The Heartstrings Boutique

I love photographing child fashion and it’s something I’d like to do more of.  This label “Heartstrings Boutique” is designed and hand made by the lovely and stylish Donna Quarterly-Parker in Perth. These dresses are so feminine and unique and are such high quality. I’m not sure if it’s because I have three boys, but I get such joy out of photographing girls being girly!   I have seen these garments at Perth Upmarket a few times and fell in love with the “When in Paris” dress, when I first laid eyes on it.  Hannah, the little girl modelling the dress lives in my neighbourhood and co-incidentally, goes to the same kindy as my son (although we only figured this out on the day of the shoot!). Hannah’s scooter (pictured) was parked in her family’s garage and their garage door happened to be open once when I was driving by and noticed it.
I’m pretty sure I left tyre marks on their street as I hit the breaks in awe of this scooter. For weeks I drove by imagining that scooter and the many ways I could incorporate it into a shoot.  I eventually worked up the courage to knock on the door and ask to borrow it & it’s little owner and voila!  In this case, it was worth risking coming across as a crazy stalker.  I got some fab pics and made a new friend (Hannah’s mum, Rina).

The red dress is worn by the lovely Maisy, also a kindy friend and her little sister Mia wears the Babushka dress (Red & Denim = stunning!). I also love seeing red & pink together.  I have a crazy amount of chairs & rubber boots in different sizes and colours which come in very handy in such a shoot.  As with every shoot I do, I opt for very late in the day for optimum light.  Not too bright, just beautiful golden soft light.

The weather wasn’t fabulous, so it was very convenient that we shot these in my (and a bit of my neighbours) garden.

 

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Farm fun

Another lot of school holidays came and went and we were fortunate enough to again be able to spend a week at my in-law’s glorious farm, just outside of Balingup. There are chickens, kangaroos, emus, goannas, parots galore and little blue wrens (I always miss them as it’s near impossible to keep my boys quiet so I can get close, but will get a shot next visit!).  Sometimes the farm has a few cattle, but not at the moment.

Spring gave us a few beautiful sunny days and the boys made the most of them.  I LOVE being able to capture them documentary style doing what they do – which is always having fun.  They’re not usually naughty or rough, but they’re always very excited about the smallest and simplest of things.  They sing songs (usually ones they make up and usually incorporate the use of the words fart or poo), giggle, play fight with each other, tease each other and love each other with great enthusiasm that is a beautiful thing to watch.

Here are a few photos of the week.  Most contain Lucas, our youngest as the other two are usually less thrilled about being photographed these days.

They are currently obsessed with an ant mound they found in a paddock.

My boys are all into dress ups and pretend play which I strongly encourage.  I’ll be very sad when they outgrow this stage.
It became apparant to me that Lucas (4) hasn’t quite found the line between make believe and reality when he stormed off down down a track alone towards the chicken run.  I reminded him that we had to go together as there may be snakes around now.  He said “Don’t worry, I’ll just kill them with my sword!”.
You can imagine my nervous mummy laugh at that one.
Apart from boutique Olive Oil production (multiple medal winning Tarnagulla Extra Virgin Olive Oil) my mother-in-law also grows the most beautiful red banksias as well as stunning hot pink Waratahs.   A ute load were cut to be taken for sale (and I believe the Queen may even get to see them as they’re being supplied for CHOGM). Jacques (10) helped Nanna sorting them into sizes and quality and Oliver (7) was in charge of lacky band number two wrapped around the stems (you know when you buy a bunch of flowers and there’s always at least two rubber bands around them).  Lucas decided his main task would be beeping the horn on the ute as long and often as possible and giggling his head off at our reactions. Can’t think of a more perfect place to be with sons.

 

 

 

 

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Crochet Bambini

This beautiful new label is designed by inspirational Perth mum, Emma Young.  The products are hand made using mostly organic bamboo and are so soft and comfortable for children and babies to wear.  The toys are unique and cheerful and the baby blankets bring back the romance of yesteryear with a modern twist.  Upon meeting Emma for the first time, I could tell she’s put her heart & soul into the building of this new business.  Starting a new business and parenting a toddler is hard work, but for Emma, she has overcome unimaginable difficulty as she lost her husband to cancer not long after her child was born.  If you value quality, organic products for babies and young children, consider these for yours and as gifts.  I assure you, you’ll be supporting a genuinely lovely woman and mother and you won’t be disappointed with the quality.

