Here at The Natural Parent Magazine we are so appreciative of beautiful photography and the talented photographer behind it, especially when it comes to mamas, papas and babies! Poppy Peterson is one such talent. She lets the babies take the lead in her newborn photo sessions, saying “Being a mama has strengthened my photography and taught me to wait. Your newborn session is entirely led by your baby – they are my guide. I wait, watch and capture.” We thought that was also right up our alley! Her photography is full of life, colour, nature, freedom and beauty – all of those wonderfully elusive and transitory things that she skillfully captures through the lens. You’ll fall in love with her photography in no time, as we have, so scroll on to read about how she became the wonderful photographer she is.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I remember when I was little, going through my mum’s old photo albums of us as babies. They were the old, DIY albums with the cellophane pages and the self adhesive boards (that turn a particularly unique shade of yellow after time).
There was a photo that my mum had taken of my brother James when he must have been all of 3 months old – it was shot from above and focusing on his amazing, long, black lashes. I was so taken with the simplicity of the shot, the beauty of his lashes (that I wasn’t blessed with!) and the timelessness of the photo.
I was raised with a rich appreciation of the arts thanks to my parents – and photography concepts, light, composition and design were already part of my day-to-day life.
The Launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I had been working in the film and TV industry in casting (Home and Away/ Slide) and actor’s representation, until I gave birth to my daughter Charlotte Grace.
Up until that point, photography was my closet passion. I never left the house without a camera, however I was devoted to my professional life, until I locked eyes with my daughter for the first time. I became her biggest fan and the thought of leaving her to return to work simply wasn’t an option.
I began honing my photography skills, upgrading my gear and working into the wee hours of the morning (amidst record breaking breastfeeds/sleep deprivation sessions) to get to a level I was happy with to open Poppy Peterson Photography. I haven’t looked back.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I have been blessed to have so much support from a number of people – my husband, parents, children (aka in-house models!), friends and the local photography community.
A stand-out moment for me would be working with Christie Hayes – she has believed in me for a long time and has given me incredible opportunities and her time. Our first headshot session was wonderful and hilarious. We have worked together on a few other sessions since, including my most recent shoot for the i98FM Illawarra Convoy, where I met amazing families battling against a number of different life threatening illnesses.
Meeting those children, capturing their smiles of excitement as they watched people come out and cheer them on…I will never forget that. I will be working with these families in the next year providing them with free sessions to capture and celebrate their spectacular family.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Ask my husband! Photography was a great answer to fit around my children – I can still work, be present during the day for them (and then throw in the odd late night session of editing once they have gone to bed). As our children grow older and head to school I think the balance will improve, but for now, I am happy to be able to raise our children the way we would like to and still keep the work fires burning.
Oh, and Date Nights…a must! Luckily my husband is incredibly supportive so we both grab snippets of time together whenever we can.