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

Visting the  world’s largest reclining Buddha, Win Sein Taw Ya. Myanmar. March 2012. 

  • JessApril 11, 2012 - 11:02 pm

    Love it! How amazing to visit Myanmar, I’ll have to pick your brain about it sometime.ReplyCancel

  • Tyler RayNovember 14, 2012 - 3:12 am

    I went to Myanmar this past January and it was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.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