Family in-home session - Family Photography Albury-Wodonga

So I mentioned in my last blog post (you can find it here) that one of my business goals for this year was to incorporate more in-home family sessions into my bookings.

I was lucky enough when a friend recently had her second baby and very kindly allowed me to gain some practice photographing her family in their home on one Saturday morning in May.

If you're not sure what is involved in an in-home lifestyle photography session, here are a few reasons why I love them:

1 - Everyone is so much more relaxed. Kids and adults alike. You're in your own home, kids can play with their own toys, in their own space, you get to sit on your own couch and lay in your own bed.

2 - Kids are often a bit more receptive to a strange person taking their photos if they're in their own space - they usually love to show off their room or their toys. And if mum and dad allow, I'll even let them jump on the bed... all in the name of a good photo of course!

3 - They are so much more intimate than an outdoor session. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE outdoor sessions (I'm sure I'll write another blog another day about those), but in-home sessions have a feel and emotion you can't emulate in an outdoor environment.

4 - We're not as time limited as an outdoor session. We don't have to schedule it to start an hour before sunset, and have it all wrapped up by the time the sun has gone. If you need to stop to feed kids, or take a toilet break, we can. No rush. No hurry.

5 - We can do it no matter the weather. If it's miserable, cold and raining, we can still go ahead and do the photo session. If it's 40 degrees, sunny and there are snakes around (!!) we can still go ahead and do the photo session.

6 - The time of day in-home sessions are done are much more family friendly! During summer, when the sun doesn't set until 8:30pm most kids are asleep in bed. In-home session are usually done around mid-morning or mid-afternoon. We can also schedule them around nap times!

Life Unmade Workshop with Amy Rushbrook

I started this little business of mine midway through last year, on a bit of a whim, without too much thought. I had no idea how to start or run a business. But I figured I'd learn as I go. I knew how to take photos, I didn't really know how to take the lifestyle type family photos I love looking at on Instagram. My plan was to let the business pay for itself, so if it failed, I wasn't at least going to be out of pocket. I wanted to do as much learning as my budget would allow. This probably sums up my attitude to life a little bit. Don't think too much, jump in head first and figure it out as you go...

So after completing a couple of photography workshops online through Clickin Moms I decided one of my major business goals for 2017 would be attending an in-person workshop - I learn so much better in person, talking, watching and being able to absorb it all in and be in the moment. I reckon it only a matter of days after I decided that that was my goal, Amy Rushbrook announced she was running a workshop in late March on the Mornington Peninsula... needless to say I jumped at the chance to be able learn off one of Australia's, if not one of the world's best lifestyle photographers at present (just go check out her stuff and her recent achievements if you think I'm exaggerating).

When Friday afternoon finally came around, I was bursting to tag team the kids with my significant other when he got home from work, and get out that door on my way to Melbourne. What better way to start off a weekend away on my own without kids, but to have a 3 hour drive by myself listening to Myf and Zan podcasts, and a beautiful dinner in Port Melbourne with some old school friends.

On the Saturday morning when I arrived at the most beautiful the Airbnb house in McCrae I was greeted with a van bogged in the driveway - and everyone trying to push it back up the hill, on loose gravel. Team bonding exercise Number 1 completed!

Once the workshop started proper, it wasn't long until Amy had managed to make pretty much everyone cry. Thanks Amy! Best way to start off a workshop with a bunch of beautiful creative souls. She opened up that bucket of vulnerability early on and broke down those barriers so no one had any walls to hide behind. From then on there was nothing but a sense of safety and security, more tears, laughter, coffee, more laughter, yummy food provided by Merowyn of Plate Got Ate, more coffee, and so much more laughter that my cheeks were hurting. And of course so much photography and business talk that my head was spinning.

It was such a beautiful space to occupy for a weekend, both physically (the house was amazing!), mentally and creatively. Amy was an open book for us for the weekend. Any question we had she answered honestly, without pretense. There was so much to take in I wasn't sure if I would walk away and remember anything. I couldn't wait to get my head around everything I'd learnt and take it into my next session. And in testament to Amy's teaching, I can see a huge distinction between my pre-workshop photography and my post-workshop photography.

