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.

  • Renee BlakeNovember 27, 2012 - 12:02 am

    BeautifulReplyCancel

  • Joshua MikhaielNovember 27, 2012 - 12:14 am

    such a beautiful wedding Samm, Beautifully captured.ReplyCancel

  • FalconNovember 27, 2012 - 12:31 am

    Absolutely beautiful, Samm!ReplyCancel

  • aimeeNovember 27, 2012 - 12:31 am

    beautiful samm! it looks so peaceful and relaxed – and i love the bride’s boots! xxReplyCancel

  • todd hunter mcgawNovember 27, 2012 - 12:55 am

    very nice indeed sammy.d.d.ReplyCancel

  • gladysNovember 27, 2012 - 1:17 am

    samm, you are pure magic. so so wonderful.ReplyCancel

  • BelleNovember 27, 2012 - 2:27 am

    Love this Wedding Samm, so beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Sonia JanssonNovember 27, 2012 - 3:23 am

    I love, love the feeling of your portraits!ReplyCancel

  • OliNovember 27, 2012 - 3:52 am

    Chops. You guys are the best.ReplyCancel

  • TrishNovember 27, 2012 - 9:50 am

    Beyond perfect. Love the way you see relationships and show them to the world. xxReplyCancel

  • ScoutNovember 27, 2012 - 1:40 pm

    six times…..

    is the number of times i have scrolled over this wedding today. i can’t look away, something is bringing me in more and more each time. amazing!!

    beautifully captured.ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayNovember 27, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    such an amazing afternoon spent with you, rebecca and willie.. you are talent in it’s purest form sammy.. i’ll be your wing man anytime xoReplyCancel

  • CarlaNovember 28, 2012 - 4:44 am

    This wedding resonates with me so much. I love everything about it. Absolutely beautiful images.ReplyCancel

  • Melissa MillsNovember 28, 2012 - 5:30 am

    So many beautiful and intimate moments Samm. I felt like I was there.ReplyCancel

  • […] Bridal Inspiration ♥ Diet-friendly Czech Wedding by a Cave ♥ Pretty in Pink Wedding ♥ Relaxed Portland Wedding ♥ Treehouse […]ReplyCancel

  • Lydia ArnoldNovember 29, 2012 - 8:56 pm

    This is incredible! You are a talent xReplyCancel

  • ZosiaDecember 3, 2012 - 3:19 am

    Samm, this is just beautiful! So much love and warmth and awesomeness.
    I finally made it to your website and blog here and it’s totally getting bookmarked and loved! xReplyCancel

  • Jody RyanDecember 17, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    Samm such an amazing capture of such a beautiful day. I so love what you do xxxReplyCancel

  • HayleyLaneJanuary 3, 2013 - 4:03 am

    :O Breathtaking!!ReplyCancel

  • latrenia bryantJanuary 10, 2013 - 2:29 pm

    I looove the tone of your images :)ReplyCancel

I photographed the most loveliest, sweetest, prettiest little wedding in Portland, Oregon on a beautiful summers day in July. Today it is featured on Oncewed –  go check it out for a sneak peek and I will be blogging my favourites from this wedding next week :)

 

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.

 

♡♡♡

  • James FrostNovember 19, 2012 - 11:30 pm

    Super rad Samm love it :)ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayNovember 19, 2012 - 11:31 pm

    you never fail to impress… ever. beautiful sammy xoReplyCancel

  • john benaventeNovember 19, 2012 - 11:36 pm

    always great coverage and emotion sammReplyCancel

  • michelle waspeNovember 19, 2012 - 11:59 pm

    awesome work. I LOVE it!ReplyCancel

  • MyekieNovember 20, 2012 - 12:18 am

    Love this Samm. So nice.ReplyCancel

  • JoelNovember 20, 2012 - 2:35 am

    oh samm, you just have this extra specialiciousness…..love this very much!ReplyCancel

  • aimeeNovember 20, 2012 - 4:20 am

    beautiful imagery samm xx
    ps. i love how that kid is repeatedly caught with a finger in his nose :)ReplyCancel

  • Adam KriedemannNovember 21, 2012 - 12:23 am

    Love the story, the laughs and love from these images!ReplyCancel

  • KarolinaNovember 21, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    Oh wow.. such an amazing photos! I am sure the client was more than happy to see your work.. I especially loved Black&White ones of guests.. Thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • MelissaDecember 1, 2012 - 2:28 pm

    Beautiful storyteller. Inspired :)ReplyCancel

Earlier this year, I traveled to a little place in New Zealand called Waiheke Island to document the celebrations of the amazing wedding of Erin & Scott. Today their wedding is featured on Style Me Pretty. Check it out.

I will feature this wedding on here very soon. x

 

A few favorites from Prerna and Thor’s wedding in New York City in September. We gallivanted around Manhattan taking pretty pictures in Grand Central Station and Central Park. Can’t wait to share this wedding on here soon.

 

x

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.

 

x

 

  • Tina FloranceNovember 5, 2012 - 9:31 pm

    Love this idea. A bit melancholic but so filled with hope.ReplyCancel

  • Cassi KennedyNovember 5, 2012 - 10:22 pm

    Love it… These pics are awesome beautiful amazing!! xReplyCancel

  • KirstyNovember 6, 2012 - 1:11 am

    LOVE itReplyCancel

  • Nic DuncanNovember 6, 2012 - 9:30 am

    What a fantastic project Samm! Trying to guess just a little bit about each of their lives.ReplyCancel

  • VictoriiaNovember 6, 2012 - 10:02 am

    Your photography is amazing! I’m absolutely in love!ReplyCancel

  • ColleenNovember 6, 2012 - 10:19 am

    Love it Samm! Great Project and lovely picsReplyCancel

  • michelle waspeNovember 6, 2012 - 10:27 am

    brilliant! love this..ReplyCancel

  • sharonNovember 7, 2012 - 1:20 am

    This series is INCREDIBLE! I have those same thoughts often. Love how you documented it, these are now some of my very favorite imagesReplyCancel

  • LaurenNovember 7, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    what an awesome idea. love all of these :)ReplyCancel

  • jillNovember 8, 2012 - 2:00 am

    wonderful. beautiful. inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Tina/@teenbugNovember 8, 2012 - 2:45 am

    Love this Samm!ReplyCancel

  • kellieNovember 8, 2012 - 5:36 am

    absolutely brilliant, samm!! so inspiring and beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayNovember 15, 2012 - 6:59 am

    you know how i feel about this series…. perf dot ect xoxoReplyCancel

  • andiNovember 20, 2012 - 4:49 am

    brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • lecinda @ bohemian beautifulNovember 27, 2012 - 6:32 am

    that is a beautiful series of photos!! what a lovely idea :)ReplyCancel

  • Caroline FontenotDecember 5, 2012 - 6:07 pm

    so inspiringReplyCancel




 

Sarah and Rob were married on a wet & rainy morning in Melbourne. They had a intimate little ceremony with their closest loved ones, followed by a long lunch at Siglo Bar. We dodged many a raindrop while we wandered the lane ways and the many pedestrians in Chinatown. The following day, they put on their wedding attire again and had a big fancy dinner and a night of dancing with all their family and friends at the Newport Substation.

  • gladysOctober 29, 2012 - 8:39 pm

    oh, samm. you are one of very few photographers that inspire, and leave me speechless every time. there is so much beauty in how you see people + the world + your surroundings. so inspiring! beautiful work as always. also, some frames in this post remind me of art + the heart nyc :)ReplyCancel

  • BenOctober 29, 2012 - 10:22 pm

    amazing bw set Samm! InspiredReplyCancel

  • ginaOctober 29, 2012 - 10:23 pm

    incredible.
    every single frame. and … all in b/w
    stunning, sammReplyCancel

  • LynOctober 29, 2012 - 10:25 pm

    breathtaking… just magicReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayOctober 29, 2012 - 10:26 pm

    amazingness all round sammy xxReplyCancel

  • michelleOctober 29, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    LOVE. just beautiful..ReplyCancel

  • OliOctober 29, 2012 - 10:42 pm

    Totally stunning Sammi. Damn.ReplyCancel

  • AmyOctober 29, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    Ga.Ga.Ga. Gorgeous PERIOD. every single moment of this is fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • Nicole FirestoneOctober 29, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    Samm, you are incredible.ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyOctober 29, 2012 - 10:47 pm

    Love it sammy! The B&W is beautifulReplyCancel

  • Kirsty AksentiewOctober 29, 2012 - 11:19 pm

    Gorg – love itReplyCancel

  • freedomOctober 29, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    love.love.love…all such magical moments!ReplyCancel

  • MyekieOctober 30, 2012 - 12:19 am

    Love this Samm. My home town really has some moody faces sometimes. <3 MyekieReplyCancel

  • StewartOctober 30, 2012 - 12:30 am

    How beautifully documented! And don’t you just love that Melbourne weather :)ReplyCancel

  • Naomi GOctober 30, 2012 - 12:35 am

    completely stunning.ReplyCancel

  • john benaventeOctober 30, 2012 - 12:44 am

    magic storytelling !ReplyCancel

  • Jag NagraOctober 30, 2012 - 12:44 am

    Wow, Samm. These are stunning.ReplyCancel

  • elOctober 30, 2012 - 12:46 am

    Lovely Sammy xoxoReplyCancel

  • KristyOctober 30, 2012 - 1:58 am

    Sooooooooooooo amazing Samm! Yay for rainy wedding days :) xReplyCancel

  • AnnaOctober 30, 2012 - 5:37 am

    Holy shitballs! These are so timeless. I want to have another wedding just so you can shoot it. Amazing.ReplyCancel

  • Danicia DutryOctober 30, 2012 - 6:10 am

    Incredible images Samm that made me smile and brought a tear to my eye!ReplyCancel

  • DanielOctober 30, 2012 - 12:17 pm

    I second Anna’s comment Holy shitballs! Samm beautiful work, watch out Melbourne.ReplyCancel

  • niravOctober 30, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    Miss you my friend. These are incredible.ReplyCancel

  • MagnusOctober 30, 2012 - 9:12 pm

    Great set! Love that you ran all in black & white, and that they all seem to be shot with existing light. I am curious as to what lens/camera combinations you typically bring for something like this, when you know lighting conditions are going to change dramatically as the day turns into evening and then night. Do you travel light, bringing as little as possible, or do you pack a lot?ReplyCancel

Boy grows up in Mauritius. Girl grows up in Italy. Both their worlds collide when their paths lead them both to Sydney.  They meet and fall in love.  After hundreds of phone calls and emails and all the joys and heartache that goes into a long distance relationship, it is their time to marry. This is the story of Jean-Maurice and Francesca.

 

                                                    \              

I had the pleasure of spending time in Italy with Jean-Maurice and Francesca and document their wedding day in the hometown Francesca grew up in, Mantova. I had to pinch myself a few times when I was standing in the field of flowers photographing these two.

