously cute!). Alexi was originally going to wear a denim onesie, but then my mum chose a denim top with some gorgeous texture on it, and with Alby also wearing denim I thought it would be a bit of a ‘denim overload’ so found a feminine patterned onesie for her instead. My husband was the last on the list, but we found something in the wardrobe to tie in with everyone else. Basically I followed my own advice, and started with one outfit (mine) and then worked the colours for the others around that and added some texture and pattern. I also didn’t get the boys hair cut because I actually love their crazy locks – it’s a part of who they are and I didn’t want them to be all stiff and styled. I wanted them to be THEM! You can read my Styling Guide here and more Styling tips to help you plan your photo shoot here.

 

The stress is real!

Even though I wasn’t after the perfect ‘everyone smiling at the camera’ photo, I was still anxious about the kids moods before the photo shoot. I was worried about their sleep, and the fact that we’d be up well past their bedtime (sun sets in Adelaide around 830pm and the younger ones are normally in bed by 7pm!), and I was worried about them cooperating. These photos were important to me, as I know they are to anyone who takes the time to organise a photo session, and I wanted them to go ‘well’. Luckily I also had complete faith that my photographer would be able to capture something even if the kids were tired and not cooperating. Which leads me to my next point…

 

There is no ‘perfect time’ for photos

Don’t wait for the ‘perfect time’ for photos. There is no more perfect time than now. The kids don’t need to be a certain age, the weather doesn’t need to be a certain way, the time of day doesn’t matter (it’s one late night), everyone doesn’t have to behave a certain way, you don’t need to have the ‘perfect outfit’ or be the ‘perfect weight’. You just need to be YOU. NOW. YOUR FAMILY. There may be things that make it more stressful (young kids), things you’d prefer to be different (no gaps in their teeth), or other things that aren’t quite ‘perfect’. But when is that perfect time? There’ll always be a reason to stop you, a reason to make it harder or to put it at the bottom of the priority list. But who you are now is not who you’ll be tomorrow, and you should capture today. Look back on it in years to come and remember it – the good, the bad, the ugly. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are we – so don’t wait for that perfect time for photos. It certainly wasn’t the ‘perfect time’ for us in the sense that being out until past 9pm with an almost 2 year old is never going to be fun – yet that’s what our life is now, and I’ll remember that when I look back on the photos. And that’s real!!

 

A photo session should be done more than once

I’ve actually never had a family photo session (Shock, horror!) aside from capturing my birth with Alby, and then his newborn lifestyle session. But I’ve never had a photo session just for my family and this experience has taught me that me taking photos of my kids and occasionally handing the camera to someone to ‘grab a quick one of me too’ is just not enough. It’s taught me that I plan to do way more of these photo sessions – I want to capture my family all together at least once a year. I want to capture the connections and the changes, and us interacting whilst someone else observes. I want to see us through the lens and keep those memories precious for my kids, and for me.

 

It’s way better than a selfie

I can’t even explain to you how emotional I actually felt looking at these photos of ME with my kids, and even with my mum and husband. A photo beyond a selfie, or beyond passing the camera to someone. It felt like I was glimpsing into my life from the other side – I was seeing the cuddles from Louie and his little hands around my neck – I was seeing the way I bend down to talk to Alby and all those other little moments. These photos mean a lot to me, because as much as I love taking photos of the kids, it’s only part of their story when we’re not in them too. Seeing us in the photos too, seeing me in them, made their story feel more complete.

 

The investment is worth it

And yes, it’s an investment. I know how much time goes into a photo session before, during and after the session. It’s way more than just ‘clicking the camera a few times’. Yes, anyone can ‘take a photo’ but not everyone can create a beautiful image or capture a beautiful moment in an artistic way, and if you want someone to do that for you, then it’s an investment which is well worth it. Frame those photos afterwards, put them in a photo book. If it’s important enough, there’s always a way to make it happen and invest in some precious memories before everything changes again.

 

A huge thank you to Michelle Crush Photography for her amazing skills, patience (grumpy toddler/resistant 8 year old), and for delivering me some beautiful memories that I’ll cherish always. If you’d love to create some beautiful memories of your own family, I’m more than happy to help you out! Check out my Family Portfolio and Contact me here.

