Telling your birth stories – Over the years, I have really come to love it when I truly become “THE family photographer” of my clients.  I so love to be by their side to capture their most precious memories and to tell their birth stories.  It means the world to me that I’ve been entrusted to do this for you and to watch as families expand and grow and I get to be invited to be a part of it! I just love telling the story of your family!  I am not sure if there is another Brisbane family photographer who gets to be included in so many joyous moments in their clients lives.  I truly am blessed to have learned the skills to be able to cover not only maternity and births, newborn and family portraits, but also special events – christenings, birthdays and weddings too!  I am crossing my fingers that one day I will get to capture the wedding of somebody who’s birth I documented so many years before that!

To say that I am honoured to be able to share this family’s journey with you guys is an understatement. I have been there since day 1 of their family beginning.  When big brother Teddy was born, I was able to photograph his mummy’s maternity images, his birth and his newborn session. 2 weeks ago, I got to capture his little brother Sebastian entering the world and last week, his newborn photos too. So far, I have been there to capture one pregnancy, two birth stories, and two beautiful newborn sessions for this family.  What a blessing!

Here are some shots of his big brother and his mummy a bit over 2 years ago when we first met.  I even entered one into the Qld Professional Photography Awards:

And now, I am so so grateful that I have been permitted to share the next part of their journey with you. The gifts that I get to give my clients and the memories that I capture for them is something that has given me so much joy over the past 17 years as a photographer. I may struggle a bit to make ends meet at times, and things can be tough, but honestly, being able to do this for people and to be trusted to share such intimate moments is something that money just can’t buy. I was so blessed the day I picked up a camera. I hope that I never have to put it down.

The wonderful team at Greenslopes Private Hospital made this birth just perfect. Stephanie had a long hard labour, but with Dr Brad Robinson taking care of her, and her amazing partner Chris by her side, we got through it together and little Sebastian made his dramatic entrance at the end. He is forever to be known as “Houdini” for his arrival took us all by surprise!

And here are some of my favourite shots from the most beautiful birth of Sebastian so that you can see them in a little more detail:

Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018
Birth Stories by Tanya Love Portrait
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018 Tanya Love
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018 Tanya Love
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018 Tanya Love
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018 Tanya Love
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018 Tanya Love
Birth Stories by Tanya Love Portrait
Birth Stories by Tanya Love Portrait
Brisbane Birth Photographer 2018
Birth Stories by Tanya Love Portrait
Birth Stories by Tanya Love Portrait
Even after so many years of capturing birth stories, I *still* get startle reactions when I tell them “I am a birth photographer”.   Often people say things along the lines of “eeeew, gross!”.  But I challenge anybody to look at those images above and say those words!  What I capture is pure, raw, organic EMOTION.  And there is nothing better in the world than that!

And most of the time, I get to see them a week or so later for gorgeous cuddles and reminiscing about the birth during their newborn portrait session too!  Here are the highlights from little Sebastians session, 11 days after I met him at his birth.








Thank you so much Steph and Chris for inviting me to share your journey with you.   I cannot wait to capture the gorgeous Kelly boys as they grow into adventurous little men!

tan.x.

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Tanya Love Portrait - Brisbane Personal Brand PhotographyPersonal Brand Photography – It’s the new thing, apparently.  I’ve been doing this for ages, but this week everywhere I seem to look, I keep finding articles and photographers promoting a new “niche” – Personal Brand Photography.  With the rise of authentic branding, and with so many life and business coaches out there, it makes sense that this would definitely become a thing.

Upon stumbling across all of this stuff this week, I realised that actually, I’ve been doing personal brand photography over the years for many of my clients.  My own brand is all about being personal – duh, it’s my name, yo! 😛  But also, since kicking off Tanya Love Creative, this aspect has grown for me.  My journey through this year has emphasised this even more, and I will write more about it when I launch my Tanya Love Creative website (I just have to finish building the thing first, you know, like if there was another 10 hours in each day).

My businesses were all established during the “appear bigger than you are” era.  Over the years, I have marketed in that direction, on and off, however, I have always struggled when doing this, and so have my businesses.  2 years ago, when I began working with my then partner (which went totally pear-shaped – read: never, EVER work with somebody you lovely deeply), and chose to pretty much abandon my own brand to work on our joint brand, Pixelove, I was effectively abandoning who I was.

