Sunday, February 08, 2015


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: the very first ballet class was everything and more for this tiny dancer. 

"How are you feeling about your first ballet class, Poet?"
"I'm so exciting!"
(I choose not to change her incorrect use of tense)

"What did you love most about your class?"
"I'm loved everything. But we didn't do Swan Lake!"

Shot on a Canon 5d mkiii with a 50mm 1.4 lens - ISO 640, f2.0, 1/320

This week I found great inspiration in these four portraits (especially those of the "unportrait nature") / this icy world seems so far away, yet so magical / movement captured...such a big part of childhood. 


Sunday, February 01, 2015


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: she's seemed so big of late and just like that I'm reminded; she fits in the laundry basket...she's still little. 

Shot on a Canon 5D mkiii with a 50mm 1.4 lens - ISO125, f1.6, 1/640

I was taking washing off the line when I looked over and noticed that she had set up camp. As subtly as I could, I dashed inside to get the camera and managed to take this before she noticed me. Lucky.

This week I was enamoured with this magical window scene / a little one catching snowflakes on her tongue / these b+w portraits (a theme for the entire year - inspiring). 


Monday, January 26, 2015

photography: how to capture your kids without revealing their identity

Sharing photos of your children online; it's a pertinent topic in the blogging world and it's one I constantly think about as my online space evolves and my children grow. Taking photos of your children is part and parcel of being a parent and if you're a personal blogger (or an instagram/facebook user) your children are a significant part of your story. However, there are people out there who choose to keep their children anonymous but still want to creatively document experiences, milestones and the beauty of childhood. Sound familiar? This post is for you!

Perhaps one of the most significant changes you can make as a photographer is to embrace a candid approach to taking photos. Ideally you don't want your children to realise you're taking photos of them hence don't ask them to stare down the lens or "say cheese". Act sleuth-like and you're more likely to capture the moment without revealing the face.

Let's begin...


Sunday, January 18, 2015


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Poet: she oozes mischief and cheek and revels in pushing the boundaries.

Try disciplining this face:

Shot on a Canon 5D mkiii with a 50mm 1.4 lens - 1/640, f1.6, ISO 500

This week I adored: the minimalism of this unportrait / the calm in the middle of the night / the beauty of these strong, gorgeous girls.


Someone, on either here, facebook or instagram (I've forgotten and can't for the life of me find the comment), asked me for camera recommendations. They told me they wanted a good quality DSLR that didn't cost a fortune. 

I currently use a Canon 5D mkiii which is one of the best cameras on the market. But, it's worth a significant amount of money, it's big and it's heavy; I'm reluctant to throw it in my bag and take it with me wherever we go, hence I take a lot less photos than I used to. I purchased it for professional work and for Daniel's film requirements but honestly, it's not my favourite camera of all time. 

Before I invested in the Canon I shot on a Panasonic GF1 with a 20mm 1.7 (pancake) lens. I have such a fondness for this camera - it weighs a mere 500grams, was very affordable (you can't buy them new anymore but they are often listed on gumtree and ebay for under $500) and takes great photos. In fact, most of the photos that feature in my book were shot on this little camera - proof that you don't need to spend thousands to get good results. The best thing about this camera? It's sturdy and family friendly; I can easily snap photos whilst carrying a bag and holding a hand. It was also the ideal travel camera when we were in Bali. I wrote an entire post dedicated to the GF1 here.


Sunday, January 11, 2015


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015"

Poet: lucky for her we have a lawn covered in dandelions; endless wishes.

Shot on a Canon mkiii with 50mm 1.4 lens - 1/1600, f1.8, ISO 125


I'm overwhelmed at the response to this project, both here and on instagram. Thanks so much for joining in with such enthusiasm; it's good to know that you're inspired and motivated.

I noticed a few people mentioned that they started strong in 2014 and, sometime throughout the year, life got in the way and they left the project by the wayside. I think the key to seeing this project through to 52/52 is to pick up the camera and take a photo. We can get so caught up in the busyness of life and the perfection of the portrait that often, these two things only become hindrances. Treat Sunday as your deadline and, even if you aren't entirely happy with the photo you have captured (sometimes life only gives us time for five shots in a week), post it anyway. I promise that in retrospect, you will value that photo just as much as the next. 

