I have struggled for years with anxiety. This was a rough piece to share but I felt it truly needed light, especially sitting front and centre at the time of another episode. I hope those who find this, find a little peace.
” it’s extremely ostracizing and deeply painful. I shy away from social interactions, being around people other than my family unit… sometimes even away from my family. “
I have been away on holiday the past week and came back rested but more physically tired than when I left. We spent the week traveling and scuba diving our way around Jamaica. We left with our advanced open water diving certificates and for me, a big stinking bout of vertigo.
While feeling gross one afternoon I had a few notifications pop up on my phone from Facebook. I let it go but soon realised that I had about 15 of them pinging away. When I looked I was greeted with such a happy message of “Hey! We be famous” from the topic of the article, Trish.
I haven’t been able to see the article myself yet as I’m living overseas but from what I’ve heard it looks fantastic. Trish is a mum living with ADHD and her gorgeous son lives with Autism. They’re one of my favourite families and when I’m home I get the honor of shooting them each year.
Above is the video I created of their family session together which contains many of the images featured in the article.
SUCH an honor to be a part of this family’s story.
Edit: I’ve seen the article! Arrived today
I was surprised at myself for not trying this earlier. Beloved, to me, is all about the story behind the images not just the images themselves. My own mother, who as seen many shoots I have done over the years, was moved by this clip like I have never seen before.
She told me how she thought that was the best session I had ever done… so I made a few more videos and each brought her to a different emotion but always the same comment of, ‘these are great, maybe you should be a videographer’
Oh, you two… It’s been a four year romance with you both and I love you to pieces!
Trish and I met while I was photographing the ‘Black and White project’ and her Lizzie was the Master Chef baby. She was such a spunk of personality during the session and in between fits of giggles, Trish and I gossiped about anything and everything.
I then was given the honour of photographing their family not long after the project had ended and then almost every year since. I have had the pleasure of watching Lizzie and her brother Alex grow and learn new and exciting skills every time we meet.
Trish and Adam’s son is beautifully Autistic. Yes, beautifully.
They know I adore him as if he were my own family, and I still get such a kick out of playing, talking and capturing his smiling face. Every time it’s time to say good bye I get a pang of ‘please can we have another hour!’
When I told Trish I was coming down this time, she was the first to book her family session and then surprisingly to me, booked a her and Adam a session. I think it’s SO important for parents to take time for them occasionally too and remember the when, why and how they fell in love and then why they still adore the pants off each other now.
Now starting this session was a tough one… 7am the morning after Anzac Day, in Canberra, at the lake… ANZAC day ALWAYS brings the first chills of winter and I definitely felt them… Possibly the Coffs Harbour warmth had left me as well…
This hot tamale mamma has lost an incredible amount of kilo’s since we first met. She was beautiful before so I asked Adam what he thought, “She was a hot mumma before, but now she KNOWS she’s a hot mumma’.
They are twin flames that must find each other every single time they are brought back to earth. Their bond is like no other I have been privvy to. I love that they found each other online and after months of chatting decided to meet up for a movie that turned into the past 10 years.
Their gentleness towards each other and the way Adam hold Trish is firm but passionate. It’s her home and he’s her rock. She’s safe in his arms and tells me that when he’s around there’s no other place she wants to be. He’s her soul mate- and I don’t doubt that for a second.
Thank you both SO much for the fits of giggles and the romance! I had an incredible time getting to know the couple outside of your beautiful children. I hope all the lipstick ‘herpes’ that were smacked on Adam’s face came off and you weren’t sparkling all day long. Also hope the post photo coffee warmed you back up!
Remember to keep telling the universe you’re winning a trip to Disneyland so I can meet up with you while I’m away and photograph your family at Disney! Much love xxx
On the back of Jamila’s session with her horses I decided to be sneaky. Josh and Jamila have been together for a while but had split some months ago. Upon arriving at the horses session I saw Josh was there too, pottering about and helping. So being the photographer I am, I started to ask a few gentle questions… finding out that Josh was in the process of winning back his woman one surprise at a time, for ten days.
