A huge thanks to Ms Polka from Polka Dot Bride here in Australia who also published Mei and Troy’s wedding on her blog (part 1 and part 2) in August and put forward this wedding for consideration at Eco-Beautiful Weddings!
Amanda’s father straightening out her dress moments before they walk down the aisle at St George’s Cathedral.
The above image would be my all time favourite image Michael has captured at a wedding. This image is the whole reason why I like to have a second shooter with me when I shoot weddings. This sweet moment would have been missed because I was photographing the groom when this happened (the below image). Incase your wondering who this Michael fellow is… he is my beloved and these days he assists me at most my weddings :)
The reason I go to the USA every year is to attend WPPI (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International) in Vegas. Basically its a photography tradeshow and with lots of photography classes. The best bit about going is that I get to catch up with all my photographer friends from around the globe. Vegas + friends + parties = a mighty fine time that does not involve getting much sleep for a week. The Airhorns and Lasers Party was absolutely awesome! Jesh de Rox and Amy Seeley played early in the evening and the flashdance had me dancing all night long! Three of my favorite music people in one night! ah! good times! :) Check out more from airhorns and lasers.
I may or may not be in the below video having a shot of… some water ;)
and today I am in Portland, Oregon.
today im in seattle.
I am currently in the USA until the 20th March. The best way to get in contact with me is via email. I dont suggest the phone because I have it off most of the time due to the time difference and costs involved. I am doing my best to respond to emails as soon as I can, but will take longer then normal to respond because I do not have regular access to email.
In December I went over to Queenstown, New Zealand to photograph Barbara and Dave’s wedding. We did a portrait session two days before the wedding. I knew I wanted to photograph in some big open space, so we drove around aimlessly until we found what I was looking for..it was perfect.
highway 1 – somewhere near big sur. california. february 2009.
In a few days im heading to the USA. Im visting San Fransisco – Vegas – Seattle – Portland – San Fransisco. I am so excited to catch up with heaps of friends, go off an explore and work on some personal photography projects for a few weeks. Do you have any suggestions for anything I should go, see or do? Any cool little cafes or shops I should visit? would love some ideas :) Ive been to San Fransisco and Vegas before, so some ideas to get off the beaten tourist path would be cool ;)
and Emma and Ian’s good taste.
I want this wedding to be my wedding. It makes my heart melt. Moore & Moore is a little cafe just round the corner from my office in Fremantle, situated in the Moore’s Building on Henry Street. I love spending time there and visiting the exhibitions they have in the Moore’s Art Gallery. A few years back, I had an exhibition in there part of the Foto Freo Fringe (FotoFreo is on again next month – if you are interested in photography come to Fremantle to check out all the amazing photography on exhibition from international and local photographers). Once I heard Moore & Moore were doing wedding functions, ive been so eager to shoot a wedding there and when Emma and Ian told me about the plans for their wedding day, I was very excited. I think there is one thing I would love as much as being a photographer and that would be a wedding stylist ;) dear universe, can we please make this happen?
I adored this wedding very much. Everything had meaning and told a story about Ben and Yolanda. To read more about their day, check out the two posts (here and here) on Polka Dot Bride. I have to say, the picnic they shared, just the two of them (just before we started the portrait session), was the best thing I have ever seen at a wedding.
Words from the Polka Dot Bride article, “choosing a cocktail reception, Yolanda and Ben knew they wouldn’t get much time for eating while mingling with their guests. Instead, Ben’s mother and sister organised a private picnic for the newlyweds that they could enjoy while having their photos taken.
Yolanda says “An added bonus was that it provided an opportunity to just sit together, without being the centre of attention, and take in the moment of having just got married. It was a really special time that we both cherish, especially as the reception whizzed past and we were often engaged with different guests.”
if you did not notice already, i love dogs. they make me happy.
In December, Michael and I went over to New Zealand to photograph Barbara and Dave’s wedding in Queenstown. We were there for only three nights as we had to race back to Australia for two more destination weddings the same week. We had a few free hours the day before the wedding, we had a hire car and we went off to explore a little bit of New Zealand. After driving aimlessly around the mountains for a few hours (we were trying to find some snow, hehe), we pulled over at a little picnic area and spent some time on this pebbly beach. I wrote in my journal, we skimmed rocks into the river, put our toes into the chilly water and we collected some rocks to bring home (I have a jar with random pieces of the world in it). It’s one of my favourite memories from 2009.
ive just been notified I am having major email issues. I do not think I am receiving all emails. If you have sent me a email recently and are still waiting a response from me, please try again. the best email to get me on is iloveyoursmile (at) sammblake dot com. sorry for any inconvenience.
a favourite from Barbara and Dave’s wedding in Queenstown, New Zealand. more on this beautifulllllll wedding to come soon.
