Ladette to Lady

So last week I had the opportunity to photograph two stunning girls – two stunning GIRLY-girls. Oh dear…

Here’s the deal…I am and always was a tom-boy.  I grew up with boys, I have my own two boys, I went to a co-ed school and had more male friends than female, my girlfriends always tell me I need to dress more sexy and the only thing that makes me more nervous than a visit to the dentist is holding a conversation with a bridezilla. I never have been into all the pink, frou frou frenzy. Sure, I’m nearly always converted when I go shopping for kid’s clothes but I think my genes were wise enough to give me offspring that I was naturally built to cope with.

What this all means is that most of my life, I’ve carried a complex of how I NEED to be more girly. I’ve heard it all my life that I need to be more feminine, I need to take better care of myself, I need to paint my nails etc. etc. So naturally I’ve grown up with this feeling of my tom-boyishness being somewhat of an inadequacy. But when I gave birth, all this chatter was put to rest.

Well who on earth would have thought that a pair of preschoolers could set this complex off again in my thirties?


I rocked up to the photoshoot in old jeans and a warm fleece and here were these divine angels in white with beautiful blonde curly hair, posh coats and a strut that left me wishing I had at least worn my better pair of runners to the job.

They pushed their prams around like they wanted their delicate teddies to go to sleep, not doing burnouts like the boys would have done. They actually stopped to smell flowers, instead of shoving them in their mouths and moving on to the next item of interest. They gazed into the pond for ages trying to spot fishes and caressed the water, instead of diving in head first. When they got up from the ground they even shook the dirt off their hands, instead of rubbing it all over their clothes – a concept that just blew my mind!

Everything was at a much slower, thoughtful and elegant pace. What this meant for me as a photographer was my usual, nonsensical, action packed cheap ploys to get them to smile were utterly futile on them.  They just looked at me – well actually through me and I could almost sense pity in their gazes. The only place my silliness was getting me were to the auditions of “Ladette to Lady”.  The soulful stares, the walk, the pouty lips, the curls – oh my those beautiful curls!!! – had me all nervous, inadequate and mesmerized all at the same time. Then once in a while these grown-up little things would crack and show the true child in them, hiding behind the sophisticated façade.

I left the shoot feeling exhausted – not at all a physical exhaustion like the one from a few weeks back – but mental exhaustion.  They were indeed a tough clientele to engage. But oh did I just LOVE every challenging minute of capturing them.  Love, love, LOVE.

Every photographer brings into their pictures, something of themselves. This is what I brought into the pictures – their sense of girl-liness. I hope this represents them in all their honesty.  Sarah, you’re a very lucky person to be blessed with both boy(s) and girls – so many parental adventures await you in the future…. I think I’m pink with envy. 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 “Ladette to Lady”

  1. Sarah May 26, 2011 4:19 pm #

    The most fantastic blog filled with such professional and personal photos. My girls LOVED spending time with you and daily ask to have photos with you again. My son…you are right…he wants a boys only rough and tumble shoot! What a gift you have to be able to capture memories which we can treasure forever!

  2. arlana May 26, 2011 4:31 pm #

    WOW! beautifully taken pictures that encapsulates the innocence and beauty of Sarah, Kaela and Tahlia! well done Chamilka!! 😀

  3. Chamilka Jayawardana May 26, 2011 10:19 pm #

    Thank you ladies. What beautiful comments you’ve left – makes me love what I do even more. xx

  4. Danielle May 26, 2011 11:54 pm #

    I love these photos – I can’t get enough of them. And I feel like i was there a little bit, with Tahlia looking like such an angel. I still remember the day I bought that coat, for a special little baby girl to ‘grow into’ – and now it’s a hand-me-down and the baby is off to school…. crazy!

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