The Seasons Change [keep smiling]

It’s that time of year…all the graduations… so many happening in primary school, highschool and beyond.  These girls have enjoyed many years together as friends at school and are graduating from Year 6. It’s a big change, you’re leaving behind childhood and starting on the road to becoming an adult.  You could say it will no doubt be a little like a rollercoaster – full of a few lows and some awesome highs.  One of their mums decided to treat them to a little “friendventure” to celebrate the end of an era – a trip to the showground and a photographer to capture it all!  It was loads of fun (for them and me!). What a gorgeous memory to treasure for the years to come. Life is full of sweet, you just have to chase it x

Our Darling & Us [Family Portraits]

Gosh I love meeting new families.  There is something so delightful about the journey of life – welcoming little people and savouring how they add to your world as they grow!  It’s a joy to meet people for the first time and so quickly be able to see into their world and capture something they can enjoy forever.  For all the hard work it can be as a parent, nothing can match the joy of a giggle or sparkle in their eyes when you are together xx This cute little family are friends of one of my lovely long term clients and we had a wonderful morning together! Sweet bliss xx

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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Beach fun! [family photography]

Family portraits are fascinating. If you never have them done, you’ll probably never know what you are missing. You might see other peoples photos and think they are nice but that it’s probably not for you. And that’s okay, cause you’ll never know. You see, they are something that become valuable only AFTER they’ve been taken. And that’s a privilege I don’t take for granted (and that makes my work so fun!).  It’s like I’m treasure hunting on behalf of you. To capture what you don’t see when you’re just hanging out together. I’ve had many families tell me how much they adore their images and how they love to see them around their home in the midst of a busy life. And when I think about it, I guess that’s my main goal at all family sessions – to create images that sooth your soul, that take you back to that happy place that is your family at it’s best. I love it!  Today’s feature is a sweet crew who were visiting the Gold Coast from Tasmania this month on their annual holiday (mum is also the talented creator of Mooi Handmade).  We began our session with a little walk and scooter ride followed by sandcastles and fun at the beach. Coastal bliss at it’s best. Enjoy!

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a lovely wonderland [brisbane family photography]

Choosing to specialise in newborns and young families has been the most wonderful decision!  I am meeting so many gorgeous families and sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that work can be this much fun. As a photojournalistic photographer, I love to capture honest family life – sweet old good times together, doing what you love.  Most of the time this means a relaxing morning at home, a trip to the local park or an exciting adventure together, but every now and then it’s a family session with a bit of fancy thrown in too!

A vintage, whimsical styling suited this family perfectly as they spent the morning playing together and enjoying a picnic.  After first meeting them in 2010, this is our fourth session and as the family grows, they just keep getting sweeter!!   Enjoy x Maddie

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Sugar and spice [brisbane newborn photography]

When I had my own first baby four years ago my husband and I had wanted the gender to be a surprise. So when our baby was born, we were thrilled to realise we had a delightful little girl in our arms (what we secretly had wanted!).   But like many mums, I had a small thought that I would endeavour not to overdo the ‘traditional pink’ look in the clothing department. Within a few weeks though, we were inundated with pink gifts, pink clothes, pink hats and pink shoes. And the funny thing was, I soon realised, that my little girl looked absolutely ADORABLE in pink!  I tried red and blue and yellow and nothing made her look as rosy and sweet as pink did.  But I loved it. So she went on to spend the next few years fashioning various shades of wonderful pink and I enjoyed every second of it!

So far this year, my newborn sessions this year have been a good mix of both boys and girls. But I thought I’d share a real girly one from earlier this year that I’ve been meaning to post. This is adorable little Poppy with her mum and dad. I met them a few months ago and Poppy certainly suited the sweetness of pink. Her mum has done an amazing job creating her nursery too and the whole session was truly wonderful. We all had a relaxing time spending the morning at their family home, a little while inside the nursery and then some time out in the garden.  So cute!

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Amy & Walter, 74 years of marriage [brisbane]

