2016: the year of the 85mm

Why I'm only using my Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens for all of 2016.

When we were in Melbourne, back in November last year, I bought myself the Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens that I’d been lusting after for a little while…

and promptly put in my camera bag

Nearly 3 months later, and I’ve only taken two photos with it.  Two.  Mind you, I did exactly the same with my 50mm f/1.8 when I purchased it as well.

The first few times I tried to take photos with my 50, I just couldn’t nail the focus.  The photos were horrible – not sharp; focus was soft; horrible, horrible photos.  So I gave up and put the lens away in my camera bag for months.

Until 2015.  When I made the decision to use only my 50mm lens for all of that year.

To be fully transparent, I had to swap out my lenses from time to time, especially when I was doing photos for school events.  But all of my personal work was done with the nifty-fifty, and I can honestly say that I now  love that lens.

So this year I’m going to do exactly the same with my 85mm….

use only this lens for all of 2016

Learn it.  Learn its sweet spot.  Its peculiarities.  Its ticks and quirks.

and hopefully, learn to love it as much as I love my 50

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taking stock #007


there is so much happening in our house at the moment

Some of it regular run-of-the-mill, annual-event happenings, but other of it is big stuff… future stuff… scary stuff…

Reminding myself, that no matter what the scary-future-stuff brings, a good laugh and a good sleep will help.

bring it on

Making: time for yoga every morning (still!)
Cooking: up a storm for an 18th birthday party…
Drinking: nettle tea with honey – to help with my arthritis symptoms
Reading: Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
Wanting: to be less tired and in less pain
Looking: for the answers
Playing: my brain training games every morning
Deciding: on what to cook for dinner every night of the week
Wishing: for more opportunities to pick up my camera and play… just because I can
Enjoying: time with my Beautiful Girl
Waiting: for school to go back
Liking: not having to rush in the mornings
Wondering: what the future holds for my Girl
Loving: afternoon naps
Pondering: how much is too much?
Considering: …
Watching: re-runs of Friends with the family – some nights we laugh so much it hurts!
Hoping: I get to go to Europe too…
Marvelling: at the resilience of kids
Needing: a foot massage
Smelling: the pie Husband warmed up for his lunch
Wearing: my pyjamas until midday some days
Following: what is happening with the girlies and the decisions they are having to make as young adults
Noticing: the little things
Knowing: that my Beautiful Girl will always only be a phone call away
Thinking: about all things business (still…)
Feeling: in control at the moment
Admiring: my Little Man’s determination to better his 50 metre freestyle time
Sorting: out the store-room… I’ve only just gotten to it…
Buying: fairy lights for a party
Getting: organised
Bookmarking: or rather dog-earing and underlining pages and passages in Big Magic
Disliking: people being bossy
Opening: a can of worms
Giggling: at the thought of red dust and early mornings, and wondering how she will cope
Snacking: on dried mango chips
Coveting: a holiday
Wishing: for cooler nights
Helping: out at Walcha Handmade
Hearing: the sound of flies buzzing against my screen door

Pin found here.

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Branga Plains Family Lifestyle Session: the Bruce family

Tash, I’m so nervous!

That was the greeting I received from Alex when I arrived at Branga Plains to photography the Bruce family.  Little did Alex know, I’d given myself quite the pep-talk in the car on the drive out, as the Bruce’s were my first official photo shoot!

Chris, Sarah, Alex and Olivia are such an easy-going family, which made my task easy in turn. They were keen to use the shearing shed at Branga Plains as a backdrop – property living and sheep being a part of their daily lives – plus they wanted their horses and dogs involved in the shoot as well, and Gemma – the cattle dog – photo-bombed on more than one occasion.

Apart from the flies that accompanied us wherever we went, they were all more than happy to simply spend time together, laughing and joking and trying not to bop Alex for many and varied suggestions on poses (he’d apparently done his homework!)

For me, it truly was an amazing first photo shoot!  Topped off by these kinds words from Sarah, once she had taken delivery of their photos….

