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Motherhood Story

I had the most wonderful opportunity to meet Dee and her baby girl Nara for a special motherhood session at sunset. This session launches a whole new segment and journey for me - celebrating a mothers journey - from maternity to growing as a mother. It is such a BIG moment in a womans life that brings so much beauty, transformation and memories - i want to honour that.

Soon this session will be turned into a beautiful storybook accompanied with Dee’s words and thoughts on her motherhood journey. I can’t wait to share this with you soon.

I was lucky enough to have the amazing Sandra from Boholicious who took care of Dee’s hair and Make-up. She is worth every penny and i love the way we work together as a team! Be sure to check out the little video on the makeup/photoshoot experience Dee had (at the bottom of this post).

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

I had the most amazing opportunity come my way to collaborate with some local vendors (who I absolutely love) for a beautiful shoot. I’ve been dying to share these with you for some months, but have had to keep them secret as we’ve been waiting patiently to have this photoshoot featured on the popular Hochzeit Guide. You can read the publication here.

I worked together with Carla from Festum Artis to create an incredible creative vision for this shoot. Carla designed all the floral pieces and dressed the beautiful table. Our brilliant makeup artist was Sandra from Boholicious. Can’t say enough about her beautiful artistry on our model - Paulina Urba.

The shoot took place in an old antique store in Basel. We were able to use a few corners of the house which was full of beautiful nooks and crannies. It felt magical being able to shoot there, amongst all the little treasures and aged and worn walls. It was sensual, intimate and romantic, soft and feminine yet strong and sexy.

It is my aim in everything I photograph to evoke some sort of emotion, to make the viewer feel like they are right there with me, taking a moment to pause and observe how grand the small moments are, how (sometimes imperfectly) beautiful it is. I hope you also take a moment to view this gallery and the beauty it holds!

If you ever want to be the subject of a beautiful moment - contact me for your own shoot!


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Raluca

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Raluca

This lovely lady is gorgeous on the inside and out.  I absolutely adore photographing her (who wouldn't!?). Raluca is someone I can get creative with, have fun and see some beautiful moments captured.  We were faced with some challenges on this day - a threatening storm and some seriously crazy winds!! 

I am so proud of this set of images.  These are the types of images i live for and the reason i love photography so much - it makes you feel something!  

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Musician Ellie Del Cashin

My great friend is also a super talented musician in Perth (Ellie Del Cashin) and one stormy afternoon we ventured to the river for a quick, moody, beautiful photoshoot.  It's been a while since we did this but today is the day I finally got round to sharing these beautiful pics of her.  

i love working with small business owners to create branding pictures which are heartfelt (and anything but cheesy!) . Get in touch so we can design your shoot. 

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Pirraca Family | Basel Family Photographer

I just love this family!!  Repeat clients - Raquel and Nuno are expecting their second bundle of joy and I couldn't be happier for them.  If their new baby is anything like their little girl Matilde, they're going to have one super sweet family!  

This session was so vibrant and summery! The flowers were in bloom and it was the perfect backdrop for some family time spent together.  Even Matilde got a little present surprise from her parents and I feel so lucky to have been able to capture them.  As she was opening this gift you see not only the joy from Matilde receiving the doll she wanted, but also the happiness it brought the parents.  The true joy of giving!  

If you want your own sunflower session - get in touch today! 

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Travel in Switzerland: Niesen

I've been working on a couple of shoots I can't post yet, however i've also been taking advantage of this beautiful summer weather by making a few short trips here and there!  I have a friend over from Australia so we thought we'd venture to the top of a mountain.  The Niesen is a mountain which i first spotted in Spiez - Patrick an I thought "what a perfectly shaped mountain!"... It's featured in many of my Spiez photos. like this one:

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its been dubbed the Swiss Pyramid because of its beautiful shape.  We went up on a gorgeous day in June first thing in the morning.  We left Basel at 7am and were on the funicular to its peak at 9am.  I like being the early bird so its a little quieter.  The funicular is red (in true swiss-style) and takes about 30 minutes - you have to change train half way.  Tickets were quite expensive - its CHF57- return but with day ticket on the trains or a swiss pass its CHF28.50.

The views are pretty spectacular at the top - it has 360 degree views, a cafe/restaurant (apparently also a small hotel) and a pretty cool playground for kids. We stopped for a coffee and took in the views, snapped a few pictures and went back down around 11/11:30am. 