I struggled so much over those years both on a personal and business level.  I wanted more than anything to make it work.  I had this romantic vision of us becoming an industry “power couple”, and I had so so much respect for him and his approach that I took on everything he suggested.  I became known to our clients as “Tanya from Pixelove”,  where I used to be “oh, that’s Tan, our family’s photographer”.

I wasn’t being authentic.  Not one bit.  The dynamic in our studio was tense most of the time.  I felt like a fish out of water.  I adored our environment and the changes we made to it.  We were working in a high end facility with everything I had ever dreamed of in terms of a studio, at my fingertips.  Two big cycloramas, lots of different scenes and backdrops, a custom build bedroom setting, an awesome makeup and change room area.  It was so cool.  But I wasn’t.  I was chasing “leads” to convert clients, which I had never had to do before.  I was “selling”.  Even worse, I was UP selling.  *shudders*.  I was shooting glamour, and making people feel great, which I did love, but our company needed a huge volume of client turnover, and a huge volume of sales for us to be successful. This meant sacrificing the very personal connection and touches that I had always been known for and were what I loved so much about my career. It was killing me.

I was also learning at an astronomical rate.  It was the biggest and fastest learning curve I have ever been on.  In that 2 years, thanks to my then partner being such a great teacher,  I mastered lighting and shooting techniques that I had never even thought of.  I learned to run marketing and lead generation campaigns that were highly successful in bringing in the kinds of numbers that we needed.  The styling techniques that I had learned over the years and become comfortable with were turned on their head.  I learned to never judge a book by its cover, and I learned to SELL, and I mean SELL.  I rock sales.  And I freaking hate it.

Selling is not me.  Glamour is not me.  Cold calling, lead generation.  Nope, sooooo not me.  I felt constant anxiety doing that stuff, and I felt guilty that I was so good at it after such a short time.  I felt like I was lying to people and deceiving them.  Of course, I wasn’t, but just for the fact that I wasn’t being true to myself, I developed anxiety that left me feeling this way.  My anxiety grew to a point where I could barely pick up the phone and so our bookings dwindled and our business started to die.  I have a very dear friend who was struggling with the same thing at the very same time.  We had both adopted business plans that simply were not “us”.  And we both failed.  We hung on for way too long, never wanting to give up, because so many in the industry were (apparently) succeeding with this business model and we’d been told that “this was the way to do it”. In reality though, we were just digging ourselves further into the ground.

In addition to this, there was also a crapload of extremely intense personal stuff going on in the background that was resulting in my partner and I being barely able to function too.  Here we had two of the most highly effective, driven and skilled people in the industry, who upon meeting, thought we could conquer the world with our combined talents.  And in a perfect world, we could have.  But, in actuality, our deep hopes of success were destroying each other and our families, both in a business sense and on a personal and emotional level.  We knew we were flailing, but we hung on to Pixelove for way too long.  We had stars in our eyes, and we wanted it to succeed SO much.  But there’s no way it ever would have.  Because neither of us were being true to ourselves, not one bit.  Throw a broken heart or two into the mix, and well, you can imagine the result there.

Finally, we went our separate ways, and I have spent the last 6 months trying to breathe life back into Tanya Love Portrait.  I have been so very blessed that there have been a number of long term clients who have encouraged and supported me through it all.  They followed me from the early days of Love Bytes, through to Tanya Love Photography, over to Pixelove, and now back to Tanya Love Portrait.   Without these guys, I would have been so so lost.  I am not sure why, but they seemed to have some faith in me where even I didn’t.  They kept reminding me of my older more creative work, of my storytelling birth photography, and of who the real “tan” is.

I realised that I am just one of those people who has to live their truth.  I simply cannot live behind a facade.  Whether it be through my business endeavours or through my personal life, I have to be myself, warts and all.  I truly am a perfect example of why a personal brand works.  I simply CANNOT appear to be someone I am not.  It just doesn’t work for me.  At all.

Of course, I can’t claim that  “my” brand has always been  purely mine here – over the years I had 2 husbands who supported me and allowed me the freedom to pursue my work with a large family to care for.  And now, I have my eldest son, and his partner, and even my youngest kids working behind the scenes.  Everybody contributes in some way – whether they are being models for a product shoot, or they are writing web code, staying at home with the younger kids as I go to shoots or meetings, or they are sticking crystals onto thank you cards on our kitchen bench- my kids all contribute in different ways to make our businesses a truly family affair.  Overall though, it is truly “us”.

