Week 8 was the week of the family self portrait.  I had been wanting to get a family portrait with my in-laws for probably two years.  My father-in-law is often in Korea and when he is here, it is still hard to get all six of us together in good weather for a portrait.  Lately I have grown rather cognisant of the passing of time and how you just never know what tomorrow will bring.  I was determined on this trip to get that portrait before he headed back to Seoul.  And we did. And I love it.  Now just to get it on the wall! You can read about how to take your own portrait in my blog post on the subject.  But besides that, we visited the Chinese New Year Lantern Markets in Darling Harbour, discovered Hello Kitty Kinder Surprise eggs and went on with everyday life.  March will be here before we know it!

46/365  Lantern Festival
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Family portrait at the chinese gardens

47/365  Family Portrait
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Sunlit family portrait

48/365  Storytime
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49/365  Pow Pow Class
Samsung Galaxy 5
Little boy doing karate in Pymont at trifudojo

50/365 Hello Kitty
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Hello Kitty Kinder Surprise

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Week 7 was filled with Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year Markets and a Star Wars Party.  Darth made several appearances as my son’s latest obsession.  As Valentine’s Day is a family celebration in America, we have our own little party each year filled with handmade decorations, pink cakes and a few presents. We ended the weekend with a fabulous Star Wars birthday party full of make-your-own-light-sabers, light saber training and a Death Star pinata. And at the end of the week had dinner at the fun and festive Chinese New Year markets down by the water in Pyrmont.  Food stalls were abundant and the kids loved the lanterns and the DJ playing dance tunes on the wharf.  There is always something fun to do in Sydney with kids which is why I love it so much. In between was normal life but it is amazing how fast the weeks go by!

38/365 Sleeping
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napping sweet boy

39/365  Bath
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40/365  Making Valentines
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Cutting out valentines

41/365 Leah and Darth
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Princess Leah and Darth Vader

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plant with sunlight

43/365  Darth and Hagi
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Darth Vader and Grandpa

44/365  Buzz at the Lunar Markets
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I might have started a tradition with my virtual birthday wish to my husband last week.  Today is my son’s third birthday and it only seemed fitting to do the same for him.  Most of the time I feel like my kids should be the age that they are – like I have lived every moment of the three years with my son by my side.  People, myself included, often say “Where did the time go?”  But if I really think about it, I know where it went.  It went to bathing, feeding, rocking, walking, playing, smiling, laughing, crying, worrying, and loving.  It was spent watching tv at 3am with a sleepless newborn, building sandcastles in the sandpit on a Wednesday afternoon, being the first one in line at the aquarium on a rainy day, and waiting for a fever to come down in the middle of the night. Physically and emotionally children demand that you be present – and I am so grateful for my camera that lets me capture our everyday in a way that keeps me grounded in the moment. A friend once said to me that nothing teaches you more about the passing of time than a child.  And I think that is so true.  While I feel as though I have lived so that every day of the last three years can be accounted for – time still passes.  My baby has grown older, developed new skills and gained more independence.  There is nothing I can do but acknowledge the passage of time and hope that I spent it well.

So I wish my darling boy a happy third birthday.  My heart is full of the past three years of daily “doings.” I am incredibly proud of the sensitive, strong, brave and kind person he is becoming.  I can’t wait to see what another year brings.  And with that, here are some of my favourite images from the last year.

April 2014 | Just 2

Two year old boy in buzz jacket

April 2014 | Easter

Two year old boy dressed as buzz lightyear

May 2014 | Hiding

Two year old boy playing hide and seek

May 2014 | Old Soul

Little boy in the city

May 2014 | Fish Markets at Sunset

Little boy at sunset at the Sydney Fish Market

June 2014 | Contemplation

Small boy on playground

June 2014 | Playing Sleeping Beauty

Two siblings playing sleeping beauty

June 2014 | Sleep

little boy sleeping with dog

July 2014 | Buzz

Blonde haired boy in Darling harbour

August 2014 | Reflection

Blonde haired boy at Manly

August 2014 | Manly

Blond haired boy at the beach in winter

 September 2014 | Scootering

October 2014 | Hard Day at the Office

October 2014 | Kung Fu Panda is So Funny

October 2014 | Halloween

Blonde haired boy dressed as a crocodile

November 2014 | Cool

Two year old on a scooter

January 2015 | SuperBuzz at the Chinese Gardens

Two year old dressed as a super hero

January 2015 | Darth

Siblings playing star wars

February 2015 | Lunar Markets

Boy at Chinese markets

April 2015 | C.A.

