A Long Journey to Home

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This blog is not about family portraits or my life as a portrait photographer in Launceston, but it does give you some terrifying insights into the journey that has included 30 years of running a portrait studio. If you are interested in reading more of this sort of stuff , leave me a comment, conversely, if you think I should stick to blogs about photography , let me know that too! Home is where you hang your hat - I read this years ago , not sure where or why, but it stuck. It resonated with me because up until recently ( well , the last 30 years ) home has been a movable feast. By the time I was 21, I had lived in 3 different continents, so the concept of home was a bit more fluid than most peoples. As I write this, in my home in Tasmania, there is a wrought iron candelabra standing in the corner of our bedroom which has become the resting place of  some of my hats. Interestingly enough, there are no APPA hats. My photographer friends would know what I am talking about, the peaked baseball style caps that we used to get for being a judge at the Australian Professional Photography Awards. Each had the year, the city that the awards were held in, and some sponsorship branding, and each year we would get a new one, wear it for the 3 days that the awards were on and then never wear it again. They are piled up in a cupboards somewhere, stacked in year order. There is a similar cap that I was given when I judged at the New Zealand photography Awards, and for some reason it is hanging on the hat stand/candelabra.    Along side the NZIPP cap are our outback hats, Vicki’s is an Akubra, mine a Kangaroo leather hat that I bought at El Questro station after I left my Akubra at the bottom of a waterhole when a couple of German backpackers asked us if it was okay if they swung from the Tarzan rope and swam in the waterhole in the nude. ( So polite the german backpackers! - I believe its a thing in Europe, that its okay to swim in the nude as long as you check with the other people around that they will not be offended ) We agreed that they should be able to swim how they wished, and I checked with them that they would be okay if I continued taking photographs, they agreed, and we were all happy. So happy that I must have left my hat behind.  There is a very elegant straw hat that I bought in the Cinqe Terra in Italy, its my dressed up, sophisticated look for events like weddings or horse races ( neither of which I go to if I have any sort of a choice ) where you have to be in the sun, but a sweat-stained kangaroo skin hat wouldn't cut it.  There is a Andy Capp style felt cap, its grey, and I have another one exactly the same which is black, and every time I am going to wear one, the black one wins, so the grey one gets worn from the bedroom to the hall mirror ( about 6 steps ) but that is as far as it ever gets. There is a black  Persian lambs wool hat of the style made popular by Lenin back in the day that is one of the last things that I have from my time in London. The hat belonged to my Dad ( more about him later )  I have a sneaking suspicion that it was given to him by my Grandfather ( the Austrian one - more about that too ) I recall that Grosspapa had a greyish version of this hat, and in the middle of an Austrian winter, it probably made sense. The hat has  a fold down section that covers your ears for those days when the winds are bringing snow down from the Alps and into the flat lands around the Danube.  When we lived in Sri Lanka ( I was about 14 years old ) The Austrian hat , with its ear flaps was what I used to style my hair. Being the 1970’s long hair was in , but the sophisticated people had very controlled, well groomed hair - ( think John Denver or Lobo and you are starting to get the drift )  My hair, when it was anything longer than a crew cut became curly and uncontrollable ,  ( think hippies and bands like Deep Purple and Uriah Heap ) and definitely not the look that I was looking for. Somehow I hit upon a plan of combing my  wet hair as straight as possible and then putting the  Austrian hat  on( with the earflaps down ,until it dried thus holding the curls at bay until they had set ) It sort of worked, and I was able to have long, well controlled hair for a small part of each day, but the combined action of a wool hat designed for the alps, wet hair and the fact that we lived in a hot humid country meant that the process was not without its challenges, and may in fact have something to do wth the fact that nowadays, my hair is thinning at an alarming rate, especially at the top where the heat and humidity would have been at its greatest. By the time we arrived in Australia in 1975, I had embraced the curls! The last hat on my candelabra/hat rack is a full fur Russian cossack hat complete with a red star badge and proper ear protection. Not just a flap like the Austrian hat , that fold up under the the hat when you are not using them, but the real thing with ear muffs that fold up on the outside of the hat and tie in a bit of a bow at the top. I suspect that that is just for transportation, and that in real life it is never warm enough to wear this hat with the ear flaps up. This hat has bought for me by my Mother ( more about her later too ) She went to Russia, and bought 2 hats for her 3 sons ( not sure who has the other one or why it was just 2, and in some ways I don't want to know as it adds a certain mystery to the story of why I have a Russian hat )  The only other thing on the candelabra as a pair of WW1 flying goggles, proper leather ones with  glass lenses that I bought at auction, along with a collection of fossilised shark teeth. Vicki wasn’t impressed with either purchase, but if at any stage I get the urge to wear the Russian hat with the proper ear muffs, I will invariably wear the flying goggles too.  You probably didn’t need to know any of this, and you won’t get those images out of your head , nor will you get the time you spent here back, but hopefully it might get you to look around your house and reflect on the many hats that you have collected over the years :-)
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Photographs in your home

