Aside from covering my childhood bedroom walls in snapshots of my friends and family (and posters of Hanson and the Backstreet Boys... cringe...), my love for photography started out pretty typically as it does for most keen beans... with countless landscapes and macro shots of just about every flower under the sun. But when I began to learn how to photograph people in ways that were actually purposeful, photography took on a whooole new meaning!
Just as a little bit of fun we let Eli loose on a wee 1st birthday cake especially for him (you know... the dairy-free, egg-free, and therefore probably taste-free kind that you are too scared to serve up to guests as the ACTUAL birthday cake). This was a surprisingly flippin' DELICIOUS cake though (thank you Chelsea Winter)... Liam and I maaay have totally polished off what was left.
'Twas a bit of a giggle... he spent the first 5 minutes just walking around the cake playing with the balloons. It definitely wasn't the 'smoosh your face in it and eat your heart out just 'cos you can' kinda party... I don't think he knew that the sticky blue thing was actually food and proceeded pretty cautiously with each tiny bite! But we had fun watching him play with the textures and get his first wee taste of the joy of sugar ;)
He's gorgeous... and he is a huge blessing and miracle. He is Matthew James Truman, born at 10:51pm, 1st May 2014, weighing 8lb 3oz. And he is my precious little nephew - first little boy for my beautiful sister, Sarah, and her husband, Nick.
Our hearts burst for this little chap... he's the biggest delight! I had the amazing honour of photographing not only their journey through pregnancy, but also his entrance into this world. I was out for a run in Dunedin (pffft, what? Rare occurrence!), and got a call from Sarah saying, "I hope your bags are packed, jump in the car as soon as you can!!!"... I've never run so fast in my life... in fact that journey home was a bit of a blur (for me, not anyone who saw my rather tragic effort of sprinting). But 2.5 hours later, I was in Invercargill hospital, capturing the story of his birth in my sweaty fluro running gear. Witnessing my nephew's first breath was the biggest privilege ever.
As most of you know, Sarah and Nick sadly lost their darling little girl, Victoria, at full-term in June last year. Matthew is the beautiful baby to follow, and we are all so incredibly grateful for this gift. To quote Sarah's facebook announcement- "I don't have the words to describe the incredible joy and relief of holding a little boy in my arms, watching his chest rise and fall with breath, seeing him open and close his eyes, and hearing his snuffles! Welcome to our world Matthew James Truman, we love you soooo much!"
Here he is, brand new... meeting his big, and completely adoring sister, Penelope, for the first time at the hospital!
After racing back to Dunedin the morning after his birth to shoot a graduation, heading to Arrowtown the next day for a wedding, and driving the road south of Dunedin 5 times in 5 days... I was back down to hang out with Matthew for some newborn photos. I have seriously never had a cruisier newborn shoot - Matthew slept the entire time. And this was over about 2 days of shooting bits and pieces... what a dreeeeam!
A picture of perfection...
Matthew means 'Gift of God', and James is the middle name of both of Matthew's grandfathers, and the first or middle name of two of his great-grandfathers, and a great-great-grandfather! James means 'Supplanter', so Matthew James is their gift from God in the place of another.
Penelope just LOVES Matthew! At the hospital she exclaimed that she couldn't wait to take him home to show him the iPad, take him to play on the playground, and buy him a scooter and a headband!! She was convinced his name was 'Declan' for the first couple days, and even asked if we could call him 'Dental Floss'... I love kids' brains. But above all, she completely adores him. Her nurturing nature is so obvious... she cuddles him, strokes him gently, and is extremely helpful for Mummy and Daddy.
When your adoring Nana knits a gorgeous little pea-pod just for you, it'd be rude not to snuggle right in and make the most of its cuddliness! Suuuuper cute... clever Nana!
Sarah and Nick have an amazing support of friends and family around them. This wee outfit was given to him by one of Sarah's close friends... ridiculously funny and cute!
Before and after :)
This family are seriously amazing. Nick and Sarah are the most brilliant parents... they give everything they can to their kids, and they are filled with the most incredible patience and love. They have been through so much losing a child, yet they know they are blessed beyond words with the beautiful children they have here on earth. I am so proud of these guys...
So much love for this amazing family! I could talk so much more about them. Matthew, we can't wait to watch you grow up, to play games with you, to see you turn into a wonderful little boy. You have a wide family who loves you SO dearly. You are a perfect, handsome, courageous young man, and you have been born into the most amazing family ever. Love you ALL! xoxox
Wee Seren is a dynamite little girl - full of energy and character! Her Grandparents were over visiting from the UK and they were gifted a voucher to have a shoot with their precious wee granddaughter while they were over! We ran around the gardens together, creating some pretty special memories for Shamus and 'Pamgu' to take back home with them!
Seren and I were friends immediately... within the first 2 minutes, she was holding my hand dragging me around everywhere... bringing me ALL her toys to have a tea party with, and running towards the camera with massive smiles! I had suuuuch a fun time with this precious wee girl and her loving parents and grandparents!