They say rain on a wedding day means good luck. Francesca and Jean-Maurice now have many buckets of luck in reserve as it absolutely poured down in the middle of dinner. We nervously watched the weather radar all day hoping the rain would somehow perfectly divert around Convento dell’annunciata. Dinner and dancing under the stars in Italy was too perfect of a evening to move the venue indoors. It was worth the risk. The staff at Convento dell’annunciata quickly ran to move all the tables undercover once it started raining. It was a fun guessing game to see where everyone’s half eaten entree ended up :)

♥♥♥
  • KirstySeptember 26, 2012 - 2:26 am

    WOW now thats a wedding. HIGH FIVES BlakeyReplyCancel

  • AllisonSeptember 26, 2012 - 2:30 am

    Wow, incredible, Samm. You know I always love your work. But my favourite part? Spotting a Toronto Blue Jays shirt on one of the dudes in the 20th photo down ;) Love it!!!ReplyCancel

  • TasjSeptember 26, 2012 - 3:46 am

    yep. whatever! it’s stunning.ReplyCancel

  • Renee BlakeSeptember 26, 2012 - 3:52 am

    Beautiful SammyReplyCancel

  • john benaventeSeptember 26, 2012 - 4:00 am

    molto buona signora blakeReplyCancel

  • TracySeptember 26, 2012 - 5:52 am

    Be still my beating heart….the location gave me goosebumps Samm! Gorgeous images and insanely stunning light and colour in those field shots.ReplyCancel

  • alydaSeptember 26, 2012 - 5:59 am

    oh sammy, you capture weddings like no other. insanely beautiful xReplyCancel

  • ElisaSeptember 26, 2012 - 6:46 am

    Bellissime Samm !!! A woderfuf day, a fairy tale for Francesca and Jmo !!ReplyCancel

  • xantheSeptember 26, 2012 - 12:40 pm

    Magic. x.ReplyCancel

  • Lisa DevlinSeptember 26, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Just utterly amazing, all of it. The portraits are very, very beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • David MooreSeptember 27, 2012 - 2:53 am

    I love the intimacy of your images Samm. Beautiful captures :)ReplyCancel

  • xian alexanderSeptember 27, 2012 - 10:48 am

    Gorgeous wedding. Beautiful set Samm!ReplyCancel

  • Christian & ReinnaSeptember 27, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    absolutely stunning samm!ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DaySeptember 29, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    amazingly you sammy xReplyCancel

  • Francesco CaleffiSeptember 30, 2012 - 7:51 pm

    Complimenti Samm! Foto assolutamente fuori dai soliti canoni ma molto originali e fedeli allo spirito della cerimonia religiosa prima e della festa poi. Francesca e Jean Maurice hanno fatto un’ottima scelta!ReplyCancel

  • Alan HughesOctober 5, 2012 - 10:44 pm

    amazingly unique as ever, gorgeous work sammReplyCancel

  • Fotograf ślubny LublinOctober 6, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    Great expressions and wonderful capture of the day!ReplyCancel

  • ScoutOctober 8, 2012 - 3:22 am

    Love these selection of images, awesome.ReplyCancel

  • Becky MaleOctober 8, 2012 - 1:01 pm

    Wow. Beautiful captures in every image. I love the couple shots. Fantastic work.ReplyCancel

  • michelleOctober 9, 2012 - 10:32 am

    stunning!! you’re amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren KimOctober 19, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    Beautiful moments capturedReplyCancel

  • Peter NtamarkNovember 16, 2012 - 12:09 pm

    Samm,
    Hope this is not late in coming. I sincerely don’t think that this wedding has received the recognition that it deserves. Your coverage is utterly stunning.. I have seen a lot of wedding posts over 10years, this is one of the absolute best hands down.ReplyCancel

I have been on my travel expedition for three months now, spending my days across the USA and Europe, meeting and photographing many amazing people. Two people in particular I have had the pleasure in meeting and spending time with is Reinna and Christian. Last week I traveled to California for a wedding, and these two beautiful people came along with me on the adventure up to Paso Robles, a small little town between Los Angles and San Francisco. As we hit highway one, I told them we should pull over on the side of the road as I wanted to take some pictures of them. The sun had set and the light was fading. It was all kinds of pretty and all kinds of magic.
 

The Cream Event took place in New York last Tuesday and it was such a joy to be part of , meet many wonderful creatives and dance my ass off to The Flashdance... 5 days later and my body is still feeling all kinds of sore.

The Cream event is hosted by the lovely Paige and Kelly from Bash, Please  out of Los Angeles.  It is one all mighty showcase for brides and grooms seeking different inspiration then the standard wedding fan fare. I remember when I first started shooting weddings back in 2003, it was a completely different world. I’ve thanked the many moons and stars that the wedding industry has some amazing movers and shakers in it and have turned weddings into a whole lot of crazy fun.

 Let me  introduce you to a lovely bunch of creatives that I admire.

Kelly and Paige from Bash Please

The lovely Kelly and Jen from Ban.Do

Michael Antonia aka The Flashdance

Geoff Boothby aka Landshark from Sharkpig

Jacquelyne from Our Labor of Love and Smilebooth

Shade Degges from The Cream Event

Julia from Our Labor of Love

Jennifer from Jennifer Sosa Photography

Rebecca and Chat from Rebecca Hansen Weddings

I want to give a big shout out to Talmadge Lowe from Pharmacie LA who kept me well thirst all evening with his amazing drinks. I took a black and white polaroid of him but sadly somebody took it.

..

Let the visual feast begin!

 

 

I was very excited to find out in June that I had become a finalist in the 2012 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, the world’s wealthiest art prize. Selected from  330,409 entries across both the painting and photography category’s, my image became one of the top forty finalists in the photographic prize.

It has been such an honour to have been selected as a finalist. For all the blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of this project about Harold Martin, (there was an incredible amount of all three! A lot of sweat and tears from me, a lot of blood from Harold)  to have one of the images from the project recognised has been the greatest achievement in my career to date.

I highly suggest you take a look over at the Moran Prizes website to see the amazing talent there is in Australia.

The Moran Prizes exhibition goes on tour nationally around Australia. The first exhibition started in Sydney on July 25, 2012 at 13-15 Bridge Street for a duration of 12 weeks, before it hits the road. If any of you go to the exhibitions, can you please take a photo of my image and send to me pretty please? :) Im not sure I will make it back to Australia in time to see it.

The image that became a finalist was the following – titled :  “A 95 Year Old Australian P.O.W. Survivor Holds Up A Portrait Of Himself Taken 72 Years Ago”. You can learn about my project on Harold Martin in this post.

 

 

  • JustinAugust 7, 2012 - 12:37 am

    that’s massive samm. huge congrats. receiving recognition where you deserve.ReplyCancel

  • Janet PalmerAugust 7, 2012 - 12:43 am

    Congrats Samm, & so very deservedReplyCancel

  • Kelly BrownAugust 7, 2012 - 1:03 am

    Congratulations! Beautiful image.ReplyCancel

  • heather nanAugust 7, 2012 - 2:14 am

    That’s huge. Congratulations Samm.ReplyCancel

  • Louise BumaAugust 7, 2012 - 5:13 am

    Wow, Samm congratulations! What an honour – you are truly deserve to win this one.ReplyCancel

  • Colsie ConradieAugust 7, 2012 - 5:20 am

    Congratulations! This was a really special project.ReplyCancel

  • AlydaInfoAugust 7, 2012 - 6:11 am

    So proud of you Sammy! Worth all the stress and hard work xxReplyCancel

  • David JenkinsAugust 7, 2012 - 8:19 am

    Huge achievement Samm and well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • VictoriaAugust 7, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Congratulations Samm! It’s an epic picture.ReplyCancel

  • Tom GreenwoodAugust 15, 2012 - 4:22 am

    Seriously wonderful picture, but what else would we expect from you? :)ReplyCancel

Some people come into your life for a particular reason. Your encounter with them, for however long or short, has tremendous impact. The impact so strong, their influence sends you in a new direction.

Im fortunate enough to be able to account numerous amazing and inspiring people who have came into my life and changed my paths. Their impact so great.

One person in particular is Harold Martin. A ninety five year old gentleman that lives in my hometown, Albany, in Western Australia. Harold wandered into my life a few years ago. He has been coming into my parents restaurant for many years for a morning coffee and my mother has got to know him over the years and learn about his story. Over the past 5 years or so, Ive also got the honor of getting to know Harold as well, when I visit my parents at Christmas and other times throughout the years.

It was Christmas day in 2011, that was the very beginning of what was going to become a major shift in my life. I can relate so many things that have happened in the last 7 months to this particular decision and I am so thankful for all the opportunities that have come my way because of this.

Sitting around the dinner table, talking with my dad about the year ahead, dreaming about our travels as we normally do, he tells me how he is going to take Harold to Myanmar (Burma) in March. A trip for Harold to visit the grave sites of his mates that were killed during their time spent working on the Burma Thai Railway as Prisoners of War. Myanmar had finally opened up after years of Military rule, and now they were welcoming tourist back into their country. Harold had been searching for these grave sites for many years and was eager to go back to finally say goodbye to them.

Without hesitation, I told my dad, I needed to come on this trip to document his story. His story is important. It is a story that I believe needs to be told and shared. It is a story worth telling.

These are the types of stories I want to document, to share and to let the stories be heard.

I had no idea of the impact this project would have on me.

I spent the next three months teaching myself as much as a possibly could about video and audio equipment and the art of documentary film making.  I invested thousands of dollars in new equipment and flights and off I went.

The 4 days I spent in Myanmar were incredible.

I blogged about it briefly a few months ago with the out takes / behind the scenes images from the trip.

Since then I made this short 2.5 minute video, just to be a trailer of sorts. I have some grand plans and dreams of what it will become.

The project is a combination of stills, video and audio. I did all the filming, photographing, audio (and with some help from my darling parents who helped with the microphones both in Australia and Myanmar), editing, directing. I did it all. I want to do so much more. This is just the very start of a new chapter.

 

A little more on Harold Martin..

Harold Martin was a prisoner of war in World War II. 15,000 Australian soldiers were captured by the Japanese in the fall of Singapore in 1942. After he was captured, he spent two long and brutal years working on the Burma “Death” Railway. Many of his friends died while working on the railway due to illness and being executed for attempting to escape. It is estimated that 16,000 Allied prisoners died while working on the railway.

Harold survived this ordeal but was then shipped to Japan on one of the notorious “hell ships”. While being transported to Japan, the convoy of Japanese ships was torpedoed by US submarines. The ship Harold was on sunk and he managed to survive by clinging onto a makeshift raft. After 4 days drifting in the ocean he was rescued by USS Pampanito along with 72 other Allied soldiers.

70 years later, Harold, who is 95 years old travels back to Burma for the first time to visit the grave sites of three of his mates that are buried in a Commonwealth war cemetery near the village of Thanbyuzayat.