The Agostini Family

Corrina is the face behind my logo, and she’s also designed some lovely Gift Vouchers for me – I would have been lost without her help when starting my photography business! I wanted to provide her with some beautiful family photos as a thank you, although her husband Marco took a bit of encouraging to attend and be in the photos as well. This is very common – men often don’t like the idea of a photo session – but I think it’s so important to encourage them anyway. One day your kids will want to look back on photos with both their parents – those memories will mean so much! I’m so glad that Marco decided to join us. Alex wasn’t overly thrilled to be part of the shoot either – but we managed to sneak in some beautiful images with him anyway – and ALMOST caught him in a smile (simply by telling him NOT to smile!). Miss Gemma loved the camera as much as it loves her – I absolutely loved capturing the connection between her and her mum. They have since bought photo books of their images to give to their Grandparents as gifts, which I think is a lovely idea. Follow this link if you’d like to find out more about Why I love photo books.
If you’re interested in capturing a family session, Contact Me for further information. If you’d like to view more family sessions, look at my Family Portfolio.

Our Story – February 2019

February is the month where routines start again – school goes back as well as after school activities. For me it also makes the juggle that much harder – my days are chopped into pieces and has to revolve around so many different needs and routines of everyone else in this house. Working from home may sound simple and easy, but it definitely comes with a lot of challenges!! Back to school also comes with its challenges, as I get a little emotional thinking that the kids are another year older and that time is passing soooo quickly. This year my daughter is in her last year of Primary school whilst my son starts his first year of Primary School!! Yet it feels like only yesterday that she was only starting too!!

School, School, School

These photos express the general feeling about going back to school – my daughter is happy whilst my son is less than enthusiastic!

This year Louie started kindy. He was so excited as he loves learning and I know that he’s so ready for school. He also has the same teachers Kohen had for kindy which is comforting for me as it’s so hard to let my baby go!!  It’s another one of those ‘how fast is time going’ moments, when I take him into the same class room he used to come with me as a tiny baby to drop Kohen off. And now he’s the one being dropped off!

In other school news, Alexi ran for student council which is something they can only do in year 6 and is something she’s been looking forward to. She had to do a speech in front of everyone and be voted in by her peers – that kind of voting system just stresses me out!! There were 21 people trying out and only 6 spots, and whilst I was soooo nervous, she of course took it all in her stride. I just wanted it all to go well for her, because she’s 100% the kind of girl who deserves the best. I heard she did an amazing speech and got the crowd involved (born performer this one!), and then two days later the results were in and I was so elated to find out that she got the role!! Super proud of her as always!!

Hanging around at home

Sometimes just the regular moments hanging at home are important to capture. The kids sprawled on the couch, the way Alby greets Nanna at the window when she arrives, and the kids helping get the letters from the letterbox. This is what life looks like now, but it won’t always look like this.

Water play!

I remember as a kid going underneath the sprinkler on hot days – such a typically fun childhood memory which I don’t think we do enough of!

Louie and his yoghurt

Louie is a terrible eater – like really, really bad. The ONLY fruit he’ll SORT OF eat is apple (and I say ‘sort of’ because he rarely has one), and he won’t eat any vegetables or meats. He’s the fussiest of them all by far and it gives us a constant headache trying to feed him anything other than toast or plain rice or plain pasta for dinner. The healthiest thing he eats is Greek yoghurt. He loves it!! He now makes it for himself and adds a bit of honey to it so I had to capture him doing it!

Alby and the washing machine!

Alby loves watching the washing machine. He also loves pressing the buttons. I frequently have to repeat a cycle over and over and over again because he’s stopped it midway. Sigh.

All dressed up!

This month my sister in laws got married – they’ve been together forever and are finally able to legally get married so it was an extremely special day. And if there’s ever a time to do a quick ‘posed’ photo, it’s when you’re dressed up for a wedding (and rushing out the door because you didn’t realise your son had no shoes to wear and had to be rescued by a friend who lent us her son’s shoes!!).

And that’s it for February. Another month finished, and summer now officially over!! If you’d like to book me to capture some special memories for you this year, Contact me here.

 

 

 

Ways to display your photos after your photo session!

So you’ve had a photo session and you’ve got some beautiful photo memories – what do you DO with all those photos? I’m a big believer in not only creating those images, but also in DISPLAYING them. Leaving them on your computer means that they’re likely to become lost and you’ll rarely look at them – what is the point in that?? You had a photo shoot for a reason – because you wanted to capture some memories of a special time or moment in your life. You went to the effort of preparing for your shoot, paying for your shoot, styling yourself and your family, and you spent TIME on the shoot. These are your memories!! There are some easy ways to display your  memories so that you can look at them frequently and remember those feelings you had during that time in your life. These are just some suggestions to help you out.

Frame them!

