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

 

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  • 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

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

♥♥♥

  • FarrahFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:37 pm

    This is so beautiful. Love the third photo down.ReplyCancel

  • jason starrFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:47 pm

    Lovely photos Sammy. Lovely couple. LOVE the puppies!!!ReplyCancel

  • Sheye RosemeyerFebruary 26, 2012 - 11:58 pm

    I adore your gentle observations. They speak quietly and brim with love.

    xReplyCancel

  • VanessaFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:07 am

    Pure gorgeousness. Love. Love. Love.ReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:17 am

    she’s a samm blake. a pretty picture she does make.ReplyCancel

  • NatFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:19 am

    Samm, your work never ceases to amaze me these pics are stunning.ReplyCancel

  • MyekieFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:19 am

    Samm I love this portrait shoot. The dog the couple the location the light and the skill in the capture is just sublime. Well done love it.ReplyCancel

  • Gemma Higgins-SearsFebruary 27, 2012 - 1:32 am

    stunning Samm, what a gorgeous spot!ReplyCancel

  • Kirra CheersFebruary 27, 2012 - 2:20 am

    I think I know this location. Is this near Sorrento? Beautiful workReplyCancel

  • Susan RezakFebruary 27, 2012 - 2:58 am

    Oh I so love how their puppy got involved! He’s so handsome!ReplyCancel

  • MichaelFebruary 27, 2012 - 3:40 am

    so pretty :)ReplyCancel

  • SimonFebruary 27, 2012 - 4:06 am

    My god – you’re an artist!ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea ParsonsFebruary 27, 2012 - 5:52 am

    Love this Samm. It reminds me so much of the East Coast of Tasmania xReplyCancel

  • marc ashFebruary 27, 2012 - 6:00 am

    These are absolutely gorgeous Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • Gedas GirdvainisFebruary 27, 2012 - 7:05 am

    Wow gorgeous Samm!ReplyCancel

  • ElleFebruary 27, 2012 - 9:10 am

    Such beautiful, natural connections Samm. I adore your work <3ReplyCancel

  • David Ferguson | BrisbaneFebruary 27, 2012 - 10:26 am

    Lovely work again Samm!ReplyCancel

  • AlexFebruary 27, 2012 - 12:39 pm

    Some lovely shots! :-)ReplyCancel

  • BettinaFebruary 28, 2012 - 12:38 pm

    These are so beautiful Samm, you are amazing and a gorgeous location too. B xoReplyCancel

  • Shane ShepherdFebruary 29, 2012 - 9:37 am

    Really lovely shots Samm, a real calming serene mood to these. Cyber-space-high-five.ReplyCancel

  • Benni KnopMarch 1, 2012 - 4:50 am

    Hey there, I just stumbled across your blog and your photos are fantastic! ReplyCancel

  • alydaMarch 1, 2012 - 11:11 pm

    so good sammy! number 3 is a cracker!ReplyCancel

  • Leigh GrayMarch 3, 2012 - 7:45 am

    Hmmm… that is a good bit of variety out of what looks to be one location. Always the hardest thing to do IMO. I am always trying to double the shots I can get in one place. Like them all very much :)ReplyCancel

  • JessMarch 13, 2012 - 4:50 am

    Amazing photo’s – what a beautiful location.ReplyCancel

  • ed peersMarch 13, 2012 - 12:57 pm

    This is awesome Samm…ReplyCancel

  • SimonMarch 19, 2012 - 4:00 am

    Gorgeous photography – I love the fact they included their dog in the photos.ReplyCancel

  • David RobertsonMarch 20, 2012 - 10:51 pm

    so so beautiful SammReplyCancel

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” – Winfield Peterson

 

This was my motto for 2011 and it will be my motto again for 2012.

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for the past two months. Trying to think what on earth will I write to sum up what 2011 was all about for me. It was a big year. It was a crazy, scary, beautiful, fun, terrifying and exhilarating year.  It was a complete whirlwind. It was a year of challenges and learning all about patience. It was about taking risks and reaping its rewards. At the very beginning of the year I made the decision to sell and give away most my processions and the put rest into storage. I decided to start a new life completely on my own in a completely different city where I knew less then 5 people. Making the decision to move to Melbourne was one of the toughest yet easiest decisions I have ever made. After being in Melbourne for a few months now, I finally feel settled and at home. I never really felt at home like I do here.

I am incredibily lucky I get to do what I do. I have spent time in some truly remarkable places with some truly remarkable people. I have this favourite part of the day, its that moment right after the sun has set and there is that 20 minute window of twilight where the sky is an intense dark blue and its in the last moments of light. I get to spend a lot of these times in really remote and random locations. A lot of time is standing on cliff tops, looking out onto the ocean as I am finishing up photographing a wedding or portrait shoot. Sometimes its when I am riding my bike home from work and I look up to see the crazy Melbourne bats flying past, or its when I am running the streets of Fitzroy. It is at these times, that I always remind myself that I am truly grateful for the decisions I have made to lead me where I am today.