 

 

  • caz leeJuly 31, 2012 - 12:49 am

    samm! no words. what an honor it is to know you. the world needs MORE samm blake films!! xoReplyCancel

  • catherineJuly 31, 2012 - 12:52 am

    Inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • James MoesJuly 31, 2012 - 12:55 am

    Thank you for making this.ReplyCancel

  • Leah KuaJuly 31, 2012 - 12:56 am

    Of Samm. This is incredible. I can’t wait to see where you take it when it is already so haunting.ReplyCancel

  • mitch pohlJuly 31, 2012 - 12:58 am

    samm! im lovin this :-) thanksReplyCancel

  • Kristy | Wreckless CreativeJuly 31, 2012 - 1:00 am

    wow, samm. harold. no words.ReplyCancel

  • liz arcusJuly 31, 2012 - 1:00 am

    Oh Samm, no words can really say what I am feeling right now. I am choking up big time. This is beyond words. It is so lovely to finally see this Samm. Amazing !ReplyCancel

  • Hannah NicoleJuly 31, 2012 - 1:02 am

    Chills. Cried as I watched it. This is so powerful, Samm.ReplyCancel

  • LindsayJuly 31, 2012 - 1:03 am

    speechless… wow! what a tremendous story!ReplyCancel

  • Jack ChauvelJuly 31, 2012 - 1:04 am

    A special project there Samm. Kudos for taking on something that was a jump in the deep end, but also no doubt emotionally difficult (in a good way).ReplyCancel

  • Chris BekosJuly 31, 2012 - 1:10 am

    I’m transfixed with the final image of Harold sitting on the bed and looking forward to seeing the next chapter to his story in video. Happy Birthday for today as well Sam.ReplyCancel

  • sarah kathleenJuly 31, 2012 - 1:11 am

    the world needs more Samm Blakes. the stories you discover and share with the rest of the world are truly unique and heart-wrenching. I cannot WAIT to see the rest of this. never stop doing what you do. because you are a gift to the rest of us.ReplyCancel

  • TracyJuly 31, 2012 - 1:32 am

    Incredibly moving.ReplyCancel

  • Chris J GuyJuly 31, 2012 - 1:37 am

    Wow. These are the stories that need to be told. Well done.ReplyCancel

  • Kate RobinsonJuly 31, 2012 - 1:42 am

    Wow. Such a powerful, moving story. A story that should be told and remembered. Amazing work xReplyCancel

  • Julianna Koh BlackwellJuly 31, 2012 - 2:09 am

    Every war veteran deserves to have their story told as with Harold. Beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • JustinJuly 31, 2012 - 2:25 am

    what a portrait. Thanks for your diligence and hard work in an effort to reclaim a man’s memory and shed light on our own. Thank you Samm! “more to come” i hope so…ReplyCancel

  • Fiona andersenJuly 31, 2012 - 2:28 am

    Oh Samm you are a blessed being. Your talent is beyond words and again you love and heart for what you do is an inspiration.
    Incredible….. Just incredibleReplyCancel

  • aimeeJuly 31, 2012 - 2:33 am

    beautiful – tears in my eyes xxxReplyCancel

  • James frostJuly 31, 2012 - 2:34 am

    Such a moving story ! Really love this documentery is we’re the passion is ! :)ReplyCancel

  • marinaJuly 31, 2012 - 2:55 am

    Thanks Samm, for moving me yet again xReplyCancel

  • Anna BonickJuly 31, 2012 - 3:00 am

    So haunting and beautiful. Truly captivating, Samm.ReplyCancel

  • Jillian CurranJuly 31, 2012 - 3:05 am

    What beautiful and important work! I love all of this- so inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • Ali MJuly 31, 2012 - 4:12 am

    This is moving. The photos are perfect… incredibly captivation and I could stare at them for a long time. Beautiful, beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • Michael WachniakJuly 31, 2012 - 4:12 am

    absolutely no words. i want to give Harold a hug.ReplyCancel

  • rosemaryJuly 31, 2012 - 4:12 am

    I stumbled upon your site by accident (?luck) and think that you what you captured in such a short profile is amazing and touching and above all respectful.ReplyCancel

  • Jodie LaganaJuly 31, 2012 - 4:14 am

    Samm, this is so beautiful and moving. I look forward to seeing more xoReplyCancel

  • SheridanJuly 31, 2012 - 4:16 am

    so beautiful Sam xReplyCancel

  • DnaelleJuly 31, 2012 - 4:17 am

    this is incredibly moving. You have captivated the soul of Harold through your talent.

    Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Judy HalliganJuly 31, 2012 - 4:18 am

    Sam this is remarkable because many years ago I purchased, from the ABC shop audio tapes of Prisoners of War, Australians Under Nippon. After many moves I could not find the tapes. Just a month or so ago I got I touch with Tim Bowden the journalist who had interviewed the survivors. Tim sent me a complete copy of the tapes on CD.

    So to read what you have done is amazing. We must never forget what our soldiers suffered.

    If you would like a copy of the CD’s please let me know.
    Kind regards (Jen Regan.’s mum)ReplyCancel

  • David FrenchJuly 31, 2012 - 4:22 am

    Samm, I have always had a lot of respect and think very highly of your work. This is amazing and taking it to a whole new level! I really look forward to seeing more.ReplyCancel

  • Amy LeeJuly 31, 2012 - 5:05 am

    Samm, this is amazing! Thank you for sharing such an amazing story. You just reminded me how important it is to do personal work. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Mary CyrusJuly 31, 2012 - 5:14 am

    A very powerful story, beautifully captured. I can’t wait to see what else comes from the footage and photography that you captured over those 4 days.ReplyCancel

  • JoshuaJuly 31, 2012 - 5:34 am

    Like! Thanks Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • niravJuly 31, 2012 - 6:14 am

    This story and project are so incredible. Amazing work Sammy. Thank you for creating, telling, and inspiring.ReplyCancel

  • Sjoerd BooijJuly 31, 2012 - 6:33 am

    These are the stories worth telling and you did it in a beautiful manner.ReplyCancel

  • JakubJuly 31, 2012 - 9:26 am

    Amazing story, fantastic photos.ReplyCancel

  • Xanthe BerkeleyJuly 31, 2012 - 9:40 am

    Oozing with Sammy’s special sauce! Really beautiful to watch it again. SO inspiring, x.ReplyCancel

  • Derek HoJuly 31, 2012 - 9:50 am

    You are a natural Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • Elaine KohJuly 31, 2012 - 10:13 am

    The last image is very moving Samm. Amazing xReplyCancel

  • Sebastian MrugalskiJuly 31, 2012 - 10:17 am

    Wow Samm, this is really touching, such a great story. The blend of photography and video was masterfully executed, you’ve done really well.ReplyCancel

  • VictoriaJuly 31, 2012 - 11:05 am

    Beautifully done Samm.ReplyCancel

  • TracyJuly 31, 2012 - 11:38 am

    Goosebumps, tears and heart clenching moments reading your words. I wonder what your complete body of work on this project will bring? My dad is a vet and has yet to be shared experiences. I will send him this, who knows, it may open the door for him. Thanks Samm… Amazing and moving.ReplyCancel

  • Naz Films, Inc.July 31, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    Incredibly moving story and subject…thank you for introducing me to this time in history and such a man – beautifully told Samm.

    NazReplyCancel

  • lydia {ever ours}July 31, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    absolutely moving. thanks so much for this.ReplyCancel

  • crystalJuly 31, 2012 - 5:32 pm

    this is just incredible. i hope we all take advantage of the opportunity to tell the stories that might be right in front of us..ReplyCancel

  • kim Harrison-NodurftJuly 31, 2012 - 9:57 pm

    Simply Brilliant! We need more films. Excellent job!ReplyCancel

  • coriJuly 31, 2012 - 10:19 pm

    incredible project, amazing work.ReplyCancel

  • leisa jade taylorAugust 1, 2012 - 6:57 am

    absolutely wonderful! not only is the story incredible, but it is so beautifully shot. amazing work.ReplyCancel

  • MercedesAugust 1, 2012 - 1:19 pm

    Samm, this is touching. My grandfather was a survivor of the Death March. I never met him, but so many share similar experiences. Thank you for sharing Harold’s. I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing the rest of his story.ReplyCancel

  • Kassia MeinholdtAugust 2, 2012 - 5:26 am

    Incredible. What an amazing man!ReplyCancel

  • craig + kateAugust 2, 2012 - 9:30 am

    This is beautiful Samm, so so so moving. =)ReplyCancel

  • Jamie JonesAugust 2, 2012 - 7:14 pm

    Simply amazing! Can’t wait to see what you do with it.ReplyCancel

  • RavynAugust 3, 2012 - 2:40 am

    Oh Samm … this is just so lovely!! What an empowering story … a lifetime of resilience in that man’s heart. I hope you’ll continue to connect with people like this & tell their stories.ReplyCancel

  • […] The image that became a finalist was the following – titled :  ”A 95 Year Old Australian P.O.W. Survivor Holds Up A Portrait Of Himself Taken 72 Years Ago”. You can learn about my project on Harold Martin in this post. […]ReplyCancel

  • Kelly BrownAugust 7, 2012 - 1:02 am

    This is so beautifully done Samm. My Grandfather was a prisoner of war but was killed in 1947 so we will never know his story. Thank you for sharing this amazing mans story.ReplyCancel

  • Grace DavisAugust 7, 2012 - 3:23 am

    What an incredible story. Can’t wait to see what happens with all of this.ReplyCancel

  • DarrylAugust 7, 2012 - 5:29 am

    I am touched learning that this man fought for the freedom of my country, Singapore.ReplyCancel

  • […] to escape. It is estimated that 16,000 Allied prisoners died while working on the railway.” – harold martin. pow. 1942-1944 posted in interestingness « The Cosmic Gate will be our […]ReplyCancel

  • NelsonAugust 9, 2012 - 10:26 am

    Well done.ReplyCancel

  • Sophie RogersAugust 9, 2012 - 1:36 pm

    Samm you have a wonderful talent of capturing emotion, substance and depth. My family and I have been fortunate enough to call Harold our adopted popy for 10 years. Knowing Harold is an honour and I can truely say that no-one else could of captured him as you did, thank you dearly, your work is brilliant !ReplyCancel

  • Jeffrey San JuanAugust 13, 2012 - 8:42 pm

    I’ve been following you for a quite while now and your work always inspires me. However, I think this is by far the best piece you have ever done.ReplyCancel

  • Ben BloodAugust 14, 2012 - 9:40 pm

    You are doing great things Samm. Don’t stop.ReplyCancel

  • Craig PhillipsNovember 25, 2012 - 6:05 am

    Very moving, I can’t explain why but for sme years now those Australians who suffered under Nippon are never far from my thought, as it should be. CraigReplyCancel

  • Craig McCarthyJanuary 28, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    Thank you so much for doing this. As a former soldier myself, I think these story’s need to be told and these men rembered. My Grandfathers brother was also captured at the fall of Singapore, and was sent to Sandakan and died on the death march. Our family only in the last few years, found out what happened to him. His brother (my grandfather) died before he found out what happened to him.
    I plan to one day travel to Borneo to visit his grave.
    Again.. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Shirley HawkinsJanuary 31, 2014 - 2:43 am

    Great story . An awe inspiring man. A true hero.ReplyCancel

  • […] who’s story of being a POW survivor I have been documenting for the past few years. I made a short documentary about this back in 2012, which is still a work in progress into turning into a larger documentary. I entered the short […]ReplyCancel

  • Paige JonesFebruary 5, 2014 - 11:33 pm

    just saw this for the first time. such a beautiful & powerful story. I’m excited to meet you at Field Trip! :-)ReplyCancel

  • HeleneApril 10, 2014 - 5:09 pm

    A wonderful character. I have a photograph of a WW2 serviceman on his wedding day. He applied for special leave to marry his ‘sweetheart’ in Albany Western Australia in 1942. The photograph of bride and groom were taken (I think) by Martin Portraits, Albany. The word Martin is very faint. I have been trying to decide whether it was Martin or Master Portraits. Can you tell me if there is a connection,
    Best wishes for your project,
    Helene SReplyCancel

  • JessApril 25, 2014 - 2:32 am

    An amazing story Samm, this should be shared more. Chocked the whole family up when we watched it. Such a proud granddaughter of this great man. I only wish that people could learn more about the Burma railway and what happened. Everyone knows of the other battles but not many know about the this one.
    Thank you for sharing his storyReplyCancel

