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 :)

AMBER + GARY {BELOVED}

















Amber and Gary were such a pleasure to spend time with and photograph. I enjoyed our beloved shoot immensely. It was also Gary’s birthday the day we did this shoot which made it all the more special. I think its such a nice way to spend ones birthday :) I am photographing Amber and Gary’s wedding next month in Margaret River. I cannot wait, its going to be an amazing day :)

This was my first complete film shoot (well except for the very last frame). I am making the transition of shooting more film in my portrait and wedding work. I have always been a film shooter, shooting the first 4 years of my wedding photography career all on film but in 2007 somehow caved into going digital. It was mostly due to the frustrations of not having a good photo lab to work with to scan my films. Ive finally found an awesome lab, Richards Photo Lab, who have been amazing to work with. I always kept shooting film for my personal fine art and travel work. I think and shoot differently when shooting film. It slows me down and my creativity seems to flow more. It makes me look harder for that isolated beautiful moment. After attending Jonathan Canlas’s FIND workshop in Melbourne in January (more on this later), I made the decision I need make the transition back into film with my portrait and wedding work. When I am editing my digital work, I spend hours trying to make it look like my film work, so I decided I should just shoot film and be done with losing my life in front of a computer. I am loving the process of making the transition back to my sweet sweet love of film. ❤

LISA + STEVE . SYDNEY






















































































































Lisa and Steve flew me over to Sydney to photograph their beautiful wedding at Wendy Whiteley’s Garden in Lavendar Bay and reception at Fisherman’s Wharf Chinese Restaurant at the Fish Markets. One of the most enjoyable parts of my very wonderful job is that I get to step into peoples lives for a day and experience something different to my own life. I am a people watcher. Im fascinated by people to know end. I could sit in an airport all day and watch people coming and going, making up stories about their lives. Its the reason I am a photographer. The reason why I am a people photographer and the reason why I am attracted to photographing weddings. I get to people watch but I do not have to make up stories about them, I get to step in and experience them. I love that I get to experience all different types of wedding ceremonies, different cultures, religions and different family dynamics. I love when a couple from two different cultures come together and seeing how they combine both their heritages in the most spectacular fashion. I loved the importance Lisa and Steve placed on all their dear family and friends throughout their wedding day. There is a quote I have been thinking a lot about lately, a quote from Christopher McCandless “Happiness is only real when shared”, these words were his final diary entry before dying in the wilderness alone. I cant think of anything truer about happiness when I look back at the images captured at this wedding.

Lisa and Steve, thank you for bringing me to Sydney and letting me step into your lives for a day. I loved it.

Vegas. Little White Wedding Chapel




















Las Vegas. Little White Wedding Chapel. February 2011

I had the pleasure of going to the little white wedding chapel to watch my two dear friends Todd and Alyda McGaw renew their wedding vows when I was in Vegas a few weeks ago. I have been to many weddings in my lifetime and this I have to admit, this one is my all time favorite. A room full of dear friends, elvis, vegas, safari suit, vintage dress, red shoes… and the sweetest of sweet vows. I loved it all. These are a few images I captured on film as an over eager guest ;)

Cannon Beach. Oregon. USA


Cannon Beach. Oregon. USA. March 2010

Sometimes when I shoot film, a roll or two of film sometimes goes missing for awhile… a year later it turns up, gets added to the pile of other film I am sending to the lab. Then when I get all the films back from the lab, I get very pleasantly surprised, its like christmas morning when I discover all these images that had been long forgotten. The images above would be one of those times.

I took these photographs at Cannon Beach when I was visiting Oregon in the USA last March.

switch cities : Prints For Queensland Floods Appeal

A group of photographers have donated prints to the switch cities project, to help raise funds for the Queensland flood relief. They raised over $2800 for Hope For Haiti and hope to raise more again. My “Pretty Things” print is in the gallery available to purchase and there are other beautiful images from photographers around Australia and the globe who have also donated prints. All proceeds go the QLD Flood Relief and each print is priced in $US. Please buy some pretty art for your walls and help us make a little difference :)

shop.switchcities.com

holga + adventures


2010 has been a good year full of travel and adventures to far away lands. My holga always comes on my adventures with me. I dont shoot with it all that often as I prefer shooting with my medium format gear, but sometimes when the weight of my gear gets to much, I go out and explore with my trusty old light as a feather holga. Its always a nice surprise getting these films developed as I normally forget what is on each roll and normally have multiple trips appear on one roll. These images were spread over three rolls of film and include Venice, Berlin, Rome, London, Vancouver, Kalgoorlie and Exmouth.

2011 is going to be another year full of travel. I am wanting to shoot a lot more beloved work this year so I am putting these dates out there in the universe and see what happens :) If you are interested in a beloved shoot (or wedding or mentor session) in any of these locations, please get in contact with me!

