Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Something small, everyday

Thursday, December 5, 2013


What a busy year it's been!

Perhaps the biggest achievement this year, was our daughter completing her Kindergarten. She has now completed her 'School Transition' visits and we feel she's now ready for school next year.

Of course, we also completed the building of our new house and perhaps other things that I fail to remember :). But seeing your child succeed and jump over life's hurdles, is an incredible feeling.
Walking through the school for the first time, several weeks ago, was amazing. I have memories of my first year at school, and I felt I was reliving some of the feelings and emotions from back then. I felt eager for her to start her formal learning path, and happy that she's embracing it.

Yesterday was her last transition visit to her new school and I could see in her face that she was a bit unsure and  anxious; understandably so, because the poor kids don't know what to expect and their routines have changed! But it was all good in the end and she was happy when we picked her up.

Working full time adds complexity to our family lives, and we couldn't do a lot of things without the support from our families. My sister and brother in law have become second parents to our little girl, and without their help and commitment everything would be much more difficult, if not impossible.
We are so grateful to have them in our lives, and I hope they continue to be part of our daughter's life in the many phases yet to come.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nine months in the making - Part 2

Maria Jose and Carlos

The miracle of life; it is fragile yet vibrant and robust.
Stefania decided to come early, at 7 months. I had planned to do a 'christmas theme' pregnancy shoot with the family, as part of my 'Nine months in the making' project but it was not to be :). Planning is only good if you prepare for the unplanned!

The lighting inside the hospital challenged my ISO, but I think the grain adds a nice texture to the photograph and the story. The name 'Stefania' originates from the old Greek, meaning 'crowned' or 'winning'; a beautiful and fitting name indeed :). She is growing strong everyday, and hopefully will be home with her family soon. Congratulations and thanks to the proud parents!

Newborn photography

Newborn photography

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Joy to the world

It's been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of work around the house, Maya's school transition program, colds and work (IT-related and photography)!
We have survived the beginning of the Christmas season and can't wait for what's left of it.

I was reading a Tamara Lackey post on joy: http://tamaralackeyblog.com/finding-joy-whenever-wherever/. This resonated inside me, because I had already drafted the title of this post, with the intention of also writing about 'joy'. Last weekend I photographed my first wedding! It was indeed a joyous occasion for many, including myself, because it felt like the beginning of something special: evolution and growth.

However, I’ve discovered that, sometimes, the prelude to special moments like these can be many times the opposite, and can paralyse us with fear; blocking us from getting to what’s on the other side: joy and well-being.

In preparation for the wedding,  I visited the garden where the ceremony was to take place; to get an idea of the location and the position of the sun, etc. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was hardly anyone around. As I got out of the car and took my first picture using my point and shoot camera, I heard someone call out to me. It was a woman sitting to the left of the garden, saying something about me taking pictures. I told her I couldn’t hear her, so she walked up to me angrily telling me not to take pictures of her. She was way out my frame, so I just said ok. It felt quite threatening, as she walked off swearing under her breath. I wasn’t sure whether to keep going or leave. I decided to stay because I was determined to do what I was there to do. I made my way around the garden, without making her feel like she was in the frame, and was able to get the pictures I needed. I drove off a bit shaken by the experience.

Two weeks later, family and friends came together in the same place, to witness the marriage of two special people; an emotional and happy occasion of which I was lucky to be part of.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Dia de los muertos

Today in Latin America we celebrate Dia de los muertos, the day of the dead. In Mexico, where the tradition originated, they have extensive and colourful celebrations. Back in El Salvador, I remember relatives and friends talking about the day when they go and clean the graves of loved ones. Cemeteries are a real buzz that day! My most vivid memory of a cemetery is from 1989, if my memory serves me correctly. It was Saturday 4th November, when, as part of our local choir we actually sang mass at the cemetery. This was in the metropolitan area of San Salvador, somewhere in Ciudad Delgado. A week later, on Saturday 11th November, the guerilla movement (FMLN) launched a major offensive against the government, which saw many cities such as Ciudad Delgado come under the control of the FMLN. My mum couldn't believe it, when the news came through, of what was unfolding - the many power outages was proof of the fact! To think that, just a week before, we had been walking through one of the areas most heavily affected by the conflict. Luckily for us, the local army base left the town as they had been warned, and as a result, the guerillas had no enemies to fight. We only suffered from lack of water and electricity. At a funeral service yesterday, the celebrant recited that one needs to hold on to our faith, of whatever denomination, to help the healing process. For me, it's important to hold on to the traditions of our ancestors, which are now part of our culture. Our culture gives me comfort and a sense of timelessness and heritage, that our children will inherit and be proud of.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Introducing: Julian Cesar

I had the pleasure of photographing our dear cousin Julian Cesar.
He was named after our great grandfather.
I remember my Dad speaking of his grandfather 'Papa Julian' when I was a child. Back then, black and white images of yesteryear would pop into my head. Those were different times, which feel almost from another world.

