Photography

Hello winter

Winter has been a breath of fresh air this year. Summer was suffocating. The heat, the constant baby wearing in 30+ degrees, the walks to and from school with three kids in tow wore me down in ways I could never have anticipated. It was rarely cool enough to stop and say “Hey, you need a break. How about we go for a walk in the woods?” The woods, much like the ocean, realigns me. It finds my core and heals it.

So yesterday that’s what we did. We walked in the woods near our house and it was magic.



37

Self portrait at 37.

Mother, artist, wife, friend, daughter, sister. So many labels. Sometimes I forget who I am in it all. There are always voices talking and it’s rarely mine. There are hands touching, mouths drinking, my body always someone’s landscape. There are days, weeks, months I forget what I feel like when I am just me. What it feels like to just be. I am always on. Lifting, carrying, holding, soothing, teaching. So rarely still or at rest.

I have days I feel incredibly powerful. When I see the person I have become and she makes me proud. I see how I constantly strive to be better. I see how I push through no matter the obstacles and I feel stronger than ever.

I have days I feel like I am nothing outside my illness. That my darkness is all there is and that I am some sort of contagious disease. Days I fail to contain it. When the woman in the mirror is too flawed to show herself to the world. When I am all shadows and self loathing.

I have quiet days and loud days. Days I feel utterly alone and days I feel more loved than I ever have.

But through all the days I am thankful. Thankful for being me. At 37 I am better than I ever have been.


Dear Baby,

I don’t write much anymore. Not because I don’t want to but because time is never on my side. There is always something or someone demanding my attention. I must have written you a hundred letters in my mind already. That’s where I write these days while I juggle your siblings, work, house and the scraps of time that are left over for myself.

_dsc3986_beh

I swore I would cherish every moment of carrying you but time has gone by so fast and now we are on the brink of locking eyes for the very first time. I’m not quite ready. I’ve still so much to prepare, to process and to memorize about you right where you are. I already know I’ll miss feeling you move inside me, the way you start up as soon as your siblings wake in the morning as if to say “hi”. You’re the last one. The very last seed I’ll grow and there is a great sadness in that. I already know the double-edged sword I’ll walk when you’re finally in my arms. The indescribable joy of every first and the gut wrenching sense of loss for every last. I’ve been there before. I thought your sister was our last but fate had other ideas. And as terrifying as that has been (and is) at times I am nothing but thankful.

_dsc3981_beh

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I’m still finding my feet from last time and I worry that two arms will never be quite enough. I worry about the heartbreak that will follow for your siblings as they find me stretched even further. But I know we will have love abundance. I know there will be more smiles than ever before, more laughter and that my heart will positively burst with love for you all. I know that you will complete us and that there will never be any regrets. There are no regrets.

In a few weeks we will embark on a journey that will mark us for life. I trust you to know what to do. I trust myself to know what to do and this time I have placed that trust right where it needs to be. Right here, in the safety of our haven. We will be right here waiting, ready to catch you as you take your first breath of air.

Lots of love,

Mamma xx

_dsc3458_beh


There’s a house inside my mummy

_dsc3075_beh

“There’s a house inside my mummy

Where my little brother grows,

or maybe it’s my little sister

No one really knows

_dsc3055_beh2

My Daddy says I lived there too

When I was being made,

But I don’t remember very much

About it, I’m afraid”

-Giles Andreae

(Excerpt from “There’s a house inside my mummy”)

_dsc3068_beh2


9/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

9_52_web

Anakin: Practising your “baddie” face with remnants of Darth Maul face paint. 

***

9_52_isis_web

Isis: Always happiest outside eating sand or dirt. 


8/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

8_52_web

Anakin: Those moments when the two of you make each other laugh, when you play together, when you so sweetly tell her “I love You, Isis”. When you hold her hand in the dark at bedtime and whisper “mummy, I’m holding Isis’ hand so she won’t be scared.” Those are moments I live for. 

***

8_52_isis_web

Isis: Those little chubby legs. The roundness still left on the body of a baby. Soon they only be sweet memories. I wish I could bottle you up just like you are right now to savour for later. 


7/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

7_52_web

Anakin: Hanging out with Leroy, Sir Legend’s dog. (Oh how sweet you are for buying into our friend’s  joke about being named Sir Legend.) You two were thick as thieves during our stay in the Blue Mountains.

***

7_52_Isis_web

Isis: Squealing with delight every time the cats grace you with their patience. 


6/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

6_52_web

Anakin: You’re a natural born entertainer. Your world has no limits (other than when we say no to your wish to watch tv all day). We spent a few hours in a discovery centre for kids and your positively lit up. You were a pirate, a builder, a chess player, a DJ, a singer, you did it all, again and again, and you loved it. And I loved watching you even more. 

***

6_52_isis_web

Isis:  This was your first meeting with the ocean (well, not counting the day before of course) and our first getaway as a family of 4. Family holidays might not be all relaxing just yet but they are packed with delightful times. You had such a ball. Dipping your face in the water, crawling in the waves, eating copious amounts of  sand and doing all the things a baby is supposed to do at the beach and loving it. 


5/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

5_52_web

Anakin: Such a serious face for such a gorgeous little man.  

***

5_52_isis_web

Isis: And suddenly you turned one. That bushy hair and those chubby cheeks of yours… oh my sweetness, it’s no wonder I kiss you a million times a day. 


4/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

4_52_web

Anakin: It’s all about superheroes and villains, about guns and blasters, jedi and sith lords. The magic of childhood, the games, the dress ups and the secret lives. The very fibre of fantasy. All right there for the taking. And you, you breathe it all in.

