While I am the emotional/creative side of the family, my husband is the travel planner, chef, technology help desk and entire department of financial affairs. As this blog grows, I am always looking for ways to help readers with great content. With that in mind, it occurred to me that Alec’s extensive research into ways of doing awesome things as a family for as little cost as possible would be of value to many of you! I did not think he would be willing to contribute as he is sort known for being the silent and mostly invisible member of our family online, but he surprised me with enthusiasm!

I’m excited to be brining you a new advice column (think Dear Abbey with way less emotion and more travel advice) from the elusive Alec called “Mr. Devine.” 

MR. Devine
His first post will be coming up in the next few days with great tricks to getting the best airfare for a family trip! He was to be guest blogging while we are both on the road…he with the kids and me on my own in the states, but the internet in my hotel has been unusable!  Hopefully things will be back up and running when I am in Los Angeles tomorrow!

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  • Jane Dando via Facebook - Looking forward to it!ReplyCancel

  • Michele Botwin Raphael via Facebook - Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Breanne - I’m excited to hear from Mr. Devine!ReplyCancel

From fashion forward to serious and from friendly, fun and adventurous to crafty, knowledgeable, approachable and even classic, these head shots needed to represent so many different personalities in a very small window of time.

ProBlogger-Headshots
I am thrilled that ProBlogger had me up for the conference to do these head shots in the Olympus booth. I consider it an honour to be trusted to photograph people who usually run from the camera…there is a reason bloggers live on the internet. The spots were completely booked out within five minutes of the session times released online and everyone showed up (not always on the correct day) despite their nerves! While not one person walked into the booth saying having their photograph taken was their most favourite thing to do, everyone left with a smile if not actually laughing. I am proud of each and every photo and that in the 15 minute sessions, we were able to get such different shots to fit the individual blogger’s needs.

ProBloggerEvent-head-shots

While many bloggers needed a simple and more corporate look others wanted carefree and artistic. Some hadn’t a clue what they needed, so we quickly got to know each other and down to the work of summing up one side of their selves in a photograph. Olympus pulled the whole thing together with brilliant organisation, fantastic people and amazing equipment for me to use. It was a wonderful opportunity to trial their excellent prime lenses and let me tell you, shooting head shots on their 25mm and 45mm prime lenses at f/1.8 while keeping eyes sharp was a breeze. The light weight and small size of the gear made shooting in challenging light and tight spaces fun. The whole weekend was a blast and I look forward to keeping up with all these new internet friends.

ProBloggerEvent-head-shots

ProBloggerEvent-head-shots

 

ProBloggerEvent-head-shots

ProBloggerEvent-head-shots

Thank you to everyone who came and said hello. I am sorry that I was not able to fit anyone else in and that I had such limited time to chat, but there will always be a next time. Stay tuned! For the bloggers I photographed that day, please look for an email from Olympus with details on how to get your full resolution files (two different shots each!) for download. I can’t wait to see them popping up on social media and other websites soon!

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  • lori - DUDE. you were WORKING it!!! That’s a lottta pictures ;) Great job!ReplyCancel

    • sesame - Twas a lot of pictures, but you just get through each session at a time and suddenly the day was gone!ReplyCancel

  • Kylie - Hi Rachel, thank you again, so much for the opportunity to have you take my headshot photo. You made me feel so calm through the whole process, and I actually had fun, which I was not expecting!!
    You are such a lovely person, and I am so glad I got the chance to meet you!
    KylieReplyCancel

    • sesame - It was lovely to work with you! I am excited to see where you take this blogging journey!ReplyCancel

  • Annette of I Give You The Verbs - Thank you so much! Such a great gift to get a professional shot for my blog. You were a real pleasure to work with, put me at ease straight away – it’s ALL about the dappled light!ReplyCancel

  • Debs - Love these! Wow, you did an AMAZING job. To get these shots with a 15 minute time slot for each person.. no makeup or hair, just you getting to know a person and shooting. Amazing! Thank you so much xReplyCancel

  • Kelly - GORGEOUS!ReplyCancel

  • Maxabella - I was gutted to miss out on one of your sessions and now I am GUTTED. Everyone looks polished and beautiful and friendly and special. xReplyCancel

  • Amanda @ Cooker and a Looker - Rachel, thank you for being such fun during my session. You’re a magician – I’ve seen the before photo in the mirror! xxReplyCancel

  • se7en - This is just the most fabulous work!!! Love how I can spot friends I know in there… love it all… great job!!!ReplyCancel

  • Julie @ meybestandi - AHHHHHHHHmazing , love your work & thanks you so much! xReplyCancel

  • VegeTARAian via Facebook - Wow, they look fantastic!! Thanks so much Rachel. xReplyCancel

  • Sam - Thank you so much Rachel !!! You made it so easy and fun :) ReplyCancel

  • Kristy @ Loulou Zoo - Thank you so much for the photos Rachel, you made it so much fun! It was lovely to meet you xReplyCancel

  • Karen Morley - Hey Rachel,

    Holy Moly what great photo’s!

