Monday, September 3, 2012

Love Is Patient

Amanda and Vai. A small intimate wedding of very close family and friends - Everything one girl had dreamt of, came together on one special night.

I had met Amanda a number of years ago through my sister in law, she had been one of those girls that was always there first to help if you needed it. Countless times, you would see her as an extra set of hands to her friends with young families, gaining the love and adoration of these children - just as if she was a second mum to them. 

Amanda deserved to find a good guy in her life, she had been patient in waiting. Unexpectedly her patience paid off when she found Vai. Having met through a mutual friend, this new blossoming romance had everyone around them buzzing in excitement. 

I didn't realise all this time later I'd be working, photographing such a memorable day of hers, with the man of her dreams! It was an honour to see how happy these two were as they celebrated their union together, not only here in life but for eternity!


(A few more images found via my facebook: Natalie Latu Photography)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

With the Summers pt1

We were fortunate enough to have our family come and visit from the United States. It had been six years since they were last here and 3 years since we were last in the States (that's an extra addition to each our families, that were yet to meet since our last reunion!)

Our children were excited to meet, see and hang out with more of their cousins. We were excited for family time, food, sight-seeing and more food (calorie free because it's holidays right?)

In our busy schedule filled with fun holiday activities we managed to fit in a photoshoot down at the beach. I love doing shots at the beach, even though it's not great for my camera gear! I even attempted to add in an element of my love for landscape. Anything goes with photography (almost anything!).

Fingers crossed our next shoot with these guys will take us over to the States - Thats the idea anyway. Maybe we'll get to see more family sooner then we think - One could only hope! 

STAY TUNED for pt2 ... photobooth pics (when my husband puts them together, I'm excited to see the results!!!)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday!

It's this special Lady's birthday today!

I'm going to get into trouble for this but I'll face the wrath later when I see her .... I have been saving these pics for today to blog, so surprise - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOLI!

We had tried for so long to do family portraits this year, but something always got in our way - either time, weather, other commitments or energy! I finally got my chance to run out with the children. The one thing about taking photographs I have learnt, is that it is not necessarily the location - It was a great day, we needed something close by and so our location ended up being the driveway/path to a block of cheaper units (to put it nicely! Except for the image on the beach) 

Looking at all the photographs, you wouldn't have been able to guess it's location if I hadn't told you!

Unfortunately Toli was absent during these photographs, I had those first few images just 'lying' around, waiting to be used ... So until she lets me do her glamour shots, then this is what I have to work with!

Love Ya Toli!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Love & Loss

As I look at what my friends have gone through or experiences I have had, I realise no-one is an exception to the rules in life! 
As I have gotten older, I have come to a better understanding of the pain involved in love and loss and have started to really become empathetic in my nature. Someone once asked me if I would consider photographing a funeral (as they discussed their grandfathers)! I had never thought about it before and my first instinct was to say no way, for a couple of reasons! 

However, if that was me I would want someone quietly in the background, during what I would imagine to be my darkest hour! Capturing those moments that would become a blur to me later. Could I do open casket though!? definately not! So I guess my answer would be No, I don't do funerals!!!

My dear friend Hina was pregnant and we were all so excited for her and her husband Steve, until I received a phone call that they were in hospital and they had lost their baby girl. Words could not explain the sadness I felt in her pain. Immediately I wanted to help, I didn't know how - but I wanted to help any way I could! I just didn't realise that help was going to come in the form of photographing the funeral. 

Every day in the lead up I felt like I was in counselling sessions with friends and family, preparing me for what I was about to experience. But nothing really could have prepared me for the emotional roller-coaster of that week! Even though I was asked by Hina & Steve to take these photo's and given instructions that they wanted as much as I could do, I still felt intrusive.

I was struggling to come to terms with this photoshoot as it was, when I received a call about a dear friend from school passing away. I couldn't do it, I already was emotional and now I couldn't stop crying - for love of my children, family and friends, for loss, for my friends widowed wife, for the pain she would be currently going through, for the memories and for Hina & Steve. Life just became so quickly real and the realisation of how short life can be just hit me!

I walked into the funeral home with much hesitation, not knowing if I could and started my work. It was the most spiritual experience of my photographing life, I wasn't expecting anything like it and I will always remember amongst the grief, those peaceful feelings in the room on that day!

The most beautiful moment, was watching Hina's mother instincts pour out onto her baby girl. Wrapping her, hugging her, smiling, talking, crying! 
It's ok for a photographer to show emotion I believe, as long as it is contained. Behind my camera where I felt hidden, quiet tears were streaming down my face as I continued to photograph this family's last moments together.  I felt humbled in life's circumstances!

Six months later, we weren't expecting that we would be going through the same ordeal all over again with Hina & Steve, when this time they lost their baby boy. 

