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Giving Hope to Leaving

I met a fellow Beloved photographer back in May when I posted about her misfortune with the local photographic community over her choice in shooting Beloved sessions- see here.
We have since had a whirl wind of a friend ship and I cannot EVER express how lucky I am to have her in my life.
She is hysterically funny and without making her snort laugh, is the perfect addition to my best friend Bridget and my friendship – just add one! (It’s ok that one was for Hope)

A week ago, I had a crazy idea to have a Beloved session with my best friend Bridget as she is moving to Melbourne and I myself am about to move to Coffs Harbour. Other ends of the country just about. She didn’t jump at the chance, she threw herself and all her ideas at it. I love that about her- she gets as ridiculously excited about crazy ideas as I do!

Yesterday was D day and I met Hope before Bridget arrived. She had NO idea what we had planned for the afternoon. She arrived thinking we were going to have a post exam lunch at our old rowing shed and talk about old times together… mwah ha ha hahaaaaa…..
When she arrived and saw Hope her face was priceless, a mix of why is she here and oh dear god what have you planned. After sitting in the car, eating lunch and pretending we were back in college at lunch time, we got down to the serious stuff…

We weren’t disappointed.

I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe and that was just for the contemporary interpretive dance Hope does before her sessions. Then we got into things. We are a pair that laugh everything off which is thrown at us, but leave us to our own devices and make us bring out the lovey dovey feelings and the flood gates apparently open.

We laughed, we cried and we laughed a whole lot more! Hope has a knack of drawing out emotions, personality and charactor in each individual person and capturing it to perfection. When I look at these images, I can’t tell you how much I see of the past 17 years of Bridget and I in them. Its uncanny!

I can not wait to share some of the images with you all… so in the meantime you’ll have to head over to the BEAUTIFUL blog of Hope Copeland Photography and see for yourself.

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Models | In a new light

Models have to endure a fair bit before we see them in images and on television. Behind the scenes is a flurry of last minute waxing, smokey eye creating, eyelash tinting, hair styling, hair weaving and who knows what else.

Yesterday, Jemma Griffiths had to endure a lot more than just the getting ready. I’m sure for her, that part of yesterday was the easy bit.

In a rickety run down Shearing Shed, on the coldest Canberra day in a while we began to set up the shoot. We had to battle with 2 degrees celsius, arctic winds, holey walls and floors which on more than one occasion I fell through- Ok I put my leg through but it still went THROUGH the flooring.

Armed with natural light, a camera and a hair dryer (to keep Jemma warm) we began to shoot. Once the crew worked out how to set the hair dryer to warm, things went much more smoothly.Jemma reminds me so much of an early Miranda Kerr that when I first approached Bindi Kelly Makeup artistry, I wanted to keep Jemma’s look so clean and natural. She is stunning on her own without adding heavy eyes and heavy make up. Bindi being the amazing artist she is, created a look for Jemma which brought out all of her features without the heavy look. She took my vision and knocked it out of the park.

Thanks a million for braving the elements with me yesterday ladies, it was a pleasure to be out on the fashion sets again and to spend it with you two was well worth the frost bite!

Keep your eye out for Jemma Griffiths world, if she hits New York and Milan like I think she will, she is there to stay! Look out Miranda she will be biting at your heels in not time.


How to show love

The evening of June 5th 2012 will remain forever a part of my memory as one of my greatest experiences. I had the greatest honour of being asked to photograph/ support my oldest friend through her labour and birth of her second baby. To be honest I had no words to describe how much that meant to me.
Bridget called me at 10pm, June 4th to let me know her waters had broken and to get the labour plan into action in case it all happened that night. I called my miss two minder and I hopped into bed at 11:15pm to wait… I was SO excited, but I must have drifted off to sleep as it was soon midnight and I was woken to the most exciting message on my phone.
“Jake here, we’re heading to hospital in twenty minutes”
On the wild stormy and windy night, I pottered towards the hospital full of emotions. Excitement, anticipation, terror, nerves, joy and pride.
I met Bridget and Jake at the hospital entry and helped to carry anything I could. Jake and I had a few giggles on the way up the stairs – Bridget didn’t want the lift. My friend of 100 years was in the labour zone and hiking her way up three storeys of stairs.
Breathing away, concentrating and silently, calmly taking each wave as it came and breezed through it. She went straight through the delivery reception area concentrating, mumbling to herself and headed to her delivery room.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the looks on other soon to be parents faces- they were so confused by her manner. No yelling, no screaming or climbing walls. Just deep long breaths. For anyone terrified of birth, this would be a birth to change your mind.
She was simply amazing to be around.

When I pottered in the room a few steps behind, I did a little happy dance in the corner (I think the happy gas might have leaked a little) and got to work on my camera. I looked over to see Bridget looking asleep through another contraction and Jake gently rubbing her hand and kissing her head.

As the following hour progressed, I took a step backwards and watched with awe. This gorgeous mum showed gracefulness in her determination and pure grit. My bestie was surfing those labour waves like a pro- I was a little extra proud to know her.
I snuck around to be next to her head and was allowed to help support the final stage of delivery. I felt in some small way that I was finally able to show my love of our friendship by being there and just encouraging her. Reminding her to relax, keep breathing and how amazing she is.
She had me in tears a couple of times out of pride and amazement. I knew she was strong mentally and physically, but tonight she blew me away.

Within the hour of arriving at the hospital, Bridget had successfully added a gorgeous baby boy to her brood. Ewan John Chalmers had been welcomed into the world in peace and calmness. To show his little personality off from the start, he had a quick squawk to announce his arrival and fell straight back to sleep. Nearly half an hour later he woke to have a look at his new surroundings and opened his eyes for the first time.
With big brother (Mr 2) waiting at home, they headed home later that day to an ecstatic Mr 2. I know he will be an amazing big brother to Ewan.

I cannot express to you both EVER how much I appreciate the experience, the friendship but most of all the love you share everyday with me and my family.
If you could pick your family, Bridget, you’d be my twin.

Congratulations to you all, I can not wait to watch your little brood as they grow and develop into gorgeous young men.

Love you forever,