Mother’s Day

mum and kids in bed opening presents

I should (must) do it more but Mother’s Day is one time I make the effort to get in the frame with my kids. I don’t always feel like being in the photographs – looking too old and tired is my usual excuse! But it really is so important for your kids to have photographs of them when they’re growing up with YOU in them. My kids already love these photos of us together and I guarantee when I look at them in 10 years I will think how young I look and I won’t see the tired eyes or the sheet marks on my face from the early morning.

It’s your legacy. And if you don’t do it…then you will miss out! So, I challenge you – get over your harsh self-criticisms, pop your camera or iphone on timer and get in the frame.  If you’re looking for inspiration this hashtag on Instagram is gold #getintheframe

Do you look back on your family album and wonder where Mum (or Dad) is? Was one parent the usual photographer? My albums are fairly bare but I do book an annual family photography session so I know I have those images at the minimum. I’m also not above setting the timer and just getting us during dinner preparations or homework sessions. Everyday moments, perhaps not so momentous but they tell Our Family Story.

 

This Mother’s Day Jon waited an hour in the queue at the bakery, then picked up my kids from their Dad’s. They then proceeded to cook me breakfast in bed and we had a great morning opening the gifts they bought at the Mother’s Day stall at school. Here are a few photos, some taken by Edie, some by Jon and a couple by me.

 

24HourProject

24hourproject brisbane cover image

24hourproject brisbane cover image

The 24HourProject is a global street photography project.

Last year Jon and I were participants, this year we took on the role of Ambassador for Brisbane.  To be involved, to participate or just to see our world in live-view over 24hours please join our facebook group.

We have secured generous sponsorship from FujiFilm Australia and our favourite camera store CameraPro Australia. They are giving us FujiFilm lenses, batteries and SD cards to keep us shooting for the full 24hours. In return we will be presenting our images and learnings from the experience at CameraPro’s flagship event in May.

WHEN: On April 7, 2018 the 7th annual 24-Hour- Project will be held across the globe with
the goal to “document humanity and make a difference

WHO:  2756 photographers spanning 791 cities over 158 countries.

WHAT: Starting at midnight local time on April 7th, 2018 the photographers will document the human condition, with a focus this year’s stories of women in their own city.

HOW: Each participant takes and shares one photo to social media every hour for the 24 hours following 24HourProject guidelines. The images, theme and content become a viral live view of the world hour by hour.

LATER: Photographers select their best photos after the event and submit their final 24 images to www.24hourproject.org. Selected photos go to travelling exhibitions, conferences, workshops and photobooks.

This year the 24HourProject is collaborating with Shakti Vahini, a non-profit organization in India which empowers, educates and defends women and their human rights.

There is no requirement on skill level or equipment. From smart phone to DSLR, it’s not about the gear. We are encouraging people with a love of street photography and sense of adventure to join us to record our wonderful city for 24 hours straight.

What I loved most about the project last year was the connections and friendships. We met so many people as we moved about the city. Brisbane is such an open and friendly city. People we connected with were intrigued by the project and followed along with us on social media. The other interesting part was that at each place we stopped to photograph and talk with people, they had great ideas to send us on to another interesting location or event happening. It was like a treasure hunt of sorts!

24HourProject 2017 

International Women’s Day

Young girl looking to the future

young girl looking to the future

Happy International Women’s Day 2018

When I was younger I vowed that I wouldn’t have children because I was terrified of the world they would inherit. Reading ‘Z for Zacharia’ at 12 years of age pretty much sealed the deal..but that body clock ticks on….

Bringing us to 2018, I’m 43 years of age and we are bringing up 2 daughters (and 4 sons). Navigating our way, parenting them the best way we know how. Instilling in them respect for women, respect for themselves. It is astounding how many subtle gender stereotypes are ingrained in us. I find myself having to correct my language more often than I am comfortable admitting. The stereotyping is just ‘there’…. and I’m shocked because I feel like I am Feminist AF and I know Jon feels he is too. Everyday stereotypes are gently corrected and the girls of the house are always served first. Old fashioned perhaps yes but on second thoughts it goes some way to reverse the cultural expectations. And seriously, Women should be Revered (birthing a baby like it’s no big thang anyone?!)

It’s not all doom and gloom of course. There are so many wonderful opportunities for young girls and women today, even more than us Gen X’s ever had. As parents we are bringing back a sense of community, of tribe and the confirmation that it DOES take a village to raise a child.

Yet there is still such a way to go. When women are represented as the 50% of the population that they are. When women are welcomed and invited to sit at the table, to make the decisions that affect them and their families, their children. If more women were running our countries I see a more peaceful and collaborative way of governing. Equal respect and admiration for BOTH sexes. An easy peace.

