Photobat & Family

Meet the Moyles : A Beaumaris Lifestyle Home Session in 2020

This was a family home session with a bit of a twist.

It was a gift from me to Alan, his wife Vikashni, and their two children, Saffron (8) and Fox (2.)

Now, let me explain why.

Lifestyle photo of a Melbourne family outside their home in Bayside, Alan Moyle
ABOVE: The Moyle family, pounding the pavement at home in Bayside. Sunday 24 May, 2020. © Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Black and white Moyle family photo with mum, dad and two kids
ABOVE L-R: Fox, Alan, Vikashni and Saffron. © Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Alan Moyle and family playing together at the park in 2020
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer

Alan’s an established Melbourne photographer (hailing from Tassie) and we’re both members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP.)

As a result, we’ve crossed paths over the course of some 14 years at the annual Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA) and other photography events. I joined the AIPP as a student member in 2007 and Alan’s judged at the national awards most of that time – and even longer at state awards.

He’s also been an active member of the AIPP since 2001, and we’re both part of Mark Rossetto’s Master Your Marketing and Shooting For Success online group programs.

You know how you get to know someone’s face and name but don’t actually know each other all that well?! A bit like that really 😊.

Social photos x2 of people including Katrina Ferguson, Bruce Moyle, Alan Moyle, Craig Wetjen, Carla Mahony
ABOVE LEFT: Alan and me with fellow AIPP member, Craig Wetjen, at the 2019 Victorian AIPP Christmas party (SOURCE: Emily Black) ABOVE RIGHT: Next to one of my sisters, Carla Mahony, together with the Moyle brothers, Bruce (left) and Alan (right), back of house at APPA, Melbourne 2018 (SOURCE: Bruce Moyle)
ABOVE: The Victorian AIPP Christmas Party crew, 2018. That’s Alan (in the olive green tee) and his daughter, Saffron, at his feet. That’s me in the navy floral top, kneeling in the front row. (SOURCE: AIPP Vic Council)

2020

Fast-forward to March 2020 and the world – it seemed – was in full COVID lockdown.

Subsequently, I was at home with our three kids while my husband, Dan, was able to keep working on-site (away from home.)

I was weeks into having the kids at home 24/7 (imagine that: having to be with and care for your own children ALL the time – how rude! 😊) and a couple more weeks on top of that into home schooling and it was Full. On. (Though very much a first-world problem, I acknowledge. A problem, really, I was pretty damn grateful to have. Health, safety, a roof over our heads, food to eat, shit tins of toilet paper – pardon the pun – and some income still attainable ✅. Many of the things easily taken as a given while for so many at the time, they weren’t.)

I wasn’t able to work in my usual role as a photographer documenting newborns and families in their homes anymore.

Meanwhile, out of the blue I saw some pretty cool black and white family documentary-style photos trickling into my Facebook news feed and…

I was Jealous

Articles and posts were circulating online about The Front Steps Project and the different iterations of it that were sprouting up around the Western world.

Consequently, I was pining to do something just like it during COVID times – photographing families at home is my speciality after all God-dammit! [Insert toddler-like foot stomp here.]

ABOVE: A digital clipping from the People.com ‘Front Steps Project’ article. Stories and posts like this online were making me want to get involved in some way too... (SOURCE: People.com)

Instead, [cue sorrowful music from the world’s smallest violin] I was ‘stuck’ at home, caring for the kids a.k.a making what felt like 6000 snacks and drinks a day, trying dutifully (but occasionally failing) to complete brimming daily home learning curriculums, attending the occasional professional development Zoom session while shooing away said children throughout, playing levels upon levels of Super Mario Bros. on the Wii with our son, monitoring whose turn it was to choose the next movie, washing, tidying, making mess, cleaning up mess, not washing my hair, sneaking into the office to try to get some work done, blah, blah, blah…and on repeat.

I digress.

The cool black and white family documentary photos on Facebook were Alan’s. He’d started a social distancing photo documentary series of locked down people and families around his local Bayside area in Melbourne…and in short, I was super envious.

ABOVE: A striking image from the ‘Bayside at Home’ series, shared on Alan’s Facebook page on 7 October 2020. (SOURCE: Alan Moyle)

Such a fun idea.

A little hectic I imagined, but super interesting and I was loving the few photos I’d already seen.

ABOVE: A sample of one of Alan’s Facebook updates on his personal photo project. A post just like this one caught my eye and had me following on with keen interest (SOURCE: Photobat Facebook Page)

#Issues

Pretty neat images right?

I’d be lying by omission though if I didn’t acknowledge a large part of me was spitting green chips.

As the primary carer in our family – the mum – I wasn’t in the position to do a cool project like Alan’s.

The perceived freedom didn’t exist; my time was not my own (very much a #firstworldproblem, I know.)

‘Home duties’ beckoned (a quick aside: that was the literal job title used for many women on electoral rolls back in the day. Please excuse me for a moment while I scoop my rolled eyeballs back from deep inside my head 🙄.)

I was finding the monotony and isolation of lockdown life and home learning difficult to break.

(Meanwhile, little did I know Melbourne had many more months of it to come 🤦🏻‍♀️.)

ABOVE & BELOW: Personal photos taken during lockdown. Melbourne ended up having three in total spanning cumulatively several months: two extended and a third five-day snap ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown (though I stand to be corrected regarding the details, it’s all admittedly quite a blur in hindsight. It was Groundhog Day-esque for quite a while there.) The kids did a great job with home learning overall, though we all felt the strain, monotony and cabin fever nature of it at times

As a result, I pined to be literally pounding the suburban pavement – camera in hand – interacting with other families just like Alan was.

Desperately so.

However, if I couldn’t do it I was thrilled to at least be living it vicariously through him. Better than nothing indeed.

