Category Archives: General
I received an email last year, inviting me to be part of a very special project. I was surprised, flattered, and incredibly excited! I waited in anticipation. And finally, it arrived – a beautiful book by Hailey and Andrew Bartholomew, titled 365 Gratefuls.
Hailey undertook her own personal project of finding and photographing a moment of grateful in every day – to really look for, and discover, the things that are often missed or overlooked. In the book’s introduction she writes, “It amazed me how quickly I began to notice more and more ‘gratefuls’. It was not long before it was hard to take only a single photo each day.” Hailey began to share her project with others, who began grateful projects of their own, and from there she was inspired to put together the book in the image above. An amazing collection of photographs and stories, a mixture of sweet and funny, heart-rending, and lovely, and I find myself smiling as I read.
And you may remember my image from our trip to Thailand last year (blogged here). I am so thankful that it was chosen, as it’s one of my most favourite of all – for everything that it is, how it makes me remember, and how we felt in that moment together. I love that so much can be wrapped up tight in one photograph.
I hope your world is full of wonderful moments.
Today, I’m so very grateful for this.
I’m a huge fan of 3 Annies leather camera bags as I’ve mentioned here before, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their yellow Pheobe bag! I also own a 3 Annies pink Cenza bag which I use when I work, as it’s the perfect size to hold all my equipment together with a little room to spare. But I don’t always want or need to take everything with me. As a mother of a four year old girl, I often like to go out with just my camera, purse, and essentials, so I can capture moments with her. My handbag simply isn’t made for carrying a large DSLR, and I was finding I would leave it home, rather than battle with the dilemma of how to manage it. I didn’t like the idea of having my camera bouncing around right next to everything else in my bag.
As soon as I saw the Pheobe, I realised what a fantastic solution it was for me. A little smaller than my Cenza bag, it’s just like a handbag, with the added bonus of being able to hold my camera securely. I love that I can still travel light with my gear and know that everything’s safe from scratches and bumps.
The colour is the first thing that caught my eye. 3 Annies bags are statement pieces and this sunshine yellow is no exception. The Pheobe is lined in black, and the padded inner box is a black and white stripe. And the quality of the leather is amazing! Already gorgeous and soft, I’m sure it will only improve with age and wear. I tried out a vinyl camera bag a couple of years ago which wore very badly, and wasn’t up to the task of everyday use. When I heard about 3 Annies leather bags, I knew I had to try them and I haven’t been disappointed. There’s no comparison in the quality, feel, function, and look of the leather – it really does come out on top.
The two handle options are brilliant! I often use the short handles and carry the bag over my arm, but if we’re at the park, or a place where I’m pulling my camera out often and running around, I’ll use the longer shoulder strap and carry it across my body. The pad makes it really comfy to wear.
And there’s a pocket for everything! Inside the bag is the 3 Annies padded inner box, removable so that the bag can be used as just a handbag – which I also do! There’s a reinforced zipped pocket inside with two open pockets opposite. On the outside of the bag, there are three pockets at the front (I pop my phone into one of these), and one large zipped pocket at the back (a great spot for my creative journal). I like being able to access things quickly, especially as a Mum who needs two sets of eyes at times. I always take a drink and a snack for Sophia, and these fit neatly too.
Sophia loves all things girly, and she loves our Pheobe as much as I do. Pink and yellow are her favourite colours, so she’s very impressed at my choice of 3 Annies bags. And we don’t have to sacrifice our style for function anymore!
Thank you so much 3 Annies, with love from Mel & Sophia xx
(dress from Lil Pip ~ thank you!)
Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. ~ Rumi
I’ve had an amazing journey through 2012. The time has passed so quickly and yet, I feel I’ve achieved more this year than I have in so many years past. It certainly ended on a high note – with a JinkyArt workshop, held in Canberra, late November.
I honestly could not have been more excited – or nervous – about meeting Barb Uil, and experiencing JinkyArt for myself. I was fortunate to share the experience with a dear friend of mine, and having booked the workshop a year in advance, we were absolutely ready to go when November came around.
The workshop began on a Friday evening. After a short flight and drive to the hotel, we joined Barb and a beautiful family in a Bungendore field – with the added bonus of a vintage yellow ice cream truck in true JinkyArt style! Perfect. The next two days continued to inspire, with many more shooting opportunities, discussions, demonstrations, and personal critique. I can honestly say that it has been the most beneficial thing I have done for my photography to date.
To learn from a photographer such as Barb is something very special. I have long admired her for her inventiveness, creativity, and style (who doesn’t love a zebra?) and she is wonderfully down to earth, generous with the information she shares, and super friendly too! Her words during our one-on-one time have given me a renewed confidence in myself and my abilities, and I feel a new kind of freedom to follow the dreams I have for my own photography. To make my own rules. To do what I love. I’m armed with a wealth of knowledge and materials that I know will be invaluable.
