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

When Should I have Professional Photos Taken? - The Young Adult

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Life has become so busy that very few photographs are being made at home anymore, especially if you discount the images being made for Facebook and other such web communities. This is the moment when they are perched ready to fly off into their own lives.

University or work is just around the corner, and it won’t be long before they are moving out. Whether it is just around the corner or to the other side of the country, now is the time to capture a family portrait and to stop time still, if only for just a moment.

16 years

All grown up and driving lessons just around the corner, at sixteen, the world is a fascinating place that is to be experienced and enjoyed.

Friend networks are important and what Mum and Dad want becomes less important! Again, getting them involved in the process is a great way to motivate the sixteen year old. They will definitely have an opinion about how the photography session should unfold, and how the images should look at the end. By now they have been exposed to a vast amount of imagery, and they have very definite views on what is good and what is not. It is through the portrait sessions that we do for this age group, that we manage to keep up to date with what is in and what is not.

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Artprints for EOFY

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End of Financial Year is just about upon us and I have had a couple of businesses make contact to update the wall art around the office.

 Beautiful images on the walls at work makes for a pleasant and calming work environment, and we have a huge collection of images to choose from. Local Launceston images, Tasmania, or somewhere exotic  from around the world, we have something for everyone. The first step is to get an idea of where the images will be going up in the office, the amount of wall space they need to cover, and some idea of the type of images you would like to look at. From there, we will curate a selection of images, and using some very nifty software , we can show you the images, on your office walls , to size, so that you will have a very clear idea of how they will look up on the wall. There are a range of different materials  and framing options available, including traditionally matted and framed prints, acrylics, canvas and a super high gloss option, printed onto metal, that looks amazing with the right image. While the selection process and production can take a few weeks at this time of year, you can decide which Financial Year you want to bill this in, so whether you are using up budget from this year or taking advantage of the new budgets for next year, we can organise it so that you can start the next 12 months with a great  space to work in.  
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When Should I have Family Portraits Taken - Pre-teen

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 The pre-teen years where busy schedules and growth spurts go hand it hand. The influence of friends is becoming more important and there is a growing sense of independence, however there is still times when hugs, kisses and praise from Mum or Dad is all that they want.

 10 years

One of the best stages of life! Everything seems to be going okay, they are at peace with the world and themselves. A good time to be doing environmental portraits at home or the farm, including their hobbies and interests and perhaps even their best mate. At this stage again, we will look at both sibling and family portraits as well as a range of individual studies which will add to the rich history of images that we have produced up to now.

 

12 years

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When Should I have Professional Photographs Taken? - Childhood

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Both parents and children have to adjust to the influences of school, and it is a bitter sweet period for the parents as you realise that your child now has a part of their life in which you are not involved on a daily basis. They are learning new skills and wanting to use them, and it is much easier for us, as your photographer, to build a relationship and to capture those special expressions and moments.

At this stage, we ask the parents to take a step back so that the photographer has a chance to engage with the child in one on one conversation. Once this is happening, all those emotions and expressions are never far behind.

 

5 years

If you have been following our Stages of Life program, it has been two years since your last visit, and there have been many changes in your child. The very structure of their face is starting to change as the round baby face gives way to a more angular, grown up look. They will be losing their baby teeth soon, and their mature willing-to-please demeanour means that we can attempt one of our classical portrait studies. Less candid and printed onto our beautiful stretched canvas, this session echoes a tradition of portrait painting that goes back through the ages. Visit any of the great art galleries of the world and you will see a whole genre of portraits made at around this time in a person’s life. An artwork that will be enjoyed for many years to come and which will be handed down as part of the family history.

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When Should I have Profession Photographs taken? - The Toddler





This is the stage that parents remember most vividly - for both the good and the bad! Independence is the key motivating factor. They want to walk by themselves, feed themselves, and they want to chose their ownclothes, and nothing is going to stop them! Often this stage is complemented by the birth of another sibling into the family, and as the prospect of pre-school draws closer, you realise that your baby has turned into a toddler.

