A newsletter turned blog post by Belle Verdiglione

SUMMER is almost here!!!! Are you enjoying the flowers blooming and warmer weather...  or do you want all the pollen to go away because of hay fever??

Christmas is only 6 weeks away!!! I have no idea where the time went! But this also means it's COMPETITION TIME and I'll be releasing the info on how to WIN a photo shoot for FREE very soon. So make sure you follow me on Facebook page - {just hit the "like" button} or check out my Instagram feed {yes, go on you need to hit the "follow" button} so you can be full bottle on all the deets....

Awards, recognition and happiness.....gosh where do I begin?

I was a finalist in the inaugural Australian College of Midwives Birth Photography Awards and had two photos exhibited at their conference and awards night in Adelaide. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there on the night but I watched the live streaming and couldn't believe that I WON the pregnancy category! Thank you so much to Laura Robertson who accepted the award on my behalf. Click HERE to view the announcements.

My Birth and Pregnancy photos exhibited at the awards. Photo credit: Laura Robertson

My Birth and Pregnancy photos exhibited at the awards. Photo credit: Laura Robertson

So many amazing photographs in the competition and a massive congrats to Jane McCrae for winning the whole competition - her work is breathtaking. I also want to thank my clients who are pictured in the birth and pregnancy photos. I am honoured to be able to share these images. Thank you!

WINNER in the ACM birth photography awards "A neuro-divergent boy listens to his baby sister in utero"

WINNER in the ACM birth photography awards "A neuro-divergent boy listens to his baby sister in utero"

The mum in the pregnancy photo has written a few words about this image, 

"I love this image so much! There is something so magical about it.

Jack was filled with so much excitement and anticipation to meet his new brother or sister back when this photo was taken. (Although he did very openly declare his desire to have a little sister!) And he has been such an amazing big brother to little Joni from the moment she was born - nurturing, protective, playful and loving" - Paula

How gorgeous is that?! Thanks Paula x


So excited to say that I had two photos in this years Fremantle International Portrait Prize (FiPP)- and I just found out my birth photo was voted RUNNER UP for the People's Choice Award - it makes me so happy to see breastfeeding and birth photographs exhibited on the walls of the Moore's Gallery.

Thank you to all the volunteers who donated their time to organise FiPP, the sponsors and congrats to all the finalists and winners. And of course, a big thank you to my special families xxx

'Faith' - FINALIST in the FiPP Awards

'Faith' - FINALIST in the FiPP Awards

'Noah' - FINALIST in the FiPP Awards and RUNNER UP People's Choice Awards

'Noah' - FINALIST in the FiPP Awards and RUNNER UP People's Choice Awards

As part of the FiPP exhibition and in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers AIPP, I was invited to chat about my images chosen for the FiPP at a breakfast held in the gallery space. It was a little nerve-wracking talking in front of people especially when they are all amazing photographers! But it was super fun being able to chat about what I'm most passionate about - BIRTH!

Chatting about my FiPP photos. Photo credit: Dale Neill (Chief Steward of FiPP)

Chatting about my FiPP photos. Photo credit: Dale Neill (Chief Steward of FiPP)

Helen Newnham and I rockin the gallery space for FiPP. Photo credit: Dale Neill (Chief Steward of FiPP)

Helen Newnham and I rockin the gallery space for FiPP. Photo credit: Dale Neill (Chief Steward of FiPP)


In other news, I'm so stoked to announce that I WON Documentary Photographer of the Year with the AIPP State Awards this year! I cannot believe it's taken me this long to tell you and of course this was on my bucket list so of course I was over the moon to achieve this. The finalists Adam and Johannes are good mates of mine and incredible artists so the feeling of taking out this title was just surreal. You can check out the 4 winning images HERE.

Well I think I've babbled on enough already, so if you reached the end of this newsletter turned blog post, WELL DONE! And remember to keep checking my Facebook and Instagram pages for my competition.

"Love is Love" - Me and my youngest fan Augie at FiPP

"Love is Love" - Me and my youngest fan Augie at FiPP

It's almost the silly season so remember to be kind to yourself and to others

Love Belle xxx

The real reason I unfollowed you by Belle Verdiglione

 10/10 is World Mental Health Day

I have taken this day to reflect on my own mental 'healthiness' and see what has been going on for me lately. I have pondered on the challenges that I experience being a photographer and in particular the struggles of social media in this context. Anyone who knows me understands that I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On one hand it has let me connect and engage with a massive audience and collaborate, learn, network, grow and be inspired by other creatives and photographers. It has the potential to influence a wide range of people in a very short amount of time. I have seen this firsthand with photos of mine that are currently going viral at the moment. On the other hand, well, I think it can be destructive. So in my reflection and in support of 10/1o, I have decided to share a little bit more of myself...

