Amidst all of the Covid chaos, little Dustin was born. His session had to be delayed a little, but we were finally able to go ahead and capture some of these once in a lifetime moments!! Newborn lifestyle sessions are probably my favourite sessions to do. Being invited into your little bubble for awhile is always so special, and to be honest it always brings back memories of my own kids when they were babies. It makes me realise how fast it all goes, but how your memory can snap you back there in an instant! That tiny ache when you realise that you’ve said goodbye to that stage of your life, that exact little person….a stage which at times felt never ending. And sometimes you’d wish it away – because, let’s face it – some days are just hard and you don’t enjoy them!! But for the most part, they’ll always be special to you, because this is the start of it all. The start of getting to know and love your little person, and watch them grow. Photo memories help you hold onto each version of your baby just that little bit longer, and help you remember what it felt like.
If you’d like some photo memories for yourself, Contact me to chat! You can also view more examples of my work in my Lifestyle Newborn Portfolio.
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It was only a couple of weeks ago that Dea, Chris and I braved the rainy day to capture their Maternity Session, and I’m soooo glad we did because little Oliver decided to make an appearance a little sooner than expected! Exactly two weeks after their Maternity Session, I was meeting their little boy in their home who had been born during a quick and sudden labour the very day before!! As they left the hospital within hours of his birth, Oliver’s Fresh 48 session was captured in his home, which is a beautiful way to freeze this once in a lifetime moment of bringing your little one home! Fresh 48 sessions focus on the gorgeous little baby details in the first 48 hours after birth – the belly button clamp still attached, the wrinkly hands and fingers, the messy hair and all those little details which tell the story of a little baby just being born.
It also tells the story of new parents – the amazement, the exhaustion, the adrenaline high, the beaming smiles, and the expressions of a love they’ve never quite felt before (and of course in this case it also must include Chris drinking coke and playing xbox games!). This is a time where it’s still not quite real – when their whole world has been changed and it’s impossible to keep up with reality. It’s surreal looking at your baby for the first time. Seeing them move, hearing their noises, and feeling their skin. It will never quite feel the same again. Their fingers will stop being wrinkly, their movements will become more controlled, and they’ll change at rapid speed over the next days, weeks, months and years. Hold onto this moment, soak them in as much as you can. Capture it so that you can revisit it all long after it’s passed.
Dea mentioned during the session that I have the best job, and she’s right. I get to meet these amazing people and their most perfect little babies. I get to witness this magical time in people’s lives and freeze some of it in time for them. I loved spending time with Dea, Chris and Oliver, and then sneaking in some moments with Grandma when she came to visit too. This is her first grandchild, and she was there for his birth. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must feel like!! Congratulations guys on your perfect son (I really thought he was going to be a ‘she’!), and thank you for letting me into your world to capture your new family as it is today.
I was lucky enough to meet Oliver and his family a few months later during their family session at Perry’s Paddock.
If you’d like me to capture some memories for you too, Contact me here. You can also view my Fresh 48 Portfolio and learn more about Fresh 48 sessions here. Don’t forget to check out Dea’s Maternity Session captured completely in the rain – it’s truly beautiful!
Contact me to book in your session!
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a whole lot of time or motivation to get the camera out this month at home, BUT it remains super important to me that I continue capturing my own family and those little moments that make us, US. So here we go, a little snapshot of our June.
One of our weekly routines is pancakes for breakfast on Sunday. Now that Kohen has football games early on Sunday mornings, we have literally zero ‘relaxing mornings’ anymore – every morning is a super rush to get out of the house. So during football season our new routine is pancakes for Sunday lunch after his game, and it’s actually working out really well!
Alexi and Guitar
One thing I’ve been meaning to capture all year is Alexi learning guitar. She’s been doing a special program at school where the lessons are free (woo hoo!), and she’s been loving it. She takes herself off to her room to practise all the time, and her first report was amazing. I remember learning guitar in Primary School, but I think I only lasted a term at most!
Louie and his Planets and Countries
Louie is one smart cookie. He’s only four yet can read and write fluently – like he’s actually amazing. It doesn’t just stop there though, he also just loves learning and always finds something to focus his learning on. Very early on it started with letters and numbers, then with starting to read, but now that he’s mastered them he’s onto other topics. The first was planets. He knows his planets (and dwarf planets), and I have to admit, we’ve ALL learnt so much about them since he became interested! I mean, who knew there were even Dwarf Planet Candidates?! He even has Alby requesting ‘planet songs’ on the tv all the time, and Alby called his red lollipop ‘Mars’. Now that he’s pretty good at planets, he’s become interested in countries. Geography is NOT my strong point, so when he gives me little tests, I usually fail! Every night he and Kohen give each other 3 countries to find on the map before going to sleep.
