April, 2013

Sometimes I feel guilty that my blog is so much about Motherhood now. That my creative photoshoot posts are rare. But if I’m going to keep my blog honest then it has to grow with me. And right now Motherhood and life is where I am.

This will change in time. I will always be a Mama and an avid life-documenter but as my daughter finds independence I will get more time to create.

April disappears quickly. We haven’t travelled in a while and we miss it. We check flights to Europe now and then and wish we could, but content ourselves planning our November trip instead. We’re going to Bali for a month because this is where we are hosting one of our Photography workshops next year and we have a lot to organise.

Life continues in the every day kind of way it does when you’re not travelling. So we break it and go camping. The camp grounds are strewn with coloured tents and the air is smoky from bonfires. Beyond a dip in the Earth is a beautiful swimming creek running alongside the grounds. We meet new people and we all share food and stories. I collect ‘dinosaur egg’ rocks with my cousins and float on an inflatable mattress in the river.

The night grows cold and I sit before the fire with Alba. Her arms wind around my neck as she watches the flames. In those moments being a Mama is exactly what I pictured. I may never find the right words to describe what it is like to have the gentle, warm weight of your own child in your arms (if you’re a parent, you already understand), but it holds so much meaning to me. It is something where there was once nothing. It is the strangeness and wonder that is life. That weight is the weight of the world.

We don’t have many friends in Brisbane yet but we see my Auntie and her girls a lot. The way Sommer and Alba love one another makes me melt. My auntie was like that with me when I was a baby, and maybe Alba will be that way with Sommer’s baby too.

An advertising agency hires me to shoot a campaign for The Smith Family. I fly to Sydney twice. The first time I am only there for a day to scout school locations and cast. I interview and photograph close to 50 children at Sun Studios before flying home again. A few days later I am there overnight to shoot the ad campaign. It is the first time I have been apart from Alba this long. On the flight over I feel my face burning as I try (unsuccessfully) to pump milk without drawing attention.

I stay in a boutique hotel in the city. There are a bowl of chocolates on the bed and I eat them cross-legged in my underwear, savoring my space. I thought I would be lost with loneliness and missing my family, but instead I’m rejoicing in my time alone.

It only takes me an hour to prepare and pack for tomorrow’s shoot. Then I have all this free time that for the first time in a long time I am not sure what to do with. I have a long, hot shower. I pump some more milk. I go walking in the city. Memories hit me hard. I have spent a lot of time here, a lot of things happened. The memories crowd my head so much I have to grab dinner quickly and rush back to the hotel room.

The bed is too big for just me and I sleep very soundly. When I wake at dawn my breasts are very full with milk. I was teased so much for being flat chested in highschool that I can’t help but laugh when I see myself naked in the bathroom mirror.

Someone from the production agency picks me up and we drive to the location. I have a digital operator and assistants and everyone is asking me about lighting set ups and I am trying to explain how simply I shoot. Just the sun, I say. I don’t need a lot of assisting either. I know I shoot unusually (and probably unprofessionally in some people’s eyes) but this is the way I make my images.

It is hard to foster a connection with a model when there is a big team standing around you both. So I do what I can to make space for us. The shoot is very long but the children are sweet. The clients love the images and we are all exhausted but content. They are a charity I really believe in, you can donate here and see some of my images here.

For the entire flight I keep imagining what Alba will be like when she sees me. Will she cry out “Mama” and run to me with her arms outstretched? Will she say her first ever sentence “Mama, never leave me again”? My imaginings grow more and more far-fetched. When I walk out to the baggage carousels I can see her walking around Papa’s feet. Her strawberry blonde hair looks bright and her skin glows. She is the prettiest little girl around. I can’t believe I get to be her Mama.

When Alba sees me she doesn’t even smile. She just looks at me like I’ve been here all along, as though she didn’t notice I’d gone anywhere. But in the car she holds my hand tightly all the way home.