"Comparison is the thief of joy" - Theodore Roosevelt

Let me start by saying, (today) I feel better. I feel stronger and I want to share with you a part of me that not many people get to meet.

And it's the real reason I unfollowed you.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I unfollowed you. I love you, I really do and I admire and respect you as an artist. It's just sometimes I get overwhelmed. I find it hard to breathe. My mind races a million miles an hour and I can't concentrate on any one task. Horrible, dark thoughts wash over me and the part of me that I try so hard to hide comes creeping forward. It might stay for a short time, sometimes longer but when it's there it speaks dirty to me in whispers that repeat over and over and over again in my head;

"you're not good enough"

"no one likes you or your work" 

"you'll never be able to run a successful business"

"just quit".

I'm a positive person. I'm bubbly and I love to giggle. Being around my friends and my family makes me so very happy. But when THAT part of me comes out, I want to curl up in the darkness and dissolve away. Because those whispers are relentless. They come when I least expect them to and get louder and louder until my head feels like it's going to break or that I am going to break.

I love you and I love your work. I admire your artistry and respect your business. But sometimes it's just too much for me and in order for me to silence the noise, I unfollow you so I don't have to see your pretty pictures - so I don't have to compare myself to you. Because you will always win. The darkness has a way of making sure of that.

And so you see a part of me that I want you to see. I talk about how amazing it is to be published or to win awards or to be part of the wonderful Perth photography community. You probably think I'm confident and established and I have a list of incredible achievements. Well, what I don't show you is the part of me that struggles with moving forward. How that one social media post I put up two nights ago, took me an hour to post because I couldn't bear the thought of it not being good enough or liked enough or commented on enough. 

I know that as creatives it's a little trickier to navigate. I think that photographers especially are emotional creatures. When you put your heart and soul into your work, you need it to be magical. You also want others to think your work is magical too. I wish I was as confident as you think I am and sometimes, I am. But if I am struggling and there are days where I do, I may need to unfollow you again. 

With love and warmth, Belle x

If you or anyone you know is dealing with anxiety or depression please reach out to friends, loved ones or support services such as Beyond Blue Support Service
1300 22 4636

Photo by the amazing Ashlee Wells for 4th Trimester Bodies Project

Photo by the amazing Ashlee Wells for 4th Trimester Bodies Project

My photos have just been published in FRANCE! by Belle Verdiglione

Do you speak French? I don't! But I was published in a French magazine called Neuf Mois!! I've had a good friend read over the article and she assures me that it's all positive. 

Have a look (but use google translate with caution!)

Article link: https://www.neufmois.fr/au-fil-de-lactu/cette-maman-photographe-immortalise-moments-incroyables-de-laccouchement

You may have seen some of these photos before, but here are the ones that appear:

My First Family Photography Workshop by Belle Verdiglione

I often get questions from mums, clients and friends about how I capture the photos that I take.

Frances from Perth Postnatal Village and I were talking about this and decided to hold a joint workshop to show mums how to start using their digital cameras on manual and get great shots of their families. It was a really fun morning where we all got to dust off that fancy camera that just sits on your shelf!

Using a digital camera can be overwhelming and the instruction manuals are hundreds of pages long! I got to share my professional secrets to capturing great photos. We had a gorgeous family who modelled for us, and all the mamas got to put into practice what they had learnt including lighting, composition and correct exposure of their images.

I made sure there was time to connect with each mama one-on-one and answer any questions that they had. There was lots of new information to digest! 

All in all though, it was a beautiful day with lots of giggling, snapping pics and snacking on tasty food. 

 

If you're interested in attending a future Family Photography workshop, email admin@belleverdiglionephotography.com.au

MY OWN FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT by Belle Verdiglione

I'm going to start off with a negative. I don't like my wedding photos. They're just not "us". That was 11 years ago when Etsy was only 10 months young and Pinterest wasn't even conceived. We had the most incredible wedding and very true to us however our photos didn't capture our personalities the way I would have hoped. Of course, I'm happy to have them, but I did long to have some new ones that I could plaster all over the walls of our home.

So I enlisted the very cool Adam Levi Browne to make some magic happen!

Adam is a Perth wedding and portraiture photographer who I look up to. I've known him for a while now and he's always been approachable and easy to chat to. His work is insane. I knew that I wanted him to do our family photos and my instincts were right. He was the perfect photographer for us. 

If you want to see more photos from our shoot, check out our awesome photographic slideshow here

I had a little insight into what my families must feel when they receive their little package from moi and I have to say I was super excited to receive our beautiful presentation box - how amazing is this? {excuse the iPhone photos}  

Cheers Adam, we absolutely adore our images and can't thank you enough! Belle x

A dream comes true by Belle Verdiglione

So there aren't a lot of words that I want to say about this other than I won 2017 Documentary Photographer of the Year for Western Australia at the Epson Photography Awards and it was an absolute dream come true for me. 