We were in day four at the shoot. (Hope you won her back my friend!)
I took all the horse images and then asked them both to put the horses away… and follow me. I wish I had taken a photo of Jamila’s face. It was confused, intrigued and filled with ‘what on earth are you doing Jules’. My favourite face from any client.
So putting them together in an old stable I got to work. Gently getting them to engage one an other with drawing on faces, to the ‘If the other was a…. what would they be?’ games. Cracking up laughing with them I knew it was time that Josh got the opportunity to tell Jamila how he felt and vice versa… What better way than with a sneaky photographer hanging about.
Getting to steal Josh aside while Jamila saddled Magic up meant I could ask him how he was going and how the surprises were going. I asked him why he wanted to get back with Jamila- why she was the one for him, “ I love her cheeky smile when she’s up to something and the way she cares for others. She has a passion for helping others and always putting them first. Even with everything going on she has this ability to see the positives in everything no matter how bad it is, and I want to be apart of that.”
So I asked Jamila later on what made her fall in love with Josh and she told me how he came to the horses very early on in their relationship and spent the morning with her feeding and cleaning them. It was important to her because he took the time to do something with her that she loved doing. SO when does she feel most loved by Josh? “When I’m spending time with him. Doesn’t matter what we are doing just the one on one time”
His greatest strength in Jamila’s eyes is how he cares for those close to him… Sounds like they’re two peas in a pod!
Thank you for letting me be a part of your session! Love you both! Behave yourselves and Jamilla… PLEASE say yes to being together 😉 He’s one in a million
This young lady you see above is nothing short of amazing. She has broken over 50 bones in her body, had the worlds hardest childhood, recent other medical concerns, yet here she stands smiling and happy alongside her latest horse acquisition and the man who is winning her back… one day at a time…
I met Jamila three years ago when she was working in childcare and incidentally was looking after Taylor. They both hit it off and had an inseparable bond that never ceased. Fast forward to today, and she’s still a part of our lives in the best kind of way.
As a 12 year old girl Jamila went to Mountain Trails Horse Riding Camp (I did at the same age too!) and fell in love with these four legged brutes. She says she has both owned and ridden them ever since.
When Magic came into her life, she had just lost two other recused horses to illness she wasn’t able to treat and more importantly the previous owners didn’t tell her about. He is a strong boy and is protective of Jamila. While she’s leading him down to where we are going to do the photos he is always between us to keep an eye on me and this black thing in my hands.
She tells me he has jumped fences because he thought she was in danger. She speaks of her horses like they are her children. Their achievements and their tremendous growth both mentally and physically since they came into her care. Magic is a thoroughbred (normally a breed used in racing) and came to her unfit but healthy. He’s been the only horse she hasn’t rescued, she bought for love.
He has gorgeous muscle tone and is fit, and his bond with her is unbreakable. Maigc to Jamila is just that- Magic. He is strong, dependable and most of all loving. He continually nuzzles her and kisses her all session. I feel like a third wheel! ha ha
There’s a whole other horse I haven’t mentioned yet so I better post some more magic pictures and get onto my ‘favourite’ horse Ally. Not that I am allowed favourites… Hold on someone’s interrupting me….
Oh Hi Ally…
Now this next horse has some spunk… cheekiness and truckloads of personality… Whilst Magic is gorgeous and cute, I’m sorry he’s got nothing on Ally.
From the instant I lead her back to the ring earlier in the session, we were mates. She still checks you out first, as do all horses, but she sealed our friendship with a big snotty kiss on my camera and some funny mouth smacking action. While I asked Jamila questions about Ally, we were continually interrupted by Ally- Almost as though Jamila wasn’t answering properly. I said I thought Ally was an old soul, and that she was simply beautiful to which I received a very loud and happy whinny.
