Not again! Will this ever end? Another lockdown. It is however, what it is. While I was feeling a little miserable about the whole situation I decided to lift my spirits by looking through some of my family photoshoots.
My miserable feelings exited stage right and along came the joy as I recalled the fun and laughter we had on these occasions.
Meet Olivia and Jackson and their black lab Mater. There was not a single dull moment with these three. This was a blooper but I love it so much. Mater had sat still long enough!!
Just look at those giggles! This was mum’s favourite image and I guess that was why.
I wanted to make some outdoor props and came up with the idea of the lace tee pee. It worked a treat with gorgeous Ava and Charlotte. The girls wore the perfect dresses that suited the scene and I was thrilled with how they loved playing and cuddling.
I then remembered the shoot with Zoey and her family. Zoey is about to have her fourth birthday this week. Where does the time go? She is a gorgeous little dot who has the best love for life and was little Miss Independent. Her cheeky expressions in these images took me straight back to the day of the shoot. She is growing so fast
And look at baby Anastasia who is nearly 9 months now. Where does time go? She didn’t want to miss a moment and getting her to go to dreamland took a few tricks and lots of cuddles. Look at those tiny fingers.
Well, I certainly feel a lot happier now. I have been on a bit of a trip through some family photoshoots and hope you enjoyed them too. Who wouldn’t be grateful for these beautiful families and the joy and fun that we had?
Not all images need to find their way to your walls or into frames. You may not have any wall space or you may be in a situation where you can’t hang anything on your walls.
These are a couple of reasons for choosing these beautiful folio boxes to store your treasured memories. There are plenty of other reasons too as to why you would like \your images to be kept in boxes and displayed when the time arises.
The boxes can hold up to 20 images and you can start with just 6. Then add to them as your family grows or changes - or for any reason at all.
Some families start a box for each of their children and add to them as they grow. I love to call these “Watch Me Grow” boxes. These make beautiful keepsakes. The perfect present for maybe a 21st birthday.
They are beautifully crafted and come in different finishes. The highly polished black or white and the natural timber .
With the see through glass lids your image can be seen with the lid closed or open the lid and display 2 images at once. Also another image can stand next to the box on a matching easel.
The timber box comes with 2 images crafted into the lid and I love to add a favourite poem or dates to remember. Babies name ,birthdate, weight or whatever you like.
The most lovely part of presenting images in this way is you can hold and touch them. Treasured images for generations to come.
I LOVE MAKING THINGS.
I have rediscovered craft in my extra time during isolation and, in particular, crocheting. When I was younger I remember learning how to crochet granny squares (as they are called now). All I needed was the wool and one hook. It was fun while the square grew quickly, but when the edges became very long it took ages to do a round. (You see, you start at the centre and the square expands}
So, while I was in disbelief as to the length of time I was at home and not venturing out, I started to google crochet patterns and shop online. (I could convince myself shopping was ok if it involved a crochet hook, wool or fabric.)
What should I crochet that was quick and useful and pretty? Only three requirements! It was obvious that props and accessories for newborn photography was the perfect solution.
This was my first article - and I've only just realised it's knitted, not crocheted. Oops!!
When I put the articles out to photograph I was surprised to see how many I had started and also realise how many ends I have to finish off before the newborn bubs arrive.Here are 2 props that are similar to the granny squares with some more ornate centres.
These petite crocheted flowers can accompany the small shawl and style a shoot specific to your little one. Just have a look at how many ends I have to finish on those flowers. Maybe I could outsource the finishing. Any takers?
I love the rainbow colours of these little flowers and they blend so beautifully. Thanks Spotlight store for a cute idea to package these single balls in one item.
On the way here to finishing these rainbow hearts.
This is a little bow headband, soon to be assembled. These articles can be made to suit any colour scheme.
Oh Oh. Look at the number of ends to finish on these flowers. Eek!
I can't wait to have a little girl to try this lacy dress.
Now this is something new. Styling a headband with chiffon and pearls. You could imagine how much I loved making this.
Some more ends to finish off here and some ears to add to the cap. This was crocheted with 2 balls of yarn at the same time. It is so silky and soft.
Sometimes I have wonder where my isolation time went. I guess I have put some of the time to good use and this collection has been a testament to that. I love combining my passion for photography and creating crafts.
Have you rediscovered an old passion you had as a child?
Don’t Play With Your Food.
Did your parents ever tell you not to play with your food? Maybe it was a result of you being dished up the brussel sprouts and pushing them around the plate hoping they would somehow vaporise? (that was my side of the story)
Well I have been having the best time during lockdown “playing” with my food and not in the above mentioned way.
I do not do very well with the “cooking side” of things. I leave that to Ellie my daughter and Garry my husband. I can forget the pot’s on the stove and wander off till I smell the aroma of singed dinner. Cooking is not my forte.
