Photography

let’s talk about it.

Because that’s what this platform -Instagram- is all about, isn’t it? The photos? Just a bonus I’m able to work with some amazing brands! But it is my creative outlet-my visual diary. And photography is something I’m passionate about.

I am honestly as amateur as they get BUT In using this platform I have come in contact with like minded people-and some awesome, pro as people. Who have helped me evolve and are still helping me become better. This photo taking gig isn’t as simple as I once thought.

I had been using my sister in laws camera for about a year before I bought my own.

When I first bought my camera, 2 years ago, I had no clue what I was doing. I got a quick ‘how to’ from the person at the camera shop and I’ve been winging it ever since. I thought presets were a ‘one click fix’. And angles were parts of math equations.

I have always wanted to do some sort of photography course, but I would have to travel and also having two young children my money is best spent elsewhere. So I turned to Instagram for amazing aspiring and educational accounts to further my knowledge. And here are a few amazing people who have openly given it-for free!

SO first of all, I just want to give a massive shout out to Kari from @compassandaperture. She has freely, without hesitation given me all the tips and tricks. But she also has the most helpful vlog over on YouTube-linked HERE.

From lenses, presets and coffee, she’s your lady.

Karis presets are what I use-Available for pc and mobile Lightroom you can even edit on the go. I am so in love with them and they have made editing my photos so much easier. HERE you can find Karis full range of presets.

It was on Instagram where I learnt about composition. I thought a good photo was where the subject was smack bang in the middle of the frame. @lavara_photography taught me otherwise. Her account too, is so aspiring. Her page is filled with family and lifestyle pictures, flooded with natural light and the golden hour photos are to die for.

See the post about composition HERE.

Now last but not least. The account where I hope my photography skills might be one day @brandonwoelfel his photography is so next level, I could stare at his account all day!

Also, Brandon has a Youtube account filled with behind the scenes videos. Which blows my mind. I love seeing how the end result is actually made-with such ‘normal’ every day settings, these exquisite photographs are created.

I have still got a LONG way to go. And I will get there one day. But for now these amazing people, and many more, are teaching me new things every time I watch their vlogs or read their tips on their posts.

If you don’t already I suggest you follow these gems of people. There is so much free information out there, just searching what you want to learn on YouTube and a ton of videos pop up! I can’t wait to see how my skills evolve in the future.

Watches by Welly Merck

‘Welly Merck, a representation of durability, simplicity, and tireless striving’

Welly Merck is a luxury watch company founded in Switzerland.

With a strong heritage and amazing story of determination, to how this company came to be is reflected in each of their amazing, timeless pieces.

I’m very impressed with the detailing that this piece has, even with its petite size. It makes me feel a bit fancy with its rose gold and white coloured face and pink leather strapping. You can see for yourself Here.

When Welly Merck approached me to collab with them, I was beyond excited.

I immediately jumped onto their website where it captivated me with its class and glam, I knew then it was going to be hard to pick just one. All of the reviews were glowing and I can see why!

Growing up, everyone in my family had a watch. I can remember my very first watch being a Baby-G and I absolutely adored it! Practically never took it off. As I grew into my teens and early adulthood I had a few surf brand watches I liked but they soon became out of fashion or didn’t go with my personal style. Which had left me watchless-until now!

I have always loved the leather strap style of watches, so classic, which is what my mum and dad always had, so it is familiar. When I saw this one in pink I just had to have it! Funnily enough I haven’t really been a ‘pink girl’ until I fell pregnant with Harleigh. I hope to one day pass it onto her, as I’m sure it will withstand the test of time.

Their range of watches will also suit any age and style, making them so versatile.

You can use my exclusive discount code WMJESSE50 to get $50 off your very own luxury Welly Merck watch-THE perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Seperation Anxiety

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Do you suffer from it? Do you feel like your chest is about to cave in when you think about leaving your child? 

I know I do. 

I can literally pin point the exact moment it overcame me and settled itself into my heart. 

Huxley was almost 6 weeks old and we were moving out of the house we were renting-not by choice. We had things to finish moving and had to clean the entire house. My family was going to help but I couldn’t get much done having a newborn. 

Brendan gave Huxley to his parents for half of the day. I DID NOT feel in control. He told me it HAD to happen. We HAD to get stuff done. It’s ONLY for half of the day. 

I cried the whole time. 

I felt I had no choice.

He was MY baby. 

I NEEDED him with me. 

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I could feel something starting to overwhelm me and I didn’t know how to stop it. 

Until eventually Brendan could see my state and we went and got our baby. 

That’s when it started. 

That’s when I made the choice to never be in that position again. And Huxley would never leave my side. 

How do I recognise my anxiety?

Obviously for everyone it’s feels a bit different. But the obvious one is that you feel anxious. Sometimes you have no clue what has triggered it and where it’s coming from. 

But I do have some signs that I recognise that help me to start working on my strategies with coping.

I fiddle a lot-with my hair, my skin and rubbing my eyes. 

I can’t concentrate-even on the smallest things. 

I can’t hold conversation very well. 

And I can’t sleep

STRATEGIES that help me manage 

One of my biggest-and probably most common for others- triggers is not feeling in control. I have made this clear to those who understand and support me. 

So they would ask if Huxley can be looked after instead of telling me he should. So I feel as I’m making the decision all by myself and I’m able to process it better. And no means no, no exception. 

I also stipulate times of drop offs or pick ups so there’s no ‘surprises’ and my brain has a plan. Countdowns are my friend.

I don’t tend to leave him for more than one night-I’m definitely not at the stage of having wild weekends away just yet 😅 and I’m not going to put myself in the position where I will feel overwhelmed.