HERE IS A VIDEO OF US  just before Christmas, with our little production line, all contributing to the special parcels that I sent out to my most supportive and loyal clients.  And this is some pics as we were working:

 
Anyways, I digress (as per usual 🙂 ).  I realise now that my “gift”, if I have one, is that of connecting and truly seeing people and using this connection to tell their stories.  Quickly connecting with people can sometimes be too confronting in personal circles and often it has gotten me in trouble in the past as many don’t understand it.  But in my business, it works.  Within a few minutes of meeting a client, I am usually able to really see them.  To really feel their story and what it is that they have to share with the world.  This is a great gift when I am telling the story of a family whether it be through a grand year-long production in a meticulously planned concept shoot, or it is in raw, emotional birth photography, or in one of my new express Shoot and Burn sessions, I adore sharing your light through my connection with you.

So, when it comes to personal brand photography, I guess it is only natural that would be another element I would enjoy.  Now that I have rediscovered my need to be authentic in all that I do, and with the growing rise of personal branding through-out all industries, it is a really natural thing, really.  It is simply about showing the world who you are, what you love, and how they can connect with you on a true, authentic level. 

I have really prattled on in this post, as any one who knows me will testify that is a true Tan trait that I am known for.  One minute we are capturing some gorgeous family photos, and 6 hours later I am sitting at your dinner table talking Mine Craft with your kids.   But, I HAVE to be me.  I spent the last 2 years tortured, struggling, and sometimes wondering if it was worth waking up ever again, purely because I wasn’t being me.  I was trying to be something that I thought would be successful.  Something that I pinned way too many hopes on, and something that damn near destroyed me and my family as a result.

I am going to spend at least another year, trying to recover financially and maybe even longer, on an emotional level, but I am finding so much more peace with every passing day.  My confidence in my abilities is returning.  I no longer feel like I am being deceptive or manipulative by trying to “convert leads” into clients.  I am confident that the people who “get” me, will continue in the journey, and that by being true to myself and the way I run my  business, it will continue to grow, and share light with the world.  I have even established Tanya Love Creative on this basis – helping other businesses to become truly heart-centred and to follow their “why”.

Here are some shots I have done in the past for clients – personal brand photography – where I was able to use my connection with them and their brand to tell their stories to the world.  Many of these images are still being used over and over, and all of which I realise now are exactly what I should have been doing all along. tan.x

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Omigosh, it lives! I am actually blogging on my erm, blog!

So let’s all just pretend that my poor little bloggity blog hasn’t actually been completely neglected for the past six months and we can move on from there. As you were. 😛

Almost 2 years ago, I was so very blessed to be a part of a beautiful Earthside Collective gift session with Jess and Joe. Theirs was a bittersweet story that no parent should ever have to endure, as their excitement of welcoming twin babies, a sweet boy and a beautiful little girl, became sadness. Jess and Joe learned during labour, that their little boy, Harrison would be born still. His twin sister Amelie would be delivered safely into the waiting arms of her mummy and daddy.

I was approached about doing a gift session for them, and put on my thinking cap to come up with something that was both unique and personal, but would also become a family keepsake in honour of the twins. It wasn’t long before I thought of a concept that I refer to as “Pigeon Pair”.

You can read all about it, and see how the shoot came together over on the Earthside Collective blog right here: https://www.earthsidecollective.com.au/gift-session-pigeon-pair-celebrating-harrison-amelie/

Additionally, this Youtube video tells the story too:

You can imagine my surprise and elation when, mid-2016, I received a message from Jess, telling me that they were expecting another little boy!  They immediately booked me in to shoot their newborn photos and  I could not have been more excited!

And so, we booked it in, and got to work planning their shoot!

A lot of things had changed for me since our first time together.  For one, I am shooting in a nice big studio for my new company Pixelove.  The studio space gives me so much more flexibiltiy than I had previously in my very small home garage studio and lots of alternative lighting and backdrop scenarios to play with.  Even with this though, I decided to replicate the original shot that I did for Jess and Joe, and so had to try to reproduce the same lighting setup as I had in my previous small, available light filled home studio.

