Tag Archives | Family

taking stock #012

It has been a rough couple of months with health issues on multiple fronts… all of which has taken their toll on me.

While I usually look forward to a taking stock, I’m dreading the thought of thinking about what has happened and what is to come over the next couple of months, so forgive me if there are a lot of blanks this time round….

Making: water kefir to help with my gut health, and loving it!
Cooking: from the Stone soup weekly meal plans.  We’ve only just started, but I’m thinking that it’s going to make organising dinners so much simpler.
Drinking: more of that kefir water.
Reading: nothing.  Not a thing.  Nothing is of interest at the moment.
Wanting: good health for all the family.
Waiting: for our holiday… not long to go now.
Loving: the way my family has looked after me these last couple of weeks… “We don’t do it because we have to, Mum.  We do it because we love you.”
Pondering: if all this clean living is really working.
Watching: Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.  Have introduced the kids to her and while they laugh and criticise, they still ask when we’re going to watch the next episode!
Marvelling: at the change in season.  The colours are stunning.
Needing: time on a beach.
Smelling: the immune booster essential oils I’m burning in bulk at the moment… trying to rid the house of all things germy.
Wearing: comfortable clothes.
Feeling: really run down… and over it.
Admiring: the colours of the leaves in Autumn.
Disliking: coughing.
Giggling: at the Boy when he predicts what will happen in Buffy.
Hearing: the dog groan with old age whenever she moves.

Not too bad, considering.

Hope to see you all sooner rather than later, because I know that the blog has been very quiet of late.  Apologies there, but I been prioritising and unfortunately for the blog, she’s a fair way down the list.

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20 photos to take this australian christmas

The big day is just around the corner, and it’s easy in the blur of doing to forget to take photos that will become memories in years to come.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 20 very Australian suggestions for photos to take this Christmas.

You can click on the image below to print a copy or download a pdf version here.

What photos will you take of your family this Australian Christmas?

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new england family portrait session – walter & matilda

walter and matilda were coming to visit with grandma and grandpa for the weekend

When Grandma asked me if I was available to come to their house and photograph the grandchildren, my immediate response was “Yes!”.

Walter (17 months) was still needing a daytime nap, and with Matilda being only 11 weeks old, we decided on a post-nap afternoon session at the house.  The focus of the afternoon was the children, and as a mum to teenage kids myself, I realised I’d forgotten just how quickly toddlers move!

Walter was a little wary of me (strange lady with a camera), so he was left to play while I followed him around.  Matilda was so calm and happy, and once safely ensconced on the couch, was a treat to photograph.

I look forward to seeing both the kids and how they’ve grown the next time they visit with Grandma and Grandpa.

little feet - it's details like this that fade from your memories and need to be kept

oh, those blue, blue eyes

such a serious little man

a little princess

snuggles with grandma


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{documenting life} bathing the dog on an autumn afternoon

Our dog Jo will be 8 this year, and lately we’ve noticed age creeping up on her.

she’s never been a fan of having a bath

but in true dog-style, she insists on laying in the dirt near her kennel, which meant it was time for a freshen up.

A few years back, Warren took pity on her and started bathing her in the bathtub during the colder weather.  That’s now turned into being bathed in the bathtub whenever she needs a wash.  She’s still not a fan of her bath, but I think she’s grateful for the warm water and towel-dry at the end!

jo's sad dog face when she realises it's time for a bath

pouring water over the dog

the dog doesn't like water on her face

having her face washed

licking her face clean

one last rinse

time to catch the shake

are you going to shake dog?

enjoying the towel dry attention

oh, the indignity

the queen of clean

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you spoil your dog as much as we (obviously) spoil ours?
Baths in the bathtub, or something else much more indulgent?

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preparation & process: your photography session from start to finish

how your photography session with photography by tasha chawner will proceed

you’ve never had a session before and don’t know what to expect…

…so, I thought I’d outline the process when you book a session with me.

the beginning

You’ve had a look at the portfolio online and decided to get in touch!

