Samm Blake, an exceptional photographer based out of Melbourne, Australia, took the time to answer our questions & share some of her beautiful images, all processed using VSCO Film™.
How did your career in photography begin?
I began exploring photography in high school. I made websites for local businesses in an attempt to make money to escape the small town I lived in. Originally, I was drawn to photography so I could incorporate photographs into my graphic design. I started getting more compliments for my photography than my graphic design work. Shortly after that, I fell head over heels in love with photography and went off to university to study photography and journalism with the intention of becoming a documentary photographer. I still have that intention. I so badly want to be a social documentary photographer.
Just do it. I went full-time in 2007, after returning home from living in London and backpacking the world for a year. I was unemployed and had only $1000 to my name. I decided it was definitely not an option to go back to normal employment. I made up my mind that I was going to make this work. I booked fifty weddings that year and have not looked back :) I have this belief that everything will work out in the end. I think it is all about creating your own luck.
Oh thank you! ;) Oh gosh, I don't know...my fingers want to type color. I like lots of bright, bold colors. Boots have been my latest addition in the last year. I am excited it is winter now in Australia, and I get to wear my boots all the time again.
Nepal and Mongolia are the two on the top of my list at the moment. I just need to decide what story I could work on in these countries, and then I would book my tickets to go. I would love to shoot a wedding in India with elephants, color, kitsch and the Bollywood charm :)
You teamed up this year with Dan O'Day to travel & shoot together. How did this partnership come about?
Dan and I became friends a few years ago via our websites. I actually still remember the first time I saw his website back in 2008. He had the same website template as I did, and I was annoyed at him for that and saw him as an immediate threat. (I thought I was the only one in Australia who had that particular template). We met for the first time in real life when I was guest speaking at a workshop in 2010. From there we became very good friends and started plotting and planning many creative projects together. We went to Japan together last year, and it was over much sake that we decided to start working together a lot, launching the Art & The Heart workshop series and second shooting weddings for each other on a semi regular basis. Working as a photographer, it can be a lonely job at times. It has definitely made this job more fun being able to collaborate, share and bounce ideas with another like-minded witty person :)
Over the 7 years you've been a professional photographer, what area of photography do you feel you've improved the most on?
Everything! There has been so much to learn, and there's still so much to learn. My technical skills have improved dramatically over the years, but I think the most important thing is that I have found my focus and know where I am heading. I am no longer wandering around lost. I was confused about what type of photographer I wanted to be for a few years, and so I tried to do and be everything. I think it's important to explore a lot of different areas of photography to know what you really love and are capable of, but it's important to focus on something in particular. For my wedding work, it's about creating work that is intimate and personal and has a sense of poetic simplicity to it all. My images are best described as quiet little moments that capture the honesty and realness of the day. For my documentary work, it's about finding projects where I can create a collection of images that ultimately forms a large portrait of the subject / issue I am exploring.
Favorite places to shop:
Kinokuniya Book Store, Third Draw Down, Tokyu Hands, The Mod Collective, Sunday Morning Designs, A Happy Death