Blessed to be born with your best friend. Happy 6th birthday, Twinzles!

I often wonder what it would be like to be born with my best friend… The question has come up again and again over the last six years of being a mother to twins. I thought about it as they swam inside me together, bumping and stretching, I wondered if they were aware of each other. Or was it like being on a long haul flight in economy with a stranger, alert to their presence, but determined not to get involved.


When they were born we put them together in one of those plastic baby tubs. The hospital provided two, but one almost always stood empty. They nestled easily and neither would fuss when the other lost control of an arm or screamed or mistook an ear for something that would produce milk. They were that close from the beginning.

As they grew, the twins traveled in one stroller side by side and slept in the same room. They ate together, played together and accounted for exactly half of the baby swimming class. Mostly because it was convenient for me, but partly because they were twins and isn’t that what twins were supposed to do? Everything together?


While they still choose to sleep in the same room, Clover and Kieran now do so many other things separately. They are in different classes, yet immediately look for each other at recess and lunch. Not because they are twins or even because they are siblings, but because they are best friends.


What makes a best friend? Is it our nature? Or is it nurture? Or is that I see between my twins something beyond a best friend? Something altogether unique to those who have grown from their very first moment of existence together. A mysterious nurturing aspect of nature that I will never quite understand. For now I will call it a blessing.

Clover and Kieran, it is a joy to be your mom. You both have tempers of fire and hearts of gold.

Happy sixth birthday, dear twins. Life would not be as sweet had you not been born together that day. 

I took these images in the brightest possible corner of my bedroom as the winter light faded. I wanted to record them on their last day as five year olds and I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what the Olympus OM-D E-M10 could with portraits in less than ideal lighting. 

A few Olympus OM-D E-M10 features that shined during this particular test.

Size: The lite weight of the camera small lens (even fully zoomed out for most of these portraits) meant I could still hand hold the camera in the low light. I did not have the time or energy to go and dig out the tripod from the gear closet. I was worried that the result would be blurry shots because the shutter speed would be so slow that it would record camera shake. You can see here that was not the case at all. The slight softness to the nose kissing shot was just because all three of us were trying to contain the giggles.

Digital Viewfinder: The fully digital viewfinder meant that I could see my entire frame while I was shooting as opposed to rangefinders found in a lot of the other mirror-less cameras. It also displayed the exposure changes as I made adjustments to my settings. I have never had a camera do that before! I would say it is like a tiny monitor instead of a viewfinder with all the technical information visible as well as the entire view of the lens, and real time exposure results. As much as I love the live view through the LCD on this case, I am really happy with the viewfinder as well.

Art Filters: I was a bit skeptical about the in-built art filters when I first heard about them, and I probably would not use them much at all as I prefer to shoot RAW and edit through Lightroom for complete control over the look of my imagery. In this case, I thought the black and white (monotone) would work well as the high ISO added a nice texture with the grain. Speaking of the grain, it is very film like in my opinion…not as “digital noise” as I expected! I have the camera set to shoot RAW + Jpeg and just ran the two black and white art filters on selected jpegs in camera after they were shot. I prefer the straight monotone over the grainy black and white. While I doubt I will use them often, it worked well here and I was still able to edit in Lightroom for the colour shot.

As a Kidspot Voices of 2014 Personal and Parenting Top 30 blogger, I was given the opportunity by Olympus to test their OM-D E-M10 camera with the standard 14-42mm lens for a few months. From the 30th of June (although I started a bit early to not miss Hawaii) through the 30th of August, I will be posting my thoughts on and images taken with my new little best friend. Different aspects of the camera will be featured in different posts, so consider the entire series my complete review. All images in these posts will be from the Olympus OM-D E-M10. For outtakes, special shots and more, follow along with my Olympus adventures through the hashtag #myfamilylens on FacebookTwitter and Instagram



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  • Tara Pollard Pakosta via Facebook - These are my favorites you have ever taken! Happy 6th twins!July 3, 2014 – 6:56 amReplyCancel

  • Samantha Ortéga via Facebook - Happy Birthday Clover and KieranJuly 3, 2014 – 6:59 amReplyCancel

