Tag Archives: adventure

Lunch and photography workshop – so much fun we could have done it all day

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I spent last weekend and most of this week battling some horrid virus type thing that laid me flat and drained me of energy and enthusiasm but I was determined to be well again by Thursday.  I’d entered a blog competition with one of my favourite bloggers ever, Fat Mum Slim, to go to a photography workshop and lunch with Chantelle, awesome photographer Rachel Devine (Sesame Ellis) and the lovely Alex from Olympus.  Fifteen lucky winners got to bring one of their children along to the QT Hotel on the Gold Coast to learn how to take photos with their child, not just of their child.

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Choosing which child I was taking along was easy!  Bronte has been taking an interest in photography for a while now and although her pics are usually quite random (and some are sneak attacks on us when we’re not looking… thank goodness for the delete button as I don’t need extra chins, thanks kiddo!) she also manages a few quite good ones where you can see the thought behind the photo.  And, besides, a little mother/daughter time never hurts!

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After a great talk by Rachel and some tips we all got given (loaned! they counted them and wanted them back!) cameras from Olympus.  The kids were given the Olympus Tough range and they’re fantastic… I can totally see Bronte wanting one of those for Christmas.  It’s a little bigger than her current Olympus but they’re designed for kids or people who are very adventurous.  I’d never used that one before but fortunately Alex, the marketing manager from Olympus, was on hand for when the kids dashed back to our workshop space with a few extra questions.

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Bronte made a friend immediately and they buddied up together, sharing ideas and thoughts on where to put their props and how to get the best shot.  All the kids were given a toy animal (Bronte got a dog, I saw a panda, a horse, a budgie and a deer as well as many others) to use and were encouraged to be creative.

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One of the joys of the QT is how it has some awesome little quirks.  We took the elevator and stopped on random floors.  Near the elevator bank was a chair that had been painted and every floor had a different themed chair.  The girls loved using them for their photo ideas and they got super snap-happy and turned their cameras on us – here I am taking a photo of my papparazzi pack.  I am soooo not cut out to be a celebrity – I squealed like a girl when they started, turned and ran.  *lol*

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I loved seeing how Bronte absorbed some of the tips that Rachel gave us about shooting from different perspectives (I know I usually shoot from my eye level and I need to get higher or lower sometimes for different shots) and Bronte happily got low to the ground.  She also used props around her and was aiming for something quite arty here, I think.

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It’s all about positioning for the perfect shot and not being afraid to put yourself in an awkward spot to get it.  The girls well and truly nailed it here!  Well, the positioning bit, I need to go through the shots to find out how this one turned out.

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Of course, they’re still at the age where they can happily play up to the camera.  In this one they were showing off their toy props while pretending to be game show hostesses.  This was probably the only time (apart from lunch!) that they put the cameras down.

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Speaking of lunch, it was fabulous – gorgeous salads, quiches, rolls and wraps, a fruit platter and this awesome dessert.  How awesome was it?  Well, here’s Bronte being sprung eating her second one.  *lol*

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Part of the little goody bag that Bronte got included the kaledioscope camera she’s wearing around her neck in most of the photos.  I couldn’t resist using it to take her photo… so much fun!

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This is one of the few photos Bronte took without her toy dog prop in it.  If you look carefully you can see me.  Well, my reflection.  We forgot to take a group photo and I didn’t remember to do a selfie, either so this is about all you’ll see of me.

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And I couldn’t turn up empty handed, especially knowing we were getting a little goody bag or two.  I got given the most amazing decorated biscuit from LoveBites that you can see in the top collage – it’s an Olympus camera with edible glitter and everything.  It looked stunning and it tasted just as good.  I can’t bake but fortunately I do have access to the best raw honey on the Gold Coast so Bronte and I took along a jar of fresh honey for Chantelle, Rachel and Alex to say thank you.  It was such a fun day with lots of laughter, great food and interesting people to chat to.  We were reluctant to leave as we were having so much fun but we left with big smiles on our faces.

I went AWOL… and here’s some puppy spam

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Well, hi there!  I’m just casually checking you out… you smell great.  Is it your perfume or have you been eating something?  I’m the reason that my hu-mum has been busy and hasn’t posted anything on her blog… naughty hu-mum!  Still, I’m so cute she just can’t resist and she’s been busy trying to teach me lots and lots of things.  Some of them I find easier than others.  Sitting so I get my dinner?  Sure, I can do that.  Politely waking her so I can go outside when I need to overnight… we’re working on it.  Anyway, I’ll hand you back to the hu-mum and she can tell you what I’ve been up to since I arrived.

