My Solo Mom Holiday: New York

My Solo Mom Holiday: New York

Back in May, when I started telling people that I was about to fly to New York, by myself, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. And fair enough. I'm a mostly-stay-at-home parent with 2 small children, 2 part-time jobs and a husband who works a lot. Oh, and we're not independently wealthy. Taking off on overseas holidays by myself isn't exactly an everyday occurrence.

The idea took hold when our friend mentioned that she was going to New York for her sister's wedding, and my husband said casually, "You should go with her." I'm pretty sure my response was something along the lines of: "Are you insane?" He started looking up flights and Airbnb's and he insisted, "I really think you should go. The kids will be fine."  

Once my initial shock wore off, I came around pretty quickly and spent the next day trying to find someone to go with me. My friend Sam was intrigued (cheap flights! Brooklyn in June! girls trip!), and by the next night we had booked our flights and accommodation.

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Sydney Yoga Photographer: Inhale Arms Up

Sydney Yoga Photographer: Inhale Arms Up

I first met Leanne through a mutual friend, and we immediately got to talking about yoga. A fellow yogi mama, Leanne has been teaching for 16 years in the US and Australia. She's a wealth of knowledge and she's now using this knowledge to mentor other yoga teachers through new new platform, Inhale Arms Up. I love how as yoga teachers we're constantly learning, and striving to grow and I know that Leanne is going to help so many teachers!

We got together to do these photos on a sunny autumn day at Ballast Point Park in Balmain. Leanne was such a great model - graceful and light hearted. Here are a whole bunch more photos if you'd like to take a peak...

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Northern Beaches Yoga Photographer: Nicole Grace Yoga

Northern Beaches Yoga Photographer: Nicole Grace Yoga

On the day of my shoot with Nicole, the forecast was for rain, and having just had a shoot get rained out, I was wondering if we should reschedule. Being more brave, or maybe more trusting than I was, Nicole said, "let's go for it!" She was completely right. When we got to our location on the Northern Beaches, the cloudy afternoon was the perfect fit for Nicole's branding. And as the storm did eventually roll in, our view of it was amazing. We got back to our car just in time to avoid getting drenched. Perfect timing.

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Sydney Blessingway Photographer

Sydney Blessingway Photographer

"A blessingway is a special ceremony designed to acknowledge, honour, and celebrate a woman's journey into motherhood. Different from a baby shower, a blessingway's main goal is to provide a loving place where an expectant mum can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches childbirth and motherhood." - Mother Rising

This past weekend I had the honour of guiding my dear friend's blessingway. Min is expecting her third baby, and when she told me that she had always wanted a blessingway but never had anyone who could plan it for her, I knew that we had to make it happen! Back when I was expecting my first daughter, my friends threw me a beautiful blessingway and it was one of the highlights of my whole pregnancy. I was very hopeful that it would be the same for Min.

I really do believe that when women gather together, magic happens. Not one person present had ever attended a blessingway, and yet everyone was so open hearted and happy to be a part of it. At the end everyone was talking about how amazing it was to slow down, to focus, to make something with their hands, to celebrate their friend and her journey.

I used the book Mother Rising to plan the ceremony, as well as the Mama Blessing Pack from Sisters and the Sea. I would highly recommend both to anyone planning a blessingway! My favourite part of the day: the blush pink string we tied around our wrists in our closing ceremony string ritual, that each of us will leave on our wrist until we hear that Min's baby has arrived. 

As a photographer, of course I couldn't let the day go by without snapping some photos. Here are some of my faves...

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Sydney Maternity Photographer - a family session

Sydney Maternity Photographer - a family session

This little girl totally stole my heart at her mum's maternity session. She was so bubbly and joyful, not to mention very excited to become a big sister soon. I have no doubt that she will make the best big sister, and I'm very excited to see her in action when I go to photograph a newborn session for this family very soon!

