One question that I'm frequently asked is, how did you get into photography? Well, like a lot of photographers, it all started when I had my own kids.
Here's a common scenario - baby pulls the most adorable face... mum gets the phone or camera out, but by the time the shutter clicks, the moment has passed and that fleeting expression has gone! I desperately wanted to preserve those moments and I knew the solution was that I needed a camera with a fast shutter... I NEEDED a DSLR! I dreamed about getting one for maybe 6 months. And in that time I researched, studied the light, learned about the exposure triangle, got my head around aperture, read as many online resources as I could while the baby slept... I basically became obsessed!
So by the time we took the plunge and I got myself my first ever, entry-level Canon DSLR, well I was well and truly hooked. I reckon I took that first camera EVERYWHERE! It went in my handbag and came with us to the shops, to the grandparents, to Playgroup, to every single birthday party that we were invited to. I did my first ever workshop and delved deeper into learning. Every afternoon I took the camera into the garden and learned manual mode, I shot bugs, flowers, trees, the kids, the dogs... I learned panning, played with depth of field, slow shutter speeds, abstract photography, white balance... and I loved it all!
But the thought of actually doing this for a job wasn't something that I'd really thought much about... until people started suggesting it to me. And once that idea took hold, it grew. Photo shoots for friends were the next step... you would not believe how nervous I was during those early sessions! But that was the beginning of Hilary Hudson Photography.
The learning continues to this day and I love being challenged as this pushes me to grow and develop creatively.
And you know what? Some days I sit down and pinch myself that I've found my passion and I get to have this wonderful, rewarding and creative career!
There is something just so special about newborn sessions... yes there are the newborn cuddles, the squishy cheeks, tiny hands, windy smiles and cute little feet - but its just such an honour to be able to capture these precious moments for families...
Tiny little Hazel was a total dream to capture - sleepy, smiley and oh so photogenic! Even when she was awake, she looked up at me calmly with those lovely big eyes and I knew we were going to have a great session.
Thanks so much to Hazel's lovely parents Rebecca & Mark, and her big sis Scarlett for having me capture these moments for you!
Rebecca's kind words:
"I didn't know photoshoots could be so much fun. I'm so in love with the moments she captured and I now have them locked in time... I wasn't planning on doing a newborn shoot but after seeing our maternity photos she totally changed my mind. Once again Hilary made me cry the photos are just so gorgeous.
Seeing behind the scenes and how the results turned out she is truly a gifted lady and a highly skilled photographer. I cant wait to do another shoot with her in the future and am looking forward to seeing what she can do next.
Thank you for such brilliant memories Hilary you are the best."
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I've been thinking lately about the whole reason for learning photography years ago... well, like many photographers, it was when my kids were very young. I was so frustrated with the little point-and-shoot compact camera that I had - I would see so many gorgeous little expressions flit across my babies faces, and in the second or two lag-time between clicking the shutter, and the camera firing to life, the moment had passed and was never captured.
So getting my hands on my very first DSLR was pretty life-changing and I was determined to do everything I could to learn about my new tool. Those first few years I photographed my kids constantly (along with my pets, the backyard, insects, flowers, birthday parties, kindy events, trips to the park or the grandparents house)... I took that camera EVERYWHERE and documented EVERYTHING!
And now I'm lucky enough to get to capture these precious moments for other families, and I LOVE that!
But I've also realised that I take my own kids photos less and less these days.
So I'm challenging myself, for the month of August, to capture my own family life in pictures. Maybe not every day, and maybe not always with my big camera (phone pics still totally count!), but I'm going to strive to make the effort - because not only do I love looking back on those memories, the kids do too.
Who's going to join me?
Keelia, Brody, Scotland and baby Daisy joined me in the studio recently for their newborn session. Keelia loved neutral tones, pale pinks and minimalist set ups, which I must admit I absolutely loved too.
Sweet baby Daisy was just 7 days old on the day of the session - she was a little reluctant to go to sleep at first but once she did we captured some lovely family moments and cute newborn images. Big sister Scotland was awesome too - check out that big smile and big blue eyes!
"We loved Hilary! She answered all my questions promptly and was super accommodating. She really listened to what I wanted out of our photo shoot. Our newborn/family photos are amazing and just what I was hoping for"
Thanks guys for trusting me with these precious memories!
I've been trying to write this post for a week now! Our life has been slightly turned upside down this last week with sleepless nights and feeding on a schedule - we welcomed a new family member into our home!
Meet our super-cute Miniature Bull Terrier pup named Yohsi! (Yoh-si) - 9 weeks old!
Ever since our beloved dog Elke passed away 2 years ago, we've been doing some serious thinking about getting another dog as a companion to our little fluff-ball Dutchy . The time never seemed right, it took us a long time to get over losing Elke, and we came up with all kinds of good reasons why having just one dog was just fine with us.
