Family Time

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I am far from a professional portrait photographer. I’m far from a professional anything photographer. So when my sister-in-law asked me to take some family photos for her towards the end of last year, my natural reaction was to panic. Had the request come from anyone else, my answer probably would have been a flat out no! But, because it came from family I felt a little give. I discussed my worries with my husband (I don’t know how to pose people; My photos are nothing compared to the array of professionals around town; I’ve never attempted to capture a large group before) and eventually decided that I would give it a go.

It took a bit of organising to decide on a time for a session that would suit everyone, we had to work around children in school, preschoolers, a recently born baby, and the roster of a Police Officer in training; all up there are eight people in the family, with the children ranging in age from newborn (creeping up on six months old now) all the way up to nine years old. We set a date and I set about researching ideas for capturing the family in the best way possible.

Part of my research was practising on anyone who would let me point the camera in their direction, and trying to find a way to run through some group poses to give me an idea of settings; I wanted to make sure everyone was in focus and able to be seen. So I called upon a friend and his family, tacked them onto ours, and voila! the perfect practice family. Unfortunately, most of those photos were horrendous and ended up finding their way to the cutting room floor. No fault of the models, all down to my lack of experience and skill in that area.

When the day rolled around I was still extremely nervous about it all, and I think I let them get the better of me. I didn’t come away with very many useable images, and I felt that I had wasted everyones time in even attempting the session. I wallowed for a little while in my own disappointment, and eventually told my sister-in-law what was going on. I wanted to try again, but didn’t want her to have to go through the hassle of organising all the children again when I didn’t even know that I would get any good images the second time around; but she agreed to another session and we headed up for another wander around the park. This time we went a little earlier in the day and I mostly just followed the children around, trying to capture them as naturally as possible. There were one or two times where we asked them to sit or stand in a certain spot, and those images worked reasonably well too.

I haven’t finished working my way through them just yet, my computer is ancient and temperamental at the best of times, which makes processing photos a slow and frustrating task; but I am mostly happy with what I have worked through so far, and what I have given the family.

Would I do it again? Maybe… It really depends on who was asking and what they were after as an end result, and they’d need to be well aware of my NOT PROFESSIONAL status. And… I might need to put a new computer on the wishlist before any of that was to happen; but let’s not get started on wishlists, we could be here until next week.

 

Fluff and Feathers

I’ve previously shared with you some photos from our regular visits to the Botanic Gardens, but I have so many photos of the animals there that have just been sitting, waiting to be shared. So I thought it would be a nice way to brighten a dreary day, at least it’s dreary where I am.

I always see people calling them Botanical Gardens, though I’m 100% sure the sign to ours says botanic and not botanical, and have often wondered which was correct usage, and couldn’t start this post until I knew (stupid brain); so I turned to trusty Google to find out. It didn’t really help. The Wikipedia entry is for Botanical Gardens, but most of the following results (on the first page at least) were for particular Botanic Gardens around the country. Except for Tasmania, theirs is a Botanical Garden. So obviously it doesn’t really matter which you choose to use.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Goose_small2013-04-13-Pigs-2_small 2013-04-13-Pigs_smallAll the animals up there have their own interesting personalities, and most of them love seeing people come through. Especially when we visited after some recent rain and cooler weather. The geese are so obnoxious, honking and hissing as they follow you begging for some food. They actually scare the kids a little because they’re so pushy and noisy. For some reason donkeys always sound like they’re sad, but always look like they’re smiling about something. The emus are scary as all get out, and I think they know they freak me out. One started leaning over the fence during our last visit, they can extend those necks a fairly long way; although they do make some amazing throaty sounds – almost like a didgeridoo.

Who knew pigs grew so fast? Well, I did, but some people may not. It was only about two months ago that the two photos of all three pigs were taken, and now they’re massive. I’m not sure what happens to the pigs when they get too big for the pen in the farm area, one was quite possibly the roast we had the other night. They would be perfect for crackling; I doubt they get much exercise to build muscle and make them all tough and gamey.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Pig_small 2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Alpaca_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Peacocks_small2013-04-16-Botanic Gardens-Emu_smallAlright, I had better save some for another time. I do enjoy taking the kids up there, but I’m not really sure how often we will visit over the colder months. I turn into a bit of a hermit over winter. Do you have any Winter activity suggestions?

Visiting The Gardens

We live about a two minute drive from the local Botanic Gardens, and the kids just love heading there for a play, ride on the miniature trains, and to visit the animals in the ‘zoo’. I know, I know… any place that houses animals can be called a zoo; but it is a pretty low key zoo. The cafe there sells bags of food for 60 centrs each. They’re just animal pellets, heaps of people bring their own bread to feed the animals with. There is too much there to include in one post, so expect some more from our numerous visits to The Gardens.

Today I am going to share a couple of photos from one of our recent visits. We go so often that it’s hard to keep up, so these are a couple of weeks old. We were accosted by hungry rude geese, I didn’t get a photo of them because the kids were a little worried at their honking and hissing. Going up early morning or late afternoon is best, especially during the warmer months; the animals are more active and looking to be fed. Well, the goats come over at any time of day. They’re a bit greedy.

This visit was a little bit exciting, when we got around to where the Donkeys are we noticed there was a new addition. A very new addition. The little foal was still wobbly on his legs when he stood up, then let out the cutest bray ever! Mum is also very protective of him, very interested in us while we were standing there. So freaking cute!

As we walked around we saw some other baby animals too. There was a goat kid, and a peachick. Well, I lie. We noticed the peachick on a later visit. The kid was hilarious, following the boys around and trying to butt Phillip.They have definitely made the walk around the zoo a little more exciting.

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The Emus were grunting and pecking at us over the fence. I had to stand on my toes to get this, I’m a bit short.

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Emu feet make me think of dinosaurs. Definitely wouldn’t be messing with those suckers.

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This guy sat up in the tree and watched as we fed the ducks. Very curious cockatoo.

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There’s a two seat spinny thing in one of the playgrounds at The Gardens. This is one of my favourite things to try on it.

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The kids like to help me with this one.