The Milk Memoirs

One part chronicle, one part resource of all things breastfeeding and family life…with a good dose of fun,crafts & mommy realness

*Win* an exquisite Mother’s Love Portrait Session with Josie Photography




If I wanted to count the amount moms I know who’ve complained about not having many decent pix with their own kids, that are not those awkward selfies, I’d need to grow a couple extra dozen more fingers. Am I right? And there’s no way we are counting the work of our very loved but clearly non-instagrammy dads who really actually don’t want to “quickly take this photo”. I mean let’s be honest – a lot of their shots are strong contenders for the “nailed-it” memes. And if you do get lucky with everyone being in frame, and it’s not all big-foot blurry, chances are you probably all aren’t looking to the lens, or smiling and looking your best. Or junior over there might even be elbow deep up his nose going for gold. Ok, ok, ok, so that last one may sound a bit much…but this happens people. This is real life parenting, and real life parenting often doesn’t make space for perfect pictures WITH mom in it. Unless of course, you have Josie in your life.

Who is Josie? Josie Van Zyl? Well, only one of the loveliest and sweetest people you will ever get to meet in your life. And who also happens to be one heck of a talented photographer…and specialises in a Mother’s Love Portrait sessions (amongst other things). Now, what are mother’s love portrait sessions, I hear you ask? Well, ummm… I’ll let her pictures do the talking:



These were taking shortly after our first hospital stay this year with Parker– sleep deprived and still recovering, while the kids themselves were not in the best of spirits. And yet Josie (and Kristine) came in and made magic to produce these beautiful shots.


Also, my girls darn near squealed with delight when they realised they were also in for a morning of pampering with Kristine, as she did hair and make-up (gloss) for them too. Little girly heaven for sure!


pax sittracey_lowres-7-of-42

And what really blew me away was Josie’s calm and patience and just her beautiful way she had with my girls. I mean my girls were ALL OVER the place that day. Like on a sugar rush, without the sugar. They even gave her (and our neighbours) a full blown karaoke concert – complete with microphones and dance moves. Also, they mostly had their own version of what modelling should look like for the day – it entailed endless twirls with their gorgeous swishy dresses, and pretty much everything to do with perpetual chaos and silliness. And yet, despite their crazy antics, Josie managed to catch all the lovely moments so effortlessly.

I met Josie at the CTMeetup this past August and even though our chats were fleeting that day, her positive energy and easy going nature was so apparent. And I certainly enjoyed getting to know her a teeny tiny little bit better later on. So who is she other than an incredibly talented woman? Well, she’s a mother of two – so she clearly understands why having precious portraits taken with your children are so valuable, and understands how to work with children. She is a born and bred South African, and after making a beautiful life for themselves up in New York for a few years, Josie and hubby decided to move back to South Africa to raise their family. And aren’t you glad they did?! I know I sure am – having this talent right on our doorstep is certainly a score for SA! 

Now, firstly, if you don’t know by now, I’m a photo person – in fact, with my humans and fur people aside,photographs are my true treasures in life. But given the life circumstances and health situation we were in at that time with Parker-Grace, these pictures became even more cherished by me. They captured a very tender and fragile moment in my life with my girls, and turned it into something sweet and beautiful. Images I am now forever grateful for – THANK you Josie!

Secondly, I would really want this for every mom out there – beautiful moments that you lived out with your children; A depiction of that transcendant love beating within you as a mother, now frozen in time. For you to forever enjoy and look back upon. (Seriously, moms, you should all really do least once.) Now, whilst I can’t pull an Oprah on ya’ll, Josie and I can make one lucky mother very happy by giving her, her very own Mother’s Love portrait session with her child/ren. Complete with a pro make-up and hair stylist who is equally as talented.

That’s right! Im giving away a Mother’s Love Portrait Session package with the lovely Josie from Josie Photography worth R1750, complete with a professional make-up artist and hair styling.
It would be a 30 – 45 minute shoot, and includes 15-20 high resolution prints on USB, and 5 prints(15x20cm)

To stand a chance of winning, all you have to do is :

    1. Subscribe to this here my blog (just pop your email addy into the follow text box which can be found to the left or bottom of your screen and CLICK the follow button. I dont spam at all.)
    2. Comment here below with how you currently get in on the photo action with your kids – awkward selfies, how begging your hubby or if you ever even get in on those pix at all.

