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The Road Not Taken {A little review of 2014}


I wish I knew how to write it all out, how to say everything I want to say, but I felt like I needed a bit of distance between myself and the last year before I even began to think about it.

You see, it was a year of personal loss and professional gain and in a way I feel like that’s always how it goes. When one thing in your life is going well, something else suffers. We had a lot of loss in my family, my grandfather passed away and it left a deep sorrow that I wasn’t sure quite how to process. I can deal with most any kind of physical pain without skipping a beat (for those that don’t know me so well, I broke a toe in the first hour of shooting a wedding and kept on going right through the other 11 hours), and yet this pain was different. My granddad had always had that unconditional love that grandparents have, that sometimes bordered on the hilarious. When I dyed my hair a fluorescent red as a teenager (and looked a bit ridiculous according to everyone else in my family, they were right, there is photographic proof), he was the one who thought I still looked absolutely beautiful.

What’s been almost harder to process is the loss of my grandma, she’s still with us, but suffers from Alzheimer’s and dementia. To see the once vivacious, beyond wickedly funny, and intelligent woman she was become an empty vessel is a difficult burden, and one I have to say my parents take the brunt of. I’m proud and impressed by the way they handle it, it can’t be easy. She was so giving of her time and herself. I miss our conversations, and just the little things like saying her nickname.

This last year has had me reliving some of my family moments, through the photos and little notes written on the backs of them. I remember my very teeny grandma telling my brother and I that she was “average height” for her generation and the two of us, who towered over her, laughing. We found some photos fairly recently of my grandma and her group of friends and sure enough, she was the same height as everyone else!

There are few things that I regret, but not taking more photos of my family is by far the biggest. I have so many photos of my family from when I was little, but in the hubbub of life, you forget to take photos of your family as they are now. Sometimes I feel like the builder with a half-finished house. My resolution for 2015, if you can call it that, is to take more photos of my own family, as it grows and changes. To document our lives as I get to document the lives of others.

I’m so very thankful that this job means that I get to do just that, document other people’s lives and tell their stories, viewing some of my family story has made me appreciate it even more. Most, if not all of my favourite images of last year were of family and friends enjoying a moment at their weddings. Candid little morsels of time. I look through the photos and they remind me of the joy, love, nervousness and care that is this life.

I feel like I’ve written much too much, but my goodness, it felt good to get it out. I leave you with a poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. In the last year, I’ve questioned my path a lot, but this one, right here is where I’m supposed to be.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost

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the post about getting older


I have a lot to write, but I don’t know where to start.

That’s always the problem, figuring out what to say and how to say it. What’s too much/not enough/too personal/not personal enough/too funny/not funny enough. I haven’t blogged for a little while because the last few months have been filled with just such overwhelming  journeys, change, joy and maybe some hijinks thrown in for good measure… But the start always eludes me.

I guess I’ll start with today and work my way back a little bit. Today I turned 30 and the experience has been quite different from what movies & TV have led me to believe. The characters always seem so neurotic about getting older, but the last couple of months have done nothing but prepare me for the awesomeness of it. There have been travels to the worlds of yonder (the US & Canada for the wonderful Canada Photo Convention and finally meeting a lot of photographer friends who I’ve only known online), winning of awards (both of my albums submitted won Accolades of Excellence at WPPI), the getting to meet so many amazing couples.

I have to say though, there’s been a lot of happy tears shed at meeting so many friends at Canada Photo Convention and there are many, MANY phone photos of me hugging people whilst crying. It really just is an overwhelmingly awesome feeling to finally get to meet people you’ve been talking to for years. I really can’t express how much that experience and that trip meant to me. Although, I am hoping that the crying photos don’t start mysteriously appearing online. I am not one of those fortunate people who is a pretty crier, I cry and it’s that puffy eyes/snot coming out of nose kind of cry. Pretty criers of the world, I envy you.

With WPPI, I MAY have forgotten when the awards deadline was actually happening and MAY have frantically been sitting there yelling at my computer to “UPLOAD FASTER.” To have both albums that I entered win awards really was the icing on the cake of a wonderful year that was. I’ve always felt like nothing is as important as the story of the day and the way that you tell it, so to have that sort of love reaffirmed by a community of photographers is such a wonderful experience (there may have been tears involved here too, and also a lot of happy dancing).

I feel like there’s so much more to write, but not enough words to describe everything, so with that I bid you farewell as I go and celebrate an ending and a beginning. A new decade and hopefully a lot more happy snotty tears.


so long and thanks for all the fish {2012}


I should preface this post with I am a monstrous geek. Absolute. Total. Utter. Geek. And in thinking about the year that was 2012, a Douglas Adams quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy popped into my head:

“The Guide says there is an art to flying”, said Ford, “or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning
how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”- Douglas Adams

2012 was a year of a lot of throwing myself at the ground for lack of a better word, and I won’t lie, it’s left me a little battered and bruised, but 2012, you were a year of personal growth, more than any other. I’ve been lax on blogging, because sometimes growth is hard to quantify, but I have to say thank you so much to each and every one of my wonderful couples. I am beyond fortunate to get the couples that I do, you are all so much a part of my family that I cannot imagine the year that was without you all.

I feel like I tinker in my own little world most of the time and one of my tinkerings this year came in the form of my album templates, that have been so lovingly supported by the photography community, I am so thankful that I can give back to the community and help in some little way.

Thank you all for your support, your hugs, your friendship, your openness, and of course letting me into your lives.

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Bringing It All Back Home


One minute. That’s exactly how long it takes for everything in your world to change.

One day and you can be in a completely different world.

About a month ago now I left Sydney to fly halfway around the world to what was once my hometown, Belgrade, Serbia. It was unplanned, very last minute and something that needed to happen for family reasons.

I hadn’t been back in 8 years, but it felt like at least 20.

I have thought a lot whether to write about why I was there or not, and honestly I don’t think I can talk about the experience of being there without at least mentioning it. My maternal grandparents both have Alzheimer’s and dementia, and I understood intellectually that they wouldn’t recognise me, but to see the people who have been such an monumental part of my life not know who I was really hit me in a way that I didn’t expect.

It made me appreciate what I have and the people who are in my life right at this very moment a heck of a lot more, because you really don’t know what tomorrow brings and they deserve to know how loved they are and how much I appreciate them all.

I tried to take some time off and photograph both Belgrade and my grandparents place, I have so many fond memories of sitting in their lounge room watching old movies with my grandma, building forts out of their couch cushions with my brother and playing cowboys and indians, or playing hide and seek and thinking I could hide behind their sheer curtains.

It’s amazing how quickly things can change.  One day, and I felt like I was taken back to being that kid.

 


On Film {An Exhibition}


A step. A jump. A leap.

Each journey begins with a step outside your comfort zone and this one certainly is a huge leap for me and something rather close to my heart and this post is long overdue.I struggle to find the words to express what I want to say a lot of the time until it comes out in one big heap, like an explosion of thought, and so it is the same with this. I’ve always wanted to be a part of an exhibition, to showcase work that means something to me and hopefully to others and that’s exactly what I get to do next Tuesday at the Salerno Gallery in Glebe.

I, along with Tony Peri, Jeff Leaming & Jack Chauval will be exhibiting a series of images all shot on film. I’m nervously excited for the night and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

You can find all the lovely information about the exhibition and the other photographers HERE and if you’re in Sydney stop by, see some wonderful work and say hello.


Opening Night:

Tuesday 24th January, 6:30-8:30pm
Salerno Gallery
70 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW

Sydney Fine Art Photography