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.



Rocky Hill

Although the name provokes images of movie montages and fist pumps, the hill itself is actually quite beautiful. Not too steep, which makes it a pretty good walk for the kids, and there’s plenty to look at while you’re walking along. The kids spent a fair bit of time surveying the landscape below, mostly trying to find our house and their Dads work. It’s pretty cool being able to spot certain landmarks from on high, I like the sense of perspective and scale that you get; kind of puts you in your place.

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One of the sights I usually love seeing as we drive past Rocky Hill, is all the spring blossoms colouring the hillside. I wasn’t expecting to see any of those blossoms making an appearance while we were there, considering it was (is) the middle of winter, but there were quite a few starting to flower; and in the last few days I’ve seen more tinges of purple as we drive past.

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I’m still learning and experimenting with processing, trying to find a style that I like; and although I tried to keep all of these in the same style, they still came out looking different. I usually just try and stick to basic processing, but I branched out a bit with these. Still not really sure about the final products.

Enough of my prattling on, I have to go charge the battery up for a drive to the alpine region tomorrow. It was actually cold enough to snow last weekend, and I’m holding out hope that one of my favourite places will have a bit of cover this weekend. Fingers crossed.


Earlier today I share a couple of photos of our new kitten, Pepper. I took them a couple of days ago while she was sitting on our window sill in the sunshine. Probably not the best light for photos, but I couldn’t resist.

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Before applying the ‘Nashville’ edits, where I finished processing last time.

After I posted the blog, I also shared one of the photos on Instagram. I cropped it into the square and added a filter, Nashville, that gave it a little something more. I fell in love with the end result, and decided I had to learn how to try and emulate that look in Photoshop. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have the full suite of Photoshop, I just use Elements 10, so I couldn’t do the last step – which is a curves adjustment. I tried to get the right look at the end, but I’m not sure I quite got there without that last step. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out.

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With a different crop and the edits from the tutorial, with a little tweaking at the end for Elements.

Home Bodies

It’s been a pretty good winter so far. Given that we’re only a month in there is every chance that I will be eating my words soon. I suppose good is subjective though. I don’t think the ski resorts would be jumping for joy that the cold hasn’t truly set it.

Even though it hasn’t been too cold, so far, we haven’t really been up to much. Mostly hanging around the house, playing with the furry family members, and doing a bit of craft. Which isn’t always as fun as it sounds with an eight, four, and two year old all vying for the supplies. Madalyn has been learning to knit, she can cast on much better than I could at her age; and she is much more patient with it too. I remember plenty of frustrating moments when my mother tried to teach me. And then the kids and I climbed a hill close to home a few days ago. Rocky Hill. I will admit that whenever I say the name of this particular hill I am reminded of this, but I think the name comes from the fact that the hill is covered in giant rocks. it is quite possibly made of those rocks as well, seeing as some were flush with the ground.

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Story Time Update

I haven’t posted about story time for a little while. There has been a few little changes around here. Well, maybe not so little. Phillip has started preschool one day a week (is it wrong to get a little bit excited about having one less child for the day?). He started about three weeks ago. At first Oliver wasn’t too happy about leaving Phillip there, but he’s getting used to it. It helps that they have both enjoyed having that time away from each other.

So story time has been just Oliver and I, it has been nice. Less hectic come craft time. I didn’t get many photos the first week. Oliver just wasn’t in the mood, he wouldn’t speak until after lunch; but the second week the theme was foxes, and they made a little fox mask. This week it was apparently National Simultaneous Storytime, the book that was chosen to be read was ‘The Wrong Book’ by Nick Bland. So at the end the craft was making a bobble head Nicholas Ickle, the little boy from the book.

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To Be Honest…

I haven’t posted for a while. Usually I would come on here and make excuses about not being good at keeping up with all the stuff in my life; but today I’m not going to. While that may be a little true, I do struggle sometimes, it’s not exactly with being organised.

I started this post with every intent of being honest about my procrastination, and now I can feel myself banging on with crap to push it back. Some people reading this may already know what it is I’m alluding to, some might be able to guess. It is hard to take the step to put it all out there, when that is a lot of the problem; but I hope being honest to myself, and whoever follows along, will help me take steps towards overcoming the issues.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.

I know it’s not uncommon for people to be battling a mental illness, but there does seem to still be a certain stigma attached to admitting you’re one of them. Happiness is a huge industry these days, it seems like there should be a quick fix. A one size fits all solution to being sad. Except that it’s more than just being sad. A lot more.

My biggest battle is the anxiety, it stops me from doing a lot of things – like posting on my blog regularly and having any confidence in myself what-so-ever. I feel like I only have myself to blame for the confidence thing, I have let my anxiety win for years. From missing an audition with my local university to gain entry into the acting course after I finished school, to being too scared to post photos anywhere for people to see. Some days I struggle just to make the short trip into my backyard to hang washing out.

I can’t count the number of times I have written a post on here, uploaded the photos, and laid everything out exactly how I wanted, only to trash the entire thing. I second guess myself on absolutely everything; mix that with a dash of introversion and slight perfectionist tendencies, and something I’m supposed to be enjoying can turn stressful pretty quickly.

It’s funny, a month ago I wouldn’t have been able to articulate any of this into a post, which means my head is starting to clear and everything is starting to take form in the lifting fog.

Now if only I could find a way to streamline all the information coming at me from social media, I’d probably be a close to normal functioning human person.

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Storytime: Native Animals

Today the theme for storytime was native Australian animals. I left with a koala and a wombat in tow.2013-04-12-Storytime-Reading_small

It was a bit tough to get a photo of the wombat, he is very shy and decided to hide in his burrow when I asked for a photo. I had to crank my ISO up to get a fast enough shutter speed inside the library, and I don’t have many options outside of PSE10 to reduce the noise. Hopefully it isn’t too bad.

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Storytime only runs during the school term, so we will be having two weeks break now. *sad face*. Hopefully school holidays means more family adventure time during the week. Well, family minus dad. Unfortunately the bread doesn’t win itself.