Click here to go to Crochet Bambini website

 

 

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Baby Day

I’d known Katy for quite a few years and on a visit to her when she was early pregnancy, we discussed the possibility of me photographing her birth.  I hadn’t done it before but was excited at the prospect.  I asked my mum to take photos of my births in black & white and I am SO glad I have those photos, so I figured what a wonderful thing to do for Katy.  She talked to Reynold and he was very enthusiastic about it.  I wanted them to be super sure they were comfortable with me there on such a momentous day.  I knew what I was getting myself into as I’ve given birth three times and the first two labours were pretty pretty shall we say interesting. Once the decision was made, I kept my calender pretty light for the month of the birth and had all my support systems, for looking after my kids in place.  I had my camera bag all prepared and waiting to snatch and grab.  I was so excited like an expectant mum myself!  And so we waited, and waited and 40 weeks came and went.  Then finally the big day came.  I got a text message while I was at my kids sports carnival advising me that contractions were three minutes apart and it was all sytems go!  I had my camera in my hand, but then realised I had walked with the kids to school and it was a bit of a hike  home carrying my gear and trying to run in ugg boots is just not practical.  I did what any other photographer in the same situation would do, I hitched a ride with a stranger (he looked pretty trustworthy, and was leaving the sports carnival at the same time as me). I think he was much more scared of me – windblown hair, grass stains on my knees, ugg boots, high pitched excited female voice breathlessly trying to give him directions on which street to turn into.  He was a great sport! Forgot his name but he did good:-)
At the hospital there was still alot of work ahead of Katy and Reynold. She was having contractions but was smiling way too much for them to be very effective.  That changed in due course.  The afternoon was spent with some moments of real quiet and calm letting Katy get into her zone and focus. At times there were some laughs – the midwives were just wonderful and intuitive at knowing when it’s OK to make a joke. She had decided to birth with no pain relief.  As things got more intense and exciting and the lights dimmed Reynold and I quietly made a bet as to what time the baby would be born.  He was pretty much on the money!
Katy was nothing short of amazing and tough and brave and determined and focussed.  Watching a woman go through the most primal thing in the world and give birth to a healthy beautiful baby boy is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.  Luckily I managed to capture it all.  The bulk of the photos are too intimate and personal to share, but I got it all. I cry when I view them.  I shall never forget that day and seeing Riley take  his first breath.  And seeing and photographing the moment he opened his eyes and met eyes with his mummy. WOW.
Photographing births is not a service I intend to offer as it’s too difficult scheduling as I’m a mother to three young children, but I think I’m definitely going to want to do it again one day…….

The larger image below is one of my faves ever.  Katy spent almost the whole time upright on her feet letting gravity do it’s thing, and she had just a brief moment to rest.  I think this image says so much.  She is in unspeakable pain but knows she’s close. She closes her eyes to focus all her energy internally and psychs herself.  Reynold  was soothing her the entire time, not for a photo, but because that’s who he is.  His genuine compassion and love for her was so touching.


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Anticipation

Katy is my naturopath.  I met her at a party quite a few years ago through mutual friends and at the time was in a lot of pain with a recurring ear infection as well as a myriad of other health issues making life uncomfortable and hard work.  We got chatting and I visited her over the next few weeks. She gave me so much helpful advice as well as some magic tea she made up and voila!   My health improved with her fabulous advice and guidance and from memory, I think there was a massage and I think hot rocks were involved…mmmmmmm.
Anyhow, I know that a baby for Katy & Reynold has long been a dream and to see it becoming a reality was nothing less that joyous!  They decided to keep the gender of the baby a surprise (meaning they didn’t want to know) until the birth, and Katy had been craving oranges…..
Reynold was the most excited expectant Dad I’ve ever seen.  His smile was so huge, he must have had cramp in his cheeks.  They are such a beautiful loving couple and it shows.

 

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Happy Mothers Day….

Before Mother’s Day earlier this year, I asked via my Facebook page for people to nominate a Mum who might be thrilled to receive a portrait session and a couple of prints.  After reading through all the nominations, I selected Natalie Mellgren who was nominated by Danni-lee Jenkins.   As luck would have it, Natalie was told about her win on her birthday and by all accounts, it topped off a great day brilliantly!
Natalie is a working single mum with two children who have spent a lot of their lives facing challenges health wise. They are brave and positive with infectious giggles and I loved the little guy giving me lots of his ideas for spots he wanted to be photographed at.
Natalie, it was an honour photographing you and your delightful children.  You have two of the most beautiful, kind,  talented and warm children I’ve ever met.  You are an amazing person with a smile that lights up a forrest.  Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!

 

 

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Boys & Farm = Happiness

The mere thought of two weeks of school holidays in the middle of winter with three energetic sons can send my blood pressure rocketing.  Luckily my wonderful in-laws encourage our visits to their stunning property just outside of the beautifully scenic town of Balingup.

The boys now have a tick list of things that they like to do when visiting.  This includes having Nanna read to them before lights out, collecting eggs and letting the chickens out of their home to “free range” for the day, collecting sticks, picking fresh vegetables, baking a cake with Nanna, lighting a bonfire (seasonal!) and lots more.

We are beyond lucky to be able to make these visits and I’m so happy that the boys are getting old enough that they’ll forever have fond memories of their farm days.

 

photocrati gallery

 

 

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