Thursday, August 9, 2012

From the Heart, Parkinson's & Grandad

Occasionally I get a reminder to stay focused on the important things ... like today! I am trying not to cry as I write today's blog. This photoshoot was definitely one I will always remember, not just because it was my grandparents but because it created a fun, long and lasting memory. Without photography I wouldn't have had that experience and created that memory. I made my grandparents go against their 'mature' mentality and show a little 'PDA' (Public Displays of Affection). It was fun to watch and had us all in laughter including my grandparents!

Grandad has Parkinson's Disease, I didn't quite realise this in my younger years or understand exactly what it was. But slowly over the years your body deteriorates ( I think the hardest part for my grandfather is having a body that doesn't work but his mind still is (well was). He has always played such significant roles in my life personally and I will always be blessed for it. I value the fact that he got to marry my husband and I for all Time and Eternity amongst other major factors in my life.

Without realising it or saying it, my father always had us treat Grandad as the family Patriarch in all we did. If ever I had a question about anything, even if my father knew the answer he would make me phone my grandfather for the answer! A part of me still turns to my grandfather, sometimes you don't even have to say anything to him - he would just be there! He always seems to know the right thing to say and always makes you feel like what you are talking about is important.

Watching him deteriorate with this disease is harder then I imaged. I have never lived in close proximity to my grandparents. The house is still the same when I go there (other then the rottweiler in the backyard being replaced by a jumpy little rat, the ramp out the front, and the microfiche reader is replaced by a computer), I feel comfortable and at ease amongst the simple things in life. Then I look at my Grandad and I don't see the same man. 

As I fight back the tears so he doesn't see me crying, I understand that he's at an age where this is going to be a reality we have to face eventually. I don't like change much! My children inparticular my eldest daughter has ALWAYS adored her great-grandfather. I can truly say she's lucky to even know her great-grandfather, because many do not even get that chance. She has this gentle and loving nature when she's around him thats sweet to watch.

The last time we were in his area, recognising we were close by she started screaming and crying at me to let her go in and see him (she's 3 1/2 years old). It's hard, because any ounce of sickness we need to stay away incase we pass it on. I eventually gave in and took her over, letting her run into the house and up to give him a hug. 

Grandad doesn't say much anymore and if he does its hard to understand what he is saying. His expressions are becoming less but when my daughter hugged him he smiled a certain smile whilst his face lit up. In his frail state he picks her up (as he does every time she runs to him), we dispute his decision to lift her (as we do every time he picks her up). But I let them have their moment. I replay that over and over in my head. Their was something about that smile I wish my daughter could understand. 

Each time I say goodbye, I don't know if it's going to be my last time, so I solemnly get in my car and let the tears that I fought back in the house flow. The girls continue their chatter about seeing Grandma & Grandad, my husband often quietly holds my hand whilst I stare out the window crying. Waving goodbye to my grandparents who without fail always stand on their verandah to wave back until we have driven past. I hold on to that view till its out of sight and store it in my memory hoping for another one.

I want to say to my Grandad that I love you and I want to be selfish and tell you not to go anywhere because I need you in my life to answer my questions and to support me in all my decisions. I want you to always be there when I come by, and be standing on that verandah waving us goodbye. I want you to be around for when Penrith Panthers win a game and you're happy and mobile again. Or for when my children get older so they too can appreciate your stories, your knowledge and your funny digs at Grandma when she does something whacky. I want to tell you to stop being sick and bring back the Grandad I can talk to. 

But I can't be selfish. Every year I pray that this isn't your year to go, because I don't want you too, or because really, I am afraid of death and I haven't told you everything yet. But I'm telling you now that I love you even if you already know!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

High Tea anyone!?

I received a random phone call to ask if I would be able to photograph a 'high tea' .... umm sure, I don't have a specific genre yet remember when it comes to photography, so I was willing to give it a shot (Get it!? lol).

 I never had photographed food or  an event before like this (other then for personal use). I wasn't sure how it would go, but ... I LIKED IT!!! I knew the venue well, being situated at church for a group of deserving women. So initially I was a little concerned about sufficient lighting and the overall look. 

Sarah Osmotherly is no stranger to creating events and assured me she was completely transforming the location. And that she did! Along with quite a number of helping hands from the Relief Society in Charlestown - they created a high tea like nothing I had been to before. 

What I discovered on this shoot, was that the thing with photographing food is; it doesn't blink, it doesn't move, you missed the shot so you retake it and voila', you got it!

wait ..... their is one problem, do not photograph food when you are hungry :(

Photography is an art no matter how you do it, and if I'm looking at the photo and I want to eat that, then I think I have succeeded (like the peppermint slice you are about to experience).

Great job Sarah for a huge effort and to all those Relief Society sisters who baked or assisted her on a successful event!

Here's to changing it up and my first photo 'event'! (and this is only a portion of the event)

Whilst we're talking babies!

Found the golden opportunity to add more images without taking away from my daily task's or losing sleep at night to do so ... My children are going to bed and usually we have a little battle to get them to stay in bed. Sometimes it turns into a little game of Hide & Seek (amazing how their hiding spots always improve when they are doing something they shouldn't be!!!)

So I get to sit here playing guard to the door, whilst they fall asleep ... I'm pretty slow thinking of things like this, but glad for once I figured this one out early in the piece, now I have something to do whilst I sit and wait! 