2011 was full of adventure. I ended up on 55 different aeroplanes, taking me to many random locations. I went to Vegas and saw my two dear friends renew their wedding vowels in the Little White Wedding Chapel and spend 1o days at WPPI with all my dear photography friends. I went to Japan for a fun adventure with my friend Dan where we started working on our workshop series Art and the Heart that we launched a few months later.  I traveled to Los Angeles to speak at the Beloved Collective and also spoke in Melbourne for the Pro Photo Seminars. I guest spoke at the Winter Wonderland and at the Jonas & Sean workshop’s. I certainly overcame my fear of public speaking.

In 2011, I also taught myself to run and quickly clocked up over 500km and ran half a marathon. I was a top 5 finalist in the Monster Childrens photography competition and got my photo published in their magazine and book. I joined my friend Dan O’Day on an awesome project called You Thought You Knew You, where we challenge photographers with a brief that will push themselves creatively.

It was a year about pushing myself to find new ground.

2012 is looking to be an even crazier year then the last and I could not be more excited about it. Knowing all the things I learnt in 2011 makes me very eager to see what this year has in store.  2012 has me going to Vegas, Myanmar (Burma), New Zealand, New York, Prague,  Sweden, Ireland, London, Portland, Tokyo and all over Australia for weddings and speaking and teaching workshops.

The last few weeks I have been busy working on a special project that will take me to Myanmar (Burma) in March to work on a documentary project. This project is taking me into a completely new area as I will be filming for a documentary. Learning to shoot video will be an interesting challenge but beyond excited about where it all may lead.

Earlier this week I was published in Rangefinder magazine. Was happy to check this off my life goals list :)  Today I was very excited to be announced as an Innovator at the next What If Conference in Portland, Oregon in July.

The best bit about my year is all the amazing things I get to be a silent witness to. This is my 2011 from start to finish. Thank you to my amazing clients for believing in me and allowing me to step into their lives for a day. xo


 


  • Erik ClausenFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:09 pm

    Absolutely wonderful imagery.ReplyCancel

  • Debs IveljaFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:23 pm

    W@hat a truly inspiring post Samm. You have found such a perfect balance in your life and you are a true inspiration to all around you. A very beautiful year :)ReplyCancel

  • RebekahFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:28 pm

    Samm, this collection is phenomenal…you are an amazing story teller.ReplyCancel

  • michelle dupontFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:42 pm

    what an amazing year indeed! You are such an inspiration – and every image you shared with us is stunning, beautiful beyond words xxxReplyCancel

  • JustinFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:43 pm

    samm, that is increadible! beautiful selection.ReplyCancel

  • Michael WachniakFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:48 pm

    Completely and utterly in awe. Amazing collection, Samm. Thank you for this.ReplyCancel

  • roweFebruary 15, 2012 - 10:58 pm

    wow samm…. what an amazing year its been! you so deserve it… im sure you have many more adventures ahead of you and i cant wait to see the beautiful images you create!ReplyCancel

  • Paula O'HaraFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:00 pm

    I am in awe. You are so inspirational.xReplyCancel

  • tracyFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:04 pm

    Im sure you know this already but you are brilliant at what you do. Such an inspiration to those that know and don’t know you. Thank you for sharingReplyCancel

  • Amanda VanVelsFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:12 pm

    these are just all….so…good…ReplyCancel

  • Beata EnglishFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:18 pm

    Blown away Sam. You are so talented and an inspiration! Wishing you all the best for 2012 – i can’t wait to see what you do!ReplyCancel

  • MyekieFebruary 15, 2012 - 11:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing your work with us Samm. We can all learn from your fantastic attitude towards not only photography but life in general. Hope this year is a great year for you.ReplyCancel

  • TenielleFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:04 am

    What a beautiful journey Samm. I love seeing the world through your eyes! What a year you have ahead :)ReplyCancel

  • StewFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:06 am

    Wow, amazing, inspirational and prolific year you’ve had! Congrats and thank you for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • aimeeFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:38 am

    you are beautiful samm. you should be so proud :)ReplyCancel

  • MichaelFebruary 16, 2012 - 12:42 am

    Well summed up Sammy, great post :)ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:24 am

    You are a true inspiration Samm… Not only are you (in my opinion) one of the best photographers on this planet but you are one of the best humans this planet has ever built :) Here is to 2012! wootReplyCancel

  • Katie KFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:35 am

    Your work is phenomenal Samm. You are an amazing artist, and your drive, passion and focus is a massive inspiration. I hope 2012 exceeds your expectations. :-DReplyCancel

  • JenaeFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:37 am

    Beautiful images – a true inspiration Samm, thank you for sharing your journey – look forward to seeing what you get up to in 2012, I am sure it will be equally (if not even more) exciting and inspiring…ReplyCancel

  • Jess MarshallFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:47 am

    Samm… You are THE most inspiring woman and artist. I am so proud of you & your journey. You continue to amaze me & always leave me in awe! I love you my beautiful friend! XxReplyCancel

  • gemma higgins-searsFebruary 16, 2012 - 1:51 am

    My goodness, I could stare at this post all day.. every image is beautiful.. amazing collection. What a year you’ve had, and 2012 sounds like there’s more amazing adventures to be had! xxxReplyCancel

  • SimonFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:00 am

    speechless …ReplyCancel

  • HaileyFebruary 16, 2012 - 2:49 am

    Oh wow Samm! Super inspiring beautiful work! Just gorgeous!! Love!!ReplyCancel

  • Shane ShepherdFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:28 am

    awesome post samm, you are living it and are an inspiration to me to keep moving forward, dreaming, planning, being. To be honest I had a frustrating 2011, thanks for sharing, it’s helping me to stay positive. Bring on more adventures! :)ReplyCancel

  • JuliannaFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:36 am

    What an inspiring post – love that you’ve capturing pooches more too xxReplyCancel

  • Jeremy BeasleyFebruary 16, 2012 - 3:45 am

    Just one year? It’s a life time worth of beautiful images! I can’t wait to see where your creative skills take you each after year sammy :)ReplyCancel

  • alydaFebruary 16, 2012 - 6:17 am

    you’re so clever sammy samm. so glad we’re friends. can’t wait to hug you on sunday wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeReplyCancel

  • TamaraFebruary 16, 2012 - 7:08 am

    talent.personified…amazed and amazing.ReplyCancel

  • JulieFebruary 16, 2012 - 7:30 am

    Absolutely stunning! Congrats on a successful and beautiful year!ReplyCancel

  • KellFebruary 16, 2012 - 8:41 am

    My Sammy, My love. I’m with Lades, I’m so glad we’re friends. You are awesome in every way and freaky and talented in every other way possible.ReplyCancel

  • trishFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Oh I love you Samm. I mean I love your work. I think I mean both :) Your drive and passion and talent is beyond this world, and the results in your images are always breathtaking. Thank you for sharing these adventures and here’s to many many more xxReplyCancel

  • Michelle FFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:36 am

    Samm, your images are just breathtaking. I can’t stop looking at them. You are such an inspiration in so many ways. oh, and what exciting adventure are you coming to NZ for? I look forward to reading about your 2012 adventures as they unfold.ReplyCancel

  • PobkeFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:48 am

    oh my… brimming with pride and joy to know you and be your friend. you’re a talent and a beautiful soul with a great heart. i know 2012 is going to be even more amazing. loves you!!!!! :) xoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoReplyCancel

  • elFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:00 am

    What a wonderful human you are Samm. I’m grateful 2011 was the year we became friends. xoxoReplyCancel

  • James BoddingtonFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:25 am

    beautiful……….sighReplyCancel

  • Renee BellFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:49 am

    beautiful Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • Janet PalmerFebruary 16, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Im speechless.. but I want to say something, wish it was something cleverer than how awesome it was to meet you in 2011, love your work and look forward to following your radness further into 2012… what an wicked journey xReplyCancel

  • AnyaFebruary 16, 2012 - 8:58 pm

    Beautiful images from a beautiful soul. Inspirational Samm, thank you.ReplyCancel

  • David Ferguson | BrisbaneFebruary 16, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    Lovely year Samm, thanks for inspiring, best of luck for 2012…. I get the feeling it is going to be a big one!ReplyCancel

  • john benaventeFebruary 17, 2012 - 2:04 am

    so sweet sammReplyCancel

  • Angie BaxterFebruary 17, 2012 - 3:46 am

    Absolutely stunning images Samm – what a fantastic year you’ve had!! xoReplyCancel

  • Scott AndrewFebruary 17, 2012 - 5:34 am

    Increds. I love the way you see. Keep inspiring the game and stay awesome :)ReplyCancel

  • Xanthe BerkeleyFebruary 18, 2012 - 9:38 am

    love your work SO much… brilliantly stunning, wow.ReplyCancel

  • gladysFebruary 18, 2012 - 4:33 pm

    Samm! Your images speak so much. You inspire me, and I think the world of your work. I am so happy and lucky that we crossed paths last year. The images of Chris and I show so much of our love, and we’re thankful you captured it for us. You’re amazing!!! xoReplyCancel

  • tigsFebruary 19, 2012 - 10:05 am

    Samm your work is inspirational! Thank you for sharing your passion with us all.ReplyCancel