I met some incredible people at the workshop – friendships made that I know will only grow stronger with time – and I look forward to watching their journey from here. I loved spending time with such a talented and passionate group of photographers, and it was sad to say goodbye so soon after meeting. It felt as if we’d known each other so much longer. The beauty of understanding like-minds, I’m sure.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Barb Uil and to her assistants at the workshop – Alex, Linda, and Shelley. It was a delight, and I treasure my time caught in the JinkyArt ‘bubble’ for those 3 days ♥
I’ve worked with some fantastic people this year, from models, to make-up artists & hair stylists, designers, agencies, studios and assistants. Thank you all and I hope we’ll meet for more in 2013.
And my clients – how fortunate I am to have met you all, heard your stories, taken your photos, and shared in your life for those moments. Love to every one of you and very best wishes for the new year!
The urge to be the best I possibly can is so strong, and I fall in love with photography each day. Like the words of Rumi above, I want to unfold my own myth. Write my own story. Create something I can be proud to call my own. The verse that the quote is taken from ends with:
Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you’ve grown, lifting.
And so is the way when dreams come true!
From all of us here, happy new year and we’ll see you in 2013. Full of endless possibilities and potential. I can’t wait.
Sophia’s favourite colour is pink. So you can imagine her delight when she saw this! It’s the Cenza camera bag from 3 Annies, and it’s amazing. I’ve received so many compliments on it already, and I’m not surprised. Filled with all my camera gear, and plenty of room to spare for personal items, it’s wonderfully comfortable to carry and feels just like a handbag. I’m especially thrilled that it’s genuine leather – such a hard thing to find – and the quality is outstanding. I love all the pockets and beautiful hardware, there’s a place for everything. And I felt so spoilt when it arrived, beautifully packaged in it’s own pretty dustbag.
Would you like one too? Head to 3 Annies and take a look – I’m sure you’ll have a hard time choosing!
In the meantime, here’s my Cenza.
And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles. ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
I like to think photography is my secret garden. I can go there and play, immerse myself in the beauty of it, watch as it grows, and fall in love a little more each time. Whatever sadness or disappointment or hurt has come my way, I’ve had an escape. I want to be more creative, discover new things, do better than I ever thought I could. The feeling of producing something wonderful gives me endless tingles and pride that nothing can compare to (with the exception of my daughter, the centre of the world!). I think it’s so important to have that something – whether reading a good book, baking, painting, sewing, an evening walk, or just a cup of tea and a deep breath! That thing that comforts and brings back the feeling of really being alive. It’s how I heal, and how I grow.
I’ve learned so much about myself through my work, which can be both confidence-building and unnerving. I’ve learned I’m a lot more introverted than I previously thought. And a lot more determined than I ever expected. And I’ve never been happier or filled with more anticipation of what’s to come.
It’s a good place to be. And I love where I am right now.
Where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow. ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound. ~ Charles Baudelaire, 1859
Portrait photography is my greatest love, and I’m always excited when I’m asked to shoot an individual portrait. No matter how well I know a person, I always find something new and interesting about them I didn’t quite see before, and strangers feel like friends. Brian and I decided to explore Melbourne’s wonderful laneways, full of coffee smells, early risers looking for breakfast, fantastic street art and colour, the beginning of a bustling Saturday.
What better way to spend a morning in the city I adore?
Ending with a smile.
Last month I entered the Better Digital Camera Magazine’s ‘Your Best Digital Pics 2012′ online photography competition. I heard about the competition just hours before the closing time for entries, and so quickly rushed in a handful of photos at random for a little fun, to see what would happen. I was very pleasantly surprised to discover the results – 7 out of the 10 photos I entered received Bronze Awards! This was the first photography competition I have been a part of, and it has inspired me to try again. Next time, with much more preparation and hopefully even better results. I love receiving feedback on my work, both from fellow photographers and clients, as it can be so encouraging and an excellent way to learn. And I don’t ever want to stop learning. M x
~ Remember today, for it is the beginning of always. Today marks the start of a brave new future filled with
all your dreams can hold. Think truly to the future and make those dreams come true. ~
Happy New Year, with love. M x
I am happy to announce that the winner of my Christmas gift, drawn by a third-party service at random, is ~Kathryn Torcasio
I hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas. M x
I want to say thank you to everyone for helping make 2011 more amazing than I could have dreamed of. When this story began, I didn’t imagine the momentum that would build and carry me to such a wonderful place. I love taking photos and sharing them with you, and every day is a joy because of that. After years spent wishing for such a feeling, I can only be immensely grateful and full of appreciation. I hope you will follow me into 2012 – there is so much to look forward to!
I wish you and yours the most magical Christmas, full of joy, wonder, friends, family, love, and dreams come true.
Love ~ Mel, Andrew & Sophia xx
Lil Pip dress ~ thank you!