Black and White Portraits that show who you are as a family. The interactions, the love, and the fun.

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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How much retouching is appropriate for my age?

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When it comes to retouching you probably fall into one of three camps.
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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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A quick visit to Japan

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Earlier this year we decided to go to Japan in September.Neither of us had ever been before, and  it coincided with Vicki and my birthdays. As an added bonus,  the Rugby World Cup is being played there so we thought we would go over, have a holiday , and catch a couple of the  early, Wallaby games to put us in the mood to watch the rest of the tournament on TV when we got back to Australia. Great plan, and the first part panned out perfectly. We organised to be in Sapporo for the Wallabies first game against Fiji, and got good tickets for the game. After that, it got more complex, the next game was in Tokyo, and when we go online to order tickets ( the minute the box office opened ) we found ourselves 117,000th inline!! by the time it was our turn ( 5 hours later ) the only tickets available were $850 each, and given that we were playing Wales ( who had just won the 6 Nations tournament ) that was too much to spend to watch our team get beaten. We will find a pub in the city somewhere and I am sure we will have a great time anyway.

So how come I am showing you pictures from Japan already???

I got home after a full day of shooting in early February and Vicki said " How do you feel about going to Japan for a Taster?" Jetstar was doing a special $350 return flight to Osaka and she had bought some tickets!  We have recently returned from that trip, and these images are a taster of what I hope to shoot when we go there for real in September. Hope you enjoy them!

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My Mother's 80th Birthday!

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Its the 1st of May, and already we are being bombarded with special offers for Mothers day!I have just come back from Sydney where I joined with my 2 brothers to help celebrate our Mums 80th Birthday with a party and weekend of family time.Mum was only 20 when I first met her, and I know you are amazed at what a good looking kid I was!Over the next 60 years a lot has changed, I grew more hair, and then lost most of it, we moved countries a few times and and I got two brothersAt 80 mum is doing great,  living a full life, and showing no signs of slowing down.It’s always good to catch up with family, it seems to get harder and harder as the family grows and kids and grand kids get complex lives of their own, but every time we make the effort, I come away thinking that it was worth it. and we always try to make some pictures.

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Louise, Bruce, Hamish & Phoebe

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We go back a long way! I photographed Louise and Bruce’s wedding back when wedding photography was something I did! I remember it was a fun filled day out at Marions Vineyard, with a trip down to the jetty and lots and lots of laughs.When we started looking for Families for our next Faces of Launceston projects, Louise was one of the first to get on board and it was a great pleasure to see them again and to make a new set of pictures for them.  Looking through the house, it was great to see the pictures that I had done for them so many years ago, on display and taking pride of place in their lounge room.When asked to tell us something about their family, Louise wrote this:

Parenting at an older age due to close to 10 years ivf. Kids very close in age and one with an autism spectrum disorder! Every day is a challenge!

All I know is that the photoshoot was anything but a challenge. we had a beautiful day and decided to use the big old tree in the front yard as our location. In the swing, up the tree and around the tree gave us so many different backgrounds, and we ended up with a wonderfull selection of images that really showed the love and closeness that typifies this family’s relationship with each other. We were lucky to be able to include Louise's mum in some of the shots, and the wonderful relationship  that  exists in this extended family was obvious for all to see.For this family, these images will join the earlier ones to re-enforce that feeling of belonging that is so vital to all of us.

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Faces of Launceston Families

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Sign your family up to be part of the next Faces of Launceston Exhibition.  This year we are proud to have the opportunity to partner with the wonderful team at the Examiner to raise funds for those who need a little help. We want to celebrate what it means to belong to a family and we need your help.

By booking in your family for a photo shoot and participating in this project you’ll be supporting Examiner’s Empty Stocking Appeal ,your family will also be included in our ongoing Faces Of Launceston Project, and  you can also end up with some awesome images of your family to display on your wall!

We know your life is busy and that Christmas is busier than ever so lets get together in the New Year to plan your family photo shoot.

However the Empty Stocking Appeal needs your donation NOW so please pay the participation fee of $100 and we will put a $100 credit in your account to be used in the New Year towards photos from your shoot.

The actual photography session needs to be done by September 2019 to give us enough time to put the book and exhibition together.

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Help us to Help this Christmas

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Families come in all shapes and sizes.

While there are the typical Mum + Dad + 2.4 kids families, there are also so many other different combinations that make up a family. Blended versions of the Brady Bunch, single parent families, same-sex families and everyth

ing in between. This is a project I am really looking forward to getting in to.

This year we are proud to have the opportunity to partner with the wonderful team at the Examiner to raise funds for those who need a little help. We want to celebrate what it means to belong to a family and we need your help.

By booking in your family for a photoshoot and participating in this project you’ll be supporting Examiner’s Empty Stocking Appeal ,your family will also be included in our ongoing Faces Of Launceston Project, and  you can also end up with some awesome images of your family to display on your wall!

We know your life is busy and we understand that time goes by so quickly. This is a great opportunity to have some beautiful and meaningful portraits made of your family before the kids grow up and move out. We would love to invite you to apply to be a part of this project.