As many of you know, my quest to find Brisbane’s longest married couple was a personal project I embarked upon in January. It’s a project that I have been meaning to do for a number of years but kept putting off because I was ‘too busy’. Well, 2013 is the year where I want to stop putting off some of the non-urgent things in life, so this was one of the first on my list.  When I put out the word that I was searching, I didn’t know who would respond and what kind of years I would be finding. My husband’s grandparents in NSW have been married for 66 years, which is an amazing achievement, and I thought perhaps there might be a couple who had beaten that.
I had quite a number of sweet couples in their 50th and 60th years and then when I received an email from one couple’s grand-daughter I realised that my dream had come true to surpass 66.  And by quite a long shot I might add!  Walter and Amy have been married for 74 years. Yes, married for 74 years!  And they themselves are 96 and 97 years of age. It was such a pleasure to meet them! As I sat with them for a cup of tea, you wouldn’t have known their ages. They were a spritely pair and I had a wonderful time with them, hearing their story and laughing with them.  Most of us could only wish to be that switched on and joyful at such an age!  As I talked with them I realised that perhaps that is what has kept them going so long. The laughter. People say joy is the best medicine and I can certainly tell you that they both enjoyed chatting and sharing their story. Amy was the talker and Walter was much quieter but would occasionally share a funny story or a cheeky grin which I loved.
They had met each other in the 1930’s. Amy was heading to an Ambulance Picnic (seaside festival) with a few friends, one of whom was Walter’s sister. As the girls approached the group of young men, Walter poked his head out from under a truck he was working on to say hello. Amy says she immediately thought “Ooh, that looks nice!’ as she looked at Walter (her words exactly!).  And so she persued Walter and he ‘let her walk around on his arm”. Their first date was a trip to the movies at the Regent Centre in Brisbane. She thought Walter was very good looking and organised everything for them to court.  When they got married in 1939 they began life with just two shillings and themselves. They spoke a lot about starting with nothing but themselves and then building a life around that.  Perhaps there is a secret in that, when we love each other and choose to be together for nothing but ourselves (not wealth, or status or any material thing) a bond can be formed at the deepest level.  And then everything else becomes a bonus.
Their greatest achievement they say, is in staying together.  It was a proud moment when they received a letter from Queen Elizabeth congratulating them on their 70th anniversary (Walter is keen to receive his 100th birthday card in a few years too!). They worked hard to create a good life and home for their three children. And family life has been their greatest joy too. Amy remembers the arrival of her firstborn like it was yesterday.  It was so amazing to see the excitement in her eyes when she told me what it was like to hold her baby girl in her arms for the first time, she recalled it as if it were yesterday.  And it was interesting to hear her refer to her youngest boy too – “he is my baby, I still call him that, even though he is 68!”
Care seems to be a big key for these two. Care for each other, care for their family, care for their home. Walter cares for Amy. Every morning he cooks her breakfast and cares in practical ways. Amy cares for Walter.  She dotes on him and calls him “Love”.  When asked what they would say to someone young in marriage and family they said “You have to take the good with the bad. You have to try hard at marriage”.  They’ve realised that anything worth having is worth investing in. They’ve made a point never to go to sleep on an argument or let things fester.  Amy says “don’t be selfish” in your marriage. Walter says “don’t give up” when things get tough.
It’s amazing the thought that if two people put each other ahead of themselves and believe in the bond of marriage, something wonderful can happen.  Enjoy a little peek at this sweet couple. I am so pleased to have met them, I only wished I could have stayed longer!  xx  Maddie

 

merry christmas & a little giveaway

Just a quick but meaningful note to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and all the best for the beginning of the New Year! 2012 has been an amazing (and full!) year for me and as I begin my focus primarily on portraits, I am very excited to start a year of even more wonderful people stories. A special and beautiful thank you to all of my portrait, wedding and commercial clients from this year, it has been TRULY delightful to meet each and every one of you. I feel honored that you let me into the most precious moments of your lives and allowed me to capture your story xx  so thank you xx

Also, in the spirit of giving, I would like to offer a giveaway!  I cherish the fact that my photography surrounds me with some of the most beautiful times in life and I know that for many others this isn’t the case. Be in their work industry or just the hard seasons of life.  So for this reason I would love to give away one session as a sweet etta photography gift, to pass on the love. The session can be any type – pregnancy, newborn, baby, child, family, couple, fashion portfolio or individual.  It will include a 30-60 minute session in North Brisbane during January, an online private gallery of 20 images, two linen print display sets and a disc of your ten favourite digital images (valued over $500).  To enter the draw, please leave a sweet comment of any sort below and make sure you include your first name and email (only your first name and comment will show below).  I will draw a winner by RANDOM selection from comments at 12pm on Christmas Eve (noon) and then email the lucky person/people to let them know.  All the best to you and I hope this will bring a little piece of joy to someone’s world who truly needs it xx

As I close off for 2012, I send much love to all and also ask that you too do something kind for a stranger this Christmas – just for the sake of old fashioned goodness!  Pay for a strangers fuel. Cook your neighbour a meal.  Tell someone in customer service what a great job they are doing. Let a car into your lane even if it means you’ll miss the lights.  It keeps your heart rather happy and you never know whose world you may change.  So for now farewell,  I will be returning to work on January 7th and will respond to all emails in date order on my return.  See you in 2013!  x  Maddie

two’s company [brisbane newborn photography]

I have been wanting to share these images for a few weeks now. I’m pleased to introduce you to Ava & Jake – new little twins and an adorable pair at that! I had so much fun capturing them. There was hardly a boo from either the whole time and the session was filled with grins and cuddles between them. You can really sense that they have become little buddies already!! How exciting for their parents to have a boy and a girl, the best of both worlds – and sure to be fun in the years to come.  Congratulations again to this beautiful family. Please enjoy below a few of my favourite images – such a happy pair and a beautiful family! I bet it’s a busy house over there at the moment, but I’m also sure when it’s all going great there is double the joy!  Maddie x

portrait of a lady [competition winner]

A few months ago I ran a competition [with some other wonderful suppliers] for one lucky girl to win a styling, makeover and photoshoot package. We ran the competition not for any particular reason, but just because we are all women in business, who love what we do and who love supporting ventures that change and brighten the lives of others.   We had many entries (all of whom were study graduates worthy of winning!) and our final random-draw winner was a sweet girl called Aimee.
Here is a glimpse into her fun shoot below – thank you Aimee for being so lovely! It was great to get to know you a little and discover your love of literature and writing. We all had fun with you and wish you all the best for your future! May your family enjoy these images for generations to come xx
If you like the look of this photoshoot for yourself or someone you know you can enquire about them here or keep an eye out at the end of each year for a competition just like this that you could win  xx Many thanks to the following wonderful contributors for 2011: Fashion Styling and Consultation Rebecca Williams [stylist] // Hair Emma Hemsley Hairdressing // Props and Scene Juliette Hooper // Makeup Racheal Walas // Clothing – Aimee’s own and one-off pieces from Lisa at Atomic Martini Vintage // and a special thanks to Aimee’s doggy Sascha – very cute! xx