Archive for 'Personal'

Jul
3

Its only taken me three months but finally i’ve edited the photos from our last trip in the truck up to Carnarvon Gorge in Queensland.

The map of this trip and the places we visited is at the end of this post.  Highlights were staying on the Stock’s Farm in Bathurst, an amazing free river camp near Mudgee, Lightening Ridge for the Easter Festival, an all day trek into Carnarvon Gorge and fabulous camping at Takkarakka with a number of other wonderful likeminded families, a week in Byron Bay with my sister and Paul’s folks (no photos unfortunately as too busy loving their company) and the roadtrip back down the coast to Kiama.

Three weeks of the Gosney family doing what we love best…road tripping and exploring the great outdoors. This is what I call The Good Life.

Note the many photos of the boys in their daggy flannelette kmart pyjamas.  The kids love jumping out of bed in the early morning sun to explore their new surrounds. This always happens before breakfast, hence no caffeine in the bloodstream,  hence lack of coherent thought required to dress children appropriately for the day’s activities. Yet it is by far the best time for photos in the soft morning light with happy independent kids interacting with the natural world, not begging for the ipad or tired whining about this or that. The sweetest memories come at this time of the day so I guess I just need to buy slightly less daggy jimjams next holidays.

 

Feb
5

Summer holidays are always a bit of a slap in the face for me.

Six weeks of daily reminders of just how disconnected we are for the rest of the year with our daily routines are that so busy, complicated and distracting from the important things.

A reminder that too much of our year is spent disconnected from the simple joy of being. How often do we allow ourselves to really feel the wonder of being alive, of being loved, of belonging to a family and a community, the amazing abundance of our times and the ease in which our fundamental human needs met daily and then some.

Summer is when our family yearns for simplicity. Camping out under the stars and working only to meet our basic needs of securing food and water and shelter from the weather. Carving out time in each day to connect and simply be together without distraction.

This was the summer holidays my boys mastered solo swimming, grew confidence in the water and nurtured a love of the surf…they lived in their swimmers all summer long, hopping along the gravelly roads with their bare feet, swinging their towels and laughing about their boy shenanigans, using up every last ounce of their boundless energy to finally collapse exhausted into our tent each night.

They spent hours whittling away at sticks to make their home-made bows and arrows. They were so determined to catch a bush turkey to cook up for our dinner. Lucky for the bush turkey that their bow and arrow skills still need refinement.

As they slept, Paul and I sat around the campfire reflecting on the hard years gone by and how fortunate we are to own front row tickets to this next golden age of parenting these beautiful, strong, wilful, fun loving, independent children of ours.

Now we are back to reality with a bump. The universe is grand at levelling out. For any great happiness it seems there must be an equal amount of pain.

Six weeks of no work means bills left unpaid and plenty more rolling in like a tsunami. The kids are back to school, Paul and I are back to hustling up jobs. The credit card is getting a pounding as we figure out where the next mortgage payment is coming from.

But can you put a dollar figure on the joy that is summer?

ps all the action shots in the surf and swimming under water were shot by Paul on his fabulous GoPro!

Aug
2

Mum, don’t fall over in shock, take a seat…but i’ve actually edited some of our own family photos! The cobbler’s children go unshod no longer : )

School holidays are hard with two parents working from home. The computer is always beckoning for client shoots to be edited or urgent emails to be answered and the kids often end up with the short end of the stick. So Paul and I have decided that each school holidays we are going to pack up the truck, escape out office chains, live like gypsies and explore this beautiful land we live in. The kids are born campers and Paul and I love the freedom of the open road. Everyone is happy.

The photos below show our latest winter road trip to Broken Hill via Bathurst, Dubbo, Cobar, Darling River, Menindee Lakes, Silverton and Lake Mungo. Winter was always going to be the hardest holiday of the year to do this kind of travelling in and I must say I wasn’t relishing the idea of frosty mornings or getting up in the middle of the night for the boys to do a pee (we are in a roof tent after all!) We soon got into the rhythm of it though and our dear Paul was pretty awesome at doing the hard yards when it came to the nightly pee adventures and braving the cold first thing to make us all hot milo and hot milky coffees to get the blood moving again. It was so cosy under that warm doona in our little family tent. I love how there is enough room for all four of us to stretch out and share our sleep together comfortably, it brings us all closer together I think.

Photos a team effort by both Paul and myself.

