Saturday, May 21, 2016

Minyon Falls, New South Wales.

As we drove back to Brisbane, I took Jason and I on a little detour through the Byron hinterland to Minyon Falls. The countryside was incredible at golden hour; it was almost painful to be in the driver's seat instead of window shooting from the passenger's seat, but to be honest, we'd been shooting so much that we were happy to simply enjoy the view. We bopped along to an eclectic mix of songs from The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Maroon 5, Angus & Julia Stone, and at one point I'm pretty sure even the Spice Girls made their way onto the speakers.

I'd never been to Minyon Falls before, so I was also seeing all this with new eyes. I loved looking out across the hinterland and seeing the way the mid-afternoon light fell over the trees. As we craned our bodies over the fencing we could see tiny people at the foot of the falls below us, having picnics and what I'm sure was an all 'round great time. My heart did a little flutter as I imagined accidentally tripping and falling to the rocks below. The 100m drop to the ground was unbelievable (and impossible to do justice through the camera), and I can only imagine the volume of water that would rush over the cliff during the stormy season.

Folk Byron Bay.

On our way out from Byron, Jason and I enjoyed—like, truly enjoyed—lunch at Folk Byron Bay. Owned and run by fellow photographer Maggie Dylan, Folk ticks all my boxes: tasty, nutritious vegetarian food that is consistently well-made; incredible coffee; the great playlist (“old” music, think Beatles and the like); the laid-back vibe; the way the sunlight streams into the space; the thoughtful fit-out, the plants and the carefully chosen decor that helps you feel completely at home.

I never find myself in places that are screaming for attention, but rather I find I am drawn to places that have this softness, this reservedness and this warm, inviting nature that keeps me coming back—quite similar to the very people I seem to gravitate towards as well.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Main Beach, Byron Bay.

A leisurely wake-up, the last bits of packing and check-out found Jason and I at the beach around mid-morning on our last day in Byron. It was pretty warm, typical of our region but a little unusual for this time of year (I'm calling this season “faux-tumn”). The beach was filled with the right amount of people. Many were families, spending Mother's Day together by the sea. We walked all the way from Main Beach to Fisherman's Lookout, me walking barefoot on all the rocks, reminding my feet what they were made for in the first place.

We lingered at Fisherman's Lookout to capture the surfers below, who were idle on their boards, waiting for a good wave. We got excited as we saw, in the distance, a fleet of kayakers making their way across. We knew to wait a little longer so we could capture them just as they passed our surfing pals below.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cape Byron at sunset.

After our visit to Fingal Head, Jason and I headed straight to Byron Bay. I adore everything about Byron, from the little town and all the small boutiques and great cafés to the endlessly beautiful ocean scenery no matter which corner you're standing in. Byron's got this great vibe to it that I can only describe as being summery, hippie and ultimately, relaxed. Everything operates at a slightly slower pace—even you.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Fingal Head in May.

A couple of weekends ago Jason flew up from Sydney. He helped me second shoot James & Rach's wedding, and I took him around my favourite spots around Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Byron Bay (which we Queenslanders mostly claim as our own, despite it being past the New South Wales border).

Fingal Head is another such place we'd happily stamp as ours. Just 15 minutes south of Queensland's Coolangatta, sporting a small lighthouse at the top of the hill, Fingal Head is a quieter—but no less beautiful—spot than others around the Gold Coast & Byron Bay. My favourite part about Fingal Head is the Giant's Causeway—the mass of hexagonal columns formed by ancient lava that flowed down from the now extinct Tweed Volcano—but despite visiting the same spot a few times I still find it notoriously difficult to photograph. The waves are fairly treacherous here, so it's far less tempting to clamber down the rocks just to get a good photo for the blog or the 'gram (#nofilter #liveoutdoors etc.).

I'm glad I made the decision to swing by Fingal Head in the end, because if we didn't, we never would have witnessed the massive school of dolphins playing in the waves so close to the headland.

More photos to come from a weekend that marked a pretty spectacular start to May, but in the meantime, here are my favourites from Fingal Head.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Head/Heart: February-April 2016.