15 months to 18 months

Never far from Mum or Dad, and still a bit insecure about meeting new people, a toddler is into everything. The contents of Mum’s purse is never safe, and appears hat they have mastered all of the TV remotes - something that you still need to come to terms with yourself! No button is left unpushed and a computer keyboard is the ultimate prize. Switching between full bravado and snuggling clinginess, at this age, the relationship between Father and child has been cemented. Whether it is the rough and tumble of hugs and wrestles, or the giggles of playing private games, Dad’s strong arms are a placeof refuge and safety.

two years

Two candles on the cake and your toddler starts this stage mature, calm and co-ordinated. Their understanding of language has developed and they can let you know what they want. Rituals are starting to develop, and everything stops until you can find their favourite cup! Any old teddy bear won’t do and you better not leave it at a friends house or you will be doing a late night dash! Most of the time they want to please you and are starting to understand concepts like time and sharing - even if they aren’t that good at it just yet. They are full of emotion and expression, and they have an opinion which they are not afraid to share with you. Portraits in the park or at a favourite location, with parents, siblings, cats and dog are ideal at this age.

 

three years

This is the age of make-believe and roleplays and having photographs taken at this stage will be an adventure. It can be an unpredictable age, and it is important to come to the photography session with your mind open to the possibilities. A three year old’s version of how the day should progress can be very different to an adult’s, and it is important to relax into it so that you are ready to capitalise on the moments that are presented rather than being fixated on some pre-conceived outcome.

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When Should I have Professional Photographs Taken? - The First Year

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the first year

In the first year, time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time. Days roll into one amid late night feeds, day time sleeps, and an amazing number of nappy changes. Every day there are ground breaking moments: the first smile, the first sleeping through the night, first steps, words, and teeth. Let us capture these moments that are the initial stages of a journey of a lifetime.

Newborn to 4 months

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. This is a fleeting moment that is passed through all too quickly.

6 months to 9 months

It’s amazing what 6 months can do! No longer the snuggling, helpless baby, atthis age life is lived at full pace - with lots of naps!!Bright eyes and personality in spades, they have a full time job exploringthe world that surrounds them. Babies at this age don’t exist in the world bythemselves, and Mum or Dad are never far away. We like to show this in ourphotography, and sometimes parents are just represented, perhaps just aprotective arm or a helping hand. It is also the perfect opportunity to makesome beautiful, soft impressionistic portraits of Mum and baby together.

12 months

The first year has zipped by, and a cake with a singlecandle is the first of many more to come. A moving target full of energy and personality, with a clear idea of what they want, and when they want it! This is the perfect age for a candid environmental portrait in your home. This gives us the opportunity to make images that capture them in a time and place, and in years to come, where ever you end up living, these images with automatically transport you back to this special time.

 

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What Happens When I Book a Professional Portrait Session?

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the portrait experience

 

Because Philip Kuruvita Photography is a small, personal and exclusive studio, right from the start you’ll be dealing directly with the people who will be photographing you. We believe this is essential. From your initial enquiry, whether it be by phone or email, you will be treated with dedication, warmth and respect. From the time you start your portrait experience you’ll be consulted at every step by Philip,Vicki or Sam who have over 30 years experience in running a successful photographic studio.

 

the portrait consultation

The first step in the process is a complimentary portrait consultation. You can sit down over a hot cup of coffee or a cool drink and Philip can share some ideas with you and help you plan your photography session. You will be able to discuss the different options and styles available, ideas on locations, what to wear, etc. He will also cover the range of products available, the pricing structure and our client-friendly payment plan so you will have all the information you need. Philip will then book an appointment for your photo session. Payment of the session fee is payable when booking.

