I caught up with Tariq Sims & his beautiful family in Kiama last weekend for their first ever family photos! A great afternoon of fun & candid moments!
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!
Hannah & Nathan // Engagement
I love when I meet with my couples and they're as silly and chilled out as I am. This was exactly the case with Hannah & Nathan - actually I think my personality is the blend of the two of theirs combined!
I had a blast capturing their engagement session in one of my favourite, less-travelled to parts of the Illawarra. I recommend with engagement sessions to opt for a location that contrasts to your wedding location. Hannah & Nathan are a military couple, both in the Australian Navy, and will be married on base in Sydney later this year. With the picturesque Sydney Harbour views that will serve as the perfect backdrop for their wedding images, they travelled down to my neck of the woods and held our session in beautiful bushland of the Illawarra escarpment, overlooking Wollongong.
Oh, and if you bring your daughter along - I totally can't promise that she won't steal the spotlight for your session! Isn't Vida just adorable! This week, Hannah and Nathan have announced some very exciting news, that there'll be a new addition attending their wedding, with their second daughter due in August. What an upcoming exciting year ahead for this growing family!
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!
When I first put out word that I would be in the Quirindi/Tamworth region briefly between Christmas and New Year, the Graham family were quick to respond! They were actually due to have their bundle of joy right at this time - I mean, talk about perfect timing, right! Due to the uncertainty of actual due dates, and when babies decide they'd actually like to enter the world, there was a very real possibility that we may not have gotten our session in. However! I got a wonderful email the week before I was leaving, right before Christmas saying that baby Archer had arrived earlier than planned!
9 days old at our session, and his parents hearts so full of love for their first-born. This is the perfect session to answer a few questions I'd had recently about how I conduct my newborn sessions, and what "in home lifestyle" really means. In short, these sessions are essentially all about capturing what's going on in a "day in the life" kind of way. So no un-natural activities, more or less capturing your family, in your home with your new baby, if it's an in-home newborn session (I offer in-home maternity, family and couple sessions also!).
You'll see from the starting images here, I captured bath time. It can get VERY warm in the Liverpool Plains region, being inland it doesn't have the coastal breeze I've become to take for granted living in coastal Wollongong. So we started our session with a bit of a cool off, and bath time for Archer, which he loved - I mean check out those adorable facial expressions!
I look around your home (not in stealth mode sussing it out, just glancing!) for little decorative elements that make your home unique (signs, photos, etc). I just loved the quote that serves at the first image of the series about loving you more than chocolate! With newborns, this is also a great way to include heirlooms and sentimental gifts. Handmade toys, clothing or blankets I LOVE to include, not only due to their intrinsic value, but also as the Grandparents/Godparents/Extended friends and family, etc love them also, as it shows that their gift is being cherished.
And I love pets too! Though I saw these gorgeous pup's in photos on the wall, during this session I didn't meet any four-legged family. But with a lot of my sessions, indoor cats definitely get some shutter-time! Four-legged family to me are part of the family network too, and I love to include them in your in-home session.
If you're situated within the Liverpool Plains region and were interested in booking in a session with me, please get in touch! I have family in the area and am planning on heading back up in the near future.
Margaret & Peter
It’s not very often that I shoot for myself (this is one of my New Years resolutions!). It’s also not very often I see my Grandparents who live 6 hours drive from me, in a town called Quirindi which is situated about 45 minutes south of Tamworth, NSW.
Between Christmas and New Year, you know the few days that most are still recovering from the aftermath of Christmas? Not me! I took the trip up to the Tamworth region to visit, and I thought I’d kick off this resolution early and capture them in their backyard garden, being one of their many pride and joys!
Growing up, my Grandma had 2 cats, both whom have since passed. Their current cat just kind of found them, and decided that she'd like to spend her time over at their place. It's crazy how animals can just have this sense of belonging about them, and just decide that they'd like to be here or like to be there - just find their own fit!
This was a very special session for me, and also one of the shortest I've ever captured. This entire series was shot over probably 10 minutes in their yard, in the warmth of the December Summer afternoon. But it's sessions like this that hone in to me on how and why capturing the people you love is so important. This year I aspire to shoot a lot more for myself, as it's images like these that just hold so much significance to myself and extended family - I feel like I was one of my clients receiving my images back when I finished processing this set!
Shayla & Anthony - Maternity
By the time our session finally rolled around, I felt like I'd known Shayla for years! Shayla booked in her session almost right after finding out that her and Anthony were expecting their second son, and we were back-and-forth communicating to perfect all the details in the months leading up to their session.
With rain forecast for our session time, we made the judgement call to bring our session forward by an hour and a half to hopefully beat the forecast inclement weather. Thankfully we did, we had perfect conditions for our session and the rain was visibly coming over as we were heading back to the cars at the end of our session. Couldn't have timed it better if we tried!
Shayla hired her gown and flower crown from the gorgeous Ann, from My Friend Ann Prop Hire. I recommend all my maternity clients who are pondering what to wear for their session, to drop by and see Ann, located in Farmborough Heights who has the biggest range of maternity wear, and props of all sorts, in a range of all sizes and colours. She's also a local photographer too, and I'm all for supporting rather than competing with local businesses!
Shayla was 35 weeks at our session, so they will be expecting their son, and a little brother for Dakodah very soon!
Jess & Harper
Jess and Harper are high school sweethearts. Although in different years at school, their story begins at a high school swimming carnival. 7 years on from then, here we were at our session yesterday. They've got a full of beans son Elijah who's too cute for words!!
Harper started on testosterone earlier this year, commencing his female-male transition. Prior undergoing hysterectomy surgery to further continue the transition, Harper hopes to bear a child, just ticking off that last box of woman-hood. On his personal Facebook account, Harper has teed up with a fellow trans friend of his, and they've filmed Q&A videos explaining all about themselves, transgender and the process involved, and everything in between which is being widely viewed by the community!
I truly had a blast with Harper, Jess & Eli yesterday. So much love within this little family, and we connected instantly like we'd been friends for years. Just such a down-to-earth couple and even though all Eli wanted to do was play on the nearby playground his lollypop bribe kept his attention for our session!
Today the results of the Australian Marriage survey came in, after the tally of our nation's say has been counted. The result was a majority YES, and I truly hope to see that in the future, Australian marriage laws are changed to allow same-sex couples to wed.
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!