Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of daylight savings sunsets! I caught up in Kiama with The Batchelor family for a sunset mini session.
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!
Bec & Chris // Married
An intimate wedding of just family and a few close friends was the perfect choice for Bec & Chris - a big wedding just wasn't them. Another thing that made their wedding uniquely theirs, that they included in their ceremony was a pledge by all attending guests that they were to celebrate and cheers with champagne with them as the reception kicked off!
When I asked Bec to describe their wedding in 3 words, she said small, intimate & romantic. These three words perfectly described their day! A few tears, a lot of laughs, and you can see from their guests faces, a lot of love and support for this beautiful couple.
Ceremony Styling: South Coast Party Hire
Florals & Flower Crown: Flowers and Crowns by Lauren
Celebrant: Carol Martin
Venue: The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
Hair: Hair by Nat
Makeup: Samantha Dunn (friend)
Wedding Gown: Sweet Angels Bridal
Cake: Lee Karayiannis (friend)
Hes & Styve // Engaged
Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographer, and their style prior to your wedding day in a more relaxed and casual environment. I encourage my couples to think about their hobbies, if there is a sentimental or special location for them - could be where they had their first date, or just where they like to spend their weekends. I think engagement sessions are all the more special, and personal when they have an element that represents the couple. Eg. If you and your fiancé are in the surf most mornings and just live for the beach - then I'd probably recommend we choose a beach session to reflect this.
With Hes and Styve, being a Sydney couple they regularly frequent the Centennial Parklands on their weekends with their adorable son Ollie. My gosh, what a place! These parklands aren't just a normal patch of grass with a playground set upon it - no. These parklands have ponds, grasslands, fields, woodlands galore and it's absolutely huge! This place has so much to offer and a huge variety of landscapes, there was no wonder that this family regularly come here! But it was set, there was no better choice for our location than Centennial Parklands. We set our place to meet, but the minute I parked and got out of the car I knew where we'd be holding our session.
This gorgeous tunnel alley of trees, with this stunning soft light shining through was right next to where I parked! I took a quick snap and when I met up with Hes & Styve at the nearby café, showed them the location I'd just seen and they were as hooked as I was!
Now as I mentioned earlier, engagement sessions are best when they're a visual representation of the couple. Their son, is a super important element of their life - so of course we included him! This goes for pets, children, sentimental items - things that reflect you as a couple I love. The love that Hes & Styve have for each other, and their combined love for Ollie just flourished in our session. I like to have fun with all of my sessions, there's always a lot of laughter involved and this session was no exception to this! There's no rigid "alright guys, nice in close together, looking at the camera and on the count of three, say cheese!" with my sessions. I'm all about capturing your personalities, the inside moments, the love and the laughter in a very relaxed, laid-back and candid way - capturing shots that nine times out of ten, when you receive your gallery back you won't even know these moments happened!
Hes & Styve will be married back at this beautiful location in April, and I cannot wait to capture their upcoming intimate wedding!
Jess & Shannon // Married
Aussie girl meets Kiwi boy via Aussie sister via an online game!
Well, this is a super confusing way of how Jess & Shannon met! Fast forward two and a half years, a move to Australia from New Zealand for Shannon and a beautiful daughter who has just turned one... and they became Mr & Mrs on January 27th.
Shannon proposed in Manly Botanic Gardens on a bridge. A lot of nerves, tears and a YES! A year on from this special day, they were wed at Wollongong Botanic Gardens, and of course we had to utilize the symbolism of the Kawasaki Bridge given their proposal story!
Just like how they met, their wedding included a strong sense of family & love of their friends. In their ceremony they also included a balloon release, and a padlock ceremony with their daughter.
Reception: City Beach Function Centre
Florals: A_Flower - Alanna Foo
Hair & Makeup: Lauren Ashley Hair & Body
Cake: Mi Cakes & Design
Rings: Michael Hill
Dresses: Mr K
Welcome Sign: Noelle Ula + Brothers (friends)
The Bell Family
Meet Saxon! I just love in-home sessions! Even more so, I love telling the stories of the extended families of my previous clients. This was the case with how this session came about, when Sam, one of my 2016 wedding clients, contacted me about a newborn session for her brother and sister in law, and their adorable new arrival, Saxon.
Saxon was 5 months at the time of our session. Newborn sessions are generally best held between the first 2 weeks earth-side if you're wanting the cuddly, sleepy, more or less standard style of newborn photos. Rebecca & Jono thought we'd wait til little Saxon was a few months older, so we could have his personality shining through and I'm so glad we did!
Towards the end of their gallery, you'll see we included sentimental gifts that had been given to Saxon by his family. Something tells me given his eye's never left it, and that grip was super tight that we may have a footy star here as he grows up! He just loved that football!
You'll notice from this gallery that my in-home sessions are a documentation of what "daily life" could consist of for your family. I like to stand back and watch the interactions amongst my subjects unfold, rather than rigid, stale posing. A lot of laughs, a lot of tickles, a lot of your own inside moments all the while allowing your personalities and love within your family shining through your images.
I'd love to capture your family's story!
Amy & Nicole
These two gorgeous women have been together for 9 years! And, they tell me they're still as much in love now as they ever have been.
This session is part of our free mini sessions for those who identify as LBGTIQ. Under the #rainbowloveau initiative, created by the lovely Nic over at Fox & Kin, I am the Illawarra photographer offering free 30 minute mini sessions to LBGTIQ. Read more about this on Nic's blog. There is an insane amount of photographers who have jumped onboard all over Australia, and now branching internationally. How awesome is that?! Check out the blog if you're outside the Illawarra and interested in a session to find the photographer in your local area.
Our entire session was full of their inside jokes, embracing how ticklish Amy is, avoiding spider webs and exploring through bushland.