In Melbourne there are a million interesting and quirky nooks and crannies, and as a lifestyle photographer, I'm always on the hunt for new and inspiring creative spaces to shoot my clients in. It's the best city in the world for it! This location though, all of the credit goes to this Mumma, Elsa, for bringing me here for an afternoon of tea, babychinos, scones, jam, cream and cuddles with her girls Esther and Olive. And yes, that caravan IS as incredible as it looks!
Elsa is one seriously talented photographer in her own right. You can check out her gorgeous work here. I'm also preettttty lucky that she lives around the corner and that play dates with our kids, coffees and chats are a regular thing for us.
This Mumma-Daughter-Trio are some of my very favs, and this session is so pretty it's actually ridiculous!
Ok ok, I know I haven't blogged anything personal in FOREVER and that's because I am absolutely BRILLIANT at making excuses not to photograph anything beyond an iPhone snap. I feel endlessly guilty about it but it's hard for me to get any motivation to pick up my camera when it's not for work! I'm working on it.
Today I was chatting to my dear friend and serious talent Isabel Bowden Photography, and she is the bomb.com at photographing her own family. She inspires me! While chatting to her I said - "I seriously suck at taking personal photos. I really should. Right now the light in my room is so pretty, I have the boys home, they're still in their pajamas..... oh OK!" She said " DOOOO IT, "and I did!
Let me tell you something about these two. My Archie and his Albie. Our boys. They are two months apart in age. They are the little guys in our blended family and they each fight daily for their spot in the pack. Archie is wild and headstrong, while Albie is quiet and thoughtful. They butt heads over EVERYTHING. They dob. They fight. They cry and yell A LOT. But, when one is at their other parent's house, they beg and plead to see each other. They miss each other. They really do love each other so much.
I am so glad they will always have each other. As friends, as foes, and as brothers.
Let's talk about FOOD!
When I began organising my workshop, I knew straight away that not only was a beautiful, inviting and homely space important, but so was the food. Probably even MORE important. I was listening to a podcast by The Unmistakable Creative recently about using food as a tool for building community. It made this point: if you are invited into someone's home and you're not offered food or drink, you know something is probably up. Equally, if you go into a business meeting and there's no refreshments, you know it's likely going to be in and out and ALL business. Right?!
Food brings people together and it has been doing so since the beginning of time. It is a tool that invites people to gather, share and commune. Sharing a meal is enriching, intimate and an intrinsic part of our humanity. It's one of the basic needs we have as humans, and as a result, it's become a sacred ritual within our families and friendship groups.
I knew when it came to organising the food for my workshop, I needed something more than a caterer who would heat up party pies and sausage rolls. I needed someone who was going to make our food with not only heart and soul, but with their own stamp as a fellow creative.
Enter Merowyn and her love-child-boutique-catering-company, Plate Got Ate.
I've followed Merowyn on Instagram for YEARS. Seriously, go check out her IG feed and you'll see why. Merowyn is so much more than a chef. She's a food designer. A talented, heart-centered maker of the most beautiful creations I've seen. I knew I needed her to provide her talents for my workshop. I knew the heart she puts into her food was so in line with the mood I wanted to set for my workshop.
Boy oh boy did she DELIVER. Over two days Merowyn came to our beach home and set up each of the meals and platters for us. It was everything I imagined and more.
I asked Merowyn if she would bring her family on the second day of our workshop and model for us, and my goodness you should have seen the emoji's in that conversation!! I knew they would be beautiful. I knew they would love big. But never did I expect Merowyn to look at her Hamish, and cry from the joy of loving him and what they have created together. Never did I expect such free-flowing love and joy with so many photographers photographing them at once. It was the perfect end to my workshop.
Merowyn, thank you for your talents. Thank you for sharing your Hamish, Orlando and Benita with us. You are one of the most beautiful human's I've met!
Tribes. I'm reading a book at the moment called "Tribes" by the inimitable Seth Godin. I've been reading lots of these kinds of books lately as my workshops take off and other exciting opportunities open up for me (stay tuned...!). I want to know how to best deliver my story, my message and what I see Life: Unmade being all about. Because for me, Life: Unmade is more than a brand, more than a way of taking photos, more than a way of running a business. I see it as a way of living life. It celebrates imperfection, honesty and the real and raw in life. It encompasses everything I have lived, and the life I want to live. This quote from Seth's book had me saying "YES YES YES" out loud (much to the dismay of my confused children).
“Life's too short" is repeated often enough to be a cliche, but this time it's true. You don't have enough time to be both unhappy and mediocre. It's not just pointless, it's painful. Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don't need to escape from.” -Seth Godin, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
This session of one of my favourite families was taken at my recent Life: Unmade workshop and the inspiring, light filled home it took place in. I loved how confident my attendees were by day 2, and during this session, each person was able to spend some 1:1 time photographing the family, directing and setting up their own shots. A humbling and satisying thing to observe!
On that note, a small mention that I have a few seats left for my NSW workshop in Kiama, and at my VIC workshop on the Mornington Peninsula.
Life: Unmade Workshop - Kiama, NSW | 26-27 Aug, 17
Life: Unmade Workshop - Mornington Peninsula, VIC | 23-24 Sep, 17