Apr
19

A couple of weeks ago my dearest sister, Lucy, married her love, Umberto. Above all else they wanted to have a wedding day that was true to themselves. A day that was authentic, genuine and true. A beautiful and meaningful reflection of the feeling and regard they have for each other.

I deeply admire my sisters strength and determination in managing the juggernaut of preconceived ideas of what a “traditional” wedding should be. It was a delicate balancing act and I know they put many many hours of hard thought and work into keeping the day true. They did it though. Oh boy did they do it!

Lucy and Umbi are very playful together, always joking and laughing on the surface but there has always been an undercurrent of deep love and respect in their relationship. They don’t talk about this openly but you know it is there…the way they look at each other when they are in your presence and you know they are talking to each other a thousand words with “that look”, but only they know what it means to them.

The wedding ceremony itself was full to brim with their characteristic playfulness and joy but also it was amazing to hear them speak about the deeper parts of their relationship. How much they mean to each other and all they wish for together in the future. Every part of that ceremony was SO true, authentic and genuine. It would have been easy to say the “traditional” words , and this still would have been beautiful and meaningful, but they put in the extra work to make that ceremony more then that; to make it authentic to them. I’m so thankful they choose this path as they revealed so much of the beauty that is their life together in this way.

As for all the rest of this amazing wedding, the dress, the flowers, the beautiful details of the menus and name cards, the location, the food…the photos can tell you all about that. Unfortunately this blog doesn’t do smell ‘o’ vision as it is a crying shame I can’t share the AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL assault to the senses those flowers were. A terrifically potent combination of rosemary, lavender and beautiful simple daisies… I will remember every last detail of this day always now whenever I smell those smells.

And finally I will leave you with a quote. Our dear friend Geri read this at the ceremony. It paints the picture of marriage for me and I love it.

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Louis de Bernièrs’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

p.s we also discovered that my son Harry LOVES to boogie : ) He stayed up late into the night dancing to all the awesome tunes my brother put together. How awesome is it when your kids grow old enough to share these special occasions with you!

p.p.s you’ll also notice that i’m in many of these photos as I was sister of the bride, bridesmaid, speech giver and photographer on this magical day.  My darling Paul excelled himself in stepping up the challenge of shooting most of the preamble and ceremony as the solo photographer.  Have I ever told you how much I adore this guy?

Apr
8

My best friends have all jumped on the baby bandwagon and i’ve had to step up my quilting activities to keep up with them. I fell in love with the fabric and pattern of this quilt but I was little overconfident with my quilting ability. There are so many technical imperfections in this quilt. Frustratingly so when so many hours go into making it.  Almost to the point where I was worried that it wasn’t “good enough” to give to such a special little person in my life.

But now I watch Gracie seeing the quilt for the first time, eyes wide at all the colours, finger tips exploring the stitches. I see her parents lug it with them everywhere they go so Gracie has something soft to play on. I see photos up on Facebook daily of the three of them in beautifully decorated lounge, the quilt in the middle on the floor and Gracie lying on top of it.  I see them loving it.

And then I realise that perfection is overrated. Good enough is just fine with me.

Apr
8

Quite a few months ago, a couple of dear friends of mine that live in Sydney decided we should have a weekend away. Somewhere in the middle between where we are based in Kiama and them in Sydney. Little Forest Country Cottages came highly recommended to them so we went with it and It was THE most perfect spot for this kind of “joining of families” weekend away. The kids were in magical playground heaven.

Isn’t is just the perfect place to capture images of a family enjoying time together. I’d just adore to do a family shoot there one day!

ps how simply awesome is this last shot??  Paul took this one (and in fact all of the tilt shift images early in this post are his beautiful work).

Mar
2

My boys.. this is when they are at their most content.

Free ranging, playing with sticks, running at filt tilt, laughing till their tummies hurt, climbing and jumping off rocks, pretending to be crocodiles in the creek, jumping the waves, giving Mummy a cuddle.

Mar
1

The greatest stroke of luck in my life to date was being born into my family. To have two loving parents who believed, and told me often, that I was capable of anything and everything I set my mind to. Parents that didn’t ever let up about the value of education and that set expectations of me to achieve to my full potential. I was born into a privileged society with free access to educationan and one that values the contribution of educated women.

I know just how lucky I am. My travels around the world have slapped me across the face with that truth often enough.  So often the desire to want to “change things” welled up inside me but too often I was left paralysed into inaction with a feeling of…but really, what can I actually do??

