Like a lot of people, I don’t make it into photos often.  Naturally, I’m more comfortable behind the camera, but generally it’s because the opportunity just doesn’t avail itself to me all that often.  Every now and then, someone will take a photo of me, usually with Charlotte, or with Matthew, or both.  And even more rarely, I will have my photo taken with friends.  I could fill albums with pictures of me & friends from my teenage years, and even into early adulthood, yet for the past ten years or so I’d be lucky to scrape a few pages together.  The photos I have of me with friends are some of my most treasured possessions, so I am making it my mission to play catch-up over the next month (sorry, friends!).

Enter – the photo booth!  At Emma & Blake’s wedding, they had a photo booth.  It was a hoot!  I don’t know if it was the privacy of the curtain, the knowledge that there was nobody behind the camera or the champagne (possibly a combination of all three), but I had no hesitation whatsoever in being snapped … and multiple times!  I now have a good start to my updated collection of photos of me with friends.  And that makes me smile.

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My personal life, of late, has been somewhat chaotic.  Our world was turned upside down in July this year when my husband was offered a position in Switzerland, only a few days after we had been asked to relocate temporarily from Melbourne to Brisbane.  After much soul-searching & thought, we made the decision to do both.  Our initial two to three month stint in Brisbane stretched into almost six months, and we are now booked on a big jet plane to head to Switzerland in early January.  The amount of work that goes into temporarily relocating a family, and then relocating one overseas is, quite simply, daunting.  And to do both at the same time is borderline insane.  But hey, all in, right?  We have been back & forth between Melbourne & Brisbane more times than I care to remember, we’ve packed up our home and had to say some sad goodbyes.  I feel like I have been stretched in a million different directions for the past five months, and have hardly had any time to sit back & just enjoy things.

This is where this little project comes in – my PAD (Photo a Day) for December & January.  I’ve done a PAD a few times before (once for an entire year!), and I always find it a lovely way to document the little parts of our lives.  This time around, it will be all the more poignant as it documents our final weeks in Australia, and also our first few weeks in Switzerland.

Now this little person isn’t strictly ‘mine’, but he’s certainly part of my Melbourne family.  I’m fortunate to belong to an amazing Mothers Group, still going strong over three years after we first met in the local council community centre.  Over that time, our kids have grown close, and we’ve also become good friends – not just ‘Mums’.  I’m incredibly sad to be leaving them.  I know it will be difficult, as I’ve already missed our little group just being in Brisbane!  On Saturday, Matthew & I had the privilege of attending the wedding of one of my Mothers Group friends, Emma.  This was actually the first wedding I’ve attended since 2004, excluding the ones I’ve been there to photograph this year.  I’d forgotten how much fun they are!  It really was an incredibly special day & evening, and I feel so blessed to have been able to be there.

Emma & Blake’s son Kaine was just about the cutest little ring bearer you ever did see, and strode down the aisle with more confidence than should be allowed in a three year old.  Love him!


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Jess + Andy | Melbourne Family Photographer

Posted on November 12, 2012

A little while ago, I spent a lovely afternoon in sunny Brisbane with Jess & Andy.  Jess & Andy are getting married next year, and their photographer is making the trek all the way from Andy’s native England for the wedding.  As they’ve never had professional photographs taken before, Jess’s best friend arranged a session with me to give them a little hint of what they’re in for on the big day.

Jess & Andy – hopefully your first experience with a photographer wasn’t too traumatic for you!  I hope your day is everything you hope it will be, and I wish you all the best for both your wedding, and your life together. xo

And just two to finish off, from later in the afternoon, from when Jess & Andy felt a little more comfortable and Andy showed his cheeky side …

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Teeny Tiahn captured my heart from the moment I saw her.  So beautiful, so snuggly, and with the most perfect head of hair I think I’ve ever seen on a newborn baby.  She was just captivating.

Now sweet little Tiahn had it in for me.  And my scarf.  There were not one, not two, but three explosions.  It seemed every time I touched her, I hit the trigger and whoosh!  Her poor mama was absolutely horrified at what her teeny tiny little petal had done, despite my protests that it was fine and, in fact, expected.  While she was off in the other room cleaning her up … “Oh my GOD!” … her sister and I were in tears of laughter.  And really, who could possibly stay mad at this little beauty?  But … I should point out that when I delivered the disc of images the same thing happened, another three times.  I clearly have a (somewhat dubious) super-power.

Dom & Paul – thank you for the absolute pleasure of photographing your sweet girl.  She is divine, and I can’t wait to photograph you all again at the end of the year. xo


Teeny toes

Now big brother Jaxon wanted no part of family photos – in fact, this little techno-bunny was far more interested in investigating the operations of my camera.  I did manage to snap a quick one of him though … those curls are amazing!  Talk about follicly-blessed children in this family!

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Sweet baby Hudson was 9 days old when we met – not even in double figures!  He was teeny, wrinkly & covered in the sweetest downy blonde hair you ever did see.  My cluckiness went into overload, and I could quite easily have smuggled this gorgeous little morsel home with me.  He was, quite simply, just divine.

I photographed Hudson’s beautiful mama in the country here, and was thrilled to hear of his safe arrival, especially as it meant another trip through the picturesque rolling hills of Gippsland!

Shannan & Tristan, thank you so much for allowing me to photograph your most adorable little man.  He was just a gem! xo

He just looks so, so peaceful … looking at this almost makes me want to drift off to sleep!

Such a beautiful little family <3

With big sister Imogin


This image below is a little bit different to my usual style, but I adore it – Hudson just looks so ‘newborn’, the milia, the downy body hair, his teeny wrinkly fingers – so sweet!

