Yesterday, I met a little legend.

My sister holds her beautiful little girl below. This kid is the first grandchild on both sides of the family, and it makes me so happy to know she is going to grow up with so many great people around her. She's already a little legend- and I'm sure football is gonna be her main game ;) xx

Museum of Perth Exhibition

I've been lucky enough to recently work with Know Your Nation and the Museum of Perth on an upcoming exhibition of oral histories and photographs. I felt so humbled to listen in to these conversations. Hearing about the city I love over time, it now has a whole new meaning for me. As a visual person, the stories we were told conjured up images of places I thought I knew, and a life in this city that is far different to how I know it now. I cannot recommend enough, if you have the chance, to get down to the Museum of Perth in the coming weeks for a look.

Nullabor adventuring

Over January I jumped in the car with a friend of mine who was headed east and we crossed the nullabor. I loved going to sleep at night in my swag under an endless starry sky and waking up at day break to drink coffee and get back on the road again. I shot film the whole way and recently got it developed. What came out of those rolls was worth its weight in gold and I look forward to doing this adventure again sometime. This picture is one of my favourites- looking south off the southern coastline. I couldn't get enough.

Shell + Mike

Seeing these guys get engaged in Mexico a year or so ago, I felt so privileged to have then been able to photograph their wedding. Two of the best, this one was full of love, laughter and a whole lotta friends and family. Amazing.

Darwin times- Jen + Craig

It was an amazing day to spend with two beautiful people and their friends, when Jen + Craig got hitched. A simple ceremony followed by a few pictures and then dancing til midnight under a starry sky- beautiful. 

grace + ben + their beautiful friends + family

so this one's a little while coming, but here goes the story... I first met grace thompson (now davis) when i was 19 and was working at a lawn bowls club in perth. we worked together behind the bar there and shared many a pot of swan, cup of ouzo and coke or a bundi- it was a fun time in my life and it was amazing to make a new friend. since then, grace has gone on to be a doctor (one who still breaks the odd bone on a boozy night out) and i've been taking pictures. whilst sitting in new york a few months ago, i got an email from her asking me to shoot the big day of her life- i was stoked! when i came back from overseas in october, i met up with this long time friend and her fella ben (what a legend) and we talked their wedding and planned some fun times. the day didn't disappoint and i can safely say yes, ben and grace, you two are by far the funniest couple i know. hands down. great gig. great day. big love. thanks for asking me to be a part of it. i had a blast and am saluting that old bundi and coke to you from my office :) adios mi amigos!

dunno+polly get hitched

these kids got hitched one beautiful sunday morning with their closest family and friends. it was the most intimate ceremony i've ever shot and there was definitely more than one tear in my eye at the end of it. beautiful people with so much love around them, these two deserve the best. big love to dunno and his gorgeous lady polly xxx

thunderstorms and swimming after the rain- dunno+polly

so, two of the best people i know are getting hitched. everything's pretty casual and it's going to be a blast on the day, but just for before's (and a bit of shits and giggles) we headed to the beach  last night to snap a few moments in between the thunder and lighting that's been hitting up perth lately. the water was beautiful- i couldn't believe how calm it was in parts. dunno had just finished work and was in his high vis and boardies. polly looked beautiful as ever in her bow backed one piece. a fun half an hour of playing in the ocean.

heading home

flying emirates is the best. after being with cheap airline companies for so long now, getting on a plane where they give you hot towels and eye masks was the most amazing thing ever! i was so excited about it all that i talked the lady next to me's ear off for about 20 minutes- i think by the end of it she definitely appreciated my excitement :) coming back into perth with emirates, you fly over the indian ocean to get into perth airport. i'd never flown this way before and, given the option, would definitely do it again. here are a couple of pictures from the air. 