Sydney // 27th Dec – 30th Dec 2010
Melbourne // 30th Dec – 4th Jan 2011
Brisbane // 4th Jan- 7th Jan 2011
Canberra // 7th Jan – 14th Jan 2011
Melbourne // 14th Jan – 21st Jan 2011
Los Angeles / San Diego / Vegas // February 2011
Los Angeles // Apr 2011
USA / Canada // Jul – Aug 2011
Margaret River Region // Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov, Dec 2011
Melbourne // January 2012 onwards +++

and a wee announcement… I am moving to Melbourne at the end of 2011. I am now accepting Melbourne (and east coast) wedding commissions from January 2012 onwards :)

Nikky + Danilo









Nikky and Danilo, how I love these two. Nobody in the church knew it was pouring with rain outside during the ceremony. Nikky and Danilo were the first to exit the church, I opened the doors for them and they were greeted with the rain storm. Instead of freaking out, they just laughed and laughed and laughed. It was my favorite part of their wedding day. I think it shows the type of people they are. ♥♥♥. We were lucky to dodge the rain most of the afternoon, running undercover and into the Moores Building when it got a bit crazy outside. Just as we were finishing up shooting in Fremantle, we had to run like mad to the cars, I got absolutely drenched, head to toe. I loved it.

los angeles


polaroids from los angeles. november 2010.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, it’s so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the water’s edge.
The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
I’m not sure all these people understand.
It’s not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
September’s coming soon.
I’m pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
this one laughing quietly underneath my breath.
Nightswimming.

The photograph reflects,
every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night.

Nightswimming by R.E.M

The Invitation

polaroids from my week in los angeles, november 2010.

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.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation

ursi + michel . switzerland . beloved






















I photographed this beloved session of Ursi and Michel (plus their dogs miro and sheela) when I was traveling through Europe in July. These four live in Switzerland and contacted me for a beloved portrait shoot when they heard I was coming through their beautiful country. Michael and I spent a few days with them at their house, they drove us all up and down the mountains in Switzerland showing us what their beautiful country is all about. We had a barbecue picnic on the side of a little creek which was one of my favorite parts of our whole trip. Ursi and Michel are such warm hearted, generous, beautiful people. This beloved shoot was taken over two days. It was such an honor and pleasure to meet, spend time with and to photograph them. ♥

adventures ahead


film shots from italy. venice + amalfi. july 2010. { The one of me taken by Michael }

Wedding season started this week and I am so excited about all the amazing people I get to work and spend time with over the next 8 months. Over the next 6 months I am doing a crazy amount of travel. 3 trips to the USA included. crazy! I love going to explore new places and could not be more excited about the adventures that lie ahead of me in the next few months. If you are interested in a beloved portrait shoot, wedding photography or a mentor session in any of these locations, please get in contact with me :)

31 Oct – 7 Nov ~ Los Angeles
9 – 11 Nov ~ Canberra
4 – 6 Dec ~ Margaret River
11 – 14 Dec ~ Albany
27 – 30 Dec ~ Sydney
30 Dec – 1 Jan ~ Melbourne
14 – 21 Jan ~ Melbourne
13 Feb – 1 Mar ~ Los Angeles / Vegas
4 – 5 Mar ~ Margaret River
3 – 8 Apr ~ Los Angeles
15 – 18 Apr ~ Margaret River

my sweet disposition

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

 

my sweet disposition from cartwheels & pinwheels on Vimeo.

This is just a little video ive made from the random moments I collected while I was roaming around Europe in July. Before I went away, I knew I wanted to do something creatively that did not involve just picture taking. I wanted to see and experience this trip differently. I stumbled across a little teeny tiny camera called the zumi that takes the most horrendous stills but I really like how it captures video, giving it a very super 8 kind of look. Before I went away I knew the song was going to be the soundtrack. The song speaks to me. When I first heard Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap, goosebumps covered my arms. Ive only just tried finding the meaning of the song and found this quote, “When we’re young, we act first and think later. But as adults, we rationalize everything. Basically, the song is about capturing the innocence of youth.” (in Nylon, Nov 09). Gosh. It was the whole reason why I went away, just to stop and to just enjoy what is right in front of me.

{sweet disposition by the temper trap}

Sweet disposition
Never too soon
Oh, reckless abandon
Like no one’s watching you

A moment, a love
A dream aloud
A kiss, a cry
Our rights, our wrongs
A moment, a love
A dream aloud
A moment, a love
A dream aloud

So stay there
Because I’ll be coming over
And while our blood’s still young
It’s so young
It runs
And we won’t stop until it’s over
Won’t stop to surrender

Songs of desperation
I played them for you
A moment, a love
A dream aloud
A kiss, a cry
Our rights, our wrongs
A moment, a love
A dream, aloud
A moment, a love
A dream aloud

my girl gwendoline

Model : Danielle Howson
Makeup : Holly Eden
Label : My Girl Gwendoline

My sister, Renee Blake, is a designer and has her own fashion label, My Girl Gwendoline. She is moving to Melbourne next week to explore bigger and better things for her career and I am sad to see her go as I now have no sisters left in Perth to dine, wine and go op shopping with. However her moving to Melbourne means a couch to sleep on so more trips to Melbourne are in the works! Hoorah! Im in Melbourne for New Years and then back again a fortnight later for the FIND workshop with Jonathan Canlas, so if anybody wants to book in a beloved shoot please get in contact with me :)

Renee and I got together recently to photograph her latest Spring / Summer collection. We trekked to a beautiful old quarry hiding in the bush I had found a few weeks earlier.