Category Archives: miscellaneous

I hate it, I hate it, I HATE Halloween!

….and yet I succumb each year now. The nagging. The peer pressure. They have won.

Here are the kiddos this year: Black cat and Vampire. (“What’s a vampire, Mummy?” “Something quick and easy to pull together, my son! Something quick and easy.”)

And I discovered I can paint faces. Who knew?

PS: To my pleasant surprise, Halloween was whisper quiet around here this year. The only trick-or-treaters we had were the kids from next door, unlike the last few years where we’ve had so many kids (and some of them way too old to be trick or treating in my opinion) that we’ve all but run out of treats. I’m not a party-pooper, though. Really, I’m not.

PPS: For a softer view of how Halloween has come to be part of our lives now, take a trip to this post on Tummy Mountain’s blog. I think I’m just a cranky pants!



Filed under kids, miscellaneous, my own

Meet Millie | vividity, Sydney family portrait photography

Meet the gorgeous Millie. Only weeks old and already the leader of the pack at her house! I’ll introduce you to her people soon. Meanwhile, enjoy this little black bundle of shoe-chewing, mischief-making fur.

Millie by vividity, Sydney family photographer

Millie by vividity Sydney family portrait photographer

Millie by vividity, Sydney family portrait photographer

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Filed under families, miscellaneous

An update for clients

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am now fully booked for the remainder of this year, but I have opened up my books for next year and am now scheduling portrait sessions for late January 2011. If you’d like to talk with me about booking a session, you can reach me via the ‘contact’ page on this blog, or even better, through my website. That way you can have a bit of a browse through my galleries while you’re there!

This is a busy time of year for us all, and especially busy for us photographers, with everyone wanting everything before Christmas, so I would like to thank all my clients for their patience. You WILL get your photos as soon as humanly possible!

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virgin karma

Where do you draw the line between having good karma and simply being a doormat? Can anyone tell me? It’s a hard line to find.

If you follow me on facebook, you will have gathered that Virgin Mobile and I have been having a bit of a tiff over the past couple of weeks. I have become SO frustrated with their completely UNhelpful help line that I have resorted to posting about them in my facebook status. Pretty childish, I admit. I haven’t had any help with solving my problem, but I have had a couple of COMPLETE STRANGERS who work for Virgin and/or their sibling company SPRINT send me friend requests. What?!?! Yeah, right! As if I’m going to become bosom buddies with a complete stranger!

What’s all that got to do with karma? And what exactly is karma anyway? Most people think of it as a ‘what-goes-around-comes-around’ kind of thing. You get what you give. Live by the sword, die by the sword. But I like the way Sarah Napthali describes it:

“There needn’t be anything magical or superstitious in our understanding of karma. The way the Buddha described it, it sounds perfectly logical. It’s not about the universe making judgements, punishing bad deeds and rewarding good. Karma is about cause and effect: everything you do, think and say has a result. The Buddha said:

Wherever we go, wherever we remain

The results of our actions follow us.” (p.34)

Napthali, S. (2003), Buddhism for mothers: A calm approach to caring for yourself and your children.

Sydney. Allen & Unwin.

And in a later paragraph: “Your mother was always helping her friend. You see a mother in need, remember your own mother’s example and help your friend. It was easy enough to do and made you feel good so you help your friend again. Soon you start helping more friends and before you know it you have the character of a helpful person with a helpful person’s destiny ahead of you.” (ibid. p. 35).

So, a simple way to think about it is, you get better at what you practice. Practice being patient and kind, and you become a kind a patient person. And as a result, those around you who are influenced by your behaviour also become a little kinder and more patient. And don’t think you’re not influenced by those around you. How many times have you gone into a store and been met by a less-than-happy-to-be-there employee, and just felt a little less happy to be there yourself? And those of you with children will surely know how quickly our mood as parents tends to filter through into the moods (and behaviour!) of our children. Similarly, you feel better for having spent time in the presence of someone calm and wise. Like my dear yoga teacher Eve.

So what’s all the fuss about Virgin? Here’s the story. It’s time to upgrade to a new phone. To take advantage of a great deal Virgin have going on a really good phone (they are cheap, I’ll grant them that!), I needed to also upgrade from pre- to post-paid. Not so hard, really. You just go to a Virgin Mobile store, fill in the form, provide some ID and about 15 minutes later, hey presto! You’re the proud owner of a new phone. With Aps. Yay!


