The Melbourne Fat Duck.

What can you get for $525?

Half an iPhone.
Maybe one third of a rock star photographer’s workshop.
The full VIP package to Semi-Permanent design conference.
A quarter page worth of advertorial space on a bridal magazine.
Five hundred and twenty five packets of instant noodles.
Six months worth of electricity.
Playstation 4.

When I was invited to join a table at Heston’s Fat Duck, I weighed my options.
In a way, it was like winning a gastronomy lottery which I didn’t enter in the first place.

But looking back I’m glad I did it.

To experience and observe the pioneer of molecular gastronomy.
To feast with my eyes and (try to) taste with my ears.
Realising design exists between the dishes and their plates.
Complimentary colours, contrasting textures, composition and techniques.
How to construct a narrative through a menu.
Educate diners about whiskey and terroir through visual cues and interactivity.
Employing red uniforms for lunch; pink ones for dinner.
Mustard can be ice cream, and cabbage can be soup.
Using nostalgia to set the scene.
How to invoke a sense of ‘once in a life time’.

I walked away from this experience as a better designer and diner.
Definitely a better photographer.

What can you get for $525?
I got inspired.

Melbourne Fat Duck Entrance
Melbourne Fat Duck Interior
VIP Champagne Melbourne Fat Duck
Melbourne Fat Duck Wine List
Fat-Duck-Nitro-Poached-Apreritifs
Fat-Duck-Red-Cabbage-Gazpacho
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Dining-Experience
Fat-Duck-Savoury-Lollies
Fat-Duck-Homage-Alain-Chapel
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Jelly-Quail-Marron-Craem-Truffle-Toast
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Table-Setting
Fat-Duck-Snail-Porridge
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Roast-Marron
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Alice-Wonderland
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Tea-Party-Pocket-Watch
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Mock-Turtle-Soup
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Mock-Turtle-Soup
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Tea-Party-Toast
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-decanters
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Sound-of-the-sea
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Sound-of-the-sea
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Sound-of-the-sea
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-service
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Salmon-Poached-Licorice-Gel
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Salmon-Golden-Trout-Roe
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Interior
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Lamb-with-cucumber
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Hot-Iced-Tea
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Ironing
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Botrytis-cinerea-dessert
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Puzzle
Fat-Duck-Melbourne-Interior-Clock

Rebecca Omura - Harvard your work is simply stunning! So many amazing memories.

Fred - Dude, great intro to frame the post. Made me chuckle : )

So very peanut and butter jealous of you and your experience with arguably the king of crazy awesome cuisine. Epic shots too.

– Fred

Amanda Tan - I said ‘no’ to the fat duck – but after looking at your photos, I wish I coughed up the 525$! Loving your work.

A x

Chocolate chips.

You know Easter is approaching.
When you receive an email from Vue De Monde asking for photographs of hot cross buns.

I shot these last year.
I remember it was part of a bigger shoot, inventorying all the breads for the Piggery Cafe website.
The buns were last minute add-ons.

Fact: no food stylist nor artificial lighting were involved in this shoot.
Just me and Tim the baker, laying them out on the floor, me half-kneeling in an empty barn house.
Using the natural light from the door.

I insisted on the lighter shade of timber surface.
It was a short and decisive call, but I’m glad I did it.
A darker background would camouflage the chocolate and we would lose the shiny / rustic contrast that compliments the Vue De Monde style guide.

The last shot, was simply done when we were packing up.
Tim was chucking all the buns on the crate, ready to load the van.
You can see a hint of orange criss-cross crate pattern underneath the baking paper.

I did the “wait wait wait wait wait wait!” thing.

Sometimes you can work your models for one hour, just for that one shot in the end.

Hot cross buns, wedding couples.
Not so different.

Piggery-Cafe-Hot-Crossed-Buns
Hot-cross-buns-cafe-vue

Polka Dot Bride - What a comparison (and what a shot too)

What I talk about when I talk about posing.

I’ve never done a tutorial before, because everything you need to learn, you can search from ze internet.
Even tutorials from other photographers.
Then I thought about my resolution to write more and share more.
Figured all I can share is my own experiences, which is different from tutorials, because there is no checklist or formula to follow.
So here goes.

Quat-quatta-ripponlea-wedding-group-portrait

This group portrait was taken yesterday, so the process is still fresh in my mind.

The time was 7.14pm, six minutes before the bridal party’s entrance to reception.
I remember because the groom nervously asked me to check the time.

It was not my first time shooting at Quat Quatta, but I knew it was the last portrait of the day.
Usually, I’d get everyone to stand in between the six pillars.
The ‘center’ box, if you would.
Then I remember the last time I shot here I told myself:
IF there’s a next time, I should utilise the whole area.
(I do this a lot, the ‘what would I do IF there’s a next time’ mental exercise.)