Seren loved hanging out with her Grandparents and looking at the trees, leaves and buzzy bees...
I was blown away by how theatrical a little girl can be at the age of 21 months! It was only later I learned her lovely Mum, Sarah, is a drama teacher! Everything is filled with drama in her life! :)
Ahhhh why are little mini things always SO ridiculously cute?!?!? Dancing duckling!!
Picking daisies - a favourite past time!
What a precious wee girl, and precious wee smile!
Thanks for such a fun shoot! It was soooo lovely to meet you all! Shamus and Pam, I hope you had a wonderful holiday over here! I'm sure you are missing wee Seren greatly!
Seren, I'm looking forward to more fun and games in April for round 2 with the other grandparents! xx
Little Juno has the biggest personality, the most gorgeous wee facials, and hair that could rock anyone's world. She is utterly adorable.
Laura and James wanted to celebrate her 1st birthday a little differently. They brought her up to Dunedin for a fun day out, some family shots, and a wee party for three! Unfortunately the weather was less than ideal, and despite Laura's perfect ideas and gorgeous party plans, we just couldn't control that rain and wind. But little Juno had a blast, and we managed to find some shelter for her favourite part... when she got to tuck in to the cake she had been eyeing up all day!
Fairy bread time!!
The moment you give a 1 year old fizzy drink for the first time ever...
Laura and James are such amazing parents. They give their world to Juno. They treasure her and have such a beautiful way with her. I have so loved capturing their journey right through from their engagement and wedding, to Juno as a newborn, through to her first year.
Cake smash time!!
"I dont know what this is....
... but I'm not stopping!"
After eating far too much cake, we got that little face cleaned up again for a few more special photos with Mum and Dad...
Juno you are the cutest! Your parents are amazingly fun and love spoiling you to bits, and I don't blame them. Thanks for braving the cold and having me along to your wee birthday fun day! Looking forward to watching you grow and learn over the next year too! xx
The Aitkens and Makahununius are two fully amazing families. We have had the pleasure of getting to know them over the past 7 years, when we have visited my sister in Invercargill. It's awesome seeing their tight network of friends support each other through the ups and downs of life. And their kids?! Probably some of the cutest wee munchkins you will ever meet.
We had an awesome morning running around Queen's Park in Invercargill, capturing life as it is for them at the moment. Naomi and Sarah are sisters, so the wee cousins are the best of friends... and they really are just one big family, which is so amazing to see!
I know this blog has been a long time coming... with wedding season in full swing, it's a pretty crazy busy time of year for us... but this shoot was one I really wanted to share... so here we go!
Meet Naomi, Sione, Lile, Elisapesi and Asher...
...And Sarah, Andrew and Abbigail!
These two couples are completely devoted to each other and their beautiful children... they pour everything they have into their marriages and their parenting.
Sione likes to give Naomi the occassional heart attack though!
Is this not the sweetest thing ever?! Pure joy! These beautiful girls kept picking up flowers off the ground and giving them to me as presents! Soooo precious!!
Beeeautiful, beautiful sisters!
Big tough Daddy!
Love you all! Always looks forward to seeing you down in Invercargill! Thanks so much for such a fun, relaxed shoot! I loved every minute of it :)
Love and hugs xx
Meet Alix and Johnny and their gorgeous kiddlywinks, Matt and Hayley! They are one beautiful little family and we can't wait to see them again in October for their big wedding day in Port Chalmers! We decided it was super important to include Matt and Hayley in the engagement shoot, because they are obviously such a massive part of Alix & Johnny's lives and their relationship. They have been together over 5 years, and the next big adventure of their love is about to start - marriage!
These kids are really ridiculously cute! Hayley is about 11 months old, and has the sweetest little face and cheeky grin, and four year old Matt is full of energy and personality! I just loved watching Alix and John interacting with their beautiful children - they obviously completely and utterly ADORE each other, and have such playful and loving relationships!
Here is where all the mothers reading this have a mini heart attack, and all the fathers wanna go out and see if they can chuck their son even higher...
We tired the kids out with running around, boxing, getting thrown in the air, and doing flips... and then we let Grandma take them away, so we had some time with the awesome couple by themselves!
They spent most of the time fighting with each other. But not the yelling type, or the silent treatment type, or the evil looks type... more like the flirting, giggling, poking, hassling, play-fighting type!
Alix and Johnny up a tree... K I S S I N G!!
These two love birds used to spend hours and hours sitting talking in a huuuuge tree at a primary school when they first got together... so a giant tree was a must for their photos!
Alix, I cannot wait to see you as a bride on the 26.10.13! You are going to be GORGEOUS!
These two beautiful engagement rings have the four different family birth stones in them! Soooo pretty!
Alix and John, you guys are so awesome together - and it was soooo amazing watching your incredible parenting. You are such a fun family... bring on October!! xoxox
I'm playing catch up! Woop woop! Here I have for you just a wee taster of just a few awesome portrait shoots that I want to share from over the past few months... in no particular order! (In fact, all out of order... ohhh look at me going out of my comfort zone!!)