If you're thinking about going here are my tips:

  • Choose a clear day - it was just starting to cloud up when we went and it's pretty pointless going up if all you can see it white... unless you're into clouds...
  • If possible, get the lowest row in the train on the way up, you'll get beautiful views! Second best is close to a window.
  • Have a hot drink at the top and soak in those views!  
  • There's a particular point on the pathway that doesn't have a fence.  Sit for a picture here and it looks like you're right on the edge of a cliff (in reality, there's a steep hill but you can still put your feet on the ground. 

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Travel in Switzerland: Laufenburg

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Travel in Switzerland: Laufenburg

I was on the train to a client in Schaffhausen when I noticed the most gorgeous little city with a bridge in the middle of it.  It was leafy green with terracotta roofs peeping out and the beautiful green Rhine flowing at its heart.  My eyes literally bulged out, I quickly got out my phone to open maps to find out exactly where I am, but because I was in Germany at the time, my phone didn't have any internet so I couldn't work it out.  

Fast forward some months and I took Patrick back to Schaffhausen to see the Rhinefall.  I told Patrick about this little mysterious city i saw... I didn't know when it would pop up but I told him to keep an eye out... Together with his Swiss knowledge and my investigative-reading-road-sign skills, we worked it out to be Laufenburg!  

Fast forward some more months later and we finally got our act together to make a day trip of it. We went on a Sunday so the city was quiet and quaint - we hiked up a mountain (okay, it was a hill) to reach this gorgeous lookout (okay, it was someone's driveway) overlooking these cute goats and picture perfect views of the city.  The bridge in the city acts as a border between Switzerland and Germany and a border control office sits on the Swiss side as a reminder.  

This town has to be one of my favourites I've seen so far... so picturesque - I definitely recommend a visit!

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Fisher Family | Perth Family Photographer

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Fisher Family | Perth Family Photographer

This session, is of course, very close to my heart as it features some of my favourite people! This is my sister, her husband Shane and my niece Caitlin, and nephew Lachlan.  I was also lucky enough to style this shoot and choose a gorgeous location, so I went with the beach and chose all the outfits (except Shanes') from Rylee and Cru - they have the most gorgeous clothes.. I can't get enough!  

I love this session because it was all just in the moment - there was lots of laughing, cuddles, dancing, picking up shells, making patterns in the sand... and my niece might have shed a few tears because she was suddenly scared of waves...  (expect the unexpected with 4 year olds!)

I am so proud of this work, and feel like this result comes about with less posing, and more natural lovely moments.  I would love to shoot more unposed sessions - please get in touch if you would like me to capture a special session for you.  

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The Barber Shop

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The Barber Shop

While we were in Perth, we stumbled across the coolest barber shop in the Treasury buildings! I have to say i've always wanted to take pictures of Patrick in a cool old-school barber shop, so I seized the opportunity to tag along and take some pictures.  Luckily the staff there at 'Ugly Men's' were super nice and let me click away.  I loved everything about the shop, the magazines(I thought it was quite coincidental that the monocle magazine they had on display was featuring Switzerland!), the clippers and tools all laid out, the whiskey bottles, the red brick, the deers head (although totally hoping it's not real), and the fact that they made this simple act of getting your hair and beard tended to an awesome experience. This would be a great treat for all the exhausted dad's out there who need a bit of pampering.  I also thought what a great location it is (right next to Como Treasury Hotel) for grooms to head there before their wedding - it would make such cool shots right!?

Anyway... I wanted to share with you the pics I took of Patrick while getting his beard trimmed. I love that these photos capture something ordinary... going to the barber, but the location has made it a bit special.  I can just imagine us going through these photos when we're old and grey (maybe with our future children) and pointing out how brown his hair was, thinking how dated the decor was, or just marvelling about what cool people we were! hehe.

 

 

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The best gift you can give your kids

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The best gift you can give your kids

Hi Super-mums!

You know better than anyone, how quickly the time passes.  It feels like yesterday that you spent hours just staring into your precious newborns eyes.  You’ve been excited for them to grow up while at the same time wishing for time to stop so you can enjoy them at this age a little while longer. 

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In the pursuit of the perfect childhood for you kids, you’re tirelessly and selflessly making it happen. You’re up late at night sewing sequins on to ballet costumes, you’re cutting out shapes in their sandwiches to make mealtimes fun, you cave and spend another 20 minutes pushing your child on the swing because they keep shouting ‘more!’, you’re reading multiple storybooks before bedtime and you’re kissing their scraped knees to stop the tears.  Your little ones rarely notice in the moment how much work it is to give them this adventure-filled and beautiful childhood, and that’s okay.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, looking back on my childhood photographs that I said to my mum:

 ‘I don’t know how you did it all!’. 