My favourite portraits of the week: Anya deep in thought / a little girl from Iceland, rugged up and absolutely joyful / ringlets and a smirk; I love a good b+w portrait.

And for those of you who asked for a button to use on the sidebar, here are some simple yet beautiful options created by the very talented, Oana Befort (make sure you check out her blog, her world is a beautiful one). To add them onto your sidebar, simply save images as and paste onto your blog - you can either link back to me or link to your 52 photos. 

Pop back this afternoon for my first photography post. I'll be answering some of the questions that were asked last week and addressing the first (perhaps most important) step to shooting manual on your DSLR.


Sunday, January 04, 2015


A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015.

Poet: her face still covered in sunscreen from the beach, she chooses to wear her showercap in the most ineffective way 

Shot on a Canon mkiii with a 50mm 1.4 lens - 1/60, f 2.0, ISO 640


Welcome to The 52 Project for 2015! Firstly, there are no rules - if you feel like you want to, just add your blog link to the linky below. If you would prefer to take part via instagram then just #the52project and link to @practisingsimplicity so I can see your portrait for the week. 

If you're new to the project, one of the best things you can do in regards to filing your photos is create a dedicated folder. Save one photo for web resolution and one for print resolution every week and clearly label each one; this ensures that when it comes time to make your 52 book, the process is much easier!

Over the next few weeks I will be posting some photography related posts on a Sunday afternoon to hopefully assist those of you who want to improve your photography and editing skills. Whilst I'm in no way a professional, I do believe that shooting on manual is as easy as one, two, three (yes, three steps) and I'm happy to share them with you. As you can see, I have included my camera settings above and will continue to do so every week. Whilst they are not always the ideal settings for the situation, they give you an idea of how lenient you can be when shooting on manual (ideally I would have shot this at 1/125, f1.4, ISO 1000 but it was one of those moments that I would have missed if I adjusted the settings first). If you have any particular questions relating to photography and editing feel free to leave a comment - I'll make sure I include my answers in a future post. 

I look forward to seeing your portraits for the week.


Sunday, December 28, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: if I can't find her in the house I know exactly where she is; pottering in our garden.

And just like that...52 portraits. A few of my favourites from 2014:

Thank you, so much, for being a part of this project. If you're keen to continue in 2015, pop back here next Sunday for 1/52 or, if you like, post on instagram with #the52project and @practisingsimplicity.

And if you plan to make a book out of your photos, you can read a bit more about the process here


Sunday, December 21, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: face paint is one of her favourite things, odd looking garden bugs are not.

Only one more to go, friends. Now is a good time to ask: what have you loved most about this project and what has been the hardest thing about it?


Sunday, December 14, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: a rare moment of stillness between excitable splashes.

I can't believe we're at 50! 


Sunday, December 07, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: tropical summer storms have inspired after-dinner rain dances - every evening. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

the 52 project : the book

The true beauty of this project is evident when I look at these pages; one photo a week for an entire year and I have this - a keepsake book of everyday moments and memories. These photos were taken during 2013 and yet when I look at them I distinctly remember the time, place and mood. As a collection these portraits represent their childhood and my motherhood; precious life.

I have spent most of this year procrastinating about creating this. Indeed, I've put it off time and time again because going through my hard drive and recovering all the high-res images seemed like far too much work (I really regret not organising my photos sooner). But then Ronnie - formerly Pink Ronnie, now blogging over at Life : Captured -  created a template for The 52 Project and she emailed me to let me know that all I would have to do is slip each photo and caption in; all the hard design work was already done. During 2013 she captured her four beautiful boys in one shot (successfully, every week!) and she recently documented her experience and the final product over here

Ronnie has a designer's eye that I admire. She values negative space, clean lines and simple structure and she's brought these elements to these templates. The two styles of templates for The 52 Project, which include cover design template, title page template and photo layout page templates, will be available to purchase for $14.99 very soon (launch date will be announced on instagram : @lifecapturedinc). 

Ronnie has kindly given my readers a 20% discount on any/all story book templates from now until 31st January 2015. Just enter the code PRACSIMPLICITY at checkout. 


