I'm not actually sure when it happened. It feels like overnight, but I guess over the last 5 years it's been way more obvious. I have been more reluctant to get in front of the camera. Oh don't worry I'm as much a show pony as the next show pony, but I prefer to show off behind the camera these days. I have a few reasons for not wanting to have my photo taken that are less obvious than just reaching a certain age and sometimes being a little shocked or disappointed with what I see in the mirror. (Like seriously! When did that crease appear in my face?!!!).
I have funny eyes and a kind of lopsided face. When I was 16, whilst hanging out the washing my hand slipped and I knocked myself in the eye. What resulted was a detached retina, and over the years my eye became lazy, for which I had a few surgeries, but it never really came right. As time went on I started losing vision in that eye, and 5 years ago I had cataract surgery to see if I could recover anything. It was not a success and I am now completely blind in my right eye. It has even turned from blue to green!!! Some people say "Oh Wow!"
I hope they genuinely think its cool rather, than like me, think it looks just plain weird!
Then when I was 30 I woke up one morning with a small lump in my jaw... by the end of the day one side of my face was numb, and my eye couldn't close properly (I wasn't too impressed that it was my good eye that I now couldn't see out of!). Oh yeah, and my face would only smile on one side. Bell’s Palsy. It probably took about 6 months for it to come right, but even now when I smile it looks lopsided to me. To be honest I don't think other people notice it. After all no one really has a symmetrical face.
And then comes the big one. It's my birthday this month. (I’m not expecting presents honestly, but just to let you know I'm saving for a canon 5D mkiii!). And next year is going to be a "significant" birthday. I never used to mind saying my age, but now it’s like I have some sort of gagging order on it!!! I think that happened around the time everything started going south.
So the upshot is I hate having my photo taken because I think I look weird and I’m staring a half century down the barrel. Half century???!!!!!! But the thing is, in my mind I think I stopped at around 18. So for me, what is on the inside and what’s on the outside don’t match up! And when I see myself I kind of feel uncomfortable.
When I post a photo of myself on my photography page, the comments are nearly always positive. I don’t do it to receive accolades, but it’s nice for people to see who I am. Well I hope it’s nice anyway! And of course it does feel good when someone says something complimentary. And never has anyone mentioned I have wonky eyes or a funny smile. I think what they are seeing is me. The me that likes a good belly laugh and sings at the top of her very off key voice, and shows off when she gets her hair done, and can scrub up okay when the need arises, but who also bemoans the fact that those jeans are getting snug, whilst munching down a piece of gluten free cake.
But the thing is ... I hear a lot of women around my age, saying they hate having their photo taken, because they are getting older and have put on a bit of weight. And they shouldn’t. Because what I see is not really what they see in the mirror. It’s what is shining through on the inside that I see. I see 50 years or more of life experience, and kindness and wisdom, joy and sadness, and I can see that they still have that sparkle in their eye, and I see a vibrant woman who will jump up when Dancing Queen comes on the radio and still secretly uses her hairbrush as a microphone. A woman who’s family and friends love her with all their hearts, and I see that woman, with all her insecurities, that still has so much more in life to live.
And I want to show those women to the world!
On the 18th of September I had been on standby for two weeks to photograph a birth. The due date was the 19th, but what baby comes on time ... ?
Well little baby Tegan was very keen to meet her Mummy and Daddy and big brother.
My cell phone rang at 11pm, and with me only being a few minutes away from the birthing unit in Howick it was just as well I didn't wait until this amazingly strong Mum who was calling from the car, waited to see how far she was into labour. I could pretty much hear on the phone that I didn't have time to wait and see if she was ready for me to come in! A beautiful baby girl arrived at 2 minutes to midnight! What an absolute privilege and joy to be able to record this amazing moment!
Less than a week later I went back to Mr and Mrs M's home and did a little "Brand New" session. This is a lifestyle session, and a great chance to get some photo's with siblings, and it gives Mum and Dad a bit of time to recover from the birth. What a cute little big brother Matthew is, and although he was pretty interested in his dinosaur, he was full of kisses for his little sister ...
Congratulations to a lovely family! ~ Liz ~
All images are copyright of Elizabeth J Photography
This is something have been wanting to do for so long. I love creative shoots. I think about them all the time, and when I have an idea in my head, it's sometimes all I think about. I finally got to put into pictures some of the ideas that have been in my head! We started off in the studio, and then headed off to the park. Tammy was fabulous to work with, and even happy to leap around in in the middle of the city, with Sunday strollers watching on!
Looking for something tailored to you? Why not contact me? Let's have a chat! Because "It's All About YOU!"
Here's the thing. I'm a photographer, but it doesn't necessarily mean I have really good photos of myself. Unless I go out of the way to get my photos done by someone else... the truth is I end up often with other people's "snaps" of me. If I'm lucky, because I tend to duck out of the way when I'm not the one taking the photo's. But that's a whole new blog post!!! I have four children, and there are a couple of things that I really wished I had done. I wish I had nice maternity pics, and I really would have loved to have known about and had, a birth photographer. Not because I think I looked amazing in childbirth... ha ha far from it. But my children are the most important thing in the world to me. When I had my first child nearly 25 years ago (seriously is it that many years?) I really did feel as though the universe itself had shifted. It was such a life changing moment, the second she was born. And I've felt like that with my following three other children. I would love to be able to recapture that moment again visually. But alas I can't... I have a couple of preggie pics, and the only one I had of myself with my oldest son has been lost. I think about that a lot, and it kind of makes me really sad.