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15 Summers to make family portraits with your kids 

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When you think about it, we only have about 15 summers with our kids before they start to want to go off with their friends and create lives of their own.  while we want them to grow up and become independent,  we will look back on those years as a tight knit family with fondness and a touch of nostalgia. It certainly makes you realise that it is important to make the most of these special years and to capture some of the joy and laughter that you share. for many of you, time is nearly up, and as the kids start to think of jobs and university, time together as a family gets harder and harder to orgainse. As we enjoy the last days of this summer,  now is the time to organise that family portrait that you have been talking about for so long - I know this because a week wouldn’t go past without someone coming into our studio and saying that they have wanted to do this for so long, but with kids at school, before and after school sport and busy weekend, it has always been push down the list of things to do  The long warm evenings that we are having at the moment are perfect for portrait shoots after work, the light is great, and its nice to take a  bit of time to be together as a family. Soon the leaves will be falling off the trees and Tasmania is at it’s most beautiful. Stunning scenery, Autumn colours and the cooler weather makes for the perfect combination when it comes to family portraits, and once the kids have gone off to work or  uni for the year the house will still be filled with the warmth and laughter that you shared on that day
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Then & Now

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32 years seems like a long time, but it has gone by in a flash! That's how long our studio at Upton Street has been open, and during those 32 years , we have photographed so many people in Launceston that we though it would great to go back through our archive and rephotograph some of our past clients.One of the joys of running a photography studio is that you get to record families as they grow. Over the years that we have been operating in Launceston so many families have passed through our doors, and we regularly get second and even third generation clients .Then and Now is a book project that matches current images with ones that we took. 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. We started before email was thing, so for the early years, we have some fax numbers on file, but they are of little use any more, so if you are a past client, or know some past clients, get in contact with us, we would love to say hi, and included you in this little piece of Launceston history.Weddings, commercial jobs, school leavers , family portraits or my Faces of Launceston project . If you have been in front of my camera at any stage during the last 30 years we would love to hear from you.The first step is to register your interest. If you can give us details of when you were last photographed, we will be able to find your old images, and we will then be in contact to organise a new shoot. There is no cost involved for the shoot, as past clients you never pay for session fees, and there is no obligation to buy any of the pictures , however if you are interested in seeing the images from your shoot, we will give you studio credit $100 to use towards updated images for your home.We need a minimum of 40 participants to create a stand alone book, and we are investigating the options for creating personalised dust jackets so that your family can be in the cover of the book . if for some reason, there is not enough interest, the images will still be included in our annual studio book.I am really looking forward to re-engaging with our past clients and seeing how their families have changed.https://tave.com/.../questionnaire/25cd02a4bc928e84e15d8442
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When is the best time to have family portraits done? episode 3

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Childhood is a very loose term!  Anywhere from 4 years of age through to driving lessons!

 This is when life gets busy and having regular portraits sessions is at its most difficult. This is why we offer a system where we can contact you at set intervals just to remind you that another year ( or two) has passed since we last made pictures. By now there is often other children on the scene, and if you thought having one child was time-consuming…Both parents and children have to adjust to the influences of school, and it is a bitter sweet period for  the parents as you realise that while you used to know absolute everyone about your child’s life,  your child now has a part of their life in which you are not involved. They are learing new skills and wanting to use them, and it is much easier for your photographer to build a relationship and to capture those special expressions and moments. At this stage, we ask the parents to take a step back so that the photographer has a chance to engage with the child in one on one conversation. Once this is happening,  all those emotions and expressions are never far behind. Five years if you have been following our Stages of Life program, it has been two years since your last visit, and there have been many changes. The very structure of their face is starting to change as the round baby face  gives way to a more angular, grown up look. They will be losing their baby teeth soon, and their mature, "willing to please" demeanour means that we can attempt one of our classical portrait studies. Less candid and printed onto our beautiful stretched canvas, this session echos a tradition of portrait painting that goes back through the ages. Visit any of the great art galleries of the world and  you will see a whole genre of portraits  made at around this time in a person’s life. An artwork that will be enjoyed for many years to come and which will be handed down as part of the family history.Seven years  Bridging the gap between childhood and  the next stage  of life -youth,  this is a sensitive age where strong bonds are formed with siblings . A relationship portrait that explores these emotions will provide a range of great images, of the individual children and of their relationships with each other . This can be done in the studio, at home or in the parks and gardens around the city. Any hobbies or passions such as music or sport can also be included.  It is also a good time to create an up to date family portrait
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Dawn at Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park in Utah.

