ALISSA + JAMES


Early one Friday morning in August, I went to Millbrook Winery to photograph Alissa and James wedding. Always a little nervous for winter weddings incase of rain but they could not have asked for a nicer August day. I only photographed for a couple of hours, just the ceremony, portraits and a little of the lunch reception. Alissa wore sneakers while we did the portrait photos (love!) it stopped her sinking into the soft ground ;)

Aline + James {beloved}

These images were captured on a lovely winters afternoon and in just a few short hours with Aline and James, it was so sweet seeing how much they love each other. One of the best parts of my job is stepping into someone else’s universe for a few hours and just being a silent witness to it all. In these hours I am reminded how to love better, smile better and laugh better… how to be a better human.

Aline is from Brazil and planning a wedding back in Rio de Janeiro for next year. She has a blog documenting it all and yesterday she posted this open letter to me on it. This letter completely made my day, my week and my month :) This letter is confirmation to me that I am really doing what I am suppose to be doing. I am on the right path. Ive poured my life and heart into my photography and I love every single minute of it.

Thank you Aline for these sweet words xoxo

**************

Dear Samm,

When my wedding planning started and the possibility of organising two weddings, came up, I started searching for a photographer from Australia to register that moment.

We still don’t know if we are having an Australian wedding, but once I found your blog amongst so many amazing ones around the web, I just knew that, James and I had to have pictures taken by you.

We don’t have many photos together. We have been together for less than 2 years, and really haven’t had that many opportunities. And as you know, we are not the average romantic couple.

But we do love each other and we were lucky enough to recognise the soulmate within each other.

Doing the beloved session with you was the one of the best things that we ever did as a couple. You brought so much love and romance between us. We laughed, and jumped and cried. And hugged and kissed a lot. Lots and lots of kisses. (looooove it!) .

But most of all you were there, and you had the sensibility to capture all those genuine moments between us. When we see those pictures we see ourselves. We see our love, respect and partnership. We see how we good we are together.

We ended that Sunday even more in love then before. And every next day we are more in love than the day before.

I hope one day, our kids and grandkids see those pictures and fell the emotion and love in them.

All couples should do a beloved session. All couples should do a beloved session with you.

Thank you Samm

X, Aline

**************

lizzy and mike




















































































The speech Mike gave at his wedding reception was one of my most favourites I ever heard. I think I will remember his speech for the rest of my life. His words resonated with me. His speech was about luck, how he once read a paper on the characteristics of lucky people and how Lizzy defined all of these traits. After I finished the wedding, while Michael was driving home, I got out my iphone and I started searching for this paper Mike had talked about. You see, I always thought I was a lucky person, Ive had a pretty amazing and fortunate life and my friends even know me to have a magic finger, because it seems, I can fix anything it touches. Ive been very concious of my luck from a young age and Ive always been scared (actually terrified) my luck was going to run out, like one day out of the blue it all of a sudden was going to stop working. After much research and ive read a few books on luck since then, Im confident to say, Im not worried about my luck disappearing anymore, you create your own luck. I have to agree with Mike, in that Lizzy holds of all the characteristics of a lucky person but I hope Mike realizes, he has all of these characteristics too. Lizzy and Mike are the two of the most loving, sweetest, genuine and authentic people Ive met. The world would be a better place with more Lizzy’s and Mike’s in it.

How to create your own luck:

1 – To be one of the “lucky” people, you need to share their amazing ability to focus. Clearly define your goals. Make them so vivid and real you can taste them. Regardless of the distractions and small detours, staying connected to your dreams is crucial.

2 – In order to arm yourself with the same advantages as “lucky” people, you need to become an ardent student. Lucky people thirst for knowledge constantly. Be prepared. Be determined to be ready when the opportunity presents itself. Only then will you be able to recognize it’s potential, while others ‘just can’t see it”.

3 – Motivation is a difficult task it seems for all of us. We’re either motivated or we’re not. But how does one become motivated? No “lucky” person lives by “Murphy’s Law”. When faced with a challenge, obstacle or downright failure, instead of being depressed and lose your motivation, do what the lucky person does. Become even more committed to try a different approach, a new way, but try again. Failure can actually be a motivator to the lucky person.

