No poses. No make-up. No fixing. Just us.

No poses. No make-up. No fixing. Just us. That is how I would sum up the experience of working with Sam.

In February, we spent 5 hours with Sam as he captured the most amazing photos of our everyday life. From the joy on our son’s face at bath time to him crying when he fell over, Sam captured it all. He captured the essence of our family. He photographed me make-up free and hair in my never-ending mum-bun. He managed to take the most beautiful photos of us playing together as a family, of us drinking coffee, eating together, reading together. The everyday things that don’t make an appearance on most Instagram or Facebook feeds. These aren’t the highlight reel; these are the real deal. These are the small moments that make up every single day of our lives, and yet we often forget, don’t photograph or give the credit they deserve. These are the photos that we all really want to have of ourselves and our loved ones as these are the ones that will spark the most memories as our children grow. 

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions


Morning exploration on the front deck looking out over Varsity Lakes

Having worked with 3 different photographers in 3 months, I can tell you that Sam has a unique approach. Here’s my summary of what our day was like: 

• Sam arrived in time for baby wake-up (5.30am).

• We had coffee together and waited for our son to wake. 

• After our son woke, Sam hung out with us in our apartment while Cam ran around, ate breakfast, bathed and read books. 

• It was raining, so we went to the local shopping centre and playpark (even the most mundane locations, made the most gorgeous photos).

• Sam sat with us while we had brunch and fed our son. 

• He came home with us and spent a little while taking some photos as we wound down for nap time. 


Throughout the whole morning, he was capturing photos without us even realising he was there. We totally forgot. I think this quote from my husband sums it up beautifully: 

“Photoshoots don’t come naturally to Irishmen. I’ve only ever agreed to a photoshoot by a close family friend. But I found the photoshoot with Sam very easy. To me, Sam is very impressive in the way that he blends in. If you don’t like the idea of photographs, this is as close to not having them taken as you are going to get. The only thing you have to do is make him a coffee. I didn’t even need to have a shower before he arrived. He’s just a good bloke.” (Chris McCullough, husband to Amanda and dad to Cameron)


Since our shoot, Sam has created a gorgeous leather-bound album for us to keep. I loved this. I mean, do you ever go through your photos and print them? No. This way, you know you have something to remember this time of life forever. You can look back in 1, 3, 5 or 30 years and see exactly what life was really like when you lived in this time and place. 

I can’t wait to give Sam a call next year to book in for another shoot and see where we are then with a full-scale toddler, maybe a new house, or new jobs. Who knows?

Can’t wait to find out. 


Dr Amanda McCullough is a life coach, award-winning scientist, health professional and speaker at Not Just Mum. She coaches intelligent, brave and honest women through the transition from passionate career woman to motherhood and back again. A move to Australia in 2014, her two uteruses and her expertise in behaviour change and women’s leadership led her to create Not Just Mum where she offers one-to-one consults and coaching series to support women to maintain their sanity and identity in this challenging and joy-filled time of life. Her next in-person workshop will take place on the Gold Coast on 10thMay 2018. 


You can find Amanda at





sam gilmore