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Happy Easter (and Happy Birthday to me)

Being an April Fools baby (yes, really) some years I get a long Easter weekend for my birthday. This year my birthday actually fell on a Thursday before the long weekend…so I took the day off and had an extra long 5 day weekend. You read that right: FIVE DAYS OFF!!

I spent my day off making easter eggs! Check it out. I’m so domesticated it hurts.

How to make caramel eggs

Melt some chocolate in the microwave – cook for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Using a spoon, use the melted choccy to coat a plastic egg mould. Remember they’ll have filling, so don’t fill ‘em up too much.

The recipe I used suggested refrigerating for 20 mins, but we found it worked best to leave them overnight to really harden up. Once they’re nice and hard, flex the mould to loosen and remove the shells then sit them back. (You’re just removing them now because it’s harder once they have filling.)

Heat one tin of condensed milk (recommend you buy 2 tins if, like me, you are prone to quaff all that delish condensed goodness before you get around to using it in the recipe) over a low heat. Add a good dollop of golden syrup and cook for a few minutes until it combines. Leave it to cool.

Crumble some plain biscuits (granita, yo-yos, scotch fingers etc) or give it a whirl in a food processer if you have one. Then add about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of melted butter and mix it all together.

When the syrup mix has cooled enough that it won’t melt your chocolate, pour it in the chocolate egg halves, then top with the biscuit crumbs and pop it back in the fridge to harden up. If you’re really enthusiastic you can ‘glue’ your egg halves together, but we just left them as halves because they are quite sweet and a whole egg would be a bit much:)

Understandably I was not particularly excited about getting up for work today, especially not with the flood of rain we had…apparently that long weekend was the last hurrah for warm weather! The drains around my street are notorious for blocking at the first hint of rain and this morning I actually had to take a running leap to get out of my driveway (and I still got wet).

Wet mornings aside, here’s to winter…and to my 26th year. I have BIG plans for this year! Cross your fingers for me:)

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Autumn portraits // children’s portraits

Most of Adelaide is still stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that it is now officially AUTUMN, but I spent a few hours in the Hills this weekend where the trees are slowly getting their act together and saying goodbye to summer…lovely. I’m so excited about busting out my winter wardrobe! The slightest hint of a cool day lately sends me into fits of indecision about which scarf I will wear, haha. I know that’s a bit lame but summer feels like it’s gone on FOREVER and I’m well and truly over it!!

Speaking of which, Miss S here is also an Autumn Baby just like me!

Little sister J was there too, although she got over the novelty of the camera a lot faster than her sister. Shy kiddo:)

One thing I never get over is how kids sometimes go from looking like, well, kids…to suddenly looking so adult in photos. Every now and then you get these timeless expressions that could come from any age, and then in the next photo they’re back to being 4 again.

Get this. When S jumped into her mum’s arms for a photo, she went: “Oh nooo, I’m not wearing any makeup, haven’t washed my hair…”Can you believe it?! Let me tell you know that when I scruff around in my tracky pants with unwashed hair and no makeup, I look NOTHING LIKE THIS unfortunately:(

(Actually I don’t think I could ever muster this kind of effortless gorgeous, even after hours of primping, haha!)

I also brought my best friend the Collapsible Softbox, and we did a few shots inside. The following shots of S were quickly snapped in between, “Take a photo of me being a dog!! Now take a photo of me being a bird!! Now take a photo of me being….um…a snake!! Sssssss!”

When I suggested, “How aboout I take a photo of you being a princess?” she just rolled her eyes and went, “Boooooring. I’m a dolphin!!!”

Little sis J was not quite as sure about the camera at first…but luckily under our barrage of tickles and encouragement we did get a few gems in the end!

And of course whenever you are working with kids for every great shot there is 10 hilarious outtakes… so I’ll finish with something to make you giggle:)

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Twice as nice // baby portraits

I am one of those people who sits down and makes lists of things — packing lists, things to do, stuff to sell on ebay, ideas for photo sessions, albums I want to listen to… etc etc! I think because I’m naturally quite disorganised relaxed by nature, lists are my way of kicking myself into gear and making sure that things don’t get forgotten. It doesn’t always work but it helps! Anyway, one of my many lists is “Photography Goals” which includes things like, “Find an awesome cheap chair on ebay!”, “Shoot an engagement session at that awesome bluff you saw on the way to Victor Harbor” and “Photograph twins”.