My wonderful memories aren’t of my mother putting in all the effort, but they are because my mum put the effort in! Toasting marshmallows on family camping trips, getting to wear sparkly costumes for dance concerts, and collecting freshly-laid eggs from our chicken pens.  I remember my mum making a ‘pouch’ out of a sweater so us kids could hold and feed our baby kangaroo - Yes, i am that Australian.  These were the days that I had not a care in the world - our days were filled with adventure, fun and opportunity.

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These photographs, that hold all these special memories (even the ones I was too young to remember) are priceless and if I take good care of them, they will last even longer than me.  After my care-free childhood, my childhood photos are the most precious gift my parents have given me.

So much love goes into giving your child a great childhood and I know you are pouring in all your time, effort and love into doing just that -  but you can leave the capturing of that love and those memories to me.  My ‘Real Sweet Life’ sessions capture the moments that sometimes go uncelebrated and I will make it easy on you - I’ll join you for a morning where you don’t need to get all dressed up, or make your house look like a show-home, you can even carry out your normal daily routine of breakfast, walks in the park, story-time and naps.  I will document all the beautiful, small moments that happen every day.  It will reflect the crazy, beautiful, love-filled family you have and will be the same images that your kids look back on one day and say

‘Mum, I don’t know how you did it all!’

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Let’s capture your Real Sweet Life together!  You can find out more and book your session HERE.

Love Suzy

P.s.  The photos in this post are some of my treasured memories from my own childhood!

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Documenting your life: Part 2

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Documenting your life: Part 2

Here we are on Part 2 of Documenting your life and today I wanted to talk about a great way to prioritise this (and make it easier on yourself) to capture your life regularly.  If you missed Part 1 about how to flex your beauty seeking muscle - you can read it here

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A great way to make sure you're capturing your life from year to year is to create family (or couple) traditions.  Make something fun that you do every year - it could be camping, an annual all-out big family picnic, taking your family to the mountains, a board-game night, making a big deal over the first day of school, or taking on the local festival as a family.  Whatever it is - make it fun, make it special and capture it.  Another option is to have the tradition BE the photoshoot.  Every Springtime, you could do a professional photoshoot and hold it in a different location - a city adventure, amongst the springtime blossoms, or bundled up for an in-home session!

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You could make a small album of this special day every year.  How cool will it be to look back on in 5, 10 years time - memorialising this same event every year - seeing how you've changed, how much you've grown with the same constant theme running through it (your tradition).  

Creating family traditions makes time for the important things in life - time with your loved ones!!  I remember one of my close friends used to have one Friday night a month where they would have a 'family night' where they used to do all sorts of activities together - from board games, to going to the cinemas, to a dinner cooked by every one together.  No matter what, they all had to be there (they were older kids).  They all looked forward to it too, it wasn't a chore.  I was a little disappointed we didn't have something similar in our family at the time, but I vowed I would create something similar in my  own family one day.  

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Do you have any family traditions?  Would love to hear them in the comments below!

I am now available for Spring Family sessions in Switzerland!  Get in touch if you want me to capture your first family tradition!

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Zivilstandsamt wedding

Luis and Silvia approached me to take some romantic portraits of them during and after their civil marriage ceremony in Basel.  These two were doing a low-key legal ceremony ahead of their big catholic ceremony but still wanted to remember this special day.  I have to say that Luis and Silvia were such a pleasure to know and photograph.  They were full of life, so relaxed and happy. It was a joy to be around them. It's when I get clients like this that I feel like i have the best job in the world.  

Weddings isn't something I usually offer, however this was more like a couple shoot with a ceremony at the start.  It's the parts of a wedding I love shooting the most so this was a pleasure to take on.  Here are my favourite shots from the day...

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Product review: IXXI

We haven't lived in our new place long - it's coming up to a year now, and I'm only just getting around to getting some art on the wall!  We only took one special art piece by talented Shirley Fisher (pictured below) which also reminds me of beautiful Western Australia.  

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I ordered a couple of prints from Society 6 (which haven't been hung yet) and I was looking for some affordable ways to hang some of my own photographs.  Don't get me wrong - I think spending the money on quality prints and frames is SO worth every penny, however I am the worst decision maker when it comes to hanging pictures, so was looking for something that looks great and doesn't break the bank, easy to hang and arrives quickly (as we're having guests in our house in April.  That's when I stumbled across IXXI.  

