How did I get here?
I've always been a creative person. In high school I loved music and art and spent most of my free time hanging out in either the art room, the music room or the dark room. The arts were my passion but my dream was to become a nurse and at the time I though the two were mutually exclusive. So at the end of year 10, I dropped all of my creative subjects and instead concentrated on the sciences so that I would be accepted into University to study nursing. I worked hard, did well and got into University to study Paediatric Nursing (a branch of nursing specialising in children).
I got my first job on a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and I loved it! It was challenging, exhausting work but it was an environment where I was always learning and where I could really make a difference in the lives of sick children and their families. I spent the next decade working in world class PICUs in both the UK and Australia caring for a wide range of children, from tiny premature newborns requiring surgery to correct congenital problems to teenagers who needed treatment for serious traumatic injuries. The work was hard both physically and emotionally, and the hours were long but I was lucky to have an amazing team of professionals to work alongside and in many ways those people became my family. During this time I gave birth to my first child and our family subsequently moved away from the city to the beautiful Illawarra in order to provide him with some much needed space! After having my second child the commute to the city just became too much so I sadly had to leave the PICU and began a community nursing role in Child and Family Health where I got to support parents through those first few days, weeks and months with a newborn and I found I also really enjoyed seeing healthy babies! It was a different sort of challenge but still very rewarding. After a few years though I began to miss the more clinical aspect of nursing so I left the community and started a new job in a local maternity unit caring for newborns in the Special Care Baby Unit where I get to support parents with their healthy babies and also care for babies who need more specialist care.
My life had been so busy and I'd been concentrating so hard on both my career and my family that I had somehow managed to completely lose my creative side, or so I thought.... once my youngest child started school I began to feel that creative itch but I didn't know how to scratch it. I started taking an art class and tried out a number of different artistic mediums and found to my surprise that my creative side wasn't completely gone, it had just been hiding. I found that being creative again was a real salve for my soul and so I started to look into ways that I could incorporate creativity into my life on a more regular basis.
One day I saw a post on Facebook from one of my friends who lives in Tasmania , she had recently started a photography business (www.laurenvanierphotography.com) and her images were beautiful! I've always had a love of photography and I was so impressed with her work that I contacted her to ask her about the process of becoming a newborn photographer myself. So I started taking photography courses and reading everything I could find on newborn photography, slowly what started as a hobby to scratch that creative itch became a small business! Since then I've taken numerous photography courses, watched hours and hours of educational videos on newborn safety, wrapping and posing (specifically by the incredible Kelly Brown at www.newbornposing.com) and joined a number of awesome mentoring groups to ensure I had as much information and support as I could get!
Now I get to experience the best of both worlds and I've learnt that creativity and science don't have to be mutually exclusive. I'm still working as a neonatal nurse and utilising my scientific skills and knowledge in a wonderful Special Care Baby Unit and when I'm not there I get to exercise my creative side as a photographer and provide families with beautiful photographic memories that they can treasure forever.