ABOVE: Some of Alan’s handiwork from his ‘Bayside At Home’ photo doco series. (SOURCE: Photobat)

A Small Part to Play

I racked my brain as to how I could do something – anything – to get a taste of the photo doco action (and perhaps get the hell out of the house!)

And it was pretty bloody obvious really.

So I reached out to Alan asking if he and his family wanted some lockdown photos of their own. No charge, no sales. It was only fitting the person who managed to take photos for 100 families in his local council, end up with some of his own. (Like I said, exceptionally obvious in hindsight right?!)

THAT, I could do.

And it felt bloody good.

I contacted Alan on 18 May 2020 and my offer was met with a swift ‘yes, thank you.’ The next day, I video called with he and Vikashni and met the whole family days later in-person for their home session on Sunday 24 May.

Alan Moyle Family Photos by Katrina Ferguson Lifestyle Photographer
ABOVE: An update Alan shared on his Facebook page the day after our session, while still riding the high of spending time with his family for some updated photos. Click to see the short snippet of behind-the-scenes action. (SOURCE: Alan Moyle)

Good in Theory

Truth bomb round two: photographing a professional photographer is bloody intimidating.

Alan’s as friendly as they come – but it’s completely irrelevant!

To clarify, imagine a chef preparing a meal for another chef or a hair stylist finessing a colleague’s hair.

See what I mean?!

There’s definitely an extra level of pressure – be it real or perceived.

Fortunately, the Moyle crew are super chilled so it didn’t take long for all of us to melt into their home session with ease and the same sense of informality that’s become the signature of my home session work.

Alan Moyle and family during a lifestyle family photo session in Beaumaris
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Family portrait of shoes by the front door
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Black and white portrait of an 8-year-old girl nestled in the bushes laughing with her eyes closed
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Mother and toddler son putting one of his shoes on in an awkward way
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Alan Moyle with his family at home in Beaumaris during a lifestyle home session by photographer Katrina Ferguson
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer

Watch the Moyle’s 2-minute home session slideshow:


“Thank you for the photos [Katrina.] They’re really good – like really, really good…It’s definitely the best family photo shoot we’ve ever had. By a long way.”

Alan Moyle
Review for photographer Katrina Ferguson written by Alan Moyle
ABOVE: The Google review kindly left by Alan

Bayside At Home

Alan’s personal project ‘Bayside At Home’ is focused on family life in lockdown or in other words, the strange ‘new normal’ we were thrust into during the COVID global pandemic.

It’s now a self-published hard cover coffee table book produced in partnership with Sydney-based printer and industry supplier, MomentoPro. (See Momento for their public-facing/consumer arm.)

SOURCE: MomentoPro

Given restrictions (and much like the viral Front Steps Project aforementioned) all images photographed were captured from the required 1.5 meters away, as per social distancing requirements.

“This is an incredible time in families’ lives…so, it should be documented,” Alan said.

He created a 6-minute YouTube clip turbo journaling the whole project from start to finish:

ABOVE: Want to get a quick run down of the ‘Bayside At Home’ project? Check out Alan’s short street-style vlog (recorded over a several month time span) detailing how it all came together. (SOURCE: Alan Moyle YouTube channel)

Behind the Scenes

Melbourne locked down for the first time on 30 March 2020. Alan photographed his first family for the project on April 16.

Subsequently, Vikashni held the fort at home for the two-week period over which all the sessions spanned.


“I’m extremely thankful to my wife for letting me do this!”

Alan Moyle

Some 100 families were photographed in total – a task Alan described as ‘logistically crazy’ – and the first run of the finished ‘Bayside At Home’ book was completed in August 2020.

ABOVE: Some of the locations Alan was booked to visit during the 20-day shooting part of his project – a logistical challenge indeed! (SOURCE: Alan Moyle)

“What I love about [the book] is the fact that it’s in a whole heap of families’ homes all around Bayside…it’s even been shipped off to America to a couple of people, which is pretty cool,” Alan said.

“I’m grateful for all the families who jumped into the book [project.]”

Alan published an unplanned second print run due to demand. Meanwhile, copies of the book now reside in the National Library of Australia in Canberra, the State Library Victoria in Melbourne and all the local libraries in the Bayside City Council.

Bayside at home book by Alan Moyle. Photo by Katrina Ferguson
ABOVE LEFT: A stack of the finished 186-page A4 hardcover photo book Alan created, printed here in Australia by Momento. Alan used one of the family photos I took on the author’s page to conclude the book. (SOURCE: MomentoPro) ABOVE RIGHT: A close-up of the Moyle family photo used in ‘Bayside at Home.’ (SOURCE: Katrina Ferguson Lifestyle Photographer)
ABOVE: The detail included on Alan’s author page of ‘Bayside at Home.’ (SOURCE: Alan Moyle)

“Extra special levels of love and appreciation to my family: Vikashi, Saffron and Fox, who had to survive lockdown with me being fully focused on this project 24/7 for two weeks.”

Alan Moyle (in the acknowledgments section of ‘Bayside at Home’)
Moyle family during their home session photos with Katrina Ferguson
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
The Moyle family of Beaumaris enjoying their home session photos, father and son, mother and daughter
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Family photo in an alley way in Beaumaris Melbourne
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer
Family photo in alley way with a little boy stealing the show with cute grin
© Katrina Ferguson | Lifestyle Photographer

To see the complete collection of family photos in Alan’s ‘Bayside at Home’ project, click through below (& enjoy!)
ABOVE: All images in the collection are © Alan Moyle of Photobat.net (SOURCE: Alan Moyle)

Many thanks to the Moyles: Alan, Vikashni, Saffron and Fox for welcoming me in to take their home session photos.

Please contact me if you’d like to arrange a home session of your own (or for someone near and dear to you.) Thank you.

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