Ixxi is a dutch company which prints your photos (or one of their stock images) into small 20x20cm squares which can be clipped together using plastic to create big pieces of art. You can choose to have one image spread across multiple squares, or individual pictures for each square to create a collage/instagrammy feel. I took the plunge and designed and ordered a 140cm x 100cm piece using my own photos....  Here's the result:

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In case any of you were wanting to order you own, I wanted to share my thoughts on this products.  First with the downsides:

  • The print quality wasn't fantastic.   It has an option to use instagram photos and I actually used a couple from my instagram (to save me the heartache of trying to find the originals on my hard drive). I first thought it was because of this that the quality wasn't great.  However 70% of these photos were high resolution from my DSLR camera and the quality was still terrible.  It looks as though they have over sharpened the images.  Close-up it bothers me, but from a distance you can't tell too much.  My husband said he thought it looked fine and that I only notice it because i'm a photographer.  Maybe, but still I expected a bit better quality print.  
  • The way you hang it up is relatively straight-forward and is pretty 'DIY'.  It probably took me about 40 minutes to put it together and hang. Putting the pictures on the clips was easy with the tool they provide, however there is a step where you have to put the clips on a clear piece of plastic tape.  The tool didn't work for this (as the plastic bends) and it really hurt my fingers to get it on without the tool.  
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As for what i did like?

  • The overall effect is quite cool.  I love that you can create big pieces of art that has impact and is really affordable for the size.  
  • I love that you can swap out some tiles and get new ones printed. This would be great for a family where you want to replace family pictures with new/different ones.  
  • The price - I complain about the print quality and that it was a little difficult to set up, however for the price (I paid about 120 euro), I understand the quality might not be as good as I hoped.  It is very affordable and a good option for many.  
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Just in case you were wondering - this post isn't sponsored!  Just wanted to share my experience with this product!  Have you got an IXXI?   Let me know how you like it below.

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An expats guide to Basel Fasnacht

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An expats guide to Basel Fasnacht

Even though I had been in Basel for three christmas's, I'd never once seen Fasnacht.  Patrick had, of course, known and loved this festival since he was a child. I am so proud of him as this past year he has learnt to play the trombone to take part in Fasnacht with Grachsymphoniker.   I remember even in the years we were in Australia, he would be up in the middle of the night watching the live stream on the internet.  I didn't quite get it!

Now I do.  Basler Fasnacht has made the UNESCO list for Intangible Cultural heritage and it is referred to as die drey scheenschte Dääg (the three most beautiful days). The only way for me to describe it is an explosion of colour, music and art.   There are many similar festivals nearby in Switzerland and Germany however the Basel Fasnacht is the most well-known.  It also has its own unwritten rules (i'll detail some of them below) and 'Baseleans' can always spot (and frown upon) the outsiders when they don't follow the 'rules'.

Fasnacht begins with people pouring down the streets of basel early on Monday morning making their way to the city for morgestraich.  This alone was quite a surreal experience. Getting up before 3am to cram on a tram with adults and children alike dressed up in their festive costumes and then walking over the mittlerebrücke with hundreds of others, wishing each other 'schöne morgestraich'.  You can feel the buzzing energy as people anticipate the start of the carnival. At exactly 4am, the city lights go out.  Even stores which are open have to block out their windows.  All you can see are the colourful lanterns and all you can hear the sound of piccolo's and drums as they parade in the old town of Basel.  Each of the Fasnacht groups, called cliques, choose a theme which is conveyed in their lantern artwork and costumes.  They comment on social and political issues and are usually highly satirical. I heard someone say that Fasnacht takes the dark and turns it into light!  This year we saw the 'Ballistic Games' featuring North Korea and USA in an olympic style parade and also a few featuring 'bugs' commenting on the newly opened restaurant that sells a burger made from insects!

The carnival lasts for exactly 72 hours - finishing on Thursday morning at 4am.  I spoke to a band member who said Fasnacht has so many elements of life in it - It has joy, music, love, colour, humour and celebration, but because it runs through the night, you can feel exhausted. It also highlights some pretty grim themes happening in our world (even if it is in a humourous way).  It was incredible to hear some of the members of Grachsymphoniker had injuries (or injured them self during the carnival) yet continued through pain to be part of it.  You witness great loyalty and team spirit amongst the bands. 