A few days ago I was stumbling around on Facebook and came across a newsletter posted by a friend of ours. The newsletter was an update on an organisation called A Girl and Her World. This is what they write in their “about us” page:

“Girls….girls become women. They become mothers and grandmothers…they are leaders, teachers, mentors, gatherers… bringers of life, love and nurture. ”

‘A Girl and her world’ believes that no matter where she lives or which family she was born into, a girl was created for this process, built for it in all its beauty, strength, wonder and value.

Many, many, many girls around the world live with their wings clipped though they were meant to fly. They don’t go to school, they are married young, they are scarred as child-mothers giving birth. They are hungry and witness violence. They are limited by circumstances…they don’t dare to dream. Our world is robbed of the gift they were meant to be…their uniqueness is never unwrapped or seen.

We are about A Girl and her World. Her education, her family’s income, her health and wellbeing. We are about seeing her laugh and dream…succeed…have choices. Be who she wants to be…who she was meant to be.

There are girls in the Pacific islands who we are walking alongside. We help to mend their wings…they do the flying.

We support their education – small businesses for their families – their Health and Wellbeing…partner with us as we partner with them.

Only $300 will enable a girl to attend high school for a year. These figures made my jaw drop. Instead of wishing I could do something, here is THE opportunity to actually contribute to an organisation that gives these girls in the Pacific a REAL chance at getting an education…something that I took for granted in my life.

From now on $25 every single Kisschasey session fee will be donated to A GIRL AND HER WORLD. 12 portrait sessions and that is one girl that goes to high school for a year. $150 from each wedding we book will be donated. 2 weddings and that is another girl that goes to high school for a year. The number stack up pretty quickly guys : )  I get goose pimples thinking about it!

To launch the initiative I have an awesome March special. Session fees will be only $100 (usually $175) and ALL of that, yes 100% will be donated to A GIRL AND HER WORLD. Only three sessions are needed to send a Pacific Islander girl to high school for a whole year… here is your chance to get some authentic & beautiful photos of your own family and gift the opportunity of an education to a girl many miles away.

[Please note: these sessions must take place within 40 mins drive of Kiama – anywhere between Wollongong to Nowra… OR if there is enough Sydney demand (4 or more sessions) then i’ll make a special trip]

And because we can’t have a blog post without an image, here are a couple of shots from a family holiday to Fiji when our oldest was still a baby in my arms!

Jan
16

I truly believe that a family photo session is a unique opportunity to celebrate the love in your life. A perfect chance to forget the stresses of daily life (and we all know parenting young children has its stresses) and revel in the pleasure of simply being with those dearest to you.

This is one of those sessions that I strive for. The parents took the day off work to spend the morning with their gorgeous daughters; soaking up the beauty of an uncrowded Balmoral Beach on a glorious Sydney day.  Everyone was relaxed, the kids were happy to play and explore… I had a smile from ear to ear the whole session. It was a truly a joy to be their photographer that day!

Jan
4

Going, my boat’s leaving today.
Gonna get down to the water,
gonna wash these blues away.
Man this city’s taken too much from me,
gonna head out to the country,
find a place where i can breathe.
I’ve been working 9 to 5,
trying to lead a gracious life,
but my hard work only ever went to keeping me in strife.
Gonna take another road.
Gonna find myself some soul.
Gonna do my best in every way,
to pay attention as i go.

Cash money,
aint got no use for you.
Unless you can buy me true love.
And it’s funny,
how many time’s they’ve proved,
that the only true fortune you can save,
is the truth.

“The Beautiful Girls” Cash Money

I’ve known Emma for over 14 years. We went to university together, partied hard as young twenty somethings in the same crowd in London, travelled the world on much needed escapes from the grind of climbing the corporate ladder, and even worked together at the same company when first she was first arrived in Sydney. She is pretty much my favourite person in the world.

In all those 14 years, she has talked and dreamed of a house in the country with a couple of dogs around her feet and a good man to keep her honest. Sometimes that dream felt a long long way from ever happening but about 4 years ago she met Ant and “click”… the path was clear and plans carefully made. But, big dreams, especially those worth having, do not come overnight and these guys have done their time in the Sydney high-stress corporate jobs.

Finally, In September this year, they moved into their own house in the country with the much desired garden. They rescued their dogs, banished to Ant’s parents due to misocynist landlord in Sydney. They cut their working hours down to “just enough” to get by. They DID IT…a slower, healthier, happier life in Berry on the South Coast!

This photo shoot is a celebration of this moment in their lives. The joy of feeling released and living the life they dreamed, planned and made happen!

Guys, my heart is full xx