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Dawn at  Mesa Arch  in Canyonlands National Park in Utah. The arch is an amazing natural stone arch perched at the edge of a cliff with vast views of the spectacular landscape in the distance. The hardest part about trying to photograph scenery like this is the sheer vastness of the image. The view goes on and on, and trying to make sense of all the elements is quite a challenge. I was travelling with my friend and fellow photographer  Peter Eastway having both been speakers at the Wedding Portrait Photographers International conference in Las Vegas.  We arrived in the dark, the carpark being about 1 km away and set up waiting for the first light the break over the horizon. Never having been there before, we only had our calculations to work out where we were expecting the sun to rise, and set up our cameras using our best guess. As we would be photographing directly into the rising sun, I knew that the window of opportunity to get a decent shot would be very narrow, and that as soon as the sun was fully up over the horizon, the scene would be rendered flat and uninteresting. Our only chance would be to capture the image at the very start of the sunrise. It is nice when you think about a shot before hand, make a plan, and everything works out pretty much the way you thought it would. The light was great, and lit up the landscape to highlight the mountains, and rock structures in the distance, and brought out the texture on the canyon floor. The light hitting the underside of the arch and the rocks below it caused the whole structure to glow and I was very happy with the shot. There was the usual flurry of activity, trying to get as many variations as possible before the light flattened out, but on this occasion, the initial image that I made was the best one. This image looks amazing printed onto a high gloss metallic paper and is available in our Art print gallery here:
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When is the best time to have family portraits taken Part 1

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The number one question we get at our portrait photography studio is "When is the best time to get family portraits done?" Such a simple question that is just so difficult to answer! Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and allows us to see things so clearly, the only problem is that when it comes to family portraiture, by the time you are looking back, its too late! You can’t get newborn pictures of a one year old, and even at 1month, your baby has changed so much from those first few days. We have put together a guide that will help answer that original question, and give you some things to think about when you come to deciding when to schedule your shoots.  The first Year in the first year, time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time. Days roll into one amid late night feeds, day time sleeps ,and an amazing number of nappy changes. Every day there are ground breaking moments: the first smile, the first sleeping through the night, first steps, words, and teeth. I believe that there are 3 main shoots that you can consider in this first year. It might stemlike a lot, but the change in your baby is so great in these initial stages, with their body totally changing from a helpless little ball, to sitting and finally standing and walking and talking.  Newborn - 3 months Quiet moments just sitting and watching baby sleep. The delight in their eyes when they see your face, the amazing strenght with which they can grasp you finger. This is the perfect age for our Newborn Shoot. 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 basket ball boots that are lying around  the bathroom floor. We aim to capture the closeness and security they feel when being held by Mum and Dad and marvel in the contrasts in size and texture This is a fleeting moment  that is passed through all too quickly. This is not a time for images of your baby smiling at the camera - it might happen, ( but that could also just  be wind ! ) These images are about the relative size. How tiny she was in Dads hands or how he snuggled into Mums shoulder. 6 months - 9 monthsIt’s amazing what 6 months can do! No longer the snuggling, helpless baby, at this age life is lived at full pace - with lots of naps!!Bright eyes and personality in spades, they have a full time job exploring the world that surrounds  them. Babies at this age don’t eist in the world by themselves, and Mum or Dad are never far away. We like to show this in our pictures , and sometimes  parents are just represented , perhaps just a protective arm or a helping hand. This is the perfect age for our relationships portraits. It is also the perfect oppourtunity to make some beautiful, soft impressionistic portraits of Mother and baby together. 12 months The first year has zipped by, and a cake with a single candle is the first of many more to come. A moving target full of energy and personality, with a clear idea of what they want, and when they want it! This is the perfect age for a candid environmental portrait in your home. This gives us the opportunity to make images that capture them in a time and place, and in years to come, where every you end up living, these images with automatically transport you back to this special time. This portrait session  should include a relaxed family portrait in your home, with cats and dogs and all the wonderful things that make a house a home.
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A visit to Canberra