I welcome a time when we don’t have to think about the gender pay gap or if this next Tinder date is safe to go on because the date has not been taught about respect or consent. No sense of dread for our daughters when they are in a room or an elevator filled with men. How we will arm ourselves with our car keys and mobile phone walking back to our car after dark. And that’s in a relatively safe country like Australia. I shudder to think of the daily abuse and shocking fear women endure in developing countries, war-torn countries, devoutly, extremely religious countries. But endure they do and you don’t hear much about it. Certainly you would hear a lot more about it if were men being suppressed, raped and tortured.

And though it scares me (who in their right mind gave me these 2 beauties to shepherd into womanhood?!) I remind myself the best thing I can do is be the woman I want them to be; to inspire our girls, encourage them to follow their dreams, to seek their own path and life filled with adventure. Along the way (and after much wild adventure) I do hope that if they want a life companion that they seek until they find a partner to share their vision, a soul mate who respects and reveres them the way they deserve. You can be sure that we will help guide them, to give them the confidence and self-love and self-worth that sees them happy in their own company, to not settle for anything less than a soul connection, for mutual respect and peace. If nothing else they will have that Life Lesson hard earned wisdom from both of us.

I get sick of hearing that Feminism is akin to man hating. A quote that I read today and love is: ‘Feminism is the radical idea that a woman’s safety is more important than a man’s feelings’. It is galling to think that by standing up for ourselves, our children, to stand on the same stage as men, is seen as greedy, as ungrateful and as aggressive and hateful. No fellas, it’s not an affront to your manhood.

I’ve read so many inspiring quotes on social media today. Listened to Podcasts and marvelled at gorgeous, clever, witty illustrations and memes created by women. I am so proud to be a woman! I have the most wonderful tribe of women friends and over the years we have had countless conversations that DESPITE all the inequality none of us would give up being a WOMAN for ANYTHING. I mean seriously, can you imagine NOT giving BIRTH to your babies?

Never quite as eloquent as I hope – ever so hesitant to spout my Feminist Thoughts (yeah, we have those) ….but so proud to be a female and so proud to be raising a couple of gorgeous, clever, strong and brave young women and men. Wishing you all a wonderful International Womens Day 2018.  Big Love, B

If you don’t already, go ahead and follow these inspiring Feminists:

https://www.instagram.com/clementine_ford/

https://www.smh.com.au/by/clementine-ford-hve62

Blog

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Steinem

‘Feminism is equality: politically, culturally, socially and economically. It is that simple’

‘Feminism is the radical idea that a woman’s safety is more important than a man’s feelings’

“Girls just wanna have fun…damental human rights!”

Morning rituals with my muse

Mornings with school aged kids is pretty hectic! Between packing lunchboxes, getting everyone fed, clothed, shoes on, socks on, shoes and socks back on…..some attempt at dental hygiene, a hair do of sorts for everyone (and a swipe of mascara for me)

I am making an effort to stop and savour the lovely light in our house, the way the kids’ bedhead hair reaches such heights, sleepy breath and morning cuddles.

This morning I captured these images of Edie in about 3 minutes before she woke up completely and was on her merry way. She is completely at ease in front of the camera and let’s me photograph her without objection.

My little muse.

Halloween Australian style

kids in halloween costumes

If you’ve been following me on Instagram you’ll already know the man I love is American. He has introduced us to some great traditions but none have been so much fun as Halloween.

On Tuesday night Jon and the kids carved the pumpkins and roasted the seeds in butter. Ummm yum, I could really get into this holiday!

Wednesday was Halloween and Max wanted to go as ‘that fangy monster guy’ to Kindy so out came the face paint and away we went.

Wednesday evening the kids were hyped. It was their first time really celebrating Halloween and they couldn’t wait for Jon to get home. They put Skelly the skeleton and the talking tombstone outside and lit the candles in the pumpkin. I went into overdrive getting the costumes sorted. Assuring Edie that being creative with things we already had in our wardrobe and dress up box was much more interesting that buying a cheap and nasty costume at the local $2 Shop.

“You’ll just look like everyone else, plus those costumes are hot and sweaty” I said convincingly…. “All I want to do is look like everyone else and I’m cold” Miss 6 said. Meh.

Once that surly thundercloud passed we set off to the streets near our school for Trick or Treating. The kids ran in a pack, from house to house laughing their heads off and filling their bags with lollies. When we got home they spread out their lolly haul. If you know me, you’ll know I’m the Sugar Grinch and don’t give my kids much junk. We compromised and they quite happily threw out any of the really nasty lollies but decided they could keep all the chocolate. They still ended up with approximately 18 years worth of sugar so they were happy with that!