And just something a little bit cute to finish off with …

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  • Shannan says:

Yep.  I went there.  I apologise … but I can’t resist a bad pun.  It had to be done!

A little while back, I packed my camera bag & headed off to the country (Korumburra, for those of you playing at home!) for a maternity shoot.  I had a bit of a vision for this one, rolling green hills, beautiful hazy light & a real “country” feel (given that my subjects live in the country!) – and thankfully, the light held on just long enough to deliver.  Thank you, Mr Sun!

I may or may not have been heard cursing the sun when it hid behind clouds on the way to our location …

Thank you, Shannan & Tristan for indulging me & for being so obliging with my crazy ideas, and for traipsing up & down the hills for me! xo


 How gorgeously glowing is this expectant mama?


 Now, did I mention the rolling green hills?

This one makes me smile – I do love a candid moment.  I’m fairly certain Tristan was up to no good here!

Such beautiful light, and such a beautiful location – my idea of heaven!

 A little bit of country fun – his & hers cowboy boots!

There were just so many images from this shoot that I loved (who can resist gorgeous afternoon light & a beautiful baby bump?), but I think this one would have to be my favourite.  You can see so much, even without seeing their faces.  I adore it!


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Now this may sound a little odd, but as the mother of a (former) baldy I find myself quite fascinated by newborns with lots of hair.  My poor darling girl couldn’t even wear a clip until she was 19 months old, yet this little guy … well … he had the most amazingly perfect little mohawk at 11 days old.  I’m quite sure there are teenagers who spend hours trying to get their hair looking like this!

Little Max is cute.  Seriously cute.  As in oh-my-goodness-I-need-another-baby-NOW cute.  And his big sister?  Cute.  You’d be hard pressed to find a cuter pair.  A beautiful little family, and a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Thank you Kylie (and Dean!) for letting me photograph your gorgeous boy – he’s absolutely edible. xo

Just a few shots of the hair … the hair!


Max with his beautiful Mummy


Photographing newborns is all kinds of bad … they make me desperate for another one myself!



And to finish off … a photobomb by big sister Mia.  This never fails to make me laugh!

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Love | Melbourne Family Photographer

Posted on June 7, 2012

To me, family photography is all about capturing love.  Love between partners, parents & their children, siblings, extended families.  That incredible, heart-bursting, I-never-knew-love-like-this-existed love between a mother and her newborn baby.  That I-might-push-you-around-but-anyone-else-that-touches-you-is-gonna-get-it love between a big brother & his little sister.  Love is everywhere, and it’s what makes being a photographer so incredible.  I’d have to disagree with Lennon/McCartney in that it’s definitely not all you need, but it’s at the top of the list, for sure.

And then there is the kind of love that is a little rarer.  Love that has spanned six decades, four children, more grandchildren, and even more great-grandchildren.

Below are two images of my daughter’s great-grandparents at their 60th wedding anniversary celebrations.  Sixty years of marriage and still so very much in love.  They are an absolute inspiration, and to see them together makes my heart smile.  Big.



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Smiles | Melbourne Baby Photographer

Posted on May 23, 2012

The day I met Jacob he was seven weeks old & had just started to smile – and boy, did he like to show it off!  In fact, he was having such a good time smiling & being snuggled by his Mum & Dad that we weren’t sure that we’d be able to get him to sleep, but in the end we won, and he drifted off just long enough to grab a few snaps of him sleeping.

Such a sweet, happy little fellow, with such incredible eyes.  You could look at them all day … and I’m sure his parents do just that!  I admit that I nabbed him at one point to demonstrate a pose I was after and kept him for quite a lengthy cuddle – I couldn’t help myself!

Claire & Micah – thank you so much for allowing me into your home to photograph your beautiful little family, it was such a lovely way to spend the morning!


Just look at that grin! I think it’s almost impossible not to smile back at him.

More smiles …

How incredible are his eyes?  No doubt he’ll be beating the girls off with a stick in a few years!

 Such a perfect little family – so happy, and so in love.  Seeing this image reminds me of when we became a family of three.

Now … did I mention Jacob liked to smile?


And for something a little different, we finished off the session with some snaps of Claire & Micah’s other babies – these two beautiful boys below.


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When you’re the photographer of the family – professional or amateur – you don’t tend to make it into many photos.  You spend so much time documenting the little things about your family, but somehow one of the key ingredients always seems to be missing – you.

I am incredibly lucky in that one of my very best friends is an amazingly talented photographer – Karen Pfeiffer.  She has photographed my pregnancy, Charlotte as a newborn, as well as her first and second birthday portraits.  She is responsible for some of my most favourite photographs of the three of us, and for that I am eternally grateful.  I’m not so grateful for the 800 or so kilometres that separate us … but I still manage to nick across to Radelaide a few times a year!

So, on my last trip to see Karen it was time for some payback – time to get that gorgeous girl in front of the camera for a change, and capture a few moments of her with her beautiful brood.  These guys & girls may not be blood, but they are my family & I’m very blessed to have them all in my life.

Charlotte even named her little dollhouse baby after Grace – how adorable is that?

My darling Karen, thank you so much for letting me pay you back ever so slightly for all of the photographs you’ve taken of the three of us.  It was equal parts terrifying & wonderful to be photographing ‘The Master’.  Love you heaps! xo

This is my favourite kind of photograph – candid & natural.  I love seeing the bond between siblings, it’s such a special thing to see.

And just a few of her gorgeous babies … these kids are like my “extras”.  I absolutely adore them.

Harry is usually Mr Sensible (he’s adorable, it’s like he was born a little old man) – but he can still get his groove on!

And one last image to finish off with … poor Gracie.  The look on her face cracks me up!  It’s like “Really?  You’re really doing this to me?”

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All images and content are copyright to Jody Bell 2011.