There is nothing we love more than seeing our carriers out there in adventure.So when we came across an amazing capture of a young family living and loving every step of their adventure overseas, and with such ease, we could not stop beaming.Cue the ‘insta-stalking’ and the discovery of gorgeous imagery, an amazing talent, oh, and throw in one stunning young family with a love of babywearing and we were grinning from ear to ear.Keelan Christopher, famed Australian wedding photographer, darling husband and super amazing father. We fell in love with his fantastic online blog, filled with stunning photos of amazing locations, beautiful weddings, and our favourites; the simpleness of life at home, and sharing these moments in such a special way.We were so impressed with the adventures this family share, with two small children and the youngest having only just arrived, how do they do it?These guys are an inspiration to embracing life, never holding back and enjoying the moment, together.We invited Keelan to answer a few questions for our very own blog, share with us his tips on travelling as a family of four and still managing to keep it all together (hey, he has the pics to prove it!)
Your most recent holiday as a family of four featured on your latest blog and really caught our eye; the gorgeous baby wearing shots were our fave, of course! Why did you choose Fiji, and what were the pros and cons that contributed in your decision making process?
Our last family trip was to Fiji. We all flew over together as I was shooting a wedding and I always take my family with me on photography assignments. In saying that, though, we were all a little bit more excited than usual for this trip as my wife had never been to Fiji before and we were keen to test out its solid reputation as a family destination... and the people are SO beautiful there. They adore kids which makes it very easy to feel at home very quickly.
We have travelled with all our children from birth but it can be a conflicting choice for some people. With the most recent addition to your tribe still under 12mths old, did you need any reassurance about travelling with a baby? Did you encounter any negative feedback from friends and family, or was it all smooth sailing?
I recently had to fly to Bali alone (to shoot another wedding) as Chili was too young to fly and that killed me. I was only there for four days but I've never missed anyone more in my life. It really hurt me, so naturally, we don't ever think twice about taking our kids with us. It probably isn't as easy going with them, but to be honest, I don't think kids are easy. They're the biggest challenge I've ever faced but also the most rewarding. We're probably a little bit more restricted with Chili being so young and sleeping a LOT but that's when the Chekoh Baby Carrier comes in perfect. We can still head out and adventure while she sleeps.
For me it is always the ‘fun' of airplane travel that makes me cringe (although ‘all hail the iPad’ now for my older boys), is there any tips you find work well for travelling with your babies?
Haha, you just said it right there! The iPad! However we don't own an iPad, so when the flight crew tell you there's none left, you need to come up with more 'traditional' solutions. Chili sleeps. She's incredible. She slept for the whole flight over to Fiji. Roark however is a little bit more intense. Giving Roark the window seat and playing 'I SPY' is a great game. Colouring books and reading his favourites work a treat also. Apart from that, maybe just hope the people sitting behind you don't mind a bit of hide n’ seek with a curious 3 year old!
Did you find a difference in your travel experience this time around, now your family has grown from 3 to 4?
Things definitely take longer (as before mentioned with Chili's sleeping patterns), but that's about it. Honestly, Chili is like an angel child (we're extremely lucky). She doesn't whinge, she doesn't cry. She just sleeps and smiles. So that combined with being able to put her in the Chekoh Carrier, sometimes you nearly forget that she's there!
Was there ever a moment in your most recent travels when you thought… ‘uh, this is a mistake’? Did you make it through and was there any new lessons learnt?
Never. Not once.
Speaking specifically as a photographer, what is your favourite subject to shoot when travelling? Any tips for capturing those amazing moments while still living in the moment yourself?
My favourite subject to shoot is definitely my family! The trip I took to Bali without my family, I didn't shoot any personal stuff at all. Not one photo. Well, I took two photos on my iPhone, one of the rice fields and one of a sunset on Canggu Beach, but that's it. Without my family, I feel flat and uninspired. They're the reason I fell in love with photography and they've also been the main driving force in me finally learning how to believe in myself as a photographer.
I make sure I have my camera with me whenever we're out and about, which is why I've been looking to buy a travel camera like the x100T which is a hell of a lot smaller and lighter... and discreet! As far as capturing those moments go, I've been doing it for nearly 4 years now so I guess it's kind of programmed into me. Anticipation is the main key. There's also other things that will trigger me and make me more aware like some nice light or a cool location. I try to pick my moments though. There's a very fine line between shooting the family holiday and turning the family holiday into a photo shoot.
What or where is the best trip or place you have ever taken with the kids and why?
The best trip we've ever been on is when we went to Bali for our wedding. It was before Chili was born so it was just the three of us. That trip was pretty special to us, for a number of reasons, but as family holiday, we loved the sense of freedom that you get in Bali.