Working from home

So the world is running by new rules and the way we do business is effected. However it’s not all bad and I would like to focus on that. As a business the goals for 2020 have to be revised, this virus has impacted all aspects of life (not just my photography). I don’t think if somebody had told us last year that we would all be choosing to self isolate indefinitely, that any of us would have believed them.

I am currently isolating with my wife and daughter, we are trying our best to follow the rules. It is hard but am happy to do it for the greater good of the community I live in. Anyhow being stuck at home has given me the time to reflect on my business and time to experiment in the studio. I think creativity needs space to thrive and I can see it in my work. My studio space is organised and looking better than it has ever been. This helps with workflow, it also changes the feel and therefore the images produced. I am happier than ever to be shooting and trying new ideas as they appear. Here is a bunch from this first week socially isolating, I have so many ideas that I still want to experiment with. I am excited to get into new studio product photography projects and am looking for some more local wineries to send me some wine to shoot. I know wineries are struggling a bit at the moment, so am happy to rewind my prices to accomodate this. Hope to hear from some local producers, would love to be able to get you some fresh images to help prompt online sales. 🍾

 

I have sinned

I have recently picked up a new client, yew! Peccavi, which in latin translates to, I have sinned. They are a brand I wasn’t aware of previously, as they do very little domestic sales at the moment. They are taking big steps into the domestic market now, so keep an eye out for the name I fee like you might hear about them a bit in the next 5 years. They have been in the game for 15 years and have a stunning vineyard off Wildwood road perched on top a hill, it has views to Geographe Bay. I think it maybe the one of the best locations for a vineyard I have seen. I love the way the vines roll over the gently undulating hill down to the surrounding properties property. The vines are well established and the wines being produced are top quality.

Anyway they are looking for a whole new collection of images and to document the large scale works going on over the next 12 months. Here a a few to show you the stylistic direction that they are going with. The harsh lighting, creates great contrast, while the back ground adds strong geometric lines. Marble looks sophisticated and the images suit a modern high end winery.

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Newborn Photography

Newborn photography (1 day to 3 months) at this age they are still figuring out so much and aren’t super playful generally. A lot of what we do with them at this age is feeding, hugging, bathing, hanging nappies etc.. most of which gets really repetitive.

These moments are beautiful and so memorable but we are often too busy to get nice images. I love the candid images I have take of my daughter at this stage in her life and would love to help any young families get some of their newborns.

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Seasonal Vineyard Photography

Veraison of Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage 2020

There is always a story to be told in the vineyard, it changes dramatically and all the seasons have a unique beauty to help tell a story. This year I have done a lot of photography at the Robert Oatley cellar door in Wilyabrup. This vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River wine region is one of the more popular with locals and tourists alike. The Chardonnay block in front of the cellar door I have shot on many occasions and the images below show the massive changes the vines undergo. The space feels so different in winter than summer and it is hard to believe all the image are shot at the same location. Many customers aren’t aware of all the work that goes into the wines they buy. Margaret River wineries produce some of the countries best wines and the consumers love to see the work that goes in behind the scenes. It helps them build a rapport with your winery and hopefully be more loyal customer in the future.

As I am based in Margaret River I regularly check in and capture more content for the company to keep their social media platforms rolling along.

Vine pruning at Robert Oatley_BEN2084-101_BEN2064-100Budburst at Robert Oatley_BEN2345-100_BEN5607-100_BEN5824-100

Baby Photography

Baby held up

Life is an amazing journey and as things change in my life so does my photography. Recently I have become a dad and my daughter has become my muse. I always knew I would take a lot of photos of her but I am surprised how much I enjoy these shoots. I now understand why parents take so many images in the early years, the rate at which they grow and change is crazy. As a parent you want to capture as many of these moments as possible.

I would love to work with any families interested in a professional photoshoot in or around Margaret River. The photoshoots are relaxed, just play and have fun with your baby. Below are some of my recent work, if you like them send me a message.

Event Photography

Robert Oatley Rose garden

This spring the Robert Oatley cellar door in Wilyabrup, held a special food matched private tasting in their famous jasmine arbour. It was a beautiful day and the roses and Jasmine arbour were in full bloom. The adjacent Chardonnay vines were also showing their delicate flowers and the new shoots were underway with lime green foliage. It isn’t a regular event to run seated tasting with paired food and I was approached to provide photography for the event.

The Robert Oatley rose garden is a spectacular sight in full bloom and the smells are amazing. The private wine tasting of the top level finisterre wines matched with bite size morsels provided by Supper Road looked impressive. Needless to say the event ran smoothly and the guests were happy.

The client Robert Oatley wanted to document the event for online content and better market similar events in the future. As I am a local photographer based in Margaret River, it made sense to call me in for a short shoot (as the event only lasted an hour). The images below are from the event and have been used across many of the Robert Oatley social media platforms.

