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Well, if you are the proud Mum & Dad of two Auckland Uni graduates, you plan your own party to celebrate this fantastic achievement!

Kate finished her Masters in Urban Planning in 2019 but opted to delay her graduation ceremony til 2020. This was so she could graduate at the same time as brother Sean who would be completing his Doctorate in Music Education.

Unfortunately like lots of events in 2020, the first nation-wide lockdown resulted in the cancellation of their graduation ceremony. It was re-scheduled to later in the year but then in a very unfortunate twist of fate, the re-scheduled ceremony was also cancelled when Auckland went into it's second lockdown.

So Suzanne and Dean decided when the Auckland lockdown was over, they would have their own celebration to recognise all the work the two have put into their studies.

In a whirlwind of activity over a period of just two weeks Susanne and the family put together a very cool afternoon celebration complete with gradution gowns, a spectacular cake, flowers, friends and bubbly.

I popped along for an hour before the celebrations kicked off so we could get some family photos to celebrate the special occasion.

We started off in the back garden which really was a tropical oasis, although a rather steep one for Kate in her heels!

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Susanne organised this amazing cake from Lisa at "The Whole Cake and Caboodle".

The initial idea for the cake was "something that represented the university". Lisa thought it might be a little challenging making the whole university into a cake so they settled on the university clocktower instead.

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Congratulations on all your hard work and achievements Sean and Kate.

Sometimes I think when we finish something we've worked hard for, instead of taking the time to really acknowledge and celebrate, life just moves us quickly onto the next challenge.

I think it is so cool that parents Susanne and Dean wanted to really celebrate their achievements. We should all do more of it if you ask me! 

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After some shots in the back garden, we moved down to the beach area in front of their house for some family photos. It was lovely to have Sean's first music teacher along to also share in the celebrations. Along came the champagne glasses and bubbly as well!

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I was thrilled that Susanne chose to put together two albums to capture these memories. She chose Photo Fronts for them so she could display them proudly on her bookshelf.

It's really easy to think "I will just get the digitals and then do those albums later". But even though we have the very best intentions, it's so easy for life to get in the way and we never seem to find the time to actually get them done.

Putting them together into an album that you can keep and treasure forever is one of the most favourite things I do for clients. The albums I use are beautiful quality and printed in New Zealand by the professional lab at Queensberry. They will be a special album to treasure for a lifestime. Every client I have who gets one, says they are just stunning! You will definitely be wanting to show them off to everyone that comes to visit.

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HAVE A SPECIAL OCCASION COMING UP THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO CELEBRATE WITH FAMILY PHOTOS?


This entry was posted in Portraits, Family by Tracey Morris | Leave a Comment

Let’s face it, all parents need a good bribe now and then to get the kids to take part in photo sessions. If you’ve never thought about including a playground session in your family portraits before, then here’s few examples of how we can make a session fun for everyone and get great photos for your album. 

Start with a taster on a few playthings

I like to start with a bit of playtime on a few climbing frames. It gives the kids time to get used to having sometime taking their photo (other than Mum). It also sets the scene for the session being fun and not just a whole lot of stand and smile posing.

It's always really nice to get capture natural brother / sister realtionships too (before it goes a bit pear shaped for a while in their teens!) and these guys were hilarious together.

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Parks and playgrounds have lots of variety for albums

In Whangarei we are spoilt for choice with parks that include heaps of different backgrounds so we can get a variety of shots for your album. In this session we did did lots of walking and investigating in the forest. We found a gate for a couple of posed family photos and then had some fun walking in the long grass.

I love albums for family sessions because it means you have something to hold and look back on when the kids get older. You just pick your favourites in your online gallery and I design and print them all for you. You get quite a few photos from a lifestyle family session so it seems a shame to keep them all saved on a USB in the drawer.

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I love including a few black and white photos too, they just have a whole different feel about them.

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Flower crowns for the girlie girls of the family

If you have a little girl in the family, I have a range of flower crowns I can bring with me and we can include something just a little bit magical.

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Plenty of nature inspired treasures to find too

Or if your kids are more into nature, there are always lots of treasures for us to find and include in your photos. 

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Let's get Mum and Dad in the shot!

Mums and Dads need some photos together as well. For family photo sessions, I usally have one of my teenage girls assisting so they can keep an eye on the kids while we sneak off for a few couple shots.

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Let the love shine through

It's always so nice when I catch these images that show the pure love a Mum has for her kids. They might be ratbags a lot of the time, but we would do anything for them wouldn't we. These are the kind of photos it's really hard to get when you are trying to do the selfie thing with the kids on the phone - they are the ones I really wish I had of me with my girls!

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And a playground finish for the win!

I love to finish with the kids on the playground while Mum and Dad get a chance to sit down and chill.

Apart from acting as quite a good bribe during the session (if we need it), the kids always get a fresh lease on life and are usually begging for more photos on their favourite equipment.

Finishing on a high note like this is a great way to ensure they will be happy to have another session in a couple of years time as they will remember it as a fun and exciting adventure.

And that's a win win for eveyone!

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Want to see more from my family sessions?

This entry was posted in Portraits, Family, Children by Tracey Morris | Leave a Comment

Convincing teenagers to take part in a family photoshoot can be like trying to negotiate world peace at times. So since I have two of them, I asked them what would be the best way to get them to agree to having family photos.

 

Here are their top 3 suggestions:

1. Let them wear something they love and feel comfortable in

One of my teens is not a real girlie girl, but she said she would wear a nice summer, surf style dress if she could go to her favourite shop and pick out a new one.  So talk to them in advance about what you are all going to wear and get them involved in the planning.

