Michelle & JamesMornington Peninsula, Australia

If you ever need a stranger to sing at your wedding

a last minute choice then I am your man

I know every song, you name it
by Bacharach or David
every stupid lovesong that’s ever touched your heart
every power ballad that’s ever climbed the charts

You think it’s funny
my obsession with the holy matrimony
but I’m just so amazed to witness true love

And true love can be measured
through these simple pleasures
they are waiting there for you to be discovered
I would cut of my right arm to be someones lover

Maybe I’ll meet her there tonight at the wedding buffet
I walk up to her when she’s caught the bouquet

And oh, it’s just like a whirlwind

– Jens Lekman – If You Ever Need A Stranger (To Sing At Your Wedding)


Michelle & James were married earlier this year at James’s family property in the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.

Michelle wins the all time best wife-to-be award for secretly organizing Jame’s favorite singer Jens Lekman to come and sing ‘If You Ever Need a Stranger (To Sing at Your Wedding)’
as they walked down the aisle together !!


Samm Blake Print Storeonline

Today I launched my new online print store!



Please head over to check it out :) After many years of having this on my to list, its finally happened!

I currently have postcard packs and individual prints for sale. Photographs have been taken during my travels around the world, mostly from time spent in Iceland, USA and Japan taken mostly on medium format film :)

If there is print you would like to have but it is not listed in the store, I am always happy to do custom orders, so please get in contact with me and see what is possible :)

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Lauren & GlennCore Cider House, Perth, Western Australia

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In the past year I have been photographing a lot of photographers weddings. Lauren & Glenn are no exception and are photographers in Perth who got me to come over to shoot their pretty day.

Lauren & Glenn were married at the Core Cider House in Pickering Brook in the Perth hills in Western Australia and then had their reception at Lauren’s family home in Mundaring. It was awesome coming back to Perth for this wedding as it was so good to photograph in the hills where I used to live. When Lauren & Glenn were describing their wedding day to me.. ceremony in an apple orchard? tick! Photos in lush green hills with pretty trees? tick! Relaxed backyard picnic wedding under the stars? tick! tick! tick!

All these things makes me very happy and the day was more then what I had imagined.

Always a treat when I get to work with some of my favorite Perth vendors, particularly Fox & Rabbit, Milla Makeup and The Butcher, the Baker, the Stylist and Creator. I love what these lovely ones do!

Nic & Steve {Denmark, Western Australia}


I met the lovely Nic a few years ago at a photography workshop (she is a talented photographer – www.nicduncan.com ) and quickly became friends.  She lives in beautiful Denmark in Western Australia, the next town over from where I grew up, so with visits back home to Western Australia to visit family, we would catch up regularly. I was beyond honoured when she asked me to photograph her on the day she married Steve. It was such a beautiful day and it was so great to photograph along the coastline I grew up on.  Nic & Steve’s wedding was an awesome party with bongo drums, a curry tent and a lot of barefoot dancing under the stars. My favourite kind of wedding :)



Art & The Heart – A photography workshop by Dan O’Day & Samm Blake

Last year, I launched a photography workshop series called Art & The Heart with my good friend Dan O’Day. We both have the desire to teach and share our knowledge with other creatives, so we created a platform to give photographers a good kick in the pants to take their photography and businesses to a higher level.
Nurturing the artist is the most important part to staying alive in this creative industry. I really love learning and exploring about the role creativity plays in my life and business. I wrote an article for The Define School recently about all this earlier this year. 
This industry is saturated with so much talent, and to stand out, its crucial to be as creative in your business and in everything that you produce. That is why we created this workshop, to help encourage and nurture the individual artist and help distinguish their talent, to explore what is holding them back from producing their best possible work.   

So far we have taken the workshop to Melbourne {Australia}, Manhattan {New York}, Cork {Ireland}, London {England} and Southern Highlands {Australia} and Byron Bay {Australia). The response from these experiences has been overwhelming for us to see, and we cant get enough of watching the progress of the alumni grow month by month after each of the workshops.

With this, we have now just launched our final dates for 2013.