"Playing" with my food however has become another of my passions.
Those couple of chilly days prompted me to prepare some hearty soup. (by prepare I mean opening the can)
The pumpkin was scrumptious. Do you have a favourite ‘go to ‘ soup?
This was also a spicy paella soup. I masterfully opened the can. The tomato flavour was really rich.
I must admit I have such a sweet tooth. I had fun playing with the icing sugar as I sprinkled it over the salted caramel slice. (courtesy of Woollies and highly recommended)
How much fruit can you fit in a bowl? Well there were a couple of berries that took a dive over the edge but the ones that stayed behind looked appetising and were quickly demolished after their time on the camera.
After a fun time “playing with my food” I sat down to a cup of hot chocolate and “coffee cup”, this time courtesy of Theobroma, a shop that I am missing visiting.
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Happy playing with your food!
Today I felt that I just wanted to spend some “me” time and distract my thoughts. Do you ever want to do that too?
So I went for a wander around my garden with my camera and 2 of my lenses. My macro or close up and my longer distance 70-200 mm lens. I not only wanted to share with you the beauty in my garden but to give you a few hints on how to make your images a little different to the normal.
Out the back door I went and turned left.
This is one of the 20 new fronds on the tree fern which is flourishing following all the rain. Sheltered by its large branches is the Arum Lily-Green Goddess.
The are taken with the longer lens which helps to blur the background. This is a similar effect to the portrait setting on the phone cameras.
A few steps further and 2 lavender plants. One white and the other purple. The purple is nearing the end of flowering but I like the light that was filtering through some of the fresher petals.
HINT: Get down low to take the image at the same level as the bloom. A different angle can enhance your image.
My daughter had given me the white lavender. It brought back memories of when my mum visited her friend's gardens and would come home with a handful of cuttings. Lovingly she would plant them and as she enjoyed her garden the plants would remind her of her friends.
Looking for the light is a photographer's catch cry and when I saw the lily leaves from a different angle, this image on the left was the result. Nothing clever other than looking for the light.
Passing the gum tree I thought I would slow the shutter speed and move the camera in a downward sweep for this “arty” image on the right.
HINT: Just experiment with the camera and use deliberate movement to create a different image.
I gave the same treatment to the trunk below of the tree below I really liked the outcome.
HINT: Look for patterns and textures to become the centre of the attention.
The little bulbs have come up and this delicate flower was just catching the afternoon light.
Then I looked skyward to see the complimentary colours of the leaves against the blue sky.
HINT: Look up for a different perspective.
The sun was getting lower and was backlighting the spider web. I used my close up lens for this and only took a small piece of the unusual patterned web. The weeds were growing too and were also sharing the back light as was the peach blossom.
As I was heading back inside I noticed the gentle colours of the succulent and then the holly berries. My thoughts jumped to Christmas and my hopes for a normal celebration sprung to mind.
Thank you for taking a wander with me around my garden looking at a few of the differences ways that we can play with our images.
I have been thinking a lot more about my dad lately with Father’s Day less than a week away.
He was a quiet man (a trait I didn’t inherit) who had the best backyard veggie garden and could fix anything. He was a shift worker and was able to do the grocery shopping while mum was at work (ahead of his time as far as sharing jobs with mum) and would always know where the best specials were.
So it comes as no surprise when I think of my dad, that I love to photograph other dad’s and their children.
How much fun is it to see that world from the perspective of dad’s strong shoulders?
My dad had strong hands but was always able to “tinker” with the smaller objects to construct and repair.
Dad’s teach us many things and catching a ball is one of the best.
What I wouldn’t give to have dad with me to sit and have a chat. Time does go fast seems to stand still in photographs.
During some of this down time I have been searching for photos of my dad and me and I have barely have any, but I do have the memories, even after 37 years. I remember how proud he was of me when I passed exams, played the piano or danced on the stage. He certainly shared with me his great love for musical theatre which I have shared with my 2 daughters and many students.
I have such clear memories of simple things like looking for our white rabbit in the veggie garden and finding him in the carrot patch, walking to the corner shop for fish and chips on a Friday and watching tv together in the evenings.He taught me by his actions and was always willing to help others. He loved animals and was very gentle.I do not wonder where my love for the simple things in life comes from and am grateful for the years I had with him. I wish I had some more images of us both when I was growing up.
Look at the pride and love this wonderful dad has for his girls. What a privilege it is for me to share in these families lives as we think of our dads on Father's Day 2020.
I couldn't be happier than when I have my camera and am with a family as they share some fun, laughter and love. I get the same feeling as when I am teaching a dance class.
Mia was a dance student of mine and it was a great pleasure to visit her family’s property in Launching Place.
Planning for a family session is very much like preparing for a dance class. I begin with a road map but am always ready for changes in direction. I have my gear already and packed in the car just like my shoes and iTunes playlist for my dance class.