And also, a huge shout out also goes to the other beautiful souls who shared that weekend space with me. Hannah, Julie, Alice, Peta, Yvonne, Kasey, Maddison, Liane. Without you ladies, this weekend wouldn't have been the same. Everyone was so open to sharing their stories and experiences, their own life lessons, and sleeping spaces... Thank you for making this workshop as awesome as it was!

And of course, when I finally arrived home to my cherubs on the Monday morning, I was greeted by my youngest with gastro...

And thanks to this workshop, My newest goal for my business is to nail in-home photography sessions this winter and make them another feature of my business!

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Autumn Leaves Family Session - Albury-Wodonga Family Photography

I'm not sure there's any better way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon in late Autumn, than playing in the fallen leaves of some of the biggest oak trees I've ever seen. At least when you're 5 and 2 year old brothers!

What a spectacular autumn we've had on the Border. Very little wind and rain has meant the leaves have been hanging around, turning every shade of autumn. The piles of undisturbed leaves under these trees was like nothing I've ever seen. We ventured ever so slightly off the beaten track to get to some of these trees and it was so worth it! I reckon in places these leaves were almost knee deep - if you're 5, and making tripping over unseen sticks a high possibility. Thankfully we had Millie dog along to help us find all the sticks...

I've known this gorgeous family since Sarah and I were in mother's group together with our tiny babes and I practiced my photography on these boys under some of these trees almost 12 months ago! It was so nice to have both Sarah and Trent in the photos this time as a family. As much fun as photographing kids is, I love being able to capture the whole family playing and interacting together!

I hope you have as much fun viewing these photos as we did taking them!

This one is for all the Mum's of the world - Albury family photographer

Remember back in B.C (before children)? When we thought we were tired? Working all day at a job outside the house, then coming home, cooking dinner and going to bed. And sleeping through until the sun rose?? I do. I thought I knew what exhaustion was. I used to work a 55 hour week in a job I didn't really love and would collapse with exhaustion at the end of the week. Back when weekends were for sleeping in and catching up with friends, reading a magazine and going out!

Then we got pregnant. Some planned, some as a surprise (yep - that was me!). You still have no idea how much your world is about to change. No amount of talking and hearing the stories can prepare you for it. Because at the end of the day you used to go home to your quiet, warm bed and sleep. Through. The. Night.

I remember when I was pregnant with my first and talking to friend who had just had her first, and the realisation slowly dawned on me of the sleepnessless that was about to happen. I was petrified. For some reason, not of being responsible for another human - but of not getting a full nights sleep...! Ha!

We push our bodies to the limit during pregnancy. Some suffer less than others. The morning sickness set off by the most random things. Frozen bread would make me run to hug the toilet every single time I opened the freezer. I didn't even know bread had a smell when frozen until I was pregnant! Our bodies stretch and strain for 9 months (give or take). The feet in rib cages. Indigestion and heart burn. Constantly needing to pee. Hips and pelvises that feel like they're falling apart. Feet and ankles that swell. There was no pregnancy glow here. It might have been a residual glow from throwing up for the 5th time that day.

Then labour. Again, some suffer less than others. I was so very fortunate to have 2 quick and easy labours. But I've heard so many stories of others that didn't. And we thought our bodies had been stretched to their limit during the previous 9 months... think again!

Of course, once we hold them in our arms and breathe that sigh of relief that it's all over, we forget about it so quickly.

Then comes the feeding. Whatever way we choose to feed. All night long. And all day long. And all night long. Until we don't actually know if its day or night, can't quite remember if we showered today or not, and eat pretty much whatever looks like it might be edible. Including oh, so much chocolate.

And don't get me started on sleeping. Apparently there are some babies that like to sleep... My first did not. At all. Ever. Wouldn't even sleep in my arms. Then when she finally did, she would fart herself awake again 5 minutes later. At age 5 she is now a wonderful sleeper, so persistence pays off. Or she's just catching up on all the sleep she didn't get as a baby. My second was the best routine baby ever. Slept and fed on schedule like an angel. Then she turned 2 and decided enough with the predictability. And now at almost 3 I can't actually remember the last time she (and I) slept through the night...