Louie’s first disco
Now that Louie’s in kindy he was able to go to his very first disco. He was soooo excited, and more than happy to practise some of his moves for me in photos before going. He danced his way up to the disco, and he danced his little heart out in the disco as well with his girlfriend (yes, girlfriend – he loves her!), and his best friend. Watching him dance and be so free and have so much fun made me so happy!!
Alexi’s final year of disco
Just as Louie starts his disco career, Alexi’s one is coming to a close (at Primary School anyway!). Her and her two best friends went along to their final winter disco – complete with perfume and handbags. It doesn’t seem that long ago that she was Louie’s age going along….Sigh….
Waiting for Nanna
Most days my mum (Nanna) comes here, and Alby often waits by the window. It’s super helpful when she comes as it means I don’t need to take him with me to pick the kids up from school. As most mornings are filled with me chasing him through the school, it’s a relief to not having to worry about the afternoons!
Arts and Crafts
Of course, most of my monthly updates include some kind of images of my kids doing some kind of arts and crafts. I’m so lucky in that they just do all of this themselves – I really don’t have to do anything to get them interested in creating. Their craft table is in the same room as my computer, so often I’m editing and working while they’re busy creating.
Capturing these daily moments and little memories means that they never really leave me. I can always look back and remember when my life looked like this. If you’d like me to capture some memories for you too, Contact me here. You can also view more of my work in my Family Portfolio.
I’m not going to lie – May wasn’t the best month for us! Most of it was spent with the kids and I sick with the flu. There are still some moments captured throughout our month though, and being sick is just part of our story!
Mother’s Day was spent in a rush going to football for Kohen, chasing Alby off the field multiple times, and then rushing off to breakfast with my mum (and scoffing down our food before Alby lost the plot!). No breakfast in bed, or relaxing sleep ins…but that’s mum life, right?! We still scraped in some time to do presents and cards – the kids had all chosen me a little present from the mother’s day stall at their school, and of course there’s always those home made cards! I saw a post recently with an amazing idea of creating a mother’s day book where each year the kids write their cards in the book so you can keep them all together forever! I love that idea!!
Nothing says winter more than hot chocolates, right? Although it was technically still only May and still warm outside, we had a rare afternoon at home after school so the kids were able to indulge. Sometimes I worry that their life is too busy, so I always want to make sure they get these moments to enjoy some childhood treats!
Lately Alby and Louie have been spending a lot of time building with the blocks. Alby is actually so good at it for his age – his towers are always so high! We’ve had these blocks since Alexi was one years old – so over 10 years now! The little trolley they belong in is broken (and Alby thinks it’s perfect for standing in!), but I don’t think we’ve lost any of the blocks which is amazing!!
It’s no secret that Alby loves his food, and now he can reach up on tippy toes (or use the stool) and help himself!!
Every day moments
Sometimes Louie will just be sitting on the couch and I’ll pull out the camera to capture his little face…or Alby will be laying in interesting light so I’ll capture that…or Alby and Daddy will be waving me goodbye as I head off to a shoot so I capture that as well. Just those normal little moments that fit together to tell some of our story.
The dreaded flu
The majority of this month has been spent with the kids and I sick. Temperatures, coughs, snotty noses, aching bodies and constant doses of Panadol and nurofen. A couple of hospital visits thrown in for some extra drama, and this month is one that I’m glad to see the end of.
So there’s our story for May – every day moments captured and preserved…our life paused through photographs to look back and remember. Capturing these memories is so important to me. These daily activities might seem so ‘normal’ today, but they change and they pass, and one day they won’t be our normal anymore. If you’d love for me to capture some of your family memories, Contact me here. You can also look through my Family Portfolio for more examples of my work.
April has been a BIG month! I’ve also been behind in editing my own photos, but I was determined to get them done. Giving myself a monthly deadline definitely helps me to prioritise keeping up with our own story. And here it is for April – and it’s a big one!!
Alexi and Alby’s Birthday Party
Alexi and Alby’s birthdays are 3 weeks apart, so this year we decided to celebrate with the family on the same day. I’m all about low key events (and yes, even though it was just immediate family – when your husband is one of 6 kids, every get together is an ‘event’!!). This means that we usually just get take away and keep it all simple. Simplicity is my friend in a world of daily chaos!!
