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

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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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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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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our happy places [brisbane family photography]

The thing that I love most about lifestyle family portraits, is that there are no rules. You can make your session as simple or creative as you like. You get to wear the things you love (whether thats jeans & T’s or something quirky or extravagant). You can have your session in a place you adore (perhaps that’s your wonderful home or maybe somewhere that you’ve been hoping to visit together for months). You get to do the things you love to do together (from pancakes at your kitchen bench for breaky, to visiting the organic markets, to an adventure at a sideshow alley). YOU get to choose. And you get to have a great time as a little family where the focus is only on having a fun together. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a mum and daughter, or parents with a wild big brood of kids, whatever your story is, that’s what I want to discover. It’s about you, being you.

This sweet family desired to have their saturday morning family tradition captured.  When they are all up and dressed, they head off for a walk together to their local reserve. They explore and have fun. They watch the ducks swim and find cool sticks and rocks to play games with. They laugh and giggle together. Then they finish their stroll with babycinos and coffees at their favourite local cafe.  It’s sweet, pure fun at it’s simplist.  It’s a story that is theirs, memories that will remind these parents of the time when their little ones were young. And as the years pass, they can share these beautiful moments with their children – showing them the very beginnings of their family traditions.  It’s family.  It’s good fun.  I love it 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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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

Louise & Ryan (Bangalow Wedding)

I met Ryan and Louise earlier this year and clicked with them from the moment we met (as I do with all my lovely couples!). Hearing them talk about their wedding plans and how they wanted their guests to experience the day was exciting to my love of all things fun, vintage, quirky and creative.  At the time they were both living in Perth, so the next time I saw them was mid year for their engagement session (see it here as featured on Polka Dot Bride!). After the session, I knew the time we spent together was just a taste of the fun I would have capturing their wedding day love story.
Their wedding (10/11/12) was to be held in the region behind Byron Bay, within the quaint town of Bangalow.   After a simple ceremony under the trees, the reception was planned to be an outdoor celebration with games on the lawn and an evening under the stars and pretty lights. However when nature decided it was meant to be a rainy day, Louise and Ryan went with the flow, and quickly took their ideas and recreated it all inside a quaint hall.  This would have been no mean feat considering the detail of their day, but they had amazing family and friends who helped move their outdoor wedding celebration to an indoor one – and it still had the perfect atmosphere!
With one of my talented second shooters Josh Weier by my side, we captured their perfect day and the story that was their wedding.  We truly had a blast with them and enjoyed every minute!  From the delightful details in atmosphere, to the activities for guests, through to the absolutely delicious catering by Fig Tree Restaurant (and Louise’s mum’s special dessert bar!) everything had been thought of.  I especially loved watching the relationships between guests – beautiful speeches, thoughtful words and loads of fun dancing!  As quite the travelling duo, at present Louise and Ryan are crossing the Nullarbor and heading to Brisbane.  I can’t wait to see them in January before they then begin an eight month trip to Africa, America and Europe – loads of fun adventures ahead!  I hope you enjoy this peek at their day x Maddie
Note: I am no longer shooting large weddings from Jan 2013 but am available for intimate ceremonies, registry weddings and vow renewals. I also specialise in family portraits, individual sessions and couples session, so if you like what you see, please drop me a line and I would love to chat x

 





simple, sweet love [brisbane couples portraits]

Lately I’ve had an increase in couple session bookings which has been fun to plan and prepare for. It’s exciting for me to meet new, wonderful couples – there is nothing quite like capturing the loveliness of love. The awesome thing is that this type of shoot doesn’t just have to JUST be for engaged couples. I’ve captured the love of dating couples, couples celebrating their anniversary, special birthday sessions and even simple, private vow renewals.
This engagement shoot session was used as a basis for a creative wedding invitation design, and the styling was pure and simple. It was with my favourite couple models (aka. my sister and her fiance!) and there wasn’t a great deal of planning or props. A boy and a girl in love. A sheet. The sun. And a pretty forest by a river. Simple, sweet love.
When enquiring about couple portrait sessions, I’m often asked what to do or where to go for the shoot and as an added complimentary service to you, if you would like it, I love to offer my suggestions to help make your image collection unique and perfectly about you. I’ll ask you a few questions about yourselves and then I’ll provide you with a fun list of ideas to inspire you as we plan your session. Or as always, you can come to me with your ideas and I’m happy to run with those too!  I’m looking forward to sharing more love story images in the next few months. Enjoy.

into the woods…[brisbane family portraits]

When I shoot a family portrait, I approach it like I am a ‘fly on the wall’. I want to come on an adventure with your family, where you all just ‘be you’. I want to follow you while you do something fun together. Go to the beach. climb a mountain. Visit the library. It might be a tradition you’ve done for years or it could be a new experience you want to take together. Whatever it is that tells the story of your family, that is what I want to capture for you.
For this cute family, the plan was a sunset picnic in a forest. The talented mummy, Tash of Whimsy Petite Styling created a gorgeous vintage picnic ‘look’ for her family and together they shared afternoon tea, read books and played hide and seek within the forest. It turned out to be a bit of a teddy bears picnic for the girls and they had lots of fun giggling and telling me about their little friends. It was also nice for mum and dad to have some images together too – aren’t they gorgeous?
While this shoot was more of a styled glamourous shoot, you can really take your ideas any way you want to. It can be styled like this one (Tash is available for bookings to plan and style your photo shoots), maybe something adventurous like a mountain hike or it can be even as simple as a morning spent at your place – pikelets, pillow fights and snuggles on the couch with your kids favourite books. The awesome thing about these type of ‘lifestyle’ shoots is that you don’t need to be afraid – because you can pick something that makes you feel relaxed. You can have fun and enjoy the time as this season of life is captured for you (and generations to come). I can’t wait to meet you.