Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sneaking Up

Did you check the calendar?

Oh yes, it is that time. Even if I wasn’t acutely aware that Christmas is barely three months away, drowning in work as it were, I would remember now, since as of yesterday the first Christmas decorations are at the shops.

Working as a portrait photographer is quite a seasonal business. These days, if it’s not for a special occasion people usually don’t much care about getting their portraits done. Everyone has half a decent camera and even with an iPhone you can take great pictures, as was proven by the winners of the 2013 iPhone Photography Awards just recently.

Clearly, my big season is now. Very, very busy. Which is why I was a bit quiet here lately, sorry if you missed me πŸ™‚

Good I am an organized person. My Christmas is usually planned and printed and done in August. Maybe I need the cold weather in Australia to feel christmassy, the European in me does miss white Christmas sometimes.

Enjoy this photo, my little elf sneaking up on the treats.






To Create a Memory

According to the dictionary a mother is a female parent. But mothers are just so much more.

Everybody knows Mum’s love their kids (although if you’ve ever been to a Mother’s Group it may not always seem that way). But they can turn into a lioness in milliseconds if they think you’re not 100 percent nice to their child. Dangerous stuff.

Becoming a mother is a redefining moment in a woman’s life. Whatever she was before is no more. She has to find herself in a new role. Which is what makes mothers stronger in a way, that necessity to adapt. Of course husbands and boyfriends have to go on a similar journey when they become Dad’s. But the whole carrying and giving birth thing is just ours and you guys will never get it, sorry, full stop.

And no matter how hard the first few years may be, or the teenage years of her child, and no matter what sort of issues will go on, when push comes to shove, Mum’s will find that special strength within, that special toughness, that ultimate power to keep going, that extra bit of time in a day, that extra bit of love.

That’s why I am always very concentrated when I have a photo shoot with children. Mum’s can be harsh critics. Sometimes the mothers like to sit in and watch. You’d think it depends on the age of the child, but I’ve had teenagers where Mum was watching and very young ones where Mum sat in the other room and had a cup of coffee. And vice versa.

Mostly the finished images of a shoot arrive per mail at the client’s house. But every now and then I manage to deliver them in person, and get to be there when they see them the first time. This picture was one of them. This boy loves LEGO (you might have guessed it!) and I like being a bit creative with props and make things more personal. Mum wasn’t there at the photo shoot, so she didn’t know what to expect.

Her face was priceless. Wonderful. Very special. Rewarding. That’s what I love about my job. I created a memory. Yay πŸ™‚



Find your inner Nanna

Spring has sprung. On the news they tell us to expect higher than average temperatures and less rain. It hasn’t rained in a few weeks already, our rainwater tank is empty and the garden is very dry. The higher than average temperatures are definitely true for this week, we are already hitting 27 degrees Celsius (sorry if you’re doing Fahrenheit, I’ve never quite gotten the hang of the conversions, 1 degree Celsius is 30something comma whatever it was Fahrenheit), in any case: too warm for this time of year.

We do dinner together on most days of the week, and I make an effort of producing a cake, a slice, some bikkies or chocolate mousse at least once a week. Totally depending on my time and fancy – and special requests from my hungry family πŸ™‚ – but also depending on weather.

Summers are long in Australia and, surprising as it may be, eventually we get fed up with ice creams, or any of the fancy slices or quick bake cakes that don’t need a 180 degree (Celsius, again …) oven for an hour. Now when I heard it’s going to be hot way earlier than it should be I got that inner Nanna urge …. I rumaged through my recipe collection to make the most of the last few ‘cooler’ days before it’s just getting too hot in the house to be bothered with being anywhere near a hot oven for too long.

I decided on this Strudel recipe from my Grandmother. I watched her make this many times, and I was allowed to help her (she was quite a strict teacher), and I still remember the first time I made it on my own for my parents, who were kind enough to totally devour it πŸ™‚

Making the dough, letting it rest, rolling it out, putting the filling on, and getting the whole lot on the baking tray without breaking …. it’s quite a rewarding feeling. Only to be topped by the gorgeous smells coming from the oven. And the total silence later at the table, when all you hear is chewing and spoons scraping off every last bit of strudel from the plates.

So go out there, give it a go. I can highly recommend it: find your inner NannaΒ  πŸ™‚




Keep all special thoughts and memores for lifetimes to come

Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future. Mattie Stepanek

I always likes this quote. I first heard of Mattie Stepanek when he was on the Oprah show so many years ago. What an extraordinary young man. So much wisdom and so much grace. His words and thoughts have been an inspiration and have given hope to many people. I know they did for me.

I like keeping important and inspiring quotes in my small collection, to be read when in need of some extra wisdom and guidance. The other thing that gives me, I guess ‘grounding’ is a good word, is photos. I love looking through the old photos of my family. Comparing noses and hair lines. Dimples. Earlobes. Reliving Memories. Memories of people. Memories of places. Of smells. Of occasions. Of sounds. Of words that were said. Of jokes that were made.

As it is with photos, no matter how old: they will be affected by time, in one way or another. No matter how well they are kept, eventually they will fade, they will crack. Sometimes they exchanged hands and moved places so many times that they are ripped and teared and battered and bruised. How do we keep the memories alive when the keepsakes fail us?

Having worked in aged care, and seeing first hand in relatives how age affects the minds of so many, time and time again it was thanks to photos that a conversation could take place. That memories could be shared. That blank spots in the family tree could be filled. Because photos do trigger our brain in a certain way. And suddenly something we haven’t thought about in years comes straight back to us. Like it was yesterday.

With such an important job, photos do deserve to be taken care of. And to be preserved for the future. You see, I am quite passionate about his. This is why I love this part of my job. I give old photos back their life. To inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.

This photo was taken in 1914 in Pennsylvania.