There's lunch boxes to fill. Dinners to be rejected. Tantrums over the wrong colour cup. Emotional meltdowns in the middle of the supermarket. Inappropriately timed toilet accidents. Ear infections. Broken bones. Drawing on walls. Painting themselves. Waking up in the middle of the night because a sock came off...

Some return to work. Because they have to. Some because it provides a welcome relief. Some because they dearly love their careers. Some don't go back to work and choose to stay home. Some run a business from home, between getting dinner ready and nap time. Everyone single mum has challenges to face and guilt to overcome.

And each day we get up and do it again. We don't get weekends off anymore to sleep in and read a magazine. We survive off a heady mix of coffee and wine. But we wouldn't change it for the world. When those little chubby fingers grab you around the back of the neck in a hug so tight you can feel their soul crush against yours. When you get woken up at the sparrow-fart with 'Dood morning mamma. It's a bootiful day today'. When a cuddle from you can fix their biggest problems. When they look at you with those eyes and tell you how much they love you - and you know they truly mean it.

And some mums have had to deal with the most unbearable devastation and loss. I can't even begin to image the pain. I know all our hearts go out to those.

And of course we can't forget those that help us along the way. If we're lucky enough to have them: our significant others. Our parents and in-laws. Aunties and uncles. Neighbours and friends. Those who help us pick up the pieces when it all feels too hard. Those who cook dinner or drop off a much needed coffee when we couldn't get out of the house. The ones who appear when we need a shoulder to cry on, or to down a bottle of wine with us. Those who we know we can drop a child or two off to at the last minute to do a mad dash to an appointment. Those who offer to take our kids overnight so we can get some much needed sleep. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, because without you, we'd be a mess.

And then, after some time has passed, some of us choose to go ahead and do it all again.

"To the world you may be just one person, but to one person, you are the world"

Cheshire Family Sunset Session - Albury Family Photographer

I've had the joy of knowing this family since Penni and I were brand new mums, with brand new babies, and having no idea what we were doing. We swapped war stories, gave each other advice and attempted to even motivate each other to go running with our babes in prams! One of the most important things a mum can have is a community of people around her, some that have been there, some that are going through it too, some that haven't but are there anyway - because they love you! We met at Mother's Group when our babies were only a matter of weeks old. We are so lucky that we had a wonderful group of women who all came together in that room those winter days 5 years ago, and are still in contact. (You ladies know who you are - and I think it's time we organised another dinner out again too!!!).

Penni was one of the first people to stick her hand up and offer her kids for me, so I could start to practice photographing kids other than my own. That was only last year when I was thinking maybe I could start a business from this thing I loved doing so much. And I even photographed her kids on this same hill almost exactly 12 months ago to the day of doing these photos. Needless to say I've come a LONG way since then!!

Again, we were so lucky to get another beautiful sunset for this shoot. I've been so lucky so far!

I hope you enjoy looking at these photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Autumn Sunsets are my new favourite! Albury-Wodonga family photographer

You've probably noticed a lot of my recent sessions have taken place in the same location. It seems everyone wants a piece of this hill and that sunset. And why wouldn't you? This Autumn, the weather has delivered! Without fail, weekend after weekend that I've been up here with different families, the weather gods have turned on the sunsets, and, along with the local farmers burning off their paddocks has combined to create some magical light and glorious sunsets.

This session was of Abbey and her family, while they await the arrival of Number 4. Little Mia was a bit uncertain of this strange lady with a big camera, but that's one of the joys of a lifestyle session. I take the lead from the kids, and run the session according to how they're taking it. We picked dandelions, climbed trees, watched the planes taking off from the airport and spent an hour walking around the hill exploring.

And how lucky are we to live in this gorgeous part of the world, and to still be in t-shirts at the end of April?! Although, like me you've probably noticed in the last week or so the weather is turning to winter. Of course I still offer outdoor sessions, although the chance of getting an overcast day without these glorious sunsets increases. But the other type of family session I offer are in-home sessions - where you get to snuggle up with your family, jump on beds, make pancakes, whatever takes your fancy. I'll be blogging some in-home sessions soon so you can get a better idea of what they look like.