I have a photo wall in my house (maybe I have a FEW photo walls in my house) filled with frames of different sizes. I use the 3M hooks to hang them up (no holes in the wall – bonus!!) and I have a variety of colours and styles to break up the wall. I also include some canvases which I think are beautiful ways to keep your favourite images. I try to update the images each year, although I always feel guilty getting ‘rid’ of a photo so I leave it behind the new photo. This means that I end up with a story of images which have been in that frame – a story I can see when I next change the photo over! Throughout the year, I try to keep photos I think I might consider enlarging in a separate ‘Enlargements’ folder on my computer. This makes it easier to be able to go back and choose in the new year rather than going through alllll of my photos (as you can imagine, I have A LOT!).

I also have a number of photo ledges from Ikea where I have regular 4×6 frames. I try to print some photos each month to keep in albums, and from there I choose some to display in the 6×4 frames. I’ve been super behind with this plan this year and still have photos in them from almost a year ago – but I plan to get back on track!!!

I’ve found some frames which I absolutely LOVE. They’re timeless and beautiful and each colour and style goes so well together. I have these available to purchase to help compliment your images. View a Video of the Frames here.

Canvas

As mentioned, I also love canvases. They break up a photo wall and add interest and texture, and also look great as stand alone images. I choose an image for a canvas that I know I’ll love for a long time – for example, I have a canvas of each of my babies on the first day they were born, and a canvas of images taken on our honeymoon (a loooong time ago!!). You don’t need a frame for them, and they also look stunning in kids rooms and nurseries! Click here to see a video of one Clients Canvas Video.

Photo Books

I think this is one of my favourite ways of keeping my photos. I absolutely LOVE displaying them all around my house, but there are only so many you can display (which in my case is still a lot!) and then as I mentioned, I always feel guilty when I swap an image over!! With photo books I have easy access to pick up an album and browse through my memories easily. Photo books look great, they don’t take up a lot of space, and you can fit a lot of photos in there!! I do a photo book each year and I organise it in month order (throughout the year I also store my photos in their month folders so it makes choosing the photos easier). I also do a photo book for the first year of each of my babies lives, and any special occasion (such as a gorgeous photo shoot!) deserves a photo book all of its own! I offer gorgeous linen photo books in my Deluxe Collection, and all my Birth Stories also receive a photo book. You can see a Video example of a photo book, and read more about Why I love photo books.

Good Old Photo Albums!

Yep, I still print some photos for regular photo albums! Photo books have taken over as my main way of storing them off of the computer, but sometimes you just need a hard copy of a photo! Think about school projects, or craft activities, or sending to Grandparents. There are many times when I’ve needed to pull out my trusty old photo album and retrieve a hard copy photo, so I just can’t stop using them. I have limited the ones I print a lot though, because albums are very bulky, and I take a LOT of photos, but we don’t have a lot of space to store the albums! So I only print off a handful each month, just so I have some there, just in case!

There are so many other ways you can get your photos off of the computer and into your lives – think magnets, keyrings, collages, cards, Christmas decorations – the list is really endless! The point is, try not to let them just sit there on your computer where they rarely get looked at (or at least if you do, share them on social media so that they come up in your memories!). All of my collections include at least one print because I’m so passionate about displaying your images, but make sure you frame that print and hang it on your wall or your shelf – maybe even get a canvas or a photo book. Get your memories out into your world where you can see them and they can make you smile! These are some examples of some clients images and the way they’ve displayed them. You can get more ideas from looking at my Pinterest board for displaying photos

If you’d like to book a session or discuss ideas on how to display the images from your photo session, Contact me here.

Osborne Park Hospital Fresh 48 Session | Maddison

 

The timing could not have worked out better – I was scheduled to capture Maddison’s Fresh 48 session (That’s “Maddie” to her Daddy!) at the same time as her 2 year old big sister Leila was due to come in and meet her. These are the moments that you can never get back, these are the moments that you want to be able to absorb when they’re happening, but you also want to be able to look back on them. Having these moments captured means that you’re able to sit back and really be IN the moment, safe in the knowledge that they’re being captured and can be revisited long after the time has passed. These moments you can never get back – Leila will only meet her baby sister for the first time ONCE. I was sooo glad to be there to capture it for them during their Fresh 48 session.

These images truly tell the story of Leila’s first meeting. Nothing was forced and we all let her take her time. She came into the room cautious and unsure. Her fingers remained in her mouth and she was curious, but hesitant. She sat with her mother but wasn’t yet ready to kiss her, and she definitely wasn’t ready to kiss her baby sister. She’d look at her and touch her – point out little parts of her, but you could see her mind ticking, and the silence from her reflected that something big was happening in her little life. As time went on however, you could see her relax. She became more comfortable, more talkative and open, and you could see that she was beginning to accept this new little person. And then it happened. She suddenly just lent over and kissed Maddie. She’d been asked a few times earlier but wasn’t ready to show such open affection, and then suddenly she WAS ready, and she just DID IT. She kissed her little sister and I pulled up that camera as quickly as I could to capture it. And then she was happy to kiss her mum and her dad as well – her walls were down and she was comfortable. I love that it all happened organically, that she was allowed to just take her time and express her feelings once she was happy to.