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I understand when people say they don’t want to put a big picture of themselves up in their home. When you drill down a bit , most of the time they are talking about a close up picture of their smiling faces looking at the camera. So it is nice to be able to shoot a landscape picture in which they are just a small element  of the whole scene.  By using light and dark, and by using selective focus, it is still possible to make a portrait about these two people without it being too in your face. Because I deal with photographs every day in my working life, we tend to have paintings and sculptures around the house. There are only 3 places where we have actual photographs: each of the girls has a gallery of images taken over the years in the hallway out side of their old bedrooms, and in our family room we have a gallery of acrylic blocks with pictures of our extended families. We also have archive boxes that hold some of my Award winning images which we can bring out if we want to look at them but they are not on display. This image was taken quite a while ago. Since then I have photographed their wedding and family portraits, and now Sam shoots their family portraits every year. It is always so nice to have our families come back to the studio year after year so that we get to celebrate with them as they pass various milestones, and as their family grows. Thanks to our Lifetime Studio Pass, anyone photographed by our studio automatically  has the $150 photography session fee waived on all future shoots, so it is just a matter of contacting us to organise a time and location for your shoot. It doesn’t matter how long ago we did your portraits, if you are a past client, you never have to pay for photography session fees again. Give us a call, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
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Hinton Bay Kitchen

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Summer and fresh seafood! What a great time of year this is, and I am always grateful that Tassie doesn’t get so hot and sticky that you don’t feel like a bowl of seafood linguine! People think that I have the best job in the world, crusing about, taking pictures and eating amazing food- it is hard to argue against them, so instead I just say that it is my job to try every recipe in my book so at I can answer any questions that arise!  Hinton Bay Kitchen is set in the grounds of the Hinton Bay Vineyard, with sweeping views across Hillwood and out to the River Tamar at one of its prettiest sections. Hosted by chef and restauranteur Jane Bissett, her natural enthusiasm, and sense of fun sets the tone from the very beginning A cooking course at the Kitchen is a sight to behold! People of all levels of cooking ability getting stuck into making some mouth watering dishes, getting their fingers messy, and wondering why it looks so easy for Jane and why even the simplest things like wrapping some smoked  salmon around a piece of goats cheese can produce such varying results! Having a wine tasting in the middle of the cooking session does nothing to aid your dexterity, but adds so much to the fun of the event, and when it is all done, sitting down to a feast that you helped produce is a great way to celebrate life, friends and loved ones.  When I was producing my book Island Catch Seafood of Tasmania , it quickly because apparent that restricting Jane to just two recipes was not going to be possible!I wanted to try everything ! I mean a smoked salmon and avocado salsa stack sounds too good to pass up, and an  Ocean Trout Carpaccio that has “ Gin of your choice” as the second ingredient?  who’s going to leave that out?? The recipes in the book are all tried and tested and are designed to be attempted by people who may not normally cook, but who have participated in a wine tasting - you get the drift, you can do this, and you will impress your friends when they come around for dinner. get a group of friend together and book cooking class, you will be so glad you did!
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Newborns in the studio