4 – Attitude and motivation go hand in hand. One acting as a catalyst to the other. No matter how dyer your circumstances, never let on by your demeanor and displaying a negative “oh, poor me” attitude. You can be a “glass half full” kind of person, but how about being a “How can I keep this glass refilled?” type person? A lucky persons attitude is contagious.

5- Expectations can be a tricky thing. Most of us are dosed with well meaning remarks like, “Don’t get your hopes up” or Don’t expect too much”. Lucky people were either never told or didn’t take it to heart. They DO expect much. Not as in a spoiled child throws a tantrum to get what they want. Rather they believe they WILL receive! Any great sales leader will tell you, “always ASSUME the sale”. It’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN and how much.

{Instructions from How to Be A Lucky Person}

pretty things + photography workshop

Ive just had the most amazing last two days… I’ve just finished up teaching 3 photography workshops down in Albany.  I put on two small workshops yesterday and today was an all day workshop for professional photographers. I feel like I only started scratching at the surface of the things I wanted to share and met such an lovely group of people. I really enjoyed teaching and its such a nice feeling being able to share and encourage people to find their unique voice as a photographer. I get a lot of emails from other photographers asking if I offer workshops. After much umming and arring for the last 12 months if this is something I am actually capable of and if I have something unique to offer, I think I proved to myself today, that the answer is yes. What city should I come to for my next workshop?? :)

exmouth

My films from Europe have finally been developed and scanned! Nothing is more exciting seeing images appear on my screen that I took months ago and reliving it all. I love that mystery about film and something I definitely miss about the days when I just shot film. I just saw these few frames on one of the rolls from when I went to Exmouth back in May. I really enjoyed exploring a little more of my own backyard of Western Australia. This trip sparked the idea of traveling around Australia someday soon to document it all through my camera.

ursi + michel . switzerland

Ursi and Michel contacted me to see if I would do a beloved session of them when I was in Europe last month. Of course I said yes! We spent a few days with them in Switzerland, they took us to many amazing locations and we had the loveliest time with them and their two beautiful dogs. Shortly after I took this photo, I thought to myself “I am standing in a field in the middle of nowhere in the Swiss mountains doing ‘work’?!?!” One of my all time best moments :) This is one of my favourites from the shoot :)

reshma + ben

I first meet Reshma and Ben three years ago when they booked me to photograph their wedding in 2007. A few weeks before their wedding I went to their house to do their engagement portrait session. Almost three years on, they invited me over again to photograph them a few weeks before the arrival of their baby. I love photographing people in their homes. I greatly enjoyed photographing Reshma and Ben in the same space three years apart, documenting the growth of their family.

A baby girl arrived 4 weeks later and from the few photos I have seen on facebook, she is absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations guys! xo

Photography Workshop for Young People

As part of GSFI’s SCOPE program, I am putting on a photography workshop for young people in Albany, Western Australia (my hometown!) on Sunday, 22nd August 2010.

“In this exciting and inspiring workshop with Perth photographer Samm Blake learn how to find your own artistic style, how to shoot manually with a camera, how to use different lenses, work with natural light, learn all about displaying and sharing your images and much, much more. Taking part in these workshops will inspire you to find your own voice as a photographer and explore your own creative style.

You will also learn the art of storytelling using your images so you are able to create great images that ultimately are a collaboration between the photographer (you!) and the subject. You can bring your own camera too, however this is not a requirement. The Info Session and workshop is being offered through GSFI’s SCOPE program for young people 12-25yrs, parents and members of the community are also invited to attend on Sunday August 22nd.”

12 – 25yrs Group
Info Session – 10am – 11am
Workshop – 11.30am – 1.30pm
Cost – $15 pp (inc GST & Administration costs)

Parents/Community Members Group
Info Session – 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Workshop – 3pm – 5pm
Cost – $35 pp (inc GST & Administration costs)

These sessions will be held in the Museum of WA’s old school rooms.

