Michelle and Angus' property was something I always dreamed of - falling into the 'some day' category. Green space everywhere and lush gardens. Lots of room for the kids to run around. And a huge old tree to shade us from the sun during our hot summer days here in the north. Set upon a hill, their neighbours a paddock away to each side, the tranquility is deafening. The best kind.

Michelle reached out to me when she wanted to update their family photos. They hadn't been professionally photographed together as a family since their three children were small, their youngest was just a toddler. Their eldest now in his final year of high school with the younger two following just a couple of years apart. Time passes so quickly.

As Michelle walked me through the hallways where those framed prints from over a decade ago still hang, I felt a pang of such deep truth in what I do. Mixed with sadness. This is it - our lives. Moving and changing everyday, in the smallest and biggest ways. So many years had passed - her children staring back at me from the walls; chubby cheeks and the perfect extra arm rolls, all their tiny little baby teeth on show in big, carefree smiles. And now - they are all tall and lean, perfectly self conscious teenagers, their blonde hair turned dark, and Michelle is barely hanging on to the title of not-quite-the-shortest-in-the-family. 

Michelle had told me she wanted to have photos done so many times as the kids were growing. It was always on her to-do list. And suddenly, ten years had passed. And that's life. That's what happens. Of course they have photos of those years in between, but as with most families, the majority would be with just the kids, or just dad and the kids, or maybe a few times a year, mum makes it into the frame. But rarely all together. And we're are all guilty of that.

Every time I'm asked to photograph a family - together - I feel like their story gets a new chapter. Written and frozen - forever. Michelle will remember everything about this time in their lives when she looks back on these photos. All the love and heartbreak. How she fit perfectly under her youngest son's shoulder. How her daughter was *almost* taller than her. How her eldest boy had made it all the way through his schooling journey that seemed such a long, long road, ironically not that long ago. And how, after all these years, she still looks at Angus the same way.



In what feels like another life, when my smalls were really small, when our days were free of time constraints like kindy and school, I used to have a blog. I mention it in my about page and it's still there, frozen forever. When I started taking my photography seriously, I decided to continue with two separate blogs. It's what you did. Or rather, it's what everyone else did and I thought I should too. Professional photographers had no personal lives because they were shooting weddings every weekend and never spoke of anything other than what they were shooting. When you're new and unsure, generally, you follow the crowd. Until following the crowd just feels weird and uncomfortable and you realise what a fool you are for thinking you could 'fit in' to somewhere you were never meant to belong.

Anyway, after some time away from both blogs, and admitting how exhausting it was trying to keep two websites alive and fresh and consistently updated, my ship sank swiftly. What a relief! This space was born and I vowed to join my two lives together and share more of my personal life again. I missed it terribly. Just writing for the sake of writing, and not worrying about how many likes it got, or comments received, who was seeing my posts and who wasn't. What time of day was I meant to post to IG? It's really quite amazing how much you can shift your mind and your perception of things when you want to.

I have felt a disconnect with my professional and personal work lately. This has everything to do with my personal life and all that it has thrown up at me over the past year and a bit. Life has been harder than ever before and the heavy darkness was seeping into my creativity, like a weighty blanket I couldn't shift. I trust my work. I like the way I do things. The way I see things. But when everything feels like it's crumbling, it's so very easy to begin to doubt yourself. And your ability. And your faith in yourself.

I need to be here more. Just because. Just for me. Just to belt the keyboard, or share photos. Just because. Just like I used to. It is March already and I feel the last month has been wasted on procrastination and waiting. Old habits growing stronger, feeling too weak to change them. Tomorrow.. always tomorrow.

Tomorrow won't always be there. This week my heart is heavy. My head aching, day after day of uncontrollable, sporadic tears at the loss of precious, tiny life. A friend and her family, grieving in unimaginable darkness. A friend who I met through that little blog, in that other life. One of the few constants in life is change. Nothing stays the same for long. Another is human connection. We are nothing without it - our lives, meaningless. I pray this beautiful family feels enveloped in love from every corner of the globe, as their little boy flies high, touching hearts the world over.