Maddie sneezed at one point, and this really tickled Leila’s funny bone. She laughed about it for a lot of the remaining session! Leila is going to be an amazing big sister I think – she was already trying to help her mum dress Maddie, and once that first kiss was over, she was more than happy to show Maddie lots of affection. Both parents said that Maddie looked so similar to Leila – that when she was first born it was like looking at a little Leila again. That familiarity brings so much nostalgia, and also reminds you just how quickly time passes. Although those early days/weeks/months/years can seem so long and never ending, they’re really not. There are so many changes that happen, so much growing and so many phases, routines and ‘new normals’. Having a new baby is a strong reminder of that, as you look at your older child and suddenly it feels like only yesterday that they were that small as well. As Maddie’s dad said ‘The days feel like weeks, but the weeks feel like days’ and it’s so true. Time is a strange concept when you have kids.

Maddie was such a beautiful and alert little baby. Her eyes already seemed so focused and alert, and she spent her time either peacefully sleeping, or happily awake and looking around. Once her big sister warmed up, the room was noisy and busy, but Maddie was just watching and taking it all in. She’ll have to get used to noise and chaos I’m thinking!! I absolutely loved capturing Maddie’s Fresh 48 session, and the icing on the cake was being able to also capture the sisters meeting for the first time. If you book in a Fresh 48, you should consider timing it to include a sibling meet as well!

If you’d love to capture the special memories in a Fresh 48 session, you can Contact me here. You can also view my Fresh 48 Portfolio here and learn more about what a Fresh 48 session is here.

 

 

 

 

Our January Story

 

January is a month where life is different to any other month. The kids are all home, the weather is warm, and there are way less routines than normal. I’m actually one of those mums who LIKES the school holidays, and I don’t really want them to go back to school! Maybe it’s because for the most part they keep each other entertained, and the older ones are a massive help with the younger ones; maybe it’s because time is less restricted – we don’t need to be out at a certain time every day, and my days aren’t broken into a million pieces (meaning more relaxation but also a lot more opportunity for working with less interruptions); maybe it’s the break from after school activities and all the juggles of school assignments, assemblies and homework; maybe it’s because when they go back it signifies that they’re another year older – that time has really moved on and things will be different. Or maybe it’s just because I actually just like being around them. Most of the time anyway! They can drive me nuts, and I yell way more than I would like, but I have to admit, I do love it most when everyone is here.

Water and Snow

What says summer better than water fights in the backyard? The kids had so much fun getting soaked with the hose! And then in other extremes, Louie and Alby created ‘Snow’ with their sand. They were throwing the sand allllll over the decking “Look! Snow!”

Mornings

School holiday mornings are slower than school mornings and I love this. Although it doesn’t mean I get to sleep in, moving slower is a big change from the hectic school mornings. Often I come out in the morning to see all three boys awake and sitting on the couch together – usually they’ve also stolen a snack from the cupboard. My daughter is usually still asleep – she definitely takes advantage of sleeping in during the holidays!

Nights

Although the mornings are less rushed, the nights are mostly just as rushed. When you have little kids there is often more of a routine where the nightly bath and bed routine needs to be at a particular time, making every thing a little rushed leading to that point. Every night Alby runs off naked towards the bath and then the boys share a bath. These little things happen every day, and are important to me to capture so that I can remember them when they stop happening.

Routines

When I think about photographing my kids, I want to capture all of the routines and daily moments – things that are so ‘normal’ we often forget about capturing them because we don’t necessarily see the beauty in routine. But it’s there! It’s there in the way Louie gets his stool so that he can reach the Greek yoghurt in the fridge, it’s there in the way he cuddles me every morning when he gets changed (I got my husband to take these shots!), it’s there in the way Alby reaches onto the bench for his dummy, and the way he and I always say goodnight to the baby in the mirror before I take him to bed (this is a routine I used to do with Louie as well).

New Skills

Just as I love to capture daily routines, I also love to capture new skills. When you have kids, there are always things they’re learning. These skills which we take for granted are so momentous for them, and the amount of excitement and pride we all get when they achieve them, is just another example of how the ordinary becomes extraordinary when you have kids. This month Alby learnt to jump, and is learning about where items belong (such as shoes on his feet). Louie learnt to undress and dress himself – he is very proud and always wants me to watch him do it!