Again we had the beautiful Lorraine (Fairy Raine from Fairy Lane) on hand to create the perfect body art to transform Jess into our beautiful mumma bird!  And the results speak for themselves!

For some reason, I had kept everything we had used in the original shoot and we were able to reuse it all again!  Even the amazing adult sized nest that was created by David Lam (David Lam Designs) was brought back out from storage!  It was as though we had a “dream team” back together again, but with the addition of Hemi, my Pixelove business partner. 🙂

And so, here are some behind the scenes shots from little Arlo’s most very special day….

pigeon pair

Such beautiful detail!

pigeon pair

(and I get to have baby cuddling duties as Lorraine works her magic on Jess!)…

pigeon pair Pigeon Pair Pigeon Pair  Little photobomb there by me and Arlo. 😛

And now for the final result!!

Here is the original image in all it’s glory:

Pigeon Pair

And 2 years later, with the arrival of Arlo, this is what we created:

Pigeon Pair

Aren’t they just the most beautiful family ever?!

Pigeon Pair

Would love to hear your thoughts about this project guys!  And please leave some well wishes for Jess, Joe and their beautiful babies!

 

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Autumn Leaf Sessions – Last year, I made a little discovery in the north side of Brisbane. I found an amazing little alcove of autumn leaves, rich in colour and texture just as I would long to be able to shoot every time I visited the southern states during the autumn months.

I was so excited and quickly invited a small number of families to enjoy them with me through my lens.

This year, I am repeating the offer! I was so excited to visit my little spot the other day to discover that it is almost ready! Yes, it’s that time of year again!

And so, as of now, I am able to offer a small number of session times to those who wish to experience autumn fun and create some gorgeous images, right here in Brisbane…

Your $69 session fee includes:

  • one hour photo session at Brisbane Northside location amidst a richly coloured autumn backdrop.
  • photo viewing on a separate day at our Carseldine office to view and select your collection of images.
  • one gorgeous medium 16×20 inch fine art print of your choice, ready to frame.
  • the opportunity to purchase additional images from discounted packages exclusively offered for 2016 autumn leaf session clients.

To book, simply pop on over to the 2016 Autumn Leaf Session page.

And if you are looking for inspiration, here are a few samples from last years sessions…

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Autumn Leaf Sessions
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_MG_9070 Autumn Leaf Sessions Tanya Love Portrait Family Photographer Edited_Poli__Brisbane_Family_Photographer_150614_20 Autumn Leaf Sessions Tanya Love Portrait Autumn Leaf Sessions Autumn Leaf Sessions Tanya Love Portrait
Autumn Leaf Sessions

 

 

 

 

 

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Listen With Your Eyes - A Creative Journey

For years now I have been approached by photographers and creatives with requests for one on one mentoring.  I have struggled with this as I haven’t been sure that I could teach what I do.

Finally though, with the help of my partner Hemi, from Pixel Matrix Photography, we have developed a formula that makes my creative process not only teachable but will guarantee that your minds will be opened and your hearts full at the end of the day.

Finally, I am able to show you my approach and take you on a colourful, joyous ride of creativity.

… introducing “Listen With Your Eyes – A Creative Journey” 

“Listen With Your Eyes” will show you how to open your mind in ways you never thought possible.  Your creativity will explode with colour and ideas and you will be so excited to reflect it in your own work.  Just some of the topics we will be covering will be:

  • Creating an ideas pool
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Working with colour to create mood
  • Developing concepts from inception through to completion
  • Finding inspiration in your surroundings
  • Sourcing, making and designing props to bring your concept to life

and so much more.

This is not just a workshop for photographers!  We have worked hard to put this together in a way that will help anybody who is on a creative journey – graphic designers, interior designers, painters, sculptures, textile artists and more will all benefit from Listen With Your Eyes.

Through-out 2016 Listen With Your Eyes will be offering dates in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and other cities/towns by request.  Each workshop will be a full day, and will include catering, take home materials and one month of online creative mentoring following the day.  Workshops will be strictly limited to an attendance of only 12 people at each one to ensure the best possible individual attention is offered.

If you would like to open your  mind to a new world of colour and creative possibilities, and to “get inside” my head for a day, now is the time to express your interest.  You can do so by completing the form below.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Tan and Hemi. 🙂

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