Until then, enjoy this warm sunny session on this cold, grey day!

 

Smoky sunset, loved up engagement photos and a pooch! - Albury-Wodonga Photographer

Some days I have those moments when I realise just how lucky I am. Today was one of those days. As I was finishing up this gallery and trying to figure out what to write for this blog and the thought occurred to me that I've been in business less than 12 months and I've had the joy to photograph many different people and families in that time. But 2 of those photography sessions were of other local photographers. I'm not one to boast or brag, but I'm actually pretty proud that other people within this industry have put their trust in me to capture some moments for them. So thanks Carris (Captivated Photography) and now Jorja (Sparrow Photography)!

This session was auctioned off as part of the fundraiser for Cristy and Lucy Jacka after the sad passing of their husband and dad earlier this year. So thanks again to Jorja for bidding and winning the session!

Between Jorja winning this session and the date she picked, her and her now fiance Matt got engaged, so lucky for them, this doubled up as an engagement shoot! And they also brought along their fur baby Odie to join in!

Bronte Beach Family session - Family Lifestyle Photographer

A couple of months ago when someone asked me how my business was going, I replied 'I love it, I'm just not busy enough. I want to be really busy with work.' Apparently I threw that wish out into the cosmos and the challenge was thrown back at me! Ok, so by the standards of others, I know I wasn't as busy as I could be, but by my standards from the last 5 years of being a stay at home mum without another job, it has been a busy few months! It ended with the most awesome workshop in Melbourne (that post is to follow soon), and a weekend in Sydney visiting family, taking some corporate photos, and these guys on Bronte Beach.

Beach photo sessions are a whole new ball game to me. The afternoon light through the sea spray air was divine, I could have photographed it all evening! It doesn't compare to the often harsh light of land-locked Albury.

I've known this family since BC (Before Children), when James and I worked together on our Hume freeway building days as Environmental Officers. My life has changed a LOT since then - although my caffeine consumption hasn't changed much! Incidentally, this family was my first paid shoot when I first started my business mid last year. I was lovely to see how much Tilly has grown from the little baby she was, and be able to catch up with Marni and James again.

The secret wedding I was asked to photograph - albury lifestyle photographer

Ok, it wasn't really the wedding I was asked to photograph - I'm not a wedding photographer, nor would I pretend to be. But I was asked if I could take some family photos after this gorgeous couple had their sneaky registry wedding. I am a family photographer, so I happily said yes.

Stacey and Daniel's story started 6 years ago in Townsville, and resumed again 2 years ago. Between then and now they've had a gorgeous little boy, who is now a healthy 6 months old. Stacey and Daniel decided to keep things low-key and private for their registry wedding, only having Daniel's long time best friend Tim & his family along for the ride! And Stacey's dress and ring only turning up on the morning of the wedding!!

In discussing which location we should head to, Stacey decided to check out some photos from my portfolio, and every picture she picked was taken in the same location - easy decision! We agreed to meet up on Eastern Hill  -f you're probably quickly realising is one of my favourite outdoor locations for sunset photos. And with an uninterrupted view west - why wouldn't it be!

We had a beautiful evening for photos, a little cloud which only added to the colour and background of the photos.

Enjoy viewing this happy couple!

Sunset Family Maternity // In-home Newborn - Albury lifestyle photographer

I had the joy of capturing this beautiful family before and after they welcomed their 6th family member earlier this year.

For the maternity session, we took a short walk along Eastern Hill during sunset and got some great photos of this active, outdoorsy family. This is such a gorgeous part of Albury-Wodonga. Favoured by many locals and their dogs for their morning and evening walks - and the views for both sunrise and sunset are just gorgeous, as the path meanders along the ridge looking both to the east and west.

Then I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into their home after his arrival earthside, to document him, his siblings and parents in a relaxed home environment.