Food

Alby always has food. He loves to feed himself with the spoon or fork – and sometimes tries to feed us as well! He also loves watermelon. He’s learning how to say it, which is really cute. Until recently he was calling it ‘bapples’ which is what  he also calls ‘apples’ so it would get quite confusing. It’s so fun listening to him learning new words and being able to express himself.

Fun

As always, I mostly love just capturing the kids when they’re doing something that they enjoy doing. These are the best memories, and the most real and authentic memories too. I don’t often ask them to look at the camera, and I don’t get them to change what they’re doing (unless it’s to maybe move into the nicer light). One morning Alby was having so much fun putting dice in a cup and watching them all bounce out. He repeated that little activity so many times! Another time Kohen placed Alby in a bucket and took him for a ride down the hallway. Then there is also Alexi tickling Alby, and Louie drawing. All moments of natural childhood fun!

Light

Sometimes I just see light and need one of the kids to stand in that spot so I can grab a photo! I particularly love shadows and directional light – I really love the mood that it brings to an image.

Adelaide

And then of course there was our holiday to Adelaide. I’m not one of those people who looks forward to holidays – I think I get too anxious about it all going well, and I get overwhelmed with all of the packing and planning. It’s not until I’m there that I’m able to enjoy it and truly understand why it’s so important to take little breaks away. This holiday was the best one yet. We go most years with my parents and we all stay together on the beach. This year was hot (one day was 46.6 degrees!) but this meant that the kids were able to go swimming and do other water activities which they love, and we thankfully had air conditioning back at our apartment. This holiday I also focused on just capturing natural moments with my camera. The kids commented that they thought I took a lot less photos. In reality, I took just as many but I wasn’t intrusive. I very rarely got them to stop what they were doing and smile for a photo. Instead I just captured moments as they happened. And I love them. You can see more of our holiday images in the slideshow at the top. It might give you an idea of ways to take photos on your own holidays as well!

If you’d like to book me to capture some memories of your own family, Contact me here. You can also view my Family Portfolio here.

 

 

The Pines Wanneroo Family Session|The Docherty Family

Angela organised a voucher for an extended family photo shoot for her mother and father in law who were staying with her over the Christmas period, and she also wanted to include her brother-in-law and his girlfriend. Over this festive season I’ve done quite a few extended family sessions, and it always feels special knowing that people are all together with their loved ones – often for the first time in years – and that they’ll always have these beautiful memories to look back on and remember once they have to be separated again. Extended family sessions are just as good for family living at home. Often we think about our immediate family – but how much time do you spend with your siblings, your cousins and your parents? It’s really special to think about those people you love, and to spend an hour capturing some images together. These are the memories you can look back on forever!

We went to the Pines during golden hour for their session – which is the hour just before sunset. I always love those 15 minutes after the sun has set as well, so I usually schedule sessions to allow us to take advantage of that gorgeous magical light. The Pines is a beautiful place to shoot – we’re really so lucky in Perth to have some gorgeous locations, and I’m super lucky to have this one just down the road from me. The last couple of times I’ve been to The Pines, I’ve seen some kangaroos – during this session we counted 3 kangaroos who were quite close and watching us!

I usually start my sessions with the big group shots, and I always tell my families that I don’t expect them to always be looking at the camera and smiling. In fact – I encourage them not to!! I personally hate being in front of the camera – I find it really awkward and I’m totally aware that it can feel quite strange to have someone pointing a camera towards you! I always tell my families that if they’re not sure what to do, to just look at someone (not me!), tickle someone, cuddle someone or touch someone. And I always want people to be close!! Being close to each other allows you to naturally start feeling comfortable, and to start expressing your natural connections with each other. This is also why I like to get some images of each couple together as well. I often just ask them to get nice and close, to think about when they met, to dance together or hug each other tight. I really want people to have a moment with the person next to them where they can block out all of the ‘noise’ of life, and just BE together. Without fail, couples relax into each other and their natural connection shines through.

I loved capturing these two brothers together. It absolutely fills my heart when I see siblings who are so close and who actually LIKE each other. I grew up without siblings, and so the relationship between them always fascinates me as well as makes me so happy. Dylan and Brandon were naturally so affectionate and comfortable with each other that I was able to capture so many images of them that I absolutely love. I mentioned to Brandon that he was lucky to have a big brother like Dylan, and Dylan replied ‘And I’m lucky to have a little brother like him!’…how can you not melt when brothers say such beautiful things about each other?!! Speaking of brothers, Angela’s brother in law had come over to live in Australia so that he could be closer to his own brother. They now live in the same suburb (hopefully for many years to come once all the Visa gets sorted!), and he and his girlfriend get to spend time with their nephews.

