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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footscray family photographer

Summer Days

So a couple of nights ago on Facebook, I asked you guys what you wanted to see more of.... despite the results being completely rigged by biased family members, the result was "YOUR KIDS". So here they are. This is a little glimpse into our lives over the past month.... just some of the highlights, because trust me, you don't want to see the messy lowlights ! 

Reading books on the trampoline *not what we spent hundreds of dollars on that for guys....*, fights over who gets to water the garden, a trip to Phillip Island (where we stayed in the cutest little airbnb with the most AH-MAZING wallpaper and window light - in the end, I took more photos in that bedroom than I did at the beach... because as you can probably tell from the photos, the beach was bloody freezing), and just some hanging out at home. A real random selection... but that's us !    

Dedicated to the McEwans
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Would you like to take a guess at who was the innocent victim in all of this!? 

Would you like to take a guess at who was the innocent victim in all of this!? 

The light...the wallpaper...the girl... 

The light...the wallpaper...the girl... 

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Williamstown Sunset Family Photography Session

Summer is finally here!! Well...to be fair, this is Melbourne, so winter could easily be back again tomorrow, but for now, we've had a run of beautiful weather and I've been LOVING all of my recent sunset family photo sessions in and around Melbourne ! 

Obviously with daylight savings over summer, the days are long and sunset is getting later and later - which means the time we would plan to start one of these sessions is right around our little peoples bedtimes ! Now, believe me when I tell you that I 100% get the reluctance in wanting to mess with your kids bedtime. By 5pm, I'm counting down the SECONDS until I can put the kids in bed (ok, fine, sometimes I'm counting down from like 8am...). But TRUST ME, for one night...it really and truly is worth it!!  The light during that golden hour, well there is something just magical about it, it is soft and flattering which means you look your absolute best with no harsh shadows or squinty eyes!

"But Jess!", I hear you say, "my kids usually go to bed at 7:30pm and you're trying to tell me we should start a family photo session then!? Are you crazy!? They will be miserable, impossible to deal with, it will be a disaster. The end".

Oh, I hear you, and they are completely justified concerns, but I would say this - the chances are, your kids are actually going to be pretty damn excited to be going out and about (on an adventure, because that’s what you’re going to tell them we’re doing OK!?) when they are normally getting ready for bed. Plus, I’m going to make sure you’re doing lots of FUN stuff together, stuff that your little one LOVES to do … so I find that generally, the novelty factor often seems to be enough to perk kids up for as long as we need.

In saying that, it’s best to try and prepare them a little bit in the lead up and it can be helpful to try and give them later naps on the day of our photography session just to help stretch them out a bit. Also, bring plenty of drinks and snacks along to the session as I always allow time for breaks whenever we need !  Toys that they love (including bubbles) are great to have as a secret weapon – but I prefer to try and keep these hidden until towards the end of the session unless we *really* need them earlier.

This advice obviously does not apply to all kids – and I completely understand that for some little ones, going out at or after bedtime is just impossible, so in those cases, you have two other GLORIOUS options - 

1) Sunrise
If your kids are like mine and are generally up before the sun, this option might not be as mortifying as it sounds. Get your clothes ready and snacks packed the night before, give the kids some toast in the car and you could be all finished and ready to go out for a family breakfast by 8am!

2) In home session
If neither of those options appeal, then a in home session might be perfect for you and has many benefits ! Check out the blog post I wrote about in home photography sessions with me here

Here is a little snippet of a gorgeous, sun filled family photography session that I did recently just before sunset in Williamstown, which will hopefully convince you that it really is worth it - and if it does convince you - please get in touch and let's chat about planning your own session!

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How to prepare for your own in home lifestyle photography session

Looking through the images from this beautiful family session reminded me of why I LOVE in home lifestyle photography so much! So, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to share some gorgeous images, and also help explain what you can expect and how you can prepare for your own in home photo session!


1. Preparing your home

I totally understand that having young children generally means you are living in a home that is a little less “Home Beautiful magazine worthy” and a little more “appears to have just been ransacked by intruders” (speaking for myself here) and the thought of getting the place into a semi-presentable state might be completely overwhelming. Trust me, I get it – that is my life.  BUT, the reality is, that for most in home sessions, I am only going to shoot in a handful of rooms, the ones that have the best natural light. Often, this is your main bedroom, possibly a kids bedroom and the living room.  Generally, it’s pretty easy to hide some excess toys, washing and clutter in cupboards and under the bed (well, that’s what I do whenever we have visitors coming over at least!) – but don’t feel like you have to clear everything out as if you are staging the place for a magazine shoot ! Your home still needs to tell your story and show that little people live here.

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2.     Preparing your kids

Can I ask you a favour ? Can you please not tell your kids that I’m coming over to take their photos and that they need to sit still and do as they're told while I’m there!? I don’t want your kids to dread meeting me ! Instead, tell them that I’m coming over to be REALLY silly with them. Tell them I’m going to want to see how high they can jump on mum and dad’s bed, that I want to hear who can make the funniest noises and see all their craziest faces. Yep…. I know, the things that as parents, we try to minimise our kids doing… but, for this 1 hour window of their lives… lets let them have FUN and be kids ! In amongst all the silliness, I’m also going to ask them to see their best cuddles and kisses, and I bet we will see some really genuine smiles and laughter (without telling them to smile!) but that’s not the part I want you to advertise to them. 