 

rose arbour wine tastingRobert Oatley Rose garden

Guests arriving at Robert Oatley Wilyabrup cellar door_BEN3908-104

red wine Robert Oatley Wilyabrup

Robert Oatley Tasting NotesSurrounded by jasmine at Robert Oatley cellar door

HAPPY PICKINGS

I have started to get to know Happs Wines core values this season through my photography work. I was asked to shoot a pick at their Karridale vineyard, known as 3 Hills Estate. The brief was a little different than usual though, they had a unique set up down there in many ways. They use a uncommon trellis system, have so many different varieties of grapes most viticulturists would think they are crazy and have a beautiful location with rolling hills. However these weren’t on the brief, I was told not to shoot grapes and landscapes. The other thing that is unique is that they have about 20 backpackers that live on site for the harvest season. These backpackers and the family who run this vineyard is the subject they wanted me to focus on. I was told the backpacker/pickers would be awesome people because they were chosen by Andy and his wife. They assured me that they would be fun, hard working crew and that is what they wanted me to capture.

I was a little nervous before the shoot, what if they were boring and didn’t want to play around it would make it difficult to get the kind of images they were looking for. Anyway long story short is they didn’t disappoint. They all knew their jobs and work together to get the grapes off clean and quick. They also were genuinely happy to be there working with Andy and his family for Happs. The images were easy to capture and everyone was just being themselves. The images show the relationships amongst the staff and what a magical environment they foster to live and work in. Thanks Happs and especially Andy for welcoming me so warmly.

If you have images that you want captured to show your customers what your business values most please contact me._BEN8841_BEN9273_BEN9358_BEN9409_BEN9465-Edit_BEN9477_BEN9509-Edit_BEN9560_BEN9572_BEN9599_BEN9751_BEN9774_BEN9852

WINERY PHOTOGRAPHY

I have shot a few other aspects of Happs Wines operation but this was the first time I had shot any of the wine making process. Capturing images that tell a story is what I aim for when I get asked to shoot at a winery.  It was important to me that I shot an entire process rather than a few isolated tasks. So the images have the duel purpose of being able to be used separately or as a series. I wanted some thing colourful so I knew I wanted to wait for the reds. I also really wanted something messy. We decided to shoot a large tank of Cabernet Sauvignon being balloon pressed. This process removes the skins preparing the mostly fermented red wine for barrelling.

The process is very labour intensive with one of the staff (Adrian) having to shovel the skins into the press. The press just gently squeezes the fermented fruit while rotating to extract extra flavour and volume from the tanked grapes. It gets messy when Adrian has to take the shoes off, put this red board shorts on and climb inside the tank. It gives you a great appreciation of the effort that goes into making great wine. This I think is conveyed in the images and is great to show your customers. It helps them feel connected with your brand and build authenticity in their eyes.

Thanks again to Happs Wines for choosing me to shoot this for you. You have such passionate, hard working and friendly staff. I hope the images help share this with your customers.

If you want some of your wineries work shot please feel free to contact me.

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Making a distinction

The wine industry in Margaret River is competitive and getting your products to look great is important. Making a clear distinction between the wines in your list is also important. Happs had mentioned that they would like bottle shots that made a visual distinction between the sub groups in their large range of wines. They were happy to take their time with this as it is crucial the aesthetic suits the wines. The brief for the indigenous series wines was to celebrate the art work of the indigenous artist chosen for the labels. The bottles were shot in a “Low Key” style the art work has been creatively extended after the shoot. The finished images clearly show the winery and grape variety, while increasing the art works visual dominance. I am looking forward to tackling the rest of the diverse range of wines Happs produce.

If you like my style of product photography please contact me.

 

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HARVEST PHOTOGRAPHY

Finally harvest time In Margaret River is here and I have shot my first hand pick of the season for Lenton Brae. It rained the night before and I was worried the weather was going to ruin the shoot. Bright and early just before sunrise I still wasn’t sure if the weather was going to be ok, but the clouds started to part as the sun rose and provided beautifully diffused light for the first couple of hours. I made the most of the light and the early morning energy capturing as many angles as I could. Within the first two hours I had captured more then enough images of the vineyards for the client and processing wasn’t going to begin for another hour or two. We had discussed previously about getting some video content for a cellar door project. So I set up the tripod and a dolly to get smooth transitioning video. The sun was high in the sky now and picking was really ramping up in intensity. I shot all the key components of the pick, snipping grapes from the vine, handing out the buckets, filling the bins etc..

Now finally the winemaker was ready to fire up the winery and process a few tons. I shot both photo and video of this process as well. All up I got about 80 awesome images for the client and about 30 video clips, about 5 minutes after clipping down. The shoot was all done in half a day.

This season I am charging $300 for a half day and $500 for a full day. I still have space to take on more clients so call me if you would like to capture some harvest images and your place.

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