128 love notes

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  4. Oh I love your photos and your blog! Actually I wouldn’t be that interested in your currently theme or phase of a mother but your blog is just so good, I get interested in more and more.. I really like it here 😉

  5. As always, Nirrimi, your photos are breathtakingly beautiful! I just love the way you capture life’s precious moments. x

  6. Your pictures are so real, so authentic, and it is a moving authenticity. It’s refreshing in a world where so many images seem artificial. Few people show their soul in their work, as you do. You manage to create in most of your pictures a sense of peace. I really feel peaceful when I look at them. This is the power of your pictures in my opinion.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  14. I love your blog, the way you write and photograph is amazing. I come here every day to see if there’s a new post, and hope there will be one soon. I always wonder how your little family is doing. Hugs from Olivia

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  16. Hej! I am quite fascinated about your work, your beautiful photos …it´s awesome! Stumbled over your blog a couple of mounts ago, and I became a great fan! It´s a magical feeling in your photos, hard to explain but one get quite fascinated. Love your story too, and the photos really show the love to the little baby-girl..it´s amazing. So you have a fan…far away…in Sweden 🙂 Who uses your great pics for inspiration.
    Best regards from Eivor, mother of three who loves too see the way different people expresses themselves in different, creative ways…

  17. Nirrimi, I am an ardent follower of your work, but tonight I stumbled upon your blog and it’s lovely. Love the words you write. Simple yet strong! I love the fact that you shoot everything with natural light. I am a photographer too, you could say I have a long way to go, but it is my passion more than my work! The pictures of Alba are just so mesmerizing, she is the most beautiful baby I have ever seen and I mean it. Your life is wonderful, simple and lovely! Keep inspiring 🙂 Thank you! xx Shweta

  18. Its been some time since I read your blog, but it’s amazing to see how much your little Alba has grown! I wanted to thank you for your birth story awhile back. I had read it while I was pregnant, and your story was one of the first to inspire me to continue forward with a natural birth. I went through with it and never regretted it! Motherhood truly is one of the most challenging, but fulfilling experiences…there’s no need to apologize for the direction of your blog, I find it to be such a beautiful thing, and look forward to you sharing more of your photojournalistic moments.

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  21. I love reading your blog. There’s always little reminders of home for me. The adorable little possum is just one of them.

  22. Every time I read one of your posts, it makes me want to pick up my little girl and just hold her… you have such a way of touching my heart and making me appreciate the inexplicable joy I have in being a mother. Don’t worry about writing about being a mother–it is one of the most beautiful things imaginable.

  23. Hello Nirrimi, thank you for sharing – absolutely beautiful and breathtaking pictures and your words as always! You are such an ispiration to me – as a talented photographer, as a mother and as a women. Always looking forward for a new post from you. It would be wonderful to meet you. I live in the central of Europe in a beautiful city named Prague (Czech Republic), so if you will plan to visit our country some day, let me know!:-)

    Best regards,


  24. I have fallen in love at first sight with your beautiful weblog, the template, the gorgeous photos … Sorry to gush, but I just had to say that and now I will slink away into lurkerhood 🙂

  25. Beautiful as always Nirrimi. The photos of you and alba in the bath are sublime, accompanying your words…magic.
    I did not miss that you will be hosting a workshop. I have looked at many workshops, but longed for you to do your own. Even though Bali is worlds away theres no question I will attend.

  26. I enjoy your every post, you’re such an inspiration! I’m glad you and your family is good, and I hope you’ll have a chance for a travel soon, sometimes you just need to be patient and then everything works out well. Love, Andreja

  27. Dear Nirrimi, I love your stories both in writing and photographs. Each have their way of describing life, and the way you love it, which as you know is incredibly inspiring to every one of your followers/admirers. You are dearly loved; human, talent, passion, and all.


  28. you are such a great photographer. i just bought one of your filters and hoping it will make my pics more dreamy. will i recive it on my mail?

  29. Sometimes I pick up my 3 1/2 month baby boy and am surprised at how heavy he is compared to how much he weighed when he was born and sometimes I pick him up when he is crying and expect him to weigh down my arms but am surprised at how easy it is to pick him up. He feels all light and squishy and seems to melt into me as I hold him. I think as parents, our children continue to surprise us by how sometimes we can’t wait to put them down for time to ourselves but when they need us, it’s so easy to hold them close to us in an effort to burn our love into them. I totally understand your love for your baby and at the same time, your need for time to yourself. The way you express yourself is beautiful and inspires me all the time. <3

  30. “That weight is the weight of the world”. A shining sentence, profoundly wise. Thank you.