OMG, teary plus…  Love the back of the shearing shed photos.  You caught some absolute ‘true to self’ moments.  A heartfelt thank you to you xx

family lifestyle photo shoot
family lifestyle photography walcha
bruce family photo shoot walcha
alex bruce branga plains lifestyle photography
photography by tasha chawner family lifestyle photography
branga plains walcha bruce family photo shoot
chris and sarah bruce family lifestyle photography
sarah bruce photography by tasha chawner
photography by tasha chawner family lifestyle photographer

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what I did this year

coffee from Cafe Segovia in Melbourne

1. Started my photography business – Photography by Tasha Chawner is official!  2. Spent a week in Melbourne with my family (and a couple of extras) – the food, the coffee, the culture… Melbourne really is my happy place.  3. Started a tradition of buying a Street Swag for my birthday – I don’t need anything, but I can give to someone who does.  4. Took a week off work to contemplate life, the universe and everything.  5. And as a result, cut back my hours at work and made the decision to start my photography business.  6. Began practising yoga (almost) every morning.  7. Didn’t take enough photos for personal pleasure.  8. Was there for friends when they needed an ear and a shoulder.  9. Started seeing a new naturopath.  10. Bought an iPhone – I’ve resisted for ages but need a reliable phone for business now…  11. Didn’t telephone my brothers or sister often enough.  12. Made sure the Year 12’s had food waiting for them once each of their Trial HSC exams was finished – food for the soul and brain.  13. Loved and supported my Beautiful Girl through her HSC year – it’s all done and now it’s time for the next chapter.  14. Finally became shorter than my Little Man.  15. Ate cake for lunch on more than one occasion.  16. Bounced on a trampoline for the first time in years.  17. Priced one-way tickets to Helsinki.  18. Began a daily gratitude journal.  19. Put my Daughter under anaesthetic for the 5th time in her lifetime.  20. Had one of my photos make the Bureau of Meteorology calendar.

what did you get up to this last 12 months?

P.S. Thanks to Frankie magazine for the inspiration!

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{photography} melbourne

We’re a week back from our week away in Melbourne, and I’m still in a post-holiday-funk…

you see, i’ve fallen in love melbourne

The coffee, the food, the culture, the people, the bustle – so much to see and do… your senses are engaged constantly, but it’s in a civilised, relaxed sort-of-way.

I really struggled with taking photos this trip.  The trip was a finishing-high-school-celebration for both Daughter and the family.  It’s been a big year and we all needed a breakaway, but I felt to take photos would have been to absent myself from the holiday.

But when a photo presents itself wherever you turn – a face that holds a story, the lines in the architecture, the movement of the street…

and because I’m not that confident with street photography

I was seriously afraid that someone was going to come and yell at me about taking their photo!

So these are my favourite images from our week.  The ones that I was confident in taking, and the ones that stretched my boundaries just enough to be uncomfortable…

PS. I’ve added commentary to each of the images because each of them is special for a different reason… Please feel free to add your own comments below.

boats at st kilda with melbourne background

The Melbourne skyline from St Kilda – I love the similarities between the tall masts and the skyscrapers – a world apart, and yet the same.


With each turn in the alleyways of Melbourne, you are taken into a different world. This alleyway just happened to be the home of our new favourite cafe!


Horrified or not, these little birds are everywhere in the city – even sitting above your head as you dine…

Mum, I want to be a rock climber

All my Little Man wanted to do was go rock climbing. Apparently he has the knack…

why are there homeless

Every day as we walked down Elizabeth Street, we passed this homeless camp (I don’t know how else to explain it) – a perfectly made bed on the street… regardless of their homeless status, they still had pride. And they prompted many a discussion about how people become homeless.

do drug dealers deal here

Shoes strung over ‘wires’ in the alleyways – my Little Man informs me that this is a sign that drug deals happen here… is he right?

Although I could see myself moving to Melbourne, I honestly think that this is my get-away city… for when I need a break from my little town, a dose of culture and bloody good food.

a counter balance to the quiet

Any recommendations of great cafes or places to visit in Melbourne will be duly noted and followed through upon.

until next time melbourne…

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