The Tale of Nat, Sibella & Hugo Deague

“”My pantry is the talking point amongst my friends, they laugh at me. It’s labeled neatly, in containers and all facing the right direction”,” says the glamorous Melbourne-based children’s photographer Nat Deague, smiling. “Indeed, as any mother will know, organisation is key when it comes to raising small children. “I have OCD! I’’m forever cleaning up after everyone. I would never leave the house without every bed made perfectly. Yes, I have issues but it does keep life organised.””

Deague has recently been invited to sit on the development board of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is married to Will Deague, the CEO of Australia’s coolest hotel group –Art Series Hotel Group. She launched her photography business Nat Deague Kids Photography after the birth of her own children Hugo, 7, and Sibella, 5. “”I’’m a visual person and I have always loved and appreciated good photos”,” she says. “”When my son Hugo was born, I owned a point and shoot camera and took the odd shot here and there. Over time, my passion grew. I purchased a better camera and experimented with different lenses.”” After her daughter Sibella was born, she started to think seriously about photography as a career. ““I explored and played around with different light, settings and slowly taught myself. I chose children as my subject matter. I love hanging out with kids, it comes naturally to me. I love capturing their raw emotion.””

Deague’’s children were born 15 months apart, so those early years were happily spent raising her two children. ““My kids are very, very close in age, so for me it was a difficult few months, but the transition from one to two children was reasonably easy. Try to have special one on one time with each if possible”,” she advises. She waited until Hugo and Sibella were a little older before she threw herself fully into photography three years ago. ““I created my business when the kids were older which helped. Luckily for me, I was able to spend my time with them growing up. These days, I work around them and their extra activities. It’’s always a juggle, but I just make it work.””

On Motherhood...

Motherhood has taught me to be more forgiving, patient, to be more open minded and let go (slightly) of my perfectionist nature, to be confident to trust my intuition, to appreciate the little things and most importantly it’’s taught me how unconditional love feels.

On balancing motherhood and marriage...

Make time for each other, plan little trips away if possible. I find it really difficult leaving the kids, but every now and then we have a little getaway and spend some special time together which is invaluable.

On her beauty routine...

I don’’t have a set beauty routine, juggling work, the kids and all their activities makes it pretty difficult to plan! I always cleanse my skin morning and night and moisturise with a beautiful organic body moisturiser. I try to have a facial once a month and love a good blow dry!

On her exercise routine...

I have always loved exercise and always incorporated it into my daily routine …even before having my children. I exercised up until the day I gave birth with both children. I try to walk most days, I love Pilates and try to incorporate weights even once a week if I can. Prior to my kids going to school and kindergarten, I would put them in the pram and walk, especially during their sleep times.

On pregnancy...

I can’t say I loved being pregnant. Both kids were born at 38 weeks and were well and truly over 4 kgs. The worst part of pregnancy for me was rib pain, I had it with both babies, which made life a little difficult. The best bit was them kicking and moving around in my tummy, I loved it.

On routine...

I believe children are happier with some sort of structure or routine, but one that suits you and them and keeps everyone happy. I think especially with a second child, routines are very difficult to stick to, especially when you don’t have help. You need to be flexible, and teach your kids to also be flexible. Sibella spent a lot of time being dragged in and out of the car and learnt to sleep anywhere! Again, you just have to do what works for you and go with your intuition.

On how to take a great photo of your children...

Wear a smile on your face, children pick up on happy energy. Get to know your subjects, make them feel comfortable around you. Create a bright, happy environment. Use props if needed, even something as simple as a footy. Natural light is the key for me, especially if you are fortunate to have back light. Focus on their eyes, a lot of their raw emotion shows there. And if all else fails, take lollies.

On the interior of her home...

We built our home six years ago. It’’s very simple, light, bright and has clean lines. I love keeping it simple. Our home is predominantly white, but we add colour with artwork, photos and different pieces of furniture.

On her fashion essentials...

Scanlan Theodore is my staple go-to brand. I also love Bassike but in reality, it’s rare I get out of my gym clothes. In summer, I live in bikinis with nice flowing dresses, often from Scanlan Theodore or Zimmermann or a simple pair of ripped denim shorts. Even before I became a mother, I was passionate about fashion. I always wear what suits me and keep it simple and elegant, but I do like a little edge every now and then.

Nat's little list of loves...

Getting out with the kids into nature, whether it be skiing, sailing or just park play.
Taking photos of my children.
Walking around the Botanical Gardens with friends.
A red wine at night with my husband in front of an open fire.
Skiing with the family.
Fish and chips on the beach on a hot summer night with family and friends.
Family holidays.
Reading beautiful books snuggling with the kids in bed.
Dinner with close friends.

Photography: Sarah Wood Words: Georgie Abay