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A parade (Cortège) of all the groups happens Monday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon.  All the shops close so everyone can enjoy the festivities.  It consists of the guggemusik (brass bands), cliques (pipers and drummers) with their lantern floats, and waggis wagen.  People (mostly kids) will hold out their hands and call after the waggis to give them treats - they hand out flowers, fruit and vegetables, drinks (even beer!), lollies and loads of confetti!  Most of the kids are after the lollies - I witnessed a child get quite disappointed when he put his hand out and received a carrot!

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If you are a Fasnacht first-timer, you might want to follow these unwritten rules of Fasnacht:

  • Confetti (Räppli) is only sold, bought and thrown in individual colours.  This was put in place to stop people reselling 'used' confetti. You also should not pick up confetti from the floor and throw it again - make sense... who wants confetti mixed with dirt thrown in your face?
  • Confetti should not be thrown at masked participants of the carnival - I suppose this is a sign of respect for those taking part
  • Everyone should buy a Fasnacht Blaggedde (badge) - they have 4 'levels' of badges ranging in price.  The proceeds go to each of the groups to help them cover expenses of the carnival.  If you're not wearing one - expect to get dumped with confetti a few times!  They say if you don't buy one, you are harming Fasnacht
  • Fasnacht is renowned for its masks, not painted faces as it is in other carnivals.  You'll stick out like a sore thumb (perhaps not in a good way) if you paint your face rather than wear a mask. 
  • There may be times you have to cross the parade route to get to another location - its is disrespectful to cross through a band, you should wait until it has passed and cross between bands.  On this same note, you should always move out the way for the bands.  More than likely, they will not stop/move for you anyway, so if you don't want a drumstick in your face - make way!
  • If you speak German, you should know that everyone is on first name basis at the carnival, which means you'll be saying the informal 'du' instead of formal 'Sie'
  • Guggemusik don't perform at Morgestraich as this is reserved only for Clique groups, but in return the Tuesday night concert at Marktplatz is only for guggemusik
  • When they turn the lights off at 4am for morgestraich it should be be dark - photo flashes are frowned upon!

A couple of other things you should know is that Fasnacht is loud and crowded and takes over the entire city.  The trams don't run through the city which means you'll have to put on your walking shoes.  Due to the close proximity to the smoking-loving swiss, you'll probably inhale quite a bit of smoke too (and thats not including the smoke bombs they often let off).  But the joy, music and celebration is worth the inconveniences. I definitely think that everyone going through Basel should experience it!

 

 

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Documenting your life: Part 1

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Documenting your life: Part 1

It makes me sad that we know very little about those that have passed away some time ago when technology wasn't as readily available and we didn't have the fortune of having a camera with us at every moment of the day.  Maybe ancestry websites can tell you bits and pieces such as date of birth, date of death, cause of death, marriage details etc, but these tell us very little about who a person was.  How he smiled at his loved ones, the singing club she was part of that she loved so much, the thick-rimmed glasses that all his friends and family knew him for, the fact that after a glass of wine she always wanted to dance... all these little details is what we love people for.

We are in a new era!  Generations after us will know so much more about us.  There will be so many photographs and videos and Facebook status updates (*cringe*) that they can hopefully access.  I often ponder on this idea and feel such a strong desire to give them incredible images.  I'm not talking about a million mediocre, mindless iPhone snaps... but REAL, EMOTIVE, BEAUTIFUL images that reflect the stuff that matters like how madly we loved one another, the laughs we shared together, the way we grew up and learned.  

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Because this is so important to me (and hopefully you too), I'm starting a series on my blog to give you the knowledge and inspiration to document and capture your life in a thoughtful way.  It's almost like you're writing you'll be recording your autobiography as it actually happens.  My series will focus on a diverse range of topics from how to organise your photos to overcoming self-consciousness.    Today's topic is:

And above all,
watch with glittering 
eyes the whole
world around you
because the greatest
secrets are always
hidden in the most
unlikely places.
Those who don’t
believe in magic
will never find it.
— Roald Dahl

Finding the beauty in everyday

I think most people will be thinking:  "I have nothing to photograph on a day-to-day basis, nothing out of the ordinary happens".  

Nobody's life is unicorns, glitter and adventure 24/7.  Even the glamorous personalities you see on Instagram still do all the 'normal' activities you may see as nothing special.  However there is magic in the mundane, and stories to tell in the repetitive tasks - you just have to look a little closer.  