***

4_52_Isis_web

Isis: Little miss messy. That sweet fussy hair in the back of your head that stays after your nap. The way you put your face in your food as much as you put the food in your face. They say “enjoy every moment because it will all be gone too fast” as if I don’t know. As if I don’t watch you both grow with as much pride as heart ache. As if I don’t know that one of these days you’ll be too big to cradle, too busy to care that I walk four steps away. As if I don’t know that my baby won’t be a baby forever. I know. Too well.


3/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

3_52_web

Anakin: Dance like nobody’s watching.

***

3_52_Isis_web

Isis: You’re our little cherry pie.


2/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

2_52_web

Anakin: Little Kylo Ren.

***

2_52_Isis_web

Isis: Always observing.


The 52 Project- 2016 – 1/52

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

1_52_web

Anakin: Always in character, usually in costume. Pure gold.

***

1_52_isis_web

Isis: So close to your first birthday I can hardly believe it. Such a big personality for such a small body.

***

I told myself that this year I would post every week as the weeks went by. Well, that obviously didn’t happen. I could blame not having a laptop but really it’s more because I have two kids mostly at home, I have my own micro business that I do from home and editing photos just isn’t high on my list of priorities when the day nears its end and I finally have an hour to myself. So they’ll be late, but they’ll be here eventually. Without titles most of time this year because it’s just easier not to. Happy new 52 year!


52/52 – The End

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

52_52_web

Anakin: And then you were 4. I swear you only just turned 3. Your favourite things these days are eating ice cream, dressing up, listening to Star Wars, reading Star Wars books, playing Fireman Sam and bossing people around.

***

52_52_Isis_web

Isis: In a short month you will turn 1. I sometimes wish we could go back, that we could do parts of this year over again. But I’d always want you to stay the same. You are perfect.

***

That’s a wrap for this year! I will most likely do another round of the 52 project next year but this time I won’t start until we hit January. (Which is tomorrow come to think of it!) Happy New Year from all of us!

xx Dida


51/52- Delights

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

51_52_web

Anakin: On the cusp of 4 you are a force to be reckoned with. A big, bright personality with the most vivid imagination. You rarely stay quiet for anything other than reading, the occasional tv watching and sleeping. You’re a fantastic storyteller and you love people. Your passion shines through in everything you do. You run from morning until night. You love big and hard, you fight big and hard. You challenge me more than anything ever has. You are an amazing little person and I am forever grateful for the privilege to be your mother.

***

51_52_Isis_web

Isis: My baby Isis Indigo. How you’ve swept us all off our feet this year. I can hardly remember what life was like before knowing you. You complete us. What a delightful bundle of joy you are. (Please learn to sleep soon.)


50/52 -Memories

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

50_52_web

Anakin: Hanging out with your best friend on a warm, sunny day. Running around naked, eating sausages, fighting, laughing, rolling in the grass. This is what great childhood memories are made of.

***

50_52_isis_web

Isis: Keeping an eye on me as I work. Look at you, growing at lighting speed. It’s such a cliché to say you’re growing up too fast but you are.


49/52 – Dressed up

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

49_52__web

Anakin: You’d make a great woodland pixie. Fierce, beautiful and adventurous. (Gorgeous pixie bonnet handmade by Abbotsford Knits.)

***

49_52_web

Isis: This is probably one of my favourite photos of you from this series. From that small sliver of time you’d let me prop things on your head without question.


48/52 – Sunday

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

48_52_web

Anakin: Helping out in the kitchen making Sunday pancakes.

***

48_52_isis_web

Isis: Enjoy a bit of nudie time before dinner.


47/52 – Big, Little

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

47_52_web

Anakin:My beautiful boy,  I sometimes forget how sensitive you are. How your loud screams and clenched teeth are just a shield you put up to hide behind. I forget how much alike we are until I catch a glimpse of those longing eyes. I see you. I know you. And we’ll find our way.

***

47_52_isis_web

Isis: Little explorer. Finally able to sit up. How much bigger and exciting the world just got. 


46/52 – Good faces

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

46_52_web

Anakin: You were reading a book while standing by the sofa one morning. The light hit you in that magical way and I called your name. You turned and then there was this.

***

46_52_isis_web

Isis: Introducing you to our favourite place to pet baby goats. We do love those tiny goats (and the lambs)! You sat quietly taking it all in with a slight smile on your face.


45/52 – Family

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

45_52_web

Anakin: So we tried to take a family photo… Oh the delightful, honest awkwardness.

***

45_52_isis_web

Isis: I’ve promised myself (once again) to get in the picture more. I dread the thought of you growing up without images of me with you. I don’t want to be just this mysterious mama hiding behind the camera. After all, these images will tell our story long after I’m gone.


44/52 – Skin

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

44_52_web

Anakin: Nude perfection. To me this what childhood is all about, running around naked in summer without a care in the world.

***

44_52_isis_web

Isis: That frozen tenderness of the image. Eyes closed, hands open. My loves.


43/52 – Funny, little things

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***43_52_web

Anakin: No words needed really. You keep on rockin’, gold caped mushroom man!

***

43_52_Isis

Isis: I’m holding on to that gummy smile, to the little baby, for as long as I can.


42/52 -Eyes on

A portrait series of my children, once a week, every week, for the next year.

***

42_52_web

Anakin: “We’re the Octonauts, mummy! I’m Captain Barnacles and Isis is Pesto (Peso).” Hold on to that imagination, my love. It can take you anywhere you want to go. Stay a dreamer.

***

42_52_isis_web

Isis: Sweet, little bright eyes. Seeking me out, locking on.  To you I am all that is safe, all that is love and what a privilege it is to be.