I previously photographed 2 year old Austin as part of an extended family session back in April. I knew when his mum Whitney contacted me to arrange photos with their newborn baby daughter an outdoor shoot was the perfect choice for this family of four. Like many 2 year olds, including my own son Oakley, Austin is full of energy and does not want to be contained. Thus, an in-home session may well have been challenging and a posed studio session would likely be a total nightmare. Enter the outside session, held in nature where wildlings can roam, play, burn energy and explore.

We managed to squeeze in their shoot between lockdown 5.0 and 6.0. We picked a Friday afternoon at 3:30pm on the day little Lainie turned one month old. Our location was Nobelius Heritage Park in Emerald where late winter blooms including camellias, magnolias and blossoms were coming into flower. I love this park as it changes so much with the seasons and is away from major roads so little ones can safely run around.

Baby girl sleeping outside in moses basket
Toddler boy on dad's shoulders in Melbourne
Siblings on blanket in Melbourne park
Family of four portrait by Kate Cashin Photography

When shooting babies and toddlers using my child led approach flexibility is key. When they arrived little Lainie was sleeping so we moved straight into sibling shots as these are often the most challenging to capture. Next were close up shots of baby girl dozing away in the moses basket I provide. Then she woke so it was time for a quick feed (which I of course photographed) while Austin and dad Ben had a run around. Having captured the all important breastfeeding shots (Whitney's mum is a lactation consultant) I left Whitney and little Lainie feeding beneath a camellia and got some action shots of Austin running around in the leaves and with Dad throwing him in the air. Happily fed we got dad-and-daughter shots and then some family ones with the backdrop of conifers.

Baby girl portrait by Melbourne family photographer Kate Cashin
Brother and baby sister photo taken outdoors
Brother leaning into moses basket to kiss his baby sister
Outdoor baby photoshoot in Melbourne
Mum breastfeeding baby outdoors in Melbourne
Toddler boy amongst Autumn leaves in Melbourne
Dad throwing son into air in Melbourne park
Father kissing newborn baby daughter

It was then time to move slightly up the hill, chasing the late afternoon light, and to use the gorgeous pink blossom tree. Austin's attention was waning so I had him run backwards and forwards towards me while mum, dad and baby sister stood behind. Next it was time for mum-and-baby photos under the blossoms while dad watched little man. I then had Ben jump in the photos as the bokeh (background blur) with the pink was so perfect, while Austin played hide-and-seek at my feet. With those completed we gave Austin the chance to climb the fence railing for photos with mum, and he relished the chance to be a daredevil.

Parents gazing down at baby daughter during outside family photoshoot
Mum smiling at baby in front of pink blossoms
Parents kissing newborn baby during photoshoot with Kate Cashin Photography
Blonde mother and toddler son portrait

With all the important combinations ticked off we were then able to move to a third area of the park to do some more relaxed candid shots of the family walking along the path (with Austin of course running ahead) and then some fun shots of him being hung upside down. Finally with him worn out he was happy to hang beside me while we got some couple photos of Whitney and Ben to round out their session.

Family of four walking outdoors in Melbourne
Toddler running ahead of his family during photos with Kate Cashin Photography
Candid outdoor family portrait
Couple image in Melbourne park

To complete their story I of course had to create black and whites and some digital double exposures in post-production.

Kate Cashin is a family photographer based in the Dandenong Ranges outside of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

She specialises in nature sessions and forest adventures with the motto "Play. Move. Explore.".