the clark family | blessed

When I talk about my work to my own family and friends I talk about Nicole and Nicholas a lot. From the moment I first met them they pretty much became the epitome of everything I resonate with and would wish for in a couple. They have such a deep, gentle love and respect for each other and placed such worth on my work and my ability to capture memories for them. In small ways they may not even realise they have gone above and beyond for me and in turn that always makes me strive to do the same for them. I don’t think there is a higher honour than when a couple who I have photographed in the past, usually their wedding (as was the case for Nicole and Nicholas) continue to follow my work and invite me back into their lives to continue in their journey as a family.

Their beautiful baby girl, Aurelia, is more special than you can possibly imagine and I will forever be grateful that I was the one that was able to capture her at this precious age. Nicole spent so much time searching for and securing the perfect location, Red Cow Farm in Sutton Forest, to create these images in and then we waited on God’s perfect timing as we then had to postpone no less than six times due to bush fires and adverse weather conditions. When this day finally arrived though I knew from the very first moment that the wait had all been worth it just to be able to create these images for them. Forever grateful to you and your beautiful little family Nic and Nic xx

by Leah

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alexandra + todd | pretty seaside wedding in whale beach, nsw

I felt an instant connection with Alex and Todd the moment I met them. They sat and told me about how Todd, as a graphic designer, was creating all the stationery himself as well as the story of how the building that now holds one of my absolute favourite wedding venues, Moby Dicks in Whale Beach, was once a nightclub that her mother danced the night away as a teenager, then later attended pre-natal exercise classes at when she was pregnant with Alex and now that it would be the place where Alex and Todd were to be married. It was impossible to keep the smile off my face because it is special touches like that that make me so excited to do the work I do. Despite my probably a little too crazy smiling, or perhaps because of it, Alex and Todd booked me to photograph their wedding.

Their day was relaxed and colourful with an abundance of joy and anticipation in the air from the moment I arrived. Alex’s bold red lip and delicate vintage details on her dress had me completely swooning and when Alex and Todd shared a private moment to see each other before their ceremony started I saw them instantly relax as they held onto each other and didn’t let go for most of the day. I’m over the moon for you both, Alex and Todd, and am so grateful you invited me into your lives to capture your wedding that was so abundant with life and love in every possible way.

malia’s ninth

For the last few years I have been taking portraits of Malia around the time of her birthday so you can imagine how excited we both were when we had the opportunity to capture them in New York this year during our christmas trip. I can’t even begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it has been, but I will save more of that for another day.

Each year I arm myself with just two rolls of film and a camera and see what results. On one of our last days in New York, despite the freezing cold, Malia and I decided to explore some of the lesser known parts of Central Park to make the portraits you see above. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect set of images to remember this time in her life, especially with her new haircut that she only had done a few days prior. It makes her looks so grown up!

Over the last year I’ve watched her become ever more curious and deeply empathetic towards others. When I’m feeling upset or unwell she is the first to hold my hand and pray and is a constant reminder and blessing in regards to my own walk through life as a christian. She has become more particular about what she wants to wear, refusing to wear all types of pants (which made a trip to New York in winter interesting).

Malia experienced loss for the first time in her life this year with the loss of my Aunty Julie, who she also called Aunty and loved dearly. This was a path I never wanted her to have to walk so young. She is a mixture of grief and occasionally melodrama, almost as if she is not quite sure how upset she is supposed to be, as she attempts to make sense of everything. I see so much of myself in her sometimes it scares me.

This year we had to have ‘the talk’ due to an incident at school with some other kids passing notes that raised a few interesting questions. I do hope we handled this situation that every parent dreads with grace.

We also had an incredible bonding experience earlier in the year when just her and I travelled to New York during the summer time and I have to say she is one of the best travel buddies. We spent so much of that trip sick in our hotel room, but even that can be fun when you are in a wonderful place with a wonderful person.

I love this girl deeply, with every inch of my being and I’m so grateful, that out of all the possibilities, God chose her to be my daughter. Love you my precious, beautiful girl. Always.

Thank you also to Flower Girl NYC for the incredible job they did creating Malia’s headpiece. It was absolutely perfect and she adored it. Wore it the entire day, including on the subway. And the most amazing thing was that with only general colour and texture descriptions I let Flower Girl NYC create a complete surprise for us and the two main flowers they ended up using were my favourite flower and my mothers favourite flower. Without me providing that information at all. It felt kind of amazing to crown her with something as precious as that.

by Leah

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