I was so happy to capture this beautiful extended family session. Life is about family, it truly is. There is nothing more important, and I love being able to give people some time to really think about those they love and to spend some time being close to them.

If you’d like to book a session Contact me here. You can also see more beautiful images in my Family Portfolio.

 

What is a Newborn Lifestyle Session?

Newborn Lifestyle sessions are one of my absolute favourite sessions to do, and they’re my favourite for a number of reasons. Firstly, those newborn days are filled with excitement, change, and the glorious period of getting to know your new little baby. They are also filled with chaos, exhaustion, anxiety and often whizz by you in a blur that you can’t quite hold onto. A newborn lifestyle session is able to truly capture all of that and also allow you to have some beautiful memories which include your own home – the nursery your baby sleeps in, the couch you spend your days on, the chaos in the lounge room – all whilst meaning that you don’t even need to leave your own house!!! How amazing is that!! Often leaving the house with a newborn can be stressful, so by having your shoot in your own home, it’s immediately more relaxing.

 

This is extra perfect when you have siblings involved! Your other kids are able to be in their own environment, and they’re able to come in and out as they like without any pressure. They can immerse themselves in their favourite toy or favourite book, and you can capture those memories together as a family. There is no pressure to ‘perform’ during a newborn lifestyle shoot.

 

This brings me to my next point. My style of photography is all about capturing the natural moments, the raw emotions, and the beautiful connections. For this reason, I don’t do typical posing, and this is especially true for newborn lifestyle sessions. Your baby doesn’t need to be asleep, they don’t need to be in a good mood, they really don’t ‘need’ to do anything. They can just BE.

 

So what does a typical newborn lifestyle session look like? It’s really a session which is very much ‘go with the flow’. Where we start depends on what your baby needs, and if there are other siblings then it depends on their moods as well. If the siblings want to be involved straight away, then we jump on that and grab that moment before it passes. If they need some time without being photographed first, then that’s fine too and we’l just focus on you and your baby. Often it’s during this time that siblings start WANTING to be involved, simply because they’re not being asked to be involved!! If your baby is asleep we’ll start with you holding your baby, laying with your baby, or grabbing some detail shots. If your baby needs to be fed, then we’ll start with that. If your baby is unsettled, then we’ll go with whatever makes him happy (some of my favourite shots are of babies being settled as this is real life!!). If nothing is making your baby happy, then just remember that photos don’t have sound, and the images can still be beautiful. We can also take the opportunity to grab some shots of their feet or hands or clothing and other details which don’t require their crying face to be included all of the time.

 

I like to try and focus on the things that you do regularly with your baby – the couch you might sit on, the wrap you might wrap them in, the carrier you wear them in, the multi-tasking in the kitchen, and anything else that’s important and relevant to you and your life. These sessions are personal and totally dependent on what your ‘real life’ is like. One day you’ll be able to look back on your images and remember what time was like during that period in your life – what it looked like, felt like, sounded like – and you’ll also be able to realise how fleeting it all was. How quickly it all changes, how fast your baby grows and how special each and every day with them is. Even the tough days. Newborn lifestyle sessions really allow you to FEEL something when you look back on them – it’s a very specific, very fleeting, and extremely special part of your life.

 

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask! You can find more info here What is a Lifestyle Session? and you can view my Lifestyle Newborn Portfolio here. Please contact me with any questions, or if you’d like to book a session. I also offer gift vouchers if you’d like a great present idea!

 

 

Our Story – December

December always feels a little strange to me. I think it’s because it signifies change – the end of the school year, the end of the ‘normal’ we have, and the progression into the ‘new normal’ as a new school year starts and the kids grow up just that little bit more. Add to it that my son has his birthday, and the month in general is just full of business, and it definitely ends up feeling like a month very different to any other. Here is some of our December story.

It starts of course with decorating the Christmas tree. We usually put on Christmas carols while we do it, and my husband is tasked with setting the tree up before we all decorate it. It all sounds lovely and Christmassy, but in reality, it’s always a little chaotic and often feels rushed around a little ones sleep time. My oldest son Kohen is for some reason quite scared of being lifted to put the star on the top of the tree – all kids have a turn in doing it, yet he gets scared and we all laugh at him!! I do love having the tree up – there’s something therapeutic  about watching those lights flashing. It reminds me a lot of being a kid – I have a lot of Christmas tradition memories such as colouring in Christmas books, drawing Christmas trees, making baubles with foam balls and sparkles, and decorating pine cones with glitter. I often wonder what my kids will remember about their Christmas – and I often wonder if I’m doing enough to make it magical for them.