i am so grateful for the opportunity to have this adventure. it has been another amazing learning experience for me. i've met incredible people in the most unlikely of places, seen amazing storms and beautiful sunrises and learnt to trust my instincts on more than one occasion. i think that every journey you take is only as good as the crew you take it with- and that crew begins with yourself. you are your best company. once you figure that one out, your happiness and openness to meeting new people begins, and so, in turn, does the fun of the adventure! it's good to be home :)

some hipsters in NY and the last time i was there

this is a bit of a late post, but i'm going to do it anyway. spent my last week in NYC with a few kids from home and a few new friends from the big apple- what an amazing week! there were a few things that stick out in my mind from that time. the first is the brooklyn bowl. b, myself, hayles and franco saw public enemy play at this venue- for those of you who don't know, the brooklyn bowl is an old bowling alley in brooklyn with an open gig venue attached- you can literally bowl down the alley and watch public enemy AT THE SAAAAMEE TIME. i was frothing. losing my shit. that place was the most epic venue i've ever seen a gig at, on top of which, public enemy is now probably topping  my list of most incredible live music acts i've been lucky enough to go to- seriously amazing. old school hip hop, i'll definitely be back for more! below are some of the cool kids i got to hang with. it was so good to end this trip spending time with mates in a new city. we had a lot of laughs, a lot of drinks, could have fed a small country with the amount of food consumed and all discovered new york together. it was super fun. couldn't have asked for a better way to end the international leg of this adventure!

 em, b and hayles

em, b and hayles

 em

em

 b

b

 coffee pre bloody mary's in brooklyn

coffee pre bloody mary's in brooklyn

de-troit, deee-troit or de-toir- your pick.

asking in an airport in chicago about ways to get to detroit after my flight had been cancelled due to storms, the conversation went something like this...

me: hi there, i'm just wondering whether you know of any buses or other flights that go to de-troit?

customer service dude: you going where? de-troit? where's that now? 

me: ummm (at this point i tried saying it again- de-troit). i said it a few times. 

customer service dude: ooohhhhh, you mean you going to deee-troit? oh i see now.

having come from spanish speaking mexico, i hadn't quite fathomed at that point how different each accent and pronunciation of words would be in the states. like another language. now i did. now, i'm speaking american. 

 houses in detroit. the one on the left was built in 1897. the guy who owned it is below. his name is jackson.  i had a wicked chat to him and he told me all about the place and who lived there. he'd just received a letter from the council saying it was heritage listed. he was super proud of his place. 

houses in detroit. the one on the left was built in 1897. the guy who owned it is below. his name is jackson.  i had a wicked chat to him and he told me all about the place and who lived there. he'd just received a letter from the council saying it was heritage listed. he was super proud of his place. 

 jackson. 

jackson. 

i stayed in detroit with this guy. michael lapp.

quite possibly the best tour guide going, he showed me around this city, full of an eclectic mix of housing and an amazing arts and music scene. we worked on a large scale art project he's creating and drank beers. watched the first game of the NFL in a bar and ate the most horrible fast food you've ever tasted from a place called white castle. never again for that one, i'm pretty sure the burgers were microwaved. but apparently you had to do it. 

 mike's friend arji- playing pool one night whilst eating chicken waffles and drinking beers

mike's friend arji- playing pool one night whilst eating chicken waffles and drinking beers

 a large mural commissioned by the city on the side of what used to be an artists' space- such a beautiful way to brighten up the street.

a large mural commissioned by the city on the side of what used to be an artists' space- such a beautiful way to brighten up the street.

my impression of the city- super friendly people. artists and musicians are coming to detroit because the rent is cheap on spaces and the regulations are not strict, so trying to experiment with new things is easier, a lot of creativity and arts/music is happening here. there are new, funky coffee shops mixed with amazing old school diners. a bowling alley called magic stick which is one of the oldest in america- it serves pizza, beer, you can bowl there and see a gig whilst doing it. there is a lot i could write about with this city, especially considering the economic and social factors at play. i think to truly do it justice though i'd need to spend some more time there to fully understand it all. so i'm just going to put a whole lotta images up, and you can take what you will from them. highly recommend if you get the chance- visit detroit.

 general public loans- money in 1 day

general public loans- money in 1 day

mexico city

“beeeeeppp!!!” that’s what you hear when you hit this town. Coming from such amazing road adventures on the pacific coast, this one was a culture shock to the system. Mexico city was the last stop for us before leaving the country. We caught an overnight bus from Guadalajara, splurged for a chariot with tv and reclining seats which was pretty amazing. What was even more incredible was that we were given a care package on our way onto the bus- a drink, pack of doritos (a staple for me when on long bus trips), ear phones and some chocolate biscuits- winning! I couldn’t have been more stoked starting that trip. 

