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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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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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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