Know that I CAN always pick him up if I need to. 

For me a tidy environment allows me to have a clear mind. If it’s not tidy I feel foggy and out of sorts.

While he’s gone, I do things that I love. Like photography and editing. This is when I get all my product shots done-no sticky fingers in the shots which is a little bonus 😅 

Also exercise helps A LOT on the general day to day flares that may arise. Even if it’s just for 20minutes. It clears my mind and gets those endorphins going. 

AND reminding myself it does get easier-one step at a time. 

As Huxley has started kindy this year, for two days a week too. I try leave most of my errands for these days. 87ED15DE-DC96-4F63-B359-947BACECBC13 The day goes super quick. And-as I have said above-I mostly pick him up early 😅

Harleigh at this point is totally out of the question. When I am good and ready then it’ll happen. I have left her with Brendan a couple of times for an hour max. 

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Don’t ever let anyone pressure you into getting your child looked after. They are the most precious beings on the planet. And to everyone, their world! Everyone is so completely different when it comes to this. I just hope that everyone respects every mamas decision when it comes to this-there’s no rushing or fast tracking these decisions, especially if you’re not ready. 

I’m not going to say that these strategies work 100% of the time. But it does help to try and manage it. If you feel you need to speak to someone there is an anxiety helpline, open 24/7 and free to call; 0800 ANXIETY. Also if you feel you need to see a doctor, they have some really helpful options too. Don’t ever feel ashamed or you’re failing-as many times I have. The fact you worry proves you’re an amazing parent.

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Huxley is the most independent child ever. He makes me so proud. He does not have the same feelings as I do around separation. Which makes my heart happy, he’s totally winning at life.  

Secondary Blues

I keep finding myself thinking ‘maybe today is the last day that it’ll be just us’ so I hug him a little tighter and kiss his little cheeks and soak up as much of him as possible.

The mum guilt I feel for bringing another child into our family is beyond bizarre. I never thought I would feel this way. The guilt of not being able to give Huxley my 100% as his mama has been the hardest. From morning sickness-let’s face it, all day sickness-to being heavily pregnant and not being able to run, jump and play as we used to. Also, because of his age, he doesn’t fully understand what is going on either, which makes it that little bit more difficult. How the heck do you explain to your baby that you can no longer do these things?

When I fell pregnant with Harleigh, I was not ready for a second child.

I feel as though this sort of subject is a bit Tabu. I am in no way trying to be insensitive about being able to have children, but these are my genuine feelings around our second pregnancy.

Not only did we have a plan as to how we wanted things to pan out in our lives, but I was enjoying my time with just Huxley and I. Just the three of us. My little trio.

I waited a long time for him and wanted to give him my all, as a mum.

Who wouldn’t be excited to have another baby? Wouldn’t you love all your children the same the moment you found out?

With Huxley both of these were true, but this time around it took a long time to come to terms with being pregnant again and begin to bond with our baby girl. Which has also turned my mum guilt on. Why didn’t I fall in love straight away like I did before?

I feel really blessed to be able to fall pregnant again-and obviously without any difficulties this time *face palm* but ultimately if I had the choice I would have waited a little longer.

I feel like the emotions that I have are very selfish-and it kind of scares me-and if it is, so be it.

But I know in my heart that I will love and cherish her just as I do my little Huxley. She is a product of her daddys and I love.

Just because this process was different to our first experience does not make it wrong or invalid-just different. There is no doubt that I love her. Our bond will get stronger with time.

The mama behind the lense

I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. As all of you would know who Huxley is by now haha #huxleysfeed

I’m Jess, wearer of many hats, one of which-the most important-mama to Huxley who is almost two, seriously how did that even happen??? And baby girl Harleigh, who is due earthside in early September-which also happens to be my birth month.

I’m a wife to my most amazing high school sweetheart husband, Brendan. You may see him pop up in my stories and sometimes sneakily on the feed-dont tell him haha. We have been together for just over 10 years and married 4 years. #ohsocute people thought I was up the duff when we got engaged when I was 16, but the truth was we were just madly in love.

I’ll be 26 years old this year. Aging terrifies the crap out of me-I know it’s totally out of my control and, duh it’s going to happen obviously but still. One of many weirdo qualities I have.

Prior to having Huxley I was an ECE teacher. I loved my job before, but since having Huxley I’m not sure that it’s what I want to do anymore? I’ve always loved numbers so I may look into accounting in the future.

Well That’s me in a nut shell, the mama behind the feed and the lense. You may see more of me in the near future!

The day you came into the world 

“Now we see the world differently. It’s smaller. It’s you. Now we know love.”

On the 15th of July 2016 at 11:50pm my world started to change. It was the day I went into labour with Huxley. On the 17th July at 6:54pm he was born into this world with a whole lot of love around him. 

A month or so after Huxley was born, I discovered the book ‘The day you came into the world’ by Frances Lalor, through instagram. I had read the reviews and was eager to see what it was like in person. To say it hit me with ALL of the feels is a total understatement. 

The first time I read it I was sitting with my mum at our local cafe, I was sobbing like a 1 year old who was just told they couldn’t eat the napkin. 


Now Whenever Huxley and I sit down and read it together it takes me back to that moment. The moment I saw his beautifully squished face, all 10 perfect fingers and toes and the feel of his skin against mine. They’re not just words on a page, they have become visual memories, memories that can be sourced from one single book, memories I have on tap as soon as I collect it from the shelf. 

Just as Huxley has changed me entire world, so has this book. It has kept the most monumental moment of my life alive and fresh in my memory. 
If you would like to see for yourself how amazing this book is, visit Frances Lalor books on instagram or Here to visit their website.