The first blog post about Mackinley was going to be his birth. That was the plan. Because remember how I LOVE to photograph births? (remember Oliver?) It's quite possibly the most rewarding photography I can think of, and Tamara and Craig were super keen for birth photos as well. So it was all settled, my hospital bag was packed and my phone off silent and by my bed. But Mackinley had other plans.
Deep in the night last week Tamara felt the first twinges of labour, so far so good! Then, things got very exciting very quickly. A hurried dash to the hospital, and when they pulled up to the carpark it was too late to get Tamara inside. So just like a movie, Craig sprinted inside to find someone to help. Moments later Mackinley made his grand entrance, right there, in the front seat of the car. The entire labour was only one hour in total. That's a pretty epic 21st story for you there Mackinley!
So while I missed the labour entirely (and, honestly, how does one even photograph a car labour?!) I was blessed enough to be able to photograph him yesterday. He was the perfect baby, and in absolutely no rush to go anywhere!
Tamara and Craig, thank you so much for letting us photograph your sweet bundle! I can't wait to see the beautiful boy he is going to become!
And so dear Internet, to that end, I have no birth photos to share with you. This does leave me hankering to capture those moments - so if you are heavily pregnant and you'd love to have those first moments captured, please do email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
It was a beautiful fresh morning last week and as we were driving to Taylor Dam where we were going to take Leanne and Aaron's family portraits. We were discussing how perfect everything was, and how fabulous the boys would be, particularly Kobe who always puts on a great show for the camera. I said that can all be undone by one unsettled night. As we turn up and we start chatting, Leanne admits that Kobe wasn't quite himself today, he'd had a bad night. I had to giggle. Kobe did not giggle. Check out that gorgeous sullen face! It's not at all uncommon for kids to do exactly the opposite of what the parents were hoping. That doesn't faze us at all! We have half a dozen kids and so we're not easily scared off!
It took a little coaxing and bonding, but before too long the old Kobe was making his appearance again.
The last time you would have seen Ryan on the blog would have been right here as a gorgeous new born baby. Check out the handsome little lad he has become!
Every mother understands the feeling in this image. Sweet sloppy baby kisses, the best kind.
Leanne and Aaron, it's been a fantastic journey photographing your beautiful family over the years, your boys are utterly delicious and a real credit to you!
Thanks also to Grace for the beautiful makeup job!
In other news: Paul has been away for a few days and it's just me running the office. While I can do most things, I am learning even more how crucial he is to the place. Paul is the IT man, the guy that knows where everything is and how to fix anything that goes wrong. I know how to turn something off at the wall, and so far that has fixed most problems. However, I still can't bring myself to kill cockroaches, so I'll be more than happy to have him back in a couple of days!
Meet Evie, sweet as pie with a smile that would melt even the hardest heart. We were at Old St Mary's Convent on another photoshoot when I spotted Evie, the daughter of Hannah who runs the Convent. I couldn't resist capturing this little lady, even briefly! So here, for your viewing pleasure, I present to you Evie, and I DARE you not to go 'awwwwwww'.
There are some exciting portraits in the pipeline, so keep a lookout on the blog for those! And just in case you were wondering, there's still time to book yours in, just drop us an email at email@example.com for more information. Go on.
Chris and Stacey are my kind of people. Stacey, particularly, is just a touch of crazy (the good crazy, not the creepy crazy) and is always ready with a laugh and boy the day sure did have plenty of laughs! Chris is super easy going and totally dotes on Stacey, who, in turn thinks the world of him. On Saturday they got married and it was quite possibly one of the most relaxed and happy wedding days that we've been privileged to be part of!
I also stole some shoes.
Stacey got ready at her childhood home, surrounded by some of her closest friends. One of whom was Lyndy Lu, who is not only a good friend but also did a gorgeous job of Stacey's hair. Turns out that Lyndy has a pair of shoes that look remarkably like a pair that I have at home, and they were sitting right at the door innocently waiting for their rightful owner. But instead I came along.
You can imagine Lyndy's horror upon realising that her shoes were no longer at the door when she wanted to leave. No. It seemed that the photographer had stolen them. Why would the photographer do something like this? I couldn't tell you, and I didn't even realise that I was wearing them for several hours, even through wet wet grass. Once they were fairly well drenched I was told about the stolen shoes, looked down and INDEED they were not my shoes at all! There was much laughing, and most of it was not my own.
None of this took away from the fact that Stacey was absolutely radiant and, apart from the shoe incident, the day went without a single hitch. Beautiful makeup by Deirdre at Locks and Lashes, and gorgeous flowers by Andrea Prince.
While his gifted cufflinks might say that he'd 'rather be hunting', I can assure you that Chris was fully keen to spend this special day marrying the girl of his dreams!
Stacey and Chris opted to do most of their portraits before the wedding. We suggested that Old St Mary's Convent would be the perfect place for it, as the weather was looking pretty iffy and the colours there right now are super amazing!
Stacey, you surely are a gorgeous bride!
There was no holding this bridal party back, they sure were a boatload of fun!
Then onto Drylands for the ceremony. I love me a Nana hug!
This is possibly one of the most precious images of the day.
And then it was time to head off in the HELICOPTER! As if this day wasn't already special enough, we managed to sneak away with Stacey and Chris for a little while and find a couple of epic locations for a few more photos.
This, right here, is proof that Stacey and I get on just fine. I know someone's mother once said not to pull faces lest the wind change and it stay like that. Thankfully my mother never said that, so I think I'm safe.