How to exercise your beauty-seeking muscle

  1. Select a part of your day that you usually just gloss over - it could be getting dinner ready, or your daily walk in the park, the first half an hour on a Sunday morning, or getting the kids ready for bed.  Approach this moment with the purpose of finding the beauty in it.  Look for the little moments and how you feel about them (and they don't always have to be happy to be beautiful). 
  2. Be observant of facial expressions and the movements of your/their body - particularly reactions to what is going on. 
  3. Observe how the light looks - is it harsh, or soft, or a glow from a lamp. What colour is it?  How does the light make you/your loved ones look?  
  4. What sounds do you hear - laughing, birds singing, the kettle boiling, how does your loved ones voice sound?
  5. Express gratitude - think about what makes you grateful in this moment, maybe its the fresh air, seeing your child's joy, the peaceful morning light.  There will always be something to be grateful for - even if you're staring at a pig-sty of a house - you can be grateful for all the living that created the mess, the joy it has brought you, the fortune of owning so many wonderful things!
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The way I express gratitude is by taking a photo of it.  I look at the whole scene, but consider what is it I want to highlight or express in my photo.  Is it their hair, or the details of their hand, the emotion, or are you telling a story by taking a few steps back and showing an entire scene. 

Seeing the beauty in the everyday is a bit of optimism and a bit of mindfulness.  You need to be in a positive frame of mind and be living in the moment.  No matter how 'boring' the moment may be - see the beauty and capture it!   A great way to practice this is by participating an a 52 week or 365 (daily) photo project - you can either just take a photo each day/week, or find a prompt list that you can follow. 

Happy beauty seeking!

 

 

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Caroline & John | Basel Couples Photographer

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Caroline & John | Basel Couples Photographer

I had the pleasure of taking photos of fellow photographer Caroline and her lovely partner John last weekend.  They have a beautiful apartment in Basel - lots of light coming in with large windows and so homely with their eclectic and creative style.  Their window sill is lined with cacti, plants and treasures, there's art all over the walls and books galore - it gives me all the heart eyes!  

There's something I love about photographing people in their own home - people are more comfortable, its more personal and the outcome is more customised to them meaning the images will tell more of a story.  I think Caroline & John's photos show how much love they have for one another - the way they look at each other, how they hold hands and the laughs they share.  They've been with each other for 13 years - I think everyone hopes to still share this sort of connection to their loved ones after so long. <3

In-home sessions is something I want to do much more of in 2018.  If you want some images like this - contact me to book in!

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An Australians' experience living in Switzerland

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An Australians' experience living in Switzerland

It's been a year since this Australian got on a plane to Switzerland, not knowing how long we'll be here for or what challenges, travels and momentous occasions will unfold.  I have to start this post by counting my blessings and although not every moment has been peachy, I do realise not everyone is fortunate enough to live in two beautiful countries such as Australia and Switzerland. 

I wanted to share what its been like for me, an Australian, to move to Basel - the quirks, the awesome surprises and the things that make me want to pack my bags and take the next plane back to Australia. 

The scenery

I had a funny encounter with a check-out lady who picked up on my accent. She couldn't understand why I had moved to Switzerland when I came from such a beautiful country.  She said she'd move to Australia in a heartbeat if she won lotto.  I remember saying something along the same lines to my husband - "Why would you move to Australia when you live in Switzerland!?" I'm not denying the beauty of Australia, however the Swiss landscape leaves little to be desired (okay, maybe the beach!) - majestic mountains and crystal blue lakes do something to my soul! I feel at peace around a landscape so grand.  

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They're not breakfast people

I tell you, I'm missing the cool cafes/restaurants of Perth - Harvest Espresso, Bib & Tucker, Imp, Tiisch and so many more.  I am dying for some creative breakfast food!  The truth is, they don't really do breakfast here - it's all croissants and muesli, which is okay... but it's a bit boring. Their brunch consists of meat, cheese, bread and if they're really out there - scrambled eggs and bacon.  It sounds like such a superficial thing, but visiting cool cafes was one of my most favourite things to do to relax. Cool interior design, awesome tasty food and good coffee.... c'mon Switzerland!

Post comes on Saturdays 

Poor posties - they work 6 days a week... but it means we can get packages delivered on Saturdays too!  hooray!

