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Eureka - I'm Seventy!

Lesley O'Donnell - Friday, May 15, 2015

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Milestone birthdays are fun. Frank’s 70th certainly was.

Held at Eureka 89 it was certainly a top venue to celebrate with friends and family. Not only did everyone have a great time in the elegant space but the location offered the party attendees a fabulous bird’s eye view of Melbourne.

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As the photographer for the night, I arrived early to take the opportunity of photographing the Eureka tower itself and the magnificent panoramas afforded by the floor to ceiling windows. It is a great vantage point from which to view Melbourne and it’s spreading surrounds. You can see as far as the Dandenong Ranges and out into Port Phillip Bay as well as getting a close up view of Melbourne City and all that lies along the banks of the Yarra River.

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Frank’s sister Carol certainly knows how to throw an impressive party.


Happy Mother's Day - Melbourne Family Photography

Lesley O'Donnell - Saturday, May 09, 2015
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Three Generations - Melbourne Family Photography

Lesley O'Donnell - Thursday, April 23, 2015

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It is hard to imagine when you pop the question, “Will you marry me?” that sixty-five years later your beautiful bride will still be by your side. Especially when you are soon to celebrate another milestone - your 90th birthday. However, this double celebration is exactly what Tess and Croft have recently enjoyed.

To be happily together for so many years is not something many of us are fortunate enough to attain and is most certainly an achievement they must be very proud of. 

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Tess and Croft were unaware that family photos were on the agenda during a recent visit to their eldest son and his family. Making the most of Melbourne’s glorious autumnal weather, Peter had simply invited them over for barbeque. However, this was no ordinary “throw a chop on the barbie” affair but rather a three course gourmet meal cooked to perfection with skills recently acquired at a reknown Weber cooking school. I know, because I was lucky enough to join in the delicious feast.

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After discussion with Amanda we decided to photograph this home family study in a casual manner. Last time I photographed them at their beach house was when Connor and Lily were considerably younger so I already knew that the feel they were after was not too structured.

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Lily certainly added her own flavour to the afternoon when she spontaneously demonstrated her acrobatic skills from the rope hung from a tall tree in front of the house. I love how kids just do their thing!

Portrait of My Mother

Lesley O'Donnell - Friday, March 20, 2015

The hand-coloured image on the left was taken of my mother when she was a young woman before she married Dad and became Mum to me and my brothers.

It is a beautiful photographic portrait of her and, although I treasure it, the face looking out of the image is not one that is familiar to me. After all, as her child, I did not know her in her youth so it has no real meaning for me. Even in my earliest memories she had silvering hair and glasses.

I prefer this studio portrait I took of her sixteen years ago as it represents perfectly how I picture her to be. She was 65 at the time and looks so elegant and youthful; something I doubt she thought herself at the time but on reflection, possibly would now.


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Many years ago I recall a woman of more advanced years coming in to the studio to be photographed. She arrived with her hair and makeup professionally done and had obviously gone to some effort to look her best. When I questioned if there was a special reason for the photos she answered in an unexpected way. She said that she wished to have a beautiful photo of herself to leave her adult children and grandchildren; a surprise they would discover after she had departed this world.

Although I think most families would rather enjoy images as they are taken as well as into the future, her intention struck a deep chord with me.

In this day of hastily recorded phone photography, images are rarely printed and only sporadically, if ever again, viewed on digital devices.

I think the most precious thing all parents can leave is a flattering, professional photograph of themselves for their children, grandchildren, friends and future generations to know who they are. An image to be enjoyed as you walk by and reflect on a person so special in your life.

Contact us here to arrange for your own precious family photos.