Do you have a lot of friends? Are you a chtter box? Do you like to make money?
For the months of March 2014, and April 2014 we are offering a CRAZY deal, for you tp help us spread the love !
For every client that books in and pays for a newborn photo shoot with us , from your referal, we will give you $50.00!
Once the client mentions your name and finalises their shoot, we contact you to get your banking details and transfer your money!
This is only offered for a VERY limited time, and will only be paid on shoots that are final (ie not on booking )
So get to refering if you know someone pregnant or with a brand new baby!!
Thank you for the support , we look forward to meeting a lot of new clients!
Our new studio opened today!
We had 3 months off building a new studio and receoption room, there are still a few little things to do, but today we opened for our first shoot!
Meet little Imogen , gorgeous little sister to Curtis
Lovely peaceful shoot, so nice to try out some of our new props and backdrops, a new look, fresh and inspired!
Enjoy these gorgeous shots of Imogen!
Life with my little Aspy:
A blog post about persistence and never ever giving up….but mostly about hope, and about love and about JOY
1992, not a lot was known about add, autism and Asperger’s, in fact I had not really heard of it until my son was school age.
I was 22, and in love with my brand new son. He was 7’pounds and 11 ounces, born at 1 pm, and immediately urinated on the nurse’s face as he emerged from my body.
10 days later, he was 9 pound 8 - that my friends, is almost a kilo weight gain in 10 days! (Breast-fed) Needless to say he was under the Dr’s eye for a while. They eventually figured out, he was just a big hungry boy, and made him his own special graph! He is now 110 kilos and 6 foot 7!
Apart from being the worlds biggest baby (so it seemed) He was quiet and fairly content, however from 6 months on, he was “super clingy” I assumed I was possibly the fault there as I wore my babies in slings, extended breast fed and don’t believe in babies letting babies cry.
I was totally in love with my son, however it seemed everyone else found him quite hard to love, even as a baby, he didn’t respond to people in a charming or engaging way. To us as a family he was adorable, giggly, cute smiley and SUPER fast to do things, walked at 9 months, sat at 4 months etc, our little super hero.
Fast-forward to him at age 3, A LOT of people told me he should be “seen “ by someone. He was angry and “naughty” He made a scene everywhere; he took a giant knife next door when the kids were teasing him. He made people wary of him. He would be defiant in way that wasn’t “normal” We are a non smacking family, so time out was his life back then.
The Dr’s actually thought he was deaf at age 3 , he went to numerous Audiology appointments , he wasn’t deaf , he was just shut down and unable to follow any direction or tasks.
Parenting him was like ground hog day, everything needed to be repeated and consistent, or he would ‘act out” He was losing eye contact with others by this stage, still totally engaged with me and his father, I just thought he was gorgeous, however exhausting!
Fast forward now to the first year of school, he was immediately written down as dyslexic (I am also so no big deal) with learning difficulties. He was at age 6 sent to a study of children with learning disabilities, and how to teach them. Apparently a room surrounded by glass and doctors looking on, he did nothing but poke out his tongue out and look to the ground. I am not sure they learnt very much at all from him.
We soldiered on at school, knowing he was behind in some things yet very good at others; for example, he had exceptional dexterity, like super human! He could trow a ball with pin point accuracy, or kick a ball with accuracy from 7 years of age, he could catch FAST flying objects and kick so long and far you would have thought it was by a full grown man. Teachers made a huge difference, one amazing god send of a man got through to him in grade 3 and he changed to loving school and his teacher. Most teachers pout him in the too hard basket and did minimal to help.
Socially he was becoming more withdrawn, getting harder and harder to connect or make any eye contact with if you were not in his immediate family. Even grandparents at this time were feeling “left out” or like he was becoming rude, or spoiled.
It was around this time we were doing high-risk foster care for the state, taking in emergency situation foster children, and nourishing their souls.
I found out through this (The study on reactive detachment disorder, and then ADD) what Autism and Asperger’s was.
I also saw, (back then) how being labelled sometimes made things very hard for kids, their education, the way others saw them and the quick way people blamed it all on a disorder.
He went to numerous paediatricians at this time, all diagnosing him with various things, ADD, autism, Asperger’s etc – it was 1995 , not a lot was know about it then, and there was not the internet or support etc. I had to go on my gut feeling as a mother. He tested moderate on most scales; I knew he was functioning and able to be happy. Most Asperger’s tests he scored around 80-90%
I didn’t want my son to feel too different; I also didn’t want him medicated. So I just parented him the best way I knew how, which was exactly as I had been doing before. The hardest part about no one knowing he was struggling to be social was the judgment that other adults gave him, rude, lazy, spoiled were the most popular.
His sporting skills made him a hot commodity in the sporting circles, and he was TALL …however he was hard to coach, he didn’t understand direction, he didn’t look you in the eye, and he was afraid of being a stand out, so often held back…this was very hard on my husband, who saw such potential, and hard on the coaches who got so frustrated with him, but way harder on him, as he never wanted to play sport to begin with!
Being Asperger’s and trying to live as “normal” is like being left handed and forced to be right handed, you can do it, and it can be taught, but ultimately, it is who you are, and what is most comfortable for you. So you can learn to be social, friendly, think in different way etc, but sometimes old habits die hard and the journey is long and bumpy.
I tell people he was and is 24 hour parenting, not one day in his life have I not had to parent him in some way. During his teens, he terrified me with his solidarity and insulation. I was constantly afraid he would take his own life.