Just quickly while we are in baby mode, Here's a few maternity/newborn images (put your itunes onto a lullaby and preview images, it would be a more peaceful experience):

Well, Toby isn't exactly a baby - but he is little and he's gorgeous, so we just had to throw these images in the mix.

And with all that said and done ... my children are deep into their dreams already :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reese, A little gift from above

It's hard to believe that this little package in the next year will be talking, eating, laughing, crawling, possibly walking and developing her own little personality traits. 

But for just one moment she will be new and this little ... and we will be forgetting what its like for them to be so small.

Reese was my first trial for a newborn photoshoot - her mother (my sister) went to lay down for a nap and I saw a golden opportunity to photograph my niece! So we had to be quick!!! In the end she loved what I produced and this is my first go at it ... so theoretically I only get better from here on out - right!???

Here's the result:

 Obviously mum & dad were there and awake for this one - as they got their new little addition to the family dressed!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

The City

I have a fascination with the city that my husband just does not get .... It's cos I'm a country girl!!!! Their is just so many fascinating buildings, random things and people (they can be just as random sometimes too) to see. I would love to get some more city landscapes and sell them off ... (note to husband: WE NEED A HOLIDAY, New York will do).

Problem with holding off so long to start a blog is that now I have to backtrack old images to upload ... Don't worry though, they are all within the last year! 

Here's some of my favourite city shots (or taken in the city) so far:

 Melbourne City 
(alongside the convention centre)

 Melbourne City
(This shot is going on my wall)

 Water Fountain - Hyde Park Sydney

 Scared yet Mezmerized by the sights and sounds

After a long day - on the train, peak hour!

 Protected by Dad 

Avoiding the surroundings 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

From the Beginning

      Someone once told me (to calm my nerves) that throughout life we all start at the bottom, then we work our way to the top ... And thats the way it will be in everything we do. So I guess we all have a beginning, and for me or anyone that really knew me, knew that I had a passion for photography and it started in High School. 

I always had a camera with me, but it was there that I was introduced to how film worked, the darkroom and SLR's. I LOVED photography, I had no fear to get out and get the image I wanted, I was going to make this my career. Then something happened .... life!!!

Seeing it all started in High School for me, I only see it as fitting to add a picture of myself back then, and our group of amazing friends (I'm the one in the VERY back on the left hand side). I could just do a whole blog on all my amazing friends. Thats one area I feel truly blessed in! Even though I don't get to see these guys above much or if at all (God be with you till we meet again Stretch) - they honestly bring a smile to my face!

And that was it for about 9years. In between that time and now I created a lot of great memories (a few to forget). Met some amazing people, had some great jobs where I learnt a number of great skills (some skills including what I don't want to be like).

I love my family and that includes my extended, in-laws and adopted families (I'm sure you'll meet them all along the way). I don't even know if these people really understand how much they mean to me or how much I do love them all. 

It's so cliche', and I'm kinda the one to roll their eyes when someone says this, but their is one person in my life who believes in me the most and has made my dreams a reality. We met when we were 14 and had become friends ever since. At 16, he was one of my best-friends.

However, we got to an age where our lives were pulling us in different directions and thats the way it was going to be. So we just let it happen! I remember my heart aching for my bestfriend, knowing that during some of my best and loneliest times he couldn't be there with me and I wasn't sure how I was going to continue without the one person who knew my thoughts better then I knew them myself. 

As it turned out, our paths led us right back to each other - (sometimes it'd be handy if life just showed us our future occasionally). We got married, we travelled (a little bit). We worked, we studied, we fought, we loved, we cried and we smiled, just like any normal marriage. We have two Beautiful and funny girls ... I can't thank him enough for continuing to work to support our little family. 

(James I know you are reading this - even if you end up being the only one to read this! I know it may seem I am complaining a lot because I miss you or I want you home, but I want you to know that nothing I can say or do can show you how much I appreciate all you do for us xxx)

Thomas S. Monson said; "Learn from the past, Prepare for the Future, Live in the Present". Whilst I wouldn't change much about my past (maybe just a couple things), I had let my dreams become just that ... Dreams. I put everyone and everything first and it was my husband who decided he needed to make MY dreams a reality. 

Seeing my work and believing in me - he has invested into more gear, better cameras and training in the last year alone. I have never been so patient with anything saying all the time, that my time would come  (and I'm just not a patient person). I actually never dreamt my time really would come (even though I would say it), and it was James who decided my time was now. 

We've been arguing about blogging for awhile now .... I kept putting it off saying I wasn't ready. I was and still am scared that I am not going to be all that I want to be as a photographer. I need to bring back that teenager that had no fear to get out and get that image and liked it regardless of its imperfections. Soooooo now I've just opened up and told my life story!

So here it goes, starting from the bottom again; Here I Am! 

Self portrait. compact canon IXUS - My poor little camera is so battered, but it still does its job!!!
 I like to not just take a photo but capture a memory. The whole photographic experience is creating lasting memories ... I want my clients to be comfortable with me and thats why I started this Blog with a little about me. It's a little hard to get a photo of yourself let alone a decent one when you are always behind the camera.  I prefer to be behind the camera anyway, umm thats why I take the photo's! 

Trying to get a photo with my baby, Mummy is a photographer so my girls are little posers - she obviously didn't want her photo taken at this point, the joys of raising girls!!!!

My husband comforting our eldest daughter - (I've always called her my little angel, I knew from the first moment that she came into our life it was for me, thats why she's my angel).