Beth Jennings – The Journey Captured » I capture the journey of people in their personal and professional lives. I teach amateur photographers how to capture their life in beautiful photos. Photography, Melbourne Photographer, Photography Workshops, dSLR Camera Workshops, Creative Camera Course, Photo Course Melbourne, Camera Class Melbourne

A Long Way From France

I’m a photographer that goes beyond the pose to tell real life stories in photographs.

I design images to reconnect you to what’s most important in your life. I search for what’s really going on. It could be a momentous moment, like the first day of your baby’s life, or it could be a simple moment spent together in your favourite family place. In every family story, my intention is to exceed your expectations with images that reflect back to you the wonder in your life.

Today’s post is about a couple with their new baby. OK, so we have the basic elements – one baby, two parents. I’m not a fan of family photographs where the people could be anyone.  I believe my job is to tell their story in images that are meaningful to them.

So I must ask the question, what is their story? How did they come together? What has brought them to Canberra? And why photos, now?

Well, Camille and Julien are French. They met and became friends in Lille when they were at school. Camille’s sister told her, I think one day you will marry Julien. They went their separate ways until one day fate brought them back together and a romance began. But then life sometimes conspires to test you, and Camille and Julien were separated as Julien went off to study and begin a career in engineering. His career took him all the way to Melbourne, and they were truly separated. Their love was tested of course, but the day finally came when Camille could join him. Together they moved to Canberra, where they have now lived happily for several years. They discovered the Australian National Botanic Gardens, where they spend a few hours on most weekends together, quietly taking in the serenity of the place and reconnecting with each other. And then one day, when the stars aligned and the timing was right, little baby Liam came along.

So now, we have a story…

We begin with no structure in mind at all.
We are walking up the hill with the pram and Julien and Camille are sharing a funny thought.
Baby Liam is waking up from a snooze.

They pick a spot and reach into the pram to lift him out.

He’s a hungry little fellow.
The light is bright and Julien shields Liam’s eyes.
I picked black and white for this image.
It accentuates Liam’s gorgeous eyes and the soft, protective arch of Julien’s hand.

It doesn’t matter to me what happens – what matters to me is that what happens is real.
Everything is captured as it happens with very little direction.
How cute are Julien and Camille!? I love that little nose-scrunch giggle.

Not something that happens often, but on this occasion I was thinking of the family back in France
that may quite like a look-at-the-camera photograph of all three together.

A lovely, spirited capture of Camille as she laughs at something Julien has said.
An image that I believe Liam will come to love when he is older.

Sometimes it’s the little in-between moments that are the best ones to have.

This one almost didn’t make the cut…
I pondered on it for a while – would they like to see their bums as the centre of the image?!
Probably not…
Or would they ‘get it’, that it shows them hard at work caring for Liam,
in the context of this beautiful setting,
….with a little bit of humour to the moment too.
They laughed out loud when they first saw it.
(Phew, good call!).

And wow – how’s the setting?!
This is their landscape, this Australian backdrop that is Liam’s playground.
We are a long way from rolling French countryside.

Once nappy-changing duties were complete, a little time for play.
Julien often rides the bike with Liam, cycling his legs around and around.
Julien and Camille loved that this was also captured on the wood bench, as they love natural elements.

Liam was content where he was, so no need to move him.
I asked Camille to bend down and give him lots of kisses.

I love how they are looking straight at one another in this one.
What a great connection they have!

Right, back to work, again!

Awwwww, nom nom nom!!!

I love capturing baby details.
Teeny weeny fingers!

And the gorgeous swirl of hair on the back of Liam’s head.
And how tiny he looks in Julien’s hands

My eye caught the canopy of protective trees.
I simply asked Julien to hold Liam.
He and Liam did the rest.
So much love there

I invited Camille to join them.
There’s so much sincerity in this.

They are just so proud and happy.
This is their world

A very happy and tired family, as to be expected with such a small baby.
But the contentment is there and Liam is impossible not to look at.

A soft and sleepy Liam, safe in Dad’s hands.

Teeny-weeny feet that will grow so quickly.
Liam’s toes rest on Julien’s fingers!

And now he’s awake again, and ready for a little play.
He’s so little!!!!! And so cute!!!

So you see, the image collection is uniquely their’s. The photographs are like a mirror that reflects back to them their natural family beauty in this moment. As Liam grows and changes, so will the connections and dynamics of their family.  And perhaps, I will return to capture another instalment of their family story for them.

Interestingly, when I was first presenting their images to Camille and Julien, as the slideshow was literally playing for the very first time, Camille burst out about half-way through asking would I come to France when they take Liam back in April this year to introduce him to their family.  Oh Camille, I would SO LOVE TO and yes, it IS POSSIBLE.

I’m about to announce my 2013 Europe Spring tour. If you can put me up for 2-3 nights, I’ll come to your hood and capture your personal story for you. If I get at least ten bookings, I’ll book my flights.  More on that shortly.

Camille and Julien, thank you so, so much for asking me to capture your beautiful family for you. I know these images are doubly special for you – they are reminders to you of this special time in Liam’s early life, and they also give your family across the seas the most authentic insight possible into what a typical Saturday morning looks like as you introduce Liam to the world. They are surely missing out, but images like these help a lot. And that’s why I do what I do!


Jules - January 31, 2013 - 7:10 pm

Beautiful work, Beth! Camille, how wonderful to see this gorgeous little person who I massaged when he was still in your tummy! It’s just lovely to see you looking so happy with your beautiful family.
Jules xx

Beth Jennings - February 1, 2013 - 12:19 pm

Totally Jules!! How amazing to see the progress. From bump to baby!! XXX

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