Whether by email or phone, now is the time we start to get to know one another. I’ll start by answering any questions you might have about the package you’ve decided to buy.   Then it’s time to get our calendars out to schedule a shoot date.  To secure your date, I need a signed client information and contract form and deposit, and once received your date is locked in.

I’ll follow up this initial conversation by sending you some paperwork. The paperwork states what services I provide to you as the client, the price of your package and important details of my process (turnaround times, studio policies, etc.). I prefer to email it to you so you have plenty of time to read through them.

Two of the most important forms that I’ll need you to attend to straight away are:

1. the questionnaire for you and the family to answer, and;

2. the what to wear guide.

The answers to your questionnaire give me an insight into your family.  Your personalities, what you love doing together and more – little gems that will ensure I can capture your story in an authentic way.  The what to wear guide will take the stress out of deciding what to wear to your shoot. I’ll give you a couple of days to mull this one over before I contact you to see if you need any help.

before your shoot

Communication is key.

I’ll be in touch with you before your shoot to discuss ideas and details, based on the questionnaire that you’ve filled in for me.  I’ll also phone you 2 days before your session to reconfirm your session time and location, and answer any last minute questions you might have.

Before your shoot, I’ll also be doing my own preparation. My main goal is to make you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, because your session is meant to be fun! I’ll be thinking about how best to photograph you and the family – poses, props, lighting, to name a few.  The day before, I’ll check that all my camera gear is ready to go, memory cards formatted and that I have a water bottle and snacks on hand.  Plus one last check of what the weather will be doing!

your photo shoot

Before I even take out my camera, we’re going to have a chat – “How’s the weather?” and “Did you hear about….!”

When it’s time to start, I’ll let you know what to expect during the shoot. Because your photo shoot is as much about the experience as the resultant images.

All the while I’ll be checking out the location and light.  Next, come the test shots – to check exposure and shadows, expressions and poses – before we start in earnest.  It’s not a race, though, so while I’ll be keeping the pace moving, the whole shoot will have a relaxed and fun feel to it.  With pointers on how to stand and what to do with your hands, I’ll be looking for the real emotions and spontaneous smiles – the elements that make your family who they are.

after your shoot

That’s when my work really begins.

I won’t be able to resist having a look at your photos!  I’ll load them into Lightroom (my preferred post-processing software) when I get home and will immediately make a backup copy of the photos. It would be awful if something unforeseen were to happen and all the images lost – eek!  I will also find one or two images to share with you on my Facebook page straight away.

I like to wait a day or two before going through and choosing the best-of-the-best photos.  Why?  This gives me time to get over the excitement of the session (because I get nervous and excited too!) and allows me to look at your photos with a critical eye.

Then the editing begins, which happens in intervals over the coming weeks.  I allow 3 to 4 weeks for this process, as I am also working around my family and job as a Learning Support Officer.  My editing philosophy is one of less-is-more. Your photos need to be realistic, especially as you are real people (not models in some high-end fashion shoot). I will reduce bags under eyes, whiten teeth, heal temporary blemishes, and remove distracting elements – but am always careful not to take an image too far.  You don’t want to end up looking like a Barbie…

Your photos are then transferred to a USB.  On your USB, there will be two folders – one labelled For PRINT and the other For WEB.  The print images are large files ready for you to take to your favourite print lab and have made into gorgeous photo keepsakes for your walls.  The web images have my watermark on them and are for you to share on your social media sites.   You also receive a colour and black-and-white version of each curated image (unless of course it really doesn’t work for the photo).  And it goes without saying, that I back these files up in a couple of different locations – just in case.

A phone call from me to say that everything is ready to be delivered, and then ta-dah!

memories plus!

So, there you have it – the steps from initial contact to delivery – anywhere from 4-6 hours, depending on the length of your session and how many photos I am delivering to you.  WOW, right?!

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Did you realise there was this much preparation involved in a photo shoot?  

Photo credit: bessa via photopin (license)

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