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Sydney
Australia

LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

Q&A with Trish and Ronnie

Ronnie

Q&A with Trish and Ronnie - A blog series by Rhonda Mason and Trish Chong for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc (The modern school of memory keeping)

| Written by Trish and Ronnie |

We've decided to kick off a Q&A column here on the blog where you guys get to ask us anything you want, whether it's related to parenting, family life, business, photography, design, or anything in between. Thanks to everybody who sent in our first batch of questions - keep them coming!

Where are you from?

Trish: I was born and bred in Sydney but my parents hail from Singapore and Malaysia (so we literally have delicious family holidays hehe)

Ronnie: I was born in Hong Kong but moved to Sydney with my parents when I was four and a half. I haven't yet brought our boys back to Hong Kong yet, but I would love to one day. Especially as most of my extended family lives there.

Do you spend more time on Instagram or Facebook? 

Trish: Instagram! I love how instant and no fuss it is, easy to filter what you like and don’t like. Although, I must say I find it hard to keep track of comments and tags and I am notoriously bad at losing them among the updates. I apologise for being such a terrible replier, it’s one of the things I know I need to improve in the new year but I seriously appreciate every single comment you all leave for me (and my boys)! Facebook for me these days seems to be more for the occasional chat conversation or event rsvp.  

Ronnie: This sounds like a trick question. Just kidding. For me, it's probably about the same. I spend time on Facebook to connect with family and friends, and I spend time on Instagram to connect with other creatives and memory keepers. I also use both to drive traffic to our blog posts, but my personal preference is probably for Instagram, which I think is a little more geared towards building communities.

How do you split your time? How do you manage?

Trish: Hmm, my instinctive reaction is to say I’m not sure that I really do manage. As a mother, I always feel like I could be more present and more attentive with my boys and when you run your own business, there’s always that never ending to do list sitting on top of your head so I have to try to turn the computer off and do something fun and involving so there’s less chance to have any moment to be distracted. Practically speaking though, Jesse is in daycare two days a week and my mum comes over to help with Luke on those two days. I try and get through as much emailing and editing on those days, and will work through whatever is leftover through the week while they (hopefully) take an afternoon nap or after they are in bed. Joel and I consider Thursdays and Fridays our ‘weekend’ most of the time and we will try and visit friends, get to the beach, or somewhere a little more adventurous on these days to just enjoy being a family together which we really treasure.  We are really blessed to have the support of my parents and the boys often spend a day with them on Saturday while we photograph weddings and have a little sleepover and then we see them bright and early at church on Sunday morning. For now, it’s a really good balance but as the boys get older and head into their schooling years, I’m hoping to reclaim a few more of my Saturdays to spend with them. The journey there is a work in progress as we continue to evolve as small business owners and parents, always working towards the balance that fits our life circumstance at any given time.  

Ronnie: Ah yes, the eternal juggle. It is honestly a work-in-progress. Always. I am forever changing up my schedule to suit our family life and my work commitments. This used to drive me nuts, but I think I'm okay with it now. It's just part of the deal. At the moment, I do a lot of my work when the boys are asleep during quiet times and at nights. I use iCal like my life depends on it. Rick and I have shared calendars so we always both know what we have going on. We colour code everything so that we can see at a glance where our time needs to be spent. We also have a daily/weekly debrief to double-check we both know what's going on. In the last month or so, I've been spending weekends and Mondays working on our online classes and then I spend Tuesdays writing and prepping posts for our blog. Wednesdays to Fridays are kind of my 'days off' where I try to focus on our family, on ministry, and on my personal memory keeping endeavours. As much as possible, I try to switch off when I'm with my boys and I try to leave my phone in another room. This is so important, I think, especially in the long-term. I don't want my boys' lasting impression of me to be 'Mum was always checking her phone.' Like Trish, we're very blessed to have the support of our parents as well. In particular, Rick's mum comes over for an entire day on Tuesday, which enables me to get out of the house and write for a solid chunk of time with no interruptions. In addition to iCal, I also manage all my tasks using the Things app by Cultured Code.

What started your passion to pursue photography and how long have you been doing it for?

Trish: My love for photography began way back in Year 10 and I remember randomly exploring through the storage room in my parents home looking for something to entertain me.  I found my uncle’s old Minolta film camera and was taken in by it’s beauty and the mystery of it all.  Over the next few years, Joel and I would randomly take our film cameras out to play, starting off with flowers and landscapes (Joel had a full set of filters and made all these awesome slow shutter speed waterfall shots, polarised beach shots etc and it was so much fun to see what we could produce.) My favourite memories with that camera was travelling to Thailand and Cambodia with Joel and two other friends in uni days and shooting everything on film. The results were more beautiful that I could have hoped for and they still make me smile.  I remember refusing to purchase a digital camera for ages because it made ‘hair look really weird’ until my 21st birthday when all my friends pitched in to get me a Nikon D70 and I think my dad pitched in a pretty big amount too. Cameras have definitely evolved in leaps and bounds since then but I still have a super soft spot for film and I have this continual urge to eventually shoot most of my family and portrait sessions on film in the future but I’m still working on that and what that means.  

What is your design process?

Ronnie: This is an interesting question. When I was running my own commercial design studio, my design process began with the client's brief. From there, I would create a few concepts (if budget allowed for it), and then based on the client's feedback, I would amend the design until the client was happy. I remember I used to get so upset when the client asked me to make changes that I didn't like. Eventually, however, I learnt to put emotional distance between my work and myself, and from there, designing for others got a lot easier. Nowadays, I design for myself and for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc. When it comes to the latter, I always run my designs past Trish to make sure she is happy with them too. Our aesthetics are so similar that we're almost always in agreement. In terms of the actual designing part of the process, my starting point is always to work out what the focal point of the design is. This could be an image or a word or paragraphs of text or even negative space. Once I've worked this out, I build my design and my colour palette around it. No matter what I'm designing, however, the results usually reflect my love for white space, clean fonts, and minimalist design. There's no doubt about it: I love clean and simple.

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