Through much mental preparation again we got through the photo's to capture some really special moments for the family.  I cried for Hina & Steve when they lost Bernadine and cried again for them when they lost Stephen Jnr. No one can prepare you for the loss of one child, and no one can understand the loss of another just 6months later. I don't think we are meant to understand how life is meant to work. Hina & Steve definitely are a strength in themselves as they have experienced love and loss in their life!

It is ok to cry during our struggles in life!

This blog was created with permission by Hina. Due to the sacred nature of the images these will be the only two photographs for viewing! I wanted to create this post  and had discussed it with Hina, so that we can come to show you love and loss, empathy and struggle. Through our trials in life we may find some comfort from each other - even if this helps only one person. I want people to be reassured that it is ok to cry and it is ok to show that side. Some of our most powerful photographs show these strong emotions, and maybe help us reflect on our own moments in life. As much as we may feel alone sometimes, their are some of us out there who do understand what you are going through, and that you are not alone ... even if it feels like it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Relax & Have Fun!!!

What I love when photographing people is when the family is not afraid to give anything a go during a photo-shoot! 

A photographer has to take care of many aspects during a session ... it's not as easy as point and shoot and I have learnt that the hard way! Making a person relax in itself can be a mission, so it helps when you have a family like the Whitings who could relax and have fun during a photo session and were willing to give anything a go.

I wasn't sure what kind of response I would get when I asked them if they wanted to get in the water getting their clothes wet! They were willing and inside I was excited. 

The result: a lot of laughter!

I enjoy looking at photo's (and I'm not talking about my own photo's here), that are natural and fun - that show emotion in the photograph ... Photographers are understanding at how uncomfortable you may feel, or how unnatural you feel during a session and I love trying to break that down. Nothing brings me more joy then when I show my client's their photo's and they smile or laugh.

When I look at these photo's it makes me smile every time, because they tell me a story of that day, and that family!!! If you are on a photo session with me, then I hope we can make you feel comfortable enough to relax and have fun and create a memory that makes you smile as well!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Tuckers

Within days of starting my new business, I had been contacted by Tammie to do some family photo's. The best part about this was that it was going to be done on uni campus just after she graduates - so this was going to be graduation pics and family photo's in one! 

I am a believer of work and education. I wish I knew after high school where I was going to end up and what I wanted to do. The problem is, I spent years 10, 11 & 12 trying to figure out what I really wanted to do, and it took me many years past that to really figure it out. In the meantime, I had tried different avenues!

I was scared of starting uni after school, I wasn't set on the avenue I wanted to take and I was secretly dealing with some sort of panic thing I had going on. Unless you have suffered from any kind of panic disorders you don't really quite understand what one person is going through. And even then I still don't understand what someone goes through ... all I knew was, I couldn't go places by myself, if I didn't know the place or it was new or strange I would start to slightly panic (on the inside). 

Finally as a mature age student, I decided to head back to uni! I remember walking back into uni to do a re-entry course, not knowing where I was going or what I was doing - I panicked!!! All these confident students around me, I walked into the wrong classroom - I couldn't find my classroom! I felt too old, I was unsure if I would be able to study again, I just didn't know what I was doing, I was lost and confused! 

Whilst I haven't finished my degree (yet) as we had children, I became a stay at home mum and a photographer! I look back on the years passed and think many things; I wish I knew this during school, I wish I persevered (because in the time that has lapsed that I keep putting it off, I could've finished), I wish I was courageous enough, I wish I listened to myself, I wish I picked different subjects originally, I wish I started a different degree, I wish I was more studious. 

I was in awe at Tammie, this was it, this was her day. All the time studying, being a mum, working and everything else life throws at you - she had made it to graduation! This was the day I should've made it too a long time ago and I was glad that Tammie was my example that day to persevere! I didn't have to finish uni after high school. Mature age students can do it too! Thats what was so special about these photographs ... It was a family photoshoot to be celebrated!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Renee & Andrew - combining two families

I was re-united with Renee, after years of not having contact with her. Seeing her children all grown up, in a new relationship, happy and loving life! It was an honour to be the photographer at her wedding and watch her take that next step in her life.

If you spent a day with Renee & Andrew you would see how much they and their children compliment each other. I'm sure bringing any two families together would have it's problems to start with, they have somehow managed to blend both his and her children to make one big family. It can't be easy but it has to take a certain type of person to achieve this with teenagers. This may have been a wedding of two people, but it was more like a party combining two families!

The day was perfect, in the middle of an Australian summer they got lucky not to have the scorching sun beating down on them. Instead they managed to pick a day that had a combination of sun and cloud, and for photo's on the beach you couldn't have asked for better weather!

(If you are wondering about the watermarking, there are a couple of things I am not a huge fan - 1. splashing your name across the photograph unless in an advertisement or 2. stealing people's photographs that have been paid for. Whilst I try to keep watermarking in the corner, occasionally I will during a preview heavily watermark the image to prevent family, friends and strangers of the client obtaining, displaying and printing images that belong copyright to the photographer and printing rights to the client, especially before the client receives the copy of their images. What you are viewing are the client's preview images).