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Whats so funny? The baby looks very relaxed and content, so how do you get great expressions like this from the parents? The secret is in what the baby is wearing  Absolutely nothing -  which makes holding the bottom end of the baby a  very hazardous operation! I don’t remember the exact timing, but I know that at some stage, either just before, or just after this image was taken, Mum copped a handful of wee!  Dad’s delighted expression is all to do with the fact that he is up the other end. In situations like this, there is  nothing that hasn’t happened in our studio before. I had one mother look down at her baby and say “ surely his empty by now!”  That day it was a lot more than just wee, but we just take it in our stride, there is always pliantly of baby wipes, towels and sanitiser, and I always suggest to parents that if they are planning on doing anything after the photoshoot, other than going straight home, that they should bring a change of clothes with them just in case. Getting images that show baby’s size and the way they curl up into a foetal ball is important in these first images.  It won’t be too long before everything starts stretching out and that phase of their development is left behind.  Those newborn pictures will serve as a benchmark. A starting point if, you like, against which all future images will be compared.  They are never that small again, and in the hustle and bustle of the early days of having a new baby in the house, the parents don’t really get a chance to reflect on the changes. Before you know it, 5 or 6 months have passed in a blur of broken sleep and feeding, and the baby is not as small and helpless anymore. When people ask me when they should do their newborn shoot I always tell them to come into the studio on their way home from the hospital.  Often they think I am joking, what mum wants to go straight from childbirth to a photo studio? But I tell them that its not really about the parents at this stage, it is definitely not about getting smiles or expressions from baby, its all about the size, and the relative size between the adults and baby. Besides, we have photoshop and a policy of looking after the Mums, so there is really no excuse, and if you miss that window on the way home, there is a good chance that you will get swept up in the vortex that a new baby in the house generates and by the time you come out the other end , several months may have passed.
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Sri Lanka

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In 2007, my brother Peter was writing his first book, Serendip, My Sri Lankan Kitchen, and his publisher sent both of us to Sri Lanka for 10 days. He was researching and  collecting recipes and I was taking local colour pictures to be used throughout the book. It had been many years since I had been in Sri Lanka , but more importantly, it was the first time that Peter and I had spent that long together since he had left home  to do his apprenticeship and I had moved to Canberra to go to Uni. Sri  To say it was a wonderful trip would be to understate what a great time we had. travelling around the country in a mini van driven by someone else meant that we could relax, take pictures and really get into the feel of the country without having to worry about where we were going, organising hotels or any of the other one hundred and one things that you need to organise when you are in another country. Peter had organised to meet some chefs and we went from one great experience to another, revisiting many of the places from our childhood in the country and reestablishing friendships and connections. On Dec 26th 2004 Sri Lanka was one of the countries hit by the tsunami that resulted from an earth quake in the middle of the Indian Ocean. At least 30,000 people lost their lives when a massive wall of water hit the south  and  east  of the country with water damage reported as far as 2 km inland from the coast.  This massive fishing boat was picked up by the waves and deposited high up on a rocky ledge above the water where it stayed, unable to be moved. I  tried to find an angle that simplified the image as much as possible while still showing all the elements. I enjoy  that when people see this image can make them stop and question "what is going on here?” There is a simple beauty to this image, which, when added to  the incongruence of a boat high and dry on the rocks,  attracts people, while at the same time standing as a monument to the powerful and destructive forces that created it and that affected so many peoples lives.  https://www.peterkuruvita.com/shop/cookbooks/serendip/
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Dogs , ponies, goldfish and rabbits - even the odd cat every now and again!

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Dogs , ponies, goldfish and rabbits - even the odd cat every now and again!    Animals are such a big part of our lives that whenever possible, I like to include them in my family portraits. It doesn’t always work, dogs can go mental, and cats are notoriously picky about which photographs they will be in, but at the end of the day, I feel like we should at least give it a go. If it doesn’t work, we really haven’t lost anything, but if it does work, the images become even more important later on. The trick with horses is that you have to get their ears to prick up. Without that, they can look miserable, and goofy, so it is a fine line between getting the humans to look good at exactly the same time as the horse pricks its ears up. But when it works it is well worth the effort!  This image was taken in their own home, which had dogs and horses and sheep ( the little blond girl was not a fan of the sheep because they thought her hair looked like hay and wanted to eat it! ) When ever possible I like to photograph people in their own homes because that gives me the most relevant background to the images, and I feel like people are more relaxed and natural in their own surroundings  The images I took that day will become part of this family’s story. They will be looked at now, they will help form a vision of who they are in the minds of the girls, and they will be used in the future to show the following generations what these two looked like when they were just girls. In the mean time, this pictures will hang on the wall in the family home, and every time someone comes to visit, the girls will hear nice things said about them , and everyone can use a bit of that every now and again
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Art Print Special

