Story Dated: 22.10.12
Freezing cold, rain and a biting wind (aaah! Melbourne!) could not dampen the enthusiasm of this beautiful family, who went to some lengths to include their daughter’s love of horses in their family photographs. Starting the session on St Andrews Beach near Gunnamatta, we abandoned soon after and found this gorgeous forest glade along the horse track. Where we were reminded that the best way to keep warm is always just to snuggle in!
Story Dated: 12.08.12
Hey there! Something a little personal from me today. Like many photographers, I struggle to find the time to take enough photos of my children. Besides the constant iphone images.
So one day every month, for the coming year, I am going to pack my 5DII (the ‘good’ camera; kind of like using the ‘good’ china for the Sunday Roast, vs the rainbow Ikea plates) for the day, and capture whatever it is we get up to for the day. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. The (mostly) beautifully ordinary. This month, I aimed to capture 11 images on the 11th day of the month (yesterday). There are just a few more than that, I dound it hard to cull any further. I was particularly attached to the least necessary of these images, the sink full of dishes. I do seethat is kind of whiney for me to include that one. But clearly I resent the amount of time which has to be spent doing these sorts of tasks, and I didn’t realise how much Until I was drawn to make this photograph instead spending more time outside kicking the soccer ball with Arch. Sometimes I can be a total martyr to the shrine of ‘how much work 4 children are’. But that is why a project like this is so great. It forces your attention to things just that little more. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Hopefully more of the latter.
So yesterday was a quietish day for us. Just hanging about the house, and one little errand for us all in the car. Lots of Rupert our little swedish chef (‘eegadishgadoo” anyone?), unpacking and repacking various cupboards. Ball kicking, tidying of rooms, some games; we have a very mixed-age ‘cheese’ game where you fish for cheese and mice heads with little sticks. The feature of the weekend has really been Estella’s practice for Monday’s cello exam. I think I have heard her 3 pieces so many times that I could give the exam a go myself. There have also been a few spectacular artist meltdowns which I photographed (much to the maestro’s annoyance) but decided not to share, out of respect That’s how we ended up with some selfies, Estella and I. We had to have a ‘big talk’ about exams, pressure, and the various meanings of success. Which led to cuddles and laughter at the end.
11 photos are not much to capture the busy-ness and beauty of our lives. But it also not such a huge challenge as to defeat me before I begin, as the 365 photo-a-day project is. Sadly, I have struggled to complete even January photo-a-day projects in the past. But I am hopeful that because this is only one day a month, there is plenty of time for recovery and image processing, despite how busy I get. I really want to have more family photo books in my home. For the kids to fight over, along with the good china, when they are shipping me off the nursing home. Wish me luck!
I am also keen to follow other photographers (whether professional or not) on this project, as these things are always more fun in groups! So far I am following my dear friend Angie Baxter, the gorgeous Rowe Timson and also El Hogan (who I don’t actually know IRL ***waves hello to El***) but if you would like me to follow you too please pop your blog address in a comment below and I can’t wait to join in your fun!
Speaking of lamb roasts, I’m off to enjoy one now. Yum!
Story Dated: 25.01.12
This photo is a little cheat. It was taken on the 19th, not the 20th. On the 20th I photographed a wedding, which did not leave terribly much time for anything else.
Since I am cheating, I chose something special to cheat with. No headswapping, no pleading to look and smile at the camera. Just four perfect children, who really do love each other this much.
Story Dated: 20.01.12
Day 19: A Boy Went Walking
It’s a little shaky, it’s a little awkward, but just like that, my baby has turned into a toddler.
Congratulations my darling.
Day 18: Fish and Chips…
…on the beach, just before sunset.
A calm, beautiful evening. They chase each other in and out of the dunes, and jump and sing and dance, and later with full tummies they sit agreeably in the grass and snuggle, so that I may capture it with my camera. Do they love each other more than other siblings, or am I just blinded by love?
Day 17: India
Estella loves animals. She has a pet bunny, named India, and two little guinea pigs. She would desperately love a dog. Or a cat. And most especially, a pony. She sometimes goes horse-riding, and asks afterwards “Mum, can we buy **insert current favourite pony name here**”. Um, no?
