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




We loved with a love that was more than love. ~Edgar Allan Poe

Imagine, for a moment, an empty house.

No beds. No chairs. No curtains. No pictures.

Void spaces.

And yet.

Filled with everything.

In their romantic, period home of just bare bones, their bliss overflowed.

Imagine a perfectly round belly, a baby boy safely growing inside. Almost full bloom. Imagine the squeals of pure, innocent delight as their babe runs through the echoing halls of a house they now call home. Imagine the way he looks at them, when there is nothing else but them to see.

This is the love story of Anastasia, Josh and Stella, in their first family home, as they wait for a baby boy.


Four sold out workshops
55 people through my mentoring program
86 family sessions
7 weddings
Interstate travel to Sydney, Noosa and Byron Bay
International travel to the US, Europe and the UK

I am one lucky woman, I know this. Beyond blessed. 

Full disclosure - right now I'm in a pretty emotional headspace.  Last night I was booking some flights for my time in the US in Feb, and while sitting with my diary I realised I will be away from home for 27 days through February and March (home for 8 days between two US trips).  It hit me like a tonne of bricks.  

Travel has always been part of my big picture, master plan and #goals for as long as I've been dreaming this photography thing up.  I remember when I first started dating Aidan and sharing the dream of being "one of those rock star photographers who gets to fly all over the world".  This year, I did that.  I became the photographer that got flown to LA for a conference, SWEDEN for a family shoot and LONDON for a mentoring session. I became the kicker of all my goals.  

I distinctly remember sitting on the porch of the most beautiful Byron Bay treehouse I had booked for my final Life: Unmade workshop in October.  I was sitting with my best friend Han, I had only days before returned from Europe and the UK, I'd had a whole two days to be with Archie and my family before heading up to Byron.  I was tired and jetlagged.  And despite being in one of my favourite places on earth, I said out loud to Han, "this isn't fun anymore. I miss my family.  I miss being at home."

What I've realised is, you can't possibly know what your dreams and goals are going to look and feel like until you're there, and it's ok to battle with that sense of accomplishment, and also the realisation that this might not be what you wanted after all.  I drowned in the guilt, but I think I'm emerging from that and trying to have some compassion for myself. 

A wise friend said to me last night: "Sometimes it takes getting exactly what you have wanted and dreamt of, to realise that maybe the idea of ‘success’ you’ve been carrying actually looks a little different in reality? Either way there is no-way for you to be able to experience what you need in order to calibrate for the future without this happening. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to through it."

In February I will be teaching at our industry's biggest photography conference, Click Away, in Amelia Island, Florida.  A dream held by so many, and I not for a second do I take for granted how DAMN LUCKY I am to be on that list of teachers.  In March, I fly back to the US to teach at my absolute favourite conference, The Family Narrative.  

I will put my whole heart into both, and I will enjoy every second of those experiences.  I will make it 100% worth leaving my family for.  It will be a pinnacle for me.

But, when I am home (just in time for Archie's birthday), I'm going to be focusing on life here for the rest of 2018.  BALANCE is my word.  No more travel unless it includes another four airfares for my family. Archie starts school in 2019, and next year I just want to soak him up, this magic child of mine.  I want to immerse myself in my family, my relationship with Aidan which keeps me grounded and sane, taking the five of us on a holiday, being present and really IN this.  Putting my DAMN phone down. 

This is why I will be releasing my Life: Unmade Workshop in an online format - so I can continue to share what I'm passionate about with photographers, but I can have more balance.  I feel so good about this decision, and I can't wait to see that part of my business grow.  So many people are already so keen, and I want those people to know that this means more to me than you know.  By participating in this online workshop, you will be helping me to find my balance and to be more present at home.  

I know I should be sharing all of the things I am grateful for this year, as is customary with these end of year posts.  But, guys, honesty and full transparency is more my style.  It's been HARD to grapple with this.

This year I have been filled to the brim with blessings.  Dreams reached that never would I have ever thought possible back when I was a single mum, scraping for change to buy my kid milk and just praying to the universe that a booking would come through.

But my biggest lesson this year is: it's ok for the big picture to change once you're there.  It's ok for you to realise everything you dream of might not actually be what's most important.  It doesn't make me ungrateful, it just means I've gained some perspective.

My family: they are my big picture, and from now on, where I go, they go.  They are what's most important in this life.  They are everything. 

Here is a photo I took this morning of my magic Archie.  The boy who continues to serve as my life teacher.  This photo came about as the result of two bribes: 1) he can keep the fairy lights forever and ever and ever and, 2) I have to take him to the shops and buy him a Paw Patrol Surprise Egg (like, right now as soon as I hit "publish" on this). 

So, here's to a more BALANCED 2018.  I can't wait to meet so many new faces during my time in the US, and I cannot wait for more quality time at home on my return.

Thank you to everyone who made this the biggest and busiest year of my life, resulting in SO much growth.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Amy x