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Cool relaxing colours dominate this aerial view taken at West Inlet near Stanley in Tasmania’s North West Shot using a drone, the graduations of colour, combined with the patterns forged by wind and tide make for an image that really pleases my sense of balance and beauty. The aerial view point allows you to see the landscape from a totally different perspective, and a whole new world of design texture and colour. It used to be that to do photography like this required a charter plane flight, with a pilot that knew what you were trying to achieve, and who would be happy to fly with the window open or the door off. It was also extra helpful if they could fly from the co-pilots seat which then meant that I could use my right arm more while taking the pictures. The drone has opened that up so much, and it is wonderful to be able to launch whenever the conditions look like they may produce some interesting images. The fact that you can get much lower with a drone also means that there are more options for capturing details such as this. This image is the next one that we are offering at the super low cost of just $100 plus $20 postage and handling ( you are welcome to pick it up from our studio if you are local ) As discussed last month, we will be offering one of these images at the start of each month at this super low price. The image will be available for just one week  before going back to its normal price. This will enable us to ensure that we don’t get caught again with our print head needing replacement due to the lack of printing that we have been doing due to shutdowns. The print will be 500mm X 750mm and will be embossed with our logo and signed by me Get yours here:https://kuruvitaphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/14306714/home  
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Powerful Dads!

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We have all done it! your baby is so small that you can pick her up with one hand!  But there is a problem with doing this. Its not a bad problem, but it will test you , and it is quite possibly the first time you have to admit to your kids that you are not the all powerful Dad that they think you are!   The problem is that you have to be fair, and what is good for little sister should be good for her older brother!You can see the problem and how quickly this can get out of hand! if you compare the pictures you can see the added strain on Dad’s arms and shoulders and how his smile is a little more forced! i remember when our girls were young, Laura used to come running down the hallway to greet me, flinging her arms around my neck and lifting her feet off the ground. She was genuinely surprised and concerned when I finally admitted that we could no longer do this as it was going to break either my neck or my back. It is a sobering moment when you have to admit that you are no longer strong enough, but it is also a rite of passage for the kids.  I remember during one of our frequent wrestling matches, picking my own Dad up of the ground for the first time and holding him up there until he admitted that he was defeated and that I should put him down ( I think the phrase he used was “ put me down you bloody idiot! “ ) It was a moment that we both enjoyed and marked a new phase in your relationship. The beauty of pictures like this is that they bring those special memories flooding back is bright clear technicolour ! My Dad has been gone over 20 years now, and the incident I am talking about was probably about 45 years ago, but these pictures brought it all back a clear detail. Imagine how the subjects of these pictures will feel when they look back on these pictures in 45 years time! Family portraits don’t have to be neat, organised events with everybody looking at the camera and smiling their best smiles. Sure, we end up getting those shots anyway, but it is often the little moments in between that tell the real story.  I really enjoy making family portraits in people’s homes. It means that the background to the images are relatable to the subjects, and as the years pass by and decors and houses change, the backgrounds become more and more important as a reminder of the life that you are living at that time.  Just recently we were looking at  some of our own family portraits and were amazed and captivated by how much the garden had changed over the years. We then started looking for pictures that showed different aspects of the garden. At the time we were taking the pictures, it was the kids and their expressions that we were concentrating on, but 28 years later, that background was important too!
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Venice, Italy