Alby’s 2nd birthday
April 12th was Alby’s second birthday. He’s my youngest baby and my last baby, and turning two just brings out a lot of emotions in me, because it really means that he’s not a baby anymore. He’s a real little person with a real personality (a crazy, loud, energetic one at that!). He’s the last of so many things for me. My last pregnancy. My last birth. My last breastfeed. The last crawling baby, and learning to walk baby. The last ‘firsts’ of everything. And it’s gone fast. Crazy, crazy fast. I know in the next year he’s set to grow and change so much yet again. So for now, I’ll just enjoy the way he is and capture him whenever I can. These photos are taken on his birthday as he opened his presents, including a card written by Louie and a watermelon card from Alexi (because he just loves watermelon!). Oh and shh don’t tell him that it’s actually Christmas wrapping paper!
Alexi and Louie
I always love capturing Alexi and Louie together – they have such a beautiful relationship. In these images he’s going to her for cuddles when he’s upset, and then in return he ran to sit next to her on the couch when she hit her head and needed an ice pack. Those two have massive beautiful hearts.
So you know how before you have kids you always say you’ll never let them have ‘naughty’ food, and then you know how you do pretty well with the first one….well, there’s pretty much no hope once you get to your 4th kid! I don’t think he’s too unhappy about it either!
As usual, there’s always activity on our craft table. Louie of course is there, and now Alby is starting to join in on the fun too! Although to be honest he spends most of his time getting up and down from the chair!!
Easter bunny was busy in our house and hid soooo many small eggs around the house! They all go into a shared bowl, and we’ll probably spend the rest of the year eating them!!
Easter with the cousins
One of the things the kids love most about special events is being able to spend some time with their cousins! It’s filled with mostly boys – only the older two are girls, and now the youngest as well. All the rest are crazy boys!
Who needs toys?!
Our Easter dinner was held at my Sister in laws house. They’d just moved in and so had a lot of boxes left over – turns out this is all the kids need to have fun! They were entertained for hours in these boxes!!
Jumping on the bed
So one positive to having a photographer mother is that every now and then you get to jump on the bed so she can get some photos! Bonus points for wearing matching pj’s!
Fun and games
Alby in a bucket of soapy water, and bike races in the backyard. These are moments the kids created by themselves, and are the moments I love to capture.
Does anyone else’s kids set up comfy spots so they can talk to their sibling in the toilet?? Two of these images show just that – cushions set up outside the toilet so that they can keep talking!
I love photographing this girl. She’s so beautiful in every way. Whenever I tell people that I have four kids, they always say how much help the oldest one would be. And they’re right. But I don’t know if they realise just how right they actually are. This girl is absolutely amazing.
The washing machine
Lastly, this is another image which features a lot because Alby continue to love the washing machine. Whenever it’s on, he sits and watches it (and sometimes still turns it off!).
If you’d love for me to capture some of your own family memories, Contact me and we can chat about whether you’d like your session to be on location or in your own home! You can also look through my Family Portfolio for more examples of my work.
At the start of the year I made a little pact with myself that I’d stick to my own personal 365 project, which meant that I intended to take at least one photo every day of the year. I started off well, as most resolutions start, and then gradually faded away. I think I lasted a month and a half on this plan until I began to fail at this daily project! However, I’m still committed to making sure that I take photos of my own family, and that I continue to edit them and keep up to date with them. So here is our story for March!
My daughter went on her first school camp this month! I have to admit this was terrifying – for me anyway! She was so excited to go, and this definitely made it easier on me, although I do admit to some tears on my end!! She however, has this amazing way of taking everything in her stride, and simply finding the fun in everything. As she’s getting older and becoming more of her own person, I can understand more how parents let their kids go. As much as we want to keep them close and in a little bubble, when you see how much something else makes them happy, you just have to let them do it despite your own worries and fears. This parenting thing is certainly teaching me so many life lessons!!
Two year old tantrums!
Alby is not quite two yet (just a couple of weeks until his birthday), but he’s already showing signs of the Two year old tantrums! Triggers seem to be any time anyone leaves in the car without him, anytime we drop the kids off without going into the school, or anytime he’s not allowed food. Sigh. Fun times ahead.
