Callala Beach, NSW

I have known Darren, Mel and Maliyah for a few years now, we're lucky enough to call them neighbours and friends. So when they asked me to capture some memories before they welcome the final addition to their family, I was flattered and excited - shooting with friends is always so much fun. When they booked, they were quick to tell me, "we're really awkward in front of the camera, so if you can just get a few nice photos for us, we'll be so happy". I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this in the past few months since starting this venture! This is a call to action for me - as Barney Stinson would say: "Challenge accepted".

There is a very simple formula for getting natural, candid photos, and that is... being natural and candid in the photo. Awkward poses, looking at the camera and smiling on cue, even saying "Cheeeeeeese" is enough to make anyone uncomfortable in front of the lens. All you really need to do is just enjoy the moment, talk to each other, soak in the moment, and the beautiful photo opportunities will present themselves. Take a look at this "awkward" family, and you'll see they are anything but!

Session notes: Callala Beach is a special place for Darren and Mel - they spent a few years living here before they built their forever home. They used to run along this beach every morning before work all the way to Huskisson and back. The four of us drove out there together in Darren's toy car, which was a surprisingly comfortable drive! The trip out even put little Maliyah to sleep. I loved every second of this shoot, the sunlight was magic and the seaweed scattered across the sand came up beautifully in the photos, blending where the vegetation meets the sea. I cannot wait to shoot with them once their little baby is earth-side. Also, it should be noted that today is Maliyah's fourth birthday! <3