Penny wears the sold out Juliette blouse
Photography Penny Viney Photography
Tell us about your background - what has led you to here?
I grew up in Western Australia and during my childhood lived predominantly in Perth but also spent a lot of time on the family farm. We spent all our holidays either at the farm or at Parker Point, Rottnest Island (which is still one of my favourite places in the world), so my soul was firmly anchored to the earth and ocean from that time onwards.
Following school, with no real direction as far as what to study, I worked for a while and then embarked on a 2 year road trip around Australia with a friend. Our itinerary was based on seeking warmth and adventure, which meant the majority of the time was spent in northern Australia. After working in Broome, Darwin and Tully in Far North Queensland, I eventually found my way back to WA and after a stint in Esperance landed back in Perth, where marriage and two children followed.
I inherited a love of gardening from my mother, so I studied horticulture whilst my children were babes and worked in a number of capacities in that area while they were at school. I loved being outdoors and working my own hours but once they were finishing high school, I sought a change and my love of travel led me to retrain as a travel consultant. Throughout my life I had always had an interest in photography, to document travels and adventures and this has eventually morphed into work as a family and lifestyle photographer, which I absolutely love.
What are you passionate about?
Other than the obvious of family, I think my childhood continues to influence my love of the outdoors and I can think of nothing better than hitting the open road to escape the city to enjoy and photograph the beautiful country that I live in. I feel most at home near water and feel passionate about preserving the natural environment, so that future generations can enjoy it. I spent a lot of time scuba diving in my early twenties and have recently swum with whale sharks at Coral Bay and sea lions at the Abrolhos Islands off Western Australia and am keen to see areas such as these not be overdeveloped, to ensure the survival of the amazing underwater environment.
Penny wears the Anoushka dress
You have just become a Grandmother for the first time, what is that like?
Becoming a grandmother was a dream come true. I have been lucky enough to welcome two grandsons within the space of 4 months, they are now nearly 6 and 9 months old. They are both absolutely adorable and I’m loving getting to know their individual personalities. I’d forgotten how good baby cuddles were and it feels like a beautiful gift.
Has it caused you to reflect on being a Mother yourself?
When I had babies there was no internet or social media and the only place to share mothering experiences was the twice weekly swimming group I joined, where we swam laps and minded each others babies. I sometimes read mummy blogs and realise that not much has changed, there are still plenty of sleepless nights, problems with breast feeding and temper tantrums! I’m sure with hindsight I could have done some things better but I wish I had realised, that despite some difficult and exhausting times, they were the best days of my life!
Penny wears the Fable blouse
If you could pass on some wisdom to your younger self what would you say?
Stop procrastinating! I’m a Libran and am constantly weighing up the pros and cons of everything, to the point where I can’t make a decision a lot of the time. I would have pushed harder to pursue ideas that others thought were crazy, backed myself a bit more.
What is important to you?
Although I’ve always sought to stay fit and healthy, becoming a grandmother has re-inforced the importance to stay that way to keep up with the little ones. I like to walk, garden and swim to stay fit and eat a diet predominant in vegetables and try to remember to always be grateful for what I have, to keep my mind healthy!
How would you describe your style?
I’m very relaxed when it comes to clothes, I still love a comfy pair of jeans, a cotton or linen shirt, a woolly jumper and boots in winter and easy and light dresses for summer. I have always loved clothes with bohemian bent, no doubt a reflection of my earlier days on the road. I don’t really believe in ‘age appropriate’ dressing! I think if you feel good in something, go for it, no matter what age you are. I love instagram for finding unique pieces from small businesses and supporting local brands.
What’s your mantra?
I’m not sure I have one but I love this quote “comparison is the thief of joy”, so true in my opinion. Love your own life, it’s the only one you own!