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I wonder when we will get back to Venice? or any other destination around this world that is in lockdown! I doubt that we will be even contemplating overseas travel for the next couple of years - good thing we live in this amazing country, where our geographic isolation, and our firm affirmative action with the virus means that we can move around with relative ease. Add to this the fact that we have such diversity and area to cover, and we really could spend the next 5 years discovering our own country.  But it's nice to reminisce, and Venice is one of those destinations that sooner or later will end up on most people’s to do list.  As a photographer, it's hard to shoot something new in a location that is constantly being photographed ( can you imaging how many pictures were taken in Venice every single day before lockdown? The bridge of sighs, a rather depressing name that originates from when these buildings housed the main prison, and prisoners used the bridge on their way to execution. When we were there in 2015 the sighs were coming from the many tourists that flocked there ( the reverse angle shot shows just some of them crowded on the bridge that I was shooting from ( getting pretty much the same shot as I did!) Since then the city has passed laws that prevent you from stopping on the bridge because of the traffic jams it used to create.  These images and many others that I shot during our 4 week exploration of Italy are now in our Art print Gallery  https://kuruvitaphotography.shootproof.com/gallery/13119876 We have printed and framed a number of these images for clients to  help bring back those happy memories of their  time in Venice, and they look amazing!  Printed onto archival art paper, using pigment inks, these images will stand the test of time and will instantly transport you back to the sights and sounds of this magical city. The singing gondoliers and the lapping of the water in the canals,  the flutter of pigeon wings in St Marco Square,  and the hustle and bustle of tourists from all over the world in the cafes, is what I will remember of Venice, along with the gelatos and the gin and tonics on a hot afternoon.  Of course there are so many different experiences of Venice, and I took great joy in discovering the city in the early morning gloom of pre dawn, before everyone was up and when the light gave the city a soft warm glow. Walking down side alleys and minor canals ( sometimes getting terribly lost ) I would delight in an ancient doorway, seemingly unchanged since the 1700’s, or an unexpected church or gondolas tied up for the night bobbing in the tide.  Whenever I travel, this early morning time is my favourite for taking pictures. The world is slowly starting to stir and the pace of life is much slower. I leave our accommodation in the dark, usually having scouted out a location the previous day, so that I have a clear idea of where I am going and what I plan to do, so that I am not running around looking for something to photograph as the light is going through its morning routine. It doesn’t always work out, sometimes the light doesn’t really do anything, and other times I might get lost or be seduced by some other view that looks completely different in the morning light. Either way I’m out and taking pictures and if I don’t get an amazing image at least I have been practicing my art! Concert pianists don’t only play concerts, they spend a lot of time practicing scales and honing their skills, and this is what I do on just about every morning when I am on holidays.
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Back to School

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Back to school! its that time of the year again when you only go to Office Works if you absolutely have to! It’s also the time of year when your Facebook feed is full off pictures of before an after pictures of kids starting primary school verses starting High school and other variations on that theme. While sometimes school holidays can feel like they go on forever ( not as long as the wait in the queue at Officeworks! ) the reality is those school years slip by so very quickly, and before you know it, the kids are borrowing the car, bringing home partners, and moving out on their own to go to uni or start careers!

We have always taken portrait pictures of our two girls, each of them has a wall in the hallway next to their bedroom where we display 12 of the images. Those of you who have been here before will have heard me talk about this, but the point here is that Back to School was always the last, must do deadline for taking our family portraits. Over the years , when things were hectic and work got in the way of having fun, we ended up with a few years where the family portrait was taken in school uniform, at the front door, just before the first day of term (there is one of those school uniform pictures on our wall at the moment). We never missed a year, and now, looking back on the pictures, I am so glad that we had that last ditch metric to force us to do it. ( Despite the fact that our girls are now 30 and 28 , we still maintain our family portrait schedule, but as we no longer participate in the fun that is back to school, so our new deadline is Christmas eve, when we all gather as a family, and the start of the celebrations always involves a photo shoot! )

We have a number of families that we have in our system that we send regular reminders to. Some are on a yearly basis, others every 2 or 5 years, it doesn’t really matter, what matters is consistency, and our system helps make sure that we don’t miss any of the deadlines. Most of the time, when we contact a family, the most common reaction is “ is it that time already?, I cant believe how quickly that has come around”The reality is that life gets busy, especially if you have one or more school age kids! The good news is that March is the month with the most stable weather in Tasmania, and the days are long and the weather is warm, the perfect time for family portraits. Whether you want to take advantage of the long twilights, or schedule a shoot on the weekend when everyone is nice and relaxed, we have you covered, and in years to come, you will be pleased that you made the effort.
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Art Prints Special!

