maternity | the hacks

I snuck out between showers last weekend to get some photos of this beautiful family on the brink of becoming four. I just love family maternity shoots...a beautifully ripe belly, two parents full of expectant joy and excited siblings who just can't wait for their baby to arrive!

It took me back to those final days leading up to the arrival of our second son. There was so much anticipation of what the next season might look like and I often wondered how on earth my heart could handle loving another as much as the first. But then as soon as your next little one arrives, your heart instantly enlarges to accommodate loving another just as much and your new addition is like a missing piece of the puzzle that all of a sudden completes you as a family that little bit more.                                                                                         

home session | the hazeldeans

I had the privilege of capturing a Saturday morning with the Hazeldean family last weekend. I've been following Em's blog for awhile now and like so many others, love how she strings words together so beautifully in a way which always resounds so deeply in me. We connected over instagram and then ended up staying in the same house at a creative women's retreat a few months ago and spent the weekend chatting about photography, bouncing ideas off each other and Em mentioned she'd love for me to capture her family... and so here we are! I arrived at their home first thing in the morning and walked in the door to find the two eldest children snuggled up together on the couch whilst Em pottered about in the kitchen and music played in the background. She quietly opened her bedroom door to where her husband and youngest little girl were still fast asleep in each others arms. I got busy taking photos whilst thinking to myself how it was a little bit strange photographing someone that I'd never met before, whilst they slept! Yet at the same I time felt so honoured to be invited into their home to capture them in such a natural authentic way.

I spent the next few hours standing back and observing as their Saturday morning unfolded before me, capturing the beauty all around me. Their kitchen is situated in the centre of the home and I quickly noticed that it was the heart of the home too. Em spent most of her time there, preparing breakfast for each family member, washing up dishes and putting them away, wiping bench tops, sipping her morning coffee and sweeping floors. And over the course of the morning the family would come and go, each child coming in for food or cuddles at various times before then heading off to play again.

I've never done a shoot in a home like this before but as I was standing there photographing I just knew that this is what I want to do, this is what makes me come alive. There was nothing posed about this shoot. Em made mention the night before that her house wasn't as tidy as she'd like it to be and she hadn't gotten around to doing the things she had wanted to do before the shoot and my thoughts were... "perfect, that's what I'm looking for!" As I photographed, Em and I chatted about our journeys toward minimalism in the home, being content with what we already have and coming to the realisation that the best things in life are the people around us, not the stuff we accumulate. And this family really lives that out.

I hope as you watch the video and look through the photos, you feel the love that I witnessed between this beautiful family.

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Newborn | Eden Aria Hope

I had the privilege of taking some photos of Eden at just five days new! I captured her first bath with her Mama, surrounded by beautiful herbs and flowers. As soon as Eden was submersed into the water she completely relaxed and was so happy and content. It was incredibly beautiful to watch. 

We then bundled Eden up and created a flower wreath using Geraldton Wax, a native flower that is blooming all over Perth at the moment, a beautiful reminder of Eden's birth.

Birth | Welcoming Eden

In the early hours of Sunday morning the message came through to say that Hannah's labour had begun. I knew things could progress fast and I also had a bit of a drive ahead of me so I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera and got straight in the car.

Darren greeted me at the door soon after 5am and as I walked inside, I felt such an incredible sense of peace in the home. The lights were low, the birth pool was filling up, the midwives were sitting at the table quietly talking whilst getting their paperwork ready and the two older boys were fast asleep in their beds.

Darren was washing dishes and making Hannah a cup of herbal tea whilst she happily chatted away, stopping to lean over something as she breathed through each contraction. The contractions kept coming, each one increasing in intensity and through it all Hannah remained so incredibly calm and peaceful, riding out each wave with Darren by her side, reassuring her and rubbing her back.

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The labour progressed quickly and Hannah's Mum, Lindy arrived as she was nearing transition. They laughed together as she stroked Hannah's belly in the quiet moments between contractions, noticing how the shape of her belly was changing. By then, Hannah could feel that bub was right down low and knew it was time to get into the pool. 

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After a few pushes Hannah brought her little girl up through the water and into her loving arms. The look of relief and love on her face says it all. It was such an incredibly beautiful and sacred moment and I felt so honoured to be able to capture those first few moments of new life. 

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Just minutes later, both big brothers woke up and came out of their bedrooms to discover that their baby sister had been born. 

I pulled back the curtains as the sun began to rise, to see the sky all lit up in the most stunning pink. A beautiful welcoming for a much loved baby girl.

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As I headed out the door  to make my way home, the first text messages were being sent out and pancakes were being made. 

I arrived home to a dark, quiet house, all three of my loves still cuddled up in bed.  I jumped under the covers and squeezed them all tight, feeling incredibly grateful for the wonderful gift of life.