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

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
 

♥♥♥