  • […] Two years ago, I traveled to Myanmar (Burma) with Harold, my father and a few of his close friends. Myanmar finally opened up to tourism and it was his first opportunity to go back to find the gravesites of his fallen mates. It was an amazing experience to be alongside Harold and you can see more of project from then here. […]ReplyCancel

  • Darren HutchensJuly 30, 2015 - 5:09 am

    Hi Samm, just watched the short intro to your doco on Harold Martin. Congratulations on a well produced, thought provoking and very watchable piece. I breifly met Mr Martin recently in Albany through the tribute to Anzac mural I painted at Dog Rock shopping centre. Felt very humble. Thanks and all the best.ReplyCancel

An amazing day from late last year I got to experience and enjoy immensely. Crystal and Aaron were married on the 11.11.11 in Yallingup, Western Australia. I grew up a few hours away in the countryside similar to this, this area of the world holds a special place in my heart. The fields, the smell of ocean in the air and the starry nights, combined with dancing under the stars, amazing tapas dinner, homemade wedding cake (by the bride & groom!), awesome collection of friends and family.. it is indeed the perfect recipe for an amazing evening :)

♥♥♥

These series of images are entirely from my iPhone and that of my friends iPhones. crazy little cameras :) a big thanks to Dan O’Day, Kelly Tunney, El Hogan, Natasja Kremers, Phil Chester, Jeff Albert, Dana Curran, Lauren Flair for taking some of these images :)  

 

I arrived in New York at the end of May and it was just the start of exploring and adventuring about this big crazy world. So far, I have been teaching my Art & the Heart photography workshop in New York and Ireland, photographed some amazing weddings in abandoned mansions and castles in New York and Prague. I am now in London, doing the final preparations for the workshop we have here next week. Next week sees me in Sweden to attend a friends wedding as a guest (woot!), days after I am photographing a wedding in Italy, before flying back over to the USA to speak at the What If Conference, shoot a wedding in Portland, spend some more time in New York, back to Melbourne for a few short weeks, then repeat….back to New York.
The next 12 months has me traveling interstate or overseas for every job, which is kind of insane to think about.  Thankfully I actually really enjoy living out of a suitcase and hotel rooms. I am still in that transition stage where I do not think of my apartment in Melbourne as entirely my home yet, so my idea of what home is very blurred. I think my idea of home is best put like this..

– What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

My time in New York was absolutely amazing. I met so many wonderful people and got to experience so much from spending afternoons working on my laptop up on the Highline, the amazing time I had teaching at the New York Art & the Heart Workshop, skee ball tournaments, hip hop shows, baseball games, karaoke, getting stuck in the Puerto Rican Day Parade,  bike rides around central park and hanging out at friends apartments in Brooklyn. Ive always dreamed of living in New York since I was young, my June only made that desire a hundred times stronger. I felt like I lived like a New Yorker for a month. I want to move to New York. As much as I have objections from family and friends about my constant desire to never been in the same place for more than 5 minutes, to quote Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

  • OliJuly 9, 2012 - 3:27 am

    Awesome post Sammy. What an amazing little life you’ve made. Rockn’ roll.ReplyCancel

  • TasjJuly 9, 2012 - 3:48 am

    what memories xxxxReplyCancel

  • gladysJuly 9, 2012 - 4:39 am

    some of my favorite memories ever are from time in NY + the workshop. hands down! it was just wonderful. i’ve thought about it every day since being back. happy you’ll be back there more often! hopefully i’ll be back around the same time so we can get that picture :)) xxReplyCancel

  • PhilJuly 9, 2012 - 5:36 am

    Freakin miss ya Samm!!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah KateJuly 9, 2012 - 5:37 am

    just as long as you have a spare room xxxReplyCancel

  • Tony WarrilowJuly 9, 2012 - 6:14 am

    Awesome……. makes me restless just reading it. You go girl!ReplyCancel

  • MichelleJuly 9, 2012 - 7:05 am

    fab images.. I really enjoyed following your travels. Hope to make it to one of your workshops one day.ReplyCancel

  • little pink cakesJuly 9, 2012 - 8:11 am

    Wow, your pictures are soooo strong!!! I can feel your enthusiasm about New York just by looking at them!

    Wonderful!!!
    Greetings from Berlin!ReplyCancel

  • Mary KathrynJuly 9, 2012 - 12:13 pm

    Hooray!!! :)ReplyCancel

  • andaJuly 9, 2012 - 12:36 pm

    beautiful words and photos, samm! it was so awesome to get to meet you and talk with you a little here & there. enjoy all your adventures. hope to cross paths again. xx.ReplyCancel

  • MichelleJuly 10, 2012 - 5:09 am

    Love this series of images, so much wonderful energy. You go girl, carry on living your dreams!!!ReplyCancel

  • debs iveljaJuly 10, 2012 - 9:31 am

    utter awesome xReplyCancel

  • Lisa JayJuly 16, 2012 - 9:27 am

    Great quote. I really like these images Samm.ReplyCancel

  • Lucy OnionsJuly 19, 2012 - 11:58 am

    I’m a HUGE fan of your work, which is always totally unique and quirky, and actually, really bloody heartfelt. You can see that your photos are NEVER just that! You’re truly inspirational and actually a muse of mine. I love this blog. I totally agree with your statement about what “home” is; home is where all the folks you love, cherish, respect and admire are. It’s where your folks, children, siblings, husband/partner and everyone else you love, is!

    So glad I read/viewed this blog. Just shows that hard work, guts and sheer determination get you places.

    I’d be really interested to hear what you think about the images on my website http://www.lucyonionsphotography.com and/or my Facebook page: http://m.facebook.com/pages/Lucy-Onions-Photography/146216768761644?id=146216768761644&_rdr

    Many thanks in advance

    LucyReplyCancel

  • Gemma HigginsJuly 20, 2012 - 3:41 am

    looks like your having an amazing time! xReplyCancel

  • lisane goldmeier tochettoJuly 24, 2012 - 3:11 pm

    Dear Samm!
    How beautiful your photos! Congratulations!
    And thanks for sharing with your friends some of your adventures around the world. Life is precious, we must go after our dreams how you doing
    PS: sorry for the mistakes, my English is always falling short
    Hugs from LisaneReplyCancel

One of the things I really love doing is helping people chase their dreams, helping turn what they are passionate about into a career, to see their businesses blossom and see them succeed.  Five and a half years ago I returned to Australia after doing a stint of working aboard in London. I absolutely hated my time working in London. I worked for large companies where the supervisor in my department would not even know my name. I worked for a company who’s business was about the promotion of something that was against my beliefs. I knew after returning to Australia I was never going to be employed by anybody else again. I was going to make my business idea work. So many people told me along the way that becoming a self employed photographer was a bad idea. I am glad I am stubborn enough to never listen to them :)

Last year, my dear friend Dan O’Day and myself launched a workshop series called Art & The Heart. The workshop is about inspiring, pushing and challenging other photographers/creative’s to create both the photography work and business they wish and strive for.

In January of this year, we hosted our first workshop in Melbourne at the amazing Dear Patti Smith gallery in Fitzroy. The 3 days were an amazing experience for myself and Dan. We both gained so much of this experience, we both became stronger, more inspired and hungrier for our craft and helping people with theirs.  I am so grateful to the lovely AimeeJodiJessJohnMitchMyekalDebsMarinaMichelleTracyTristanGemmaEmilyStewartBettinaMichelleShaunSuellen,  Julianna and Sally for attending the workshop and becoming my new friends. Also, I would like to throw a thank you to our good friend Christine for helping us out over the 3 days.

In a fortnight, Dan and I  will be heading off to host Art & The Heart in New York (June 12 to 14) Cork, Ireland (July 2 to 4) and then off to London (July 10 to 12). There are still a sprinkling of seats left at each workshop, so if you feel like coming along for the ride and meeting a bunch of new friends who like the same stuff you do (while of course refining your craft and your business), head over to www.artandtheheart.com and register. I’m so excited for what lies ahead in the next few months. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if it is all real life :)

We have also just launched a new Australian workshop date (October 8-10) that is going to be held in the beautiful Southern Highlands in New South Wales. We have hired an amazing house to host the venue. We have almost sold out this workshop, with only two seats remaining, so if our workshop seems at all appealing, get it contact with us as soon as possible to get one of the lucky last seats :)

Below are a bunch of pictures (taken by both myself and Dan) of the amazing attendee’s of the Melbourne workshop and also the lovely models who gave up their afternoon to stand in front of 23 people to have their photograph taken. Not at all intimidating :) We thank you Dijana, Crawford, Matt and Olya!  x

We launched a new blog for Art & The Heart ( www.artandtheheartajournal.com ) to document our adventures on the next crazy few months :)

Love you all and hope to see you in New York, Ireland, London and the Southern Highlands!!

♥♥♥

  • PhilMay 15, 2012 - 2:39 am

    So awesome, can’t wait to expand mah brain with all of your sweet sweet knowledge in a few weeks!ReplyCancel

  • TraceyMay 15, 2012 - 6:57 am

    Hey are you coming to Perth at all???ReplyCancel

  • AnnaMay 15, 2012 - 7:18 am

    jeepers you are freakin amazing!ReplyCancel

  • ScoutMay 15, 2012 - 12:42 pm

    Such amazing words, argh and the photos. Good luck with your trip.

    SReplyCancel

  • AndreasMay 16, 2012 - 12:02 am

    Keep up the good work! Hope I can join A&TH in Europe!ReplyCancel

  • LukeMay 17, 2012 - 9:44 am

    I would be AT this if I could get away from the day job. Maybe next year. Looks awesome.ReplyCancel

  • DaniMay 27, 2012 - 7:25 am

    Perth, Perth, Perth!! (pretty please….)ReplyCancel

  • TigsMay 28, 2012 - 7:03 am

    Hey. I would so love to book a spot at the next melbourne workshop. I know its not even on the cards right now but if and when… Im in :)ReplyCancel

  • EmilyJune 28, 2012 - 1:27 pm

    Awesome work, such an inspiration. Just a quick question, when is cut-off for registration for your workshop in Southern Highlands Aus?ReplyCancel

  • Amy and AutumnJune 29, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    Love Love Love these. Can’t wait to hear about N.Y.C.ReplyCancel

  • AnniJuly 4, 2012 - 6:13 pm

    Looks like such an inspiring experience. I would love to go to one of these someday! Can’t wait to hear about the rest in the meantime.ReplyCancel

  • Paul HowellDecember 7, 2012 - 8:37 am

    Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • JamiAugust 22, 2013 - 7:40 pm

    “Art & The Heart ReplyCancel

 

And when we do find each other again, we’ll cling together so tight that nothing and no one’ll ever tear us apart. Every atom of me and every atom of you. We’ll live in birds and flowers and dragonflies and pine trees and in clouds and in those little specks of light you see floating in sunbeams. And when they use our atoms to make new lives, they won’t just be able to take one, they’ll have to take two, one of you and one of me, we’ll be joined so tight. – Philip Pullman
 

♥♥♥

Last year I photographed the most amazing wedding of Annabel and Matthew in Fremantle, Western Australia. This wedding has by far been the most blogged wedding of mine to date. The last count I did, it has appeared on over 100 blogs. craziness!

If this was not more than enough, I was completely over the moon when Harpers Bazaar magazine contacted me, as they were putting together a one off bridal special edition for their May issue and wanted to feature this wedding.