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A visit to Canberra is always a great experience for a photographer. Not only do you get to feast your eyes on numerous exhibitions and architectural works, but you also get to play with your camera a lot! A visit to the National Museum of Australia has so much to offer. The building and the surrounding grounds are full of architectural angles and interesting juxtapositions so the longer you hang around, the more you see. Whether it is 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage, the story and artefacts of colonial settlement or just a look at Phar Laps heart this place has it all. In an internal courtyard, the  Garden of Australian Dreams is a wonderful subject to photograph. It is hard not to think about Jackson Pollocks Blue Poles ( which we saw at the National Gallery ) or of Jeffrey Smart and his very precise paintings of traffic signs. The square white box in the centre of the garden represents the Australian dream of home ownership with its own palm tree, and the floor is covered with maps of regional areas. This image is one in our Artprint gallery and looks amazing printed as a large square.
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Dad's and Daughters

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I don’t know if it is because I have two daughters of my own, and I miss the little girls that they were, but I really love all the things that are going on in this picture. You can see the connection, you can see the tenderness and the sense of fun, and you know that this is an image that will resonate for both of them for many years to come.  Flower crowns and squishing noses are not things that last forever! All too quickly they grow up and before you know it the discussions are about work and mortgages and renovating the house. Don’t get me wrong, is all great, and I am thankful that we can still have great conversations about the things that are important in my girls lives, but this picture makes me feel nostalgic - and its not even my family! Imaging how this will work for this Dad when his daughter is 30! People come to us for family portraits for a variety of reasons. It is a way to have their family and loved ones close to them even though the realities of a busy, day to day life may mean that they are sometimes physically apart. They come to us so that we can generate a sense of belonging for their children - there is nothing like seeing beautiful pictures of you and your family in the centre of the family home , and to hear everyone who visits your home saying nice things about the pictures of you and your family to build a sense of pride and self worth in a young child’s mind. They come to us in an effort to build a connection to family, capturing memories, and preserve a particular time in their family's history, so as to leave a mark and to create ongoing history for future generations plus it’s fun!  That is a really important point, because if your family portrait session is a time when everyone is really present, and as a family you have a really great time together, the images become a memory trigger to that shared experience and the fun and the laughter and the sense of love and belonging will all come flooding back, regardless of how long ago it happened.  Time moves on, kids grow up and leave home, parents grow old  and pets live their lives 7 times faster than we do. Fnding time to organise everyone for a photo shoot, justifying the expense, knowing what to ask for or what is possible and feeling anxious that somehow you will be tricked or forced into buying something that they don't want, or can't afford are all very valid reasons why people say to us that they have been meaning to do this for years, but just didn’t get around to it. We understand that, and have developed a system that will guide you through every step of the way, answer all your questions ( often before you have formulated them for yourself) and give you the final say in every decision you make. We start with a consultation in our studio where we will show you all the options, and give you a price list  to take away with you so that at no stage are there any surprises ( no one likes surprises! ) At the end to the day we want to help you achieve you goal of having beautiful family portraits in your home that will warm your heart for many years to come.  To start a conversation and to find out a little bit more about how your ideas might be put into action, contact us and let's have a chat!
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Monument Valley

