In the last weeks of summer, I spent a sunny afternoon with a family that makes my heart melt. So much love and tenderness, and gorgeous smiles. Clare is a mother that I admire for her gentle energy and calm strength. For the photo session we incorporated aspects of their lives that would be something held dear when the children grow up, and handmade felt letters for each child made by Mum was something they were very proud to have me capture.
Hanging out and joking together relaxes everybody – and of course we have to include the fur babies.Siblings are so sweet how they can interact during a photo session, oscillating between competing for my attention, to full of love and affection.
Once we had taken photos at home to capture memories of that special phase of their lives, we went on a walk down a little valley near to Katoomba Falls. I had no idea a special place like this was down the end of my very own street! Going to a special place that Clare and Nav take the kids to frequently meant they could all relax and play together, feeling comfortable in the environment they were all familiar with.Connections happen when we let the kids be themselves, and play along with their energy, reading what it is they need in that moment. A snack? A cuddle? A change of place to explore and throw pebbles? I am so grateful for the opportunity to capture the love and connection between this beautiful family, for their box of memorabilia, but also spending an afternoon creating wonderful memories.
Paul and Ming used to the visit the Blue Mountains from Sydney for bushwalks as a young couple many moons ago. This time their visit was of a different nature. A short family getaway, with a new addition! We had a wonderful time playing in the gardens at Parklands Blackheath, where they were staying for the weekend.
Often when we are preparing for a photo session parents can become anxious that their toddler or baby may not ‘perform’ or not be at their best on the day. That is always a possibility, so that is why we prepare for anything. Ming packed some healthy snacks, a beautiful little rug that was familiar and some favourite cuddly toys that they didn’t mind having featured in the photos if necessary. Needless to say, we didn’t need them but it is nice to have them on hand.
We played and giggled, and moved from one spot to the next, and had a wonderful time just before the mists rolled in.
Location: Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges
Arranging family photo sessions in the Blue Mountains can require some flexibility and patience, and when you have those, the wait is more than worth it. Tracy and I rescheduled our photo session more than a number of times due to rain, mist and illness, and I am so glad we persisted. One thing that Tracy mentioned when we spoke was that she had this image of sunshine and brightness, and as tempting as it was to ‘just get it done’ so the in-laws could see their beautiful family, I knew deep down they weren’t going to fit that vision she had in her head.
Then, one beautiful Saturday morning, it all fell into place. Tracy, and Alex brought the kids to a location I had stumbled upon a few months before. I kept glancing down an alleyway every now and then thinking, one day I’m going to shoot here. And we did. It fits Tracy and Alex perfectly. A little bit mountains, mixed with a little bit of Melbourne, they are the trendiest, most artistic Librarians I have ever met.
As parents know, small children have moods that change like the weather, and the wrong colour t-shirt, or wrong flavoured milkshake can cause major upsets. Photo sessions with little people can be quick moving, sometimes emotional, plus a lot of fun. But for parents with a fixed idea of how their children should be, or look, it can be stressful. I am so grateful that Tracy and Alex put their trust in me and the process, and went with the flow. Trying to let go of the idea of making a small one ‘smile’ for the camera, and creating opportunities for them to engage gives us better results every time. But that process to a parents can come across as chaos, or disorder.
I have found when we let kids be themselves and feel their emotions, we can give them cuddles and kisses, and work through shyness, tiredness, and random craziness we don’t understand to get lovely results, and everyone happy in the process.
I am so grateful to have been a part of capturing this beautiful family, and am very proud to share this sneak peek from our photo session with you.
Clare and Rob married on a bright sunny day by Sydney Harbour, at the Sugaroom in Pyrmont. The location was a perfect mix of urban inner west, with a touch of sea breeze. I love that everything about the day, was sophisticated yet understated. Each detail considered but not overdone.
Wearing a custom made dress of french lace, Clare radiated confidence and a delight to simply be herself. It was wonderful to be present on a day where the love that Rob and Clare have for each other ‘filled the room’.
By having a relaxed lunch time ceremony, Rob & Clare could include the children in the ceremony, and following that the little ones said their goodbye’s and the adults could let their hair down by the waterside knowing the little ones were safe and having fun.With a relationship based on fun, laughter, respect and friendship, Rob and Clare bring a lightness and joyfulness to the world that I can see will carry them through the challenges life brings, as bold, grounded individuals, they are even stronger together.
One thing I love about living and working in the Blue Mountains is that I keep getting to see new places, and meet new people. When planning a family photo session, we talk about things your family likes to do, and what is special to you about your family, or places you like to be together.
Jane and Amyas are slowly transforming a barren bush block into a bushland haven for their kids, and their chooks. Plant by plant, stone by stone. It seemed only natural that our photo session would take place where their family felt comfortable, that allowed their energetic boys to run freely, and was their ‘happy place’ that they want to capture for the future.
Having a new member in the family, and a milestone birthday just passed, it was the perfect time to capture the family in this point in time. The boisterous play of the boys, and the gentle snuggly bub, loving, engaged parents. We had a ball.
As a photographer I get to catch a glimpse of many kinds of people,given a window into their lives. As much as I am giving of my gift so families can hold on to their memories with images, I too get a gift every time. From observing this family together I could see how free Jane and Amyas are to be totally present with their children, to be in their world. To jump off rock ledges and speed along on scooters joyfully, enjoying the moment. It inspired me as a mother to continue working on just being present with my two girls, before they are all grown up and I wish for these moments to return. For moments of play, laughter and cuddles. Thank you.