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 have this rule in my house, you cant ask me "What's for dinner?"
I got so sick of the family asking, so now that both kids can read, if anyone wants to know (including husbands!), they simply refer to the dinner meal plan for the week ahead, which is stuck to the fridge.
However, Master 6 is still learning, and so he needs help with quite a few words. One had him completely bamboozled the other night and I heard him standing there saying:
"Kwitchie... chips and salad... Kwitchie... Kwitchie...? Mummy - whats Kwitchie?"
I started giggling and then miss 8 joined in. She begged: "Mummy, can I tell him? Can I tell him?"
We gave him a few hints... its made with pastry and eggs... its got bacon in it...
he was still completely puzzled so we put him out of his misery - "QUICHE!!!"
Haha - I had to write this down in my book of funny little things my kids say :)
Jacinta's gorgeous baby girl came to the studio recently for her newborn session - little Alanis was just 6 days old and was a perfect little angel!! Such a perfect little pout and a few little smiles too... big brother Xavier was so cute and loved having cuddles with his new little sister too - awwww :) Thanks for a lovely morning guys!
Here's a few favourites from this session:
Some of you might remember that I ran a half marathon recently (and yes I HAVE stopped going on about it, actually!) - well someone recently asked me how my running is going - well the short answer is, ITS NOT!
I've had injury problems ever since the race, and rehab has been slow. I have sought professional help, and there seems to be a number of different issues going on, but the primary problem is plain old ITBS... But because its been ongoing for 8 weeks now, its become chronic - made worse by continually trying to run through the pain... so now I'm paying the price and even walking down stairs is often painful.
Anyway the result of this is no real running for the time being, along with foam rolling, physio rehab and gait analysis/correction - so my brain interprets that as instruction to stop doing ANY exercise altogether and eat your body-weight in chocolate every night... hmmm not a great idea. My jeans are starting to get a bit tight!
I've decided I'm done feeling sorry for myself and I'm getting back into training, NOW. Obviously I still wont be running, but there is no reason I cant do other stuff, right?
Time to get back into it!
We had a beautiful session with gorgeous newborn Bea in the studio at Tamborine, including some gorgeous "wide awake" moments!
Jessie & Chris had some cool ideas for their poses too which I loved incorporating into their session. Little Bea was over 4 weeks old on the day, but she was still quite content to be wrapped and stayed sleepy as I moved her around - isn't she sweet?
Here's a few of the favourites from the day:
Mr 6 achieved his final "star" on his reward chart the other night, and so he got to choose a prize from our prize box. His treasure of choice was a ruler which contains a calculator on top... fitting as been caught 'borrowing' my calculator from my desk on numerous occasions (and failing to return it) - so now he has his own and he's chuffed.
Of course he took it to bed with him the first night... and then to school the next day to show his mates. But the thing about him having his own calculator is that he is now the KEEPER-OF-ALL-KNOWLEDGE... and he is quite pleased with his own wisdom.
Every day, several times a day, he says:
"Ask me a sum that you dont know the answer to!!"
Me: "hmmm - ok... 376 + 187"
Mr 6, with some serious concentration, plugs in the numbers... and then proudly reveals the answer:
He also just walks past and randomly says:
"Hey mummy, did you know that 23 + 12 equals 35??!!"
Just wait until he learns that if he types 5318008 and turns it upside down, he can write rude words on it ;)
First birthdays are always a momentous occasion - and what better way to celebrate than with a cake smash!!
Mum Stacey wanted to do some outdoor family shots as well as the studio cake smash, however little Layla-Rose ended up having a bit of a cold on the day - so we cut the session short and she came back the following week to complete outdoor portion of the session.
We did still manage to capture some gorgeous smiles with her pink, white and gold theme - big sister Lilly also loved sharing the cake and showing miss Layla how its done - aren't they adorable?
And then the following week it was big smiles all round as everyone was feeling better! We had fun exploring outside here at Tamborine, and capturing these special moments between sweet sisters and their lovely mum...
The excitement levels have reached level 10 here last week... when miss 8 was told that I am taking her to see Katy Perry on Friday - her very first concert! (I had to wait until I was 17 to go to my first concert - which was The Cure, by the way - so I think she is one very lucky 8 year old!).
She's loved Katy Perry for ages, always her favourite singer, so last year when we heard that she was coming I jumped at the chance to get some tickets with two lovely friends and their daughters - a girls night out!
But keeping this a secret for a year has been tough!!
I planted the seed a few weeks ago, when we heard the radio station talking about the upcoming tour. We started talking about it and she was all like:
"Wait - what? She's coming HERE?"
Me - "Yep! That would be an amazing concert, wouldn't it?"
Miss 8 - "OH MY GOSH - CAN WE GO???"
Me - "Oh sorry Bubba, I think the tickets sold out ages ago"
(Am I a nasty mother for doing that??)
So with less than two weeks to go, I gave her a challenge. She had 2 stars remaining on her star chart before she got to the "reward star". I told her if she achieved those 2 stars in one day, and it had to be a mammoth effort, she would receive an AMAZING reward.
Well, she worked her butt off! She picked up dog poo, tidied her room (even vacuumed the floor without being asked), did some maths revision, made her own lunch, washed all the lunch dishes, and was just generally super helpful all day - so yes she earned her reward!