The seasons

In Australia  (Perth specific)- there's basically two seasons - hot/warm weather, or rainy, slightly colder weather.  In Switzerland, Every one of the seasons brings a different landscape - the many flowers of spring time, the warm summer and blue skies, the spectacular shades of orange, red and brown in Autumn (where leaves actually fall off the trees) and the snow, bare trees and blistering cold of winter. I've seen so much more beauty in the seasons!!

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Swiss checkout assistants don't work as hard as the Aussies

Okay, maybe they do work just as hard but I actually miss food shopping in Australia.  It's so easy - great variety in each spacious supermarket, pick your food take it to the checkout, then put the bagged groceries in your trolley, to the car and then your home.  In Switzerland - It's a bit more effort.  When you pick your fruit and vegies, you then have to weigh it, put in the code and put a sticker barcode on each item.  Then when you get to the checkout (its a bit like Aldi) you have to bag it all yourself. It gets a bit chaotic when you're trying to bag everything before the next customer, pray you remembered to put the barcode on everything, and pay for it.  All my items are just thrown in the bags... lucky the bread is crusty and doesn't get squashed too much!  All plastic bags cost money here (so everyone generally brings their own) and then you've got to lug it home on the tram.  Food shopping should be an olympic sport here. I should get a medal! haha. 

Its easier to buy alcohol than panadol 

In supermarkets you can easily buy alcohol, even my corner supermarket has a good selection of wine, beer and spirits.  But panadol?  You need to go to the pharmacy.  We had a funny situation when we went to Mürren for a weekend and needed some panadol, but because it was a little town (only accessed by a gondola) and the town doctor passed away recently (!!!)  you couldn't buy any! Over the counter drugs are quite easily accessed in Australia, didn't realise this until I came here.  It annoys me I have to make a special trip to the pharmacy to buy panadol (first world problem, I know - but I live in Switzerland, all my problems are first world)

Dogs come everywhere

Honestly, nothing brightens my day more than seeing the happy dog on the tram that gets to go everywhere with their owner.  People are always out with their dogs, walking them, food shopping, getting lunch. Just don't forget to buy a big dog a ticket for the tram. I've seen (a few times now) dogs being carted around in prams. They honestly live the best life here, and they're pretty well behaved too... oh to be a dog in Switzerland! 

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No beach, No worries

So, there's no beach here - but that doesn't stop the Swiss from enjoying Summer!  They're out on the Rhine and multiple rivers and lakes around Switzerland with their beach towels and big inflatable flamingos bathing in the water and sunbathing on the grass. Some of the lakes are so clean and clear you can see the ducks legs paddling beneath the surface.

In fact, all year round - everyone is out enjoying the outdoors - hiking, skiing, swimming, skydiving, base jumping... it really is an adventurers paradise.

On the topic of water though- the water is so fresh and clean you can drink it straight from the tap. No filter required.

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They don't hip hooray 

After happy birthday we always do the hip hip hooray in Australia... maybe even a 'for she's a jolly good fello'.  But after the happy birthday (which they weirdly, all sing in English) there's nothing else... feels like its missing something!

Travel is cheap and easy

Travel is so easy. In a few short hours (or less) I can be in Italy, France, or Germany.  Its a 3 hour train trip to Paris, I can be in Germany or France in 10 minutes, and a short plane trip can take you to any european city.  The train trips through Switzerland  have the most beautiful views - I cannot put away my camera! Every time I'm on a train in Switzerland.. I count my lucky stars i'm here and get to see views like this on the reg. 

We also have access to a 'half-card'. We pay an annual fee to get half price off our train tickets - it's more than paid for itself. Sometimes they also have special day tickets - CHF29 for a day ticket. Considering I can get to any place in Switzerland in less than 3 hours it's easy and affordable to do day trips.

 View from the Train over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva)

View from the Train over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva)

So much more smoking

I have to say... it's my biggest gripe about living here.  There's double the amount of smokers here than in Australia. Switzerland is very behind in smoking laws.  They're allowed to smoke on train/tram/bus platforms, they smoke right at the entrance to many shops and restaurants and even in kids playgrounds.  (I should note they are just about to trial no smoking in 6 train stations across Switzerland - it's been met with much resistance).  In summer, I feel sad that I can't really dine outdoors without breathing in smoke.  It's made me so grateful for the strict laws in Australia that makes fresh air a common privilege, but ugh.... It's the bane of my existence here in Switzerland.