I knew that if I let him,, he would become a recluse and a non functioning member of society, so I pressed on. I MADE him open up to me; I constantly dragged him with us, to everything, and anything. He was miserable, and he made sure I felt it. I kept hugging him even though I wanted to strangle him, I kept going to his room and sitting with him even when he punched walls, even when he wouldn’t say one word to me, I still never let him go a day without knowing I adored him.
He exhausted me, inside and out, I felt like I was his only ambassador, my husband had no idea how to deal with him, and had very little understanding of what to do.
I would constantly worry about his life, and his self-esteem.
However - I really wanted to write this blog post, to let you know, that parenting this child, to the man he is today, is THE most rewarding, the MOST satisfying thing I have ever done!
Parenting kids with disorders or behavioural stuff is depleting and tough on you as a mother BUT it gets better, it gets amazing, it changes you, for the better! There is life after ages 5-18 ( the hardest years)
He is now nearly 22, tall , polite, charming, a ladies man, (still has moments of Asperger’s which we now laugh at, and he calls “that was a bit asby” ) He is kind, he is loving, hard working, employable, funny, and social, and a loyal and trusting friend.
Don’t give up on these kids, don’t stop loving them when they are unlovable, teenage male Asperger’s, I think is one of the most difficult situations you could ever parent.
We are not given more than we can handle, and in raising this amazing human, I learnt SO much, about patience, about struggle, about being YOU no matter what.
If you are currently snowed under raising a child with autism or Asperger’s, please know, they are amazing, they are unique, they are going to be the most glorious adults. To have the ability able to think outside the square, to bring to people a different approach to life, they are so valuable to us.
My son, is one of the best people I know, and I thank him for teaching me so much about life.
2013 was another huge year for us, in fact it was the forth year running we have held over 12 workshops throughout Australia. I counted, in 2013 , I did 35 flights in 2013 !
I am now a virgin gold frequent flyer, I also have great luggage, and I know every airports lounge area like the back of my hand......HOWEVER it took its toll.
I used to think being busy was productive, and ambitious, and worthwhile. I also used to enjoy teaching and helping people grow and find answers that seem elusive to them. 2013 was a year I was teaching balance, teaching business, and meanwhile losing my own!
I had a few setbacks along the way, dealing with 3 VERY unpleasant photographers who made me question my drive to teach, dealing with difficult clients, faulty gear, late flights, etc, nothing was stopping me though. Not even my son asking me " please stop working mum , I hate your job!" I was determined to run a big and successful business, and I won........Or did I?
In June 2012 I discovered a lump on my neck, August 2012 I was having surgery to remove it, February 2013 I was having more surgery to remove cancer, and the treatments that follow. NOT even Cancer stopped me , not even for 2 weeks. I was back at work , with a scarf 3 weeks after Chemo.
I worked and gave and gave and gave, online mentoring, one on one mentoring, teaching huge classes in every single state of Australia, until I woke up on December 21st 2013 ....And I literally could not move or breathe.
My body had shut down, my whole world crumbled, to the point I thought I was dying.....Which I sort of was....Only of stress and work load, and running on empty.
I cried and cried and then sat down with Mark, my totally inspiring, totally loving, totally owe him many sexual favours husband , and we talked and talked and talked, we talked for 4 days straight! We talked about our life, and money, and what was important to us , and what went wrong.
We then devised a plan, I was to take 3 months off, to swim at the beach, walk the dogs, , to watch movies ( it had been 4 years since I gave myself time to watch a movie , even on planes I was typing or sleeping! ....Right now I am quite the movie buff!) , to re connect with my son, to sleep in, and to give myself the time to recover, like I should have done 6 months earlier !
During this time I have had some minor ups and downs with the medication and further treatments , but as of today, I am smooth sailing to a healthy me. 100% clear of cancer, 100% improved stress levels, and 100% ready top go back to work......Only this time....I am doing ONLY what makes ME happy.
From Talking myself hoarse, ...I figured out, what I love, what I find peaceful and what I am very good at, it was like coming back home. What I love , is newborns. Little babies, the lovely energy, the amazing experience to hold and be with them, being at home in my studio, being at home to edit. Collecting my son from school, chatting to him, and having some BALANCE back.
12 years later, I come back to where it began. This time I wish to specialise, to fine tune and to offer AFFORDABLE ( new packages) baby shoots for those looking for an experienced and relaxed photographer :)
My ever loving, totally rocking husband , has built me a new purpose built studio JUST for newborns and babies under 12 months . It is 7 days off completion! There then will be a huge blog post with lots of pictures! It comprises of a brand new reception room, with big comfy couches, tv and wifi , coffee machine and toilet facilities, and also a separate new look shooting studio !
We will be only shooting babies during 2014 .
So this is a post to explain a little my Facebook absence ( I deleted all private social media to help me with my focus) My miserable posts from Sept - Dec 2013. To also explain why I am no longer going to be teaching AT ALL. No online mentoring, no dvd's no interaction with other photographers ( besides social of course)
I want to concentrate on what makes me happy, and what is appreciated and gives me amazing energy , and that is my clients and my babies.
Thank you for all the love and support I was given during this time, and PLEASE use this as a reminder to yourself, you cannot do it all, life will eventually hand you such a hard lesson you cannot avoid it.
2014, has already been the MOST wonderful year for me, and I am only expecting it to get better and better!
I am happier and stronger , and come with better scars than ever before ! Like a quarter pounder WITH cheese :)
Enjoy A small selection of this beautiful wedding , congratulations Mel and Pete!