Saturday, August 20, 2016
I'm so lucky to be surrounded by an incredible, supportive and talented community of self-starters in Brisbane. My friend Leona is just one of these amazing people. These are some photos I took at her latest Hand-lettering Basics workshop, which runs monthly at Workshop Brisbane (usually around the same time as my Photography Basics workshop!). Keep an eye on the Workshop website or her Instagram for details.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Last week I was in Sydney once more. I helped my sister move house, met up with friends, and did a lot of shooting, both for work and for pleasure. Since I've transitioned to full-time freelancing, I've fallen in love with photography again. I've never hated photography, but something feels different now. Sure, being in a different city helps with that excitement and novelty, but I've been to Sydney many times before and it wasn't until this year that I've really felt that spark for photography return. I'm excited about where my photography is taking me—I'm not sure where exactly that is, and I can't really describe it or put a name to it, I just know it's taking me somewhere. I love that I'm exploring within my photography again, and these days instead of only ever taking the camera out to shoot for clients or for “work”, I have it with me more often and it's reminded me how I came to be here in the first place. This is how my relationship with photography began: snapping things that pique my interest, even if those things may seem totally mundane to others. It's nice to be back here, to feel giddy like how I did when all this started.
The cute little lady in the photos below is my talented friend and fellow Brisbane lens wrangler, Annie, who happened to be in Sydney at the same time I did and spent lots of time adventuring and photo-ing with me.
Places featured in the photos below: Edition Coffee Roasters, Darlinghurst; Bondi Beach; Bills, Darlinghurst; Royal Botanic Gardens; Sydney Opera House; Kürtősh, Darlinghurst; Bills, Surry Hills; Citta Design, Surry Hills.
Monday, August 15, 2016
While I was in Sydney last week I photographed the cute face and cute space of my friend, letterer & illustrator Jess Cruickshank. Jess and I met on Twitter about five years ago. Since then she's moved from Brisbane to Sydney, gotten married (to another awesome person, Tim), and left her full-time role at an ad agency to do this whole lettering thing solo—and what an incredible decision that was, because every year she produces something that makes me want to weep. I find her work beautiful because it is well-executed, colourful and detailed. I love seeing her trial new techniques and perform little personal experiments that she shares on Snapchat/Instagram—it gives you an insight not only into her process and personal development, but also the amount of effort that goes into making those beautiful, finished pieces.
Here's a little peek at where the magic happens. To see more of Jess' work, follow her on Instagram or Snapchat (@jess__cruicky).
Sunday, August 07, 2016
In May, my friends Racheal (not a typo!) & James got married by the sea. Despite it already being May, Queensland was determined not to give us autumn, and it was a perfectly warm day for a beach wedding.
Racheal & James met at their best friends' wedding in England, where they promptly fell in love four years ago. After the wedding, Racheal returned to Australia, and James immediately bought a ticket to visit her here. They talked every day for 6 months until his visit, during which they spent Christmas with each other. He went back to England, and they did the long distance thing until Racheal followed, moving to England for 2 years to be with him. James asked Racheal to marry him at the top of the Eiffel Tower (the video of which I've watched at least 6 times, each time no less sweet than the last), and after a lot of “what? Oh my God, what?” from Rach, she said yes. Fast forward 9 long, painful months and plenty of paperwork later, his visa to live in Australia was approved, and here we are today.
James & Racheal are both really goofy, kind and sincere. I knew their wedding was going to be silly and fun and all the things that they are. Racheal has always made me laugh, always wears the truest smile on her face, and even when the unfortunate happens (like both of their cars breaking down in the same week before the wedding), that same smile and positive attitude still hangs around.
To see someone I've been friends with since 2008 on the happiest day of her life, marry the love of her life, and be given the opportunity to capture it? There is no greater joy or honour. I struggled to choose my favourite photos to share in this post. The selection below is extremely conservative; just a tiny grain in all that happened that day (I have decided not to include photos from the reception).
Many thanks to my good friend Jason de Plater for second shooting this wedding with me. I'm so grateful to have had your keen eye, experience and passion for photography by my side on the day. It wouldn't have been the same without you!
Monday, August 01, 2016
Oh, Canada. The land of “sorry”, Justin Trudeau, maple syrup, ice hockey and fresh alpine air. Home to some of the world's cleanest and greenest cities, and soon, home to us, because next year, Martin & I are waving goodbye to the Land Down Under and saying hello to the Great White North.