Palm Springs, USA 24-26 September (Register HERE)

Perth, Australia, 15-17 October (Register HERE)

This will be the final year of Art & The Heart, we are going to be spreading our lil wings in 2014 and working on other projects, so if you want in on this awesome week of photography learning & mega fun times, this will be the last opportunity.


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Arlene & Jake {Perth, Western Australia}

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Arlene is one of my close friends. We grew up in the same small town in Australia together. We went to high school together. We went to university together. We became photographers together. We got our first studio space together. Now I am living in New York and she is heading off to live in the Solomon Islands to live with her lovely new husband Jake, our lives are now at two different extremes. I’m the city girl and she is the ocean loving free spirited one. It was such an honor to travel back to Perth to photograph her wedding day for he and more of an honor when Arlene is an amazing wedding photographer.

It was so great to be photographing an occasion where there were familiar faces and old dear friends.

Beyond excited to see where Arlene and Jake’s travels take them. Excited for their new life in the Solomon Islands.

Thank you to the my ever awesome sidekick Aimee who helped me out shooting this wedding :)

Takako & Steve (Tokyo, Japan)

In December I traveled to Japan to document Takako and Steve’s traditional Shinto-style wedding at the Nogi Shrine in Akasaka, Tokyo. When Takako and Steve first approached me about photographing their wedding, I was so incredibly excited that I would be able to experience and document this day for them. Over the coming months, that excitement grew and grew and grew.

Japan holds a special place in my heart. When I was 12 years old, I traveld to Japan and lived with a Japanese family on my own. I went to school whilst there and participated in lots of amazing activities and random Japanese goodness. Ever since then, I have had a love affair with the country. Throughout my teens, my host sisters and I would exchange letters through the post, they would send me all the crazy Japanese stationary and I would send them all things Australiana. I went back to Japan in 2011 and explored Toyko and Kyoto some more. I fell in love with the country a whole lot more. If you know me well, you will know of my addiction to Japanese knick-knack stores and my over consumption of Japanese food.

My favorite movie is Lost in Translation. There is something about Sofia Coppola’s work that speaks to me on so many levels, but mostly its the quietness and subtle undertones her work has. Possibly the reason why I connect with Lost in Translation so much is that I identify so much with the experience of being in a foreign country, from being a 12 year old kid exploring Japan to much of what my life is now, living out of hotel rooms, to all the wonderful people I get to meet through the experience of all of this, to quote Sofia – “The unexpected connections we make might not last, yet stay with us forever”.

I knew that while photographing Takako and Steve’s wedding, I wanted to capture the lovely little peculiarities about the Japanese culture that makes them so amazing and such beautiful, polite people. Lost in Translation does this so well and I knew from the moment I would be traveling to Japan to document this wedding, I too wanted that to be the essence of this body of work.

I only had a few days in Tokyo on this trip and looking back on it now, it was a complete whirlwind.  I cant wait for my next trip back.

To Takako and Steve, it was a complete honor and privilege to be able to come to Tokyo to document your wedding day for you. A hundred thank you’s for letting me do what I do.










I am at a loss for words.

I am giddy with excitement. My hands are shaking as I type this.


American Photo magazine has named me as one of the TOP TEN WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE WORLD FOR 2013!


Never it my wildest dreams did I ever think that this was possible.


oh my gawd .


I am so incredibly proud to be on this list and so honoured to be included among such talented photographers from around the world. A huge congratulations in particular goes to my dear friends Todd & Alyda McGaw of Todd Hunter McGaw Photography and the lovely Ashley & Jeremy Parsons of We Are The Parsons who are also on the list! :)

A big thank you to all my dear friends, family and clients who have believed in me and supported me along this crazy journey. I love you all dearly.

The print edition is yet to hit shelves, but you can purchase an issue on the zinio website or apps.


Now I must go drink some champagne!  :)



2012 was a big year.


