THE WAHLS FAMILY | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

Finding flow in the slow.

The beauty of waking up with a family and spending an entire day photographing them is that I get to tap into their rhythm. Waking up and documenting that bed hair, those messy sheets, the warm, squishy cuddles, sleepy eyes.

Together we move through the day. Meals. Naps. Bathtime. Story time. Walk time. We follow the light, the mood, the children. Everything is slower and gentler.

The Wahls family welcomed me into their incredible Chicago farmhouse and I was immediate enveloped in the warmth and peace a home like this brings. I met Kristin at a photography camp last year in the US, and I feel so lucky to call her a friend. She and Aaron truly made me feel part of their family during my stay and it’s a time that I hold so dear. Those boys, those sweet, beautiful boys, completely stole my heart and I miss them every time I look at these photographs.

To be able to travel the world and photograph families is an honour and a privilege, and not something I’ll ever take for granted.

Grab a cuppa, because this is a long one. But I promise by the end you’ll feel as warm and fuzzy as I did while photographing this beautiful family.

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

A DAY WITH THE KONRATHS | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

The sun shone but it was a mere 2 degrees celsius outside.  Inside though?  Toasty.  Inviting.  Noisy.  Happy. 

I first met Erin last year at Yeah! Field Trip, held in California, US.  Our bond was immediate and we had such a good time.  I was so humbled when Erin invited me to Chicago to photographer her family when I was back in the US this year for The Family Narrative Retreat (Erin also came to this retreat).

Erin is one of the most genuine, FUNNY, honest and vibrant human beings I have ever met, and it was truly a pleasure to meet her four babes and husband Kenny who, just like Erin, have the same hilarious and warm natures.

Waking up with the Konraths in Chicago was surreal for this little Aussie, and yet it also immediately felt like home.

The Craig Family | Melbourne Family Photographer

Life is better with cuddles.

This family.  These sweet little boys.  Their love.  Their playfulness. 

What a treat it was to immerse myself in this beautiful families love bubble for a couple of hours in their beautiful Melbourne home.  It was tangled, honest, and FUNNN.  So much fun!  

My favourite part?  At the end of our session (and also at the end of this post) these sweet boys wanted to show me their most favourite possessions.  They weren't toys or even books.  They were photographs.  Photographs of those they love most in the world.  They were worn, creased and tattered at the edges.  I'm told they go EVERYWHERE with these two - to bed, to daycare, even in the bath.

It fills me with so much happiness that the photos we created on this day will be so loved and cherished in the same way.  This is why I love my job so much!

Thank you, Craig family, for reminding me that it's the simple things that matter.

När vi blev fyra | When We Became Four | Stockholm, Sweden

It all began about a year ago.  I was sitting at my desk on a cool Melbourne morning, my first cup of coffee for the day in hand.  I opened my inbox, and clicked through to a new enquiry that had landed overnight.  The first line read, "I've got a crazy idea."

This life never fails to surprise me. No two work days are ever the same when you're a photographer and run your own show.  Some days you're glued to your computer, lovingly editing client sessions. Others, you're getting off a plane in Stockholm, Sweden. How did I get here? That was the constant thought running on repeat through my mind the entire 22 hour flight from Melbourne. How on Earth is this a real thing that is happening right now?

Anna's crazy idea lead to me spending two days in the home she shares with her husband Joar, toddler Loki and their new baby Ebbe. I was immersed in the gentle beauty of this family; the way they moved slowly through their days, soaking each other in, touching, kissing, sniffing, and cuddling.  Time seemed to stand still.  Two days documenting this family "becoming four".

The way Swedish parents raise their babies is known around the world as the standard for raising good humans.  Skin to skin, co-sleeping, breast feeding, comforting - these are all norms in Sweden/Scandinavia and it was such a treat to document this family's warm, loving way with each other.

It didn't matter that Loki wasn't well on day one of our shoot.  It didn't matter that Ebbe was a little unsettled.  It didn't even matter that Loki had NO idea what I was saying to him (Swedish kids don't learn English until they are in school).  This family didn't need any direction, they were just naturally SO into each other. So in love. So beautifully close and intimate.  So present.  I photographed them throughout their days which included couch naps, TV time, quiet breastfeeds, stories, waking up, the sun going down, and even an outing to the prettiest farm which showcased Sweden's Autumnal goodness.  It was nothing short of a dream.

Whenever I travel internationally for photoshoots, I like to make a little film for the family as a thank you for the opportunity.  You can see this film, as well as the photographs from our two days together below.

I don't ever take it for granted that I am afforded such incredible opportunities like this.  I pinch myself every day, still, that Anna had this crazy idea to fly me to Stockholm and, together with her sweet family, we created something truly special.

It made absolutely no sense to cull this blog post down into just the highlights.  To really get a sense of the love, light and warmth of this incredible session, you need to grab a cuppa and settle in.

Enjoy x

BEST VIEWED IN 1080P. "When We Became Four" a Little Film for the Sandstrom Family, filmed in Stockholm, Sweden

DAY ONE

DAY TWO