Kohen was excited that his plant grew a strawberry this month – it may have been small, but it was a strawberry nonetheless! Since getting his trees and plants for his birthday last year, he’s been dedicated in watering them everyday, and I’ve even watched him through the window as he’s been talking to them! I think plants are good for him. He has such a nurturing side that he can find difficult to show, so he’s able to let that out with his plants.
Art with Louie
Louie has this beautiful way of focusing on a task. He’ll often go to the craft table and just sit there for ages drawing and creating works of art. He’s made everyone a birthday card – even if it hasn’t been their birthday – and sometimes he makes things for his little kindy friends. I love watching him create. He’s so calm and beautiful.
Alexi’s birthday photo
I took Alexi outside to take some photos to celebrate her 11th birthday. I’d always wanted to try the photo where I hold onto her face as I take the photo. I love how she instinctively held onto my arm as well – it just shows how naturally loving she is. I also love the photos of her laughing – she’s such a happy girl and I love capturing her genuine laughter. I can almost hear it as I look at the photo.
“Let me out!”
As we were taking her photo out the front, we noticed Alby trying to get out by pressing his hand up against the window. I forgot to mention that this is another trigger for his tantrum – not being let outside! He walked away before I could get the photo, so I got Kohen to come over and encourage him to repeat pressing up against the window.
One evening Louie randomly said to me ‘Mummy do you want to take a photo of me and I’ll smile?’. I think he was trying to be extra thoughtful and nice, and he knows that’s the way to my heart! Of course I said yes, so outside we went and he turned on the Louie charm!
Alexi’s 11th birthday morning
Birthday’s always make me sentimental – it’s just a reminder of how time is moving on, and it’s another age I have to let go of. I miss all the little Alexi’s along the way – the ‘just born’ Alexi, the ‘two year old Alexi’, the ‘5 year old Alexi’…and now the ’10 year old Alexi’. I’m pretty sure my kids think I’m crazy, although the older two understand it a little more now that they see the younger two growing up. I don’t think you can ever be prepared for how bittersweet it is to watch your kids grow up. This is a big reason why photos are so important to me. I look back on a photo and I can be there in the memory again.
On this morning, Louie sat with Alexi as she opened her presents and he also gave her the card he’d made for her. Those two have a beautiful bond.
Alexi’s middle name is Rose and her Nanna calls her ‘Roses’. For her birthday, her Nanna and Grandad bought her beautiful roses in a vase with the words ‘Roses’ written on it.
Alexi’s birthday party
Alexi and her friends celebrated her birthday at Cake Tinz ‘n Thingz which is a cake decorating place. She went there last year as well and loved it. She’s always loved baking and cake decorating, so this is the perfect party for her, and also lots of fun. Bonus is they get to take their cakes home with them!
And that’s March over. How FAST is this year going??!! If you’d like to book me for a session before the year is over, contact me here. You can also check out my Family Portfolio.
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.
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.
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!”
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!
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.
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).
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Okay, so we all love taking photos of our children – but how do we do that without losing our minds?!! They always say never to work with kids or animals, but there are definitely some approaches that I use during my sessions, and that you can use as well, to capture your kids without everyone losing the plot!
This is probably the main thing. Over the years I learnt this from my own kids, and especially from my son Kohen who would always be so painful to photograph – we’d constantly be yelling his name and eventually we’d all get frustrated and it just wasn’t a pleasant experience for anyone! And then I let go of the expectation that everyone needed to look at the camera and smile in the perfect way, and I started to actually enjoy just capturing them the way that they were. Yes, I still put them together for a photo, but my expectations are different. I now actually often ask them NOT to look at the camera, and this is actually the best way to get the photos I love as they’ll start interacting with each other, or they’ll focus on something they’re playing with and I’ll be able to grab the expression on their face. So adjust your expectations – realise that a photo doesn’t have to have everyone looking and smiling for it to be beautiful, and that capturing their personalities is just as great. Let go of expecting kids to sit still and focus – they just don’t want to do that!
Let Kids Be Kids!
Following on from this, the best way to photograph kids is to let them be kids!!! Let them hang upside down or jump on the bed, let them pull funny faces or express their emotions (even those bad ones!). Similarly, let them rest when they need to, and cuddle if they need comforting. There are multiple benefits to this. Firstly, they’ll be less likely to resist being photographed, as they’re being allowed to have fun. Secondly, this will cause everyone (including parents!) to be less stressed, and thirdly by allowing them to be kids, you’ll let their little personalities come out and this will be captured forever. You’re much more likely to get a genuine smile by letting them be a little childlike compared to forcing them to sit still and smile at the camera.
