gladys and chris . san francisco

 

♥♥♥

I recently spent with the afternoon with the lovely Gladys and Chris in their home and on their rooftop in San Francisco. After we finished shooting, we went to a little Italian restaurant in Nob Hill and filled our bodies with hot pasta and wine, to defrost from shooting in the fog on their rooftop (I wish we had fog like that in Australia). While up on that roof top, I looked around and took it all in, where I was standing and what I was doing on a roof top.  The life of a photographer can be a funny peculiar one when you really think about it.  Stepping into peoples lives for the briefest of moments, to simply witness, feel, react and capture. The best thing I love most about it all, is the bridge is has created for me to meet and connect with so many amazing people on this planet. Photography to me, is not about clicking that shutter at all.  Its about people and sharing with the world a little piece of them and their story.

I have posted this poem before, about a year or more ago,  but I keep going back to it. These are my favorite words.

 

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know 
if you will risk 
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you 
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone 
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

 – The Invitation by Oriah

crystal and aaron . perth

I will remember the kisses
our lips raw with love
and how you gave me
everything you had
and how I
offered you what was left of
me,
and I will remember your small room
the feel of you
the light in the window
your records
your books
our morning coffee
our noons our nights
our bodies spilled together
sleeping
the tiny flowing currents
immediate and forever
your leg my leg
your arm my arm
your smile and the warmth
of you
who made me laugh
again.
~ Charles Bukowski

 

call out : portrait project



I want to work on a photography portrait series about people who live alone. I was thinking recently how I do not know of many people who actually do and soon realized I do not know of a single person who does. This intrigues me. I have decided I want to explore the idea of living by oneself through photography and make a series out of it, with the intention of having it go on exhibition and made into a book. The idea is to go to peoples homes and photograph them in their own environment. An environment they have complete 100% control over, their own private universe. Their retreat from the world.

If you live by yourself, or know somebody who does…please email this blog post to them… please get in contact with me.

I will be visiting the following cities in the next 12 months:

Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vegas, New York, London, Paris and other parts of France, Prague, Bali, rural New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.

I realize by putting this out on the internet.. I could possibly attract some less desirables like rapists, murderers etc… so please do not apply if you fit into these categories. I will be doing reference checks on every one I plan on photographing :) :) :)

art and the heart

Late one afternoon in a land far far away (Tokyo), sitting with my dear friend Dan O’Day, sipping sake, discussing all things worldly and photography related. It soon become clear that we, two like-minded explorers/photographers had a lot to offer each other and shortly came to the conclusion, a lot to offer others. We discussed how amazing it would be to hold a photography workshop together that would combine the things in life, art and business that we are most passionate about.

Art and the Heart : a 3 day photography workshop by Dan O'Day and Samm Blake. Melbourne, New York and London 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dan and samm in japan. shortly before or after discussing all things worldly. june 2011

 

Many bottles of sake, a couple of months of planning, lots of miles traveled and many late night skype sessions later, “Art and the Heart – A Photography Workshop by Dan O’Day and Samm Blake” is born.

We launched the workshop website a few days ago and we have been overwhelmed with the response we have received so far. Melbourne is almost sold out, and we have a waiting list of people for the New York and London workshops. We are so excited incredibly excited for everything we have planned for these workshops.

If you are interested in the New York or London workshops, send us an email so you will be one of the first to be notified when we announce the dates and registration opens.

If you are interested in our Melbourne workshop, get in contact with us quickly to get one of the last tickets :)

 

 

You Thought You Knew You : a blog cooperative to inspire, renew, discover and stimulate creativity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have also been working on another project with Dan, collaborating together on a blog cooperative, You Thought You Knew You, to inspire, renew, discover and stimulate creativity. The project was introduced while Dan was speaking at the AIPP event “Hair of the Dog” in Brisbane, in February. It seeks to be an inspirational home for all types of creative photographers, so to challenge one another in thinking of new creative patterns and ways of looking at sometimes not-so-creative things.

The blog is to serve as a reminder of the importance of working on personal projects and getting a little “uncomfortable” when exploring creativity & art and exercising “seeing”. It ultimately seeks to bring out the best in us publicly – to an audience of like minded peers and colleagues, family and friends, or even to our clients.