The benefit of in-home newborn sessions are many. The family is generally so much more relaxed in their home, the kids don't have to stay close when they're not having their turn in front of the camera and there is no expectation for the baby to be asleep or awake. Lifestyle newborn photography captures this moment in time, in a more natural way. You don't have to lug baby, other kids (if you've got more) and everything that comes with a baby to a location or studio in everyone's best clothes and hope they don't get them dirty along the way. And these photos can be taken any time within the baby's first few months.

I aim to catch this moment, as you remember (or not, depending on your level of exhaustion!!), in your home, where these memories are made.

A Stormy Summer Evening Maternity Session - Albury Lifestyle Photographer

These gorgeous expectant parents answered my call out earlier this year for a request for some couples and families expecting babies, to help me build my portfolio for maternity photos.

We booked this date weeks and weeks ago - just assuming as it was still summer than we would be getting a lovely golden sunset. Apparently mother nature had other ideas! I checked the forecast and radar and I reckoned that we had about 20 minutes before the rain hit - and I think I was pretty close in my prediction! But those stormy skies provided those subdued tones. I do love a dark, stormy sky to add another dimension and some atmosphere to the session.

In my mind, I was imagining some gorgeous rain drenched images at the end of the shoot when the rain finally hit - however I did not foresee it hitting us with such force and the very quick temperature drop that came with it! We grabbed a couple of quick photos in the rain before both humans and camera equipment got too wet and cold! It was a very abrupt end to our session. Despite the much quicker time than I would usually take, we got a great variety of photos from this session. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as we enjoyed taking them!

January Competition Winner shoot - sunset river session

As many of you are probably aware, I ran a competition in early January to win a free family photography session with me. Thank you to everyone who shared, commented and liked my post and my Facebook page!  I had a huge response to the competition and was overwhelmed with the number of people keen to win. Facebook is a wonderful medium to help get the word out there about what I do and increase my exposure, so thank you all for helping. Keep an eye out, I may run another competition again a bit later in the year.

Hayley and her family were the lucky winners. She chose to undertake the session pretty quickly after it was announced, and at a location she had seen me take photos of a friend of hers late last year. She was also happy to have the session take place at sunset, which many would know is my favourite time to take photos. As you will be able to see from the photos below, the colours and tones at sunset are just divine, they cannot be replicated at any other time of day (except of course sunrise!! Though so far no one has taken up my offer of a sunrise photo session!). There are no harsh, unforgiving shadows, and the sky and sun can add extra depth to the photos. In summer especially, sunset is far and away the best time to shoot. I understand some kids are in bed early (mine included!!) but if it can be managed to add a day sleep or extend a day sleep I always suggest it.

During this session little Miss M was not so keen to participate, and often a lot of young kids her age are the same. The benefit of choosing a lifestyle session for your next family photo is the ability to adapt our sessions to how the kids are feeling.

Enjoy browsing some of the photos from our session

Florals and Gorgeous Girls

Hi everyone, and welcome to my blog! One of my many new business goals for this year! I'll be sharing images from sessions I have previously done, sessions I shoot throughout the year, and whatever else I feel like as I go. So please feel free to support me!

I'll start off by sharing some gorgeous images from a collaborative shoot I did with the gorgeous Renee from Flowers with KR and Co.  On a sunny summer Sunday evening we headed to Lake Hume with a gaggle of little girls. Our aim was to dress them up in beautiful dresses, accessorise them with some of Renee's floral crowns and let them have fun while I took some photos. And have fun they did! They danced, they played, they had tea parties, and the finale - we let them play, swim and splash in the water, with one condition - they leave their flower crowns and their dresses on. I was surprised they were all hesitant at first. I don't think they could quite believe that they had been given permission to get their clothes and flower crowns wet, but it didn't take them long to get in the groove and dive in head first (literally).

This shoot was to showcase some of the gorgeous work that Renee does, so if you're in the Albury area, please cheak out her work and if you're looking for something special contact her to see what she can do for you!

And as something special for your family session with me, I am more than happy to feature some of Renee's flower crowns in our shoots. Contact myself or Renee to discuss this further. (We only ask that you organise it far enough in advance so Renee can accommodate your requests!)