  • Chelsea Capatiller Arellano via Facebook - Happy 6th birthday Clover and Kieran!July 3, 2014 – 7:00 amReplyCancel

  • María - Happy 6th birthday Clover and Kieran! I hope they have the best day 🙂

    P.S.: How come they’re six already?!July 3, 2014 – 7:05 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Time FLIES!July 3, 2014 – 7:09 amReplyCancel

      • María - Indeed! Best wishes for this new year to come 🙂July 4, 2014 – 7:56 amReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Beautiful words and portraits. Gorgeous children. Happy Birthday Clover and Kieran 🙂July 3, 2014 – 7:06 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you!July 3, 2014 – 7:09 amReplyCancel

  • Kristian Novak via Facebook - Happy birthday to them both! 😀July 3, 2014 – 7:20 amReplyCancel

  • Julie Devine - Little bits of Kieran sprinkled across Clover’s face.
    Happy Birthday to the twins 🙂July 3, 2014 – 7:45 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Oh Julie, that made me cry. You are so right!!!!! XOXOJuly 3, 2014 – 8:12 amReplyCancel

  • Breanne - Wow. GORGEOUS portraits (that first one, I just can’t even) and such beauty in your words. They’ll certainly cherish your thoughts when they’re older. Happy Birthday Clover and Kieran!! I hope it’s a day filled with lots of love and laughter! How could it not be with your best friend at your side???July 3, 2014 – 7:54 amReplyCancel

  • Kelly Anne via Facebook - Happy birthday to Clover and Kieran! I can’t believe they’re 6!July 3, 2014 – 8:04 amReplyCancel

  • Ralph Nardell - Happiest of birthday to your beautiful twins. These portraits (and these kids of course) are heartstoppingly beautiful. It’s been a joy to watch them grow from afar – countless good wishes to you all! XOJuly 3, 2014 – 8:11 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you so much!July 3, 2014 – 8:37 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle Schwalenstöcker via Facebook - Happy happy Birthday Kieran and Clover <3July 3, 2014 – 8:13 amReplyCancel

  • Allison Walker via Facebook - That nose to nose shot – love itJuly 3, 2014 – 8:41 amReplyCancel

  • Louise Fletcher via Facebook - Happy 6th birthday to Kieran and Clover xx. I have he a 6 year old for 4 months now and it is a fascinating time, that period between little kid and little girl. Looking forward to hearing about your perspective in the months to come.July 3, 2014 – 9:00 amReplyCancel

  • Maria Jesus Alarcón via Facebook - Six years? ¡Woo! Happy 6th birthday Kieran and Clover <3333 *-*July 3, 2014 – 9:39 amReplyCancel

  • Lojana Jenna Unenanond via Facebook - July 3, 2014 – 11:13 amReplyCancel

  • Rachel Devine Photography / sesame ellis via Facebook - Thank you everyone! They are enjoying their day!July 3, 2014 – 3:58 pmReplyCancel

  • Valentina - happy birthday sweet Clover and Kieran 🙂 was yesterday when they are one years old!
    time flies….

    xoxo from italy!July 3, 2014 – 10:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Valentina Mantovani via Facebook - happy bday from italy 😀July 3, 2014 – 10:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Casey Russell via Facebook - My twin sister and I will be celebrating our 30th next week. It is truly wonderful to be born with your best friend! Happy birthday to your twins!July 4, 2014 – 12:01 amReplyCancel

  • tracy - Gorgeous children and portraits, friend.July 4, 2014 – 4:11 amReplyCancel

  • Jess - This is such a beautiful post. Happy 6th birthday to your lovely twins!July 10, 2014 – 12:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Michele Botwin Raphael via Facebook - LOVE! Happy Belated 6th Bday x 2 to your two beauties.July 14, 2014 – 2:04 amReplyCancel

  • Rachel M. - These are BEAUTIFUL portraits and children! The first one would be printed so large and hanging in my house. Happy Belated Birthday, guys!August 9, 2014 – 4:32 pmReplyCancel

  • heleen - These images are wonderful, wow. As always I am impressed. Beautiful portraits Rachel. When are you coming to Amsterdam again? I would love to meet you again. hugs HeleenDecember 4, 2014 – 9:14 pmReplyCancel