The three finalists! Myself with Johannes Reinhart and Adam Levi Browne  

The three finalists! Myself with Johannes Reinhart and Adam Levi Browne

 

Colin Feilen and Belle

Colin Feilen and Belle

Johannes Reinhart - finalist in the Documentary Category and all round incredible human

Johannes Reinhart - finalist in the Documentary Category and all round incredible human

Colin Feilen from Digi digiDIRECT.com.aupresented Belle Verdiglione APP with the 2017 AIPP WA Documentary Photographer of the Year Award!

Colin Feilen from Digi digiDIRECT.com.aupresented Belle Verdiglione APP with the 2017 AIPP WA Documentary Photographer of the Year Award!

With Amber Scobie, Kirsten Graham, Steve Wise - all on the AIPP council, and Belle Verdiglione  

With Amber ScobieKirsten GrahamSteve Wise - all on the AIPP council, and Belle Verdiglione  

Melbourne - The Birth Photography Symposium by Belle Verdiglione

I’m so excited to share the news with you that this coming October I will be a part of the very first Birth Photography Symposium in Melbourne! This is an amazing event where budding and experienced photographers from around Australia and New Zealand will come together to learn, discuss and create a plan to bring more light to their ever growing genre of birth photography.

Held at The Larwell Studio, next to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, this event includes guest speakers from within the industry as well as other birth professionals and advocates. It's aimed at all who are interested in birth and photography, from enthusiast to professional level photographers.

SPEAKERS

Angela Gallo - Doula & Birth Photographer
Belle Verdiglione - Perth Birth & Motherhood Photographer – AIPP APP
Cassie Emmett - Capturing Life Birth Photography – NZIPP APP
Donna Maree Hedgcock - BlackCherry Photography
Rana Rankin - Breathe Birth Photography – AIPP AAIPP
Victoria Berekmeri - Adelaide Birth Photographer AIPP APP M.Photog

Along with our Photography presenters, we are also inviting wonderful representatives from the Midwifery and Doula community, and past Birth Photography Clients who will share their experience and insight.


Our wonderfully knowledgeable and passionate presenters will speak individually and together as the event meanders through some of the dynamic topics birth photographers encounter. Discussing everything from our roles and responsibilities as birth photographers, through to gaining more acceptances within the community for this genre, everyone will be encouraged to get involved and help build the positive profile of Birth Photography.

The Symposium will cover topics including: 

  • The Landscape of Birth in Australia
  • Public Perception of Birth and Photography
  • Etiquette, Role, Rights & Responsibilities
  • Combining your passions as a Birth Worker and Photography
  • Prepping, Planning, Shooting and Editing
  • Value, Pricing and Products – Panel Discussion
  • Balance and Burnout


A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to the Birthing Kit Foundation Australia, to help provide a clean and safe birthing environment for women in developing countries, to reduce the incidence of infant and maternal morbidity and mortality. You can learn more about the project here: www.bkfa.org.au

 

Meet An incredible family and their newborn baby who cannot have breast milk by Belle Verdiglione

I met Lola & Dylan when Rawiti was 11 days old for his lifestyle newborn photo session. As new parents, they were completely smitten with their little bundle. Lola explained that they had just come home from hospital as Rawiti had been very unwell. Rawiti was suffering from galactosemia, an uncommon genetic condition which meant that he was unable to have breast milk - it was the first time I had heard about the condition. I asked Lola if she could share a little insight into Rawiti's condition to help educate others.

Thank you Lola & Dylan for sharing your special story! I think you are an amazing family!

Lola feeding Rawiti soy formula as he is not able to have breastmilk

Lola feeding Rawiti soy formula as he is not able to have breastmilk

"4 days after Rawiti was born he was diagnosed with galactosemia and was admitted to neonatal ICU. Galactosemia is a  rare genetic condition which affects the body's ability to break down galactose (a sugar found in all milk including breastmilk) into glucose. I was heartbroken when they told me I would no longer be able to breastfeed and had no choice as this was damaging his body.

 

After getting treatment for jaundice, liver damage and blood clotting issues as well as changing to soy formula, he was on the mend and we were able to go back home. Long term he will be dairy free which is completely manageable and we are just happy he is a healthy and thriving baby now" - Lola, mum to Rawiti

Find out more about galactosemia click here 

Newborn birth photographer
Newborn Birth lifestyle perth photographer

My lifestyle newborn photo sessions are usually captured in the comfort of your own home within the first 2 weeks of baby being born. Click here for more information, Belle x