Being an auntie, I've had the pleasure of watching little people grow, from the newborn stage and throughout their childhood. I can't wait to see the rest of their journey. However, so much of this growing has to be watched from afar; through pictures, facebook posts, videos, skype and yearly/bi-yearly catchups.
The plus side of this is that it's easy to see their growth - in those early stages, they are almost a whole different person from when I last saw them. I've got the memory of how they last looked, so it's a surprise to see their growth.
This past year, I've had the absolute priviledge of watching a little person grow in front of me. I knew her before she was someone. I see her all the time, so it's easy to lose track of her growth.
Knowing I was going to watch her grow up so closely inspired me to put together this latest package. I asked her parents when she was born if they would mind her being involved, and it grew from there.
Obviously I knew she had grown from newborn, to six months, to one year, but when you put the images together side by side it's actually crazy to see the growth.
Having watched my nieces and nephews grow up from afar, I know how important it is to capture this growth. I would have missed mine growing up if it wasn't for photos.
It's also so important for parents to capture this too, no matter how many children you have. Everything flies by so quickly, having proof they were really once that tiny and squishy is amazing.
I've put together a little gallery so you can truly see the beauty of the watch me grow package. Our first session is the newborn session, and we can choose between the 'classic' newborn shots or I can offer a more natural and documentary style 'lifestyle shoot'.
The second session is taken at 6 months, and it doesn't matter if they are sitting on their own yet or still lying down - I can work with either.
The last session happens around their first birthday.
Other family members are welcome in the photoshoot - it's a great time to update your family portraits, or portraits of their older siblings, afterall, everyone is growing!
Over the last year I have been capturing the beautiful Lili as she grows, mapping the changes from squirmy newborn to her own little person, and boy does this girl have some personality!
She's just at that stage where she is really getting the hang of walking, so understandably she wants to practice!
I did some portraits of her big sister too - since she's grown a lot in a year herself. She's gone from an inquisitive kindy kid to a intelligent school kid in the last year. Her hair is shorter and she has an awesome little sister to help take care of and protect.
These two girls have so much love for each other. Dali loves showing Lili the world and Lili absolutely adores her big sister.
I took the time to update their family portraits too, as well as capturing all the beautiful candid moments that come with family portraits and keeping babies happy.
One of the joys of being a documentary, on location style photographer is that I get to capture one of the best parts of childhood; Curiosity, play, and wonder, and the ability to make a game out of almost anything. I can enter into a world not always seen, and capture all the real moments that make life beautiful.
How many of you are guilty of using a photographers services, and never getting around to getting them printed? Are those precious images just sitting in a drawer?
I recently switched my services over to include a reveal session. This is where the client and I go through the images together, the client picks their images that they wish to purchase, picks their products, and leaves knowing they are getting high quality, long lasting products that they can proudly display on their wall, with complimentary matching digital files to share with family and friends.
I have products on hand so they can see various options. My personal favourite are matted prints, and family portrait albums.
Matted Prints are available in a Folio Box, or individually. They come printed on beautiful lustre paper, matted in an off-white mattboard, ready to either be framed, or kept in their beautiful keepsake box.
My other personal favourite is a family portrait album. Photo albums aren't just for weddings, they are perfect for telling a story whether it's the growth of your family, celebrating the new addition, or recongising a milestone, I love being able to tell your story through portrait albums. Albums can include words or photos only. Words can include your favourite quotes, family details, names and ages, etc.
These are my favourite ways to display those beautiful portraits. Living in photos is so important, as is having beautiful, high quality wall art to display, remember, and cherish for a lifetime.
Two weeks ago I had the priviledge of photographing the beautiful Moana and her big brother at their home. At only six months old Moana already idolises her big brother, and he has nothing but love for her in return. I love that my job allows me to capture the unconditional love of siblings.
After that, it was time for some shots of just Moana. This little girl was so expressive, and such a pleasure to photograph.
I've been reflecting on my journey recently, and how it came to be that I get to work from home and do exactly what I love. I want to take you back to where this photographic journey all began.
My older brother was always interested in photography, and bought himself and SLR camera. This was in 1994 so yes, it was film. For all your purists out there, you might be glad to know that I got my start when film was very much a thing!
He took this amazing close up shot of my kitten chewing on a branch. That photo is one of my most treasured possessions to this day. I was fascinated that the camera could see something that we couldn't see for ourselves.
I was only five at the time, so understanably, my older brother did not want me touching his brand new expensive camera.
Fast forward to 2002, when I was thirteen and my thirst for photography renewed. I was finally old enough to touch the prized possession. I knew nothing about depth of field, shutter speed, light metering, etc. But I had two new subjects that seemed pretty willing to be moved from chair to chair while I captured them. So, for your viewing pleasure, one of the first images that I ever took.
I know, it's a masterpiece!
When I started Year 12 (Sixth Form), we got to take Photography as part of art. I was so excited. They started to train us to use our cameras. I learnt about the basic technical aspects, developing my own film and developing my own images. We also learn some cool techniques - such as creating a negative print! I absolutely adore the darkroom, and I really hope my journey takes me back there some day.
Due to a number of reasons, I didn't take it beyond that in school. I still really enjoyed it, but I stuck to doing it in my down time. For my 18th birthday, my mum bought me my own digital camera. I was over the moon. Although it was just a compact, that didn't stop me taking 100s of photographs when I went to Australia. The rule of thirds allows you to take some pretty lovely landscapes, and Australia had plenty to offer! Sometimes, you have to break rules too.
The above image was one of the images I submitted for my portfolio for entry into UCOL. It's nothing to write home about by any means, but it's in image that brought me pride at one point in my life. I went to Massey University in 2008, and it wasn't until late 2009 that I happened to be in UCOL and discovered a pamphlet for the Bachelor or Applied Visual Imaging. I fell in love. I wanted to get back into Graphic Design and Photography. Graphic Design was originally what I wanted to do, but I ended up in an English Degree instead. So I decided to dip my toe in the water, and take their photography paper whilst I finished my first degree.
I was hooked.
I enrolled full time the following year, and dove head first. Originally my plan was to focus on design and study photography as a minor, but the more I learnt, the more I fell in love with what I could do with my camera. It wasn't until I took this image that I discovered that I really enjoyed making people look and feel good. This was the first image that ever bought me pride as a photographer, rather than just someone with a camera. After that, I was absolutely clear with the direction I wanted to take. I entered my first NZIPP Iris awards, and walked away with a High Pro standard. Someone told me my work was good enough.
Fast forward a few years, and now I'm here.
Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing.
Last month I photographed a couple that had just both celebrated their 80th Birthdays - how awesome is that! Having children, grandchildren and now great grandchildren, the love they still have for each other is phenomonal! Well I think it is - but take a look for yourself!
Remember about eight months ago when I showed you that adorable little newborn girl? Here's her updated portraits! I've put her newborn and her six month side by side, so you can see how much she has grown and changed.
I think it's a safe bet that she would no longer fit in that basket.
She has her own little personality already.
She's sitting on her own, she has teeth, and she can melt your heart with a smile. I think it's so important to capture these moments regularly, you never really realise how quickly they grow until they do, so it's amazing to be able to look back and see it.
I'm so honoured to be able to capture this little girl as she grows. I'll update again at a year, and I really cannot wait! Now I'll leave you with an image, in what was clearly a private moment I caught her in!
About two months ago now, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing a wee little newborn who was only 7 days new. He was such a lovely, relaxed little fella, as were his parents. You know a newborn shoot is going to be fun when the baby comes with his own 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' outfit. Without further ado, here is the very sleepy caterpillar!