When I am working with children the session usually takes a change of direction and that’s what I love so much about them. Spontaneity, laughter and lots of love.
No two families are the same and likewise every session has it's differences.
Lots of giggles and laughter from Mia and Nat.
A quick peak through the wool shed railings and my camera is ready to go .
A surprise cuddle from little brother Nat who was so full of life and could run as fast as any 4 year old I have ever met. He kept me on my toes so I guess another similarity to dance teaching. (ha ha)
During the quieter times I like to capture the little connections that become part of the treasures. Hands tell us so much. You can feel mum’s love holding these little fingers. Hands and fingers are used to express emotion and connection in dance too.
Nat had better ideas for the use of his hands. “To infinity and beyond.”
When there are Autumn leaves everywhere what else would you do?
I am fortunate to have taught 1000's of dance classes and know that they prepare me well for my family sessions. Thinking on my feet (there I go again with a dance reference) is a skill I take for granted now. Changing plans, adapting to personalities, encouraging children and keeping it all natural come easily.
Special thanks to Hayley, Leigh, Mia and Nat who were such a joy to photograph.
I have two wonderful grand fur babies of the mini dachshund kind. Now like every good grandma I should love them both the same but I have a secret. Shhhhh. I love one of them more.
Now who wouldn’t? When there is a photoshoot with his little brother and they are asked to sit up and look interested who goes to sleep? (the little brother)
When there's a dress up day and a purple octopus is the chosen outfit, who steps up to the plate and models it with style?
Meet the favourite, Ollie. He has had a covid birthday and is now10 years old. (I think that is 70 years in a dog’s life)
He is a great swimmer and always barks at strangers. (mind you he also barks at the rain, but let’s ignore that)
He also laughs at all of my jokes and nobody else does that!!!!!!
Ollie loves Christmas and especially loves Santa. (aka Grandpa).
Look at his gorgeous ears and those big brown eyes.
He is such a cuddly and loyal friend and I love him to bits. Ollie also loves his little adopted brother and I can't write this without mentioning how much I love him too. I will tell you his story another day.
Thanks Ollie for being a loyal and faithful friend.
“Never work with animals or children,” is a famous theatrical quote. I want to show you why I disagree.
Spending time with those you love is one of life’s greatest pleasures and to be asked to photograph a family is such a joy and privilege, including their animals and young children.
Welcome to one of my very first photo sessions. I have known Marlie for a long time and I was excited to catch up with her again and to meet her husband Paul, her little daughter Sage and her horses Forrest and Coco.
Children are so inquisitive and when left to their own devices find wonder in the smallest of things.
Sage was interested in what she could do with the sandy track and not the least in what I was doing, so I knelt down to her level to have a look too.
When working with children patience is a virtue. I love capturing their spontaneity and their quirky behaviours but it usually takes time and as I said patience-lots of it!
Sage gave me a smile as she started to show me some trust.
Family pets come in all shapes and sizes just as families do and that's the wonderful thing about meeting them all.
Pets are family too with their own personalities. Forrest and Coco were no exceptions.
Not sure what Marlie said but Forrest thought it was funny. Sharing with a family and capturing connection, love and some laughs is the best !!!!!!
What a great time we had and how lucky am I to share these moments?
I would like to leave you with my amended quote - ALWAYS WORK WITH ANIMALS AND CHILDREN
I know that many of your puppies are going on extra walks during this time and are so happy to have their mums and dads at home. However, at my house, the furry feline has not been so excited. “Why?” you may ask. I have been stalking her for photos!!
Tiffany Rosebud, the petite tortoise shell is almost 20 and has been spritely since that Christmas Day when she leapt out of the box from under the tree.
When Tiff, spies me with my camera, she flees. (actually she doesn’t have any of these LOL)
So, with camera in hand I stealthily creep into her parlour to capture the image. .
HINT: Move slowly and quietly.
Drat! She has spotted me and is absolutely sure of my intentions. Before she races off, I enlist an assistant (my daughter Ellie) to distract her with her favourite toy.
HINT: Provide a distraction in the form of a toy or make gentle clicking sounds to keep their interest.
Ha ha!! This was one result of my distraction technique. (Isn’t she cute?)
Soon however she becomes unimpressed with the toy and out into the sunshine she goes (with the sleuth photographer in close pursuit.)
After some successful peg hunting, she settles and then gives me that “Do you still have that camera?” look. I am ready and "click" I have captured her.
HINT: Patience, patience and more patience. Be prepared to lie in wait!!! Get down low and take the image at eye level.
I am never sure whether I have tired her out or she just gives in to appease me. I very much think it is the latter.
So thank you Tiff for being such a loyal beautiful friend and for your continued tolerance.
REMEMBER: When capturing your furry feline, move slowly and quietly, provide a distraction and be PATIENT.