I stumbled upon this post that I already had of this family for last spring and somehow I didn’t hit “publish!” This family is too much of a gem not to share their fun relationship so I’m posting their last two shoots together. It’s fun seeing how much Jack and Kate grew up between the two yearly sessions. : ) Kelly, Mike, Jack and Kate are past neighbours of mine and, even though they moved a few years ago to the home you see in these photos, we have remained close friends. They love having their life captured as it is, at their home, and it’s been fun seeing how different the photos are even though the location hasn’t changed. The kids’ personalities come out in different ways in the photos as they get older… the light is a little different in every session… and the yard changes (hello pirate-ship-tree-house!). The one thing that never changes though is the love. Kelly and Mike give their kids the nurturing space to grow into their own individual selves. They really know how to enjoy the little things in life (and know that they’re actually the big things). I’m looking forward to capturing some more priceless moments for this family again soon!
Winter travels continued. From New Zealand, I headed to Australia and met up with an awesome girl named Vicki who I had met on my trip in New Zealand. We explored Sydney and the surrounding area like Manly Beach and Bondi Beach before renting a car to slowly drive up the coast to Byron Bay, a surf town full of character on the east coast. I said goodbye to Vicki in Byron Bay after spending 6 fun-filled days there and went to Brisbane for my last couple nights in Australia. Below are the iPhone photos I posted to my Instagram feed from my time in Australia. I left my big hefty camera at home (which I explained why in my Costa Rica post).
To see descriptions and stories from the photos, search the hashtag #jesszaisoz on Instagram. : )
Sydney, Australia.Lovely coastal walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee.New Castle, Australia. This pelican let me get so close!Vicki and I had a blast quadding on the biggest sand dunes in Australia in Port Stephens. We stopped at Shipwreck Beach.Below two photos: Tomaree Head Summit Walk, Port Stephens. Oh la la!One of the gorgeous beaches we encountered on our drive north to Byron Bay.Byron Bay!Brisbane! Such a cool, futuristic looking city.
Next up in my winter adventures, after Costa Rica, was New Zealand. Again, I decided not to bring my professional camera (for reasons you can read in my Costa Rica post) and have fun with taking iPhone photos instead. New Zealand was amazing! For a small country, it sure has a lot of variety packed into it. I knew New Zealand would be beautiful but it still exceeded my expectations and bowled me over with all its stunning nature.
I did a one-month camping trip through Flying Kiwi that had a focus on hiking and biking. It was my first time joining a tour and I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being awesome. Most of the people on the tour were traveling alone and everyone became so tight, including our fantastic guides. There was usually around 26 of us on the bus at a time, with some people only doing a week or 2 weeks and getting on and off in different towns. About half the bus was there for the whole month though. At one point we counted 15 different countries represented among us. There was a great mix of ages and personalities and I loved that we all became like a big traveling family for our time together. : )
We changed locations almost every day (I am pretty fast at putting up and taking down a tent now. haha) so we saw a LOT. I’m sure my friends probably got a little sick of the amount I was instagramming on this trip. haha.
I’ll write details above a few of the photos below but if you want more info about the locations, or stories behind them, you can check out the hashtag #jesszaisnz on Instagram, My Instagram username is jessicazais if you feel like following along on any future travels with me. : )
Most people started their trip in Auckland but it was booked up so I got picked up in Christchurch instead. The first night we stayed south of Christchurch at a sheep-shearers farm. The sheep outnumber New Zealanders (AKA Kiwis) 10-1. The incredible glacier-fed blue waters of Lake Pukaki.The fascinating Moeraki Bolders.Milford Sound = breathtaking views.Queenstown! Such a fun city. Nature and adventure sports abound!Punakaiki Beach Camp. My favourite campsite we stayed at in New Zealand (Lake Pukaki comes second). Amazing area to explore.Pancake rocks, PunakaikiAbel TasmanTent prank shenanigans. I was especially impressed with the tent up a tree. Luckily I avoided getting pranked myself and was a double-agent instead. In one tent “All is fair” was written and the next, it was finished with “in love and war.” There was also an open can of sardines in each tent.From the South Island, to the North Island via a ferry.Selfie with some Maori dancers and fellow traveler, Frida from Sweden.Bay of Islands, North Island, New ZealandCathedral Cove (following 6 images). One of thee coolest beaches I’ve ever been to.The beautiful and colourful geothermal pools of Wai-O-Tapu.Tongariro Alpine Crossing – amazing and challenging 19km day hike! Such a highlight! A celebratory glass of wine after finishing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.Back to the South Island!I had the honour and pleasure of swimming with 100+ wild dolphins in Kaikora. One of the most incredible experiences of my life thus far. Words can’t express.Coastal walk in Kaikora, New Zealand.Bruce Bay. The tradition is to write a message on a white rock and leave it with the others. Our guide left this one.
After New Zealand I continued on to Australia. Click here to check it out. : )