Whilst you dont need to subscribe to any of Josie’s social media channels to qualify, I’d like to encourage you to check them out anyway – she’s always sharing such beautiful shots.
( Her website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.)

Please note, this is only open to South Africa – need to be able to be/come down to Cape Town for the shoot. The competition closes the 14th December 2016 and winner will be randomly selected using and announced thereafter. The winner will have plenty of time (three months) to set up a shoot date with Josie. The session will take place either at the your home or at her home studio in Kenilworth. It’s completely your choice, however please note you will need enough space to setup her portable backdrop (1.5m wide x 1.5m high) and natural light to shoot in if you prefer your own home.

Lastly, and I know I may be spoiling the surpise just a bit for you here, but I have a thing for gorgeous presentation – and well, Josie’s presentation just makes me weak in the knees!! I mean, just look!


Now, go enter already!! Go, go, go! X


Author: mommabeartrax

Mother of two (and counting), pregnant with the third and have a sweet little angel in heaven. A very happy wifey, blogger, lover of life and laughter, a clumsy swimmer, loyal friend, Im funnier in my head than I actually am, I am a qualified HypnoBirthing Child Birth Educator, I get inexplicably excited about good food, baking & crafts. Although, I think baking and crafts are just trying to fill a void that my Kenpo and gym-rat days used to fill. Lastly, according to the rest of the world, I fix your printer. But I'm actually a Software Architect.

36 thoughts on “*Win* an exquisite Mother’s Love Portrait Session with Josie Photography

  1. Already following this here bloggy for ages. Your photographs are absolutely stunning and your girls make me so so broody. I would loooove to win this shoot. I can probably count the amount of photos I have with me actually in the photo with my boys on one hand. Being a mom is tough yo, I’m also the designated photographer. The ones with me in them are usually lovely blurred photographs taken by hubby with my back to the camera. Great. Or you could find a terrible half faced car selfie of me and the boys. Or possibly a photo taken by someone at a kiddy party with me in the background looking terribly round and with resting bitch face. Not the best memories to show my kids and grandkids one day, so this shoot would be heavenly for me. Fingers crossed!


  2. Absolutely gorgeous pictures!


  3. I actually love taking photos of my family but I’m not really into being in them myself so I’m entering because I do not have any beautiful of me and my girls. Every mom should at least have one or to memorable photos with her girls


  4. I already follow your blog and I must say, you and your girls are absolutely gorgeous!

    I am hardly in any photos with my boys as I’m usually the one taking photos of the husband with the kids. I have 1 photo of myself and my youngest at his second birthday party. It’s not the most flattering photo, so I try to skip past it when he asks to see his birthday photos. The husband doesn’t feel the same way about preserving memories as me. I have been so jelly of all the beautiful photos Josie has taken of all you gorgeous lucky ladies and would love to experience her talent as well.

    My boys are my world, and although I won’t have nice girly photos with twirly skirts and beautiful flower crowns, I will have my handsome sons with their scraped knees and ruffled hair, clenching 1 or 2 cars in their tiny hands.


  5. I would absolutely LOVE to win this shoot, I’ve always wanted to do a shoot with my kids but it just has never been possible and I didn’t want to exclude the Hubs even though he hates pics (so generally when doing a family pic you will never have all of us focused on the camera at the same time and I will be running around ensuring kids are happy and hubby is still ok – its draining).

    With having 2 busy boys its hardly ever that I get a pic of me with both of them at the same time as I’m always the photographers and the few of all 3 of us is normally selfie mode or using my selfie sticker.

    It would be great to be spoilt with professional pics, that are relaxed and chilled where the 3 of us can have great fun – and I’m dying to wear a flower crown and be a girl for once – out of my tracks and takkies.


