Archive for July, 2012


This is a really hard post to write. I have so many feelings about this shoot that i’m struggling to express all the joy this job has brought me without sounding disingenuous.

Maybe I should start with how much I love driving through this country of ours, alone at the wheel except for my thoughts, watching the scenes rush pass me, listening to an audiobook or some groovy tunes. Road trips fill me up. When I’m worn thin from too much work, too much kid wrangling, too much life…an hour or two in the car with my thoughts is my medicine. I don’t know why this is…it just is.

This beautiful family lives on a farm in Bathurst so I had eight soul filling hours of driving there and back. Over the mountains, through a countryside kissed by winter sun and wide blue skies, listening to Missy Higgins, Elton John, The Beautiful girls and a healthy dose of my 60’s folk collection. (Song of the trip: Fleetwood Mac…Landslide).

Then I should tell you about Jennifer Stocks, the wonderful mother of this dear family. She is herself an extraordinary family photographer and highly respected in the industry. It was a lucky day for me, the morning we met at a Jinky Art workshop about four and a half years ago. She invited me to join a flickr group created by a collection of women starting out as family photographers in Australia. By this one little act she was instrumental in my journey to becoming the photographer I am today. This group is literally bursting at the seams with talent… seriously some of the best Australia has to offer. It is through this group that I found knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement when all the chips were down.  This group has shown me the path to make it in this business and everyday i’m thankful for access to these wonderful minds.

Then we should talk about her three boys. I’m a mother of boys so I have a particular affinity for shoots of this kind. Jen’s boys were already so familiar to me from years of looking at Jen’s wonderful personal work.  These three are like all boys when confronted with a family photo shoot…  lets just say, sitting still and smiling for the camera was not high on their agenda! Which of course was totally cool with me as I love to capture kids and families being true to themselves.  This is one of the reasons I love boys on shoots…they rarely ham is up for the camera and what you get is real. Genuine is so important for me  with my style of photography and this family wholeheartedly gave me their real genuine beautiful selves. I love them for that!

Then perhaps we should talk about the land these guys live and work on. The Stocks are a farming family and this is their patch. You could have knocked me over with a feather as I jumped out of the ute to confront the scene that faced me in the latter photographs on this shoot.  I don’t think I could have been presented with a more beautiful Australian rural landscape then this!  I’m so accustomed to shooting coastal landscapes that it was a welcome breath of fresh air to capture the beauty of such a different scene.

Oh, and then there was the amazing late afternoon light, the blue skies that went on forever, the connection between five (soon to be six) independent individual souls all coming together in this impressively cohesive family unit.  A credit to Jen and Damien!

It was confronting and just a little bit scary to photograph a family with such a talented mum. But I’m proud of these photos. I love them all. I’m delighted to been presented the challenge to jump so far out of my comfort zone.   I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride with where I want to be as a photographer and I’m SO honoured that I could capture this time for someone I respect so highly!

Ok…so that was a bit of an essay!  I did tell you I was struggling here : )  xx  Sophie


The beautiful Rana Rankin, and her lovely family, came to our rescue this week when I put a shout-out for models to shoot a camping scene as part of our  Tourism Shellharbour project (hence the Shellharbour logo as the watermark on these images!).

The afternoon was full of many things I love: building an campfire fire, scouting out the best hammock tree, hanging out with gorgeous fun kids, but most of all capturing a beautiful family enjoying spending time with each other. Rana, I’m so thankful our universes aligned this week! Your children are a credit to you guys.

I had to rush off at the end of the shoot to pick up the kids from daycare… I was one of the last mum to stumble in with grass all over my back and the smell of campfire permeating the air all around me, a silly grin on my face. Thankfully the teachers know me as a photographer and twigged i’d been on a shoot : )

Paul and I have been working more and more together on these kind of projects so this post is a collection of both our images. He totally rules BTW!