Heather & Doug - Just 'Cos We Can!
Time with our very close friends, Heather and Doug from Heather Ellis Photography and DpointR Photography, is ALWAYS awesome! They stayed with us for a few days last week and we went on heaps of photo adventures... but the first up was a night of off-camera flash above the city! Mmmm Mmmm I loooove lights and bokeh... and this gorgeous couple!! They are both incredibly awesome photographers, AND look so good in front of the camera. How do they do it?! Doug is also a lighting genius, so this was just playing around, learning lots, and having fun! :)
'Deep Grey' Workshop - Christchurch
Way back quite a while ago, I left Dunedin at some ridiculous hour of the morning and drove all the way to Christchurch for less than 24hrs, all in the name of learning more and more about my craft. I sung my heart out to keep myself awake, and arrived to find an awesome bunch of photographers chilling out in the sun... about to start an awesomely inspiring workshop taken by Brisbane-based Adam, from Deep Grey. We spent the day learning how rock our businesses and to make things more and more awesome for our clients in the wedding and portrait photography world. And just as the gorgeous sun went down over the gorgeous farm land, we went out and photographed this gorgeous couple... in some veeery pretty light! What better way to spend a day?! Play and work in one!
The Family Connection...
A gorgeous surprise for Christina and Maggie's father... precious family photographs for his birthday!
Aashna is one!
I photographed Abhishek and Puja's maternity shoot, and then their newborn shoot for little baby Aashna... and now she is ONE!! And completely and utterly gorgeous!
Anna, Richard and Charlotte!
Precious time to capturing gorgeous wee Charlotte - with her beautiful, mischievous streak, and her awesome parents!
Thanks for looking! xoxoxo
There are thousands of ridiculously cute 2 year olds in this world. That is a fact.
But today I have a favourite, and I'm not afraid to admit it. My snuggly, cheeky, hilarious, intelligent little niece is sneaking into the delightful two's today!! I asked her how old she was turning, and she told me "TWO MUCH!"
So I am just sending out the BIGGEST, SQUISHIEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY cuddle with too much love, to my best little 2 year old friend!
I know you all have your own reasons for thinking the little 2 year old in your life is the best one in the world. But until my other cutie pie niece turns two as well (they only have 8 days of being equal favourites in each age group!)... I'm afraid Penelope wins.
Sarah and Nick put on an AWESOME wee jungle party for her and her wee buddies!
They have poured their heart and soul into Penelope over the last two years - they are the most amazing parents a girl could wish for. They have taught her so much in her short wee life so far... things that just amaze me. Like that 'W' for "Wow, Daddy!!", turns around to make an 'M' for "Mummy"! Who knew?!
They all made 'binoculars', complete with scribbles and overlapping animal stickers, and went on an animal hunt in the backyard!! Cutest thing in the world!
Um, watch out P... there's a rhino climbing up your arm...
I'm quite good at teaching bad habits like pulling silly faces for photos... I'm glad she's only two and won't be worried about how many chins she has in this photo....
What is not to love about Jessie's incredible hair?!?!
I grabbed Sarah (who has a sweet wee 6 month baby bump!! Eeeep... excitement!) to come out into the scrummy light... I just love these. Somehow Nick managed to stay clear of the photos on this day... but don't worry, you will be seeing more of these guys within in the next few months... we have a bump to play with!
'Uncle Leeeeeeeee' got in on the action!
And I nabbed her too...
I just love everything about her. Everything.
Happy birthday 'Dub Dub'!! Thanks for inviting us to your party!! 'Uncle Leeee' and 'Un Ma' love you to bits! In fact, next time we might steal you to keep. Don't tell Mummy and Daddy.
A kiss for your lips, a kiss for your cheek... and one kiss for my cheek too please XOXOXOXOXO
I actually just cannot BELIEVE it is 2013 already. What happened to 2012?! Well, a lot happened actually. That's what. So much happened that it absolutely flew by, sometimes with me running like a mad thing to catch it up.
In December I had quite a few sudden enquiries for family shoots - obviously I wasn't the only one who was crazy surprised that Christmas was only a week or two away, when I was stuck back in about August! We all know that family photographs are hugely important, and they also make fantastic Christmas presents for grandparents, and far away family. So, I found a few more hours in my December days... and squeezed in some last minute family portraits for people wanting very meaningful presents!
I met Trudy, Terry, Macee, Brooke and Cruz down at the beach, late in the afternoon on one of December's hottest days!! We played in the sand, ran up and down the dunes, jumped in holes, splashed in the water, got sand in every crease in our clothes, and finished feeling rather wet and like we had had a good exercise session! My favourite kind of family shoot!
These kids are all absolutely gorgeous... and they get on so well together too! (Well, at least they did while we were at the beach!).
Trudy and Terry make an awesome and good looking couple!
Thanks sooooo much for playing at the beach with me! You kids are just toooo cute! I am sure your families would have loved your canvases for Christmas!! All the best for 2013 xox