Tips and Tricks
Having said this, sometimes you really want them to look at the camera, even just for ONE photo. This can be challenging for multiple kids but there ARE some ways you can make it more likely that you’ll grab that photo. Here are some ideas:
- play the ‘frozen’ game where you need to stay still for the count of 10
- show them their photo on the back of the camera, and ask them whether they can give their absolute best smile next time to make an even better photo, then show them the results. Kids like seeing themselves on the back of the camera!
- tell them to imagine that their faces are stuck together – this usually results in smiles as everyone presses together really close
- ask them questions such as ‘who is the naughtiest?’, ‘what’s your favourite toy’, ‘who is funniest – mummy or daddy?’ – or anything age appropriate which allows them to feel like you’re paying attention to them, and takes the focus off the fact that they’re having their photo taken?
- ask them to show you what they’re playing with – e.g. a leaf or flower. Usually this means they’ll hold it up to the camera and they’ll actually look at the camera as well
- ask them to squeeze the person next to them as tight as they can
- tell them that on the count of 5 they’re going to either get tickled, or tickle the person next to them
- be silly, let them be silly, get someone else to be silly directly behind the camera
- say their name or age wrong – this usually encourages them to look at you and smile whilst correcting you
- get down on their level and talk to them WITHOUT the camera in front of your face
Fun and Games
Kids love games, and games are great for adults too! Think tickles, flying in the sky, spinning, follow the leader, jumping, running races, blowing bubbles, piggy back rides, lifting each other up, Simon Says, Chinese Whispers, and other games like this which encourages movement and interaction. This helps to loosen everyone up and bring out those genuine emotions!
Follow their Lead
If they’re not in the mood, you really can’t push it. If none of the tricks are working, and it’s just leading to a meltdown, you really just have to let it go. If it’s during a photo session, this just comes back to resetting expectations and realising that those images where you’re comforting your child, or they’re laying with their head buried into your chest, or even screaming in the background, can be beautiful too because it’s just capturing LIFE. REAL LIFE. We can’t predict or control kids moods, but the biggest way to ruin a session is to get angry or stressed about their behaviour. Just go with it. If they need a break, give them one. If they’re happy being photographed, then go with that and take as many as you can get until they lose interest (and they WILL lose interest).
If you’d like to take the pressure off of yourself, and get ME to capture some beautiful images of your kids, Contact me here.
Although I’ve always loved photography, it’s my kids who can be credited with really making it my passion. From the first moment my daughter was born, I wanted to capture every little thing about her so that I could always remember how she was at each stage of our journey together. This continued as the years went on and our family grew, and eventually also encouraged me to learn how to use my camera properly and to take images I truly loved as well as images that captured the moment. Since becoming a photographer and capturing endless memories for other people, I do find that I use my camera less with my own family. It’s still extremely important to me, so I’ve decided to blog my favourite images and memories from each month of my own family. This not only is to keep me accountable and make sure I keep taking photos of my own children, but also to show you all the little moments that are beautiful for you to capture with your own family so that you can tell your story. This being said, here is our story from October.
My son Kohen is a boy of extremes. When he’s naughty, he’s really naughty, but when he’s good, he’s sooo good. He can be so embarrassed to show his emotions (especially in public), yet he has the softest side to him and can be so thoughtful. He’s the type to SHOW you that he loves you, rather than TELL you. I woke up on this particular morning during the school holidays, and he’d started breakfast for everyone. He’s always up quite early, and his role is to empty the dishwasher, but on this morning he took it to another level. He had all the plates lined up, the toast, fruit and juice. He told me to ‘sit on the couch and be a couch potato’ and said that he wanted to do everything himself. And he did. Of course before I was a couch potato, I had to capture this beautiful moment.
My youngest son Alby reminds me a lot of Kohen. He has the same crazy energy, but at the same time, they are the only two of my kids who have attached to comforters and to dummies. Alby loves his bunnies – especially ‘floppy bunny’. He sleeps with them all the time, and carries them everywhere. I’m not even sure who gave them to him, or how he started to attach to them, but he loves them. He also loves the dog water bowl, and in one of these images you can see my daughter in the process of picking it up as Alby is contemplating the idea of either STANDING in the dog bowl, or giving his bunnies a wash in it. Both of which he’s done plenty of times, so the poor dog can rarely drink when Alby is awake as his water bowl is usually placed up high. The other thing Alby loves is food, and one of these images shows his little hand reaching up for some food which is on the table (and unfortunately for him, quite out of his reach!)