  31. Ever since I started reading your blog, it wasn’t entirely about your photos. They’re beautiful, but what really drew me was your free spirit. How you cast yourself into the world at a young age and came out better. Your life inspires me, don’t feel guilty for it.

  32. I really love your blog. Your writing is intimate and inspiring and your photos have a rare, otherwordly quality to them. Thanks for sharing!

  33. You should never feel guilty about the topics you choose to write about. This is YOUR space in the big, weird world that is the interwebs, here it is you that decides what goes, how often and in which way. Besides, it is your thoughts on Motherhood and your absolutely amazing photos of your everyday life that brought me here, and what makes me come back, so by all means, carry on! 😉 And know that I am eternally grateful for what you share here.

  34. I loved the bit about the gentle weight of your child on your lap- one of my favourite things! Definitely a moment that I savor.

  35. You write so incredibly beautifully Nirrmi. Your words are almost more powerful than your photographs. x

  36. So beautiful and inspirational! I hope to be able to shoot photos one day in such a tangible and organic way. Your family gives me inspiration for when I will have my own children someday.

  37. Oh thank you so much for your wonderful posts, you just bring love into our lifes 🙂 thank you.

  38. I love your photos, I can feel the love for your daughter pouring through the camera. Motherhood is so fantastic isn’t it?
    Enjoy this time, you will treasure it forever.

  39. I just wanted to thank you for writing about your motherhood experience. When I read your posts and look at the gorgeous photos (which always capture the essence of baby-ness and the mother-baby bond) it refills my cup right away. My 20 month old LOVES to look at the photos of Alba, especially when she is eating. 😉 In the bath photo I can just smell that yummy warm wet baby head. 🙂

  40. your words and images evoke so much emotion and memories of when all my six daughters were babies and young children growing up in the woods and mountains and creeks. you are holding, cradling and sharing these sweet blessings for us all to keep in touch with the greatest gifts of life and love.

  41. So sweet the last picture and powerful the honesty in this last post, to see Alba crying just makes it more real. I understand that feeling when you go back to a city and all the memories haunt you like ghosts, it can almost be breathtaking. Your blog is a break in my life that leaves me with a dreamy mind the rest of the day. Keep writing please 🙂
    (PS: looking forward to that workshop!)

  42. absolutely great photos again!!! when alba is older she will be happy for you because you have shoot many wonderful moments of her life!

  43. Amazing choice of words, love your photographs. They are exceptional. I wish I could take great photos like yours. Your blog is inspiring, and so is your whole family. Amazing and breathtaking..

  44. beautiful. ever think of doing a writing workshop? you have much wisdom to give as a writer. west coast of canada would be ideal 😉 // side note–i would love to hear more of your thoughts on motherhood, what you thought it would be like, and the reality of what it is for you. as always, love, love XX

  45. i love your photography skills.. i wonder is it the camera or is it really about you that make it so good.. well i prefer to suck your photography skill in one hand and to know what type of camera you’re using..

  46. What to tell you, Nirrimi? Truly, I am fully identified in your thoughts, in your way of living and in your feelings as a mother. It is admirable how your images transcend borders and travel the world. Your camera is enough to portray life superbly, it´s an extension of your soul, and you don’t need anything more than that to create and live your vocation. I admire your sincerity and transparency, I support you to continue delighting the universe with your poetry, renewed in each shot. And even more I admire you because you give importance to things that make you really happy, and you can find magic in small, everyday things. Thank you for so much love, you deserve the best!
    Hugs from Buenos Aires (with the hope that someday may know these lands with your beautiful family!) (And sorry for my english…)

  47. beautiful as always. i too am in the all incompassing young motherhood phase. thank you for sharing.

  48. don’t you ever apologize! motherhood is the best and I think you are doing it (and photographing) beautifully!
    Alba’s stare and expression on that last photo…wow!

  49. The more I read your blog the more I fall in love with it. C—: You take some of the best photos I’ve seen, they have so much emotion and they capture the feeling.

    I also almoust cried while reading the part where you describe motherhood. Even though I have never seen myself as a person who will have children that part still really touched me!