I'm going to put myself out there and show you a photo of my pregnant self. It was "snapped". I went into labour the very next morning, and 24 hours after this photo was taken I was holding my daughter. Its not a great photo. I look a mess to be honest... What was I thinking wearing black pants and a singlet? I look like I'm wearing a figure hugging onsie!!! I wasn't doing photography as a business then, and even though I've always been "into" photos in a big way, I didn't even think of getting maternity shots done, never mind having the birth photographed. I wish I had taken the time... I wish I had known a photographer or found a photographer...
If you are thinking of getting some nice maternity photo's, please give it some serious thought. If you are thinking of having a photographer at your birth please give that some serious thought too, because as time fades so do aspects of your pregnancy and birth experience, and they get harder to bring to mind. I will leave you with a little comparison. A maternity session done a couple of weeks ago, and my "maternity" session done 12 and a half years before. Just please don't laugh at my onsie!!!!
A few weeks ago I photographed the gorgeous Lana. Not only was she lovely to work with she has an amazing voice. I love music. I find it hard to edit without it. And I like to sing. And I sound great! Well in my head I sound great. In reality I sound like a strangled cat in a tin can! So I kept my vocal "skills" well and truly under wraps with this session!!
These head shots are at the more stylized end of things, but I can offer simplified versions. If you would like a price for head shots why not email me on email@example.com. I would be happy to talk to you about what you are wanting. ~ Liz ~
I shot this beautiful expectant Mum Kellie at the weekend. What a pleasure and privilege to be able to capture beautiful baby bumps. Ah... I love my job!
And I think this last one is my favourite.
Of new and wonderful things to come...
If you would like to have a chat about Maternity photography prices and packages, I'm only an email or phone call away. No obligation. And I don't bite! I promise! ~Liz~
Two beautiful sisters with five beautiful girls between them... What happens when one moves from Wellington to Auckland? They miss each other like crazy of course. But then what are school holidays for? For all getting together in one bunch of fun and gorgeousness of course... Beautiful Mums and their beautiful girls.
Seven beautiful girls....
and more sisters ...
Who could barely keep a straight face!
Like I said.... Seven Beautiful Girls.
Family photos, come in all shapes, sizes and relationships, Mum, Dad and the kids. Nana and Grandad and the grand kids. Siblings, cousins, and even those who are like family to you. Book your family photo shoot. At home or at a location of your choice... Because remember, It's All About You! (and your family!). ~ Liz ~
After the very dry and sunny summer we had, this shoot had to take place on probably the wettest day so far! With practically all of Auckland under flood conditions, Mothers Day was looming, and these sibling had only one day that they were all available. Perhaps we can get out between showers I thought...? If there had been a break in the showers that is ... which meant wandering off to explore this fabulous property wasn't really going to be an option. But the absolutely gorgeous rotunda, gazebo, bandstand thingy came in very handy... and with someone to hold a great big beach umbrella over me, I managed to keep the gear dry enough!
Kids and grand kids... we started at the front porch...
and the second story verandah came in handy... what you can't see is the torrential rain in the background!
Lots of laughter in the face of lots of rain!
Time to get some leaping in the air shots.... all together now....
and it was really starting to hose down by now....
We got the money shot for MUM!!!
If you want to book a family shoot, it doesn't have to be about perfect weather, or saying cheese... Its about capturing your family in your way. How you want to. Whether it be gumboots and raincoats or high heels and a gorgeous dress, it's your photo shoot. Because at the end of the day, it's all about YOU!
Why don't you email me firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more, and we can have a chat about what you want for your family photos. ~ Liz ~
A lot of people think being a photographer is rather glamorous with adventure and excitement at every turn. I won't lie to you...but living life in the fast lane isn't always as it seems... so I thought I would give you a little insight into the lifestyle of rock star photographer ...
Let me peel back the layers, and let you have a glimpse into my world ...
I mix with the best ....
And I clean up, when it comes to glamour
it's not easy but someone has to do it....
My kids normally get this look when I bring out the camera... It's something that looks like a deer in the headlights, and a panicked look of having no where to escape to... sigh....
Anyway my eldest daughter must have been a good mood, when I asked her to come over so I could just "try some stuff out". They generally know when I want to "try some stuff out", that they have to do as they are told, and not moan about me making them pose, which to them "feels weird"!!! I have tried to explain that photos just don't happen, so its good that I can use them as guinea pigs, and get an idea of what works. I think these worked... I wanted to "try some stuff" with backlighting and some posing techniques .... And thanks to my daughter Emma's flatmate Jay too... I know it felt strange, and you felt self conscious, but you look fab. See! Trust me!
I wanted to extend the background on this image of Emma, which I love ... so....
Colour or Black and White? I couldn't decide!
I've got lots of props and fabric and things to dress up in too....
I love negative space... leaves you room to play around with textures and things!
Keeping them on task was at times... erm ... trying....!
And then it kind of all went to custard, when Emma got hold of the camera... grubby mirror and all...!!! But we manage to have a laugh... and so will you... book in for a glamour portrait session... You will even have your makeup up and hair done! email me on email@example.com or you can even find me on facebook.... here
I believe in working with you to create images you will love, and cherish, because "It's all about you!"