Please give us a brief bio of your career and what prompted you to start your content creation, styling and photography business @nina.c.sees ?
I finished my marketing degree and set off on my corporate career but always had a creative side. I just didn't realise you could make a career of it. I went on to study textile design at night which I absolutely loved but mid-way through I met my husband and decided to start a family so I shelved that for a while. Then during some of the long and lonely days and nights of very early motherhood I discovered Instagram. I had very few friends with children and sometimes felt quite isolated and I found this particular form of social media to be great company and got my creative juices flowing again.
There were so many inspiring accounts and my eyes were flooded with beautiful interiors, art, textiles, other parents having a laugh or cry, fashion and travel. It was an escape. Then pretty soon I found myself sharing little colourful snippets of my days at home and it just grew from there. Over time I had businesses asking me if I could create imagery for them or families asking if I could capture them. I didn't really set out with this intention and still my account is just my place to share my colourful days but I'm so grateful that businesses want to work with me to create content because it's what I really love doing. It helps fill my creative cup.
Where are you from and what does your family life look like?
I'm from Melbourne and was lucky enough to grow up by the Bay. Now I'm happiest anytime I'm near the water and I dream of living by the seaside again one day. I live with my husband and three young children. I'm from a very small family which has it's perks but I always dreamt of having a noisy, busy dinner table full of family and now I have just that!
What is the best advice you have received from a fellow mother or mentor?
Self doubt is your biggest enemy. In motherhood and in your career. Believe in yourself and others will too!
What has motherhood taught you?
Not to worry about what anyone else thinks. This is my journey. I have become really good at trusting my instincts.
Do you have any nuggets of wisdom when it comes to staying calm, cool and collected as a busy parent?
Firstly I try not to be too busy. I don't load my kids up with heaps of extra curricular activities. I feel like they have plenty of time for that. I love them coming home and playing and just being kids. Also something I have learnt on this parenting journey is that everything is just a phase. That mantra has helped me immensely when the kids are going through a tricky sleeping or eating phase. It all passes. In a blink! And I'm thinking with the teenage years coming up that I'll be clinging onto that mantra again (hopefully I'm not rocking in a corner but I'm quietly nervous about having a house full of teenagers).
How would you encourage a nervous- new Mother to be?
Absorb everyone's advice (you'll get bombarded with a lot of well-meant but conflicting opinions) but at the end of the day listen to your heart because ultimately you know what's best. Pick and choose the advice that suits you and smile and nod when someone is giving you advice that you know isn't right for you.
I was given a book when I was pregnant with my first child and the person who gave it to me said "read this and your baby will sleep 12 hours a night from 6 weeks old". So I naively read it and thought gosh this sounds very regimented but okay I'll keep it in mind. Then the minute that my daughter was born everything I'd read flew out the window and I just went with the flow which worked for me. I demand fed, fed to sleep, co-slept, gave a dummy, didn't let them self-settle... pretty much everything they tell you not to do in some baby books. And here I am out the other side with three beautiful well adjusted kids who sleep in their own beds.
What’s your Mum/ Life best time saving hacks?
Scrambled eggs on toast or two minute noodles with frozen veggies are both respectable dinners, ha ha! Sometimes I just can't strum up the energy to cook something delicious and healthy like I do most nights. Don't feel guilty about slapping dinner together sometimes!
What is your antidote to stress?
A steaming hot shower with no interruptions. And running. Both of which I'd love to do more of but I do manage to squeeze a few in!
Best accounts to follow for colour inspiration?
Oh my gosh I have way too many to list. I follow lots of artists and interiors account for colour inspiration. With a healthy side of fun/silly accounts and fashion accounts. Here are a few of my favourites for visual and colour inspiration:
Favourite book / podcast?
I'm still in the dark ages with podcasts. I really need to get into them but just never seem to have the right time. I like to listen to music when I run and I'm never commuting or by myself long enough to enjoy one. Soon!
My favourite books would have to be The Bronze Horseman trilogy. I just got totally lost in them and have read them more than once. There so many others but these are the ones that always pop into my head straight away.
Favourite Netflix show?
Once again I'm about a decade behind everyone else on Netflix. I have SO much to catch up on that its overwhelming because there are so many seasons of everything to catch up on. I did thoroughly enjoy Suits but I know that's old news now!
Advice for people who want to inject more colour into their wardrobe but don't know how to start?
A scarf! I love scarves. I don't like anything with a high neck so I depend on scarves in winter to keep me warm. They are the perfect way to add a splash of colour.
Do you have nuggets of wisdom on growing a brand on Instagram and producing your colourful content?
I see colourful little scenes everywhere I go. Most of my content isn't elaborate shoots it's just little corners or moments in my day that makes me feel inspired. I just post what I like and my following has grown very slowly and organically. I don't post a lot of sponsored content and if I do I will only do it if it feels completely natural (like something I already own or would buy myself). I think it's important to stay true to yourself. Don't try to be something or someone you're not. People love authenticity, myself included.
Your top tips to taking a perfect photo?
Natural light, natural light, natural light! Get outside or get near a window and the results will follow!