    You have a beautiful family. C—-:

  50. Yay I am so happy when I receive my BlogLovin email saying you have a new post, it makes my day! beautiful rays of sunshine you send all across the globe!
    I’m a self taught photographer and I never use a flash only natural lighting and I always get questioned and smirked at for it, I’m a sun flare lover. I admire you profoundly as a photographer and mother, so thank you for what you wrote about not using a flash either and for standing by who you are!! You and your beautiful family are such beacons of light xxx

  51. there’s a quote from another blog that i think is right for you: “I was in my late teens when I witnessed a beautiful conversation between an old man and a young mother. I was behind the counter in the bookshop where I worked when the mother of three young children attempted to balance the trolley, the shopping, a conversation with the cashier and calm her crying baby. The gentleman was trying to walk between the trolley and the bookshelf and the mother turned to him and apologised profusely which is when he held her hand, looked her in the eye and said: “Don’t you ever apologise, you have the most important job in the world.” She cried. Such powerful validation.” from jodi’s blog ‘che & fidel.’

    i don’t think you should ever feel bad that this blog includes so much of your motherhood. because that’s the most important job in the world. and you’re doing it right. beautiful words, beautiful photos. 🙂 <3

  52. Must say, I’ve never seen anyone capturing feelings so beautifully in pictures as you do. All the best for you and your family! xx

  53. Always love your posts.

    P.S. How can I find out more information about your workshop in Bali?

  54. I love the last photo of you two, it’s simply perfect! And it is totally okay, if you write more about motherhood, your family and child. It’s the only thing that matters – well, it’s more important than other stuff 😉 I love your work, but your life is so interesting and inspirational, too!


    My Blog

  55. Very nice blog, as always. Regarding your comment about how you make your images, your work has more depth and soul and realism than most “professional” photographers I’ve seen so I wouldn’t worry about what others think about your process 🙂 Great blog, long may it continue!

  56. As a Mummy to two littlies myself, I always love to read your mothering posts, and today you managed to combine two side of your life into a beautiful piece. Lovely to read.
    I would love to know where that ABC rug that you have photographed is from if you happen to know?
    Rhi x

  57. Such beautiful photos Nirrimi; your family are so lucky to be able to be a part of your talent. They will have these photographs to look back on forever, and how perfect these photographs are! I particularly like the one of Alba with food all the way up to her forehead; I’ve hovered over it for so long and even made my boyfriend come and look! Beautiful, I really look forward to reading more.

    Flora x

  58. Your post brought back so many memories to my mind. I do remember being away from my daughter and feeling just the way you did. And the milk in m y breasts reminding me, in my own flesh, that I am a mama and that there is a child, my child, waiting for me…such precious moments, yet strange sometimes. Thanks for sharing these beautiful new pics. Something warm and calm radiates from them, it’s soothing. Love and care to you and your beautiful family.

  59. I love how completely honest your are with your blog. I love it now even more so that you write more about life, motherhood and how you have started to write about your love for raw/organic food. It’s beautiful to see your passions evolve and change since you are now a mama. that is the beauty of life afterall 🙂 x

  60. Divine photos- creating wonderful memories with your loved ones. I adore your evening sky snap!

  61. as artists, we’ll work on stuff we burn for. the pictures of your family are such a work of art, they always make me sigh. so deep, so poetic and still light and feathery. brilliant pieces.

  62. I rarely read the words written on blogs but yours is one that I always make the time for. Your words give me goosebumps and your pictures are so touching and beautiful.

  63. Dear Nirrimi,

    I will always enjoy reading your blog, no matter what.
    Your words inspires me every time.
    You are blessed to have a family like yours.

    Wishing you all the best and love,

  64. I have been following your blog for a long time and it’s always so inspiring. The way you write makes me feel like I am there experiencing it with you, just not reading about it. It’s just wonderful…

  65. That close up portrait of you kissing little Alba’s head is beautiful.
    ps. I really like also the one with the possum and the flowers 🙂

  66. Ooooh, Nirrimi again, such a beautiful, warm post to heat up our souls on a cold Autumn night.
    The way you and Matt capture the light is glorious.
    Thanks for sharing with us

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