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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An arrival at home [birth photography]

As a water-birthing mama myself, from the minute I met this sweet mummy I knew she had what was needed to bring her baby into the world at home.  With her first birth resulting in a caesarean, this was going to be no easy feat mentally, but she was prepared for the challenge and excited about what lay ahead.  As we sat chatting, she shone with a beautiful trust that her body could still do what it was made to do despite the past. We talked about her preparations for the birth and in the back of my mind I was in awe that while here she was was sipping tea with me, her body worked away quietly, minute by minute, nourishing her little one. Without her telling it to, it was growing a baby under her heart and she could trust it to do the same when the baby was ready to come.

As an avid supporter of water birthing (a warm bath after a hard day or a long jog brings wonderful relief right?) I loved the candle-lit environment they created at home. Supported by her husband, her wonderful midwife, an assistant midwife, her mum and her chiropractor, I was honoured to be able to capture the empowering journey and first few hours of this little guy’s life. The joy on this mama’s face when she is holding her little one in her arms says it all.  I’ll remember it forever.  Enjoy! Maddie x

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Ten sweet tips for new parents

I’ve worked with so many wonderful mamas over the last few years and during my sessions, I often end up chatting lots to the new parents I meet!  My favourite saying is that babies are like little puzzles – no two are the same – and you sometimes just need to try a few tricks before you figure out what works best for yours.  Lately I’ve realised that some similar ideas pop up regularly and are often ‘news’ to the parents, so I thought I’d list a few fun/interesting ones for expectant mummies and new parents that worked for me!  As with all advice, pick and choose to suit your world – but perhaps one of these will help make your  first few weeks a little more wonderful!  Remember – ‘the days are long, but the years are short’ [Gretchin Rubin].  Some days are very exhausting, but before you know it they are growing up fast! So remember to savour every beautiful moment you have xx
TIP 1.  Most babies have peeling skin – true! No-one warns you but most parents are worried by it!  It is super common and a they do grow out of it so don’t fear. A little baby oil will make it less obvious and it’ll be gone before you know it.
TIP 2. The little frill on disposable nappies is meant to be flipped OUT around their legs before you seal the tabs – do this! Or you may learn the messy way!
TIP 3. Flip babies bottom lip out if you are breastfeeding whenever they latch, to reduce tenderness. And always put a little breastmilk around first before you latch to help avoid dry skin.
TIP 4. Maximise your babies natural reflexes the first 24 hours for breastfeeding – let your bub suckle every time they search for it. (They are as new to this whole thing as you are!). If you give them loads of practice before they get hungry in the days following birth you could make it all a lot easier x
TIP 5. Quiet can be “noisy/unfamiliar” compared to your womb (heartbeat, digestion etc), so make the most of white noise or rainforest soundtracks to help your baby sleep if you’re having trouble with them at night when the world is at peace
TIP 6. Do something that makes you happy every day, even if for just 15 mins. Look after you and recharge your batteries when you can. You’ll be a happier mummy and a happier mummy makes a happier baby.
TIP 7. Don’t try and settle your baby together over a long night (your partner AND yourself).  Two cranky parents makes for a dull day.  If it’s going pear shaped at 12pm… send daddy to the couch or spare room for some decent shuteye. Then he can get up at 6am and do a morning shift while you get a few hours of yummy sleep in zzz’s!
TIP 8. If you have a baby that won’t settle and you’re feeling way in over your head, pop your bub safely in their cot.  Then walk around the room, take big deep breaths and channel some positive words (I can do this!) and then continue with settling.  It’s funny how your anxiety level can affect your bub and even if you have to ‘fake it’ at times, it can make a big difference to your baby’s calmness!
TIP 9. If your baby decides to be awake at odd hours, just get up and do something. They’ll often be asleep before you know it (or you’ll have a tidy house – win-win!). Clear a bench, do a load, create a list. You’ll feel tired anyway but a little bit organised which always helps!
TIP 10. On post-birth frumpy days (we all have them!) don’t be afraid of spanx, dry shampoo, pink blusher & comfy jeans. They’ll make you feel good x
Give your bubba a kiss for me! All the best x Maddie x
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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

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