Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way. {Newborn and Maternity Styling Workshop ~ Melbourne}

I believe karma, I believe in giving back, I believe in teaching how to pose such precious models (newborns) safely... I believe in always pushing your knowledge and expertise... and as enquiries began to flood my inbox I decided to run my first workshop.
For much of the year I was leading up to this first of what will likely become a bi-annual set of workshops. The Maternity and Newborn Styling Workshop which was held at Grange Cleveland Winery in Lancefield took place on a gorgeous Spring day, perfect weather, gorgeous models and a stunning location... I could not have been happier with how it ran, and the photographers I met.
The ground work in putting this even together was all consuming, the workbooks for attendee's, the running sheet, arranging models and planning the workflow for the day. There was a lot of back and forth with my featured prop supplier, Addy and Gus, with attendee's, enquiries and with the venue itself. There were sleepless nights as I put the event together, and made certain that things ran smoothly.
I was exhausted after the long day of setting up, running the workshop and then packing up the gear, but drove the long drive home with a contented smile on my face... there will indeed be more workshops, including interstate and even overseas ventures in the coming year.
Stay tuned to Facebook and the blog for announcements of dates for future workshops in the new year.
Here's some highlights from the day.
~ Kasey ~

~ Jen ~

~ Catherine ~

~ Maximus ~

~ Meg ~


The Whole Journey

There is no greater privelege as a photographer than to tell a story... it's one of the main reasons I fell in love with photography and photojournalism to begin with. And with my background in press photography, passion and love for maternity and newborn, being able to tell the story from pregnancy through to newborn sweetness, including capturing birth, nothing sets my heart racing quite so much.
When I first spoke with Jeanie her excitement at having me capture the journey of pregnancy, birth and newborn images reached out through the phone line and tugged at my heart... I was swept up in the thrill and joy of a much longed for baby, a baby this couple had waited over 7 years to meet.
I am blessed in my own life to not have struggled with infertility, and while I have suffered losses, excrutating as they were I can only imagine the expectation and heartbreak with every cycle of hoping for a positive test.
When I spoke with Jeanie, and then with David when we all met, we covered it all... the love for this baby was so very real... there were hugs and kisses, and I knew this family would leave a lasting impression on my life.
Following are a series of images from Jeanie and David's maternity session, their birth slideshow, and images of the stunning little man, master James.



Monday, November 12, 2012


This post is a muddle of a few different thoughts and realisations of the year, and indeed , TODAY. - all of which are leading to a new photographic project - ROAR | SPIRIT.
Why is it as people, women in particular, that we are so critical of ourselves, our failings? Why are we so critical when the imagined fallout in our own minds is always far greater than that of reality?
I know myself that I live moments over again, and wonder why I did what I did (or didn't do), I kick myself over opportunities missed for simply not taking a risk, or kick myself for taking that risk when I feel inadequate within the decision I made... I am generally a person who will jump in the deep end, not dip my toe and test the waters, this has brought about some pretty quick lessons in treading water and rising up... but my lessons have been remarkable.
I have often been the type of person who really hates saying 'no' (you cauld ask almost anyone who knows me, this has been my biggest lesson learned - or learning.) It took me a while to hone in on one genre and turn down some work, I always felt I should be working, but now I know the value of being great at one area, not good at a bigger variety... It's like I've told people in the past, You can choose a photographer to capture any moment, but would you choose one that specialises in sport photography to capture your wedding, or newborn? They are different arts... choose the one that specialises in what you need.
But I digress... This year has taught me the value of friends, of life, of how fleeting it all is... It's taught me that mortality cannot be escaped, sooner or later we're all going to be face with it. My mother, whom I adore, and thought, while knowing better, that would live forever has become increasingly unwell... and here's a glimpse into my world... she has been fighting Parkinson's Disease for a great deal of a decade, and suddenly (or not) she's becoming frail with it, and associated dementia... though don't tell her that, she'll deny it fiercly. This is but one woman in my life who has been nothing short of an inspiration... a sHERO.
Which leads me into the growth this year of friendships... I've met women this year (and indeed prior) who have not only amazed me, but have shared their realness, and rawness, and absolute WOMAN-ness... it seeems only fitting that a photographic idea would be born from it all.
On Friday last week, I photographed a friend, upon her request. Naturally I adore photographing friends, but Bec, she's special... she's a woman who I've not only known for pretty much all my life, she has always just been who she was... real... and this realness, and woman-ness often scares people, somewhere in our lives we as women have forgotten how to embrace our instinct and nurturing and protective natures... somewhere along the lines we were taught to be 'polite' and supress our true identity.
I'm not talking feminism, it's almost the opposite, it's not about being equal, or taking on the men, it's about embracing our true feminine self... finding the lioness within, and the sheer awesomeness it brings.
Which brings me back to Bec... now, true she's travelled a hell of a journey over the last twelve months, and long before that truth be told, but people really never saw that, mainly due to their own misgivings really... but always amongst her journey, dare I say even more so in the past twelve months, her spirit has shone... and people have no idea how to explain that... because they've forgotten the words, the language of soul. Bec is a woman who married a man over 15 years ago, had 2 children (who are positively incredible young poeple by the way) and had her partner snatched away from her in an accident that was headline news for a couple of days... but, almost a year on, her spirit is even more beautiful than ever... why? Because she allows herself to feel what she feels, protect herself from those who don't "get it" and embrace those who do.
This photo session was about capturing some of this essence, capturing a time, rejoicing in all that is WOMAN. And it's different for each woman connected and not scared of her soul, and what they find.
Which (finally) brings me to my project, ROAR | SPIRIT. This is a project about woman, about capturing and rejoicing in and with the women who can ROAR... women who roar from a place of depth so great is scares you. I have women in mind, women I have been fortunate enough to meet through my own journey, through my clients... it's incredible the journeys we travel... and my own personal journey will see me on the other side too... watch this evolve... I'm excited.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life!

