2014 The Year in Review

We are 6 sleeps away from the yearly visit by the big red man with the white beard, not sure about you but it totally snuck up on me, where did this year go?   I started to reflect back on this year, it has certainly been interesting.

During my 2014 photography adventures I have stood in the middle of roads, walked onto other peoples property, got chased off said property by lady with broom, almost got carried away by mozzies, scared the neighbours with my choice of clothes and props, struggled with both the cat and dog to get photos, crawled in the sand, froze my fingers, hands and other parts of my body on the mountain, got followed by a “honking” swan, “greeted” by a lovely dog lunging and pouncing at a gate and played with a wooden stick person, food and wine.   Seriously, you must wonder about my mental state, I do all the time 🙂

Who ever said that good photography was achieved by just pointing a camera and pressing a button, got it majorly wrong.

On the serious side this year I have photographed some amazing, beautiful and inspiring women, hosted a Cancer Council Morning tea, turned my Instagram pink for October, attended a 3 day photography conference and allowed a close friend and fellow photographer to “glam” me up and take photos of me.

On the personal side this year I have watched our daughter turn 18, graduate high school and attend her year 12 formal and I even got to see the mighty NSW Blues Origin team win the series this year.

2014 has been a huge year and I wouldn’t be here at the end of it without my close group of friends (you know who you are) who are there for me in every way. I also wouldn’t be here without YOU, my loyal blog readers as this year has progressed I am receiving more and more emails and messages with feedback and gratitude about my blogs, I am so grateful to be able to inspire and uplift you with my weekly tales.

I truly believe that in 2014 I have grown, learnt, inspired and evolved and I want to thank you all for the ride. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings.

Wishing you all a very Happy and safe Christmas season and may 2015 make all your dreams come true.
Please enjoy this small collection of my 2014 year.

A Collection of my favourites in flowers and trees

A Collection of my favourites in flowers and trees

Some of the highlights and fun times of 2014

Some of the highlights and fun times of 2014

Beautiful Women in 2014 Be your own kind of Beautiful

Beautiful Women in 2014
Be your own kind of Beautiful

Until next time,


(PS I am on holiday’s for the next 2 weeks so the Friday blog will be back in 2015, watch through social media for any surprise blogs over the break)


Photo Adventure at the Wrecking Yard

If you have ever driven on the Gold Coast Pacific Highway, around the Reedy Creek/Burleigh exit you would have no doubt seen the classic pink 1948 FX Holden which is forever parked in the first floor of the ancient wrecking yard office of Will Smiths.  After 20 years of driving past at some speed I needed to get a closer look at this icon and at the same time tick it off my photo list.

Parking the car up the street a little so it wasn’t going to crap my style and get in the way of the photos, I grabbed my trusty camera and heading down on foot to the wrecking yard. I was “nicely” greeted by the extremely loud aggressive barking just before I saw the “wonderful” big black face with mouth wide open full of teeth lunging at the fence, thankfully he/she had a very large link chain around it’s neck and was safely behind the fence with barbed wire top, truthfully I don’t think they need the barbed wire, the “greeting party” is quite enough. These are the days I am grateful for long zoom lens and running shoes 🙂

Clearly I wasn’t going to make a friend as each time I got close, it got louder and more aggressive, if only I had a steak or something 🙂 .  Since I didn’t, I backed up a little and stood off to the side but I really did want to capture this classic car from as many angles as possible, it was difficult, each time I moved so did the dog, the only difference between us was I walked and he “pounced and lunged”, not quite the photo adventure I was had in mind this morning. I think it won as I chickened out after taking about 16 photos and slowly moved away from the yard, there is only so much my ears and heart rate can take.

Back at home and after a stiff drink ( 😉 ) I did some “googling” on the car and was amazed and pleasantly surprised to find that this rusting “classic” car was once in shining immaculate condition mounted high up on the wall in Olivia’s Malt Shop in Surfers Paradise. Olivia’s Malt Shop was around in the early 1980’s and the staff rolled around serving patrons on roller skates.

Here are some of my photos from the adventure, please enjoy.

Side views of the "classic" icon

Side views of the “classic” icon

Showing "her" age  Pink 1948 FX Holden

Showing “her” age
Pink 1948 FX Holden

Until next week.

Photography Workshops and Retreats Tips

You are really in for a treat this week.  I am honored to bring you a guest blog from Photography Workshops and Retreats, who are based here on the Gold Coast.

So many of us love to photograph the food we eat, we snap it on our phones and share it on social media to tease our friends. With all the festivities at this time of year we thought we’d share some great tips to help you snap some delicious food shots that are sure to make your Instagram and Facebook friends jealous.

Lighting is everything. Shoot in natural light when possible. What do we mean by natural? Find a light, bright space, ideally a room with natural light streaming through a window. If the light is mostly to one side of the dish, it will add contrast and texture to your image and that’s a good thing! 

Pay attention to composition. Composition is how the food is arranged on a plate or the placement of the plate of food within a table setting.

Try different angles for different food types.  Try taking a photo looking slightly down on the food/dish rather than straight on. There will be times when a photo from directly above will work really well.

Experiment with styling. White plates are beautiful and most food will nearly always look great on them, but different is great too. Christmas time allows you to use beautifully coloured plates to give a fun, festive feel to your table. Try placing bonbons or festive decorations around the table to create an extra element of interest.

How close is too close. You want to be close enough to capture the texture and colour of your dish but not so close that you loose focus. Either fill your entire image with food only or pull back enough to see the whole plate setting.

Fresh is best. Photograph the food while it is as fresh as possible. Enjoy!

One final tip:  In the wonderful world of digital images it doesn’t cost you anything to try a variety of shots, angles, compositions and styling methods. If you only remember one thing, it’s this, photography should be fun, so get clicking, enjoy creating new images and remember to take the photos before too many bottles of bubbly have been consumed 😉

Photography Workshops and Retreats run weekend photography retreats at Couran Cove Island Resort. How to photograph food is one of many tutorials covered during their weekend photography retreat. We hope you enjoyed these ‘teaser tips’ which are sure to help you capture great images this festive season. A special thank you goes to Chef Chris of The Restaurant at Ramada Couran Cove for preparing such delicious food for us to photograph. *All images were taken during one of our tutorials on our Weekend Photography Retreat.

Thank you Kassy for featuring us this week.

Photography Workshops and Retreats is run by award winning professional photographers, Sheryn Ellis and Anita Bromley. They have been sharing their photography knowledge and teaching photography workshops for 5 years now and between them they have already tutored more than 3000 people.

Their teaching method is fun, relaxed, no jargon and hands on. All of your questions are answered, techniques shared, notes provided and most importantly you will be given assistance even after you’ve attended a workshop or retreat.

Photography Workshops and retreats offer a variety of short courses as well as Weekend Photography Retreats for anyone with an interest in photography and a love of light. If you’d like to learn more, please subscribe to them HERE or check them out on Facebook or simply email your questions directly to them: info@photographyworkshopsandretreats.com.au