Tradition 

Switzerland is steeped in tradition.  Patrick always snickered at 'tradition' in Australia - as it usually means it's only been running for around 100 years (or less). In Switzerland there are many traditional events such as Fasnacht, Vogel Gryff and Desalpé (in the mountains) which have been running for more than a few centuries - sometimes it's been running for centuries beyond what's recorded so it's hard to determine when these started. It actually boggles my mind thinking of all the people that have come before us also taking part in these events.  Sometimes I'm amazed that such outdated, and down-right weird events still take place. In Zurich, they burn the 'böög' (English translation: boogie!) until its' head falls off. The longer his head stays on, the better the summer will be.  

 Desalpé in Charmey.&nbsp; When the farmers adorn the cows/goats with bells and flowers and walk them down the mountain for winter.&nbsp;&nbsp;

Desalpé in Charmey.  When the farmers adorn the cows/goats with bells and flowers and walk them down the mountain for winter.  

Expensive is an understatement

When I first arrived, I mentally converted the cost of things to AU$.  Probably a bad move!  AU$40 for a small plate of sushi (from the supermarket!), AU$20 for two Starbucks coffee's, AU$120 for two indian dishes, rice and 2 non-alcoholic drinks,  AU$5 for a short one-way tram trip to the city, AU$320 for a doctor visit (until you reach your health insurance excess).  The bright side is you obviously get paid much better here too.  But I can understand why some people can't afford to visit Switzerland for very long, but it makes visiting Italy even sweeter - "wait, the best pasta ever for 12 euro??? heck-to-the-yes".

They're serious about rules

Noise and recycling have the most restrictions in Switzerland. No noise from 10pm, and between 12-2pm and Sundays. So don't even think about assembling your ikea furniture during those times.  For recycling: take your glass to a local recycling station, take your plastic to the supermarket, your cardboard needs to be put together for a separate verge-side collection and general rubbish needs to be in swiss-approved bags for collection.  And for when the noise and recycling come together: No glass recycling on the weekends because it makes too much noise when you drop it in. Yes... I'm serious. 

 One of many delicious meals enjoyed in Italy!

One of many delicious meals enjoyed in Italy!

So overall - what's it like?

There are obviously things i miss about Australia - Sunshine almost all year round, fresh clean air, creative affordable food, and of course - my friends and family.  However 2017 was honestly one of the best years of my life.  I've learnt some German, been able to travel to some GORGEOUS places with amazing people and got to know so much more about how the Swiss live and enjoy life. Switzerland is a visual feast for the eyes and as a photographer I couldn't be happier.  Financially, I am so grateful to Switzerland for giving us opportunity to build our wealth for our futures.  It's taken some time to shift perspective from what I'm missing in Switzerland to what I have, but I think ending a year here and being able to reflect on all I've experienced has made me super grateful and 'hashtag-blessed' for all it's given me.  

Even though I wrote this blog post after a year, I am still continually surprised by things which are new to me - pleasant surprises and also things which are darn confusing.  I'm looking forward to another year of learning and swiss experiences.  If you haven't been, Switzerland is definitely worth a visit - let me know if you want any recommendations. 

 Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Lauterbrunnen Valley.

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 Zhanna - Pregnancy Announcement

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 Zhanna - Pregnancy Announcement

A few days ago, I went to visit my friend Zhanna (of Nomadic June Photography) in the South of Switzerland - I wanted to get creative and try out my new camera so we did a mini shoot in her home. What made it even sweeter is the fact that she's 4 months pregnant with her first child so we got to incorporate some beautiful maternity photos!  I love everything about these pictures... the tones, her gorgeous home, the cotton flowers and her cosy outfits. 

In 2018, this is the direction i'll be taking my photography and i'm excited to start offering in-home sessions just like this.  If you're interested in a shoot like this for yourself - get in touch!

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Autumn Family Session

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Autumn Family Session

A couple of weekends ago, i met the gorgeous Gama family.  With 4 children, I was expecting a busy 45 minutes, however the kids were super adorable and well behaved.  The littlest warmed up during the shoot and we ended up with some amazing photos for them to treasure for the rest of their lives!  Morning light is superb by the way - and it's great if you have little ones as they are a bit fresher and happier in the mornings.  

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Herbst Mini Sessions | Basel Family Photography

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Herbst Mini Sessions | Basel Family Photography

We had absolutely spectacular weather last weekend which made for some gorgeous family photos in Basel's Lange Erlen.  The leaves were a plenty and we got so many great shots. If you want to make the most of the Autumn colours - book your session today. I know just the spots to go for some beautiful pictures! 

Here are my favourites from the mini sessions:

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