    Thank YOU sooooo very much for taking the time to read up on my site and for taking care of me :)

    You are very talented my dear!!

    Oh and you will laugh, but I just read your About section on your site and how you got your blogs name! Get this, my stripper name would be:

    Fluffy Haer

    Mmmmm Fluffy Haer or The Morley Report…..

    It’s a toughy hehehe

    Thank you again

    Me xxxReplyCancel

  • Jayne - What an amazing collection of shots and in such a short time. You’re amazing and I’m so grateful for the opportunity you/Olympus gave us. JReplyCancel

  • Fran @ Travelgenee - Thanks you so much. I look years younger even if I am not smiling!! All the photos are amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Sonia from Sonia Styling - Oh my goodness, Rachel – you are the best! Thank you so much for my photoshoot. I adored you instantly and you made me feel so comfortable and camera-ready. You’re a gem! xReplyCancel

  • bigwords - Oh my gosh – everyone looks stunning. xReplyCancel

  • Amber Melody - Woah – they all look so good Rachel. Thank you so much for your amazing work – and your stamina!! This was a major endeavour to undertake. My personal note to self is: don’t be scared to look at the camera { hahahaha! } and button your jacket girl! ;) Yay Olympus! <3ReplyCancel

  • Kym O'Gorman - Wow Rachel, these photos are incredible. You have such a talent!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Johnston - Rachel – now I know why you have been on the top of your game for so long. Wow you have captured so many people in such a short time frame – so fabulously – me included and I never like having my photo taken. I am happy to be behind the lens not in front of it! Thank-you so,so much. And thanks Olympus as well. Lovely to meet you as brief as it was and keep it coming – mothers of twins know nothing can stop them (maybe slow them down!) xo Jennifer from Travel Bug WithinReplyCancel

  • Sia - Wow! I love them all.

    Well done Rachel. I can’t wait to start using my photo :-) ReplyCancel

  • Janina Lear - Sooooooo happy with Rachel’s picture of me. I love it. Thank you for the generosity rachel and Olympus.ReplyCancel

  • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot - Hi Rachel,

    I truly appreciate your time, professionalism and creative talent. Thank you for shooting me – and what a good looking bunch we all are ;) ReplyCancel

  • Linda ~ Journey Jottings - What a fun encapsulation of 50 faces from the ProBlgger event :)
    And super excited to be included in the mix!
    What an amazing job you’ve done – we all (big sigh of relief) look gorgeous LOLReplyCancel

  • Janet aka Middle Aged Mama - I definitely recognise some of these faces! Wish I’d been one of the lucky ones to bag a session! :-) ReplyCancel

  • Veggie Mama - you are SO clever!ReplyCancel

  • Claire @ Claire K Creations - Thanks so much! Can’t wait to see the final shots!ReplyCancel

  • Gold Coast: We came, we snapped, we ate and we laughed - Fat Mum Slim - […] and you’re done. You can then upload to Facebook or Instagram or whatever. ♥ I wanted to share some photos that Rachel Devine took at ProBlogger with the OM-D E-M10. Beautiful […]ReplyCancel

  • Vanessa - If only I had been at a computer when the bookings were released!! :) ReplyCancel

Brought to you by Origin Energy and Nuffnang

Energy is magic. Seriously, it is hard for me as an adult to understand that something you can’t see yet runs your entire life and costs so much money… It is nearly impossible to explain it to children. At least my children who clearly need to leave the light on in every bathroom they have ever entered. It is like they enjoy burning money. They are really only aware of what energy is when their tablet runs out of battery power, so I pulled some ideas off the Origin Energy For Schools website to create a few games that explain the science behind the idea. I wanted the kids to be able to see the concept that for things to move then you must “power” them. To get that power, you must have a supplier and just like other commercial ventures, you must pay money.

First I let Bernard and Energy Bob explain things to my kids with this short video.

