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Meet a Local: Chantelle Ellem from Fat Mum Slim

Chantelle Ellem is the name behind the hugely popular blog Fat Mum Slim. What began as a hobby for Chantelle back in 2008 has grown into an incredible community as Chantelle documents life, and her travels with her husband and two gorgeous daughters.

Chantelle Ellem

Chantelle’s beautiful way with words and incredible photography style has captured the hearts of many, and we were lucky enough to sit down and have a cuppa with the blogging superstar to chat about life here on the coast.

You packed up and moved from Sydney to Northern NSW, how did that come about?

We moved to Northern New South Wales back in 2012, and it was one of those life moments that just happened, and I look back and wonder how it did. We were living in beautiful Bondi, in an apartment, but we’d really outgrown it. We wanted a dog, to have another baby and to have a better life for our little family. Within three months we’d sold our apartment, bought a place, got a transfer for my husband’s job and put it all into action. It’s been the best decision we’ve made for our family.

That brave seachange meant you’re raising your family up here on the coast. What is it that you love about that?

I love so much! I love the beaches and all the fresh air. I love that we’ve made such beautiful friends, and that my kids have a life that we’d only dreamed about before. I love that we feel safe, and everywhere we look is beautiful. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Your photography style is unique, and really captures your children’s childhood beautifully. Do you think your style has evolved over the years?

I often scroll back through my Instagram and realise how much things have changed. I think they’ve changed as I’ve learned more about photography technically, and discovered my own style as I’ve played more. I love natural light, and playing around with lenses to capture my shots the way I want them to be. It’s been a fun journey.
You’re an Olympus Ambassador, what camera/lenses are your go-to for life as a mum?

At the moment I’m really loving the 25mm/1.2 because it lets lots of light into the photo, and creates beautiful blur. It means that I can take portraits of the kids, and the mess in the background isn’t captured … which is perfect really!

How do you like to spend your weekends here on the coast?

We are a water family, so inevitably we’ll end up at one of the beautiful beaches, in the pool or in a river. We love eating out at the little eateries around, or exploring new areas. Whatever we do, we’re always out and about, appreciating where we live.

Chantelle’s Tips for Taking Beautiful Photos This Summer

Chantelle Ellem

  1. In summer the light can get quite harsh, so it’s best to shoot in the early morning or in the hour before sunset. Otherwise hit the shade and take photos there.
  2. Have fun in the water with the kids. We have a kid-friendly Olympus camera {the Olympus TG-4}, which means we can take photos playing around in the pool, beach or even snorkelling. Water photography is SO much fun.
  3. Take your camera with you to capture the everyday moments. The best camera you have is the one you always have with you, so make sure you carry your camera! I love that the Olympus range of cameras are really light-weight, so I can pop it into my handbag and not even know it’s there.
  4. Explore golden hour. The hour before sunset is called golden hour, and the light during that hour is really complimentary to skin tones and stunning all round. So Google what time the sun sets, and then go to the beach and play around with taking some photos. You’ll be glad you did.
  5. Composition is the way you frame your subject matter in your photo {for me, it’s generally my kids}. I love playing around with composition, having my kids in the bottom third of the photograph, or in other creative positions. Get down low and see the world from your child’s point of view. It’s a fun way to play with photography.

The Olympus Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is the latest addition to the award winning OM-D range and the third edition of the E- M10 line of cameras. Perfect of photography lovers, family memory keepers, passionate foodies and those bitten by the travel bug; the OM-D E-M10 Mark III is your perfect companion.

Gold Coast Editor, Rebel also tried out the new Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III …

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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