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Between the ages of 8 and 15, we lived in Sri Lanka, where , at the time, there was no TV, so going to the cinema to watch the latest movies out of Hollywood was a regular part of our weekly routine. The movies that we all were most excited to see were the westerns. The Good The Bad and The Ugly,  in fact anything with Clint Eastwood, Chatos Land with a non speaking Charles Bronson, John Wayne, Allan Ladd, and so many more. So it was with much excitement that I finally visited Monument Valley. I had been speaking at the WPPI conference in Las Vegas, and at the end of it, my friend and fellow photographer Peter Eastway and I hired a car and set off to explore the 4 corners region around Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado   This one area of Navajo land was the set for so many of the epic Hollywood blockbuster westerns that I had grown up with. It had all the elements that the movie executives thought were required to set the scene, and in the process helped form a very clear picture in the minds of the world of how the American west looked during the time of Sitting Bull, General Custer and the Wells Fargo stage coach ( I can imaging it now tearing up the road, chased by a band of Indians on palomino ponies with the horses at full gallop and the wheel looking like it might fly off at any second! ) We arrived before dawn ( as all good photographers should!) only to find that there was a gate and an entry fee and worst of all, the office didn’t open until 8am, long after the light was of any use for photography.  Luckly for us this had obviously happened before, and waiting patiently at the gate as this lovely Navajo guy with a van who offered to take us in via his village and give us a tour of the area.  The asking price was fair and we had an amazing tour of the area, along with expert commentary. The images we got were just what we had hoped for so much so that we decided to hire him again the next day, start even earlier and get to some of the other stops in this great landscape.  John Ford Point, named after the famous western movie director gave us a stunning  sunrise, and it was so obvious why they should want to shoot movies in this wonderful location.  For all the pictures that I got over the 3 days that we were there, the enduring memory for me is a moment when I found myself all alone in this landscape. The van and guide where down by the road, Peter had wandered off to photograph something and I looked around and all I could see was the desert, the rock formations and the clouds above me. At that point, I realised that recording everything on my camera was going to be impossible so I put my camera down, lay flat on my back in the cool sand, and soaked in the  experience. 
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some days you just need a picture that makes you smile every time you look at it!

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some days you just need a picture that makes you smile every time you look at it!  there are so many aspects of this image that I love, the fact that we were obviously trying for a straight studio portrait of everyone looking at the camera, looking relaxed and happy, and the fact that somehow or another, I don’t remember the exact details, but the giggles snuck in and that was the end of it! The two older kids on the ends are doing their best to hold it together and look at the camera but you can tell it is going to be a lost cause. In the centre, things have already  collapsed into fits of laughter, but through it all you get to see the real relationship that exists within this family. As I shoot Black and White, choice of clothes colour is not as important as the tones ( Light or dark ). While I don’t want everyone to be dressed identically, we need to avoid having 4 people in dark and just one person in light ( unless we are trying to make them stand out in the group). We also want to avoid big patterns, stripes and logos, so your Hawaiian shirt is probably a not go unless you all have one. At the end of the day, I want the clothes that you are wearing to melt into the background and not compete with those beautiful expressions and the interaction between the people in the photograph
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Tasmanian Books

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Ebooks and audio books might be fine for novels and books with lots of words in them ( not my type of book!) but nothing beats the feeling of settling down with a lavish book to lose yourself of an hour or two . The physical weight, the feel of the pages, and the vibrant colours that jump off the page are all elements that add to the delight. Because Vicki and I publish these books ourselves, with no outside interference or demands, we are free to make a book that is exactly what we are looking for in a coffee table book. First the subject needs to interest me - no problems there, each year we look at our list of possible topics for our next book, and decide what it is that we want to spend the next few months concentrating on. Because Vicki does the design and layout side of things, she is happy to go with whatever I am interested in photographing. The majority of my books deal with some combination of Tasmanian travel and adventure, food, and photography. So when people say “ you are so lucky to be able to do these things, and taste these dishes”, I always say that luck had nothing to do with it and that each book is the result of a culmination of a detailed and well executed plan. The fact that other people enjoy these things is where the luck lies. If I was interested in some niche that no one else was, perhaps I would not get the opportunity to keep making books the way I do. There have been books that don’t deal with Tasmanian food and adventure. My very first book was one on Africa that I did with my friend Alice Bennett. We were both going to be in Africa at around the same time of year so we decided to do “something” with the images when we got back. A book followed, and was the starting point for both of us to go one and publish a number of book each. We have also done a book about the fascinating architecture of Launceston. Having been an architect before giving it all up to run my studio, Vicki was very interested in this project, and even agreed to having her name printed on the front cover. What she didn’t realise was that she would then be required for press conferences, book signings and various other promotional activities relating to the book. That was the last time she put her name on a book, and now you need to look very closely at the fine print to find her credit. And she designs the books ( and because I am her husband ) I get no say in this at all! I have also done a book about some of the amazing cars that live in Launceston. Those who know me know that I am not a car person, and am in no position to have a conversation about overhead cam shafts or grease nipples. I do however see the beauty that these machines possess, and enjoy photographing their sleek lines. Priced at $50 these books make a great gift , either for your self or for someone else. Food, travel, adventure, cars, architecture, and of course photography, there is something for everyone. We have a number of businesses who use our books as corporate gifts, and the one thing that all these books have in common is that they promote Tasmania and all the wonderful things that we have to offer here https://kuruvita.com.au/index.php/tasmanianbooks
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ANZAC Day 2021