I know I say it often, but I really do consider myself blessed to be invited into new families to capture life, as they prepare for the birth of their baby and soon after. I love the anticipation, and the thrill, I love the welcoming and the joy.
I have decided to combine the maternity and newborn sessions together for this post, as there is a gorgeous continuity in location, and the story.
It was a cold and miserable day when I arrived for Sam's maternity session... we had hoped to get outside with Sam's partner Dani and their little boy James, but mother nature had something better in store... we were able to do outdoor images of their new baby, Otis. And honestly if I had to choose, I adore being able to get outdoor images of sweet babies, and little Otis just loved it.
The dynamic of a family is always so different after welcoming a new sibling into the mix, and while young James was clearly still adjusting to the change, it's pretty clear he's going to be a great big brother. I think Sam and Dani are certainly going to have their hands full though.
Enjoy. xx



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maternity and Newborn Styling Workshop Update

In the lead up to my November 22nd Maternity and Newborn Styling Workshop I have decided to make a few changes to how the event will run.
The most notable change being the price, and class size. The venue will cater for a larger class size, which I am excited about and even as I put this blog post together I am in the process of arranging for two newborn and one maternity model. (Feel free to make contact if you or someone you know is pregnant or due around the workshop date.)
I am very much looking forward to putting all the finishing touches together at such a gorgeous location.

For more information on booking a space please email me

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birth ~ So Raw, So Beautiful, So Unique...

It seems to me, and correct me if I'm wrong, that birth photography has taken a huge leap in the public conciousness, maybe it's all the social media, maybe it's the circles I move in. Personally I think it's fabulous that more and more women and even men are seeing the real value in having someone capture a journey so absolutely life changing. Why wouldn't I like it right, it's one genre of my work?

The truth is, I've always been about capturing life, I photographed as much of my own childrens births as I could, before there was even any real discussion of birth photography, I just knew I wanted it documented in some way. I would've loved to have planned better and called my photographer friend I had lined up sooner... in time, but even having said that, the photographer friend I had lined up would've been thrown in quite a serious situation, especially given the nature of the birth of my second child. This is what is so unique about birth photography as a genre, and the photographers that offer it.

Not until you cover a variety of births can you appreciate just how different each birth is, how differnt each family is, each environment, each mother, father... nothing is the same, aside from maybe the love for the new baby.
I'm not going to pretend I've covered birth for years, it's a genre I've wanted to pursue for a long time and only in the second half of this year have I been able to take it on. Yet, having worked as a photojournalist for over 12 years I had a very solid grounding in working in unpredictable situations and a variety of lighting. Still, nothing compares to being 'on the job' photographing births.

In the five births I have covered so far, in only a short amount of time, and with another two booked for this month alone, I have learnt more than any text book, stories or even workshop could ever teach me. There really is nothing like being in amongst it... for want of a better comparison, it could be explained that a war photographer really doesn't become a 'war photographer' until they are thrown in amongst the action and learn from experience. Even having a background of covering various news jobs, nothing could prepare you for 'war' until you're in it... and there you learn the truth of yourself within it, either you can do it or you can't.
Birth photography is more than the photos, it's a relationship with the family, the mother, and dare I say, more importantly with the father. They have to have a connection with you and some sort of relationship, you're trusted to capture a time where woman is at her most vulnerable, and there is great responsiblity in that.

Every birth is so different, and is not MINE... think about that for a second... if I were to go into a birth with some sort of agenda would I be able to capture these moments for someone else? I have seen situations unfold in a birth space that I do not agree with, but that is NOT why I am there, sure I can have my opinion, but being quiet... that's my place. I have covered births at home, in hospitals, natural drug free vaginal birth of triplets, a c-section, a birth with use of epidural... and each and every birth has been nothing short of remarkable... life changing... I am a fly on the wall in horrid lighting conditions, tense moments as parents wait for the first cry... that's not stuff for the light hearted. So while there is great wonder in birth photography, and birth images show the journey, there is great emotion and starkness at times... that's not something you can be taught.

The simple nature of being "on call" is responsibility enough, with the phone always on, being woken in the wee hours of the morning, changing any 'plans' you may have had for a day, sacrificing time with your own family... it's huge! Yet, all this is something birth photographers do because they simply can't NOT do it. Their business's, MY business is centred around capturing life, mine is about newborns and new life, MY business is my passion, aside from my own children and family of course, but MY BUSINESS is built so much on an obsession to capture memories and life in all its colour and rawness... you cannot be taught that, it is something within, and something you learn the value of by experience.