She came to Jamila via a family member who wasn’t able to look after her anymore. Her life has endured being a champion dressage horse, a breeding horse to being very hungry and thin in a field until Jamila took her on. Her tail is shorter than normal and when I asked about it was told she had worm like bugs around her backside which made her scratch and scratch which in turn made her lose her tail. It’s started to grown back again now thankfully.
I know these horses cant verbally tell you how thankful they are for you, Jamila but I can see they are by how happy and secure you have made them both. I adore animals and it was such an honour to combine my Beloved work with animals for once. This session really set me up for an exciting weekend and I left heart filled and over the moon.
Stay tuned for the next session! It’s a bit awesome!
After a tumultuous final month in Canberra I am happy to announce we have relocated to Coffs Harbour on the sunny NSW coastline.
My baby girl was very ill the last month or so with Pneumonia and a bacterial infection and we were in and out of hospital a number of times with her.
Since relocating a week ago both of our health is on the mend and I am finally feeling well enough to make it through the day without a day nap.
I know there are two outstanding editing jobs to do- they are well and truly under way and shouldn’t be much longer. I haven’t started looking for work as yet, due to these jobs being extra special and I want to do them personally.
Once I am back on top of everything and the boxes are unpacked I will be setting up again here in Coffs. There will be a few giveaways and promotions pre Christmas so watch this space. I will be back in Canberra the weekend of 23rd November for work so if you are still down south and would like some photographs taken please give me a call as there are only a few spots remaining.
As many of you know, I am training to be an accredited Beloved Photographer. I adore everything about this highly creative movement and really feel like life has changed for me since I began the journey earlier this year.
Through this course I met the amazing Bob Goff through his novel “Love Does” and I must say I’m finding some people in my life now fairly frustrating because they are not my type of whimsy or loving. It really has opened so many doors for me and made me look at myself to find the source of problems and often find them in the form of allowing people to walk all over me, allowing people to say things that I take to heart and not standing up for myself and my values.
My latest valuable experience was listening and reading my fellow Beloved photographers speaking about Bob Goff’s speech at the Beloved Collective. I was BUSTING to get there but unfortunately wasn’t able to.
If you have four minutes watch the video here, Bob said to them:
“Every single Thursday, I quit something, It’s Thursday. We can quit anything we want on a Thursday. I do, every week. Pick something, then quit doing it…”
— Bob Goff (@bobgoff)
Easy right? So often we get bogged down by all the stuff we have to do every week, so the solution according to Bob is: get rid of it!
So we are up to Week 5 since the Beloved Collective in Palm Springs and here are my QUITS to date. I will keep up my weekly Quits on here and I’d love for you to add yours as well.
Week 1– I’m going to quit not feeling good enough. It’s about time my goals frightened me and my self esteem increased. I can and do take beautiful imagery. I am worth more than far too cheap. Good bye little voice today you lose for once.
Week 2– I’m going to quit biting my finger nails. I have done this my whole life and never been able to stop.
Week 3– I’m going to quit feeling guilty for being a good mum AND running a business. I CAN do both. Its about balance.
Week 4 – Step away from the social media drain. I’ve found I spend so much time watching and reading facebook and not “doing”. So this week is no more wasting. Time to DO and be Whimsy. Facebook alerts are now OFF and I’m spending FAR less time reading everyone else s life. Time to Live mine.
P.s Finger nails have grown a LOT.
Week #5 I have decided to quit dairy properly. I know it makes me sick yet every now and then I still try it and feel sick for days. No more. Chocolate today made me happy for 1 minute and feeling sick for hours since. Haha
It has been a long time coming, but I’m finally starting to feel a really strong shift in my home life and work life. I finally feel worthy of making something of myself and not have external negatives put me down anymore.
Music has been and still is a massive contributor to my world and I’ve started listening to “My music” again. The sort that soothes my heart and ignites my soul. Some of it admittedly is purely for the grooving around the office with, however most of it keeps me sane and focused.
