Kids Lifestyle

Leafy Utopia in Inner Melbourne

Have you ever imagined a home, nestled amongst towering leafy gums, with space to run for you and your little ones (and a hound plus a brood of chooks!), with fruit trees fresh for the picking, overlooking paddocks of galloping horses, and only a short drive from Melbourne’s inner city suburban buzz?

Doesn’t exist right?

Well, for this beautiful family of four it does and I was lucky enough to be asked to capture some memories for them in an in-home family photo session earlier this year. 

This was nothing short of a dream shoot for me. In-home photo shoots hold a special place in my heart, for good reason. Children are almost always at ease at home, ready to play from the minute I arrive, sharing candid, often beautifully quirky moments that define the little humans they are.

Home is where families begin. Where you are understood and memories are created. It’s a feeling, not a place.

I can’t think of a better place to create these quite, personal, meaningful moments while documenting the essence of your family.

Sam, Drew, Mollie and Jack, thank-you for opening your home and hearts to me.

Much love,

Nat

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Three Brothers at The Briars

A little while back, I made a call out to Melbourne families interested in collaborating on a family photo session come the end of winter. The post ended up having a fantastically wide reach and I had an overwhelming number of families get in touch.

Some took the time to share a bit of their story with me. A few were quirky, and heaps were funny! But there were also a couple of families that had some heartfelt situations and are really doing it tough. Many stories resonated with me, none more so than the following incredibly resilient family.

Robin is the mum of three beautiful boys, Jack, Charlie and Ollie. Her family is a blended family, that includes Dad/StepDad Troy. 

The reason Robin's family story stood out for me is that they are at the very beginning of their long journey in treating 8 year old Ollie's recently diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Luekemia. 

This wasn't a typical 'family with three energetic boys' type of session, given that only the week earlier, Ollie had little to no feeling in his feet. The fact he was able to walk us around The Briar's was an awesome effort in itself.

The homestead holds precious memories for Robin, who was brought here regularly by her grandparents as a little girl and was also the setting for her wedding to Troy.  I am so appreciative to have been shown around this historic homestead at Mount Martha, with its rustic old barns and weathered buildings, a place I never would have thought to explore had it not been for these guys. 

Robin had asked that I 'shine light on the reality of them and their strength', and I hope I managed to achieve this for them in my own way. I watched Ollie rapidly transform over the course of our 40 minute session from a lively young boy, playing american football with his big bro into a bundle of exhaustion and despair. Life can be just so cruel and unfair. But as Robin pointed out, this is their reality right now. 

I believe that every time you cross paths with something special, the pieces that make up your world shift just a little to make room. And although our session together was brief, I know my world has shifted since meeting these three incredible boys, each with their own challenges ahead. And Robin, who is holding it all together in what I can only imagine must be a whirlwind of ups and downs, is doing so with such such grace and incredible strength. Truly inspiring, my positive thoughts will be with you during the coming months and years. 

<<family lifestyle photo session>>

On a bear hunt through the Redwood Forest

The moment Lauren suggested to me that we meet at the Redwood Forest in East Warburton for their family photoshoot, I was ecstatic! 

I have heard only great things about this location and knew that it would make for an amazing backdrop to their family shoot. 

The drive there is, in itself, truly special. Heading east of Melbourne through the Yarra Valley, the road takes you past sweeping views of Mount Evelyn along the Lilydale to Warburton Rail trail, which was particularly beautiful on this morning with blankets of white clouds circling the mountain. 

A further ten minute drive past the town of Warburton, following the winding path of the Yarra River you will find the turn off for the forest. 

From the outside it looks like any regular forest, but the moment you step inside, you feel an almost eerie quietness. Looking up the trunks of the towering Californian Redwoods, you are instantly humbled.

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The trees (some as high as 55 meters) date back to the 1930's, and have been planted in a methodical grid like pattern, each row like a neverending laneway. It was here that I got to meet Lauren, Daniel and their little man Peyton for the first time. Greeting me in matching trainers (yasssssss!) I got the sense this was going to be a totally chilled morning. 

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Peyton was understandably shy at first, but with the suggestion of a bear hunt (who doesnt adore that book?!) and a lantern to help guide his way, he very quickly came out of his shell and had us running around the forest chasing elusive green bears in no time!

I am so grateful for the suggestion from Lauren to come to this enchanting, heritage listed forest. I totally recommend all Melburnians (and any visitors!!) take a trip out to explore this little gem. If you do happen to, make sure you search for the scattered woven artworks throughout the forest, which are apparently forever evolving. We got lucky and stumbled across a number of huge nest like creations!

Thankyou to Lauren, Daniel and Peyton for sharing these moments with me and allowing me to capture them for you. It truly was a magical experience!

<<family lifestyle photo session>>