Mermaids by the Sea [a party]

A few years ago I threw a Princess & Brown Paper & String party for my daughter – it was so much fun!  Five years later, my daughter has now turned 8 and I’m at it again. She’s a water baby, who has dreamed all year of owning a Dream Blue mermaid tail.  She was SO excited to open it and has been swimming like a pro in it ever since! It’s amazing how fish like it is as it propels her through the water. So for her birthday gathering with school friends, we stuck with the mermaid/seaside theme. We prepped it at home and then we boxed it up and headed to the Settlement Cove Lagoon. Here’s a peek at the fun things we created.  Have a wonderful weekend! x Maddie
Invitations: designed as clam shells with a tiffany/sea blue theme and text inside a brown paper envelope Number Eight: fashioned from a garland in the shape of an 8 on the wall Cake: a sea themed cake with a ornamental mermaid on top. Blue ombre icing detail with sand at the top and bottom (made from butter and crushed biscuit).  The diamonte 8 and pearls were from Life of the Party at North Lakes. The name garland was handmade. Inside were hot pink ombre layers as a surprise! Turtle Eggs: cool mints in shot cups (with a cute turtle decoration on the side) Pearl Clams: passionfruit melting moments with pearl lollies at the front Sea Shells: chocolate shells in sand (made from crushed biscuit) Sea Cups: cheesecake bases, vanilla panacotta and blue jelly layers - Ocean Pops: white chocolate lollipops with sea themes and pearl accents Sweet Seaweed: Grapes and blueberries on skewers Driftwood: chocolate wafer sticks and rosemary and salt crackers in jars Ocean Water: water bottles with personalised labels Crunchy Coral: regular popcorn with a dash of coloured popcorn for effect Fish n’ Chips: French fry crisps with home made fish shaped crackers Jellyfish: chocolate shaped tentacles with half moon chocolate buttons Activity 1: Mermaid crowns with jewels and decorations Activity 2: Swimming with a mermaid!  Take Home Bags: Brown paper bags with a thank you note, filled with treasure treats, bubbles, stationery and small glass bottles with teeny tiny shells detailing ‘she sells sea shells by the sea shore”.
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Family Photography [What to Wear]

In the lead up to a family session, my clients and I generally chat a lot about locations, things to do and most importantly, what to wear.  When it comes to outfits, I actually don’t have any specific rules, as long as the style or colour palette works well as a whole. I do have galleries of pinterest ideas for those who need it and often have clients emailing me photos of clothes to get my thoughts which I’m more than happy to help with.  It’s great to see the effort people put into their session, to make it even more relaxing and fun.
There is one idea that I think is a fantastic tip over all the others, when choosing outfits for your family session… and that is – for mum’s outfit to be the FIRST to be chosen. Usually if mum feels great,  everyone feels great.  It’s much easier to pull in the rest of the family’s outfits around something that makes mum feel wonderful than the other way around.  It’s a tip I discovered a few years ago and has helped many a family have a fantastic family session with me.
Here’s a peek at little family adventure from not long ago with a quirky style of their own. Where the empty streets we explored, the sky art,  the graffiti and the random balloons we found in a back allyway all came together just perfectly to suit this crew and their rad vibe.   Enjoy!
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Welcoming Emily [birth photography]

May 2nd. The labour day long weekend. How appropriate that I should be honoured to spend the day with this gorgeous family, as mummy laboured to bring her sweet darling into the world. So perfect! xo Claire is the very talented owner and photographer of The Newborn Studio and I was delighted for her to book me as her birth photographer.  Birth is an intimate and special moment that is like no other. Birth photography is about capturing the journey, the emotion and the elation when your little one is finally in your arms.  With this baby being their last baby (and their first girl) it was something that Brad and Claire wanted to treasure.   I spent a peaceful morning with them, at Mater Mothers, surrounded by a wonderful team who cared for them.  In the early afternoon, after a beautiful hour or so of active labour, little Miss Emily Rose arrived calmly and safely – and was a bundle of cuteness! Two parents were filled with love and delight in their little girl. Enjoy!

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Family [brisbane family photography]

In August 2012 I photographed a gorgeous maternity session in a pretty field, where I met a beautiful couple who were expecting their first baby. The sun was shining, they were excited and within a month or so I was given the chance to photograph their new baby girl under the shade of the spring Jacaranda blooms. Since then, I’ve watched their little girl grow, with mini sessions every year or so (super sweet!) and now in 2016 an outdoor family maternity session in January, followed by a session at home with their new baby boy, just a few weeks ago –  divine!
Spending time with them highlighted just how fast young families grow and change. My personal favourite mummy quote when my kids were little was ‘the days are long but the years are short’ [Gretchin Rubin]. As I pondered my gratitude attitude back then, I appreciated the words personally from within one of those young family stories. And now as my kids have grown (my baby is five already!) when you get to watch a young family from afar it is even more obvious how quickly they change! It’s truly a privilege to share in the story of family beginnings and an honour to see my clients cherish their little ones.  I know these two little darlings will bring their parents loads of joy! Have a beautiful weekend! Maddie xx