ANZAC day is a time for reflection and a time for us to thank the generations of young men and women who served their country in the never ending series of conflicts that humans are destined to engage in .

 We recently visited the National War Memorial in Canberra which houses an amazing museum dedicated to these conflicts. As you walk in through the front door you are confronted by a large landing boat that took the first diggers into the beaches at Gallipoli. No more than an oversized rowboat, the vessel offered no protection to the troops and the bullet holes that tore through the side of the boat leaves nothing to your imagination about how horrific that short ride from the warship would have been. As you make your way through the exhibits, from WW1 to WW2, Korea, Vietnam and then into the modern era of Iraq and Afghanistan, the equation is always the same: young men and women, full of life, vitality and hope looking out at you from pictures that are fading with time. A few years ago, I was one of hundreds of photographers from the AIPP ( Australian Institute of Professional Photography ) who worked together to try and photograph all the surviving World War 2 veterans. Over the course of about a year and a half we photographed nearly 6000 veterans from all around the country. The majority of these people were in their 90’s when we did this, and it was obvious that their experiences so many years ago had informed the trajectory of the rest of their lives. During this process, I met a number of veterans who I  asked to be involved in my 20th year exhibition of my Faces of Launceston Project. Starting in 1995, I have photographed over five hundred people who call Launceston home, and to celebrate 20 years of the project I has honoured to have a major show at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. we asked each of the 100 people photographed for the exhibition for a short comment to go with their picture   I met Leo when I was at the RSL club on ANZAC day shooting for the reflections project. Dressed in his Polish army uniform, he had been invited to Australia by the Rats of Tobruk Association after the war. Leo Minol.Arrived in Australia at the invitation of the Rats of Tobruk after serving in the Polish ArmyWorked at Hydro, Comalco and railwayStarted as a street photographer- eventually running a photographic studio which was the first use colour film and colour processing  Another of the veterans that I met via the Reflections project who agreed to be photographed for my Faces of Launceston show, Max Saunders was a very young man when he was flying in a Lancaster bomber over Europe. At a time when the odds of returning from just one such sortie were not great, Max completed over 30 raids and received the Distinguished Flying Cross, but his achievements after the war is what he takes most delight in- a long marriage  to Merle, children and grand children and great grand children  Max Saunders5 to 11 years- Glen Dhu School11 to14 years Technical collage14 to 18  years Warehouse work18 to 21 years RAAF Australia and Europe21+ years married to Merle3 Children, 7 grand children7 great grand childrenWill never be as happy!  The book Faces of Launceston, the photography of Philip Kuruvita 20 years is full of great pictures and interesting stories of people from all walks of life in Launceston. The book and prints from the exhibition are  available here: https://kuruvita.com.au/index.php/shop-categories-listing/category/21-books https://kuruvita.com.au/index.php/shop-categories-listing/category/38-faces-of-launceston-25-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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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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