There are also many many events on at the school during this time, including Christmas Assemblies (Kohen was a zombie for his assembly), Christmas parties, Awards and Medallions, and the school disco. We were literally at the school every day one week. My daughter and her best friend Millie went to the disco together – I have so many photos of them ready to go to the disco over the years that they’ve been friends. They haven’t been in the same class since year 1 and yet going into year 6 they’re still the best of friends and have a beautiful relationship. My poor son Kohen was sick for the last few days of school, so missed out on his last days with his best friend Alex who will be moving schools next year.

To add to all the craziness, my daughter also had her dance concert. Actually, she had two dance concerts, and a LOT of rehearsals. Looking at these photos I can really see how much she’s grown in the past year. It’s both beautiful and heart breaking.

It’s also my son Louie’s birthday the week before Christmas, and this year he turned 4. I distinctly remember turning 4, and I wonder if he will as well. We had the family over in the afternoon for a pizza dinner – and we have such a large family that it always feels like a party. I can’t believe my beautiful boy is 4 years old. He can be extremely stubborn at times, and he’s a terrible eater, but for the most part he is the most beautiful and loving little boy. He’s always telling me “I L-O-V-E-Y-O-U” and giving me kisses. I just hold on tight and hope that he doesn’t stop too soon.

 

There are lots of Christmas activities at home leading up to the big day as well – including writing cards, looking at the lights, and baking. I’m so happy that this year my daughter is old enough to pretty much do all the baking herself – and Louie usually joins in with her. She’s so patient with him, much more patient than I am when kids are helping in the kitchen! There are also Christmas pj’s to be worn – and of course photos to be taken in those pj’s and other Christmas attire!!

 

Christmas eve we usually have fish and chips at home with my parents, then the kids sprinkle reindeer food on the front lawn, and prepare the milk and treats for Santa as well as water and carrots for the reindeers. This year we also had to say goodbye to our elf ‘Freddie Joe’ (named so because I always call the kids ‘Fred’ and ‘Joe’).

 

Last Christmas I was sick with gastro and the flu, and Jonathon was also unwell, so we were hoping for this Christmas to be better to us. Unfortunately Jonathon was unwell on the day again and had to stay home while the kids and I went to lunch at my mum’s and dinner at his mum’s. He rarely gets sick so it was really frustrating that it happened again on Christmas Day!! At least the kids got to have fun, despite missing their dad. Merry Christmas everyone!

 

Lastly, one thing I really love to do is just capture the kids when they’re doing something that they enjoy doing, such as drawing, or gardening, or swinging, or playing with water or cuddling together. These are the moments that I pull out my camera and I capture it – because these are real life moments!

And there you have it – part of our crazy busy December story!! If you’d like me to help you tell your story, Contact me here. You can also view my Family Portfolio for more examples of my work.

 

 

 

Perry’s Paddock Family Session in Perth|The Krause Family

Extended family sessions are so much fun! They’re generally noisy, chaotic and there are so many different connections to capture. Often when we think about a family session we only think of our immediate family, but there are so many people beyond that who are just as important and I think it’s a beautiful way to create some memories together. Kerry contacted me to take some photos for her and her extended family, as everyone was together for the first time in EIGHT YEARS!!! Her mother-in-law and father-in-law were over from South Africa, and her brother-in-law and his family were over from Brisbane for Christmas – the first Christmas they’d spend together in many years. A photo shoot is a perfect way to preserve memories of this time together, especially after it being 8 years in the making!! Christmas this year would be very different for all of them, and very special!

Throughout the shoot I couldn’t help but think about how it must feel for the Grandparents in that moment. To be reunited with their two sons and their 5 grandchildren and to see them all together in one place for the first time in so many years. I imagine the bittersweet emotions – the joy of all being together, but the sadness of their separation. I think it’s truly beautiful that they experienced this photo shoot together so that they could have gorgeous memories to look back on during the time that they would need to be apart again.

It had been such a long time since they’d been together, that the cousins had only just met each other the night before! This did mean that they were a little reserved with each other and needed some more encouragement to interact, so we played some Chinese Whisper games amongst other things to help them become a little more familiar with each other. During my shoots I really want people to have fun and enjoy themselves, and to focus on the person or people in front of them. I want them to think about what they mean to each other, and take some time out of crazy life to just BE together. I’m always warmed by the interactions that result from this – the dancing couple, the natural laughter, the hands holding and the playfulness that comes when people are relaxed. Throughout this shoot there were many opportunities for me to capture the genuine connections between each family, as they would just naturally come together and show their affection towards each other. It was also a little cold so some extra cuddles were helpful!!