My application for post-paid was declined.

Yup. Declined.

‘You must have a credit problem,’ I was told. No, I do not. I have never defaulted on anything in my life. And I have a piece of paper from Virgin’s preferred credit checking agency to prove it. So why was I declined? Is it because I don’t have a credit card? Well, I do have a credit card, it’s just linked to my husband’s account. (The best kind of credit card to have, don’t you think?) And anyway, that’s beside the point. What if I were independently wealthy and could pay for everything in cash? Would they still decline my application then?

Or perhaps it’s because I’m self employed. But hang on…. independently wealthy, self employed…. Sounds a bit like Richard Branson. I wonder whether he would qualify for a post-paid account with Virgin Mobile…..

Or maybe I was declined because I have a nose.

I really just don’t know. And the reason I’m so angry about the situation is no-one in Virgin Mobile will explain. I have asked and asked, and I keep getting conflicting responses:

“You will receive a letter detailing why your application was declined.”

Nope. No letter.

So I ask the people at the Virgin Customer (Un)service Centre in Manila — the one that plays you a song on hold with the lyrics “I can’t assist you, even if I try”. Yes. Really. Those were the lyrics — ¬†and their response is “Letter? What letter? We don’t send out any letters explaining why your application was declined because we do not share that information.” And then when I say how ridiculous that is, and that the man in the Virgin store in Sydney said I would get a letter and that on a previous phone call to Manila I was told the same thing by some other Customer Un-service Representative, and the response is “You just have to wait for your letter.”

That would be the one that they don’t send.

And so, having exhausted all avenues with Virgin, I have lodged a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. Of course, they can’t force Virgin to approve my application, but they can insist on them providing an explanation as to why my application was declined.

I’m beginning to think it just might be fun to be 3 after all.

And what of my karma? Well, seriously dented. I have lost my rag several times in utter frustration. So much for equanimity and detachment. It’s a phone, for goodness sake! Not really that important. I’m old enough to remember when phones were big and clunky and had curly cords and dials that went round and round. Is my life really going to be ruined if I don’t have a cute little phone with Aps? Hardly. I’ve finally reached a point where I just can’t get riled up about it anymore.

Feels nice.


Filed under miscellaneous, yoga

LOVE this image

Here is a photo of me taken by my daughter when she was four. And it’s one of my all time favourites!

We bought her a camera for her birthday when she turned four. Just a little point and press. But not a kiddie one. A real one. (Nikon Coolpix 5 megapixel.) We looked at buying her a toy one that actually took photos, but they just looked a bit… well…. pretend. They were expensive, too. In fact the Nikon was comparable in price.

So, we gave her a real camera, turned off the auto flash, and left her to it. We get lots of photos of the ceiling, the TV, her dolls and teddies… and every now and then, we get some real smokers! I LOVE this one of me. So nicely composed. (I haven’t done anything to it, besides adding a watermark and resizing it.) There are some others that I really like, too. I’ll post them some time so you can see what a clever and creative girl we have.

Only down side is she now loves being BEHIND the camera and gets bored when I ask to take photos of her! [SIGH.]

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Filed under art, miscellaneous, my own, photos by kids

What a cool idea! {How to display photos}

Check out this way of displaying photos:

Or if you want to get a little bit fancy:

They’re vinyl wall decals! Aren’t they cool? You can get them from Simple Shapes on Etsy. (All images in this post from Simple Shapes.)

Now, as a photographer, I think this is a really really bad idea, because you should be buying great big canvas prints and framed custom artwork. From me, of course! But aren’t these a great idea if you’re renting, or just want to have a changing display of family snaps in your kids’ rooms, or if you live in a student dorm or somewhere like that where you’re not allowed to actually put hooks in the walls? They’d make a great present for a teenage child who’s moving out of home to start uni or something, don’t you think?

And I’m quite taken with this idea, too: A dry erase wall decal!

But could you just imagine trying to teach the three-year-old that it’s OK to write on this bit of wall, but not that bit of wall over there? Aaaaagh!

add to :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank :: post to facebook


Filed under cool stuff, how to, miscellaneous

Fellow photographers, you could win!

Here’s a great opportunity to win yourself a lovely design template from Design by Jenn. You can check out their work on their blog here, and enter the competition on their facebook fan page, here. Good luck! No, I don’t really mean that, cos I’M going to win! Haha!

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Filed under competitions and special offers, cool stuff, miscellaneous