In contrast to his brothers, Louie is quite a calm and steady soul. He has an amazing ability to focus, and loves to paint. I love capturing him when he’s ‘in the zone’. He seems to go into his own little world. It’s these moments which are easy to capture with kids, as they’re already happy doing an activity so you don’t need to ask anything of them.
October was Kohen’s 8th birthday. The night before he turned 8 I said goodnight to him before I went to bed, and I cried! Yes – I’m a total sook! All Kohen wanted for his birthday was a fruit tree. This didn’t surprise me at all, as it’s such a ‘Kohen’ thing to want. He likes to nurture and care for things, he likes learning about how things work, and he loves fruit. So he has a green apple tree and a mandarin tree, and he’s happy. He also got a strawberry plant from his best friend. Let’s hope we don’t kill them!
Birthday mornings are always special, and even though this one was a little rushed as we had to get organised for swimming lessons, I still wanted to capture some moments.
Kohen had a birthday party at Darklight, followed by dinner at home with the family. My kids are lucky enough to have lots of cousins who they love spending time with, and lots of aunties and uncles who make family things feel full.
It was also my birthday this month and I got a new lens – which of course means I need to take the kids out to have a little try of it! We had to go in the middle of the day due to swimming and musical rehearsal commitments, which is never best for photos. Here are some we managed to capture. Louie always gives me flowers and kisses and plenty of hugs, so I asked my husband to capture one of our cuddles.
As well as lots of events this month, we found a little time to play. This is one game that the kids love to play – water chasey. They have to sneak past the person with the spray bottle and try not to get wet! Alby’s look of pure joy as the water is spraying him in the face is just the perfect expression of his for me to capture. It makes me smile every time!
This month our school had its Literacy Parade. This is probably not my favourite school event, as creativity with dressing up is not my strong point! I’m definitely not one of those mothers who can create something amazing for their kids to wear! This was our effort this year, with inspiration taken from the book Gangsta Granny – what do you think?!
Halloween! Do your kids celebrate it? Mine like to go trick or treating, and to be honest, although I’m not huge on dressing up, I love being out on this night. Walking through the streets with everyone out and walking as well, bumping into people you know, and everyone having a little bit of a joyful spirit, just feels really nice. Luckily for me, my older two like to create things and so they created some pumpkin and ghost lolly treats which make it look like I actually went to some effort ha ha!
If you’d like to let me help you create some family memories for yourself, Contact me here.
How many of you instinctively tell everyone to ‘smile!’ when taking a photo? How often does that result in frustration or disappointment – those being photographed become bored of remaining still, and those photographing become frustrated that they can’t capture the ‘perfect smile’. And how often does it result in an obviously forced ‘fake smile’? What happens if you challenge yourself on the idea of a perfect photo, and let go of ‘perfect’ expectations? What happens if you just put everyone together, but then just let them BE. It’s usually in those moments that their real personalities are able to shine through, and you can capture who they really are. Even with my own family photos, I’ve had to let go of my expectation to get that one perfect smiling photo. I have four kids, and so getting that shot is very challenging (especially with my 7 year old involved!). Since I’ve let go of that ideal, I’ve found that perfection is what you make of it. It’s the story of who people are and their connections with each other. I’ll forever look back on photos of our family with someone’s bottom in the air, or someone pulling a funny face (usually the 7 year old!), someone slightly out of frame – but that’s all real life! It’s personality and beautiful chaos! It makes me smile when I look back on them, and makes me remember what life was really like.
Everyone has a different definition of what makes the ‘perfect photo’, and different reasons for wanting to book a photo shoot and have their memories captured. There is no right or wrong in what makes a perfect photo as it’s all subjective. For me, I don’t go into a photo shoot aiming to get everyone smiling and looking at the camera. Although we all might like some of those, for me the perfect image really tells a story and shows real emotion rather than posed, stiff smiles. I want to capture YOU! I don’t want you to worry about looking ‘perfect’ or worry about all your children giving proper smiles. For me, a perfect photo doesn’t even need to be a smiling one! There are so many different sides to who we are, and I think it’s beautiful to capture those emotions – even (and sometimes especially) those serious ones. I want to capture a connection between you – the hugs, the kisses, the laughter, love and fun. I don’t want you to worry about who is looking at the camera and who isn’t, who is smiling ‘properly’ and who is giving their best fake cheesy grin! When you look at your images, I want you to remember the feelings and emotion – I want you to being able to look back on that not just now, but in many years from now when things have changed and the kids have grown. I don’t want you to think about whether the photo has everyone smiling and looking at the camera – I want you to look at your images and think about which ones make you FEEL the most. Which one tells a story. One example for me is photos of my children with Father Christmas. Every year I get them, and often the people taking the photo will desperately try to get my kids to look at the camera and smile. But those aren’t the images I love. The ones I remember and love are the ones that tell a story. The year that my 18 month old daughter was too scared to sit on his knee, so sat on the floor in front of him and played with the baubles while we sneakily took a photo; the year that my 2 year old son was too scared and so I had to sit there too, but he was still scared and was screaming and hugging his teddy; the year that my youngest was fascinated by his beard and kept looking up at him and smiling. I don’t need them to all look and smile for me to think the photo is perfect. It’s all a part of the story, and that’s what I love about photography and capturing memories. Below are some examples of how beautiful a photo can be, even when no one is smiling and looking at the camera.