The bus took around 7 hours and we got in to mexico city at 730 in the morning. Tried getting a subway but couldn’t honestly fit on them with all our bags. I’ve never seen anything like the subway trains in this city. People are jammed in like sardines- to the point where I actually got a little bit claustrophobic. and they don’t come often (I have memories of London where it’s just one train after the other, especially in peak hour traffic). Here they sit on the platform with their doors open and people jammed for up to 5 minutes before moving- it’s insane. We ended up cutting our losses and the 5 pesos we’d paid for the train and catching a taxi. 

The city itself had a pretty cosmopolitan vibe, although there were still taco stands and food vans everywhere, which meant you could eat lunch and dinner for $2 each time if you really wanted (10 pesos=$1, 1 taco= 10 pesos). Tacos are either pork, chicken, meat or vegetable and you can choose whether you want potatoes or onion added. They come on soft taco bread and you then go to the front of the van and add whatever else you want- tomato and onion salsa, green or red hot chili sauce (don’t mistake the green for guacamole- it isn’t!) and various other things.  Amazing! I’m all tacoed out now though.

We went to a suburb called roma norte, which had some of the best shops I’d ever been too- they also did amazing coffee there and still had the street food vans going alongside fresh food cafes and pastilerias. I also stopped in at a random little exhibition, displaying objects that had represented our society’s perception of beauty throughout time. It was random, but pretty interesting and definitely made me think.

There is a lot to see and do here, but if you’re like me in thinking you’d just like to chill for a bit longer, this city isn’t the place to do it. Come here with energy, motivation and some money in your back pocket for all those amazing shops!

barra de nexpa to boca de pascuales

for my birthday, we hit up boca de pascuales. according to lonely planet, it's the type of surf break that has pretty big waves and quote 'when in doubt, don't go out'. we were going to watch the swell, but without the expectation of being able to surf it. 

 waiting for the bus at 7am

waiting for the bus at 7am

 boca de pascuales 

boca de pascuales 

we got there mid arvo. the bus from the road outside barra de nexpa to tecoman (a town 20 minutes from boca) took us about 4 hours. you catch a collective which runs every hour between tecoman and boca. boca is a dirt road town with a few surf hotels and a couple of restaurants. oh yeah, and an amazing surf break just outside your door. 

this little place had a really nice feel to it. we saw pink flamingos up the end of the beach where the river mouth was and you could look over the river and up towards some mountains. turning around, you'd see the surf break. we just stayed for one night, however justin got in a few surfs and mia and i had a few swims which was really nice. as that evening was my birthday, justin and mia took me out for dinner and some drinks which was sweet. couldn't have had a better day :) thanks kids

lo que será será- the pacific coast, mexico

'hola mi amiga' i said to my friend mia from uni as i stepped onto the porch of their cabana, 'como estas?'. as that is about the extent of my spanish, we then turned to english to chat. i met her fiance justin and we all sat down to catchup. it's been 5 years since we've seen each other. it felt like yesterday. 

 looking out.

looking out.

i'd spent the past day and a half travelling from isla mujeres.

boat - taxi - flight - local collectivo - hostel - bus - bus. 

finally, the pacific coast of mexico. we were meeting in a  place called barra de nexpa- state of guerrero. this was mexican cartel country, but also home to chilled travellers looking for some swell and a quiet place off the tourist track. everything here was 'tranquilo' as the locals say. nothing was done fast, and everything was chill. sweet.