The response? Think jumping up and down, clapping her hands, shrieking "YES!", and hugs for everyone.
Totally worth it - cant wait to share this experience with her :)
Beautiful mama-to-be Sara came to Tamborine for her maternity session recently - absolutely glowing and due to have twins!! The sun was playing a little game of hide-and-seek that day, so we ventured further down our property to the little dam - an area I dont often shoot at, for these images.
Some of Sara's favourites:
Not long afterwards, I got to meet these very precious twins, Matilda & Xavier! They spent a little time in the special care nursery, so they were 3 weeks and 1 day old at the time of their session - but still very sleepy and tiny!
Posing twins can be a bit more of a challenge, but these two made it so easy and did everything I asked of them. Those sweet smiles and gorgeous twin cuddles made for many "awwww" moments during the session.
Thanks so much Sara & Mitchell!
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!
Things have been a little bit hectic around here lately and its been a while since I've had a chance to pop up a blog post - so I'm even more behind in blogging than I should be! I'm currently spending a few quiet, child-free hours on a Sunday by updating two months of work in MYOB (ugh, the joys of us both being self-employed...) getting stuck into my editing backlog, and updating my blog!
Sarah, Mark and their beautiful kids came for a mini maternity session at Tamborine late last year, and we had absolutely glorious weather!
My husband always like to keep the grass freshly mowed down in the back paddock, but I must admit I do like it when he HASN'T mowed, for that slightly longer, more rural feel as we had in this session. Love those gorgeous smiles from little Cora and Gus too, as they played in the afternoon sun.
And then not longer afterwards, I got to meet cute little Teddy for his newborn session.
The session was not without its hurdles though - a big storm rolled through the night before and we lost power, along with thousands of others in the neighbourhood. Thank goodness we have a big generator, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to do this session as planned. It was a hot and sticky day, but we were able to keep the studio at a nice comfortable temperature for everyone.
Teddy -7 days old:
Woah... is it just me, or did term 1 FLY past?
I seriously cant believe that we are almost a quarter of the way through the school year already. There is one dead giveaway though - my kids emotions are on overdrive at the moment. Bickering, tired and emotional and just about done, I reckon. I knew that miss 8 was tired when she burst into tears over breaking her fingernail O_O
I think we'll be keeping it low-key during this school holidays, a few catch up days and a few quiet days at home. We all need a little break now and then - what about you - have you got any big plans?
Last year's Christmas Mini Sessions were fabulous!! These were held over 3 weekends here at Tamborine, with a choice of outdoor (non-themed) or indoor with festive props. We had amazing luck with the weather until the very last session with patchy rain - so some of the outdoor sessions became last minute studio sessions instead!
I love doing these mini sesisons - fast paced, fun and I get to meet so many wonderful new people along the way, as well as catching up with past clients who have come back to update their family photos for another year!
Here are just some of the favourites from these mini sessions:
Sweaty, chaotic, fun, noisy, emotional, hot... some of the words that sum up my first ever fun run last Sunday. I did the 10km jog for the International Women's Day in Brisbane, and it was quite an experience!
Admittedly I had no idea what to expect, but it was a nice introduction to running events and I learned a lot.
But the best thing about the day was hanging out with friends who made the experience so much fun.
And now the training starts for a half marathon!!
Tamara, James and their three super cute kids came for a session in the studio recently, and as you can probably tell from these images, it was a bit of a hoot! All three kids had the most amazing eyes and it was fun trying to get them all to look at the same time!
In the end, there was lots of cuddles and laughter, just what family-time should be about :) And what a wonderful way to celebrate the uniqueness of your family - capturing these fun memories forever!
Thanks guys for spending a lovely morning with me!
So another birthday went by last week... and yup I'm starting to get to the stage where we don't count them anymore! Well my lovely husband thought he'd surprise us to a bit of a day out to celebrate - and took us ice skating!
I'd been a bit hesitant to go ice skating, and mainly because I used to figure skate when I was a kid. I trained for about 5 years, spent half my childhood in the rink and was absolutely devastated to have to give it up when I was 14.
So it was like stepping back in time on Sunday, and I stood there on the ice thinking "When I was last here, I never ever imagined that I would be back one day, teaching my two kids how to glide and swizzle..."
We all absolutely loved it - we spent the entire 3 hours laughing and giggling at the kids (and ourselves), Master 6 deciding that faster was better (despite looking like an octopus with arms and legs flailing everywhere!) and Miss 8's grin never left her face the entire time - best day ever, apparently (apart from those awful rental-skates!)
And I didn't fall over once - yay me!
Have you ever been ice skating?
Oh I am so loving photographing all these stunning mamas-to-be, lately! There is so much beautiful excitement, nervous energy (I totally get it!) and love between couples during this amazing time in your lives, its really such a special honour to be able to capture a small piece of it.
Breanna & Jared's session was held at my Tamborine property - and although the sun was playing hide and seek a little on this day, we still captured some lovely moments to treasure...
And then it was time to meet this little cutie! Madden came to the studio for his newborn portrait shoot and snoozed away for most of the session - what a superstar! Thanks so much Breanna and Jared for asking me to capture these precious memories!
Here's a few of the favourites:
Hilary Hudson Photography. Natural Light Newborn and Families Photographer based in Tamborine, QLD. Australia.