For more information or to secure your spot, please email admin@gsfi.org.au.

(just to add a note… these photography workshop are not for professional photographers, I am not covering anything to do with a operating a wedding photography business. Im not earning any money from this, I am doing this to give back to community that I grew up in and hopefully be able to inspire some young people to become photographers, cause really, its the best job in the universe ;)

Rosa and John {beloved}


Rosa and John make me smile :) I had photographed their wedding a few weeks prior to this beloved portrait shoot. They had not seen their wedding images yet and asked if they could book in a portrait session. That made me smile :)

Rosa and John asked if they could do their portrait shoot in John Forest National Park. That made me smile too. I live in Darlington and this place is my backyard. (Now you are probably confused by the fact I live in Darlington and have my office in Fremantle (45kms away). I think have the best of both worlds. I love the hustle and bustle of Fremantle and I love hanging out with the trees, birds and kangaroos in the hills :)

Another reason why Rosa and John make me smile is that everybody in their bridal party gave me a hug when I left their wedding. They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. Its true :)

their wedding will be posted soon! xo

I have a new portfolio site!



Yesterday morning when I woke up, I didnt imagine I would have a new website by the end of the day. The idea of the new website hit me at around 1pm and by about 1am the new site was launched. My creativity always comes at most inappropriate times. I have so many deadlines to meet before I go to Europe next week, Im working 18 hour days trying to get everything finished before I go. But when I get an idea, I cant concentrate or think about anything else. I started designing websites way back in 1997 (when I was 14 years old!) long before I decided I wanted to be a photographer, I wanted to be a graphic designer. It was through my interest in graphic design that I picked up a camera. I remember being in my final weeks of year 12 and having to make my selections for university. I could not decide between graphic design, photography or art therapy. I remember putting my first choice as art therapy, then graphic design and photography as my third choice. In the hour before the final deadline, I rang up and changed my first choice to photography. Its funny to think back on how last minute decisions can change everything but I believe in fate and its just how it was suppose to be. All the hours I spent in front of the computer as a teenager, making websites, learning photoshop and chatting online and making friends around the world, is a huge part of my success today. The best part of all, is that I got to combine all three of my original career interests into an amazing career. Graphic design and art therapy are a huge part of my photographic work. I think the main reason why I pushed away from wanting to become a graphic designer is because I only liked creating stuff for myself (my way or the highway.. probably why I like weddings/portraiture so much is because its all about my artistic vision.. hah) and I think I would not enjoy being a photographer so much if I had to miss out on the graphic design part of it.

I must admit, when I rang up to change my university selections to make photography my first choice, the thought of becoming a wedding and portrait photographer was the furthest thing from my mind. I was going to be a war photographer. I was going to travel the world documenting blood and guts. I was going to be a vagabond, I was going to roam the world endlessly photographing wherever I was called to. Then something changed. I fell in love with love. Somebody asked me a few years ago, why I gave up my original plans, why did I give up on my dreams because they knew through my determination I was able to achieve anything and why I was settling for mediocre. I never settled. I am here by choice. I have the best career in the world; each day I go to work, I spend the day with two people who are experiencing one of the most happiest days of their lives and I get to be part of that joy every week. As a bonus I still get to roam the world endlessly photographing wherever I am called.  I am about to leave to spend the next month in Europe (Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Germany) and the UK and Kuala Lumpur for a few days. If you are interested in being photographed in any of these locations, email me :)

For the last few years, I have always had separate websites for my weddings, portrait and personal work (well the personal one never launched, I never finished it, it was a work in progress for 3 years). With this new website, everything is together (its still missing the personal stuff, but it will be added). I used to always think I had to keep it all separate but ive learnt that there is no real distinct categories anymore, my wedding work is part of my personal work and my personal work is part of my wedding work. It should all be seen together because it all documents my growth as an artist. I’ll be adding new galleries often so check back every now and then :)

I would love to hear what you think of my new site. http://www.sammblake.com

xo