Love and puppy kisses,

Willoughby xx


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Willoughby loves being outside, playing wiht the leaves and any toys the kids have left lying around.  Here he is, working on killing a lizard.  Fortunately for the lizard it’s just made of rubber.  Unfortunately for the lizard he chewed its feet off.  Fortunately for Willoughby I didn’t discover this until the feet… reappeared.

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Life is tiring and he takes lots of naps.  The kids like to interrupt him, uh, play with him a lot and so he doesn’t get as much rest as he’d like.  He was snoozing so well here that you could just see it.  Well, if you have the Little Moments app, of course.  😉

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Exploring the yard again!  We’re working on him coming and then sitting at the sound of his name.  Beagles are really intelligent dogs but they’re ruled by their nose and he will follow a scent above all else.  That’s why he won’t leave the property without his leash.

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Playing with the kids, there’s a lot of that happening.  Master2 still doesn’t quite grasp the concept of “gentle with the puppy” and likes to check that his tail and ears are still attached.  So far they are!  He’s a very forgiving dog, too.  Well, either that or a glutton for punishment as he keeps going back for more!

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Just casually looking cute here.  It seems to come naturally!

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I didn’t do anything for Melbourne Cup this year, but I did take this picture when Willoughby looks like a racing beagle fascinator.  Okay, it’s the angle, but he does love to race around the yard.

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Hard to resist taking pics of the puppy asleep.  I love how wrinkly his mouth gets and he just loves lying in the sun.

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We have toothpaste addicts in this house and here is poor Willoughby after wandering into the bathroom and getting fingerpainted with toothpaste.  It is a nice heart shape though… and he smelled minty fresh!

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Catching up on the latest episode of Baby Jake on ABC2, the kids channel.  He was a bit annoyed he’d missed Play School (although after seeing what he does with his toys I think Big Ted and Little Ted are secretly glad he missed them!) but he did get to enjoy Sesame Street.

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I love The Very Hungry Caterpillar and here’s Willoughby curled up with a toy one.  Well, that and Giggleosaurus.  So far he’s sharing toys nicely with the kids but he’s rather loathe to let them touch the caterpillar!

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As if it’s not bad enough that I’m constantly whipping my phone out to take photos, here he is politely sititng through a photoshoot with MissNearlyNine.

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And here we are, ready for another day’s adventure.  Turns out he’s not a fan of selfies on the phone and so we got a bit of a Blue Steel look here.

 

Introductions, in reverse order

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On her seventh birthday our daughter blew out the candles on her cake and wished for a baby brother that could talk.  Not that she expected him to emerge with a vocabulary to rival hers, just that he would be able to hold a conversation with her, unlike our second child who is non verbal.  Although we laughed wistfully at her wish we didn’t realise just how good a wish it would be… almost exactly nine months later we made her dream come true.

A curious and adventurous child, this one is our absolutely oh so typical two year old.  He can tantrum on demand and turn it off in the blink of an eye.  We constantly hear “What’s dat?” or “Mine!” but we do get a fair few “Peeeeeeeease” and “Fank oo” wedged in amongst his constant… requests.  He’s been a diehard Wiggles fan since he was born – not that he had a choice, they’re a staple in this household – and has developed a deep love for Peppa Pig.  Food is something that will always raise a smile from him, he will try pretty much anything but is a complete and utter fruitbat and can devour a punnet of strawberries quicker than you can blink.

To watch him with his siblings is lovely.  He adores his sister and stomps around the house calling her name and expecting her to appear and play with him, he’ll give a pout when reminded that she’s at school or at ballet.  His brother is his partner in crime and they are a force to be reckoned with.  His brother will open the fridge and then we’ll discover a certain two year old sitting on the floor pouring milk into a bowl.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the bowl wasn’t on the carpet and it wasn’t overflowing.  They also like to do a game I refer to as “Egg Bowling” which is pretty much as it sounds – they get a carton of eggs and roll them along the floor to hit something and smash everywhere.

Mischief, joy, charm, giggles, noise, no fear, independent, confident and just a little bit scary… this little boy stole our hearts so easily.  Having a third child five years after our last one may not have been planned but if a surprise is just something you get that you didn’t know you needed so desperately then we got the best surprise of all.