I hadn’t used my camera gear a whole lot since I’ve been in Australia. I’ve written a few times about regretting lugging it all here in the first place. It is heavy and bulky and generally makes me feel guilty about spending all the money on it and not feeling like using it. I decided that rather than being the creepy chick who rolls up next to other people in the city with cameras and asking questions like “hey, what are you shooting?” or “cool camera, twinning” (no, it wouldn’t be that creepy, I’m just not that extroverted… close, but not quite.) Instead, I took a much creepier route and posted on GumTree (Australia’s version of Kijiji) an ad that read “a photographer looking for a friend.” I got a surprising amount of replies back. I received some creepy replies but honestly, it’s hard as a photographer not to come off creepy sometimes.
Example: “I can’t wait to capture your family.” “I can’t wait to shoot you.” “I’ll blend in and you won’t even notice me taking photos of you guys…” “Where should I meet you so I can capture your family as comfortably as I can…” I write emails to clients and either laugh at how awkward I feel telling people I can’t wait to capture your family like a kidnapper or try to reword my emails as many times as I can and still come off feeling slightly weird about it. Think about it, honestly. Back to the point. Some of the replies were people who wanted to trade services, some wanted me to do shoots for free as if they were doing me a favour for my “portfolio” – I hate when people say this to me almost as much as I loathe seeing people use a selfie stick in public or using an iPad as a camera, but honestly, that’s a rant I won’t get into because I’ll take a massive coronary. I had one reply from a musician who needed new head shots and wanted to trade me for musical services… A photo session for a serenade at any other point in my life may seem romantic, however I’ll pass. I had a few who were dead ends. I had a few models who wanted to work with me which seemed like it would be great experience but timing didn’t work out. In the end, I went on a photo adventure day with a person who replied named Misheck. I suppose many reading this are thinking there is a high shady factor to meeting up with someone you’ve never met, in a country where a handful of people know you, with thousands of dollars of gear, getting in a car and going on an adventure with said new person. We are shaped not to trust many things in this world but we can’t live a life in fear or we won’t get a chance to live at all!
We headed down towards the Gold Coast to photograph some waterfalls and whatever else we saw that caught our eyes. As we both shoot Nikon, we spent a lot of the day experimenting with each others gear which was excellent because we each had a lens the other was about to buy. He wanted my 70-200mm 2.8 and I wanted his Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art, which is next on my list and I’ve been researching it for months. With many stops, about 500kilometres of driving, a couple kilometres of hiking, a few leech stings and about 800 shutter counts, it was a great day! Most of the day was spent conversing about photography and about our backgrounds. Misheck is from Zimbabwe and I’m from Canada so it made for an interesting cultural discussion. Not only did I learn a lot about another person, all the places we had seen that day, I had never seen before. I can’t say that there are too many times in my life where that’s happened.
Not all my shots worked out the way I wanted them to. I didn’t have a tripod and refused the one Misheck brought with him – honestly, I pretend not to be stubborn but I might as well just accept that I am. We saw the falls, ruined two pairs of shoes, saw two Ferrari’s, went to Currumbin Beach, fed lorikeets their dinner, caught a cool sunset, ate Nando’s and called it a day.
Feeding the lorikeets was an obvious highlight of my day/life. Such gorgeous birds and pretty friendly, too. They are everywhere you go but like any animal, I don’t think they are this tame usually – this was in a zoo surround.
Black and white shot above was shot with Misheck’s Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art. I’m so in love with the lens. It performs quickly and gives the best bokeh I may have ever seen – even better than the sweet bokeh my 70-200mm gives. Pretty sure whenever I have an extra few grand sitting aside, I’m gonna grab one and it’ll become my 90% lens.
Snuck a few shots in at the end of the night as well. Brisbane is pretty cool at night but again, I need a tripod. It’s difficult to walk around with a tripod and not look odd though. I don’t do it at home unless I’m driving around by myself in Maryvale looking for an old barn shot.