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When Covid 19 hit last year and everything went into lockdown ( for some of you that was just the first time ) Vicki was in Albury NSW, looking after her Dad who was not feeling so good. When it became apparent that the whole country was going to shut down and that we would not be doing any photography work, I decided to go to Albury too so that at least we could go through the lockdown together. We were there for 9 weeks , only returning home when we were allowed to self isolate at home rather than in a government allocated hotel. All in all it was not too bad, in Albury we could still go for walks, and when we got back to Tassie we renovated Sams office during the two week isolation. We also hired a skip and got rid of heaps of junk that had been lying around for years. The only down side was that when we got back into work, our large format printer had been idle for nearly 3 months, and the ink had dried in the head and the short version of the story is that we had to get a new print head which ended up costing around $2500. Ouch!

 

I tell you this because we have decided to preempt this happening again by doing a monthly image which we will have available at a ridiculously low price ( its cheaper for us than another new print head! )

 

At the start of each month for the whole of 2021 we will be offering one of our Art Prints for just $100+P&H The prints will be 500mm on the shortest side, so a square image will be 500mmX500mm and a rectangle image will be about 500mmX800mm depending on the final crop . The offer will be live for 7 days only .

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Island Catch is here!

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I remember when I was at university, reading about how in 18th Century England, the poor would be so poor that all they could afford was Guinness and oysters! Giving up meat for lent was a way of slumming it to show your piety and anyone could afford lobster, it was chicken and lamb that only the rich could afford. Times have changed, and Tasmanian seafood is recognised as some of the best there is to have on the planet. Surrounded by a bountiful ocean that thankfully still has an abundance of varieties and quantity,  Tasmania is still the luckiest part of the Lucky Country.  A couple of months ago friends of mine came to visit from Victoria and after just one day of fishing declared that fishing in Victoria had been forever ruined by our day out on the water on the east coast of Tassie. As they brought in fish after fish, they were genuinely disappointed when we had to stop fishing in such a short time because we had caught enough for our lunch. Island Catch, Seafood of Tasmania is my latest book, and  celebrates fishing in and around this wonderful island .From the highland lakes famous for their brown and rainbow trout, to the intertidal  and shallow regions that offer clams, mussels , abalone and crayfish to the deep waters with tuna, blue eye cod and everything in between. This book brings together many of the people who are actively involved in the seafood industry in Tasmania and offers a rich selection of recipes for you to try at home. Family favourites and traditional cooking methods as well as some innovative adaptations from some of the finest chefs in the country. The recipes in this book are designed to be tried at home by someone who is willing to try something new. You don't have to be a career chef with a commercial kitchen and a brigade of sous chefs to help you. As is always the case, common sense, attention to detail and regular tasting is always important regardless of what you are doing in the kitchen. If it looks like it is burning, turn the heat down, if it looks like there are too many chillies in the recipe, reduce the number and add more once you have tasted it and determined that it needs more. Cooking should be fun, and relaxing, and if you don't think that is true, you probably need to do more cooking and drink more wine while you are doing it! I hope that you enjoy this trip around our Island, and I am sure that if you engage with only half of the suppliers, recipes and locations in this book, you will have had an amazing journey. After a disapointing delay due to Covid and the global pandemic, the book is finally here and ready for shipping!
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It's not always about the smiles!

