Melbourne Family Photographer - Into the Woods

If you go into the woods today…

(Featured in MamaMag April/May 2018 Issue) 

It’s easy to believe that we need to venture across seas or hop on an aeroplane to be able to explore magical places and feel like we’re well travelled.  But we are incredibly lucky here in Melbourne, that we have so much of mother nature’s beauty right on our doorstep. This year we have set out to take our little ones (aged 2 & 3) on adventures closer to home and make the most of what Melbourne’s surrounds have to offer (has anyone else noticed that their kids are just WAAAAY more chilled and easy going when they are out in nature!?)

Our first stop – Redwood Forest in East Warburton.  Let me start by saying the sign posting is non-existent, so you do need to map your trip before you leave and keep an eye out for the turn off from the main road -  “Cement Creek Road” is REALLY easy to miss ! We actually saw the turn off, and pulled into it but decided it couldn’t be the right road as there were no signs to the Redwoods.  So we continued back along the main road, lost phone reception and thankfully decided to turn back and cluelessly venture down Cement Creek Road (is it even a real adventure if you don’t get lost at least once?!) You drive along the unsealed road for a few minutes and will come across cars parked along a fence line - unless you’re the first person to arrive…in which case, keep an eye out for a gate (which is the access point) with some super high trees behind! Again, we were expecting to see some Parks Victoria signage to say where we were, but there was none – it really is a hidden gem!!

Once you’re inside, there is no mistaking where you are. It is completely spectacular and you feel like you’re in another world (or, for the kids, in a fairytale!)  It’s also such a diverse landscape – one minute, you are in a forest, surrounded by Californian Redwood trees that reach up to 55m high (and still growing!), and the next minute you walk out (the forest slopes down, so walk down the slope and it will bring you out) and are surrounded by lush green ferns and scenery that feels like you have been transported to somewhere in New Zealand.  We had no idea when we arrived, but there is also a little river which has a walking track alongside it. Given we had no phone reception and had no idea where the walking trails led, we didn’t venture too far along the track but it was really beautiful and we stopped along the river for a picnic lunch.

Our kids had the best time exploring, getting dirty, having snacks, climbing on fallen tree trunks, eating a picnic lunch by the river, playing hide and seek and having more snacks. If your kids are anything like ours, you should basically just fill your entire backpack with snacks.

A few important things to note when you are travelling with young kids  -
- There are no toilets, taps, bins or other facilities – make sure you stop off in Warburton when you are driving through if you need a toilet break or to top up snacks/water.  Bring a bag to take your rubbish home with you!
- It’s not pram friendly – we had a carrier in our bag in case our youngest gave up walking, but thankfully we didn’t need it.  It’s not a huge area though, so even if you have a toddler that does give up the will to walk – you don’t have too far to carry them!
- We had no phone/data reception from the turn off at the main road – so make sure you have mapped your route before you set out !
- if you plan to spend some time by the river, bring bug spray
- we visited in summer and there had not been any rain recently – when it’s wet, I imagine it would get VERY muddy
- even if it’s warm when you leave Melbourne, pack some cool weather clothes as the temperature dropped once we got there
-needless to say, this place is a photographers DREAM, so take your camera !!

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Our highlight reel - Melbourne Family Photographer

I feel like I need to preface this post by stating for the record that these photos, in fact ALL the photos I post on my instagram / facebook / blog - they are all from our highlight reel.   I am not a mummy blogger - I use my blog and social media accounts as a way of highlighting the best of my work for the purposes of a photography portfolio.  Essentially it's my best and most creative work OR the moments that I love and treasure the most.  If I was a mummy blogger, TRUST ME, I would not have such a curated feed. 

The reason I'm saying this and feel this need to explain myself is because I received a message from a friend recently which said something along the lines of "from the looks of your instagram feed, your life is perfect right now" - say whaaaaaat!?

Firstly, my instagram feed is like 70% client work... so I have no idea how my client's love / joy / beauty is any reflection on my life. 

Secondly, oh my gosh that is so not true!! God, if I was a mummy blogger, my feed would be filled with tears /  mess / guilt /  tantrums in the street / how we watched frozen 5 times in one day / how I call my husband at 8am on some days and ask him if he can come home from work because I'm done with parenting after ONE hour / how I hid in the bathroom from the kids and ate chocolate for lunch  .... you get the drift, right!?  But guys, I'm NOT a mummy blogger ! I share allllll the shit stuff with my friends and family, but I just don't feel it's something I want to share on social media at this point in my business! (but totally in love with so many of the incredible women that do share their experiences with the many highs and lows of motherhood through social media !) 

So  yep, every now and then, we go somewhere beautiful - I take photos because it's my PASSION, and if I LOVE the photos - I will share them online as a representation of the best of my work. More often than not, we do alllllll the standard / routine stuff that everyone else does - sometimes I take photos in those situations too, and if i'm lucky, I can turn something boring into something beautiful - more likely, I take an uninspiring photo or the kids aren't in the mood for it and I don't love it so I don't share it in this space. 

Also - I ramble (it's a family condition, passed down by my father).

OK, well if you're still reading, thanks for sticking with me... enjoy the highlights :) 

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