 Can't get the family together but still want to help??Why not donate a session fee to a family that might not otherwise get involved. You can nominate people that you know, or we can choose a family that would like to be included. You pay the $100 donation and we will do the shoot, give them a credit and include them in the exhibition and book. For more information and to get involved click here     
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Christmas Sorted!

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For a limited time, we are offering our new Behind the Garage Door Book PLUS a $250 gift card for just $100.

The Gift card entitles the recipient to have their car photographed in the same style as the cars in the book by Philip Kuruvita, ( normally $150 for the session ) plus $100 credit to use towards the purchase of prints or wall art from the session.

The gift card needs to be registered on our website, and we will then organise a time to sit down with you to discuss the various options for the photography such as style, location, time of day etc. we will also be able to show you the various options for using your $100 credit, and once all the details are settled, we will book a photography session. This gift card can not be used in conjunction with any other offer from our studio.

The perfect Christmas gift for the car person in your family!

FIND OUT MORE HERE

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The Towns Family

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When Nicole came to see me about a family portrait shoot, it became obvious that we should do the shoot on the farm. Photographing Jono and their two boys Campbell and William in the studio didn't make any sense at all. They were farm boys and we needed to capture them in their element. We had so many options, the cubby house, a wonderful old tree, a rustic farm gate and a shearing shed gave us so many options for locations and backgrounds, and the boys didn't get sick of having the picture taken in the same spot. There was a bit of resistance at the start of the shoot, but that is quite normal. The one thing that I can offer in situations like this is time. Time for everyone to relax, and get used to the fact that I an there, and that I am taking pictures, and eventually we get what we need.

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Tips for including your pets in your family portraits

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They shed hair all over the carpet,They shake water all over you when they are wet,They drink from the toilet bowl  even though you have given them perfectly good, clean water in their own personalised bowl……but we wouldn’t be without them in our lives!!…their biggest flaw is that they live their lives 7 times faster than we do!Capture all those endearing qualities in a series of images that show what it is like to be a family that shares its home with a dog!

Tips for a successful photoshoot with your pooch:Most importantly, don’t think that you should get to the location early to give the dog a run and wear him out, that rarely works, all it does is increase the energy levels, and results in tongues out, and heaps of slobber.If you want to wear them out, a long walk in the morning is the best course of action, and then, when it is time for the shoot, keep the energy levels as low as possible.Home is always a great place for family portraits, it places you and your family in that particular house, at that time of your lives, and in years to come it will be nice to look back on not just the people but the location as well, especially if you have since moved. Home is the easiest option for including pets in your family portraits.If you are not doing your portrait shoot at home, there are a number of really good locations for doing family portraits that include a dog.We are generally looking for a quiet location that doesn’t have too much going on that could generate excitement in your dog. Arbour park in West Launceston has some nice quiet areas. Just beyond the dog park at Kilafaddy there are some nice locations which get wonderful afternoon lightand don’t forget that you can always bring your dog (or dogs) with you if you are coming into our studio for your portraits. The worst thing that could happen is that they don’t like the studio conditions, and would prefer to sit outside or in the car while the rest of the family has their portraits done, however, if they are happy, we can get some great pictures.

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Newborn Portrait Photography

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Quiet moments just sitting and watching baby sleep, the delight in their eyes when they see your face, the amazing strength with which they can grasp you finger.Beautiful, quiet moments, captured in black and white, which will capture forever just how tiny this little person was.

In years to come, you will look at these images and shake your head in amazement as you pick up size 13 basketball boots that are lying around on the bathroom floor.Capture the closeness and security they feel when being held by Mum and Dad and marvel at the contrasts in size and texture.I don’t believe that your newborn needs to be dressed up in cute outfits or photographed in a birds nest or flowerpot!

 

They are an amazing, unique, wondrous person in their own right and in some ways I feel that it is disrespectful to the person to play dress-up at this special moment in their lives.If you don’t need to be in fancy dress to have a meaningful portrait taken then maybe, neither does your newborn child.Lets just concentrate on how special they are and the love and family that surrounds them, and we will end up with images that will be meaningful for the rest of their lives.This is a fleeting moment that is passed through all too quickly.

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An image reminds us of who we are,

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who our family is and why the bond is so strong.

The fact that I get invited photograph peoples families is a very humbling thing for me and I take the responsibility and trust that these families have put in me and my skills very seriously. To capture the essence of each member of the family , and then to make an image that describes what it means to be a part of this family unit is a big responsibility , and over the years I have worked hard to hone my skills to a point where I can now deal with just about anything.  You can’t rattle me, not even with preoccupied Dads , opinionated 2 year olds , or 6 month old labradors    (Although I would prefer that they don’t all happen at the same session! ) The secret for me, is to engage with each of my subjects on their terms, and to give them enough time and space for their real personality to shine through - I get told a lot that I am a patient man!I believe that what we do is important, and the results of our work, the images, will grow in importance every year. In 2 years time, in 10 years time in 100 years time , the single moment captured will take on more and more meaning. It is therefore vital that the photographs we produce are made in such a way that they can stand the test of time, and that their archival integrity remains intact over time.In this age of selfies and snapchat, a beautifully shot, archival produced art print is a rare thing, but that’s okay , because the  true moments  that describe a relationship and which form the basis of memories are equally as rare to capture in a single image - its something I have been training for my whole life.

 

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