It’s funny how some things just sort of creep up on you, and then there’s a moment, an epiphany, and you wonder how you hadn’t realised it before. I’ve photographed so many different things, from weddings to restaurants, in amazing gardens, parks and locations. And yet, I’ve discovered over the past year that the thing which makes me happiest when I have my camera in my hand, is photographing families at home. Maybe it’s because at home we are most ourselves. Our true selves, with messy kitchens and fingerprints on walls, toys spilling all over the place and more noise than you ever thought you could cope with!

I’ve had some amazing lifestyle sessions with families at home and I really think I should start sharing them with the world. So lets me start with the O’Rorke family, an amazingly warm and open family with two adorable little sons. When I went to their session I felt instantly at home, coffee was brewing and a very cute two year old was excited to tell me all about his Transformer toys – so glad I had prior knowledge from my own boys! Really, it was a dream session.


I read a brilliant quote recently by another photographer, Tara Whitney. She said that her clients know how it feels to love their families, and that she could show them what it looked like. I admire her work so much, and I truly hope that the families I am lucky to photograph feel they get a little of that from their images too. If you’d like to know more about my lifestyle sessions at home I would LOVE to hear from you. You can use the contact form here or find me on Facebook, so please, give me a shout!

August 1 is both an exciting and daunting day on the calendar for those of us involved with Open House Festival. Exciting as we gear up for a month of non stop events, and daunting for the very same reason! 128 events in 40 different venues over 31 days, and that’s not including the extra dates that have been added due to the runaway ticket sales for several of the events. That’s a lot of fun going on around the town, planning and fine tuning in the office and photographs being uploaded to my laptop! In anticipation of a great month, I thought I’d choose a few of my favourite images from the festival programme just to get things going.

Full details and tickets are still available on the festival website and you can pick up a programme from the office at The Fountain Centre on Queen’s Parade, or in many local shops and businesses. For now, these are some of my favourite images showcasing some of the events I’m most excited about.

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From Burgundy to Bangor – limited tickets available

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Festival Cookery School – limited tickets available

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Dear Agent – sold out

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Ain’t No Sin to Love Gin – sold out (and I’m so glad I booked early!)

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Comber Gourmet Trail – sold out

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Irish Tapas – sold out

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Talking Out Your Arts – sold out

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Colin Middleton: The Bangor Years – limited tickets available

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Fish ‘n’ Sips – limited tickets available

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Party on the Pitch – tickets available

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Bluegrass Picnic – FREE, so you’d be a fool to miss it!

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Seafood and Sea Shanties – sold out

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Music in the Park – FREE every Sunday afternoon

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Whiskey Galore – all events sold out

Booking links – you’re welcome! But I would get on that sooner rather than later if I were you! I’m off to charge my batteries (camera, physical and mental!) and prep my camera bag. Do pop back later in the week for a few more of my faves from the first week. And you can keep up to date with all the goings on on the Open House Festival Facebook page, on Twitter and on Instagram.

  • Nannisandi - August 1, 2016 - 12:39 pm

    Brilliant photographs as always!! Looking forward to seeing more!!ReplyCancel

Sometimes it’s true that a photograph speaks a thousand words. I’m going to let these photos speak for themselves, save to say that I’ve known Aly for many years and am lucky to count her amongst my close friends. And that makes a photo shoot very special. I’ve photographed all 3 of her boys as newborns, we’ve bemoaned and celebrated life as mums of boys, we’ve shared dreams and a lot of coffee and I love them all to bits! Her husband’s pretty ok too!

Anyway, this session took place when Abraham was one whole week old, the kids were running around, there had been one bloody nose (dad!) before I even arrived, and Aly was swanning around looking fabliss as always! And that is exactly my favourite way to shoot – in the midst of the crazy, wonderful mess that is life.

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If you’d like the crazy of your life documented, please give that contact button up there a push and we can make that happen!

  • Nannisandi - June 23, 2016 - 11:44 pm

    Those are really great pictures! The boys obviously loved it when their baby brother cried and crumpled his wee face!!ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth - June 24, 2016 - 8:50 pm

    These are all so gorgeous, the one of him over Aly’s shoulder and his little hand up to his face ❤️. xReplyCancel

Here’s to the dads.

The superheroes.

The rescuers.

The fixers and menders.

The BBQ-ers.

The tear wipers and plaster stickers.

To the ones who make us laugh so hard we think we might be sick.

And the ones who stand on sidelines and touch lines and boundary lines, week… after week… after week.

Where would we be without the dads? Some of us know all too well exactly where we are without them. But lots of us are lucky enough to have the things they taught us and their sense of humour and their noses (lucky, eh?!) with us no matter where we are or where we go.

So this one is for the dads. You rock our worlds and we love you to bits!












  • Suzanne - June 19, 2016 - 11:19 am

    Love this Janine! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jo B - June 19, 2016 - 11:54 pm

    Aw, thanks for including Jeff! xxxReplyCancel

I thought it was about time I got this blog back up and running, and what better way to do it than with a giveaway! If this is your first visit to my blog, hello! It’s very nice to have you here, and I hope you’ll pop back again. I promise to have posts more than once every 3 months!

Living in Northern Ireland has its fair share of downsides (rain, grey skies and a minimal difference in seasons to name but a few), but over the past couple of years I have been more and more aware of the positives of living in this wee country. Obviously, we entered the Euros with the highest unbeaten rate in qualifiers, our landscape and countryside is beyond stunning, and we have an incredible amount of talented artists and creatives for all the size of us. Instagram, in particular, has introduced me to so many amazing and talented people. Folk like linesandcurrent, gatheredthreads and padhraic_mulholland to name but a small few.

However, my own walls are pretty much sponsored by my amazing friend, Aly Harte, local artist, blogger and mumma to 3 beautiful boys. Aly’s work is full of energy and passion and often highlights aspects of the everyday in a way you’ve never seen it before. These images are genuinely photos I took around my home earlier today – we really do love Aly’s work!

A limited edition print created for the Giro d




The iconic Samson and Goliath cranes at Harland and Wolff in Belfast



One of my absolute favourites is this of Mussenden Temple which resides on our landing


The red wine print - no explanation required!

Now I’m sure, as much as you’re enjoying an art tour of my house, you might wonder what exactly the point of this post is. Well let me tell you that I have a giveaway for you! That’s correct – I have some A5 prints featuring Aly’s paintings of the Giant’s Causeway and the daffodils print from her very popular flowers range, and you could win one of your choice.


All you have to do to enter is comment below telling me which of the prints you would like and where you would display it. Easy! And to up your chances of winning, pop over to my Instagram account, @jblifedocumented, for information on how to enter there as well.

Good luck with your entries. I’ll pick a winner on Friday 17 June and announce it on my Instagram account at around 9pm, so be sure to follow so you don’t miss out!

If you’d like to stay in touch and hear about new posts and random snippets from me, please do sign up for my newsletter which I hope to get kick started again towards the end of the month.




  • Nannisand - June 15, 2016 - 12:28 am

    I would like the daffodils as a reminder of happy and sunny days when things are gloomy and I’d hang it in my hall so I’d see it when going out and coming in.ReplyCancel

  • Nicky Alexander - June 17, 2016 - 10:30 pm

    I’d love to win the cranes, I’ve a bit of a crane thing going down here and would add ypurs to those my littles did for me when in p4 and they learned about Belfast history of the titanic. Three girls through p4 so far your Fab cranes would be next to theirs pride of place in my bright and breezy bedroom. They make me smile in the morning. As Belfast is my adoptive home. XReplyCancel

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