The twins are little enough that simply rubbing their hands together to create warmth would have been enough to explain the concept, but I thought I would employ their favourite toy…balloons. We all had a ball rubbing the balloons on our heads to generate static electricity and watch it attract hair.

OriginEngage

OriginEngage

To take it up a level for Gemma, we again generated static electricity with the balloon on heads method, but then attempted to move a tin can along the table. We had created magic and they all understood that energy inside one thing can be changed into something else.

OriginEngage

A couple of weeks ago, Origin Energy had a selection of bloggers into their Melbourne office to chat energy and the way Origin are changing their business to make everything easier for their customers to access and understand. We were able to ask questions of experts about every stage of the energy business from generation and distribution all the way to the running of their call centre. While it was all fascinating, the one segment that caught my interest most was the talk from Origin’s energy expert and her information on how to conserve energy in the home. In the end, it is not just to save yourself money, but to save the planet. 

It got me thinking in a new way about my kids and their one-way ability to use a power switch, on.

First, I took the kids on a specialised tour of our home pointing out each and every thing that consumes energy. We counted NINETY FIVE things. I am sure we missed something, but HOLY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS that is a lot of stuff. I did not even count ALL of my camera chargers, just the one I have been using lately…

Then we looked at ways we already do better:

-Solar panels on our roof and solar powered outdoor lighting.
-LED globes in all the lights
-Smart timers on TVs that turn off the unit when it is idle for a certain amount of time.
-Energy efficient appliances used once a day in off peak hours.
-Clothes line.
-Flash hot water heater so hot water is made on demand and not always being stored and heated.
-Keeping our heater when it is on, set to 18 degrees.

Finally we made another list and this time it was the result of a family meeting on what we can do better… in terms that the kids can understand.

-Get rid of the deep freeze in the garage. We no longer eat meat, so we have less reason to stockpile things when they are on sale. We eat fresher now.
-Walk to school more. This will mean getting up a bit earlier in the mornings, but it’s so good for both our bodies and the planet.
-Warm jumpers instead of heater. I am always cold, so even in my beloved Icelandic jumper I tend to shiver. I will just need to add a layer!

I know we could save even more energy. I would love to hear your ideas!

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  • Jessica Shaver Bennett via Facebook - I recognise that can!ReplyCancel

This evening I become Australian. Officially.

I am excited and proud.

Of course, it is also just any other day in the life around here. One where Clover stayed home sick so I had to take her on my errands. Since it is a special day and I have to return my beloved Olympus OM-D E-M10 this weekend, I decided to do a bit of a mini photo documentary.* 

school-morning-minus-one

coffee-and-chocolate

fever-medicine

shops

lunch-with-barbie

dog-day-afternoon

I hope to be able to capture the story of my citizenship ceremony tonight. I don’t know what to expect! All I know is that it is a very good day to become Australian.

*These are all black and white because I wanted to get back in the habit of shooting with my “two roll rule” in mind. That is where I shoot only up to 72 frames with no deleting in camera and very minimal post processing. I was imagining that I was shooting black and white film…looking for lines and light instead of colour to help my story. I ran out of time to run them through a levels adjustment layer in Photoshop, but I think a few would benefit from a little contrast bump. 

 

 

 

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Brought to you by Officeworks

I’ve always thought it was not fair that Father’s Day in America and Father’s Day in Australia are on two different dates while Mother’s Day is the same in both countries effectively giving Alec two days where we celebrate him as a parent and one for me. I blame the confusion around the date for why I tend to forget every year or maybe it is my subconscious being all passive aggressive. Either way, suddenly Father’s Day is rolling around again in Australia and I will be headed out of town this year, so I need to secure something quick for the guy who, despite getting two Father’s Days each year, wants nothing! My “blogging office supply closet” happens to be my local Officeworks and I am in there for one thing or another at least twice a month. While I was at Officeworks last week, I took notice of the Kodak Kiosk Services and since I had a bit of time and my coffee, I sat down in front of one machine to see if I couldn’t make something meaningful for Alec. I always intend to print some of the thousands of photographic memories I create and share on the blog. I tell myself that I will place an order for prints or put some shots together for a book, but as the shoemaker’s child goes barefoot, the photoblogger’s family has no photos. Well, unless you are looking at one of my social media streams. It works well for Alec as he likes to have as little “stuff” around him as possible and is happy to look at pictures on his phone, but I thought it might be just the perfect time to get him a photo for his office. His coworkers probably think he has made his family up. A selection of nice simple frames had caught my eye as I walked to the Kodak Kiosks, so a plan for a personalised Father’s Day gift began to form. The only problem was that I did not have my photos with me. They were either all on the hard drive at home or the USB drive marked PRINT ME!, also at home. I thought I would see what things would cost and get a few ideas before returning home to grab the photo files and since I just wanted to order prints, I learned I could pull the images right from Facebook and Instagram which is handy as that is where I also keep them. If I wanted to make a mug or some of the other fancy options, I would need the files, but simple was what we were going for. Simple is what Kodak and Officeworks make it. I pulled a rare family photo from Instagram and another favourite shot that represents our shared love of the kids, wanderlust and summer to print and frame. Since I was already sitting there, I selected a bunch of other pictures stored on Facebook and Instagram from our trip to Hawaii for “someday projects”. I even printed some of their Social Prints which not only include the photo, but the text that you included as a caption online. What a brilliantly convenient way for anyone to create scrapbooks after the fact! Just include a bit of the story you want to remember as you post the photo and print it all later on at Officeworks. You know you will be there anyway for something that you need.