Thank you Harpers Bazaar for the feature!

 

♥♥♥

 

  • caz leeApril 23, 2012 - 11:40 pm

    you lucky [and crazy talented] lady, you!!

    so thrilled for you. this is huge, only more like H U G E. srsly.

    (ps: love you) xoReplyCancel

  • Jonas PetersonApril 23, 2012 - 11:48 pm

    Woot! So good, Sammy.ReplyCancel

  • RogApril 24, 2012 - 12:35 am

    Check that off the list.
    What’s next?! Knock’em dead Samm.ReplyCancel

  • PhilApril 24, 2012 - 1:50 am

    Samm-a-lam, you’re such an all star, I can’t wait to soak up your sweet sweet knowledge in NYC.ReplyCancel

  • TenielleApril 24, 2012 - 2:43 am

    Insane props, so well deserved! Another one for the pool room xoReplyCancel

  • SimonApril 24, 2012 - 4:16 am

    wow! Outstanding …ReplyCancel

  • Sachin KhonaApril 24, 2012 - 6:27 am

    Big congrats Samm!ReplyCancel

  • BekApril 24, 2012 - 6:49 am

    congratulations Samm, i remember this one – epic.ReplyCancel

  • LucyApril 24, 2012 - 6:52 am

    Congrats! Love this wedding, fabulous photographsReplyCancel

  • JordyApril 24, 2012 - 2:53 pm

    Amazing feature. Well deserved Samm!ReplyCancel

  • derksApril 24, 2012 - 7:47 pm

    Awesome job! congratulations!!!ReplyCancel

  • OliApril 26, 2012 - 10:25 am

    Sick Samm. Congrats.ReplyCancel

  • MJApril 26, 2012 - 6:17 pm

    Thats sooooo awesome Samm! I’m gonna buy the magazine!! :)) Move back to Perth! HeheheReplyCancel

  • PJ PhotosMay 5, 2012 - 8:26 am

    I remember this wedding…it was fabulous Samm.ReplyCancel

  • Chasing SummerMay 7, 2012 - 1:20 am

    Wow…. 100 blogs and now Harper’s Bazaar?!! That’s amazing but well deserved. Congratulations!ReplyCancel

You may recognise Jenna and Josh from the hit tv series The Block Josh proposed to Jenna live to air during the series… thankfully she said yes! Many months later, their master plan came together for their beautiful wedding at the Convert Gallery in Daylesford.   I was luckily enough to be there to document the day for them and also bought along my talented friend Dan O’Day along for the ride to help me document the day :) x

 

♥♥♥

  • Ben AdamsApril 17, 2012 - 10:57 pm

    Love theses guys! Beautifully shot Samm. Your editing is amazing!ReplyCancel

  • camApril 17, 2012 - 11:01 pm

    Wow. Beautiful work Samm and Dan….Hugs….xReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyApril 17, 2012 - 11:02 pm

    Awesome-sauce sammy! Great to see this one in full swing, so many fleeting moments captured so skillfully :)ReplyCancel

  • MITCH POHLApril 17, 2012 - 11:19 pm

    samm! this post is incredible. :-) great stuffReplyCancel

  • john benaventeApril 17, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    i agree with ben adams.ReplyCancel

  • RogApril 17, 2012 - 11:35 pm

    jiggy jam master j-what? jamazing. simply jamazing.ReplyCancel

  • Fe LumsdaineApril 18, 2012 - 1:06 am

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Beautifully recorded.ReplyCancel

  • NicApril 18, 2012 - 1:48 am

    Wow beautiful location, love the verandah and trees, beautifully shot and how blessed to have you AND Dan!ReplyCancel

  • BekApril 18, 2012 - 1:56 am

    oh my gosh samm, just oh my gosh….ReplyCancel

  • TenielleApril 18, 2012 - 2:53 am

    You guys are the best team! Funny thing is for the longest time I kept saying Samm O’Blake anyways, I wasn’t too far off :)ReplyCancel

  • PhilApril 18, 2012 - 2:55 am

    Hot Simmity Samm this is wonderful. You and Mr. Dan make a helluva tag team.ReplyCancel

  • LeahApril 18, 2012 - 3:14 am

    Ahhhh two cute pregnant bellies amongst the girls. So cute!! Amazing work Samm & Dan :)ReplyCancel

  • jazzyApril 18, 2012 - 3:22 am

    Love them samm. Beautiful documentation of a beautiful day.ReplyCancel

  • freedomApril 18, 2012 - 3:44 am

    so much gorgeousnesssssss going on samm & dan! love it! f xReplyCancel

  • Kristen CookApril 18, 2012 - 4:00 am

    Yeah yeah Sammy Samm – beautiful day, captured beautifully xxReplyCancel

  • SimonApril 18, 2012 - 5:08 am

    Another cracker!! What amazing styling.ReplyCancel

  • BambiApril 18, 2012 - 5:27 am

    Love the colourful bouquet. Beautiful scenes!ReplyCancel

  • ScoutApril 18, 2012 - 7:30 am

    perfect. can’t look away. yup.

    sReplyCancel

  • gladysApril 18, 2012 - 5:37 pm

    samm, samm, samm! beautiful as always.ReplyCancel

  • FarrahApril 18, 2012 - 11:00 pm

    no words!ReplyCancel

  • jason curescuApril 19, 2012 - 1:40 am

    samm!!! these photographs are so rad!! amazing job!ReplyCancel

  • KJPApril 19, 2012 - 4:25 pm

    Beautiful work.ReplyCancel

  • Carla KaseraApril 19, 2012 - 6:05 pm

    Samm, absolutely stunning. So sweet and beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • ed peersApril 25, 2012 - 10:45 pm

    So good Samm. Love your vision.ReplyCancel

  • Loving Images PhotographyAugust 14, 2012 - 7:19 am

    Very interesting wedding shots and you have a unique styleReplyCancel

  • RebeccaOctober 18, 2012 - 9:40 pm

    I was just watching a re-run of The Block and curiosity hit me, who shot Josh & Jenna’s wedding? Beautiful job, it looks like they had a gorgeous day captured so well by you and Dan.ReplyCancel

  • HannahFebruary 12, 2013 - 9:27 am

    Perfect wedding they look so cute and there a cute coupleReplyCancel

  • Achim DrescherJune 12, 2013 - 1:40 am

    Great Wedding Photos. Congratulations.ReplyCancel

 

When I was starting out in weddings, I had this goal to one day be published in Rangefinder Magazine. Its an American photography magazine that has a huge distribution around the world. Very happy to say, it has become a reality. I was interviewed and featured in the February 2012 of Rangefinder Magazine. I was interviewed by Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler. The following text is the article she put together for Rangefinder magazine. I liked how and very thankful for, how she put all my random rambles together and made sense of it all to produce the following article.

Samm Blake – Stay True

Written by Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler for Rangefinder. 

February 01, 2012 — The positioning of this couple, lying head to head, is reminiscent of a fashion shoot, with the treatment of the image itself recalling the entrancing visage of a Holga. The look between the two subjects however, mostly that of the young man looking over at the woman, is imbued with the honesty of a real relationship. These people aren’t fashion models or fine art subjects, but instead a bride and groom lucky enough to have found the photographic stylings of Melbourne-based, Australian photographer Samm Blake.

Blake’s images are not standard fare. Her style is eclectic and romantic and entirely her own. If you were to go to her Web site expecting a certain set of poses, smiles and gatherings of family members and wedding parties, you’d be at a loss. What you would find instead are the interplays of glances, details, and moments that help to define the experience of a wedding, rather than a who’s who of attendants. Her Web site is rife with delicate interactions that ultimately describe the actuality of the lives she captures. “I think it’s best to describe my images as quiet little moments that capture the honesty and realness of the day,” Blake explains. The way that she achieves this is by remaining earnestly true to her own vision.

Blake was only eight when she started in photography—her grandmother gave her a 35mm point-and-shoot camera that prompted her to  begin the visual exploration of her life. At first she pursued the standard images that a young girl is drawn to—faux fashion shoots of her sisters as well as a visual diary of her life—but after that, the photographic bug truly took hold. As a teenager, she started to explore graphic and Web design and created new visual experiences that others could interact with. “I started to do a lot of Web designing, thinking of ways of making money so I could go travel,” she laughs. “From there, I started to need photographs to incorporate into my graphic design, so that’s what pushed me out to get started into photography a bit more seriously. And then once I started to put my photography online, I was getting a lot of feedback—that’s how it all really started.”

Blake pursued her career diligently at the university level by studying photography and journalism. Her goal at the time was to become a war photographer. “I wanted to work for National Geographic or something with a lot of gore and guts; the grittier side of life, I guess. And then I ended up in weddings,” she exclaims, shaking her head at the change. Despite the redirection of her initial intent, her technical skill and style were finding a place in her wedding work. Coming from a fine art background, it wasn’t an easy decision for her to start shooting weddings in the first place. “When I was studying at university it was very frowned upon to shoot a wedding,” says Blake.

If nothing else, Blake has always been steadfast in her career and path— never worrying about the expectations of others and always maintaining the integrity of her vision. She stuck with it and started to be successful with her own business, shooting 15 weddings her first year in 2003. “Up until about three or four years ago it was really looked down upon to be a wedding photographer in the photography world. It was the bottom, so to speak. But I think that’s really changed now. I get a lot of respect that I’m a wedding photographer, so it isn’t that bad,” she laughs. “The photography I do now with my wedding work is exactly what I wanted in my life—I wanted to travel, I wanted complete creative freedom, I wanted to be my own boss, and make good money— and I do all those things.” By following her passion, she was able to establish herself as one of the top ten wedding photographers in Australia in both 2009 and 2010.

As Blake continued to evolve, her work became more specific to her own style. But rather than hindering her progress, making a niche for herself in the wedding market turned out to be the best course of action. The honesty and passion of her work shows through in every image and speaks to the type of clientele she most wants to work with. “I’ve always been really strict with myself to stay true to my style and what was true to me. It was more, ‘This is what I do, like it or don’t hire me.’ I was always, from the very beginning, quite particular,” she admits. “I’ve always had a very clear idea in my head of the type of work I wanted to shoot. The voice, or the vision, has always been really strong,” she says. “It’s something so internal. It’s like a gut instinct. I feel it, I can’t express it in words, but in imagery I can.”

Blakes images are intimate and personal, despite the inherent chaos of a wedding day. She has a way of honing in on the elements that best describe the day with poetic simplicity rather than bombarding the frame with every element present. She prefers clients with small or nonexistent wedding parties, where moments are less scattered and more descriptive. When she is photographing an event or a portrait session she allows the real personalities of her clients to emerge in front of her as she unobtrusively glides around the space. “With my style, it’s expressing so much about what I’m feeling just as much as what my clients are feeling. It’s definitely a collaboration. I’m not just a strict journalist and capturing what’s there; I’m capturing how I’m feeling about it as well. I tell my clients that when they’re looking back at their wedding images, I want them to remember how they felt in certain moments and how it felt to be at their wedding. So basically I’m acting like a guest, and I just float about capturing these little moments that I’m drawn to.”