She regularly catches all sorts of insects and little skinks, and feeds and inspects and loves them for a little while before we gently suggest letting them be free again. And she understands that too.
Story Dated: 16.01.12
Day 16: Changing
We have had a change table in constant use now for 9.25 years. This morning I looked over, bleary eyed, watched the little legs kicking, and the little arms reaching up for Daddy, and realised that it won’t be too long now ’til that phase of our lives is over. When it happens, I know that for a while the the room will seem a little empty, but I’m not ready to think too much more about that, yet.
Day 15: Cake.
I only took two photographs today, one of which is this slightly blurry photo of a magnificent Halva Torte concocted by our friend Megan. I guess it’s a pretty lazy photo, and I was tempted to substitute in something a little more exciting from a previous day. I took it because Megan wanted a photo of her creation. But in all honesty, one of the features of our Januarys is the consumption of a great deal of exceptionally delicious food. Last night’s group menu included, among other things, slow cooked pork ribs, a quinoa and nectarine salad, a prawn and herb salad (from a recipe by Melbourne’s Longrain) prepared by our friend Renee, and two kinds of ice cream (made in my new ice-cream machine). The decoration alone on this cake includes a chocolate ganache, lime encrusted pistachios, edible rose petals and pomegranate seeds. Seriously, it is gluttony over here, and it should be stopped. I have no pants that fit.
Images above taken with a Fuji X100. All images are shot as jpg files, with no post production
Story Dated: 15.01.12
We just went for a little walk.
Images above taken with a Fuji X100. All images are shot as jpg files, with no post production
Story Dated: 14.01.12
Day 13: “Push in the Shoe Basket”
Here we have Naughty, and Naughtier (am unsure which is which), playing a game of their own invention (as all the best games are). The title of the game is exactly as described above. In this game, they place the basket (which is used to store all our shoes) in the middle of a room, and take turns to push each other swiftly in. Now and again they mix it up to leap in simultaneously. Nothing in this photograph is staged (as you maybe can tell, very few photos in this summer series are staged), this is actually how they look at each other, with all that love pouring from one set of eyes into another, right before it all ends in a giant shrieking punch up.
Day 12: The Pony Cave
Sorrento, where we spend January, is below Melbourne at the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula. A pretty seaside town, it aspires to better weather than it actually has. It’s not unlike an English summer resort, except that we at least have a beach made of lovely soft sand in place of rocks. Anyway, particularly over the last few cooler summers, we have devised many ways to pass a weekend while waiting for the sun to stay out long enough for us to actually swim at the beach. The pony cave, which is its official moniker as given by my girls, is a cluster of tea-tree (or moonah, I am not crash hot at telling the difference) located right next to The Baths cafe/restaurant on the Sorrento Bay foreshore, (in case you go looking for it and have a grander vision in mind, possibly one involving real ponies). The girls can spend hours in there pretending they have ponies, or are ponies, and then that game morphs into other games of make-believe scenarios all of which allow my husband and I to sip our take away coffee in relative P.E.A.C.E.
Day 11: What did you say they call this thing? Mango?
Day 10: Happy Birthday.
Today, miracle girl turned 7 (you can read her pre-birth story here). Thankyou, my sweet angel, for sharing 7 wonderful years with us.
Day 9: Just like Wet’n'Wild….
Only cheaper, and much easier to get to.
Our backyard waterslide has the added benefit of comprising both an afternoon activity, and a bath. We just squirt washing liquid down it, and hey presto! Everyone’s clean! You guys all do that too, right?
Day 8: More calamari and chips, anyone?
Soooo, from February to December 23rd, I am a painful food nazi. There; I’ve said it. I know my friends and family all roll their eyes when they think I am not looking. Generally, I think wheat is a weapon of mass destruction, I like all the food groups to be represented at dinnertime, I don’t think plain pasta with no sauce or salad constitutes a meal, I don’t feed my kids oven fries/nuggets/fish, or anything else from the supermarket freezer section, and we absolutely don’t eat frankfurts, skin on or off.
