Our Family Portraits

I can’t tell you how fortunate I feel to have these little babies in my possession. My son, Jonah, and I absolutely treasure these images we had taken by the incomparable Karen Buckle. As one of the Sunshine Coast’s very top shelf wedding photographers, Karen is so booked solid with weddings, she rarely does family portraits, so we were beyond honoured when she offered to take ours.

Planning for this shoot, I was so ridiculously excited. I had been a super fan of Karen’s for such a long time. And just so you know, I’m not just saying this is a flippant manner. Like, I’m saying, I was a hardcore fan, so much so that the first time I met Karen, I gushed at her a mile a minute to the point of embarrassing. I get kind of weirdly star struck on occasion… I have in my time working in magazines and PR met heeeeaps of celebrities. I’m talking A-listers – Harry Connick Jr, The Dixie Chicks, Justin Timberlake, Michael Buble – just to name drop a few. Was I affected by any of them? Not a wink. Twice I have felt a bit star struck. The first time was when I interviewed the Sea Shepherd‘s Captain Paul Watson (crazy impressive man.) The second was when I met Karen Buckle.

Now that seems a little ridiculous, because as much as I am still Karen’s biggest fan, I have also come to know her as the most humble, sweet person, and you can’t help but feel completely at ease in her presence.

Back to the shoot… I had wanted to do something a little different, but I didn’t have anything specific in mind, so I told Karen I was happy do urban-ish with a graffiti wall, or a location with a country or woodlands feel with long grass. And my business partner on The Bride’s Tree was also getting shots done the same day, and she really wanted the beach. The compromise? All of the above!

Karen was amazing in finding a location very nearby to Twin Waters North Shore beach to get both our long grass shots and the graffiti wall, which was sneakily tucked away around the corner. See, all the best photographers know all the best spots in the area, having scoped it all out ahead of time. I completely expected to have to choose one or the other, so I was thoroughly impressed when we got to do everything we wanted!

I put together two very different styles for Jonah and I for our shoot. I knew the first outfit needed to fit both a “woodlands” feel and the funky grafitti vibe, so I chose denim and black with a touch of colour that spoke to our individual styles. Jonah is a very funky kid. He likes to look, as he puts it, “stylish.” He loves a collared shirt, which he believes is the height of sophistication.

We really had a lot of fun at the shoot. Karen definitely captured the true “us.”

For my makeup, I applied an overall look I know works for me. I wanted a soft matte brown smokey eye with plenty of definition to draw focus. I'm a big fan of brows, so they have been defined in my natural dark colour. For my lips, I went with a deep berry stain, and finally I did a heavy contour and some colour on my cheeks. I like makeup (surprise!), and find that a not-too-heavy, but clearly "made up" look suits me. I definitely pulled out all the stops for my family portraits, as I will have these photos forever
I adore my Cat Hammil necklaces from Willow and Bird in Cotton Tree. They have sweet quotes on them. In this shoot I'm wearing two from a set of three
Jonah wears a Big W checked shirt, Pumpkin Patch denim shirt, Big W black skinny jeans, Kustom sneakers, a Destiny Rescue leather wrist band with cross and an ANZAC poppy pin

I curled my hair with my trusty conicle, ensuring I made the most of being able to direct my hair in different angles to create volume. I added even more volume by dusting some volumising powder in and doing some strategic backcombing

I'm wearing my all-time fave top from Portmans, Levi Jeans, Windsor Smith sandals, Cotton On leather wrist bands and Cat Hammil necklaces

Our funky footwear brough in a bit of colour to our black and denim get ups. Jonah wears his red Kustom sneakers. I'm wearing my fave Windsor Smith sandals

Jonah's cute straw hat with blue band is from Myer
My Revue dress was a real find. It matched my boy's gear perfectly, and I was able to wear it to a dear friend's country wedding a few weeks later! My earrings are old favourites, and I cannot recall where they were found. They are a cameo style in a super pretty duck egg blue, white and silver design
I love Country Road's children's clothing! I find myself in there more than I care to admit... Jonah's shirt, tee and shorts are all Country Road
We took along a couple of props to our shoot. This ship we found in Loot, Jonah fell in love with it, and it now takes pride of place in our living room

When having your family portraits taken, be sure to choose clothes you love, and that work in with the rest of the family, as well as the location. This part I can’t stress strongly enough – have a professional hair and makeup artist hussy you up for the occasion! You will have these photos forever, they are a moment in time you are taking the time to capture with a professional photographer, so you want to do it right. If you are local to the Sunshine Coast, take a look at my special mid-week portrait shoot prices. If I wasn’t in the biz myself, I absolutely would have hired someone else to make sure I looked as amazing as I possibly could for our shoot. I mean, having Karen Buckle shoot my family portraits is by far the most special occasion ever!

Author: Sally T