The little moments she finds are universally representative of the love, romance, and connection that her clients clearly feel. How she came to be able to follow those moments comes in part from her own tenacious claim to maintaining her own style and her honest dedication to knowing who she is in her photography, something that wasn’t always easy for her. “I think the biggest struggle photographers have, and I know I experienced this in certain phases as well and that’s why I definitely understand it,” she concedes, is that “young photographers get so confused about what style of photography they should be in to. They go and experiment in everything. And that’s good, because it’s good to find out what particular style you do like, but there is no consistency in their work. One week they might shoot like one photographer, and then the next week they’re shooting like another photographer,” she explains. “It comes across as quite obvious. The best advice is to shoot for your own heart. And that can be daunting or confusing because you’re not sure what’s in your heart or how to stay true to yourself.”

Rather than just pursuing her technical evolution, Blake was very conscious of doing her best to find out who she was so that her own emotions and perspective could be accurately portrayed in her photography. It seems the more she knows who she is, the more universally appealing her images be-come. When she is at odds with herself or unsure of her own artistic vision, she feels her work shows it. “How I am feeling and how I interact with people is so crucial to how my photography looks and the end result. A lot of people are not in tune and aware of that relationship. They just go out and shoot and are not paying attention to themselves.” It is a pitfall that Blake believes negatively affects their resulting images – pre-venting the photographer from being present in their own im-ages.

She wholeheartedly believes that staying true to yourself and your personal vision is the only way to continue to make relevant art, no matter the genre of your photography. To that end, she has been asked to speak at several workshops both in Australia as well as internationally, focusing her talks on helping photographers determine who they are. Her speaking engagements guide photographers in overcoming their creative blocks and insecurities about pursing the photography that will be the most fulfilling to them and rewarding for their clients. “I’m really, really enjoying it and really excited about where it’s going to take me. I love teaching and the feedback I’ve been getting is such a lovely feeling,” she says. “I don’t teach photography, as such. I’m teaching about resistance as an artist and creative blocks that photographers face.” The reason she can teach these concepts is that she went through them herself and she wants to help others avoid the arduous process of get-ting through to themselves. “I went through it all. I just want to give people the quick ten-step guide so that they don’t have to go through it as much. But it’s crucial that you go through them,” she admits, and she wants to help people find out what their personal resistance is in their photography. “What’s stopping you from going out and producing your work?”

Now that she can see her own resistance plainly, she can help others to see past theirs, and can continue to create her own work without obstacles. Her philosophy in all these aspects hasn’t changed – find out who you are, be true to your-self, and your images will show it.

 

  • alydaApril 17, 2012 - 1:47 am

    yay for you sammy! so proud :)

    ps. nice floor boards ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyApril 17, 2012 - 1:53 am

    Congrats Sammy! Yet another awesome achievement for all the hard work you put in!ReplyCancel

  • TenielleApril 17, 2012 - 2:10 am

    Congrats Sammy! Must be so lovely to see your all your accumulative experience, where you’ve been, what you seen and accomplished over the years portrayed in such a beautiful article.ReplyCancel

  • john benaventeApril 17, 2012 - 2:16 am

    congrats! well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • AdrianApril 17, 2012 - 5:02 am

    Amazing. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty AksentiewApril 17, 2012 - 8:18 am

    GOOOOOOOOOOOO Blakey High FivesReplyCancel

  • ScoutApril 17, 2012 - 10:15 am

    well done lovely :) :)

    sReplyCancel

  • Melissa MillsApril 17, 2012 - 2:38 pm

    Wow! Awesome interview Sammy, she definetly captured what you’re all about. Must feel bloody good to have that written about you. Its certainly well deserved.ReplyCancel

  • KirstyApril 18, 2012 - 10:28 pm

    Great article Samm – congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • susan yeeApril 24, 2012 - 7:22 am

    what a beautiful article, sammy, many congrats! i do love what you said, and find it ringing it true to me as well. we all need to remember our vision and who we are deep down, and keep true to that. <3ReplyCancel

  • Fotograf ślubny LublinMay 25, 2012 - 8:06 pm

    You captured a lot of great moments.ReplyCancel

Michelle & Andy were married last October (ah yes, im a little behind on my blogging). They got ready in the same house but in separate rooms and on separate levels. I liked how they got ready in the same house as I got to switch between the two, documenting the different happenings and energies in the rooms. We then set off to do most of the portrait photos of Michelle and Andy with their bridal party before the ceremony. Poor Michelle was attacked by mosquitoes during the shoot. I almost had a nervous breakdown on her behalf, I drove like a crazy woman to the chemist to buy every tablet and cream available that would settle the bites. Thank god the bites went down and you would have not known by the time it was the ceremony :)  (I now carry a bottle of Stingoes in my camera bag ;). They had a lovely ceremony overlooking the Indian ocean just before sunset. We then hugged and said our goodbyes and they ran off into the sunset to their wedding reception. It was a lovely day. xo

♥♥♥

  • gladysMarch 30, 2012 - 4:13 am

    samm, you’re incredible. especially love the last 3, and b&ws.ReplyCancel

  • KristyMarch 30, 2012 - 4:29 am

    Such beautiful images, love the light. And such a cute couple :) Love the fact that you went to the chemist for the bride – glad it worked out!!ReplyCancel

  • EmilieMarch 30, 2012 - 4:34 am

    so beautiful!!!ReplyCancel

  • OliMarch 30, 2012 - 4:44 am

    Samm you’re the bomb. You’re probably going to stop couples getting married though. Who would bother going through the whole process when they could just buy someone else’s album like this? There’d be a few teeny ethical dramas in offloading couples albums to other couples, but ethics are for schmucks. And the Pope. Well not really the Pope, but that’s a whole other can of worms.ReplyCancel

  • TenielleMarch 30, 2012 - 4:47 am

    You document beautiful silent stories. I love the way Andy looks at Michelle, sends shivers down my spine. True adoration.ReplyCancel

  • marc ashMarch 30, 2012 - 4:48 am

    Amazing Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • rominMarch 30, 2012 - 6:25 am

    beautiful work, samm.ReplyCancel

  • LynMarch 30, 2012 - 8:02 am

    exquisite, I love the way you’ve captured the way he looked at her, such a sensitive touch Samm, gorgeousReplyCancel

  • AngeliqueMarch 30, 2012 - 8:31 am

    Very Chic! Love it. I photograph children on location mostly and keep this brilliant organic bug repellent in my shoot box – it doesn’t smell bad at all and low allergy reaction risk – I never leave home without it. http://www.vanessamegan.com/products/Bug-Off-Me-Spray-100ml.htmlReplyCancel

  • SarahMarch 30, 2012 - 9:46 am

    Samm, I wish I could view the world through your eyes. You have such a special way of looking at events and people and capturing raw emotion and pure beauty.ReplyCancel

  • MyekieMarch 30, 2012 - 10:12 am

    I just love the series with Michelle walking down the stairs and Andy watching. Very skillful. Just soooo good Samm.ReplyCancel

  • ThommoMarch 30, 2012 - 10:35 am

    Just beautiful Sammy. Well worth the waitReplyCancel

  • john benaventeMarch 30, 2012 - 10:42 am

    so sweet samm!ReplyCancel

  • Derek HoMarch 30, 2012 - 12:44 pm

    so cute :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia WadeMarch 30, 2012 - 1:30 pm

    Samm.. such exquisite photographs. Incredible work..ReplyCancel

  • AnnikaMarch 30, 2012 - 2:44 pm

    Oh I love this. Absolutely amazing, good job!ReplyCancel

  • geneohMarch 30, 2012 - 5:00 pm

    great work, samm. some of my favorites from youReplyCancel

  • ShannonMarch 30, 2012 - 5:04 pm

    So beautiful! Any idea where the bride got her dress?ReplyCancel

  • BettinaMarch 30, 2012 - 5:39 pm

    Beautiful SammReplyCancel

  • TylerMarch 30, 2012 - 5:40 pm

    Samm Blake. you blow me away. thanks for sharing this series.ReplyCancel

  • jason curescuMarch 31, 2012 - 3:32 am

    sooooo good samm!!ReplyCancel

  • HannahApril 4, 2012 - 1:35 am

    These are amazing photographs, so skilled !ReplyCancel

  • ScoutApril 11, 2012 - 3:31 am

    Love these Samm. Captured every moment perfectly. The earring shot is pretty funny too, made me lol haha.

    SReplyCancel

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind. Ive been in 11 cities in 6 countries.  In the midst of it all, I traveled to Myanmar (Burma) two weeks ago to work on a special project.

A man came into my life a few years ago. The story of his life is compelling. Harold Martin was a prisoner of war in World War II. 15,000 Australian soldiers were captured by the Japanese in the fall of Singapore in 1942. After he was captured, he spent two long and brutal years working on the Burma “Death” Railway. Many of his friends died while working on the railway due to illness and being executed for attempting to escape. It is estimated that 16,000 Allied prisoners died while working on the railway.

Harold survived this ordeal but was then sent to Japan on one of the notorious “hell ships”. While being transported to Japan, the convoy of Japanese ships were torpedoed by US submarines. The ship Harold was on sunk but he managed to survive by clinging onto a makeshift raft. After 4 days drifting in the ocean he was rescued by the USS Pampanito submarine along with 72 other Allied soldiers.

70 years later, Harold, who is now 95 years old wanted to travel back to Myanmar (Burma) for the first time. He wanted to visit the grave sites of three of his mates that are buried in a Commonwealth war cemetery near the village of Thanbyuzayat.  He had been searching for these graves for many years. This year he had finally found them. I decided to go with him to document (video and stills) his experience in going back. It was an amazing few days. Myanmar and the Burmese people are beautiful. In all my travels I have never come across more lovely and hospitable people.

This series of images is only a small portion of what was captured in the few days I spent with Harold. These images are of the quieter moments in-between the main events. The main story is captured on video and medium format film. The video I took on the trip is going to be featured in a documentary that is being made about Harold’s life. The day spent at the war cemetery is entirely on these mediums and I am in the process of creating a body of work with it.

The images in the slideshow are all from the the Fuji X-Pro1 camera.  I would like to thank Camera Electronics in Perth, Australia ( cameraelectronic.com.au ) and FujiFilm Australia ( fujifilm.com.au ) in letting me take this camera on the trip.

There is something about when images and music are combined, then the body of work can become something else. Ive created a slideshow of these images put together with music.  I really enjoyed moving beyond the boundaries of being a stills photographer on this project. Working with video and audio is definitely challenging but I loved how it was able to give more depth to the story. It is something I am going to start exploring more of in my work.