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The Darlings #03

My final session in The Darlings series this month was during the week of really crazy storms.  With ten families involved, I ummed and aahed over cancelling it…but with such a busy run to the end of the year I knew it was now or never…so I went ahead!  A few families pulled out, not keen on the grey skies, which I understood.   As I listened to thunder all day, I wondered what would eventuate. I’m all for a cloudy day (pretty light to boot) but rain isn’t quite what I was after so I was hoping for the best!
As I left the house for the session, I could see a patch of blue sky….The closer I drove, the more it appeared and settled above our meeting spot.  It sat above our site for the entire hour, with a soft covering of cloud, keeping the water at bay and providing a glowy light amongst the lush greens of the forest.  The girls were gorgeous, smiling and playing and having fun. When we had finished,  I started my car to drive off and a sprinkle began to fall on the windscreen…within half an hour, the storms had returned and then stayed for the evening.  Aha… so it was meant to be! xxx Thank you to all 53 girls involved in these sessions, you’re all amazing! I had the best time and I hope you all love your portraits. Have a great week! Love Maddie xxx
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The Darlings #02

My second session in The Darlings series was in a gorgeous park I discovered in North Brisbane. One morning, I drove around six old favourite spots hoping to be inspired…. but over the years the plant growth had changed and I just didn’t feel they were what I was after.  I then went exploring along another park I’d photographed at once before and it was there I found the perfect spot.  This session saw me with 22 girls, a gorgeous series of garlands (from The Bloom Collective) and a bevy of doves brought along by White Wings Doves.   I was certainly exhausted by the end of the short session, but it was a lot of fun xx a gorgeous bunch of darlings!

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The Darlings #01

As any creative knows, when your business is birthed from an original hobby, it’s important to keep your passion fresh. Thankfully, the majority of my work is in line with my love of family, fun and creativity so I don’t have to reignite it often. But every now and then I get an idea and if I can’t incorporate it into one of my client’s sessions,  it sits with me until I bring it to pass.  This project “The Darlings” is one of those ideas.. it’s all about the beauty of friendships, a big bunch of girls, fun things they love, pretty hair and dresses, and sunlight in the garden to backdrop it all. My limitations for the sessions were one location per session, only 30-60 minutes to shoot group shots and a portrait each with a limited number of props and inclusions.  They say you’re crazy to work with kids and animals, but I think it’s one of the best combos out there! Each of the girls involved will receive a beautiful portrait of their own to keep forever. I’m thinking I’ll do more of these in the future, we had such a blast together. I met over 50 gorgeous girls in three different sessions and each one was as beautiful as the next!  Over the next three days I’ll showcase each session. This is the first.  Enjoy! x



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River [brisbane newborn photography]

I’ve heard it said…that the name River… implies that the recipient of that name will lead an adventurous life… will pave their own way…will carve new paths… and push against the common, foraging into new ground.  What a glorious honour…and what a grand dream for a new babe.

I truly love meeting new parents with their little bundles – there is  something wonderful about your firstborn, the massive learning curve that is enveloped by your heart that has grown in an instant.

It was a pleasure to get to know this loving, creative family as they welcomed their new little man last month.  Enjoy x

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Summer Love [commercial photography]

Last summer I got to meet the wonderful owners (Darren & Jo) of Old Cossack Drinks Co. Such a lovely couple – and it always makes me happy to see people taking a dream and a passion and starting a new business!  Their drinks are divine – a collection of fizzy, refreshing tastes that are actually good for your health.  The range includes Ginger Beer, Lemon Lime & Bitters, Mint Lemonade, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry & Vanilla Cider, Coconut Water Kefir and my favourite Pear Cider! So yummy.  As we head into the warmer months I’m reminded of their goodness – you can catch them at the Carseldine Markets every Saturday morning or at many of best foodie spots in Sth East Qld! Follow them here to find out where they will be xxx


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Arrival at home [birth photography]

One of the things I love most about natural births is that there is nothing you can do to bring that baby into the world until it’s ready to arrive. They’re on their own schedule and no amount of planning or hoping can change that.  And then, when the time finally comes, the beauty of birth takes you into a virtual time-warp, where the outside world ceases to exist and the miraculous arrival of a new little person begins and then takes place.  It was amazing from my own birth experiences and it’s been amazing to see other mama’s do the same.
This is the story of a loving mummy and daddy, with two little girls of their own already, as they bring another new life into the world – a baby boy.  The support and love between them all was gorgeous to capture. A mama allowing her body to bring forth her baby. Her man, her youngsters and her supporters around her, peaceful and at ease.
And I will admit, this little guy certainly is set to be quite a special someone – he shares his birth date with both my husband, my mother and my uncle.  And he kindly scheduled his arrival during the middle hours of the day so I could celebrate not only his arrival, but my own family fun too (they send their love!). I have a feeling he is going to be relaxed, handsome and organised.  Enjoy! xo

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