Little boy dressed as Captain AmericaApril 2015 | Bondi

Blonde Haired boy at Bondi

April 2015 | Birthday Boy

Morning of third birthday

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“What if my child won’t behave?” is the number one fear of most parents who want to schedule a family photo session.  Just the other day, a mum was asking for the best tip to get her 2 year old to cooperate during the session.  She wanted to know what bribe worked best and listed out no less than 10 things she could bring in order to try and cajole some level of cooperation out of him during our time together.  I could hear the anxiety mounting in her voice as she searched for answers to calm her fears.

My answer? “Don’t worry about his behavior. Let him be himself.”

Nothing ruins a photo shoot more than stressed out parents who are worrying about their children cooperating.  And I understand that.  You are paying for someone to capture photos of your family that you love.  It stands to reason that your kids need to cooperate to make that happen.  I just see it in a different light.

If you are coming to me for a family photo session, I don’t want your child to “behave”.  Under the definition of “behave” are the following synonyms “act correctly, act properly, conduct oneself well, act in a polite way.”  None of those sound compatible with capturing true moments of childhood.  Children are spontaneous, free spirited, action oriented, playful, emotional, silly, and fun-loving. Those are the qualities I want to capture in the kids I photograph.  And I bet those are the qualities you love in your child.

So schedule your session, pick the location, plan your wardrobe and show up.  Then let the kids be kids. Let them run, laugh, giggle, fight with their siblings, pout, jump and play hide and seek.  And let me snap away.  I promise you’ll be more relaxed and you’ll get the photos you love of your family being your family.  And you’ll have fun so that when you look back on those photos you’ll feel warmth, love and connection.  Don’t stress and don’t worry – concentrate on making some memories.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Fun family session in Glebe
Sydney Child Birthday PhotographerSydney Child Photographer
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Today is my husband’s birthday.  This is the 11th birthday I have had the honour of marking by his side.  Life is much different than it was eleven years ago where we were political consultants in Washington D.C.  I never would have thought I would be raising two children in Sydney, Australia a decade later – married to now Dr. Lee and with an exciting new career as a child photographer. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. As a sort of visual birthday wish I thought I would post some of my favourite photos from the past few years.  Going through my catalog, I realised just how few I had of him.  I could only find a few that are just of him by himself.  There were more of him with the kids, but certainly not anywhere representative of the time he spends with them. When you have kids, you tend to photograph just them. Dads and mums often get left out which is why family photos are so important!  I’ll definitely add pictures of Ilro to this year’s photography goals.  When they grow up, I know my kids are going to want to see photos of him doing what he loved when they were little. In any case, here are a few of my favourite in no particular order. Happy Birthday Ilro/Ahpa!  We love you and wish you many more happy, healthy years.

Boxing Day 2014 | New Toy

Dad skateboading at Pirrama Park
March 2014 | Last Photo of the Day

Dad watching the ipad
April 2014 | Almost Bedtime

Dad watching TV with kids
September 2014 | Quiet Time in the Midst of Frozen Chaos

dad and little Buzz lightyear at birthday party

September 2014 | Ingrid’s Birthday

Dad and kids in Pyrmont

March 2014 | Naptime

Daddy snuggling little boy

June 2014 | Darth Vader at Luna Park

Dad and little Darth Vader

September 2014 | Taking One for the Team on the Tea Cups

Dad and kids riding teacups in Darling Harbour

April 2014 | Easter

Dad and son blowing bubbles

July 2014 | Winter Festival

Dad and daughter skating in Darling Harbour
June 2014 | Winter in Sydney

Dad and kids in Pyrmont

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