Every week one artist will be selected and given a photography brief (created by YTYKY Creative HQ OR by a creative brief submitted by the public). The artist will be given seven days to complete the brief by providing around 10 images in response to their particular assignment. Each artist will also submit a written post, explaining their experience with the assignment as well as their thoughts on the experience as a whole.

To stimulate as much “uncomfortableness” as possible, the selected artist must shoot in a style or method outside their usual area of expertise. If, for example, the brief is “Blue” and “Grass” and the artist selected is a wedding photographer who shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II, YTYKY does not wish to see images of blue wedding shoes sitting in fields of grass shot on a DSLR. Instead, YTYKY seeks to push the boundaries of whatever “norms” the artist of the week is most comfortable with. Shoot blue garden gnomes with a Polaroid camera. Be as different as possible. Extend the imagination as far as it will go. Steer away from what feels “natural” and discover another side to your creative potential.

The site is to also serve as a hub / portal to inspire us all even further, featuring many links to videos, books and awesome sites that feature amazing photography projects.

Come join our facebook page or follow us on twitter to keep in the loop about what we are up to. We would love for you to become involved… come nominate a photographer who you would love to see issued with a challenge (or get someone to nominate you if you would like a challenge!)

My project I have been working on over winter is currently the feature of the week on YTYKY :)

 

 

japanese daydreams

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

 

 

I traveled to Japan in June with one of my dearest friends, Dan O’Day. These are some things I saw. Whenever  I travel, I like to challenge myself creatively. To push myself to shoot in a new way then I normally would. I took my new Fuji x100 camera camera along with my Mamiya 6 medium format camera.  I ended up using only the Fuji x100 the entire trip..I love this little camera.  I normally only shoot film when I travel so shooting digitally and with such a small camera, I was able to capture images I would have normally missed ..like japanese business men picking their noses on the subway :)

Tokyo is my favorite city in the world. I would move there in a heartbeat.

my suitcase life

samm in tokyo. image by dan o’day

 

The first six months of this year have been very good to me and it looks as if the next six months are about to get a whole lot better :)  So many amazing opportunities and adventures ahead… a lot more to share and announce over the next few months. I am about to make the big move over to Melbourne, I am currently in Japan working on a personal photography project and as soon as I get back to Australia, its all a go go :)

. . . . .

This July in Melbourne, I will be speaking along side some amazing photographers. Make sure you get your tickets quickly as I am sure this will sell out. Check out prophotoseminars.com.au for more details :)

. . . . .

I was interviewed on the Skip Town  (The online resource for creative travellers) blog recently. Check out the interview here > Through Their Eyes : Samm Blake

. . . . .

Lots and lots of travel ahead of me in the next six months. I am always happy to book in work while I am traveling, so if you are interested in being photographed by me (or have a one on one photography / business mentor session with me) in any of these places, please contact me :)

Japan – June 2011
Sydney – June 2011
Canberra – June + July 2011
Melbourne – June + July 2011
New South Wales – July + August 2011
USA – September 2011
Bali – September 2011
Queensland – October 2011
Margaret River – October + November + December 2011
New South Wales – December 2011
USA – February 2012
USA – June + July 2012

film is not dead



I attended the Film Is Not Dead workshop in Melbourne back in January. I had the *best* week and learnt so so so much from Jonathan Canlas. That man knows his stuff and I am so grateful for his passion in sharing and teaching his amazing knowledge in all things film. The best thing about going to a photography workshop is the beautiful friendships that are made. My dearest and best friends are all people I have met at photography workshops. There are many perks to my amazing job.. but the highest on the list is the amazing photography community I get to be part of.

❤❤❤

nevada dreams

Nevada, USA, February 2011

It all seems like a lovely dream now.

A random collection of film images from a few days adventuring in Vegas and the Nevada Desert. Oh how I miss my dear friends and adventuring comrades.. Dan O’Day, Christine Pobke, Kelly Tunney and Alyda + Todd McGaw. I love these wonderful people all so much and wish we all lived in the same city as each other and go on photo taking expeditions all the time. sigh.

My beautiful friend Pobke has posted images she took on the same day. I always love seeing different photographers perspectives of the same places we visit. Sometimes we notice the exact same things and sometimes the complete opposite :)

You may recognize all these lovely faces from a blog post I put up a few weeks ago from Alyda and Todd’s Vegas wedding at the Little White Wedding Chapel. The very talented and charming lads Dan O’Day and Jonas Peterson have posted their perspectives of the day on their blogs now, you should look.. they are both so talented at what they do.. and you may see some funny photos of me amongst it all ;)

fine art books















11×11″ fine art book.

