Rachel Devine is an acclaimed photographer, photo blogger at Sesame Ellis, mom of 3 and a fabulous woman on the other side of forty of course!
HOW HAS LIFE CHANGED FOR YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FORTY?
I moved to Australia when I was turning 38 and pregnant with twins. It was a crazy time and really only after I turned 40 did things start to settle into the new normal of life with three kids in a new country! I became a citizen last year and am loving life here. I get more tired now that I am over that 40 line, but I have never been a night owl so early to bed and early to rise is working well for me. I am seeing my mother in myself a lot these days. She was 44 when I was born so I guess I am just starting to recognise the characteristics of the age I remember her being. She is still a spark nearing her 90th now so I guess I have a lot to look forward to. The main thing I have noticed is that I am calmer and more happy than I remember ever being. Oh, there were thrilling and exciting times in my youth, but I have learned to appreciate the simple day to day joys now. And I am confident in what I like and who I am.
IN YOUR PHOTOS YOU OFTEN CAPTURE THE BEAUTY OF THE LITTLE MOMENTS OF FAMILY LIFE. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO TAKE BETTER PHOTOS OF THEIR FAMILIES/CHILDREN?
Never put the camera away. Really. I see so many people buy huge DSLR cameras when their kids are born with the intent to take beautiful pictures of their family only to find they are worried that they will break it or it is just too heavy and cumbersome to carry around. Get a great small camera like the new mirrorless ranges and take it with you. Use your phone if you must. Just have a camera and take pictures of your everyday. I think the very act of making photographs in a moment shared with my kids helps me remember that experience. And let the kids take pictures too. Not only will you actually be IN some of your family’s photographic history, you can really learn to love yourself by seeing you the way your kids see you.
YOU’VE HAD A PRESENCE ON THE INTERNET FOR MANY YEARS WITH YOUR BLOG SESAME ELLIS. HOW HAS IT CHANGED OVER TIME, AND WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR THOSE THINKING OF STARTING A BLOG?
I consider myself an accidental blogger. I started out by sharing images and little story snippets on Flickr in 2004. I migrated to my own blog a few years later as that became a thing. It was just nice to know that I owned the little spot of digital real estate where I housed my memories. That is why I continue to blog. Social media sites can come and go without your input and then all your handwork at documenting life is gone with the site. My blog is self-hosted and backed up regularly so that I have my virtual copy. As far as advice for someone thinking of starting a blog… That is a big question. I guess my main bit of advice is to blog for yourself first and stay true to that mission. The readers will come for that and stay because they trust what they will get it real.
WHAT ARE SOME SIMPLE THINGS THAT YOU DO FOR SELF CARE?
I make sure I read books for fun and not just work related stuff. I get outside and go for runs. I laugh often and often at myself.
I AM BIG BELIEVER IN FINDING THE FUN AND JOY IN EVERYDAY LIFE. HOW DO YOU HAVE FUN?
It is funny, I don’t really have any hobbies besides photography. I find taking pictures and looking at great photography to be such fun. I guess it is great that I get paid to do what I love! Running is fun for me as well because I do it for myself and not to win races. I pay for Apple music monthly so that I can listen to whatever I want when the urge strikes and that is often only when I am running. In the car, the kids have too much say over what we listen to! Also when I run, I get to see the sea. Being by the water is pure joy for me any day. I could never live far from the ocean.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Settle petal…it will all be fine. I was just so anxious to get somewhere in life (not even sure where, just SOMEWHERE) that I think I forgot to even enjoy the daily things for the longest time. I was rushing to be a wife and mother and all that time I spent worrying that it would never happen, well, it turned out to happen perfectly in its own time. If it had happened with anyone other than my Alec, I would not have the lovely life I have now. So while I would tell myself to relax a bit, I wouldn’t change a thing because all that I have done and seen and even the mistakes make me who I am today and I am pretty happy with that.
Thanks so much Rachel, I love your advice about getting the kids involved in taking pictures with you in them. I think most mum’s are guilty of always being behind the lens!
You can connect with Rachel via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and don’t forget to check out her blog Sesame Ellis