This polaroid was taken out the front of my studio in Fremantle. I walked past this van and noticed this dog with his head sticking out the window with sunglasses on. I ran into the office to grab my polaroid camera and was mighty glad to see him still sitting there when I got back. I was trying to get close to get the photo when he tired to bite my head off. His owner was nowhere in sight. One of my favourite polaroids :)
I am working on a *special* project that will involve me mentoring a young artist. Ideally the person will be around 16-21 years old. I am not interested in teaching how to be a wedding photographer, or anything really related to commercial photography (however I am opening up a mentor program that will cater to this, if you are at all interested, email me for more details). This project is about being an artist. I am currently reading an amazing book by Seth Godin called “Linchpin“. A quote that helps me sum up what this project is about. “Art is about intent and communication not the medium you work in. An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity and boldness to challenge the status quo and an artist takes it personally.” I have really enjoyed reading this book, Ive almost finished and once I finish, I will probably reread it straight away. I have never reread a book straight away before, so take that as a sign that this book is amazing :) I have read a number of Seth Godin‘s books. I particularly enjoyed reading ‘Tribes‘ too.
Over the past two years, I have spent much time, thought and energy into studying what it means to be an artist and my role as an artist. The last few months in particular have been a really defining point in my life. I have faced a lot of fears and learning to overcome the things that are holding me back. 2010 is going to be all about conquering fears ;) One item in particular is writing. Oh how I wish I was a better writer. I have so many thoughts flying around in my head that I wish I could express myself better in words. There is so much I want to write on this blog and so today is my first step towards bravery, insight, creativity and boldness.
So getting back to the project.. One day I thought, what if I could give some of the information I know today to the ’15 year old Samm’ alive and kicking in 1998. Some of the things I know now, I could have really benefited knowing when I was 15 years old. (I am sure, 15 year old Samm could teach me a thing or two). So rather then this just being a wish, the idea of the project was formed. How amazing and beautiful would it be, if I could give some of the information and insight I have learnt over the past few years to a younger artist. This project is part of a much grander project I am pouring my heart into (I will share more details of this in the future). This mentoring project can be part of the JUMP Mentoring Program, read more about it at www.jumpmentoring.com.au.
If you or someone you know is at all interested, please get in contact with me :)
happy australia day! A few years ago I started working on a series of images that depicted Australian suburban life. All shot on my Mamiya 6 in black and white film, the series will most likely take me over 20 years to complete because I always forget to take my Mamiya out with me. Just thinking now, I shot a awesome series of an “Australian Santa” at a christmas party in December 2008. It is still sitting in a draw undeveloped.
The first image, was taken on Australia Day in 2006. It’s a tradition in Perth to head down to the river early in the morning, sit in the boiling hot sun all day, play cricket and drink way too much. The inner bogan comes out in most and everyone gets rather obnoxious. In the evening there are fireworks over the city skyline. This was taken around 7pm, at this point in the day most people are either really rather drunk or just really hot and exhausted, getting impatient waiting for the fireworks to start just so they can get back home to the aircon.
The second image was taken at a guy’s house called ‘lambie’. I received my Mamiya 6 in the post earlier that day (bought off ebay) so I was eager to test it out, so this was the first roll of film I put through it. I somehow ended up at this guys house and in the backyard, a bunch of guys were doing burn outs. I love this shot because it does not get much more bogan or Aussie then this. teehee :)
This day was beautiful. Melissa and Shaun are the nicest, most down to earth couple i got hang with for a day and photograph. Im always saying such nice things about my clients, but it’s all true, I mean every word of it, I honestly get the work with the nicest people. No bridezillas. No meltdowns. Just lots of people having a fantastic day and I get to be there to witness and document it all. These two are now off backpacking round the globe for their honeymoon. so jealous!
such a simple photograph, yet i adore it very much.
This year has been unbelievably good. This time last year I was thinking back on how 2008 was pretty good to me, but 2009 ended up being a billion times better, so I hope 2010 will be a billion times better again :) So much has happened this year in both my personal and business life.. some of the best memories have been traveling to the USA, getting a puppy, buying a house, watching friends get married and having babies, being named in the 10 top wedding photographs in Australia by Capture Magazine, traveling overseas and around Australia to shoot some lovely couples in love, giving my first presentation to a group of photographers, starting mentoring other photographers, Jesh’s life as an artform workshop and lastly, witnessing 44 couples get married…
DANI + JEZ
COURTNEY + ROCKET
ANTHEA + STEVE
RIANNA + MICHAEL
TANYA + STEWART
HANNAH + BEN
JANINE + PAUL
CAROLINE + ADAM
JODY + MICHAEL
EMMA + MURRAY
NATALIE + SHANE
LINDA + JON
KRISTY + ADAM
RIKKI + JODI
PIP + NATHAN
NICOLE + ANDREW
ZOE + CHRIS
SARAH + ALEX
KULI + SAM
SARAH + CALLUM
VICKI + BRAD
DAWN + STUART
BREE + DAMIAN
ANGELA + JASON
SARAH + STEPHEN
ERIN + GLEN
CASEY + PETE
YOLANDA + BEN
SARAH + CHRIS
BIANCA + PAUL
ELAINE + MATT
MARISSA + NICK
MELANIE + CRAIG
MELISSA + SHAUN
LYNLEE + OWEN
COLLEEN + JARED
REANNA + SHANE
BARBARA + DAVE
TARA + BERNDT
REBECCA + AARON
DIONN + GAVIN
SAM + ROB
RACHEL + ERIC
JESS + PAUL (these two got married yesterday!)