At the bottom of my heart, I know I’m lucky.
Lucky to score a connection with one of the most famous restaurants in Melbourne.
Lucky to maintain that relationship.

At the back of my mind, I also know that so called ‘luck’ is eating me slowly.
The other day a bride introduced me to her guests as the ‘Vue De Monde photographer’.
The responses ranged from “wow you scored an awesome gig” to ” no way, that’s bloody fortunate”.

Notice how it’s all about the L word.

Call it the impostor syndrome, but I do feel like anyone can do what I do, given the same circumstances.

But this post is actually NOT about Vue De Monde.

It is about me breaking away from that label.

See, with VDM, I shoot passively.
Set behind the beautiful light of the 55th floor, on kangaroo leather tables, with the best produce and dishes by a brigade of highly-trained chefs.
There is nothing I could contribute but to simply document what was presented on the table.

Today, with a new client, and mind my language – an absolute crap of a Melbourne weather, I realised I did not have the consistent lighting and stonewares that I’m used to.

I communicated with the chef, the front of house.
Asked for wine, water, fresh produce.
I peeked into their refrigerator, asked to open a door that no one has the keys to.
For that natural light.
I decided to shoot the roast lamb shoulder on the hot pan, rather than plating it up.
I did not ask for permission to use that copper pot.
I shredded cabbage.
I surprised myself by knowing what would or would not work.
Making quick decisions under pressure.

I’m very lucky, I don’t deny that.
But today, I felt vindicated knowing that when the luck runs out, I have the ability to go deeper.
I walked out of Lamaros Bodega with a skip of enthusiasm not too different from my first few weddings.

The following photos were shot at the same time, at four different tables.
I knew I was happy with them before I plugged the SD card into my computer.