As BJP develops, so do the services, ideas and working style.
I ran a competition while I was away in 2009 and Kate and Dan decided to enter. They were one of three families to win, which was especially cool in this instance as I photographed their wedding on 18 January 2003 – the day of the Canberra fires that levelled 500 homes – so it was really nice to see them again after all these years under such a positive circumstance. Harry was a little tyke at their wedding, just four months old, and since then Ruby came along. Years went by with no photographs at all (something to do with travelling). When they won the competition it was for one photo session and when they told me they were pregnant, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to document the visual story of their new little one coming into the world? I proposed that we do three sessions: one at the end of the pregnancy, one at the hospital and one with the new baby at 6 weeks old.
A few days after I arrived home, we met up on the site where they were married, and captured their family life at that time. As always I step into the unknown and am curious to see what I’ll find. Ruby wasn’t particularly happy that day because Dan was heading off of a cycling event for 3 weeks, Harry was Harry – happy to be there, donning a hat and running around like a mad thing. We pulled out the picnic rug and goodies and captured some beauties. Kate, you looked fabulous pregnant!
Then our little treasure arrived on 16 February 2010. Naturally Kate and Dan were exhausted, but I pushed a little to have the hospital photos done on the day of her arrival – and actually I’m so glad I did that because now they really have Meg’s very first day on the planet documented. I was there for less than an hour – I moved quietly around the room, chatted and joked, and casually slipped in some frames here and there and had a hold of the bubba! I feel that the first few hours of a baby’s life is such an incredible time, emotions are high, people are tired, but it’s up there with getting married – in my view a day that is a photographic must. I’d love to do more of this hospital coverage. It’s a documentary style, no posing at all, I just make sure I’m in position so when the moments happen I’m ready.
And now the third chapter of Meg’s arrival story. Going in I decided that I wanted to capture this little creature as part of a family. How are they adjusting to her? How does she fit? We found on the day that little Meg was having some digestive troubles, just the usual sort of thing that new babies experience. She was tired, she was feeding, with all the family madness going on around here. Harry was busy running about, narrowly missing her head a few times! Look out Meg, I’d say Harry will have plans for you! I was keen to show how life goes on even with a new baby. Ruby was delightful, showing me all of her jewels, what a honey girl. Interesting also to observe how Dan moved between mum and bub, and the other children. These images will be part of a greater collection of 150 frames that hold the moment of Meg’s arrival, a wonderful book will come from this and a stunning collection of wall prints for the family to enjoy in the years ahead.
Kate and Dan, thank you both so much for having me back, it’s been so lovely to see that life is treating you so well. You’re even a trooper Kate coming along to the exhibition opening night with Meg all swaddled up. You are both such grounded and loving people and so I think we were always bound to create some beautiful imagery. I hope I can see you again in the future and continue to document your Family Story. It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of this very special time in your lives and a joy to meet Ruby and Harry and of course Meg. They are very lucky children indeed.