  • Brian TerryFebruary 20, 2012 - 3:38 pm

    Very nice images Samm, see you soon ;-) BTReplyCancel

  • NancyFebruary 21, 2012 - 6:25 am

    oh Samm, each and every image a story unto itself, brought me to tears. thank you for your artistry and passion…ReplyCancel

  • Teneil KableFebruary 21, 2012 - 10:04 am

    you must have enjoyed looking back at all these significant moments samm, so beautiful. An endless visual journey!ReplyCancel

  • DavidFebruary 22, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    Truly amazing. You hve just gone to the top of my list of favourite photographers.ReplyCancel

  • KalimnaFebruary 25, 2012 - 10:27 am

    What an inspiration you are. You and your work are a reflection of a beautiful heart and talent. Congratulations on a wonderful year and I hope I get to meet you again this year.ReplyCancel

  • EdwardFebruary 27, 2012 - 11:24 pm

    This are just amazing gorgeous collection of images. Every single image has a story. Love it.ReplyCancel

  • RogFebruary 28, 2012 - 4:43 am

    Sammie, I’m glad you’re not crazy and that you’d agree with the rest of us that you’re still on the UP! This year will be better than last year (otherwise un imaginable) but with your heart it’ll be impossible for it not to be. Your an inspiration to me. Keep moving forward Samm. We’re all watching ;)ReplyCancel

  • niravMarch 26, 2012 - 11:59 pm

    You are unbelievably talented Samm :)ReplyCancel

  • jenJune 9, 2012 - 4:57 am

    thank you for sharing! that was stunning and i hope you continue to work. i’ve been following you for almost a year and you just keep getting better!ReplyCancel

photo of me taken in northern california by nirav patel 

.

I am on the hunt for a fabulously organised Administrative Assistant based in Melbourne to help with day-to-day business-related duties.

PREREQUISITES:

- Clear, concise writing skills (you must enjoy writing as this is a large portion of the job);

- High attention to detail;

- Great organisational skills;

- Knowledge of MYOB (or the ability to learn MYOB quickly);

- Good work ethic and ability to work independently and without supervision;

- Minimum of one year commitment.

PLEASE NOTE: As this is NOT a photographic role, the position is not suited to photographers. It is perfectly suited for those with an interest in or experience with administrative duties.

Start date:  As soon as possible.

Time commitment: Approximately 10-15 hours a week, with at least one hour commitment each day (flexible to work from home); as well as one day in-person at my Fitzroy office every one to two weeks.

Application details: Please submit a cover letter responding to each of the selection criteria, a full resume and two professional references as an email (title should be: “Administrative Assistant Position”) to: mail@sammblake.com. I will be accepting applications until the 20th February 2012.

Thank you so much!

A few favorites from Crystal and Aarons wedding in Yallingup, Western Australia. I cannot wait to share the rest of this wedding. xo

I went to Bali for a wedding a few months back and took some pictures. These are two favorites from an afternoon scouting expedition.

  • TenielleDecember 5, 2011 - 8:02 am

    I’d love that first one as a print on my wall, it’s so soothing. Beautiful :)ReplyCancel

  • JamesDecember 5, 2011 - 8:36 am

    That sea shot is so eye catching!ReplyCancel

  • aimeeDecember 5, 2011 - 8:48 am

    such a contrast! selling the top picture in your shoppity shop? :) :)ReplyCancel

  • xantheDecember 5, 2011 - 9:47 am

    The offerings found on the streets in Bali are so beautiful, even here when they’ve been knocked over. Bali is a dream :)ReplyCancel

  • Dan O'DayDecember 5, 2011 - 11:18 am

    sammy! so beautiful :)ReplyCancel

  • Dirham Gama RadityoDecember 5, 2011 - 2:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing the beauty of Bali to the world (in a very interesting perspective). Great shots.ReplyCancel

  • tardyDecember 5, 2011 - 3:40 pm

    wow. beautiful colors on that first one. second one says a lot, tooReplyCancel

  • Mark - Plymouth Wedding PhotographyDecember 8, 2011 - 11:10 am

    The first photograph is beautiful, I love the muted tones, very relaxing and peaceful!ReplyCancel

  • AnniDecember 29, 2011 - 10:55 pm

    Beautiful. I’m really drawn to the second one. There’s something really perfect about looking at the colors in a seemingly everyday scene.ReplyCancel

  • wedding photographers brisbaneJanuary 2, 2012 - 12:57 am

    The last photo on an initial glance looks very average at first… but after you think about it for a few seconds, I believe it to be very good. you can tell there was a very festive time has by the remains on the ground… you can almost imagine it all :)ReplyCancel

  • Cara LorenJanuary 7, 2012 - 12:10 am

    I could stare at the top one all day… really nice.ReplyCancel