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‘You lose the life you knew’: the joys and surprises of fatherhood

Do you see yourself in your kids?
Leo’s skin is dark from his mum’s half-Indonesian background but he does have my fat toes. Freja has my paler skin, eyes and hair colour and looks like an Eastern European grandmother – I’m half-Croatian.

Credit:Ben Sullivan

As a photographer, are your kids your favourite subject?
I went nuts with Leo, but Freja, not as much. I’m trying to work on quality, not quantity, with them.

What heads-up would you give to expectant fathers?
Don’t freak out too much. The overall idea of having a baby is overwhelming, but in reality it does not all happen at once. Take it day by day, moment by moment. Be supportive and patient with your partner. You lose the life you previously knew, then you adjust and have a more fulfilling life.

What type of dad are you?
I try to be more of a fun dad. Freja is such a happy baby so I can’t get mad at her and Leo is going through the terrible twos but not being too terrible. I’ve repeatedly put my body in danger to let Leo jump on me.

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What are you hoping to unwrap on Father’s Day?
We just moved back from LA a month ago, so I’m just pleased to be back in Australia. I’d be happy with a few hugs, and maybe some pancakes, and two hours to go for a surf.

Describe fatherhood in three words.
Love, guidance, empathy.

Photography by Ben Sullivan. Styling by Penny McCarthy. Hair and make-up by Lei Tai. Fashion assistant: Gem Brookes.

This article appears in Sunday Life magazine within the Sun-Herald and the Sunday Age on sale September 6.

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