“I think life changes when you have that one person, who completely believes in you,” says Sydney-based photographer Grace Alyssa Kyo from Besotted Grace, recalling the moment her best friend Carin Olsson from Paris In Four Months passed her a camera. “She said ‘Grace you have the eye’ and handed her big camera over. My passion for photography literally started from that moment. I never looked back.” Olsson was right – she has an incredible eye and sees beauty in everything. It was after living in Paris for a year that Kyo moved back to Sydney and gave birth to a baby boy, Sebastian, 1. “Sebastian is the reason my photography blossomed into portraitures, because I was able to tap into emotions,” she says. The talented Kyo is also behind many of the gorgeous shoots you see on The Grace Tales (and a lot of fun to work with). She was recently back in Paris with her son, where her friend Carin shot this gorgeous story for us…


“Before Sebastian was born I lived in Paris for a little over a year…
My dreams led me there. I had that yearning to get out there, to know more and to travel. I took Sebastian back recently and loved spending time with him in the gardens: Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin du Palais Royale. There are the most beautiful parks and open spaces for children to roam around in Paris.

Photography was something that I never thought would be a part of my life…
I created an Instagram account (@besottedgrace) when I lived in Paris to compliment my blog diary and just began by posting simple photos. Gradually I learned to notice deeper aspects of photography. I began to distinguish which type of images inspired me most. Then one day, my best friend in Paris (who is an amazing photographer!), asked me to shoot her for an interview.


Living in Paris and Sebastian’s birth changed the way I view life…
Living in Paris taught me to slow my pace, to enjoy and love breakfast, to live the way Parisians live, appreciate art and to see beauty in everything. Arriving back in Sydney after an amazing year in Paris and getting through nine months of a hormonal pregnancy really placed my creative mood (and general mood) in idle mode. But the pieces started to come together after Sebastian’s birth, and he taught me to relive Paris, with him, in Sydney.

I remember holding Sebastian shortly after he was born…
Nothing could ever prepare myself for that experience of love and emotions. That overpowering feeling of wanting to protect and love something that is so immensely precious, more than life. I find myself more motivated than ever to be the best person and mum I can be. Sebastian makes me feel like I’m the most important person in this whole world. I secretly love that I’m the only one who could calm him down. I feel so blessed and grateful.


I used to be a makeup hoarder…
Experimenting with lots of looks just because I had the time. Let’s just say that nowadays, whenever I see a product that says ‘glow’, ‘radiance’, ‘anti-fatigue’ and ‘anti-aging’ on the label, it’s in the shopping cart! After applying cleanser (Aesop), moisturiser (Nivea) and anti-aging serum (Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair). These are my daily makeup favourites: Dior Skin Flash PrimerDiorskin Rosy Glow Healthy Glow Booster BlushDior Addict Lip Glow Balm and Dior Addict It-Lash Mascara.


Remind your partner…
that your love for each other is ultimately what created parenthood for the both of you. Concentrate on that love.

I usually try to sneak out of the house at sunrise…
Before my husband goes to work, just so I can have time for myself for my favourite stroll and to sit down somewhere to enjoy breakfast. I head home and we tag team. On days that I have shoots, my mother kindly looks after Sebastian. When Sebastian sleeps at night, that’s when I’m glued to the laptop and work on everything else, like updating my blog and editing shoots.

When it comes to fashion, I really love to mix and match…
TopShop, Zara, Country Road, Seed, Witchery are my comfort favourites. I live in skinny jeans, loose sweaters and flats (and a hat to hide my ‘no time for roots touch ups’!). In summer I love shift dresses.

It’s the small simple things like sitting together for dinner at home…
Just babbling away with Sebastian. He loves eating with us.

The first few months after birth is going to be the most challenging period of motherhood…
No books or parental class can help you understand what you’ve got coming until you live through it. Ask for help and accept all help offered, it’s okay to need and want help. Get educated on breastfeeding. Organise for a private lactation consultant to be there with you the moment you’re about to breastfeed for the first time. Most importantly listen to your heart, only you know what’s right for you and your baby.”

Sebastian wears an Atelier/Child sweater, $158.99

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Grace’s little list of loves:
I love mornings in bed with Sebastian. When he wakes up and all he wants is more cuddles.
Long strolls with my husband and Sebastian.
Soft serve ice cream.
Copious cups of Mariage Frères tea at any time of day.
Dior Skin Flash Primer.
Watching movies in the cinema – alone.
Breakfast – the day feels calmer after a good, simple breakfast.
The song Jeune by a French singer called Louane.
A huge bouquet of fresh flowers from the markets.
Golden hour strolls along the beach, at sunrise and sunset – I find that the light in Paris and what we get in Sydney are very different. In Paris, the light is always so soft and diffused most of the time. To see that kind of amazing ethereal light in Sydney, you really have to aim for that golden hour – within an hour from sunrise and within an hour until sunset. I’m very fortunate that my husband is very understanding and he looks after Sebastian when I really need time to recharge on my own.

Photography: Carin Olsson Words: Georgie Abay Holding shot: Sebastian wears an Atelier/Child sweater $158.99.