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3.     Preparing yourselves

I can completely understand that the idea of having a stranger come into your home and point a camera at you for an hour and a half, is a kind of daunting / terrifying thought ! I think for most people, it's fairly standard to feel uncomfortable in front of the camera and worry about looking awkward ! That is actually why I LOVE lifestyle photography so much - because it's not about me and my camera, it's about you ! All you guys need to do is be with each other, love each other, look at each other and play with one another and ignore the fact that I'm even there (ok.. so that might be asking a bit much - but I do promise to try and make sessions as PAIN FREE as possible!!). I might guide you guys occasionally into the best light or try and create situations where I can capture some really beautiful connection between you and your family - but for the most part, I just try to encourage things to happen naturally and authentically. Authenticity is really where it's at for me...and I would really encourage you to have a think about what that looks like for your family.  What are the things that are going on in your life right now that you never want to forget ? What do your kids love to do most when they are with you ? What are your kids personality traits that you treasure the most ? Or even, what are their traits that drive you crazy 99.9% of the time, but you know you still kind of want to remember !? I'm not here to capture picture perfect - i'm here to capture real life ! 

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4.     Activities 

Following on from the last point, it's also a really good idea to have a think about some of the things you do as a family on a regular basis.  Does your 2 year old make you sit with her on the couch for hours on end reading her books? Does your 5 year old love to help you bake cookies? Does your 6 month old giggle uncontrollably when you start singing a special song?    If there is something that you love to do as a family or that your kids can’t get enough of, please let me know and let's incorporate those things into your session – it will make your images that much more special and meaningful for you to look back on in the years to come. 

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5.     What to wear

OK, the main thing here is that you need to feel like yourself and you need to feel comfortable !! No, I’m not talking laying on the couch watching TV in your yoga pants, but I definitely don’t want you guys getting dressed up to the nines in clothes that make you feel stiff and uncomfortable – keep in mind that for the majority of my your session, you are going to be playing with your kids!  A few things to consider that I feel like are pretty universally accepted in the lifestyle photography world are -
- Neutrals are timeless (but pops of colour, like the GORGEOUS dress mum is wearing here, are beautiful too and can really inject your own unique personality into your images)
- Long flowy skirts/dresses or simple basics matched with textures (scarfs/kimonos/cardigans) photograph really well !
- As a family, wearing complimentary colours is great – but definitely do not all try and pull off the classic everyone wearing black t-shirt and jeans look.   Mums, it’s great if you can pick your outfit first (take this opportunity to go out and buy yourself something that you LOVE and feel aaaaaaamazing in!) and coordinate the rest of the family around YOU!
- For in home sessions, personally, I recommend avoiding wearing predominately blacks and really dark colours.
-I beg of you, please avoid wearing shifts with graphics or logos/lettering – or mixing too many different patterns. These all detract from what the real focus of the image should be (you) and often, date really quickly !

I'm going to be putting together a what to wear guide over the coming weeks, so stay tuned for some more info on that SOON !

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Ultimately, I think for most of us, there is nowhere in the world that we feel more comfortable and more relaxed than in our own homes. For those of us who are crazy nervous at the idea of having professional photo's done, in home sessions can be a really great way to help take some pressure off ! For family's with really young children, who run off in all different directions the second you go outside, it's a great way to keep things slightly more contained and give kids a safe space to go off and have breaks, without having to worry about where they could potentially run off to! 

If you would like to book your own in home lifestyle photography session, please get in touch here ! I would love to hear from you! 

Oh and lastly, how GORGEOUS is this family and their beautiful home?  Bec has recently made her home  available for photo shoots and filming, so if you want to see more of this amazingly designed, light and bright home, head on over to her instagram account and follow along. 

https://www.instagram.com/houseonhope/

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Jess Worrall is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer based in Footscray, Melbourne.  Jess is available for in home or on location photography sessions throughout Melbourne and surrounds. 

Melbourne lifestyle family photographer - Philippa & Ed

In-home lifestyle session - West Footscray

Just because we're in the middle of a Melbourne winter, does not mean you should put off having photos of your family taken. In fact, it's actually the perfect time of year for in-home sessions (which also just so happen to be my FAVOURITE type of family session!!).

In-home sessions have the ability to really and truly capture and document your family's story.  Do you and your toddler have a favourite spot that you cuddle (/wrestle) in together while reading bedtime stories ? Do they have a favourite toy that they don't go a day (or hour / or minute) without bringing to you and excitedly showing you? Do they have hilarious little rituals or activities that they do every day, that you know they will grow out of in a heartbeat?  Do you notice every year go by with a million and one iPhone snaps of your kids but can count on one hand the number of photos that you are actually in with your babies!?

There are plenty of milestone moments and occasions that we make sure we bring the camera out for - birthdays, weddings, pregnancies, births - these are all extra special moments in our life that, for obvious reasons, are super important to hold on to and so we capture them without fail.

But what about the every day ?  

All those seemingly insignificant moments that we live and experience every day with our children, that we don't even realise are the moments we are eventually going to treasure the most? 

Those are the moments that I am really most passionate about capturing. Those are the crazy, beautiful, hilarious, chaotic moments that make your family unique.

 
Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.
— Dr Seuss
 

The session below is a little glimpse into the magic that can happen when you invite me into your home and allow me to document your every day. There is no pressure and there are no expectations. Toddlers can do all the things that make them happy, in their own comfortable environment -  and the only thing you need to do is be present with one another! There doesn't need to be fancy locations or stunning backdrops to create beautiful images... And I hope that you can see that when you're looking through Phil & Ed's session - and while you're at it, perhaps try and imagine your own family's day together and what that might look like - and more importantly, what it might feel like to have that captured forever. 

If you would like me to capture a day in the life with your own family please get in contact here, I would so love to hear from you! 

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If you would like to check out more of my family work, head on over to my family porfolio page