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My 2018 Goals

My 2018 Goals

Well here's something I've never shared before on this blog or my old blog: my goals. I've never been much of a resolutions person or a goal setter but last year, after reading a lot on the topic, I decided to give it a try. At the end of 2016 I sat down on the kitchen floor with a giant piece of paper and a stack of pencil crayons, and I brainstormed all of the things I wanted to work on in 2017. I then mulled it over, went back and crossed out the things that didn't make sense for me in my current season of life, and combined the things that were repetitive. I ended up with a list of 15 work-related goals and 16 personal goals.

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Eastern Suburbs Yoga Photographer: Amy

Eastern Suburbs Yoga Photographer: Amy

You know when you meet someone for the first time and you have so much in common that you can just talk and talk and talk? Well that's what it was like when I met Amy to chat about photography; we of course got on to the topic of yoga, and teaching yoga and yoga trainings and our favourite teachers and on and on. We did eventually get to the topic of yoga photography, and Amy had the brilliant idea to use Nielsen Park as our location. It's a great spot because we got so much variety from just the one session.

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Our Christmas

Our Christmas

One thing I'm really starting to appreciate about Christmas with children is that it is so much more about the journey than the destination. All month long we were preparing and celebrating in different ways. It started on December 1st when I hung our advent calendar and we pulled the first card which said, 'Decorate for Christmas!' Our advent calendar has pockets and I fill them with a mix of small gifts (hair clips, nail polish, chocolates etc) as well as activities (help someone, bake cookies, watch a Christmas movie etc). Just like last year, we got a real tree and this year the process was a lot smoother!

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Sydney Family Photographer

Sydney Family Photographer

This sweet family was so much fun to work with! They are a fellow North American/Australian family so we had lots in common. We were chatting about how in the US/Canada it's common to send out Christmas cards with your family photo on the front, while here in Australia that isn't really a thing. We kept joking that these could be their Christmas card photos and they could start the trend, but I really think they should! It's a lovely tradition and a good kick in the pants to organise family photos. 

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Inner West Newborn Photographer: Tallulah

Inner West Newborn Photographer: Tallulah

This newborn session is extra special to me as this family are dear friends of ours. We were anxiously awaiting the birth of their little girl, and a few days after she arrived I headed to their place for a newborn session. I love doing newborn sessions at the family's home because it's more laid back, which allows us to follow the baby's lead. With a brand new baby, life can be pretty unpredictable so I always leave plenty of time for nappy changes, nursing etc. I try to keep things completely relaxed and stress free!

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Sydney Natural Health Photographer: Emma

Sydney Natural Health Photographer: Emma

Something I really love about my job is the opportunity to connect with other natural health practitioners, like yoga teachers, kinesiologists, massage therapists, naturopaths etc. I know firsthand how important it is to have photos that truly reflect you and your work, and that you feel proud to share. So when Emma reached out needing photos for her new website, I was thrilled to work with her. 

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Vancouver Yoga Photographer: Persia

Vancouver Yoga Photographer: Persia

I've known Persia since way back in the day when we were both yoga teachers at what is now Egg of the Universe. A fellow Vancouver girl in Sydney, Persia was someone I looked up to as a yoga teacher and as an all around inspiring person. After 10 years of living in Australia, she recently returned to Vancouver and we got to reconnect while I was there in August. I suggested to her that we do a last minute photoshoot at the beach, and so we spent my last evening in Vancouver at Spanish Banks. With no time to plan or overthink, we simply went with the flow and it was great. You can find out more about Persia here, and if you happen to be in Vancouver right now I highly, highly recommend you get to one of her classes ASAP! 