 

  • ErinMarch 20, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    Amazing images, what a fantastic project. That part of the world is special to me too.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah rhoadsMarch 20, 2012 - 11:38 pm

    Sam. these are breathtaking. and good for you for pushing yourself outside of the “still” world. Your trip looks amazing. Thank you for sharing these.ReplyCancel

  • Jonas PetersonMarch 20, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    Awesome, Sammy.ReplyCancel

  • GabeMarch 20, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    samm i am not really sure what to write here. what words can i say in response to such an amazing story. i guess all i’ll say is thank you. thank you for sharing. thank you for being you. i cannot wait to see the film and motion from this incredible journey.ReplyCancel

  • Kirsty AksentiewMarch 20, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    Samm, I am moved to tears and can’t wait for more.ReplyCancel

  • NatalieMarch 20, 2012 - 11:48 pm

    Incredible. Can’t wait to see the rest of the story.ReplyCancel

  • jeff marshMarch 20, 2012 - 11:55 pm

    holy crap. unbelievable. these all with the x-pro?ReplyCancel

  • JakobMarch 21, 2012 - 12:12 am

    Great, great work, Samm.ReplyCancel

  • teriMarch 21, 2012 - 12:31 am

    thank you for sharing this. such a compelling story and a moving collection of images. i’m looking forward to seeing how this body of work develops. thank you for inspiring me to slow down this evening and look closely.ReplyCancel

  • Jonathan WherrettMarch 21, 2012 - 12:38 am

    Beautiful Samm, thanks so much for sharing your journey. Can’t wait for the next installment.ReplyCancel

  • colerMarch 21, 2012 - 1:17 am

    holy shit this is insane. inspiring, inspiring work.ReplyCancel

  • AdrianMarch 21, 2012 - 1:17 am

    Beautiful. Amazing. Incredible. xReplyCancel

  • OliMarch 21, 2012 - 2:36 am

    That’s it… stunning.ReplyCancel

  • ryan flynnMarch 21, 2012 - 2:41 am

    What a story. And so well told, Samm.ReplyCancel

  • Heather PereraMarch 21, 2012 - 2:58 am

    Amazing work! Moving!ReplyCancel

  • MyekieMarch 21, 2012 - 3:10 am

    Your killing me. Love this work.ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayMarch 21, 2012 - 4:06 am

    you’re an inspiration sammy… this is beautiful, I cannot wait to absorb the whole story xxReplyCancel

  • gemma higgins-searsMarch 21, 2012 - 4:18 am

    WOW. I’m a little stumped on what to say.. incredible collection. I look forward to seeing the project unfold… amazing journey Samm, for both of you. xReplyCancel

  • Danielle StahlMarch 21, 2012 - 4:49 am

    Nothing short of incredible. Tears streaming down my cheeks…. You are amazing!ReplyCancel

  • WeiMarch 21, 2012 - 5:47 am

    Hey Samm, love this documentary. You find so much beauty in the ordinary.ReplyCancel

  • ChristineMarch 21, 2012 - 5:48 am

    there is eeriness and beauty in these images, samm… you tell harold’s story with such honesty. words can’t really express how i feel looking through these photographs. you did such a wonderful job, friend.ReplyCancel

  • BenMarch 21, 2012 - 6:18 am

    beautiful photos and storyReplyCancel

  • BekMarch 21, 2012 - 6:21 am

    you’re a beautiful storyteller samm.ReplyCancel

  • Mike FiechtnerMarch 21, 2012 - 6:48 am

    beautiful set of images! blown away!ReplyCancel

  • Matt StreatfeildMarch 21, 2012 - 8:21 am

    Dude, Brilliant. Superb set.ReplyCancel

  • BrillianaMarch 21, 2012 - 8:33 am

    Wow. Just wow.ReplyCancel

  • Matt StreatfeildMarch 21, 2012 - 8:40 am

    Brilliant. Superb set. What more can I say.ReplyCancel

  • Christina BrosnanMarch 21, 2012 - 10:07 am

    Such beauty in every image. I love the landscapes, so truly beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • ursiMarch 21, 2012 - 11:05 am

    fascinating and important to be documented. also important for to take this step sammy. you change my view constantly and i hope to always meet you on the road of inspiration and progress*** much love from farawayland!ReplyCancel

  • RobMarch 21, 2012 - 2:24 pm

    Wow! These pics look great! Very “film-like”. Are these all straight from the camera? Very nice stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Croatia wedding photographerMarch 21, 2012 - 5:53 pm

    wow..so good…ReplyCancel

  • john benaventeMarch 22, 2012 - 2:45 am

    powerful!ReplyCancel

  • MattMarch 24, 2012 - 12:52 pm

    Fantastic images! Makes me want to pack a small bag and get out traveling again.ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyMarch 24, 2012 - 11:14 pm

    Love the slideshow Sammy. Such intimate shots with Harold, really beautiful stuff.ReplyCancel

  • niravMarch 26, 2012 - 11:56 pm

    Love these my friend!!ReplyCancel

  • JessMarch 28, 2012 - 6:02 am

    These are incredible images Samm.
    I visited a war museum near the River Kwai in Thailand, and it was such an emotional experience to see the graves of all those young people. Harold must be an amazing person to have travelled to Burma and share this experience with. Looking forward to the documentary.

    Just amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Vivika BrasilMarch 30, 2012 - 3:56 am

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.
    Love the film.ReplyCancel

  • […] I blogged about it briefly a few months ago with the out takes / behind the scenes images from the t… […]ReplyCancel

  • Rob B.July 31, 2012 - 11:33 pm

    Wonderful story well told. Please do more films!ReplyCancel

♥♥♥

  • FarrahFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    This is so beautiful. Love the third photo down.ReplyCancel

  • jason starrFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    Lovely photos Sammy. Lovely couple. LOVE the puppies!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sheye RosemeyerFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:58 pm

    I adore your gentle observations. They speak quietly and brim with love.

    xReplyCancel

  • VanessaFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:07 am

    Pure gorgeousness. Love. Love. Love.ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:17 am

    she’s a samm blake. a pretty picture she does make.ReplyCancel

  • NatFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:19 am

    Samm, your work never ceases to amaze me these pics are stunning.ReplyCancel

  • MyekieFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:19 am

    Samm I love this portrait shoot. The dog the couple the location the light and the skill in the capture is just sublime. Well done love it.ReplyCancel

  • Gemma Higgins-SearsFebruary 27, 2012 - 1:32 am

    stunning Samm, what a gorgeous spot!ReplyCancel

  • Kirra CheersFebruary 27, 2012 - 2:20 am

    I think I know this location. Is this near Sorrento? Beautiful workReplyCancel

  • Susan RezakFebruary 27, 2012 - 2:58 am

    Oh I so love how their puppy got involved! He’s so handsome!ReplyCancel

  • MichaelFebruary 27, 2012 - 3:40 am

    so pretty :)ReplyCancel

  • SimonFebruary 27, 2012 - 4:06 am

    My god – you’re an artist!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea ParsonsFebruary 27, 2012 - 5:52 am

    Love this Samm. It reminds me so much of the East Coast of Tasmania xReplyCancel

  • marc ashFebruary 27, 2012 - 6:00 am

    These are absolutely gorgeous Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • Gedas GirdvainisFebruary 27, 2012 - 7:05 am

    Wow gorgeous Samm!ReplyCancel

  • ElleFebruary 27, 2012 - 9:10 am

    Such beautiful, natural connections Samm. I adore your work <3ReplyCancel

  • David Ferguson | BrisbaneFebruary 27, 2012 - 10:26 am

    Lovely work again Samm!ReplyCancel

  • AlexFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Some lovely shots! :-)ReplyCancel

  • BettinaFebruary 28, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    These are so beautiful Samm, you are amazing and a gorgeous location too. B xoReplyCancel

  • Shane ShepherdFebruary 29, 2012 - 9:37 am

    Really lovely shots Samm, a real calming serene mood to these. Cyber-space-high-five.ReplyCancel

  • Benni KnopMarch 1, 2012 - 4:50 am

    Hey there, I just stumbled across your blog and your photos are fantastic! ReplyCancel

  • alydaMarch 1, 2012 - 11:11 pm

    so good sammy! number 3 is a cracker!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh GrayMarch 3, 2012 - 7:45 am

    Hmmm… that is a good bit of variety out of what looks to be one location. Always the hardest thing to do IMO. I am always trying to double the shots I can get in one place. Like them all very much :)ReplyCancel

  • JessMarch 13, 2012 - 4:50 am

    Amazing photo’s – what a beautiful location.ReplyCancel

  • ed peersMarch 13, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    This is awesome Samm…ReplyCancel

  • SimonMarch 19, 2012 - 4:00 am

    Gorgeous photography – I love the fact they included their dog in the photos.ReplyCancel

  • David RobertsonMarch 20, 2012 - 10:51 pm

    so so beautiful SammReplyCancel

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” – Winfield Peterson

 

This was my motto for 2011 and it will be my motto again for 2012.

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for the past two months. Trying to think what on earth will I write to sum up what 2011 was all about for me. It was a big year. It was a crazy, scary, beautiful, fun, terrifying and exhilarating year.  It was a complete whirlwind. It was a year of challenges and learning all about patience. It was about taking risks and reaping its rewards. At the very beginning of the year I made the decision to sell and give away most my processions and the put rest into storage. I decided to start a new life completely on my own in a completely different city where I knew less then 5 people. Making the decision to move to Melbourne was one of the toughest yet easiest decisions I have ever made. After being in Melbourne for a few months now, I finally feel settled and at home. I never really felt at home like I do here.

I am incredibily lucky I get to do what I do. I have spent time in some truly remarkable places with some truly remarkable people. I have this favourite part of the day, its that moment right after the sun has set and there is that 20 minute window of twilight where the sky is an intense dark blue and its in the last moments of light. I get to spend a lot of these times in really remote and random locations. A lot of time is standing on cliff tops, looking out onto the ocean as I am finishing up photographing a wedding or portrait shoot. Sometimes its when I am riding my bike home from work and I look up to see the crazy Melbourne bats flying past, or its when I am running the streets of Fitzroy. It is at these times, that I always remind myself that I am truly grateful for the decisions I have made to lead me where I am today.

2011 was full of adventure. I ended up on 55 different aeroplanes, taking me to many random locations. I went to Vegas and saw my two dear friends renew their wedding vowels in the Little White Wedding Chapel and spend 1o days at WPPI with all my dear photography friends. I went to Japan for a fun adventure with my friend Dan where we started working on our workshop series Art and the Heart that we launched a few months later.  I traveled to Los Angeles to speak at the Beloved Collective and also spoke in Melbourne for the Pro Photo Seminars. I guest spoke at the Winter Wonderland and at the Jonas & Sean workshop’s. I certainly overcame my fear of public speaking.

In 2011, I also taught myself to run and quickly clocked up over 500km and ran half a marathon. I was a top 5 finalist in the Monster Childrens photography competition and got my photo published in their magazine and book. I joined my friend Dan O’Day on an awesome project called You Thought You Knew You, where we challenge photographers with a brief that will push themselves creatively.

It was a year about pushing myself to find new ground.

2012 is looking to be an even crazier year then the last and I could not be more excited about it. Knowing all the things I learnt in 2011 makes me very eager to see what this year has in store.  2012 has me going to Vegas, Myanmar (Burma), New Zealand, New York, Prague,  Sweden, Ireland, London, Portland, Tokyo and all over Australia for weddings and speaking and teaching workshops.

The last few weeks I have been busy working on a special project that will take me to Myanmar (Burma) in March to work on a documentary project. This project is taking me into a completely new area as I will be filming for a documentary. Learning to shoot video will be an interesting challenge but beyond excited about where it all may lead.

Earlier this week I was published in Rangefinder magazine. Was happy to check this off my life goals list :)  Today I was very excited to be announced as an Innovator at the next What If Conference in Portland, Oregon in July.

