Bush Ballerina

I’ve always dreamed of doing a photo shoot in the wetlands near where I live.  The scenery is stunningly Australian and each hour of the day, the sun brings out some spectacular colours in this feast of nature.  I’ve studied this setting all year round – I know the picturesque plants that will be in bloom, where the water gathers after heavy rains and how the shadows move with the sun.  So when the Kringoudis family agreed to a maternity family shoot there, I couldn’t be more thrilled as I knew I was ready for it. In particular, there was a beautiful old dead tree laid out like a bench amidst beautiful iconic dry grass that would be a perfect backdrop for a family portrait.

Well now…rule number one of photographing children on-location  – NEVER go in with an exact plan.  It was quite windy, the sun was ridiculously high that day and it was moving slower than a snail. At 5:30 pm, you would have thought it was still three in the afternoon. Then to my horror, just as we were getting to the old tree bench, poor little Olivia walked straight through some thorny grass weeds and was badly grazed all down one leg. When Mummy told me she hates even the littlest of dirt in her sandals and Daddy nervously asked if there were any snakes around, I was in slight despair at how bad my over planned shoot was going.

I sat on the old tree bench with the Kringos, shifted some lenses, cursed the sun and let the dream go… The rest of the shoot was easy. My photography reminded me of yet another lesson in life – if it’s too hard, it’s not meant to be. Let go and see what opportunities come your way.

Well opportunities we certainly had. After a few crude “pop off” jokes from dad to get our mind off the grazed leg, we had the cutest little ballerina grace the bush.  The mum and dad audience were treated to some amazing Pirouttes, followed by some Pointe work where the tippy toes were put into action. There were straight arms, there were twirls and there were some very lavish bows. It was so much fun to capture.  These ballet sequences featured during the remainder of the walk through the woody scrubland.  But what featured most was a heck of a good time with mummy and daddy.

And just as well, because this little girl’s world will soon be turned upside down with the arrival of a baby brother.  Her 3 and ½ year monopoly on mum and dad’s lives is about to come to an end, making it both an incredibly happy time filled with anticipation but inevitably a sad time as she suddenly has to grow from being the baby of the family. So nothing could be more special for me than to help them hold on to the last 3 & ½ years of memories by capturing them as they were that afternoon – just the three of them. A relaxed and happy threesome.

To Nat, I know all your good work at The Pagoda Tree will be returned to you tenfold with this new life you’re bringing into the world.  Your family of three is just about to get a whole lot more adorable with Kringo no. 4.  It’s been a real privilege sharing your journey thus far. I simply can’t wait for the future. Chami xx







About Chamilka (CJ)

Chamilka Jayawardana (affectionately known as CJ to all those around her) is a Professional Photographer based in Melbourne Australia. Accredited with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), Chamilka founded CJ Photography in 2010, which specialises in Maternity, Newborn, Children and Family Portraiture. Inspired by her children, her photography aims to capture authenticity, feeling and above all stories – intangible things that can be revisited long after the moment has passed. CJ Photography has since moved into Weddings and Commercial works as well.

An equally personal driving force behind her second venture, CJ Photo Escapes, has been her cultural background and her desire to give back to the country she was born and lived in during her early years. Fluent in English and spoken Singhalese, CJ has chosen to combine her love for photography along with her love for Sri Lanka and its beautiful people, to share with the astute traveler this quaint part of the world through the eyes of the lens.


4 Responses to “Bush Ballerina”

  1. Gray December 7, 2011 12:04 am #

    Absolutely beautiful CJ! What a beautiful family – and the light is amazing! Well done!

    • Chamilka December 7, 2011 12:02 pm #

      Thanks Gray. Yeah it’s a beautiful place. Xx

  2. LJ December 7, 2011 11:58 am #

    CJ – what can I say? Images are absolutely beautiful.

    I would be happy to hang any of them on my wall….and it isn’t even my family 🙂


    • Chamilka December 7, 2011 12:01 pm #

      Ha ha LJ you are hilarious! Thanks so much. Xx

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