New Beginnings

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For my birthday this year, Sean gave me a talisman pendant from local Vancouver designers, Pyrrha. He chose it without any prompting from me and out of all the symbols on offer, he chose one that represents ‘new beginnings’. At that stage in the year, we had not decided to move back to Australia, but somewhere the stars aligned and here we are again on a new beginning wading our way through the next stage of our life.

We’ve only been back in Australia for a fortnight and already so much has happened. Life is fast paced in Sydney and at present, I’m struggling to keep up. I know things will settle down soon and I look forward to the moment that we are completely unpacked and settled again.

I’m soaking up the family and friend time as much as I can and wishing the sun to continue to shine. We’ve spent time by the beach, been to our favourite dessert place and had lattes a plenty! I’ve got big plans for another summer here in the Southern Hemisphere filled with pool parties, picnics and Polaroids.

Speaking of Polaroids, Jen and I are pleased to announce that there are now a few spaces left in the 2nd week of our Instant Love retreat in Marrakech! We are keeping places open until October 22! If you’ve been thinking about your own new beginning and have wanderlust and the want to learn about instant film and the wonders of Morocco, now is your chance. Come spend a week with us in the beautiful Peacock Pavilions! It’s going to be an amazing time and I’m already getting excited about it! Check out our lovely website here for all the information. It’s going to be awesome!

Images shot on a Polaroid 180 Land camera using Fuji instant peel apart film.

Facebook Twitter Email

I Will Love You Forever

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Facebook Twitter Email

Letters to Lovers: Paris

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dearest Paris,

For the longest time I have loved you from afar. You with your style and poise, never once knowing the longing in my glances, never once feeling the depth of my passion, you and I have been absent lovers for the longest of times.

In vain have I struggled. Struggled to recreate your seductions with charlatan croissants and lesser baguettes. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

I cannot wait any longer. With every fiber of my being, I will cross ocean and sea to be with you. I shall come in late winter when I will have you all to myself. We shall dance under the light of La Tour Eiffel and wander the hills of Montmartre as we have long dreamed.

With love and undying affection, I will see you very soon.

Love Amanda xx

Check out my Letters to Italy, France and Japan.

*Some lines of this letter may have been “borrowed” from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.


Yes, friends, can you believe it, I’m going to Paris! Finally! On my way to Marrakesh (where I am teaching our Instant Love retreat with Susannah and Jen), I am flying through Paris, so I am having a few days of awesomeness in the city I’ve been dreaming about for the longest time.

I am totally paranoid about speaking the language and looking like a hobo, so if you have any tips, I would greatly appreciate them. Cute areas to visit, cafes to eat at, museums to wander, outfits to wear, views to see and shops in which to spend Euro – I would love to hear all of your suggestions, so hit me!

Facebook Twitter Email

Magical Canadian Experiences

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

One of the best things about living in Canada is the time spent experiencing new things and ones that I dreamt about as a kid. Wandering around a Christmas tree farm, all snuggled up in our winter coats and boots is a fairytale kind of existence, if only for an afternoon. I guess when you grow up with it, it doesn’t seem so special but for me it was one of those purely magical moments that I will treasure forever. The same way I’ll remember my first muddy tromping through a pumpkin patch and my first play in real snow. I guess I’ll always be a kid at heart and I’m ok with that. We all need magic in our lives, no matter our age.

All images were shot on Kodak Portra 400 film.

Facebook Twitter Email

2011 Exploring With My Camera

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2010 was a tough, tough year. 2011 brought needed stability and strength and I’m hoping that 2012 will be the year we build ourselves back up again. I can feel it coming.

In January we started a year long journey snapping photographs once a month with the Twelve Photo project and I had some Polaroids published in the book, Polaroid Day.

February brought the delivery of our manuscript for Instant Love to Chronicle Books. That was a happy day indeed. It also brought the snow…

March was the month we talked about what we really want.

April was the month of getting published in magazines and wandering on Pacific Northwest beaches…

May was the month of farmer’s markets and venturing outdoors again.

June was about weddings and birthdays and the launch of our Pretty Polaroid Notes around the world.

July saw the announcement of our Instant Love Retreat in Morocco, day trips down to Seattle, and long afternoons in cafes with gorgeous light…

August was more weddings, guests from France and Boston, and the launch of Shoot By Design- my first online photography course. It was also the month that Instant Love appeared on Amazon and other book sellers.

September and October brought me home. I took a trip back to Australia to spend time with my beloved family and friends and it got me all the good stuff that going home always does.

In November we talked about why we take pictures, I shared more of my Sydney images and was published in Somerset Life mag thanks to the lovely Alex.

And December always brings my favourite time of year, bittersweet as it may be when I’m far from my family, but always joyful and full of hope. I love nothing more than gathering with my boy, family and friends to share good food, wine and stories. It also brought a feature in 16 Hours mag along with so many amazing artists. An absolute honour to close out the year.

In 2011, I didn’t travel like I normally like to, but it gave me the chance to really live in Vancouver and experience every season. I shot weddings, couples and portraits in 2011 – something I hope to do more of in 2012. I have a few goals that I’m storing in my mind but I shall keep those to myself for now as I already know that travel is going to be back in full swing in 2012. Hello Morocco! – and maybe a little stop somewhere I’ve been dreaming of… forever! If you are a long time Mocking Bird reader, you may be able to guess where.

Please share your end of year posts in the comments if you have them. I’d love to read them. And happy new year!!!

Facebook Twitter Email

Of Imagined Trees and Twinkle Lights

Friday, December 23, 2011

I’m Dreaming of a Christmas Moments List

  • Attend the German Christmas markets in Germany and Vienna.
  • Ice skate in Central Park.
  • Drink eggnog out of Griswold style reindeer cups.
  • Spend the week before Christmas in New York.
  • See Silent Night performed in Austria.
  • Ride in a sleigh. The horses must have bells.

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone.

I hope your weekend is filled with lots of joy, laughter, presents, hugs, cookies, love, wine, family, carols, shared meals, snuggly socks, bon bons and kisses under the mistletoe.

And to all my Australian friends, I’ve got my fingers crossed for sunshine and warmth. It’s been a rather unusual rainy December this year.

Merry Christmas!

Amanda xx

Facebook Twitter Email

All rights reserved © All content copyright © 2003-2014 Amanda Gilligan. · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie