This Family. My Family. Anna and I grew up in each others pockets…well sort of, she lived in Melbourne, I lived in East Gippsland, we spent our school holidays being treated to ice creams and visits to the Paynesville Foreshore with Grandma Shirley and Grandpa Tom, camping and swimming, riding our bikes, fighting over silly things because stubborn young girls with our parent’s short tempers couldn’t spend too much time together. As we grew the holidays changed, but the friendship didn’t. There were four of us, Anna and I, and our two younger sisters. Cousins, but just like sisters.
Anna and Ben were a big part of why we thought moving to Eltham was a good idea. Nic and I had loved the area the last time we lived here, but we needed family. Anna and Ben are family, they are friends, neighbours, the support we needed, I cried on their wedding day, a year later to the day, I photographed Anna and Ben to celebrate their pregnancy, I had a tear when Harriet was born, flew over from Adelaide to photograph her in their Eltham home when she finally arrived, we flew over again to celebrate her first birthday with all of their friends and family. It felt like home.
I remember Anna telling me she was expecting Tom. We walking along the Aquaduct trail, Harriet in the pram, Ralph and PJ on the lead, Anna was feeling tired, she said we couldn’t go far, she looked like death haha! I was so excited for her! It took us forever to plan a date for their maternity session, like anything with family, the priority was low for both of us, knowing it would happen eventually…but then it didn’t, Ben had to work, the rain set in, weather and travel plans got in the way. We finally got there and I photographed Anna and Harriet along the Yarra River in Warrandyte. A beautiful day…but Ben was missing.
Lucky we didn’t wait for him…Tom arrived just 2 days later!! So he was there in the Studio in Montmorency for Tom’s Newborn Photographs. But I always said, when he is around 6-12 months, we will do an outdoor family session to ensure Ben was well and truly included in the photos!
So, that brings us to Griffith Park in Eltham…Tom is around 14 months old…almost. We finally got here. A beautiful November afternoon, a slight breeze, no rain and a teeny tiny bit of sun. I ALWAYS love to photograph this family, no matter what the circumstances are and because I get bossy with family, they agreed to be the other faces of this years Christmas Sessions! And honestly the session was everything I wanted it to be for them, loads of laughter, tickles and giggles, bit fat smiles, long wavy grass for our bear hunt, it was late in the day but Tom was in the happiest of moods, even though if was bed time…he made it right to the end and finished off with cuddles with Mum in the grass. Harriet is so full of life, she is the biggest character, her silliness reminds me a lot of our Grandpa Tom, she looks so much like her aunty Charlotte I tend to swap their names around a lot…the poses she gave me…oh my goodness, model in the making for sure!!
If you ignore the fact that Ben stood in a rabbit hole and rolled his ankle before I had the chance to take a single photo and Anna had no voice left after her Sister’s Hens night the night before and cold she had been hanging onto for months, it really was the perfect afternoon!
So, Christmas Family Photos…I think it’s time I get to the sharing, but before I do, a quick word on why this is the perfect location and I am the perfect photographer for you 😉
Griffith Park is bigger than you first think, it has a big open section where pets are allowed of their leads, they can run and fetch the ball and play freely while on the scent of local foxes…there is walking track that follows the bend of the Yarra River, when the water is low, the Yarra has gorgeous little spots of rapids and rocks for the perfect backdrop to your photos. It’s one of my favourite places to photograph families as it is so different everytime I am there. Gum Trees and Pine Trees, weird flowery prickley trees that look awesome in a photo but really really hurt if you forget they are there…in Spring the grass grows and makes for perfect bear hunting grass, in winter it is short and allows you to see the rabbit holes before you step in them…in Summer the sunsets in the just the right spot to get some beautiful golden light peaking through the trees.