So I simply asked the bridal party to each pick a corner they liked.
Moe, the best man on the left initially stood far back because he knew, he was the tallest in the group.
The light couldn’t catch on to his face, so I advised him to sit down in between the two bridesmaids.
I didn’t even bother asking him to return the bouquet to the bride because real men carry flowers.
In hindsight perhaps having the other groomsman, Izzy, to hold the bouquet on his right hand will bring better balance to the picture.
(Perhaps not, who knows? Because then I might have to deal with Moe’s hands and his crossed legs. That’s what I like about posing: it’s all about problem solving.)

The rest of the bridal party were pretty much set on the get go.
One other thing you need to understand, is that I’d been shooting with them for the whole day, so at that point they were quite comfortable with the camera.
Mega brownie points to having a pre-wedding session as well.
Ideally the bride should stand slightly to the right (her left) to balance out the space, but moving brides is always risky, especially with six minutes to go, and there’s nothing wrong with the bride and groom standing slightly closer to each other.

As for the expressions, I simply told them to give me the ‘bitchiest face of the day’.
I think one bridesmaid heard ‘peachy’ so she was showing this wide confused smile before everyone corrected her.
Miscommunication is good in this case, because that gives a variety of expressions, which leads to contrast.
And that’s why I chose this frame as the hero shot because there’s something sweet about the bride breaking character while the rest of the party is so into it.

It was a cloudy day bordering on thunderstorm so ISO was set to 1600.
I thought I shot at f5.6 but exif says f2.8.

All of the above was achieved in less than 3 minutes, with time to spare for a few more goofy group shots.

Taking the photo took only 1/800 of a second.
What matters is everything else that led up to that moment.
And I’m glad I managed to achieve something different.

Thursday Link Love - Dasher Life - […] Posing your subjects for a photo – I’ve learnt that you really need to know how you want the photo to look before you take it! […]

Polka Dot Bride - The behind the scenes stuff? The how did you get that? I love it.

Wedding Album Covers.

Today I sent a draft of wedding album design to a couple.
Going through my folders, I realised I’ve done quite a few over these years.
I also realised not many wedding photographers share their album designs.
Maybe because it’s a matter of trade security.
Or maybe it’s simply not that interesting.
But laying them out like this, I felt a small sense of accomplishment.
All the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, constrained to a 250-millimetre square.
We are all different, yet not that different, under the name of love.
Ok, end cheese.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Melbourne-Wedding-Album-Cover-Belgrave
Opera-House-Engagement-Album-Cover
mona-wedding-album-cover
Melbourne-Engagement-Album-Cover-Shoya
Quat-Quatta-Wedding-Album-Cover
lorne-wedding-album-cover
NGV-wedding-album-cover
melbourne-wedding-lunch-album-cover
mt-dandenong-wedding-album-cover
kuala-lumpur-ciao-wedding-album-cover
Melbourne-Trunk-Engagement-Album-Cover

NGV modern Jewish wedding – Ilana & Michael.

I know you know I’m no stranger to the overnight test.
That is, you brainstorm ideas and prototypes, leave them in the drawer, and revisit them the day after.
In my case, I shoot weddings, leave all the files in the hard drive (this is where I screw up) and forget about them.

Ok I lied, I’ve never forgotten about this wedding.
How can I?
I had one of those ‘holy smoke dust Melbourne is such an awesome city to be a wedding photographer’ epiphany shooting it.

The reason the files sat in my ‘drawer’, is because I have their fine art album on my desk.
I bring the album with me whenever I meet new couples.
Essentially, this wedding, is my brand.

I can’t even submit to wedding blogs now that it’s been almost two years.
(Last month I was photographing their new born!)
And I’m completely fine with that.

Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride dress
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride preparation
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride getting dressed
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding groom ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding groom
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony dance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding dance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride tears
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony entrance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony entrance
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony guests
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony shoes
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony guests
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding ceremony
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding signing
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding signing
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding chapel
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bridal party
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bridesmaids
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish groomsmen
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding Couple
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding bride
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding couple
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
Melbourne royal botanical garden Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding bridal party
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding tattoo
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding fountain portrait
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding photographer
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding waiting room
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding guests arrival
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding architecture
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding entrance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding reception dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding bride dance
NGV Melbourne Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish Wedding
NGV Melbourne Wedding reception flower girl
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception Jewish dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception Jewish dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception bar
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception guests
NGV exterior Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception speech
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party
NGV Melbourne Wedding Jewish dancing
NGV Melbourne Wedding glow stick lady
NGV Melbourne Wedding after party
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception bride dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding reception dance
NGV Melbourne Wedding Band
NGV Melbourne Wedding night portrait
NGV Melbourne Wedding night portrait
NGV Melbourne Wedding Reception