The best bit about my year is all the amazing things I get to be a silent witness to. This is my 2011 from start to finish. Thank you to my amazing clients for believing in me and allowing me to step into their lives for a day. xo


 


  • Erik ClausenFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:09 pm

    Absolutely wonderful imagery.ReplyCancel

  • Debs IveljaFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:23 pm

    W@hat a truly inspiring post Samm. You have found such a perfect balance in your life and you are a true inspiration to all around you. A very beautiful year :)ReplyCancel

  • RebekahFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:28 pm

    Samm, this collection is phenomenal…you are an amazing story teller.ReplyCancel

  • michelle dupontFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:42 pm

    what an amazing year indeed! You are such an inspiration – and every image you shared with us is stunning, beautiful beyond words xxxReplyCancel

  • JustinFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    samm, that is increadible! beautiful selection.ReplyCancel

  • Michael WachniakFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    Completely and utterly in awe. Amazing collection, Samm. Thank you for this.ReplyCancel

  • roweFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    wow samm…. what an amazing year its been! you so deserve it… im sure you have many more adventures ahead of you and i cant wait to see the beautiful images you create!ReplyCancel

  • Paula O'HaraFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:00 pm

    I am in awe. You are so inspirational.xReplyCancel

  • tracyFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:04 pm

    Im sure you know this already but you are brilliant at what you do. Such an inspiration to those that know and don’t know you. Thank you for sharingReplyCancel

  • Amanda VanVelsFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:12 pm

    these are just all….so…good…ReplyCancel

  • Beata EnglishFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    Blown away Sam. You are so talented and an inspiration! Wishing you all the best for 2012 – i can’t wait to see what you do!ReplyCancel

  • MyekieFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing your work with us Samm. We can all learn from your fantastic attitude towards not only photography but life in general. Hope this year is a great year for you.ReplyCancel

  • TenielleFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:04 am

    What a beautiful journey Samm. I love seeing the world through your eyes! What a year you have ahead :)ReplyCancel

  • StewFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:06 am

    Wow, amazing, inspirational and prolific year you’ve had! Congrats and thank you for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • aimeeFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:38 am

    you are beautiful samm. you should be so proud :)ReplyCancel

  • MichaelFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:42 am

    Well summed up Sammy, great post :)ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:24 am

    You are a true inspiration Samm… Not only are you (in my opinion) one of the best photographers on this planet but you are one of the best humans this planet has ever built :) Here is to 2012! wootReplyCancel

  • Katie KFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:35 am

    Your work is phenomenal Samm. You are an amazing artist, and your drive, passion and focus is a massive inspiration. I hope 2012 exceeds your expectations. :-DReplyCancel

  • JenaeFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:37 am

    Beautiful images – a true inspiration Samm, thank you for sharing your journey – look forward to seeing what you get up to in 2012, I am sure it will be equally (if not even more) exciting and inspiring…ReplyCancel

  • Jess MarshallFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:47 am

    Samm… You are THE most inspiring woman and artist. I am so proud of you & your journey. You continue to amaze me & always leave me in awe! I love you my beautiful friend! XxReplyCancel

  • gemma higgins-searsFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:51 am

    My goodness, I could stare at this post all day.. every image is beautiful.. amazing collection. What a year you’ve had, and 2012 sounds like there’s more amazing adventures to be had! xxxReplyCancel

  • SimonFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:00 am

    speechless …ReplyCancel

  • HaileyFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:49 am

    Oh wow Samm! Super inspiring beautiful work! Just gorgeous!! Love!!ReplyCancel

  • Shane ShepherdFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:28 am

    awesome post samm, you are living it and are an inspiration to me to keep moving forward, dreaming, planning, being. To be honest I had a frustrating 2011, thanks for sharing, it’s helping me to stay positive. Bring on more adventures! :)ReplyCancel

  • JuliannaFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:36 am

    What an inspiring post – love that you’ve capturing pooches more too xxReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:45 am

    Just one year? It’s a life time worth of beautiful images! I can’t wait to see where your creative skills take you each after year sammy :)ReplyCancel

  • alydaFebruary 16, 2012 - 6:17 am

    you’re so clever sammy samm. so glad we’re friends. can’t wait to hug you on sunday wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeReplyCancel

  • TamaraFebruary 16, 2012 - 7:08 am

    talent.personified…amazed and amazing.ReplyCancel

  • JulieFebruary 16, 2012 - 7:30 am

    Absolutely stunning! Congrats on a successful and beautiful year!ReplyCancel

  • KellFebruary 16, 2012 - 8:41 am

    My Sammy, My love. I’m with Lades, I’m so glad we’re friends. You are awesome in every way and freaky and talented in every other way possible.ReplyCancel

  • trishFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Oh I love you Samm. I mean I love your work. I think I mean both :) Your drive and passion and talent is beyond this world, and the results in your images are always breathtaking. Thank you for sharing these adventures and here’s to many many more xxReplyCancel

  • Michelle FFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:36 am

    Samm, your images are just breathtaking. I can’t stop looking at them. You are such an inspiration in so many ways. oh, and what exciting adventure are you coming to NZ for? I look forward to reading about your 2012 adventures as they unfold.ReplyCancel

  • PobkeFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:48 am

    oh my… brimming with pride and joy to know you and be your friend. you’re a talent and a beautiful soul with a great heart. i know 2012 is going to be even more amazing. loves you!!!!! :) xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoReplyCancel

  • elFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:00 am

    What a wonderful human you are Samm. I’m grateful 2011 was the year we became friends. xoxoReplyCancel

  • James BoddingtonFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:25 am

    beautiful……….sighReplyCancel

  • Renee BellFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:49 am

    beautiful Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • Janet PalmerFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Im speechless.. but I want to say something, wish it was something cleverer than how awesome it was to meet you in 2011, love your work and look forward to following your radness further into 2012… what an wicked journey xReplyCancel

  • AnyaFebruary 16, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    Beautiful images from a beautiful soul. Inspirational Samm, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • David Ferguson | BrisbaneFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    Lovely year Samm, thanks for inspiring, best of luck for 2012…. I get the feeling it is going to be a big one!ReplyCancel

  • john benaventeFebruary 17, 2012 - 2:04 am

    so sweet sammReplyCancel

  • Angie BaxterFebruary 17, 2012 - 3:46 am

    Absolutely stunning images Samm – what a fantastic year you’ve had!! xoReplyCancel

  • Scott AndrewFebruary 17, 2012 - 5:34 am

    Increds. I love the way you see. Keep inspiring the game and stay awesome :)ReplyCancel

  • Xanthe BerkeleyFebruary 18, 2012 - 9:38 am

    love your work SO much… brilliantly stunning, wow.ReplyCancel

  • gladysFebruary 18, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    Samm! Your images speak so much. You inspire me, and I think the world of your work. I am so happy and lucky that we crossed paths last year. The images of Chris and I show so much of our love, and we’re thankful you captured it for us. You’re amazing!!! xoReplyCancel

  • tigsFebruary 19, 2012 - 10:05 am

    Samm your work is inspirational! Thank you for sharing your passion with us all.ReplyCancel

  • Brian TerryFebruary 20, 2012 - 3:38 pm

    Very nice images Samm, see you soon ;-) BTReplyCancel

  • NancyFebruary 21, 2012 - 6:25 am

    oh Samm, each and every image a story unto itself, brought me to tears. thank you for your artistry and passion…ReplyCancel

  • Teneil KableFebruary 21, 2012 - 10:04 am

    you must have enjoyed looking back at all these significant moments samm, so beautiful. An endless visual journey!ReplyCancel

  • DavidFebruary 22, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    Truly amazing. You hve just gone to the top of my list of favourite photographers.ReplyCancel

  • KalimnaFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:27 am

    What an inspiration you are. You and your work are a reflection of a beautiful heart and talent. Congratulations on a wonderful year and I hope I get to meet you again this year.ReplyCancel

  • EdwardFebruary 27, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    This are just amazing gorgeous collection of images. Every single image has a story. Love it.ReplyCancel

  • RogFebruary 28, 2012 - 4:43 am

    Sammie, I’m glad you’re not crazy and that you’d agree with the rest of us that you’re still on the UP! This year will be better than last year (otherwise un imaginable) but with your heart it’ll be impossible for it not to be. Your an inspiration to me. Keep moving forward Samm. We’re all watching ;)ReplyCancel

  • niravMarch 26, 2012 - 11:59 pm

    You are unbelievably talented Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • jenJune 9, 2012 - 4:57 am

    thank you for sharing! that was stunning and i hope you continue to work. i’ve been following you for almost a year and you just keep getting better!ReplyCancel

photo of me taken in northern california by nirav patel 

.

I am on the hunt for a fabulously organised Administrative Assistant based in Melbourne to help with day-to-day business-related duties.

PREREQUISITES:

– Clear, concise writing skills (you must enjoy writing as this is a large portion of the job);

– High attention to detail;

– Great organisational skills;

– Knowledge of MYOB (or the ability to learn MYOB quickly);

– Good work ethic and ability to work independently and without supervision;

– Minimum of one year commitment.

PLEASE NOTE: As this is NOT a photographic role, the position is not suited to photographers. It is perfectly suited for those with an interest in or experience with administrative duties.

Start date:  As soon as possible.

Time commitment: Approximately 10-15 hours a week, with at least one hour commitment each day (flexible to work from home); as well as one day in-person at my Fitzroy office every one to two weeks.

Application details: Please submit a cover letter responding to each of the selection criteria, a full resume and two professional references as an email (title should be: “Administrative Assistant Position”) to: mail@sammblake.com. I will be accepting applications until the 20th February 2012.

Thank you so much!

A few favorites from Crystal and Aarons wedding in Yallingup, Western Australia. I cannot wait to share the rest of this wedding. xo

I went to Bali for a wedding a few months back and took some pictures. These are two favorites from an afternoon scouting expedition.

  • TenielleDecember 5, 2011 - 8:02 am

    I’d love that first one as a print on my wall, it’s so soothing. Beautiful :)ReplyCancel

  • JamesDecember 5, 2011 - 8:36 am

    That sea shot is so eye catching!ReplyCancel

  • aimeeDecember 5, 2011 - 8:48 am

    such a contrast! selling the top picture in your shoppity shop? :) :)ReplyCancel

  • xantheDecember 5, 2011 - 9:47 am

    The offerings found on the streets in Bali are so beautiful, even here when they’ve been knocked over. Bali is a dream :)ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayDecember 5, 2011 - 11:18 am

    sammy! so beautiful :)ReplyCancel

  • Dirham Gama RadityoDecember 5, 2011 - 2:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of Bali to the world (in a very interesting perspective). Great shots.ReplyCancel

  • tardyDecember 5, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    wow. beautiful colors on that first one. second one says a lot, tooReplyCancel

  • Mark - Plymouth Wedding PhotographyDecember 8, 2011 - 11:10 am

    The first photograph is beautiful, I love the muted tones, very relaxing and peaceful!ReplyCancel

  • AnniDecember 29, 2011 - 10:55 pm

    Beautiful. I’m really drawn to the second one. There’s something really perfect about looking at the colors in a seemingly everyday scene.ReplyCancel

  • wedding photographers brisbaneJanuary 2, 2012 - 12:57 am

    The last photo on an initial glance looks very average at first… but after you think about it for a few seconds, I believe it to be very good. you can tell there was a very festive time has by the remains on the ground… you can almost imagine it all :)ReplyCancel

  • Cara LorenJanuary 7, 2012 - 12:10 am

    I could stare at the top one all day… really nice.ReplyCancel

A new series I have started working on about show dogs. These are just a few images from one visit to the Perth Royal Show recently. Over the last few months, I have been working on building my documentary portfolio website. You can see it by visiting www.memoirsoftomorrow.com . At the same time, I made a tumblr page to put up my personal photography also. You can take a look at memoirsoftomorrow.tumblr.com . I am in the process of building an online print shop to sell some of my images. It will be launching soon :)

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