I have to admit I am not really a fan of traditional wedding albums. I dont actually offer them. I am all about these fine art books. Ive been offering these books exclusively for about two years now.

I love these books. I love the thick beautiful paper. I love white space. I love clean and simple. I love the custom book covers and boxes. I love that images can run through the crease line and are not affected by the fold. I do in fact love everything about them. love. love. love.

the beloved collective


Photography is such a beautiful thing.. the life it has given me and the doors it has opened for me. The best gift I was probably ever given in my life was the little 35mm point and shoot camera my grandma gave me for a birthday back in 1991. Photography took hold of me then and little did I know the life I was in for :)  It instantly gave me a voice and the opportunity to connect with so many beautiful people.  Photography to me, is my way of expressing to the world how I am feeling. I feel most times I have trouble speaking how I feel.. with photography it just flows so naturally.. its my artform.. my language.. thats why I am so connected to it, so crazily passionate about it and have so much of my identity in it. The true gift photography has given me is that it has created a bridge for me to connect with people. Photography is not about clicking a button. It’s not about what camera I use, what lens I use or if I shoot film or digital. Its about people. Connecting with people. Engaging with other humans in this crazy beautiful world we live in.

I had a really defining moment in my life a few years ago. Everything changed. Everything. In July 2008, I went to San Francisco to attend Jesh de Rox’s life {as an artform} workshop. I remember sitting next to Jesh at the welcome dinner and I could barely utter a word. I was so incredibly shy. I was so desperate to connect with people but my fears and shyness were holding me back from being the photographer and more importantly the person I wanted to be.

Fast forward 2.5 years later.. to today. Many air miles, telephone calls and crazy adventures later.. so SO so many of the incredible people in my life can be linked back to Jesh. My life has become so rich from knowing him. He has this amazing ability to connect with people. Jesh has taught me so much and I am so grateful for his friendship, looking out for me and mentoring me over the last few years. We have become dear friends in this time, he has been there in the best times of my life and helped me through the absolute hardest.

One of the best things Jesh has given me was Beloved. Giving me the opportunity to learn and experience what Beloved is and implementing it into my life and photography. He has been working hard on launching the beloved collective, which I am so so proud to be part of. We have so many exciting things planned for this year with Beloved, some of it includes some speaking and teaching by me.. how did I go from being such a shy lil sammy to only two years later be public speaking in front of hundreds…its crazy to think about. I love my crazy life.

My dear friend Jesh de Rox is doing a preview talk on BELOVED: A Business that Feeds Your Heart & Your Family’ this week. I am so excited for what we have in store for Beloved.  its so very very exciting.

Beloved: A Business that Feeds Your Heart & Your Family

What is Beloved and what can it do for you? Click the link below to register for the FREE preview talk ‘Beloved: A Business that Feeds Your Heart & Your Family’ and find out more about the new, heart-centered genre of photography that’s sweeping the world.

The preview talk will be held online, March 23, 2011, at 6:00pm PDT, (so March 24th for us Aussies..9am for WA and 12pm for NSW/VIC).

In this 1hr web seminar, Jesh will discuss Experiential Technique, the information technology that powers the exciting new genre of Beloved. He’ll give an overview of the massive potential it represents to photographers in all fields, strengthening their current work and enabling them to explore a huge untapped market of clients in a way that could truly touch the world.

Jesh will outline how the Beloved Collective is empowering photographers right now, its plans going forward and how photographers that want in on this industry-wide revolution can learn more.

To sign up for the free preview talk please register at http://bit.ly/belovedcollective

hope to see you there :) xoxo

strangers



 

my mother tells me i should stop go and get a real job but that cant be the way that i roll from cartwheels & pinwheels on Vimeo.

Im all about setting myself little projects, things that make me challenge myself with my work, make me grow as an artist. Ive had this fear of photographing strangers for a long time and it was about time I overcome it. I made this little video as part of a artist collective I am part of, documenting my attempt on a very hot summers day, asking a few strangers if I could take their portrait. I just got the film back from the lab so I thought I would put up the portraits I got. I still have a long way to go on this project. This is just the very start :)