The names have been passed on, to new lives, that bring with them a kind of renaissance in our families.

Welcome to the family baby Julian :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Family shoot in the park

Civic Park at Modbury is becoming my favourite outdoor studio!
It is green all through the year and there are lots of shady spots to choose from!

Civic Park shoot

Thanks to Delmy, Rodrigo and Mayra for allowing me to photograph them, and congratulations on your beautiful family.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nine months in the making - Part 1

During their workshop From Bumps to Babies, Sue Bryce and Kelly Brown proposed the idea of photographing a pregnant woman, and then documenting their family story and the growth of their baby, by photographing their newborn for one year. The work can then be used to produce beautiful art eg: a photo book of the baby's first year of life.

I decided to take on this challenge and started searching for pregnant women willing to participate!
My search has led me to two soon-to-be mums whom I will photograph as part of this project :). I met them both and discussed the project and I'm looking forward to producing some memorable images for them.

Talking to them about their journey through pregnancy, brings back the memories and feelings I had when I was pregnant. For me, it was like getting on a roller coaster, physically and emotionally. My baby girl is almost ready to start school now, and I can't believe how fast time has flown by! There were trying times when she was little that I thought would never end, and now I have nothing but beautiful memories and miss her being little. My husband and I are glad we decided to take this ride :).

Below are the first images of my project.

Shahy and Haythem

Pregnancy shoot

Shahy and her husband have moved to Australia from Egypt.
I was lucky to have found them and that they accepted to be part of this journey.

I hope we can become good friends also :)

Pregnancy shoot

Monday, October 14, 2013

Love in black and white

While in Mt Gambier, I had the honour of photographing my niece and her new baby boy, now one month old.

No planning prepares you for a new baby! and I speak from experience :).
But these young lives are not only the source of great energy, but also great inspiration.

Kelly Brown said during her Bumps to Babies workshop: "Nothing smells better in this world than your own baby". My Mum once sniffed my little girl and said "You smell of life!". All so true.

Welcome to our family baby Samuel, we love you very much!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Having a break

We had a break from our day jobs and headed south. It was great to stop by the side of the road and capture some of the scenes we often just zoom past!
Our daughter loved it, she travelled really well and now has great memories of the trip.


Princess Margaret Rose Caves

Princess Margaret Rose Caves

Glenelg river

Glenelg river

Blue lake - Mt Gambier

Blue lake - Mt Gambier






Penola - logs

Penola - logs

Penola - logs

Penola - yarn baubles

Penola - yarn baubles

Penola - yarn baubles



Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Starting and completing something


{Note to self}:

It's important to be doing something...
Working, problem solving and practicing what you love to create.
Without that, evolution doesn't take place.

Use what you have at hand, to start something, take pictures with your phone, draw, sketch.
Plan and carry out, or simply carry out;
Ask, without fear.
Your prosperity and that of your loved ones depends on it.

If you keep working at it, only good can come of it.
It will seem as if by chance or accident, but it won't be coincidence.
That you complete something, that is beautiful.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Use Instagram to discover your highest values

It is Photoweek at CreativeLive and as usual it has been an amazing outpouring of inspirational information.
My favourite so far being Sue Bryce's session on empowering and energising your business. Her discussion on discovering your highest values is an eye opener. It's something that I 'sort of' knew and 'kind of' felt throughout the span of my life when making choices and taking decisions.

Playing around with an Instagram widget, it dawned on me that I could use this tool to discover these values; what I like to talk about and do. It can also help you see a detailed insight in what you do: the colours you like, the settings and compositions.
Try it! Your collage of images might tell you more about yourself than what you know! :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

From 'ones and zeros' to print


Our digital world makes it easy to create content on the go, but turning digital to print is where your work really comes alive.
I started creating photobooks for my family a few years ago, and they make such unique gifts that everyone enjoys. I will be working on story books for my little one which she can later read and even pass on to her children.

As we begin to decorate our house, we will be mixing in some of my work so I can't wait to create some more :). The opportunities are endless once you start adding your own unique touches to your photography work and I'm thinking of extending these options in photo shoots.