During my weekend in Queenstown with Olympus, we were lucky to be privy to a couple of photography workshops run by two photography experts that I admire and respect: perpetual traveller (and one of the most beautiful people you’ll ever meet) Lisa Burns of The Wandering Lens - and natural light portrait & family photographer Rachel Devine of Sesame Ellis.
It was a beautiful opportunity to learn from the best, ask lots of questions and work at up-levelling my photography skills, and put new techniques into immediate practice while surrounded by insanely beautiful scenery.
Here are five photography tricks I learned on the road, and have taken home with me from this adventure with Olympus!
Straight off a plane from four weeks wandering Italy & Greece, I arrived home to find a very special delivery at my doorstep: a carry-on suitcase, a brand new camera (details below!), an itinerary, and a plane ticket. I swiftly unpacked, washed some clothes, repacked, swapped over cameras, and headed back to the airport just 24 hours later - to board another plane. This time bound for Queenstown, New Zealand!
I had been invited to spend a weekend with Olympus, in the company of a group of other wonderful photographers + bloggers - and some of the beautiful Olympus family - and jet lag was never going to get in the way of such an opportunity. I had never been to the South Island before, and flying in between the snow-capped mountains as our plane descended into Queenstown was something impossibly magical. Better still, the trip was to celebrate something pretty exciting - the launch of the new OM-D E-M10 Mark III. It was a wonderful opportunity to take this brand new camera away so soon, and to learn about it on the go, while exploring an incredible part of the world.
Here’s a recap of what went down, month by month.
[If you've landed on this post and haven't read Part 1, head this way!]
You know those places that you can never-not remember dreaming about? Those ‘one day’ destinations, that for a long time, you build in your mind an idea about, and wonder whether the real-life version will measure up to those years of imagination?
The Greek Islands have always been that bucket-list destination for me. And, after spending a week of island hopping there, I can testify that the islands are beautiful. IMPOSSIBLY. BEAUTIFUL. Even more vividly so than I could have ever imagined.
After our days in Italy, living La Dolce Vita, Charles and I flew into Greece for a week of late summer island hopping, from Mykonos to Santorini.
As it happened, I was struck down on our second day in Greece with a horrid head cold and nasty dose of laryngitis, which meant I spent more days than I wish to remember feeling too unwell to be anywhere but in bed, and we couldn’t explore nearly as much as we had hoped to. We also lost our luggage in transit, and I lost my voice for more than 10 days (although Charles didn’t mind that part!) Gratefully, got our luggage back after 24 hours of calls, airport visits and Greek translating, and my voice came back eventually.
The jingle bells have been faintly ringing in our studio for a little while now, but today it’s the 1st December, and therefore officially acceptable to BLAST the carols and spread festive cheer (right?!)
We have so much to be grateful for right now - it's been an amazing year for us. We’ve grown, connected, wandered and reached corners of the world we didn’t [ever] expect. But, without you, we’d have done none of that. For the constant flow of emails of encouragement along the way, for your orders, for selling out 2018 planners in record time, for the coffees (and wines) delivered to our market stands - every day it continues to blow us away with how greatly we feel loved and supported by you - our community.
So, we’ve been busily hatching away a plan for Christmas… so that we could give you something bigger than us. And better yet, we've teamed up with an army of TWELVE of our favourite brands [friends!] we have collaborated with throughout 2017, to join us. We have a prettttyyy amazing lineup in store. There’s TRAVEL prizes. There’s EDIBLE (and drinkable) prizes. There’s EXPERIENCE-based prizes. Oh, just you wait!
Over a year ago we – Emma and Sonia – got together as we usually do when we’re both in the same city, at the same time. But there was something different about this time. Something more was bubbling away under the surface.
I am the newest addition to Emma Kate Co - and believe me, when I say this has been a goal of mine for some time. Lucky for me, throughout twist and turns, the working of fate has let this little piece of magic [confetti filled, shimmery magic] fall into place.
Words: Carly Stephan
There’s something about the Byron Shire region. Ask anyone who’s been, and they’ll describe some kind of delightful experience or absolute favourite place that you have to go to when you’re there. And that list seems to be growing by the day. The indigenous Arakwal Bumberlin people know the region to be a healing place. They say you visit the region for healing - and once you’re healed, you need to move on, or, you must heal others.
Both Em and I had just had a whirlwind few months, and a bit of healing and relaxing time was calling for both of us. She: launching several collections, a runaway success Kickstarter campaign, a new collection, trade-shows, and an ever-expanding business – me; concluding eight months of travel and adventure with my partner throughout India and Nepal, while running a burgeoning spiritual coaching business online, imminently launching an online program, and trying to ground myself back into Australia.
The healing we were craving: quiet time, rest, soulful chats, heart-bursting vistas and delicious food.
We found all of these and more, at the iconic Halcyon House, in Northern NSW. It’s very name (Halcyon) means idyllic and peaceful - and this hotel delivered both in spades.
The moment I had nabbed my ticket for The Design Conference, my very next thought that came to mind was where I might call home for two nights in Brisbane. After already experiencing a number of MGallery by Sofitel Properties, Brisbane’s edition - The New Inchcolm immediately sprang to mind.
Sitting on the outskirts of Brisbane’s CBD in Spring Hill, the hotel’s prime position on Wickham Terrace comes with quite a history. Once a private medical practice, and preceding that in the 1800’s, the site of a private residence belonging to Dr Thomson - accomplished doctor, scientist, astronomer, psychologist and pioneering photographer - in 1988, the final incarnation came to be a boutique hotel. The heritage listed establishment underwent a major refurbishment and expansion in 2014, growing from 26 to 50 rooms and striking a beautiful balance between respecting time gone by, and total welcoming the latest mod cons and hotel features you could hope to find (Nespresso machine, check!)