  6. Hi please add me to the subscription list. I am a huge fan of Josie’s work! I am mum to a 5 month old little boy. and my phone is full of him, with his dad, with his fur siblings and with everyone else except me. i am always the one taking photos of the cute moments. Unless I don’t instigate dad to take a photo… I will prob never be in them. I try selfies, but I would value a professional shoot (and the extra beautifying pamper) SO much more. i am also now on a lifestyle program to get my pre preggies body back, so the photo shoot will also add to my ego to be honest


    • Josie is wonderful, isnt she!? And yes, these proshoots are such a luxury, but honesty one definitely worth indulging in, as it lasts forever! Sorry for delayed reply, as I dont like to interfer with the comments until after the comp has closed.


    •’s every mom’s anthem isnt it? Or mostly at least. And dont worry I feel the same, but at least my hubby is getting a little better. It might not be the most flattering of shots with me in them, but at least I dont have to always ask 😉


  7. Absolutely stunning MommaBear, Cubs & Pics!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so glad I have come across your blog! I just know I’m going to have so much fun reading it.

    I’m a mother of an 18 month old beautiful little girl – my best friend and reason for living!

    Like any mom I love taking photos of her, her and her daddy and anyone that’s willing to pose for a photo. I’m not fond of posing for photos myself, however, knowing how short life is and how important it is to capture special moments, I have begged my husband several times to take some photos of the 2 of us, but with little luck!

    Selfies I won’t even try – I always seem to look misformed. Not the way I would want my daughter to remember me! ;p

    The last photos of the 2 of us were taken when my daughter was 2 months old.

    I would love nothing more than for this amazing photographer (whose work I’ve been following and admiring for quite some time now) to capture the special best friend bond my little girl and I have – something that we can both one day (God willing of course) look back on. That would be the best Christmas gift ever!

    Good luck to all the special mommies that are entering!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, Elzanne now I am super chuffed that you came across it as well! 🙂 Hope you will enjoy and stick around! Sorry I didnt reply immediately, but didnt want to interfere with comments and numbering until after the comp was closed.


  9. As a single mom the only way I ever get into a picture with my two precious boys is by taking selfie sandwiches which invariably land up cutting someone out of the frame. On the rare occasion my mother will snap a blurry picture with her phone. I honestly do not have any good pictures of me and my boys and would be ecstatic if I won this incredible prize!


    • Oh yes, those selfie sandwiches sound so familiar! And same with my mom AND mom in law, their photo skills need some serious work. ps. Sorry for delayed reply but I prefer not to interfer with the comments until after the comp is closed.


  10. With 3 kids its a bit tricky to get all of us together, especially with my 2 year old son and his bursts of energy! My girls love taking selfies though, and never forget to strike a pose. I would love to take some photos of us before we leave SA.


    • gosh, yes, 3 kids in a selfie is a tight squeeze! And darn near impossible if you have one or two that cant stand still at all…I know all about that for sure! Thankfully Josie can still snap my girls mid-motion.


  11. I’m never in any of the photos, always behind the camera. Or rather there is only ever one parent in the picture. Would love to have some beautiful family pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Come to think of it, I dont think I saw a full family photo of you all of you guys yet! And, yes, that used to be me – only behind the camera. I know that so Sorry for delayed reply but I prefer not to interfer with the comments until after the comp is closed.


  12. Hahaha! My MIL yells at hubby that she doesn’t have pics of me and then he sneaks them when I’ve passed out, exhausted from a teething child or something, lying in a messy bed, in my “at home” underwear with a baby sprawled over me. Apparently he prefers “real” pics. Or my mom gets all up in my face while I’m eating…


  13. I would love to win this, I already follow Josie on instagram and her pictures are always breathtaking. Being the designated photographer for our family, I only have awkward selfies with my lil one and being heavily pregnant, the angles don’t do me any justice.


  14. This sounds amazing! What mom would turn down the opportunity for a beautiful photoshoot from a very talented photographer with hair and make up to boot!!!! I have 2 little monkeys,and like most moms, have no decent photos with them. Life passes by too quickly and before you know it, your baby will be all grown up. X


  15. I love this competition! The photos are stunning!!! I normally just try to take awkward selfies with my daughter! Hahahaha! 🙈
    Would love this so much!!