I hope that the Krause family enjoy looking back on their memories for many years, and I also hope that it’s not another 8 years until they’re all together again!! Thank you for letting me into your world!

If you’d like to book a session for yourself, Contact me here. You can also view my Family Portfolio here.

 

 

The Birth of Aaron

 

Chantel’s birth plans changed more than once along her journey of birthing little Aaron. Firstly she had to let go of her dream of a second home water birth; next she had to let go of birthing at The Family Birthing Centre; THEN she had to let go of having Aaron arriving on his own terms and instead she had to be induced at King Edward, and THEN she was also told that she couldn’t have a water birth due to being induced. The changes didn’t end there though, as she was scheduled for induction on December 12th but delays meant that although we were all at the hospital on the 12th, the induction didn’t start until the next day. Throughout it all, Chantel took it all in her stride and was determined to make the experience a beautiful one regardless. And she did.

Aaron’s birth was the most beautiful and peaceful experience, whilst also being so much fun. There were many times when it was like a party in that room with dancing to music and lots of laughter, and then many many times when it was just so peaceful. Chantel’s beautiful midwives and I spent time just quietly watching this gorgeous mother labouring so calmly – her breathing focused and her mind ‘in the zone’. At the same time her husband Dony was always there – showering water on her whilst getting wet himself, massaging her endlessly, and frequently making declarations of love and admiration: “That’s my Channy”. Chantel laboured on her own, with only a brief stint on the gas before it was time to push her beautiful baby out.

Chantel and Dony have two boys at home, and didn’t know what their third child would be. The moment Chantel saw that it was another boy her face just lit up in her gorgeous smile and I captured that moment on camera. They would have been happy whoever their baby was – they were just ready to love them. There were a few moments where baby Aaron was in a bit of shock and needed some assistance – I know this was particularly hard on Dony who was able to watch on. Aaron was strong though and before too long he was pink and happy and peaceful in his Mummy’s arms. He only cried very briefly in the whole time I was there after his birth – and from all accounts his calm nature has remained at home. He was just happy to be held, to look around with his alert eyes, to suck on Daddy’s arm, to have skin to skin time with both of his parents, and then to have a feed with Mummy. This was a particularly beautiful moment for Chantel as her other son had trouble with feeding, but Aaron took to it straight away. While Dony was holding Aaron he kept telling him how much he loved him, and he may have even shed a couple of tears. It’s always a surreal moment holding your baby for the first time – the atmosphere in the room goes from intense with the birth process, to light and joyous as everything else is forgotten.

Chantel, you were amazing. Truly amazing. You made the whole birth experience just so beautiful (and yes – you made it look easy!), and I feel so privileged to have been able to be a part of it. Thank you Chantel, Dony and Aaron for letting me into your world so that I could help you tell your story.

If you’d like me to help you tell your birth story, Contact me here. You can also view my Birth Portfolio here.

 

 

Golden Hour Family Session at The Pines Wanneroo|The Lockwood Family

Stacey is from my youngest son’s mothers group. It’s a mothers group I’ve unfortunately not had much time to be able to catch up with due to the chaos of 4 kids and running my own business, but I was so happy when she contacted me to arrange an extended family session to celebrate her mum’s birthday along with her sister and her family. We met at The Pines in the evening in the hour before sunset. This is always the best time for photos due to the gorgeous golden light – but is not always the best time for young kids – especially during warmer months when the sun sets that bit later. Despite this, the kids did amazingly! There were a few grumpy moments – but that is completely to be expected with young children, and is something that I don’t want people to worry about. During those moments, we just go with the flow and let the little one have a break for awhile, or let them have a cuddle with mum or dad (often these are the most beautiful images of the lot!). My sessions are never focused on everyone being still and just smiling at the camera, so I love to embrace a little chaos and just go with the flow. Whenever there’s a moment where the kids are happy and cooperating, we just take advantage of it and run with it. When they need a break, we focus on the adults for awhile. And if all else fails – we pull out the bribes!! There may have been a run back to the car for some food bribes towards the end of the session!!

Little Lucy is 6 years old and not only loved being in front of the camera (she can be my model any day!) but also loved being BEHIND the camera, and was so helpful in taking some images for me herself. I think she did an amazing job and I couldn’t have done the session without her! Lucy was a cuddly little monkey with her Mummy and I absolutely love those images – these cuddles are so precious and are beautiful memories to hold onto. Connor had a few little wardrobe malfunctions with his pants falling down and I made sure to grab a couple of images of that as well! They all did so well and I really love the images we were able to capture together. These are real life moments and real life memories. As always, I feel privileged to be a part of it.

If you’d like to book a session for yourself or someone you love, Contact me here. You can also view my Family Portfolio here.