I met the gorgeous Hope Copeland a few months ago and I believe she was made to cross my path to kick me in the butt and also to show me how to be me again. She has changed my perspective on my relationships, my friendships and most of all my business.
After redesigning my website over the past month or so, I have been critically looking at all of my work but for once really really looking. Yeah I can take a nice picture, but technically is it right? Is it in focus to my standard? Is the colour right? Are there things sticking out of people’s heads? (You’d laugh how many objects I found coming out of people’s noses and ears!)
The new site is about to be launched… Ok scary as this sounds I just got an email to say WE ARE LIVE! WOO!!!! So….. New site IS launched and I can’t wait for people’s feedback!
I am going to aim more towards portraits and family-ness and lean a little more away from weddings. I ADORE both but I feel I get more out of my portraits. My heart is ALWAYS there and they thrill me. I love the spirit of the human race at all times, not just on a wedding day.
After getting a few besties to check out my site and give me feedback, one stuck and resonated with me. He has always sat well in my world, always gave me the truth and often when I didn’t want to hear it. He is an old-fashioned romantic, pen to paper, quiet sort of guy who through meeting him three or four times we have become incredibly close.
His words were in regards to the ABOUT JULIE section of the new site. He said:
“I like it, it’s a little marketingy but it’s good…
I don’t know… Talk like it’s you… You are fun and infectious, sexy and goofy…write like you talk”
According to my dad that is the international language of mumble and stumble, but I understood what he meant and loved that he somehow could see that’s where I wanted to go but thought I should follow the bell curve and be professional. I can be both right? Did I mention he’s an amazing writer? Go check him out here.
So… Thank you to everyone who put their time aside for me to tell me what needed tweaked and taken out. It means SO much to have such close and honourable people in my life. Thank you especially to my clients who put their trust in me to capture their moments.
I can’t wait to work with more of you and other of you again and again. XXX
When Tash and I met I was slightly worse for wear with sea sickness aboard Young Endeavour. It is a training ship for the youth of Australia and quite the experience.
Not knowing anyone else on the ship her bubbly personality soon captured my vomit stricken belly and had me laughing. I’m not even sure the precise moment we met, I just know I have never looked back.
Little did anyone know to begin with, my future husband (boyfriend at that time) was aslo on our cruise as a ‘prospective Young Endeavour Leader’ with Navy. He had been asking Tash if I was ok and trying to find out how I was without asking me haha. Knowing full well I was annoyed with him for making his way on board my cruise. That’s another story.
She spoke a little about ‘Wita’ back home, a lot about her netball and horse and then a little more about her ‘Wita’.
When she asked me to photograph her day with Jerome (Wita) needless to say I was elated. Spending a whole weekend with them all was something NOT to be missed. Having met up the year before in Tasmania for another wedding i had finally had the chance to meet her Wita. He was an amazing, quiet guy who balanced her perfectly.
Her gorgeous parents let me stay with them at their farm and her dad had me out on the quad bike the day before the wedding to move fences and check the cows. An amazing experience in itself PLUS I was able to learn to ride a manual quad bike. I didnt do too badly but dad was most patient with me.
The day of the wedding rolled around and we woke early to the start of a fabulous day.
Tash went down to her horse and fed it whilst her bridesmaid started making lunches for the location photographs.
There was SO much happening with dad writing his speech and being proof read by Tash’s sister, make up to be done, hair to put up and iPod’s to fill with music for the reception… Tash is brilliant at last minute tasks.
Just as the morning was kicking into fifth gear, a groomsman appeared with a gift for Tash. Little did she know at our location scouting the morning before, Wita had been planning what to get her. His choice was beautiful. A hand written card for her accompanied by a gorgeous jewellery box with jewellery inside.
As Tash headed off to get into her gown, her flowers arrived and soon she came through the door for the first time for her family to see. As her old Holden’s arrived it was time to leave the family home and head to the Church in Westbury.
There is SO much to write and share this is the end of part one….