This old cob cottage was in the middle of nowhere. It was totally asking us to land and take some photos with it!
Then we found a pretty saddle and left Stacey and Chris to hang out together while we flew around them. You would never have guessed that these two weren't trained models, the way they just owned that hill and made the images both romantic and magical. Well done guys!
Then back to Drylands to continue the celebration. Mary Parker makes the most beautiful wedding cakes. Check out this little icing doggie, modelled after Chris and Stacey's dog Duke.
Chris and Stacey have shared many adventures together hunting, so it was perfectly fitting for them to have planned the table centrepieces around this theme!
I think these would have to be the most epic wedding bands I've ever seen! And they were designed by Chris and Stacey themselves! Pretty darn fantastic if you ask me!
So this brings our wedding season to a close. Chris and Stacey, it was a real treat to share the day with you and capture those special moments for you. We wish you all the very best in life, and may you have many more amazing adventures together!
And Lyndy, I'm sorry about the shoes.
Those of you who remember Anneke, my beautiful niece, from previous blog posts will not be surprised that the 'good looking' gene did not stop there. Meet her cousin Ted. Although Ted is her cousin on the other side of the family I think I still should somehow be able to claim him? Seems fair to me!
Ted's landed himself a modelling agent over in the USA where he lives and so we could hardly let him finish his visit here without plumping out his portfolio somewhat!
Paul took the opportunity to create some beautiful light, being the lighting geek that he is!
This is what happens when Paul leaves to move the car for a couple of minutes. Left to my own devices I manage to sneak in a 'tin soldier' shot. It had to be done.
Thanks for coming out to play Ted! We had such fun with you!
Shane was quick to claim that Nikki was the first of the two to fancy the other, but then again, he would. Shane loves to tease Nikki, who is able to send it right back while the two of them have a laugh. That's the kind of fun vibe Shane and Nikki have. Clearly it's a vibe that works beautifully for them because next year they're getting married!
Shane and Nikki met in England while Shane was over there playing cricket professionally. Yet another example of the Kiwis winning over the English! There seems to be a trend going on!
While the day had been somewhat grey and ugly, there was hope on the horizon and as soon as we started our E-session the sun came out and the light was everything we were hoping for! Combine the great light, a gorgeous couple and loads of laughs and it was pretty well the perfect way to spend an hour and a half!
Like most guys, Shane is not generally super excited about having his photo taken. In fact, apparently there are more photos in existence of him with his hand in front of his face than without. Shane, you did a super job and I think you may just have surprised yourself!
Hello lovely Autumn light!
It took absolutely no work to get Nikki looking this fabulous. I just told her to go and stand over there by that wall and BAM she just looks amazing. Easy peasy! Thanks also to Grace for the beautiful makeup job!
Shane and Nikki, we had such fun with you both and we can't wait for February when we get to meet the rest of your family and capture the two of you getting married! It's going to be great!
Dough. That's what my kids call it. It's soft and squishy and if I thought that the Internet truly kept me anonymous and I wouldn't run into you in the supermarket, I'd show you a picture of it. It sits right around my middle, mostly, as well as hanging onto other places with it's squishy cuddliness. The kids may poke it and giggle, but considering each of those six darlings had something to do with creating said dough, I'm not in the least bit offended. The time has come though, to part with a good chunk of it and Kim and Mark have been helping me do just that.
Now, I'm not a gym bunny. I'm more of a 'where is my secret stash of chocolate' bunny, and this is what has contributed to the kilograms sneaking on year after year making my pants too tight and my engagement ring no longer fit. Personally, I find the gym a little bit daunting. Those fit people and MIRRORS really don't help (you're nodding, aren't you?) But once Kim and Mark took me under their wing and started cheering me on things started turning around.
While they've been in the fitness game for years, they've just officially become Crossfit Blenheim, opened their own place (with nary a mirror in sight!) and changed how I feel about my fitness. Slowly, week by week, I began to improve. My almost completely inflexible body started doing what I asked it to, and just for kicks on my days off I can now run for 20 minutes without stopping. For those of you fit gym bunnies I know it's not THAT amazing, but when you're taking your dough with you it's pretty darn awesome! I've got a fair way to go, but at least I'm enjoying the process and look forward to each session.
When Kim asked us to take some photos for them we jumped at the chance. It meant that Paul (who has been getting super fit and leaving me in the dust!) got to have a good play with his lighting techniques and we got to sink our teeth into something very different!
We love the team atmosphere of the sessions, and the fact that every workout is different and you never know what you're going to do!
Kim knows what it's like to get her body back after having a baby, wee Jack is only 6 months old! All of my lame excuses fly out of the window!
To get a bit of an idea of what Crossfit is really about, check out this official Crossfit video (from crossfit.com). I would have said all of this and more, except I can't produce the swelling emotional music in the background! It's a good way to spend 2 minutes.
You might think Mark works out like this all the time, but in fact he's really quite humble about his physique. Kim had quite a bit of convincing to do to get him share what a dedicated crossfitter looks like. And just for the record, there is no enhancement in this image other than colour and contrast etc. It's all real.
This is actually really hard. I can't even get my legs off the ground for more than a nanosecond. That's why Mark's demonstrating it and not me. Be grateful. Be very grateful.
So get your tushies along to Crossfit Blenheim and try it out! The first session is free and if you say I sent you then you might just get a chocolate fish (although I'm probably lying about the chocolate fish). Say I sent you anyway.
Oh, and by the way, I need new jeans and I can wear my engagement ring again. Yes siree.