If you’d like to capture some ‘perfect’ memories for yourself, then please Contact me here.
Sometimes you know you want a session, but you’re unsure whether you would prefer a location session or a lifestyle session. The answer really depends on what you want to get out of the session. In BOTH types of sessions, my main focus is not on getting the ‘perfect everyone smiling at the camera image’. For me, that isn’t necessarily the perfect photo. My passion for photography comes from telling stories, and I follow that passion with both location and lifestyle sessions. This means that in both sessions I do a lot of moving around, and I focus on those little details such as your little one holding your hand, the twirl of the skirt of your daughter spinning around, you and your partner interlocking hands whilst sitting on a rug…your gallery for both style of sessions will have images of the little details and different perspectives, as that’s the story I love to tell. But there are a few differences between Location and Lifestyle sessions which might help you choose which one is right for you. You can also read more about Lifestyle sessions here.
Where do you want your story told?
Is part of your story your home? Are there particular rooms in your house, or routines you have that you want to remember in a beautiful way? Lifestyle sessions are perfect for newborns, but are just as great for families as well – or even maternity or couple sessions. They allow us to preserve the reality of this time in our lives and remember details that we think we’ll remember, but inevitably forget as time moves on and routines change. For example, the cuddles on the couch, the routine of reading stories on your bed, cooking together in the kitchen….even just the details about what those rooms LOOK like. Remembering the kids rooms as they are when they are little, remembering the rug or couch that is so familiar to you, the way you decorated your rooms with details of your family as it is today…these things all change as time moves on so it can be special to have some family memories which include your home as part of your story. The story of lifestyle sessions are told beautifully in photo books, and your memories can be looked at for years to come. Here are some reasons why I love photo books.
Alternatively, is there a place you all love going to as a family and you’d love to have photos taken there, such as the beach or the park? You can view some Location options for your photo shoot here. Do you want to have nature or the outdoors as your backdrop? Perhaps you’re thinking of framing some images and would like some greenery in the background, or the sunset on the beach. Your story as a family can still be told on location, as I’ll still focus on your interactions together.
Natural vs Posed
Although my focus is not on ‘posing’ families – but rather ‘guiding’ them – there is a little more posing that happens with location shoots compared to lifestyle. This comes in part from people being more comfortable in their home, which allows me to guide you into a room or a particular spot – and then just watch what normally happens. For example, you may want to record reading bedtime stories to your little one on their bed. I may guide you all to be there, but then I’ll simply be photographing what is naturally occurring as you read that story. In each room or place in your home, you’re more likely to just do what comes naturally, and I’ll be there to capture it.
With location sessions, there is generally more guidance and ‘posing’ as there is less for you to naturally do. I’ll usually start by guiding you to sit together on a rug. This will usually result in a natural inclination to all smile at the camera – and although I might get some of those images – but then I’ll move around and capture those little interactions that are happening while you’re together, and those little details. If you’re after a few more of the posed images, then location sessions are usually more likely to provide them simply because when placed together on location, the nature of that looks more posed than it does if placed together on your couch or on your bed which is a more natural place for you to be close together.
When kids are involved
When picking your type of session and there are kids involved – you need to consider the best option for them. If they’re stressed or tired or bored, YOU’RE going to be stressed, and that will come across in the images. Lifestyle sessions can be great for young children, as they’re able to come in and out as their mood strikes, and they don’t feel the pressure to have to sit still and quiet. They’re also great for newborns, as you don’t need to worry about leaving your house, and the nature of lifestyle sessions is that it’s telling your story as it is NOW – which may include a little extra clutter and baby items – so there is no need to have the ‘perfect house’.