 flying in to zihuatanejo

flying in to zihuatanejo

 sunset beers looking at this amazing view

sunset beers looking at this amazing view

we stayed here for 3 nights. we were only going to stay 2, but then were too late one day for the bus (it just comes along the highway, although buses here stop for any and everyone who puts their hand out, so depending what time you catch them there can be a pretty big difference in how long it takes you to get anywhere. it's better therefore to get out early and miss the crowds). we were staying in a cabana on the beach, 3 beds, toilet, shower etc for 300 pesos a night (roughly $10US each). pretty great deal and since mia and justin were surfing a lot and the swell was still picking up (there had been a hurricane off the coast the preceding few days which had put the weather out) things seemed to fall into place well. 

 local dude selling hammocks along the beach. 

local dude selling hammocks along the beach. 

it was interesting staying in a state of mexico run by the cartel. you read a lot of stuff on blogs and DFAT (department foreign affairs and trade) about avoiding states like guerrero and i understand why this advice is in place. i felt though that when we were there, there were examples of times when the cartel was prevalent, although not invasive. basic things like avoiding long bus travel or driving at night is good advice. when we crossed the border between states, we saw subtly the cartel. we had left barra de nexpa at 8am. before we left the state, a guy came on the bus (kitted out with gun etc) and checked the bus. this happens often with the army, however this guy clearly wasn't a part of any army. he looking through the bus and then, satisfied, got off. we continued on. after crossing the border, the same thing happened, although this time it was the army who got on the bus and checked things. one army for one state, a government army for the next. whilst in barra de nexpa, we heard a story of a couple of travellers who had had some things taken from their room (an iPad and iPhone). the day after their things had gone missing, their things reappeared in their room, along with a note of apology. i hate to think what had happened to whoever had taken those things, however it appeared the cartel had gotten them back. it was apparent they liked having tourists in this area for the revenue they brought. i guess it makes sense. if they didn't want you there, you definitely wouldn't be there. 

 some of the local kids came and started jumping off our porch one night onto the sand below. they had such beautiful laughter.

some of the local kids came and started jumping off our porch one night onto the sand below. they had such beautiful laughter.

isla mujeres- party, golf carts, whale sharks and the beach

so after tulum, i headed to an island off cancun called isla mujeres. it takes about 40 minutes in a ferry to get there, and all the way you are serenaded by a guy on guitar playing cult classics. rottenest island ferry, you could learn a thing or two here... 

i stayed at a hostel called the pocna hostel- it's well known for it's beach parties at night and chilled out feel during the day. they had a really great common area here and i met a lot of amazing people- it was a very social hostel- oh and they had shelves upon shelves of books, so you were set for a good beach read. the first night i was there, and a few ones after, i had the pleasure of seeing caribbean thunder storms hit the island- massive clouds and crashing thunder coupled with some pretty hefty lightning displays, we'd watch it from the beach or wherever we were having dinner. nature is a pretty fantastical beast, and she was putting on a show.

 the sky just outside the pocna

the sky just outside the pocna

i had some amazing experiences in this place. swam with the whale sharks one day (i can't even describe how incredible those creatures are) hired golf carts the next with a crew from the hostel, ate wayy too many tacos with shell and mike, sat on the beach and read an entire book and swam in crystal blue water. isla mujeres is a beautiful island and well worth a few days of your trip!

 golf cart day

golf cart day

 the local bottleshop

the local bottleshop

 lazy cats at the hostel. i think this is all i ever saw them do..

lazy cats at the hostel. i think this is all i ever saw them do..

tulum- walk to the beach from your room in 1 minute- yessss

hola! so after cozumel and playa del carmen, shell, mike and i went to a place called tulum. tulum was pretty special. it was so nice to chill out and stay in a place where you can walk out of the front door of your room and straight into the ocean. we went to a mayan ruin and a few cenotes (big freshwater pools- some you can scuba dive in, others are a lot smaller). the first cenote we went to had a reasonably high dive platform. mike and shell went up to jump off together and i stayed below, chatting to a girl we'd just met. 

 looking up through the trees whilst sitting in a hammock at the cenote

looking up through the trees whilst sitting in a hammock at the cenote

ok, so i'm chatting to my new mate, when all of a sudden she busts out with-

"hey, did your friends just get engaged?" i answered matter of factly that nah, they've been together for ages and they will at some point, but not just yet i didn't think.

