I have a little punctuation problem... its been an ongoing problem for as long as I can remember - I have a chronic condition called "Exclamation Mark Abuse". I cant help it. Just about every sentence I create ends in an exclamation point. I have to re-read my emails, Facebook posts and particularly this little blog - several times - to go back and remove all the excess ones before hitting "publish" - and even then, my paragraphs feel so empty without one! Why oh why cant I write a sentence without feeling the need to add one at the end??!!! (There I go again!)
Its just a habit now - my finger is automatically drawn to the 'SHIFT 1' keys that are required to create this little character. And yes I did just have to go back and remove an exclamation mark from that sentence.
Apparently lots of us are overusing them, especially with text messages, and more interestingly, women tend to be more inclined to overuse them than men. We use exclamation marks to show excitement, sincerity, emotion. I use them because written sentences often feel dull and lifeless without them.
I've just read back over a few of my more recent blog posts, and on average I'm using 7-10 per post (often using two at the end of a sentence for extra impact!!)... I've just had a little chuckle at myself and how restrained I have tried to be while writing this!
Are you also a sufferer of this chronic condition? ;) Were you even aware of it?
Four wonderful kids and the cutest little dog - thats the best way to sum up Shelley's gorgeous children's session at their Gold Coast home! The kids were super relaxed in their own family environment, and this adorable little Moodle named Ted was able to be one of the stars of the show! The love these kids have for their little pooch was so apparent, everyone wanted their own individual portrait with Ted and he just loved all the attention too :)
Here's a few of the favourites from this lovely afternoon session:
So the kids are back to school today and excited to start the new year and hang out with their friends again.
For me, today means a return to some routine - I can finally get stuck into my massive "to-do" list that's been waiting for a peaceful, quiet day... a rarity over the last 6 weeks of school holidays! I've been steadily adding things to this little list over the last two months and I've got big plans this year - so its short and sweet today while I make the most of this quiet house!
Kellie and Sam's maternity session was a beautiful celebration of such an exciting time in a couple's life... we had a lovely afternoon together and again we were blessed with such beautiful light, adding that stunning glow to this already gorgeous mumma-to-be...
Kellie said "We absolutely love our maternity shoot photos. Hilary made us feel so comfortable and captured some beautiful moments. We cannot thank you enough and would definitely recommend you to our family and friends."
And then their sweet little Aleeia Rose was here... absolutely perfect in every way. I love how she poked her tongue out at me and gave us some of the sweetest little smiles. Some of the favourites from her session:
Can we talk about clothes for a minute? I used to wear lots of lovely clothes... I shopped at Portmans, Table Eight, Lorna Jane, I wore lots of Tokito and sky-high heels to match.
And then I had kids and quit the corporate world: my style changed, and my budget shrank... day to day clothing choices went from lovely business suits, to what was comfortable and didn't matter if it got slopped on - and thats pretty much where it stayed for the last 8 years. I buy lots of stuff for the kids, but when I comes to my clothes, I go for Kmart or Big W (and occasionally Target) every time.
Tell me its not just me?
Well I was pretty excited yesterday when I got to go shopping for clothes... FOR ME!! The kids went to the movies and lunch with their Grandma and Cousin, and I faced the shops for some retail therapy and the possibility of trying clothes on WITHOUT kids - ahh bliss!!
I'd love to tell you glowing tales of a successful shopping expedition, but to be honest, I was a little underwhelmed at what's out there. If you're not a size 6 tween (midriff tops and shorts with cheeks hanging out) or a more mature woman wearing lots of baggy floral tops, then the only real choices seem to be ruffled-neck dresses, or off-the-shoulder EVERYTHING. Which, nice as they look, are just not ME.
So which stores do ordinary mums shop at these days??
Today's blog features a slightly different style of session - the Lifestyle Newborn Session. Rather than doing too many posed or staged shots, our focus for some of the images was on capturing candid moments of love and emotion between the family, the chaos and the cuddles... and for Renate's session, the perfect location for this was in her own bedroom! The two older boys also loved getting comfortable on the bed to kiss and cuddle their new baby brother to their hearts content!
Here are some of the favourites from this session:
Something about the start of a new year, makes me want to go through the house like a bulldozer and chuck out every single piece of clutter that is clogging up space in our tiny home... Its the time of year for fresh starts I guess, but honestly, I used to think I was a bit of a hoarder, that is, until both my kids came along!
WHY oh WHY do we have to hang on to every broken toy, every single piece of "artwork" that comes home from school, every cute lollie wrapper, every broken crayon, and every crappy McHappy Meal toy since the beginning of time...?
Clutter makes me stressed, and I'm getting worse as I get older. With the mammoth amount of new "stuff" that came in the door for Christmas, I'm desperate to throw out or donate all the old stuff. Its not as easy as that though, as they have wised up to my mood and watch me as I tidy, they hover and complain:
"Wait - I still want that!!"
Miss 8 thinks she has found the answer and has started writing little notes on her drawings "Mummy please don't throw this away" :)
I patiently wait until the kids are otherwise occupied, keep a few special items and bin the rest. Once school goes back, its GAME ON though!
How do you handle the clutter?
Helen's extended family session here at Tamborine was an absolute blast!! These gorgeous kids were so much fun to work with, there was a lot of laughter going on and these cousins are obviously great friends too!
Did you know that I do not charge any extra to add in more family members? Aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, even the family pet - all are welcome for no extra cost!
"Very happy with our photos and the amazing service Hilary provides. The kids were at ease and happy to smile! Thank you!"
Here are some of the favourites from the day:
Wow, we're already a week into 2018 - hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and New Year! Our Christmas was reeeeeally busy... the whole lead up, kids off school, multiple family birthdays and lots of family & newborn sessions etc - phew I was super keen for a few days off after that! We spent a lovely Christmas Day at home, our families came to us and we had a nice lunch and swim in the pool. And this year for us, New Years was a bit of a fizzer! We had no plans so went to bed before midnight - we must be getting old!!
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful year ahead!
Steph and Keenan were blessed with some absolutely breathtaking afternoon light during their mini maternity session - and what a stunning mum-to-be Steph was! Everything about her just glowed and it was so beautiful to capture these moments for them...
And then it was time to meet their beautiful baby girl!! Little miss Winter was a superstar during her newborn session in their home - sleeping through the whole shoot and looking like a gorgeous little angel in whatever we dressed her in.
" Hilary did an amazing job with our maternity and newborn shoot! She was so lovely and easy to deal with and made the whole process a wonderful experience. Hilary has such a calming nature with babies and made the newborn shoot seem so easy and the photos turned out beautifully"
When doing newborn sessions in your home, its a wonderful opportunity to capture bub with the family pets too - in this case the dog was a little too excited to sit beside his new baby sister, so I created a composite image in Photoshop by merging two images together.
Hilary Hudson Photography. Natural Light Newborn and Families Photographer based in Tamborine, QLD. Australia.