A few months ago I ran a little giveaway to win a family session - and The Ogden Fam was our winners! We held their session last weekend in Wollongong
Chris, Maddy & Hunter
With eyes that tell a thousand stories, and umpteen in-between moments, this session is one of my favourites from recent. This may also have a large thing to do with this family being three of my favourite people, and the cutest family unit ever.
Hunter is the son of one of my oldest friends, Chris & his gorgeous partner Maddy. He's almost one, and we headed down to the local gardens at sunset for their first family session. This little guy (Hunter that is!) is seriously such a good boy, with killer smiles, a cheeky laugh and curls that go for days.
Throughout this series you'll see the close bond within this family, the love, the laughter, the cuddles... and one of Hunter's favourite toys which makes one heck of a lot of noise! These are important in family sessions, particularly with younger kids that aren't yet comprehensive to the spoken word and cheeky bribes - bring along their favourite toy or something to spark their interest (on the spot, keys usually are a hit!) to get their attention and spark those token giggles!
The Dockrill Family
This session brought me so much joy! A family full of love and laughter, with a "whatever goes" attitude are seriously the dream. The Dockrills travelled down to the Illawarra from Western Sydney for our family session, and their gorgeous Border Collie named Reggie came along for the ride.
Our first scheduled session we had to postpone due to inclement weather. I'd promised this location with stunning sunset colour, and well, when it's raining and overcast this is far from achievable. Thankfully we did reschedule because check out that punchy sunset colour! The light over our location was exactly what I had invisioned for our session and I could not have been happier!
I got to know this family through Mum, Elise who is a super talented photographer herself! Elise is the face behind Floragraphica, and specialises in bespoke imagery of wedding bouquets and floral arrangements. Brides, this is a PERFECT way to preserve your wedding bouquet following your wedding. Elise photographs the intricate details of your wedding florals, creating statement art pieces for your walls, and immortalizing your wedding florals well before they wilt for you to keep forever! I could seriously plug Elise's work all day, she's undeniably amazing at what she does!
And here is her clan! Her two beautiful children, husband and fur-baby Reggie; enjoying some sunset fun in the waves of one of Wollongong's best beaches.
When I'm not shooting weddings, I have a huge soft spot for family sessions. Usually weddings are on a Saturday, so most Sunday's I'll have either a few family or engagement sessions on my calendar. The Worthington family wanted something a little different for their family session - and I was all for it!
We kicked off our session at their home in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra, where we got to really see the playful personalities of Anna & Charlie, two of the cutest kids I've ever met! I think this is the only time they'll be allowed to jump on Mum and Dad's bed and get away with it too!
With a wardrobe change and a change of pace from the intimate and cosy home environment, we headed up to the Rhododendron Gardens in Mt Pleasant. Though it is Autumn here, we've had a very Summer-like start to the season, and those trees that are usually already beautiful shades of orange with leaves falling everywhere are still very green. Though, we did find a spot where it seemed that all of the fallen leaves had left a sort of natural carpet on the ground - which made for the perfect props to finish off our Autumn family session with some leaf throwing fun!
Mel & her husband Trent are the owners of local children's clothing business Willow n Oak. Together with her Nan, they custom hand-make every design within their label - how awesome is that?! In our garden images, the overalls that Charlie is wearing, and the mustard romper that Anna are wearing are both new designs to the Willow n Oak clothing label. Definitely head on over to their site and check these designs out - there are some seriously adorable outfits on offer!
Hayley & Jayla - Mother/Daughter Family Session
Most normal people opt for hitting the beach to enjoy some fun in the sun, or stay inside with the air conditioning blasting when it's a 40°C day, but on this day last month I had a mini-session marathon, and this session was one of these!
This location is undoubtedly one of my favourites in the Illawarra. These fig trees just have so much character, and I feel for family sessions just bring something else to the table. I just love this spot!
Hayley contacted me for a mother-daughter family session shortly after I captured her sister's engagement, just weeks before. I love when clients recommend me to their friends and family! Next time I see Hayley, she'll be the maid of honour at her sister's wedding, later this year.
Hayley & Jayla have such a special connection and I loved being able to witness this at our session. Family sessions I feel should be more about the connections, rather than stale rigid posing. In this session, we had eskimo kisses, walks with stories, cuddles, tickles, hide and seek and everything else we could think of - embracing the connection, and just having a lot of fun in doing so. A lot of my clients say at the start of our session "I'm not very photogenic" and "we need a lot of direction", and leave the session saying how it wasn't as awkward as they thought it would be, in fact it wasn't awkward at all, and that they had fun!
With Mother's Day very quickly approaching, have you considered gifting Mum with a family session? Trust me, she'll love it!
Carly, James & Georgia // Family Session
How hot was Sunday!?
Whilst most were enjoying the waves at the beach or staying inside with the a/c blasting, I had a mini-session marathon with 4 sessions! I know, only crazy people work in 40°C weather right?!
This session was my second last for the day. This family had just traveled back from Canberra after visiting family for their nephews 3rd birthday, and then endured the tropical humid heat for our mini session - and we had so much fun! Georgia is only 18 months old and just so full of life. We had laughter, tears - and this girl has SO many different facial expressions from cute as pie to sass queen and everything in between.
Such an adorable little family with a lot of love and it was a pleasure to capture this family, even in the phenomenal heat on the day!
