On a sunny Wednesday at the beginning of September, I had the pleasure of hosting a full day Newborn Photography & Business workshop in South Yarra, Melbourne for a wonderful bunch of photographers.
Over the course of the day we covered an insane amount of content, split up into three sections: shooting (including a live newborn demo as pictured above), experience (client prep & experience) as well as business (marketing, branding, building, money & more).
By 6pm, my brain was completely exhausted in the best possible way. This creative job is a beautiful but big thing. So much of what we do is not about the shooting but rather every other thing we do behind the scenes and I have always believed firmly in teaching how to streamline it all. How to do the best of everything, for you.
Special thank you to my beautiful assistant, Lydia Kammer who travelled with me on the day and not only ensured everybody was well fed & caffeinated but also took many of the photographs above. She also wins extra points for ducking out in the middle of the day and fetching me a kombucha. Anybody who knows me personally knows that’s gold to me.
Finally, thank you also to Kerry Rose for the last image of me working. It’s always special seeing yourself in your element.
To find out about upcoming workshops & register your interest for the next date, please add yourself to the mailing list by clicking here and filling out the form.
Last week I had the pleasure of mentoring the gorgeous Lauren Storey here in my Adelaide studio. We were joined in the morning by Bec, Brad and their darling baby boy, Max who modelled so beautifully for our demo shoot.
Above are some favourites from our time together last Tuesday morning.
It's 6.06am on a Saturday morning, and the sun is not quite up but there's already a hazy glow around. The humidity wraps it's way around me like a blanket. Even this early in the morning, it's warm and comforting. In the quiet, there's peace; a peace I welcome with open arms.
I write a lot on this trip. About a lot & then about nothing at all. Dribs & drabs of this and that. I write about the things I see and the things we do. I write about little things I want to remember, because later they remind me of all the good. Things like the satisfaction of a very good coconut, specifically the bowling ball sized ones Michelle & I pick up on our second to last day. Or the way the sun hits the water differently every night. Or the mellowness of dinner on the second night. The coconut ice blocks, the tastiness of jackfruit and papaya and my newfound mushroom obsession. Of body language conversations with the street crossing guard. Torrential downpours in little streets. Early morning runs and slick sweat. Mangoes, so many mangoes. Of watching storms roll in from the top floor of the hotel. Walking home in single file or riding on the back of a motorbike and sunburning in that short, sweet time.
But observations and experiences aside. I write about revelations. Things I've discovered in these last few months. So many things. And there's one that stands our most to me, with underlines and scribbly handwriting.
I'm leaning across the table, thick in conversation, and everything prior to this is a little fuzzy. A personally challenging year has directly paralleled an extremely successful year in business. The numbers and the figures and the work exceed all expectations and I have hit targets I set to achieve years down the track. But at 24, I'm learning a lesson I know will serve me for the years to come. Hitting those targets provides me with an internal satisfaction that can only run so deep. It doesn't calm my soul in turbulent times. It doesn't make everything magically golden. What matters most to me, what brings me lightness is making homes out of places and people and the fragments embedded into my every day routine. It's coming home to my candlelit living room, or finding refuge in my bedroom coated in an orange glow from the salt lamp. It's conversations over smoothies, and finding my home weekly on my yoga mat. It's the people who make my coffee, and the kind lady at the post office who knows me by name. It's belly laughing in the middle of the night. It's all of those things which I grab tight that bring me contentment and lay the foundation for everyday 'happiness.'
The success of my business is something I hold dear, of course. It is something I am deeply thankful for. From the outside looking in, I know it looks perfect. Thriving, steady work in a field I adore. But what I know to be true is my happiness is simpler, deeper.
And so when we are flying home, and our location is somewhere between Phuket and Singapore, I feel that quiet sadness; the same sadness I experienced when I left in January. And I know why. It's there, in Thailand, I hold onto simple things with that same tight grip. We all find the simple happiness in a great coconut or a clear sky day. It's not about work there. It's about real joys. And despite having so much goodness at home; all the things I hold close that are mentioned above, it hurts to leave these Thailand things behind.
[This trip was beautifully orchestrated by Steve Petrillo, owner of Fitness33 gym here in Adelaide. The trip runs under the name Phuket Training & Wellness and you can read more about what they do by clicking here.]