So I was pretty excited when Katy asked me to photograph her twin girls — I’ve always wanted to shoot twins, and I can now tick it off my To Do list!

It was just an extra bonus that little E happens to a gingernut! Being cursed when mousy brown hair myself, I think redheads are just the best thing since sliced bread and actually, one of the other things on that To Do list was actually “Photograph a ginger bub” so I just about exploded with happiness when I met this little cutie. (Katy… I hope I didn’t scare you with my enthusiasm about redheads, haha!)

E is crawling and zooming around everywhere, but little C is still figuring exactly how the whole crawling business works. I cracked up when I turned around and saw her doing these little pushups on her tippy toes!

I just love babies at this age. They’re so active and into everything! You can literally see them watching and learning and figuring out how things work. From a practical point of view they’re also more fun to photograph since they can sit up and pay attention to you more easily…plus they have some awesome facial expressions. Sometimes they’re so funny and other times they’re so intent they almost don’t look like baby expressions at all.

(By the way, how amazing are E’s gorgeous blue eyes?! They actually look like they’ve been photoshopped in real life, they’re so bright!)

Speaking of classic expressions…C served herself up a big spoonful of chicken and was apparently not impressed by that particular mouthful, hahaha!

Not hard to work out which parent she takes after!

Katy & David, thanks so much for letting me spend a morning with you and your gorgeous chicks!

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Peta & Matt’s Wedding

After months of dry weather and endless summer days in Adelaide, the clouds finally began drifting over – just in time for Peta and Matt’s wedding. Amazingly, the rain held off the entire day until one giant downpour in the afternoon, conveniently timed when everyone was able to shelter under the rotunda in the park (thanks Mother Nature). If that’s not a sign that these two are in for good things, I don’t know what is!

I looooved the bright green colour accents in this wedding. Love love love!

I have a confession to make. Before I met Peta and Matt for the first time, I had a quick peek on Facebook..I know, I know, stalker! Haha! What can I say, when I meet people for the first time I like to know who to look for in case we miss each other.  But seriously, after seeing Peta’s profile I was super excited and crossing my fingers that I could work with them and this shot is pretty much why. Peta, you are gorgeous!

Seeing these two spot each other for the first time was classic. Peta’s whole face lit up when she spotted her groom, and Matt was blinking furiously to hold back tears…I almost got a little teary myself just watching. It’s moment like these that make weddings so special and I really feel privileged to be able to capture it for people.

After the ceremony (and after the downpour which was so conveniently timed!) we spent some time shooting around Adelaide on the way to the reception…

Congrats, Matt & Peta — I hope you guys are enjoying your newfound marital bliss!

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I Love Hipstamatic

My poor old Nokia 6500 has been dying lately. It had a pretty good innings, but you know how phones mysteriously start going downhill about six months before the end of your contract? (I swear it’s built into their design.) Well, I figured since I needed a new phone anyway and I’m always lugging my ipod touch around, I’d just get an iphone. Makes sense, right?

I already had a bunch of apps from my old ipod, but I bought a few new ones to celebrate and my favourite so far is the lomo emulator Hipstamatic. In the past two weeks I think I have enthused to anyone who will listen, just how much I LOVE THIS APP!

Lately I’ve found myself only using my camera for big stuff (clients, special occasions) but this little thing has really inspired me to go out and shoot little details from my daily life. The app even has a little ‘shake to randomise’ feature and because it takes a few seconds to ‘develop’ each shot, there is a little element of surprise and thrill every time I wait to see how the picture turned out. It’s kind of like the surprise of film…but more instantaneous, which for people like me (not known for patience) is perfect.

It even inspired me to take another crack at the 365 Project – taking a photo each day. Since I always have my phone with me, it seems a lot more achievable than my past efforts. If I manage to make it through a whole year, I’m planning on printing a huge canvas with 365 little shots on there — I love the idea of having a bunch of tiny little photos each with their own story to tell. Whenever I see that sort of collection in other people’s houses I can never resist stopping to study each little picture.

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