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I believe that you couldn't find a better image to prove that smiles are not the only result you should be looking for in a portrait. I love the fact that both of these boys are looking calm,strong, and confident while at the same time showing their love for each other. Their age and personality shines through and this will be an important portrait for them in years to come. I look forward to making similar images of them over the next 5 to 10 years- I am sure that as they grow older,  you will be able to see  that the essence of who they are will remain unchanged

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10 things you can do to prepare for your Family Photo Shoot












 

1. Send in some pictures of the walls you are thinking about hanging your portraits on. We will give you the exact details on how to do this, and the measurements we need , but doing this allows us to bring your pictures into our software system so that we can show you your images from the shoot, in various combinations, on your walls , to scale, so that all the guess work about what will fit and what will look good is taken away.2. Tell the kids what we are doing and tell them what a great time you all are going to have. Don’t tell them they have to be good, and certainly don’t tell them they have to smile (That clenched teeth grimace is not what we are looking for! ) You can tell them I'm a nice guy and if they have something that interests them that they can tell me about that. It helps get the conversation started.  3. Remind yourself that when I am trying to make conversation with  the children, trying to help us by answering for them, or telling them to smile doesn’t really help. As hard as it might be, I need to get a conversation going with each member of your family, and when we finally find a topic that interests them, I will start to get the reactions, expressions, and smiles that we are after. 4. As most of my portraits are in black and white, the colour of your clothes is not as important as the tone - whether they are light or dark. I am looking for clothes that can’t be dated, and that work together within the group without making one person stand out. This is what would happen if, for example 6 people in the group were wearing dark clothes and the seventh was in light clothes. 5. Still with clothes, stripes, big patterns and big logos should be avoided, and if your are going to wear Hawaiian shirts or lumberjack flannel shirts, then it is all in or none! 6. If you end up with a 2 year old who insists on wearing his Thomas the Tank Engine shirt, let him! bring the one you want him to wear with you, and we will make it his idea to change ( He is 2! ) what I don’t want is to get to the shoot to find Mum and the 2 year old crying because they have spent the last 45 minutes fighting about which shirt to wear.  7. If you are bringing your dog to the shoot, the worst thing you can do is get there a bit early so that you can throw a stick or a ball  to wear him out. This elevates their energy levels, makes their tongue hang out, and increase the chance that we will all be covered in slobber! A much better strategy is to take them for a long walk in the morning before the shoot, and then keep the energy as low as possible. treats can often be useful, but don’t bring them out unless we ask you to. 8. If the weather is unstable, we will generally talk to you before the shoot, overcast skies are no problem at all, in fact it is probably our favourite condition. If it is actually raining, there are a number of options, going indoors, postponing or getting gumboots and umbrellas and finding some puddles to splash in! 9. Bring some snacks! big kid and little kid snacks so that everyone is happy and relaxed. setting up a little picnic is a great way to get everyone settled, and give people who are not being photographed something to do while they are waiting.  A bottle of wine or a few beers also work, as long as you have a designated driver ( and its not a 9 am shoot! ) 10.The main thing is that it is a nice relaxed session, so that  in a few years time, when you are looking at your portraits hanging on your wall, they bring back happy memories of a time when your whole family was together and enjoying each others company. BONUS TIP: As a last , extra thing, if there is some combination of people that you would like in a photograph make sure you let your photographer know. Sometimes its hard to know all the subtle relationships that exist, plus it can get quite hectic wrangling a group of people together, so if there is something special that you are after make sure you let us know.    If you'd like to organise your own family portrait session, head over to our 5 steps to make it happen page to learn what the next steps are.
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1st Year done!

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It is always fun doing a series of images, and when Juanita and Ash first came to us, Jayna was just a newborn Since then we have done 3 shoots, and this last set of images finished of a wall collection that we have been working on to celebrate Jayna’s first year.

It’s an old cliche that you forget just how small babies are, especially as you see them grow a tiny bit every day, but having these pictures hung together is a beautiful and dramatic reminder of just how far Jayna has come in such a short time. I am really looking forward to the next installment.

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Natasha, Zachary & Harvey

Harvey is 3 weeks old and weighs a bit more than  5lbs , and is the most perfect little man!

Bright eyed and fully alert and awake for the photoshoot, we got some great shots of him with Natasha and Zac.

