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.

 

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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.

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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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Wine Flavour Profiles

Recently I was asked by Lenton Brae to capture a series of images that represent the  flavour profile of the wines. They wanted to take a step forward and shoot in a more contemporary style, together we decided to shoot the series “lay flat”. I shot them on a transparent white background to make the final images more flexible to use in EDM’s and promotional material. The backlight also makes the semi transparent fruit glow and adds a lot of colour.

This shoot took a day, a couple hours of sourcing the produce around Margaret River and about an hour per image shoot and edit. The final images are really engaging and clean. They can be used across all the social media platforms and easily be adapted to use in EDM’s and promotional material which is on point with Lenton Brae’s request. These images are great resources that Lenton Brae will get a lot of use out of in years to come.

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The following day as I had all the produce still on hand, so I did a quick shoot in a more traditional style which only took a couple of hours shoot and edit. Therefore Lenton Brae will get each bottle shot in two different styles for less than $150 per bottle which is a bargain. Anyway if you like would like your products shot in either of these styles give me a call.

Why use a specialist product photographer?

For many years, product photography has been one of the most important advertising measures.  Product photography has become an important issue, especially thanks to the many online shops and booming e-commerce. This is also important because customers can’t hold your product in their hands at an online shop. In a digital marketplace the senses of touch, taste, smell and sound are replaced by sight alone. Getting the perfect image can evoke those senses and inspire your customers act. This might be to order your product, visit your shop front or call your business. Good images can generate these kinds of responses in your customers.

I am passionate about helping you get the kinds of images that truely reflect your brand and inspire your customers to act.

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Moved to Margaret River

Robert Oatley Margaret River

So a lot has happened to me this year. I had a great Australian Summer season where I shot a lot of kitesurfing images and video. The highlight of which was getting a bunch of my images in a printed kitesurfing magazine, I had previously been in a online magazine only. Following that a plan came together to travel to the states, work, shoot and explore. This was awesome and a life changing experience for me. Then I got back and the AFl finals were going on. The Eagles were in the Grand Final, so my wife helped convince me to jump in a van and drive to Melbourne. Again an amazing experience was had and many images taken of the journey. Finally I have settled in Margaret River which has always been a dream of mine. The experiences of this year have been more than I could have expected. I thank everyone who has helped make this dream happen.

In return here is a complete black and white gallery of my favourite images from Yosemite National Park, California.

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Road to the MCG

West Coast Eagles fans

By Peta Longworth

We had the camper van decorated with West Coast Eagles logos and ready to go. Devastatingly we had missed out on tickets in the AFL grand final ballot. A desperate scramble ensued, pleas on social media, desperate scrolling through selling ads, but days were ticking by. Tuesday arrived and we were about to leave Perth to endure a long road trip with no certainty of being able to be inside the MCG when an angel (fellow member) who saw my pleas offered us two tickets for an extremely reasonable price.

We were going to the AFL grand final to watch the West Coast Eagles, the road trip was on! Full of beans and chats of McGovern, Cox and anything footy related to pass the hours. I anticipated seeing a lot more fans on the road – like a West Coast Eagles party train.  However out on the Nullarbor it was fairly quiet. We did an eight hour day stopping at the side of the road outside of Norseman. The next morning we arose bright and early to start the first of two fifteen hour days of driving, only stopping for two half hour meal breaks and fuel, which climbed as high as two dollars and six cents per litre.

As we crossed over the Westgate Bridge into Melbourne on the morning of the AFL grand final parade, after thirty-six hours of driving it was surreal. The van had got us three thousand and four hundred kilometres, we could see the skyline of Melbourne, we had made it.

We geared up, parking at a friends house in the city and headed into the parade. Locals helped us with directions and a Collingwood supporting tram driver even gave us a free ride. Blue and gold of the West Coast Eagles could be seen all around, Melbournites walking past us commented ” Wow, there are so many West Coast Eagles fans”. The parade route was now lined about five people deep, boo’s, cheers and chants rang through the streets.

Saturday morning arrived, the day of the big game, for me it is like Christmas, but one the doesn’t come around every year. It had been twelve years since the West Coast Eagles had won a premiership and three since they had been in the AFL grand final. Heading into Federation Square the Blue and Gold army is everywhere, they had taken over. Collingwood fans seem confused by the take over of their beloved city. The crowd grows, everyone is awaiting the “March to the G” due to begin shortly. West Coast Eagles chants ring out of the thousands of fans when groups of Collingwood supporters walk by. Suddenly the crowd began to move, there are camera crews everywhere. We stick to the front of the pack as we have standing room tickets, so we are slightly concerned about time as we want the illusive perfect viewing spot.

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We enter the ground with ease, finding our designated standing area, we are given yellow wrist bands. We cautiously enter and ask another fan how this works, as we don’t have standing room areas at home. It appears we are in an West Coast Eagles member area with just a couple of nervous looking Collingwood supporters, who obviously scored their tickets off West Coast Eagles members. We find the best available spot one row back from the box fence and ask if we can stand there, everyone shrugs. Clearly it’s not only our first time, so we pitch up for the game.

The people around us send us icy looks warning us not to invade their precious space, but as the game nears chatter breaks the ice. An elderly couple are standing beside us, it is their sixth AFL grand final and they prefer the standing room areas for the atmosphere. On the other side of us is a lonely Collingwood supporter who paid $500 for the $150 ticket off a West Coast Eagles member. Everyone is ready and respectful of the great game about to ensue.

The game has many twists and turns and at times I don’t think I can watch anymore. The crowd is loud, West Coast Eagles chants ring around the ground with twenty thousand fans sounding like sixty thousand. As the final siren sounds the West Coast Eagles fans go wild, thank you’s to the footy gods and hugs of ecstasy with new neighbours, now best friends from riding the ups and downs together.  The $1500 of fuel and the many hours of driving was worth it, the West Coast Eagles are the 2018 AFL grand final Premiers!

Landscape Construction Photography

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A good landscape has contrasting hard/soft elements, varying textures, tones and of course serves a purpose. I needed to find and capture these elements

Landscape Elements recently contacted me to gather a series of image for a website update. Landscape Elements business covers a broad range of landscape services from large scale commercial landscape construction to installation of household front gardens. Its a been a great job for me and I have found so many creative ways to capture the different elements of the business. Landscape Elements wanted interesting perspectives that convey their creativity. They also wanted a strong focus on safety and to showcase their friendly staff.

I am fortunate enough to have had experience working in the landscape industry and therefore have a white card. I also have experience in navigating my way around a construction site and know what to expect. It is an exciting industry that creates wonderful spaces that improve the environment we live in. I have really loved being able to capture the people, construction and completed spaces that this leading landscape company creates. In doing this also hopefully help Landscape Elements show their potential customer the passion and skill they bring to their work.