I am sitting on a plane heading back to Melbourne and my head is spinning.  When I get off this flight, I pack up all my belongings  and also sell off and give away as much as I can. I am moving out of my apartment in Melbourne that I have called home for the last little while.  I am going to be living out of a suitcase for the next few months until I find a place in New York City to call home.

I am moving to New York.

These words do not even seem real.

In May last year, this thought had not even crossed my mind.   I actually had not even made my mind up properly until a few weeks ago.

Some may call me foolish. Some may think I am crazy.  All I know is in the importance of chasing after all that you desire with everything you have.

But before I attempt any packing.  I need to finally sit down and go through all the images I took in 2012. To look back and reflect upon what an amazing year it was.

It was a beautiful year. It had a lot of ups and downs. Laughter and tears. Heartbreaks and aches. Right decisions and wrong decisions.  But most importantly it was a year that taught me that anything is possible.

It was a crazy year.

2013 is already going to be more so. It already is.  I am going to write another blog post about that this week.

But until then, here is a look back at my wedding and portrait work from 2012. Being a photographer is a peculiar thing. I step into people’s lives for a day, wander around with them and report back my findings through a series of images. I have become an anthropologist.  In the process I spend some pretty intimate moments with them. I will never take that for granted. So here is all the very amazing people I had the honor of photographing in 2012.  Thank you to all my clients that has made all this possible. Thank you for letting me witness this all. x






instagram life


I am on Instagram. Everyone is on instagram. It definitely opened my eyes up and made me look at the world in new and interesting ways. It makes plane rides more fun and long taxi rides less boring. It connects me with talented people all over the world and lets me see the daily happenings of my family & friends wherever they may be. My mum can track me, she can find out I am still alive and does not have to wonder where on earth I am.

I love finding new people to follow and inspire me, through their adventures, art or daily happenings.

You can follow along my adventures at @sammblake



a favorite from 2012.

Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA 

So 2012 happened.

& I am not really sure where it all went.

I think back on the last 52 weeks and its a complete blur. So many photographs still to publish here from the year of adventuring about. I am starting to compile my favourite images from 2012 and just stumbled across this one I had completely forgotten about.

Taken during my time living in New York in 2012, I spent a bit of time down at Coney Island and Brighton Beach. I like this image because it reminds me not to be to scared asking strangers for photographs. A simple hello can lead to a million things.




The birch trees were

pale silouhettes

we darted through like ghosts.

Quiet footstpes

and rustling leaves

and your fingers

just beyond my reach.

I was all leaves

and waving grass

and quiet streams

in your arms.

- (EC)

Rebecca and Willie were married on a late Thursday afternoon in July in Portland, Oregon. They opted for a very small and intimate outdoor wedding ceremony at a friends property in Portland. They had about 20 guests in total at the ceremony and dinner to follow that evening at a restaurant called Luce. The whole day was so simple but so incredibly beautiful.

So glad I could travel to this beautiful pocket of the world and experience the Pacific North West and very thankful to my dear pal Dan O’Day along who came along for the adventure and help me document the day.

Oncewed featured this wedding on their site last week. Have a look at the feature here.

Victoria & Raph . Sydney, Australia

Victoria and Raph were married at Shakespeares Point at Neilsen Park in Sydney earlier this year. I came along and took some pictures for them. It was a pretty amazing day, the sun shone, there was a bride and a groom madly in love, a pretty dress, an accordion player, people were merry, the waves were crashing and the sunset was lovely. Beautiful words and stories were spoken about loved ones, tears  fell and laughter filled the room. People ate good food and danced the night away to  great music. All the ingredients were there for a beautiful wedding and it lived up to all that it was meant to be, a mighty fine day.




While I was living in New York this year, I started a new body of work about the people who go down to the Brighton Beach broadwalk in Brooklyn. I spent a lot of time down there where I walked and talked with many of the locals, and then I became very intrigued by the people sitting on the benches staring out to the ocean. What are they thinking about? Who are they? What lives have they lead? What stories do they have to tell? What are they waiting for? Since seeing the aftermath of Sandy last week, these people have been on my mind a lot . I hope they are all okay. I have read stories about elderly being stuck in their apartments since the storm.