We’ll be in Australia until January, but the next few months will fly! Come November, I will be strictly limiting my intake of new freelance work to maximise time with family & friends. Workshops will still be running through December, but I have very few weekend shooting spots left between now and then, so if you wanted to shoot together, now is the time—message me asap to organise. You can write to me at: email@example.com.
Thursday, July 28, 2016
When my brother was enjoying spring on the other side of the world in Montréal, I promised him I'd take him to my favourite spots in Byron Bay when he returned to Australia. The advantage of being my own boss is that I don't have to wait for the right weekend to do this—so last Tuesday, in his last week of uni holidays, we ventured down the coast and past the border into beloved Byron Bay. It was an unseasonably warm week even for us in south-east Queensland/northern New South Wales, reaching anywhere between 25ºC-30ºC on most days. Don't let my turtleneck in these photos fool you—I had put it on in the morning thinking it might be quite windy by the water, but I was way too warm in it.
It's often the case that the people we spend the most time with are the people we photograph the least. Not because we don't appreciate or care for their presence, but more because we know we will see them again. With January and my move to Canada with Martin fast-approaching, I can see myself spending more days like this. Leaving more room for spontaneity and the people I love, knowing that it will be a while before I see them again, and taking as many photos as possible of all these everyday moments.
Photos of me below taken by my dear little brother, Carl.
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
During my solo weekend in Sydney I spent an afternoon with my cousin and his friends, bidding farewell to Jon, who was returning to America the next day. We had a little picnic, played guitar, did some yoga, danced and laughed as the sun went down and winter's evening chill set in. I formed a bond instantly with this affectionate, warm and welcoming group of people. It was as if I'd known them all my life. Group situations can be hard for me due to anxiety, so being totally comfortable around a group of people I've never met before means so much to me. I'm happy to say we've continued to stay in touch since, and I'll be seeing them again very soon.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Last month I was back in Sydney, but through a series of unfortunate—but actually, fortunate—events I found myself in this big city all on my own. I've been visiting Sydney a few times yearly ever since my sister moved down there, but she ended up having to go to Melbourne during the last weekend I was down, leaving me to explore all on my own.
The Friday I arrived I took myself on a date around Surry Hills. At St. Jude's I enjoyed an omelette, my soy latté and a book I started at the beginning of the year but still haven't finished; after a while, I wandered down to Bourke St. Bakery and got myself a seeded sourdough loaf—yes, the hype over their bread is real, and worth the wait; then I explored Crown St. for hours, letting my curious eyes take everything in. This is how my journey in photography began: shooting whatever piqued my interest, for no reason other than it was interesting. There doesn't always have to be a point, and if shooting anything and everything is still as enjoyable to me as it was a decade ago, well...I guess this is what I'm meant to do. Photography has allowed me to see magic in the most everyday of things, and it's the gift that keeps on giving.
I set myself a challenge that weekend to bring my least used lens—so everything in this post was shot with my 85mm f/1.8. I forgot how enjoyable it was to shoot with a prime (a fixed-length lens, meaning there's no zooming in or out). You're forced to move to adjust your composition and in most cases it asks you to see things in a totally different way. I can't remember the last time I was able to shoot for myself, by myself, but I can't wait to do it all again.
Friday, July 15, 2016
My Canada recap ends at Stanley Park. Here, I'm going to let the photos do the rest of my talking. I leave you with an excerpt taken from my January Head/Heart, on one of my simplest, fondest memories that took place right here:
On our very last day in Vancouver, Martin and I walked around Stanley Park, Vancouver's giant, beautiful park sitting right at the edge of a bay, in the heart of the city. As the sun set, we decided to stop by a park bench and sit there awhile, underneath a great big tree that had long lost its leaves to winter. There we sat in a comfortable silence, perhaps the most comfortable silence I've ever known; even my heart and my mind were still, something that, for me, is rare. So relaxed I was, nestled in the arm of this man who takes care of me in more ways than he knows, that I fell asleep right there, to the sound of the gently lapping waves; the cyclists, the runners, and the conversations of passersby; the many birds, the light breeze through the many trees around us, and the low hum of city life. All the world fell away and became quiet, and I was safe, even from myself. That half hour, a seemingly ordinary and mundane way to spend the last few moments in a foreign city, is a half hour I will cherish forever. It's these little things that make life.