Location sessions can also be good for young children (and some beautiful images can be created from playing in nature), but you really have to consider your location properly. Your kids will probably want and need time to run off on their own so they can have breaks between photos – so the beach may be challenging for very young children. With the right location choice, your kids can truly have fun during the session – and images can be captured of them having this fun.
Lifestyle sessions can be captured all year – it doesn’t matter whether it’s hot or cold – raining or storming. For this reason they’re particularly popular in winter, as there’s less need to cancel due to weather, but they’re just as great in summer (who wants to be sweating outside in the heat of summer?!).
In contrast, location sessions are much more dependent on the weather, and as such there is more chance they’ll need to be rescheduled (or cut short as is the case with one beach maternity session in freezing conditions).
Light and time of the day
Lifestyle sessions can be captured during any daylight hours (although the best time is usually around 10am or 3pm as there is usually some light coming through the windows instead of directly on top of the house). This may make them more suitable when kids and babies are involved, or work schedules.
Location sessions are much more dependent on the light. The best time for location sessions is the hour before sunset – and sunset obviously gets later as it gets warmer. This means that location sessions are often booked around 4pm in winter, and 5/530pm (or sometimes later) in summer. These times aren’t always conducive to happy children, so sometimes we need to compromise light for happy children, and shoot at less than ideal times of the day. In those situations it’s important to find locations with a lot of shade.
These are just some of the things to consider than might help you make up your mind. In summary:
- help you capture your home as part of your story, including special routines, rooms or items
- are beautiful stories for photo books
- usually produce more ‘fly on the wall’, natural images
- often allow you to feel more comfortable as you’re in a familiar environment
- can be great for little kids as they are also comfortable, and can come in and out with less pressure to stay in one location
- can be captured during any daylight hours (with the best times being 10am and 3pm)
- can be captured during all seasons and weather conditions
- usually involve more guidance and ‘posing’ (although will still result in the little details being captured as well)
- are beautiful for images you want to frame on your wall or around your house
- are a great way to capture a place you love to go
- can be great for kids to play in, but you need to make sure you choose a safe environment
- are best captured in the hour before sunset, or if this is not possible, in a location with a lot of shade
- are more likely to need to be rescheduled or cut short due to weather conditions
Feel free to discuss your options with me. Contact me if you’d like to book a session, or gift a session to someone you love.
On the weekend I held some mini sessions at Hyde Park. Mini sessions are truly amazing value – they’re a great way to have a short, sharp session (perfect for restless kids!), and save some money whilst STILL getting some amazing print enlargements at the end of it, and a wide selection of images. Kelly booked in for her mini session as she felt that the timing would suit her children’s attention spans, and because she always felt guilty for not having a newborn shoot for her daughter like she did for her son…don’t we all always feel guilty about something?! Kelly also wanted to get some beautiful images of the kids to give to the grandparents, and to show the kids when they’re older – shots that also include her IN the frame instead of being the one always taking the photo with her phone! Even though it’s a mini session, you still receive a full gallery to choose from, and can upgrade to receive all of the images if you love them all (which Kelly did).
We had a really fun session – the kids played and jumped and did flying with Daddy, and spinning with Mummy, and I also made sure to get some of mum and dad together. How gorgeous does Kelly look in that dress! Her outfit was the perfect choice for the photo shoot – I absolutely love lightly patterned dresses for images! It was the perfect choice! As with all of my sessions, the focus isn’t of getting the perfect ‘everyone smile at the camera’ image. Although I usually put everyone together at the start, and at various points throughout the session, I truly love to capture individual personalities. I also love to allow kids to be kids and I find that following them around and showing an interest in what they’re doing and what THEY want to do, is more likely to bring out genuine emotion compared to forcing them to sit still and smile at a strange lady holding a camera!
Frankii and Chet (yes that’s their names – how gorgeous!!!! I almost want to have another child just to use those names!) were just beautiful to shoot. Chet examined some of my photos in camera to make sure they were good enough, and this also encouraged him to give a big smile for a few photos, as he wanted to see what he would look like! Frankii had the usual energy and curiosity of an 18 month old, and I certainly got in some exercise chasing her around (as did Chet who assumed the big brother role and ‘lovingly’ tried to hold her still at times!). I loved meeting this family and capturing some memories for them!
If you’d like to book a session, or a mini session, please Contact me and feel free to ask any questions!