The Parks Family
This little family is just the sweetest!
I had the pleasure of capturing Rachel & Scot's maternity session whilst the baby bump was still known as "Baby A". They kept their daughter's name a secret from everyone until announcing at her arrival, that Aubrey had entered the world.
The weather wasn't on our side for our initial scheduled session, but my gosh the Illawarra turned it up for our next session date! Our session was the first family photos since Aubrey's arrival, held just days before her 6 month birthday. As you can see from the images below - not only is Aubrey just too adorable, but there is a whole lot of love in this little family!
The Hatcliffe Family
Logan and Cooper are seriously the cutest brothers ever! Now the saying goes - never work with children or animals, yet I firmly believe the opposite. In family photography you need to work WITH the children - especially toddlers! At this age they're mastering the word "no" and able to dictate their wants and needs - and that's usually when bribes come to play to achieve co-operation. All Logan wanted to do was run down the dune from where we started our session, and play in the water. So a few white lies and promises to get by, including close knit candids with his family helps achieve our goal - with him getting his way towards the end of the session, because those jeans got DRENCHED!
I had a lot of fun with this session. The light was AMAZING - there were storms forecast for that night, so the sky was a very dark and moody, with the stunning contrast of the beach. Halfway through there was a break in the clouds though and just this absolute beam of light came through.
With so much love in this family, our session was full of laughs and fun - thanks Hatcliffe's for inviting me along to spend an afternoon with you!
The Prior Family
After rescheduling for months due to bad weather, we finally got to hold our family session! This was my second session with this family, and these two boys are two crazy peas in a pod!
My best advice for sessions with children who don't have a lasting attention-span for a full photo session, is to play on their terms. All Abel & Braxtyn wanted to do was have a photo by the water. After our main series of photos, I promised we'd capture a few by the water as a reward for co-operation. While Mum & Dad had a few photos and so that we didn't have two young boys in the water - I suggested a boat race. Simply, you drop a leaf at the top of the stream, and the leaves are pushed along with the current. Whichever leaf reaches a set 'end point', wins!
Well we didn't even get as far as setting end-point, but we did get photos of the boys by the water as promised!
Teagan, Jai & Kayden // Family Session
How cute is little Kayden! This was my second session with this young family. I last met Kayden when he was only a few months old, and he's grown so much since then! I love the journey my return clients take me on, and being able to see how time changes them - especially with little ones as they grow so quickly!
Tayla, Jake & Nate // Family Session
This young family are adorable. So close, so full of love. Tayla chose this hidden gem in Minnamurra for their session - and I'm so glad she did! A hall of trees that most would just overlook. And how absolutely adorable is their son Nate?! Tayla brought her Mum along to help out with Nate while they had their photos, and she had a banana incase Nate was hungry. But he thought the banana was hilarious! So the last few in this set where we finally got to see Nate's gorgeous smile - yep, that was all brought about by that banana!
The O'Shea Family
This session was a special one to be a part of. The O'Shea family have a distance barrier. Luke being in the Australian Army, is here in Townsville. His wife and their daughter live back in her home country of Ireland. So this session was not only a defence session, but also a family session to commemorate a moment in their life, here together, as a family in Townsville, North Queensland.
The Finch Family
This family was A LOT of fun. Held just a day after Belle's parent's session, we ventured out in hunt for some stunning golden light for our sunset session. Townsville is such a good location, in the fact that it has so much to offer. Gorgeous sunrises over the beach, and sunsets over fields and grasslands - prime locations at our disposal!
Belle & Chris's 3 children are so cheeky and hilarious. So of course, we embraced these qualities and captured the essence of their personalities!
The Perger Family
We beat the heat for this morning beach session! Held on Valentine's Day, the Illawarra still is quite temperate. Nixon, the youngest of the Perger Family was over-joyed that during our session he got to build some sandcastles on the beach, have cuddles with Mum and Dad and even get to pat a kelpie that was on it's morning walk!
The Lardner Family
Photo sessions make GREAT gift options. This session was exactly brought about by this idea. Kristen contacted me saying that she'd been discussing with her siblings about Christmas gift ideas for their parents, and decided that a canvas print and a photo session would be the perfect gift. Note - this session was taken only days before Christmas. They had their photos back in time for Christmas and were able to get everything organised - how good is that!
They had their hearts set on Killalea for their session - and it was the perfect backdrop. Killalea has so much to offer - monthly markets, a camp ground, a popular wedding venue, as well of the being home to The Farm & Mystics surf beaches.
Contemplating a family session as a gift idea, or would like to arrange a voucher as a gift for someone you know?
The McDonald Family
Townsville holds the biggest army base in Australia. So, it's no surprise that a significant proportion of the population have moved to the North Queensland city for work in the services. The McDonald family were one of those, and contacted me wanting family photos to document this time in their life, in the new city they were residing in. Townsville is also home to some of the best sunsets I have ever witnessed, and thankfully we were blessed with some stunning golden light to end our session.
The Hancock Family
I started offering defence sessions, as with Townsville having such a high defence presence, why not! At a 30% defence discount rate, families who wanted photos with their defence loved one, in uniform now could. The Hancock Family are an airforce family, filled with love and admiration for their father/husband in service. It was only fitting that we held our session at the Jezzine Barracks, a site full of defence history.