If you're new to using templates like this one you can watch a few mini tutorial videos here.
This template was created using InDesign - if you would like to know more, Ronnie hosts an online class InDesign for Beginners.
And, if you're after other story book templates for photos and projects, you can view the full range here

If you have any questions please leave a comment and either Ronnie or myself will answer as soon as possible. 


Sunday, November 30, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: squabbling siblings / best friends

This is one of my favourite portraits of the year, not only because it also features Che, but because it captures just how big they are. Look at them! Clearly it's time for another baby. And yes, the hydrangeas (there's currently pink, mauve, purple, blue and white growing in the garden).


Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments and feedback on last week's post. Many of you made mention of the fact that this project has improved your photography skills and provided you with a weekly record of your child's year - rewarding, isn't it?! I've taken everything you noted into account and, like I have for the past few years, I'll post an intro/welcome/update to The 52 Project in the first week of 2015.  

It's been almost a year since I finished 2013's The 52 Project and I'm only now getting around to creating a book. But it wouldn't have happened without a template designed by Ronnie from Life : Captured. Pop back later this afternoon to see a few of the pages all ready for print. The best news? It will be available to buy as a download very soon. Yes, you'll be able to create a beautifully designed photo book (with space for text captions) and send it off to be published. Can't wait to share it with you!


Sunday, November 23, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: we've been waking up earlier than the boys and I usually find her here, playing or reading or talking to herself.

Only five portraits to go. Can you believe it?! If you had of asked me mid-year whether I would continue this project in 2015 I would have said no. But now, looking back on everything that I've captured - the moments and the story - I realise why this week-by-week project is so poignant. Sure, there are some weeks where getting the camera out and taking a photo can seem like a bit of a chore, but the end result is always worth it. 

I suppose now is a good time to ask: will you continue next year? If so, what do you expect from me? I am lining up a few feature posts based on this project, photography skills and filing systems to ensure that you make it as easy as possible to turn your photos into a precious keepsake. If there's anything else you would love to read please let me know!

And how exciting to think that come March sometime, I'll have a newborn to photograph, too!


Sunday, November 16, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: "When can we go to our beach?" she asks me - every ten minutes or so.

Don't be surprised if the next few portraits are beach themed; we're a little in love with our new front yard.


Sunday, November 09, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: she ran around the empty house and asked me at least ten times: "Dis our new house?"

We are literally in between two houses and I am exhausted and sore. Daniel has packed about 90% of our belongings while I have pottered and organised, sitting down as much as possible. There's so much more I could say but...I'll leave it for later. 

Moving whilst pregnant with third child. Not sure I'd recommend it.


Sunday, November 02, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: she ate mango gelato and then ran wild on the beach, stopping only to watch Che throw sticks into the water. 

Her hair goes so curly as soon as she swims in the sea. 


Sunday, October 26, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: lying on our neighbour's couch, giggling at the suggestion of a biscuit.

She has been so clingy of late; cuddling me, wanting to be held and carried, crying when I leave the house. I don't know whether it's her age or a combination of moving house/baby on the way. Whatever the case may be, I'm practising patience and giving her as many cuddles as she needs.


Sunday, October 19, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: Watching a game of monopoly, her own stash of $10 notes tucked neatly under the board. Oh, and she's eating a carrot.

Daylight savings gives us the most beautiful evening light.


Sunday, October 12, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: "Guess what guys! Dis year, I'm having two birfdays! One birfday for when I was three and 'nother birfday soon!"

She didn't think it was very fair when we explained that actually, you only have one birthday a year. I think she just wants more cake.


Sunday, October 05, 2014


"A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Poet: Back to her normal, mischievous self after an eventful week. She wears her "leaf" with pride.

This week marked some firsts for Daniel and I. It was the first time that someone had seriously hurt one of our children (albeit by complete accident) and it was also the first time we has spent the night in hospital; witnessing our little one be sedated at stitched and monitored. In the scheme of accidents and health issues it was minor and yet it affected us both more than we ever expected. 

Parenting is, at its very core, heart work. And sometimes, it's absolutely heartbreaking. 


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