 Its always a gamble when you take a babies clothes off for a shoot, but its worth the risk, and I always tell the parents that if we get a shot of them being wee’d on, they get that print for free! ( most parents get one! )  The good news with Harley was that Natasha could recognise the grunts and signs so we avoided a much bigger mess with seconds to spare! The thing I like best about photographing babies as soon after their birthday as possible is that we get to capture them intuit tiny state that is gone before you know it. So often, I have people coming in to pick up their pictures, and the baby looks so much bigger and more developed just in that time. In years to come, when there are size 14 basketball boots lying around the house, Natasha and Zac will look at these pictures and will not be able to believe that their son was ever that small. 
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Fishing in the new millennium

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Looking thorough my bookshelf the other day and I came across a photography book that I had been involved in almost 20 years ago.1.1.2000  24hours in the life of Australia was a photo book that documented all aspects of life in Australia on the first day of the new millennium .65 photographers from all over the country spent the day taking pictures and the best were collated into this book, I went fly fishing with my mate Jack Quinn, and as luck would have it, he caught a very nice little trout just as the sun was setting. quintessentially Tasmanian, the image made it as a full page image in the book.20 years is a long time, Jack is no longer with us, and I really miss the times we spent walking the lakes and rivers in search of trout! Happy to catch one, but also not at all fussed if we didn’t.   It was the company and being out in the fresh air that kept us going back.Jack taught me to fly fish, one of my goals when we left Sydney in 1988, but it was almost a decade before I got around to it.I still will have a little bit of a cast every now and then, but losing your fishing buddy changes things a bit, and it is no where near as often as we used to go.The other thing that has changed is me! Check out this head shot from the back of the book! I know many of the other photographers who were involved in the project, and I can see that it was not just me that has aged over the last 20 years!

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Hollywood Portraits 1940's & 50's





Where does inspiration come from? and how can you use it to make your photographic journey more rewarding? These are questions that all photographers ask themselves at some stage or another. Recently, I found a couple of books that sent my mind off on a journey of discovery. During the 1940’s and 50’s, the Hollywood studio system was in full swing, with many of the major stars of the day contracted to one studio or another, and a constant supply of would-be stars and hopeful actors and actresses arriving in Hollywood every day. Your publicity head shot was one of the keys that could unlock tinsel town for you and there were a number of photographers who specialised in these sort of images.In those days they were shooting on huge 8X10 inch cameras ( that's the size of the sheet of film that the camera took!) They were using big studio hot lights to light their portraits, and  compared to today's offerings, the lenses that they were using were slow and very unsharp. These factors came together to produce images of a certain style that are very hard to reproduce now days because our equipment if far too good!But the feel of the images has a quality that I like , and that I would like to investigate, so it becomes a technical question. How do I make images with that same feel while bringing up the quality to today's standards? I have invited some people into the studio in a couple of weeks time, to model for me while I play with this problem. I am sure that somewhere between the Hollywood portraits of the 1940’s and 2019, we will find with some images that have the best of both worlds, and have a bit of fun doing so.

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Head Shots-your best first impression

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Your corporate head shot is how the rest of the business world will first meet you, and as the old saying goes, you only get one chance at a first impression!

Your image needs to convey in a clear and concise manner all the attributes you want your clients and potential clients to see in you. Charming, approachable, trustworthy, confident and professional. In the corporate world, a selfie shot with your iPhone just doesn’t do the job. Save them for your personal Facebook page and treat your corporate image with consideration and respect. There is still plenty of room to show your character, and the spark in your eyes while still adhering to a very high level of professionalism and sophistication.

How do you want the world to see you? Strong, Friendly, Trustworthy, Knowledgeable, Creative,??? There are so many different personas that you can project, which one is right for you?

When you come into our studio, we will help you relax, guide you through the process and help you with your expression, posing and posture so that we get the very best images for you to choose from.

Book your spot here

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The Graham Family Portraits

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I love it when kids bring their energy and personality to a photoshoot. Charlie and Edmund are not “sit quietly and pose for the camera” type of guys.

Their interaction with the world is done at full pace, and I envied their energy and enthusiasm for what ever they were doing. They bounded up the rocks and they laughed full heartedly when they found something funny. But they also listened, and engaged in conversation , and we were able to find things to talk about that they were interested in.

The results speak for themselves, and these pictures on the wall will remind them that family is the centre of the home. They will hear friends and family who visit their house talk about how great they look and how wonderful it is to have these pictures. I am convinced that hearing nice things about yourself, on an ongoing basis,  can only be good for your self image and confidence.

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