But in January, I conveniently forget all of the above. This year the pub/restaurant/cafe food of choice is calamari and chips. I sometimes supervise long enough to make sure everyone has a squeeze of lemon. You know, just to keep scurvy at bay. In summer, we often hang out in large gangs with other families, catching up with friends that we sometimes haven’t seen all year. To the many squid and potatoes of Australia who facilitate all this, I say thank you.
Day 7: Midnight Trampolining.
Whenever we have guests over, which is reasonably frequently in summer, the kids all inevitably end up jumping on the trampoline in the dark. They put a lantern under or next to the in-ground tramp, just to add a little drama and safety to the arrangement. And then, breaking only to eat massive quantities of dinner and dessert, they jump. Until around midnight (or whenever the wine runs out).
This tradition will absolutely be one of their, and our, fondest memories of our little beach house.
Image above taken with a Canon 5DII. Image shot as raw file, with post production.
Story Dated: 8.01.12
This week, in amongst all the slothing around as described in an earlier post, Miss Estella participated in a Junior Sailing course at the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club. On the last day they sailed to Blairgowrie and back, and they were pretty as a picture coming in in their little stripey-sailed boats.
PS. Images above are taken with a Canon 5DII. Images are shot as raw files, with post production.
Story Dated: 5.01.12
I’d like to subtitle this post: Hamburgers.
This scruffy collection of photos will one day tell me more about my family at this time than any of the other supposedly more perfect images I captured today. And so after I had a little internal argument, ‘beautifully real’ won out over ‘beautiful’.
Tonight for dinner we had home made hamburgers. Kind of ordinary.
Daddy held everyone enthralled while he proudly constructed what he called a ‘Scooby Burger’ (ah yes, readers who remember the 80s, I know you are smiling knowingly), which made no sense to the children because in modern day Scooby Doo remakes Shaggy does not make Scooby Burgers. Anyway.
Archie, who currently hangs on every word uttered by daddy, was then desperate to impress him by getting as much of that Scooby Snack into his (luckily, enormous for a 3 year old) mouth as possible.
Mattea got busy eating as much of that rare (in our house) white bread roll as possible, whilst energetically avoiding the consumption of anything green, red, or even hamburger-brown.
Rupert circled the table like an adorable little sharkling, begging food, and not at all averse to stealing it when the opportunity arose.
Estella…ate her burger. And all her salad. And laughed good humouredly at the rest of us.
An ordinary night, and all kinds of amazing.
PS. Images above are taken with a Fuji X100. All images are shot as jpg files, with no post production.
Story Dated: 4.01.12
I love the surprising quality of the images this project leads me to capture. I find myself starting the day with a vague idea of what i might like to make an image of, but then the day unfolds and each time hands me something different.
Yesterday, I wander about in the ocean with Mattea, and capture some gorgeous backlit, sealit, celebrations of her beauty, and the enviable peaceful way she has of just meandering. And then I realise that I have forgotten my memory card, the images are on the camera hard drive, and I don’t have the necessary connective wires here to transfer them.
So later on I take the camera out to dinner with us. 2 frazzled parents, with four youngish children. Arguments over drawing books and who put a snail on whose favourite page. A baby under the table, hitting his head and howling. Elmo singing “La la la la, lalalala, Elmos world” intermittently. Sharing going on from everyone’s plate. Pasta, calamari and ice cream everywhere. To all the pretty young things around us, it probably looks like a living nightmare. I think it is a (champagne-assisted) bliss. I photograph Rupe eating textas, the girls bent over their ‘Find-a-word’, Archie talking talking talking, in his little-big white linen shirt.
As dessert arrives, I run outside to capture a photograph of all this Napoli-sauce-covered insanity from the other side of the lovely sandstone balcony of the old pub. The camera battery is dead.
We come home, and I immediately plug the battery into recharge. Get Rupert his bottle, change him, put him in bed. Hear Archie in Rupe’s room, making him laugh with his hilarious antics (which usually involve the word ‘boof’ and some exploding noises).. He asks to be put into Rupert’s cot, and as I walk back in to help him in, I see all Rupert, Archie and their 6 foot 3 inch daddy sitting in the cot. The fragile, rickety, second hand on ebay cot.
These are my boys and I love them all so dearly.
Image above taken with Fuji X100 . All images are shot as jpg files, and this one did need just a little exposure bump and some colour popping (she says sheepishly).