Sorry for my lengthy absence on this space. If you've caught up with me recently/if you're a personal friend of mine/if you have me on Snapchat (username: camillenathania) then you'll know I've been up to a lot. On the plus side, I now have plenty to write about, so I'm just going to get straight to it. I've decided to write my Head/Heart posts quarterly this year, because I know I'll be concentrating on shooting, chasing goals and life in between.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yoga with Danique: Byron Bay.

On Saturday, Danique and I drove down to Byron Bay for our shoot together. It's one that's been a long time coming. Now that I only work three days a week, I am so excited to be able to have more time, not only to create more work like this, but to connect with others like this. The conversations you get to have and the unique relationship you build as photographer and subject are what draws me to photographing people. I also love doing shoots where multiple things I love intersect, and naturally, yoga photography is one such place where two of my paths merge.

There were so many great shots that came from this afternoon; it was hard to pick only a small selection for this post. It was a really windy day which made both yoga and shooting challenging (you try balancing on your forearms or holding a camera steady when you're being aggressively shoved by the wind at the top of a hill), but I'm pretty pleased we managed to squeeze three outfit changes and three locations within 4 hours, with a lot of talking, laughing and bloopers in between. Danique is one of the strongest yogis I know in more ways than one—I'm pretty glad to call her a friend, mentor and yoga teacher.

Outfits: 1. Top: Onzie, Bottom: LunaJai Athletic. 2. Top: Lululemon, Bottom: LunaJai Athletic. 3. Top & Bottom: Kamuka Active. This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Clare at Cabarita.

After our shoot for Lululemon, Clare and I couldn't help but go for a dip (because as if we'd be spending all that time shooting by the beach without actually going into the, our swimmers were well and truly packed). The setting sun was starting to cast that perfect pink-orange hue across the horizon, where thick, tall clouds were hovering, and the surf was intense; giant, deep turquoise waves and an incredibly strong tide ready to suck us out into the ocean. It was going to be too good not to capture, so I ran back to the car to get my camera. I'm glad I did.

Clare x Camille for Lululemon Brisbane.

I am about 1000% excited to have photographed my friend Clare of Self-Taught Yogis for Lululemon Brisbane last week. Clare and I finished yoga teacher training together last year, but even before that she was working hard to make her own contribution to the world of yoga, launching her Instagram and eBooks to help people teach themselves yoga at home. I admire her strength (mentally, but also physically—you need only see her yoga moves on Instagram to know this is one strong woman), perseverance and her really bright, playful, easygoing nature. She's one of those people that is so much fun to be around, but is right there for real talk and serious conversation too.

Lunch, yoga, photos and a sunset swim made for a one-of-a-kind Tuesday afternoon down at Cabarita Beach, Kingscliff (just past the New South Wales border). We were spoilt. No other Tuesday can ever compare.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Saturday in Sydney's summer.

In February I flew back down to Sydney to catch up with my sister and my uncle's family. One of my cousins was visiting from where she lives in Shanghai, and I don't see them often. I had some spare time, so I caught up with Jason. Sydney treated us nicely that day—it was warm, the sun was out; a perfect day to be by the water. Instead of heading to Bondi, Jason took me to Shelley Beach. I'd never been before. The beach was packed with swimmers, stand-up paddleboarders and snorkellers in the water, dozens upon dozens of South Americans partying on the beach, and even a wedding reception happening in the restaurant by the shore.

Jason wanted to help me take some yoga photos for my 365 project, up on top of the cliffs where the view was beautiful (typical Sydney). The light was perfect, and being photographers, we lingered. I mostly spent time on the other side of the lens that day. I observed my thoughts and noted with relief, gratitude and surprise that I was not anxious, whereas I previously would have been—despite the fact that I was in a swimsuit, quite close to a small group of South American men who were having their own good fun but were no doubt curious as to what we were doing. I let all of that melt away so I could be and let small parts of my true nature surface for the lens. It is not easy to do. It will not be easy to do again. It takes time to be vulnerable in front of the lens, in front of someone else—even friends, even family. This impromptu portrait session on the rocks led to what has to be my most favourite photos taken of me ever, and I'm really glad it turned out the way it did. It has helped me feel a little more comfortable in my own skin, which will be a lifelong project, and things like this are like victories, triumphant milestones to mark times where I felt change in me. Deep-seated scars moved and freed so I could continue to un-become everything I wasn't.