of blood and bone

near the beginning of the year we left my hometown to stay with some of my family in toowoomba. it’s a small town with streets lined with trees and old homes with magnificent gardens.

half the time we’d stay with my grandparents in a big house with a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable patches. my nanny was always cooking something wonderful and my grandfather (ex weatherman and inventor) would spend his time in his garage, which was ideally another world full of many collected treasures. he had this mad love for all of it, like every odd collection and invention was a piece of himself. almost every night he would bring out old cameras from different eras, and show us how they’d worked. we spent a night going through a chest of photographs he’d taken of his seven children and the inspiration flowed so heavy through my blood.

one night we pitched a tent in the backyard while my family had a big barbecue. the girls crowded the tent as the light began to leave the sky and we all told hushed stories. later that night me and m lay beneath the bright stars and we shared the sweetness of life. my great uncle the nomad came to stay and we dreamt of buying a caravan and leaving just the same. one day we will.

the other half of the time i’d stay with my aunt megan and three cousins- sommer, belle and freya. it was much different to staying with my grandparents, it was chaotic and filled with sound in the most perfect way. it was a small house on the highway. over the fence in the backyard you can see grazing horses and m would hold little freya up so she could watch them, eyes lit with that innocent fascination babies have. i’d lay with sommer on the trampoline, watching the galaxy shimmer, and she’d point out everything she saw outlined in the stars. i’d tickle belle until she was breathlessly giggling and tell her crazy stories about the lives of the flies she often batted from her eyes. when she’d see me swoosh a fly from my leg or cheek, she’d say sternly ‘don’t you do that! you’ll hurt jemima the fly!’ in that adorable way toddlers mock seriousness. i fell in love with those girls and i miss them so often.

after sunset we’d sit with megan and we’d talk for hours and hours. there are moments i feel i don’t belong to my family, but in these moments i did. we’ve never been close. the only memory i really have of her was when i caught a bus at age thirteen to a town so small it was barely a town. i looked after sommer in a motel room during the day while megan worked on the boat with my uncle. i always thought she was quiet and would never have guessed one day there’d be a connection. some things are so terrible they are unimaginable to those who haven’t experienced them. because of her selflessness and strength in the most horrible darkness, i will forever feel inspired to be brave.

these are some of the photographs i took on this journey.

cousins layla, sommer and belle after rain.

belle through the car window.

sommer in a lone tree on a hill.

sommer soothing freya.

on the veranda of my grandparent’s home.

climbing trees in the backyard.

sommer wearing chocolate ice-cream.

sommer skipping in her new dress.

swimming lessons.

belle’s swimming class.

sommer’s reflection over the parking lot.

freya’s day naps.

belle being carried by m at the ER after she was bitten by a redback spider hiding in her dress.

sommer and layla on the trampoline.

the pile of clothes left by the girls after playing bareskinned under the rain.


sommer in the rain.

the golden afternoon light.

the front hallway of my grandparent’s home.

belle, sommer and layla watching television.

62 love notes

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  2. Hi Nirimmi,

    I LOVE youre Gipsy style you amazed me!!!!!!
    Greetings from the netherlands 😉


  3. this is bREATHTAKING! I come here ever so often and your work just blows me away-thank you for the beauty!!


  4. I absolutely adore your blog, so genuine, so full of life and light. I can't believe that you were in Toowoomba, the swimming lesson photos were taken at my school, small world ha? The girls and these photos are just beautiful!

  5. "Sommer in the rain" -describes all. All of the photos are magnificent I fell in love with all of the kids.

  6. I enjoy these photos very much. They make me feel so homey like, I just want to curl up with a cup of tea! xo

  7. Ah, how I love this. Your pictures are just so soft and filled with beauty you see, it's obvious you took and edited each of them with love. And that what's I feel like about art.

  8. Greetings from Finland. Just love your photos. Kids´ posing – or the opposite – is so real. Full of emotion. Thank you.


  9. these are so beautiful! I especially love Sommer. These also make me miss my little cousin so much too; he is one of the only people who doesn't mind being photographed. And I particularly like photographing children -they have the natural-ness in photos that most of us lose as we grow up.

  10. aahh so lovely pictures! i adore you and your style so much!! your a wonderful photographer !!

  11. I adore all your innocent children-precious-moment pictures. Much more than your photos of adults or models. They are wonderful and make me want to cry. Such wonderful images. 🙂

  12. Just amazing.

    One question; do your cousins have a Norwegian parent/ancestor? The names Freya and Sommer might suggest that.

  13. Thank you for sharing this amazing pictures and the lovely story!!! You always, always always amaze me. I got inspire by you so hardly and each time I see some of your pictures I feel I'm just a beginners in photography. You are magical, you have something different. Thank you for sharing, again!

  14. i just love the way you capture the most simple moments and turn them into everlasting beauty, ao gorgeous!

  15. Whoa there's a lot of Sommer here! It's amazing how you're gloriously capturing their precious childhood. Ah I wish someone did such a good job when I was a kid.

  16. I absolutely can't wait to see the photos you take of your own children! you must be like a sneaky ninja, the way you manage to take photos that look so candid, as if they don't even know you're taking the photos

  17. You take absolutely great pictures. Which lens were you using to capture these ones?
    P.s. kids are just gorgeous.

  18. some of the most beautiful, profound images i have seen in a long time. you never fail to inspire, nirrimi!

  19. i love all of these so much, they tell a story of such beautiful innocence and adventure that make me wish it was my childhood

  20. those pictures are explosive, they show so much detail, bright but mostly love and proud. those pictures are really speechless

  21. I love all of your blog posts so much! I get so excited to read new ones, and can never help myself from reading old ones that I've already read hundreds if times. You have a beautiful family.

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