OfficeWorks Printing

The prints were ready in just a few hours and I bought the frames as I paid for my order. Now Alec has a simple display of family love for his office that says; “Thank you for working so hard so that we can travel the world together.” One additional framed print will go to my father-in-law. I’ve never felt so prepared for Father’s Day!

OfficeWorks-for-Fathers-Day

There are many different photo items on offer at officeworks.com.au. Maybe a canvas print is more your style? Have a look online at all Officeworks offers and then answer the following question for one reader’s chance to win a $100 Officeworks voucher!!! (Please note that the giveaway of 1 X $100 Officeworks voucher ends 5pm AEST next Thursday 28 August. Terms & Conditions for the  can be found here.)

‘How would you make use of the Kodak Kiosk Service for Father’s day?’ 

Need more ideas? Watch this. 

 

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  • Dawn - That looks like a cool gift. We don’t have that many photos on the walls, of the kids, but hubby is a newspaper photographer, and the one year that both of the kids were in high school at the same time, he got a picture of them playing their instruments for pep band, at a basketball game. He got both girls and their band teacher. We did print that one and bought a nice frame for it. I’m glad we did.ReplyCancel

  • Annette Silsby - I would get a mug for my Dad with a picture of me and my three siblings on it. At his work they all have a sneaky competition on who has the coolest mug, this would definitely help him win!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa King - Father’s Day is a hard day for us. We can’t buy anything for my husband as he passed away two and a half years ago, so I would love to make collages of each of my boys with their dad to put in special frames as a special Father’s Day gift for each of them.ReplyCancel

  • Jane D - I would use the kiosks to pay for the collages for Lisa King.ReplyCancel

  • Rana Rankin - Oh I know exactly what I would spend my voucher on!!!!! …. Have you seen the awesome BLOX, these things are soooo awesome, I would by a selection of sizes and prints to match and put a collection of photos and quotes together for his office wall or his classroom. The bloxs are seriously my fave DIY photo thing :) http://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/SearchDisplay?searchTerm=blox&storeId=10151&langId=-1&pageSize=24&beginIndex=0&sType=SimpleSearch&resultCatEntryType=2&showResultsPage=true&searchSource=Q&pageView=ReplyCancel

  • Kate Geikowski - Father’s Day. Hard for my husband and I as we have both lost our own fathers and also difficult for us because my husband’s birthday is on the 6th of September, so every year he gets to have his birthday and Father’s day combined! Boring for him I think!

    This year, I would like to make him a book with photos of his father who passed away in 1989. I think he would love that!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty - I saw some great photos online recently where adults re-enacted their childhood photos in the same locations and wearing similar clothing. The results were hilarious – adults in baths, wearing nappies or with food smeared all over their faces. I plan to recreate one of my favourite photos of my sister and me from when we were toddlers and enlarge both the original and new photos to give to my Dad.ReplyCancel

  • Emma - I had a think and then read Lisa King’s. I’m with Jane D – that’s where my kiosk money would be going.
    xReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Father’s Day always creeps up on me, I think it’s because its at the start of the next month and I don’t see it on my calendar till the week before when I turn the page! Throw in moving house that weekend, I think Father’s Day might be a bit of a fizzier…I have to pack. If I had the time to get into Officeworks I’d love to print out a picture of my Dad’s dog for him and frame it or put it on a mug, and for my husband from the kids, a calendar would be great.ReplyCancel