But in the last year, little Dutchy has become increasingly clingy, suffered separation anxiety and we noticed he just didn't seem to have a lot of fun anymore, and he's only 6 years old.
So we decided that the time was finally right, and then had the agonising wait for the litter of pups to be born... it was love at first sight when we went to choose our little girl. The kids knew she was coming but didn't know quite when - so we surprised them last Wednesday night when they got home... eeek so much excitement!!!
Stand by for lots of puppy spam in the coming weeks - but right now we are all a little bit tired from lack of sleep - having a puppy is a bit like having a baby in the house again!
3 month old baby Elizabeth came for a studio session here at Tamborine recently. This gorgeous little girl has the most captivating blue eyes, she was just like a doll and has just about the cutest smile I have ever seen! She tried very hard to hide that smile from me though, especially whenever the camera came out - but after many attempts we managed to capture a few of those precious grins!
Here are a few of our favourites from the session:
We have been going through some major life changes over the last few months. Big. Mega. I have been about as stressed as I ever want to get, I have cried, laughed, felt very deflated, worried, sad and excited - and sometimes I have felt all those things in the space of one day.
It took over 8 months to finally sell our family home. That in itself felt like a bit of a marathon and was quite an emotional process. Then the challenge was on to find the place for our next adventure - and we discovered it nestled at the base of beautiful Tamborine Mountain - 5 of the most amazing, beautiful acres I think we'd ever seen, along with a tiny little house! Despite the tiny house, the potential here is massive, and we are excited to finally turn some dreams into reality here. I cannot get over the peace and serenity! No more helicopters overhead at all hours, no highway noise, no more sirens or traffic congestion - its just such a breath of fresh air.
I also look forward to using my own backyard for some photo shoots!
Our little dog Dutchy, meeting one of our friendly neighbours!
Donna's family shoot was originally scheduled for some months ago - however in my profession, we are always at the mercy of the Weather Gods! That day was a little showery but we decided to persevere - I got one click of the shutter before the downpour started!! Ok - time to reschedule!
Luckily, our next attempt turned out to be a glorious afternoon - the sun was shining, the kids were happy, the location was stunning - what more could you ask for?
Miss Ayla - love that gorgeous smile and twinkly eyes :)
These trees are made for climbing!
Super cool - Kayden and Leyton
Thanks Donna and family for sharing your afternoon with me!
I remember during those long, seemingly endless months of infertility, promising myself that if we were ever lucky enough to be blessed with a child, that I would never take that child for granted. This long wished for and dreamed of baby, who would make our world complete and bring us everlasting joy and happiness, no - not me.
You hear so many stories from those older and wiser, that you must enjoy them while you still can. "They wont stay little forever", those wise owls proclaim, as we tear our hair out and wonder if we will ever sleep properly again. You wont get this time back. You will look at them one day and wonder where the time went, how they got so big?
Part of me rejoices at each small step towards independence. Part of me whispers "they're not your little babies anymore"...
With a 5 and 3 year old, I know that the time for cuddles on laps, kissing "ouchies" and loving on them is now. And though I get frustrated with the constant interruptions, the demands for snacks, the whining and bickering over toy ownership, and the constant chatter & hullabaloo that is the background music to any parents life, I try to stop and remind myself to breathe - remember, they will not stay little forever. One day I will stop and realise that the house sounds empty and I will miss kissing "ouchies" better, I will miss having little hands to hold, and I will miss having a soft warm body climb onto my lap for cuddles and to see what can be swiped from the computer desk. I will miss this stage.
I am lucky enough to get to photograph lots of little cuties, and honestly, no matter what the age of my young models, I think to myself "Oh I loved this age..." I do. It reminds me that it wasn't that long ago that my "littles" were that, um, little! And how quickly they grow, and change, and become independent of us... yes, a bit sad, but also a bit awesome too.
I was lucky enough to photograph the Richardson family at a nearby park recently, and spent a lovely morning exploring the area and capturing memories. Miss Abigail is 6 months old, an absolutely gorgeous age! She seemed quite fascinated by the sounds of trucks nearby, kids playing and birds singing as we moved to each location.
Anyone watching on would have had a bit of a chuckle at me, as I was trying to sing bits of Wiggles songs (her favourite) and busting a few moves to try and catch her attention! Not so easy with a camera in hand I can tell you! Luckily, having mum or dad dance around behind the camera (when they're not in the shot) helps too :)
How cute, loving being able to "stand" just like a big kid!
And sitting up? Too easy!
But you cant beat cuddles with mum and dad :)
Enjoy these special moments while you can - they are only little for a little while.
Hilary Hudson Photography. Natural Light Newborn and Families Photographer based in Tamborine, QLD. Australia.