(Disclaimer: This might not work as well with boys – keep in mind I only have two girls!)

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2. Make sure you choose a date/time that doesn’t conflict with their social life

Planning a family photo session on a Saturday evening when they are more likely to miss out on something their friends are doing, is guaranteed to result in an unhappy teen. So reassure them that you will check the date and time works with them before you confirm your booking.

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3. Try not to do your session somewhere there are lots of people watching

The majority of people feel a bit awkward having your photo taken. For teens though, thinking that everyone is watching you adds even more stress. So consider taking them at the beach where everyone just naturally seems more relaxed. And perhaps avoid the peak summer months when there are more people on the beach in the evenings. Sept / Oct are great months to aim for if you want to take this approach.

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And a couple of tips from me:

  • If you have a family dog, then let's get them in the session too. Everyone is more relaxed when there is a canine family member around!

  • Reassure them that the whole session is not going to be focused on them looking at the camera. There are lots of cool shots we can get that don't involve standing and posing.

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The teenage years fly past pretty quick and they are so busy with taxi driving! I know you haven't got time for downloading digital files and sorting out prints and photobooks. That's why I offer a full print service and design albums as part of all my standard family session packages. 

Have a look at the beautiful albums and framed prints that some of my other customers have ordered. 

 

PS: And if all else fails, they said bribery works just as well at this age as it did when they were little. (Although this Mum suspects something a little bit more substantial than a lollipop may be required).

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This entry was posted in Portraits, Family by Tracey Morris | Leave a Comment

You might think it’s impossible to get gorgeous family photos when your kids never sit still. But I can guarantee you it’s not!

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There’s a style of family portrait photography called “Lifestyle Family Photography” and it’s perfect for when you want to invest in professional family photography, but you’re scared the kids won’t sit still. 

It’s all about making the session more of an adventure than a “stand & pose” photoshoot and it’s what I suggest to all my clients with kids (and especially those under about 12yrs). And here’s why:

1. They are perfect for busy kids  

Beach sessions are my one of my favourite locations for all ages, but especially younger children and this style of session. There are so many adventures to be had and in a lifestyle session that’s what we focus on.

For kids around 7 – 10yrs I suggest bringing a ball or a frisbee as it’s a great way to get them warmed up and enjoying themselves, without worrying about the camera. It also works really well if you have a child who's not keen on photos - which lots of families do.

For younger kids I have lots of ideas for games they can play with you and each other so you get the gift of not just beautiful photos but an hour of real quality time with the kids to just be present and enjoy them.

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2. Low stress for parents

I only have one rule for parents and that’s “no growling at the kids”. It’s my job to engage with them and get them involved in the session. Your job is just to relax and have fun.

I have two kids plus 15 nieces and nephews, so I totally get that posing for photos is not high on your child’s agenda. There's no need for you to stress about them all needing to be on their best behaviour, we'll just go with the flow. 

I encourage you to let go of your idea though, that a “perfect” family photo is one where everyone is looking at the camera. I love to capture your “real” family dynamics and believe me, there is a joker in every one!

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3. Ideal for using to create family albums

Lifestyle family photoshoots usually result in quite a lot more photos than a standard portrait photoshoot. While that’s awesome for you, it can also be overwhelming in terms of choosing your best photos to frame or print.

And that’s why I suggest you think about capturing your session in an album which I can design with your favourite images. I guide you through the whole process of choosing your favourite photos and then I design the layouts from the photos you love and organise the printing for you.

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If you’d love a family portrait session for your family where you come out with a beautiful album or print, not just a stack of digitals on a USB, have a look at these examples of how your session could look.

This entry was posted in Portraits, Family, Children by Tracey Morris | Leave a Comment

I find inspiration for my Magic Moments photo sessions everywhere!

It's like my brain has a separate tab that's always open and scanning for new ideas, great locations and pretty light. I bet you are like that too with the things that you are passionate about - are you a gardener, a crafter, or a chef in that other part of you that sometimes gets hidden away behind the chaos of everyday life with kids?

This beautiful photo session was inspired by a tiny purple flower.

A flower that would you believe it, is called "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow".

I was having a coffee in a local cafe between drop offs and pickups and I happened to look out the window to see this beautoful mass of purple flowers. And so the idea for Laura's photo session was born.

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These cute little flowers only last for 3 days and they change colour with each day. The first day they are purple (yesterday). the second day they are lavender (today) and the last day they are white (tomorrow).

I think the fact that they change so quickly reminds me of how quick our kids change. One minute they are little girls into everything magical and make-believe and then in what seems like the blink of an eye, it's off to Intermediate and a whole new set of adventures.

Laura and I had lots of fun looking through my props basket and choosing headbands and accessories to include in her photos. 

This was Laura's choice of crown & lantern to match her princess dress

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This was Laura's choice of crown & lantern to match her princess dress

Laura's magical edit was a beautiful jar of fireflies. She's a great little actress as well as an acccomplished ballet dancer and singer. So we played make-believe and she gave me this gentle expression of wonder and amazement, which I just loved.

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If your little girl is nearing the end of her primary school years, and you want to capture this magical time before she no longer believes in princesses, fairies and unicorns, book a Magic Moments photo session. My signature "Sparkle" session comes with 3 prints, a mini photobook and a set of social media sized images for you to share.

Find out how a SPARKLE session works and what's included

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