she answered that one with-

"well, i'm pretty sure i just saw the guy down on one knee..."

to which i responded by yelling up at shell-

"no shit shell, did you just get engaged?!!"

she held up her left hand in somewhat shock and i began swearing again in excitement. yeeeooowwww!!! mike had a massive smile on his face (as you would when you've hooked such a legend) and they then jumped off the platform into the water, holding hands. i stood still in shock on the sidelines and i think my new mate thought i was an idiot. good times. 

 shell and mike- engaged

shell and mike- engaged

celebrated that night with 2 for 1 cocktails, which turned into beers, which then turned into more cocktails, which then went straight to tequila. good times and we were all a little hungover but happy the next day. so stoked for these guys, couldn't imagine two better people getting it together for life :)

cozumel- mexico

Epic day. I've met up with my mate shell from home and her fella mike- legends! We're hit it up in playa del carmen and have spent a really nice 2 days exploring the town and being at the beach. Today topped it though. We caught a ferry to an island off playa del carmen called Cozumel. This place was bigger than I expected and had some great beaches and snorkelling spots. When we got off the ferry there were the usual tourism vendors with bikes/tours/cars to rent. We got talking to a guy and he made us a good deal on a bright red jeep wrangler, so we decided to hire the car for the day. 

I've been in a few countries when I've been involved in hiring a car, but none of them were like this. We walked from the ferry terminal about 10 minutes to a back street where we met our ride. Rather than going to an office to do the paper work like Id done in the past, our mate just pulled out a pink slip and started filling out the form. 

"Insurance?" We said

"No problem" he said. "Including collision?"

"Si gracias" we say.

"Ok" he says. He then proceeds to write on the pink slip the word in capital letters "COLLISION" and points to it, proudly saying "see, collision". 

Well alright then, we thought. License numbers were taken. Soft top pulled down. Keys in the ignition, reminding myself it's the right side of the road to drive on, we set off. 

It was so great to have a car! Driving around the island, we snorkelled, seeing blue and green gropers, black and white striped fish and some beautiful coral. A lot of the stuff we saw off the beach wasn't full on reef though, but there was still some pretty marine life there. We had beers and saw an iguana. We sat on the beach and drank a cocktail. Then I got speared in the foot right at the end of the day by a sea urchin. Not how I would have picked the day to end, however I did walk up from getting speared straight into a bar where there was a margarita waiting, so I guess you could say there are silver linings everywhere :)

We ran to the last ferry for the day, meeting our mate for the car and yelling at him as we ran "gracias!!" He was happy and so were we! Made it to the ferry and another margarita. Great day! One of the best!

new york impressions in colour

If any of you have been following my instagram (cloud_stories) you’ll see some different pics on there to here- the images on here are more from my slr, not my iphone. At least the new york ones anyway. I’ve separated the following pictures into 2 categories- black+white and colour. New york was such a diverse city. I had experiences on the train where a group of guys would step into your carriage and start freestyle dancing to Michael Jackson, or I’d walk down the street past chicken places called things like ‘pluck u’; I’d have chats with random old dudes who were just hanging on the street corner and passing the time of day. I walked past a corner store one day and this man walking out of the shop said ‘hey there princess’ (That’s a first, by the way, however I was wearing a blue dress and had my hair in a high bun at the time). In some of the places andy recommended I go and wander, I would get asked on dates and chat to old women collecting bottles in their trollies. I’d drink amazing coffee and eat a bagel. A city of such diversity and experience, I fell in love with it. And with shooting it. That in itself was the most amazing experience, wandering along the streets with my camera, trying to figure out the best way to take someone’s picture. I’ll look forward to when I head back there. Everyday, I felt like wherever you went, new york was a different city.

staten island ferry

so the course i did here in photography was about looking at community and people in the social landscape. it was taken by photographer karen marshall. an amazing experience, it went for 5 days. on the second day we rode the staten island ferry. such an interesting mix of people. tourists, young kids, people commuting to work, locals heading home, students, summer camp groups for kids, old people- huge variety. here are a couple of pictures i took from my final edit.