  16. Love all the photos. I would love to win this for my daughter. Her little boy will be a year in Dec and she has very few pics of the two of them. As a single mom things are busy. A pamper and pics would be perfect.


  17. Josie is just awesome, rushed pics here or there on cell phone looking nothing like at ones best!


  18. Hi, I am a mom of 2 beautiful girls aged 7 & 5 years old. I am DYING to have professional pics taken with my girls. I can just never find the time and they are growing up waaaay to fast. A girls day would be awesome and my girls will just think that im the coolest mom for organizing a photo shoot and pamper session 🙂 PLEASE make mine and my girls year 🙂


  19. Hi, I am a mom of 2 beautiful girls aged 7 & 5 yrs old. Life has been but a blur as time has flown by soooo fast and I’ve never had the time or $$ to have professional pics taken of my little family. This would mean the world to only only me but my girls as well. Imagine, mamma breaking thew news to them that we having a family shoot and being pampered?? LOL #SUPERMOM 🙂


  20. As always your beauty amazes me. I am so proud to call you my friend. Your girls, wow, I feel sorry for you and Mike having to point shotguns at the lineup of guys that will try to steal their hearts. Beautiful pics. Very very talented photographer. Well I tried taking Brock and Brigitte pics but his cheese and my cheese comes out very differently. I never post those pics because awkward face is my middle name. Lol


  21. Wow! I’m delighted that I just came across your blog. Such nice content and sheesh you’re SO beautiful. You’re so lucky to have such a gorgeous family and life. What a blessing!

    Mothers Guilt: I always feel bad that I don’t have proper quality photos of my daughter as a baby. I only have shaky cellphone quality and oh what a lovely baby she was. She is five now and such a vibrant little lady and I think we would both love to experience a first-time photo-shoot such as this.

    I’m usually behind the camera and if its not selfies (which she isn’t a fan of because for her it means an opportunity to pull faces) then I’m trying to take an unusual photo of the moment and it often gets missed because she is so active and inquisitive. But ahhh, that’s part of being a momma right? Joys of motherhood!

    I really would love to win this so much *fingers crossed*


  22. Oh my goodness, I would love a photoshoot with Josie. Currently, I’m only happy snapping snapchat selfies where I can hide behind a crazy filter 🙂


  23. So far it’s been awkward selfies with my now 1 year old son. I have to beg my husband for family pics or to take a decent pic of my son and I! I love photos and always looking for a gorgeous shot to print and hang up on my wall!


  24. I never manage to be in any of the photos we take these days. I’m not good with selfies and both my husband and I only ever seem to take photos of our son!


  25. I absolutely LOOOOOVE taking pics of my family. I enjoy capturing those special moments…although most of the time I’m not in them as I’m the one behind the camera… I’m the photographer, the director…ALLES!!
    So my photoshoots / getting in on the photo action ranges from awkward selfies, begging hubby and my son ( my daughter doesn’t need begging as she is a real model, she loves taking pics…always ready). Hubby and son moans at me to stop taking pics..Enough pics now Mommy…lol
    At times, I have to ask hubby to take pics of me with the kids, otherwise I don’t get in on the action…lol
    I often look back at pics that have been taken in the past and I just love the trip down memory lane.My kids enjoy seeing pics of themselves when they were younger. They can’t believe they were so small 🙂
    In a nutshell….I love adding to our memory box 🙂


  26. Always a awkward selfie, I’m the one is the picture that fulls my face to get my daughter to smile.


  27. Yep. Awkward selfies and “pleeeeeze take a pic babe!” are the only ways I get any camera action with the kids. Also to keep them still is another thing!


  28. Hello.
    There a not a lot of pictures with me and my family, I’m usually the one taking the pictures and for some reason no one thinks of taking pictures with me and nd my son or fiance. Not a fan of selfish haha.


  29. Pingback: Capturing the Christmas Magic with Josie Photography {WIN} - Pregnant in Cape Town & ever after...

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