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Our Vancouver Trip + My Favourite Vancouver Spots

Our Vancouver Trip + My Favourite Vancouver Spots

After a glorious 6 weeks in Vancouver, it's time for us to head back to Sydney. This trip has been so full in the best of ways. We got to attend two incredibly fun weddings, including a Greek Orthodox wedding where I had the privilege of being the maid of honour. We also spent time on Gabriola Island, my favourite Gulf Island and a place I have been visiting my whole life. Because this was my first visit home in 5 years where I haven't been breastfeeding a baby, I had a lot more freedom to get out and explore. I decided before we left that I wanted to be super intentional in how I spent my time in Vancouver. I didn't want to get to the end of our visit and realise that I hadn't seen the people I wanted to see, or done the things I wanted to do. Before we left, I started a list in Wunderlist called 'Vancouver Bucket List'. I had another list simply called 'Vancouver things', where I documented all of our adventures, from the hikes we did to the cafes we visited. I'm so glad I did this! It kept me inspired and motivated to keep exploring and make the most of our time. And now it's fun to look back and see everything we were able to do. 

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Inner West Family Photographer

Inner West Family Photographer

It's been really nice to squeeze in a few last family sessions here in Sydney before our big trip to Canada. I met up with this sweet family of 5 at Callan Park recently for some golden hour photos. The kids did so well and, as always, some of my favourite shots are the un-staged ones - the three kiddos chasing each other, jumping into their dad's arms and climbing big rocks. The stuff of childhood. 

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How to Prepare for Your Family Session

How to Prepare for Your Family Session

As a mum to two small children, I know how stressful it can be to organise a family photo session. From finding the right photographer, to nailing down a date that works for everyone, to choosing coordinating outfits, and then hoping that your kids will actually cooperate on the day. The thing is, I also know that it is SO worth it! We've had family photos taken many times since my first daughter was born, and despite the stress that comes with the process, I am always in awe when we get our photos back. Even my husband, who will be the first to admit that he doesn't love having his photo taken, flips through our photo albums now and thanks me for taking the time to organise these sessions. Children grow and change so much in their first few years and these photos are a priceless treasure and an amazing part of our legacy. 

That said, today I thought I'd share a few simple tips to prepare for your next family session.

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Knitting for my girls

Knitting for my girls

Seeing as it's winter here in Sydney (and it's actually been cold lately!), I've got knitting on the brain. I mostly knit for my girls because crafting for kids is so very forgiving. They look cute in everything, and if something ends up too big, I figure, "great, they'll grow into it." And if something ends up too small, I figure "great, Hazel can wear it."

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Eastern Suburbs Newborn Photographer: Faye

Eastern Suburbs Newborn Photographer: Faye

Just a few weeks after we took Liv's maternity photos, baby Faye entered the world on a Sunday morning (just like my eldest daughter!). Five days after that, I went over to Liv and Dave's cute Eastern Suburbs apartment to photograph the new family. I was reminded that there is nothing like the newborn bubble - those beautiful, magical, sleepless and fleeting first few days of parenthood. What a ride it is to be a parent, and what a blessing it is to photograph such precious memories for other families!

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My Girls Right Now

My Girls Right Now

I was just having a look through my blog and realised that the last time I wrote about my girls was this time last year, whoah! It's safe to say that they have changed a lot in this last year. Clementine turned 4 earlier this month and Hazel is now 19 months old. We are officially out of the baby bubble! Although we still call Hazel "the baby" and she's tiny, so I can get away with pretending she's still a baby for a while longer...

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Northern Beaches Wedding Photographer: Matt and Chrissy

Northern Beaches Wedding Photographer: Matt and Chrissy

I decided last year that I really wanted to start photographing weddings. The idea terrified me but I didn't want to let that stop me, so I made it my goal to start second shooting in 2017. So earlier this year, when I got a message from my friend Liv that her friend was looking for a wedding photographer and would I be interested, I practically shouted at her, "YES!" 

She put me in touch with Chrissy, and I connected with her and her fiancĂ© from the first moment I met them, bonding over Anne of Green Gables, yoga and the joys and stresses of wedding planning. I knew right away that their wedding would be something special, and I was honoured that they would trust me to capture it.

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