My Love Affair with Marrakech

marrakech polaroid

I recently got back from our 2nd Instant Love Polaroid retreat and am still coming down. We had such a great week shooting with Polaroid cameras in our gorgeous Moroccan villa. Peacock Pavilions is such an amazing place to teach at, to stay, to experience and photograph. Maryam, Chris, their family and staff make the week so special, it’s hard to ever leave.

Jen and I had such a ball with a fine group of ladies and loved every minute we got to spend with them. Despite the Moroccan genies casting spells on some of our cameras, the group produced some amazing instant images and we were thrilled with the works of art our ladies went home with.

I was really caught up in soaking up time with our guests that I didn’t shoot a lot this time around (most of my images were taken with my iPhone!) but I did sneak a few here and there that I was happy with.

instant love retreat 2013

A big thank you to Maryam and Chris at Peacock Pavilions. You did an amazing job again! Jen and I are starting to feel like part of the Peacock Pavilions family now. A big thank you also to Michelle at PP who was a lifesaver and kept our ship running very smoothly all week long. And of course, all the incredible chefs, kitchen and house staff, our wonderful driver, the kitties and Scout!

To the people of Marrakech who made our stay interesting and fun with a big thank you to our own personal souk guide, Abdul! If you ever need a great rug seller in Marrakech, email me and I’ll hook you up with our friend, Abdul. The ladies (myself included) scored some great wedding blankets and Beni Ouarain rugs from him. Abdul was one of the stars of Instant Love (his portrait taken by Susannah can be seen in the book) and is now part of the Instant Love family too.

To our amazing group of participants, thank you for making it such a memorable week. We had a dinner at PP with these ladies that may go down as one of the funniest nights I’ve ever had. Janis Nicolay has a great post on her blog about her experience with us. Check it out. We miss you and Wendy, Janis! You can see the wonderful images our group took here on their websites and instagram pages. Thank you Janis, Wendy, Nicole, Marissa, Leigh, Kathy, Cara, Carole, Danni and Patti!! Jen and I miss you all so much!

And as always, thank you to the amazing Lady Jenifer. I love you!

All images photographed with a Polaroid 180 Land Camera and Fuji instant film.

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Once More

There is so very much I could say and tell you about. My life has done a 360 in the last few months and as I’ve been trying to process it and organise for it, there has been little time for keeping up with my usual routines.

And of course, the decision that we have made is once again turning our normal routines upside down for a brand, new start. After much deliberation, the Canadian and I have decided to move back to Australia. We don’t know if this is the right choice, but for now, at this point in time, it is the right one for us. It’s going to take lots of re-imagining and finding our way in the waters of a different kind of life again but I know that our adventurous hearts will guide us through.

We love and will miss the beautiful village life we’ve made here in Vancouver. I know I will certainly miss seeing those snow capped mountains each morning as I looked out our window. I will miss the ease and the stress-free day to day living a smaller city brings and hope that readjusting to the bigness of Sydney will be a fun change, rather than a troublesome one.

As I think of our new life, I have been imagining us close to the sea, taking daily walks by the beach. Fingers crossed that an apartment will be waiting for us when we are ready to find it in just the right place. I, of course, am overjoyed at being able to spend real time with my family and friends again and cannot wait to reconnect with them all. I’m already planning our Christmas gatherings. As excited as I am, we will leave here with heavy hearts, knowing that we once again have to say goodbye to people whom we love and to a place that will always be our home.

These images were all taken around Vancouver with my Polaroid 180 Land Camera and Fuji film.

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Polaroid Portraits in the Pavilions

One of my favourite memories of my time in Marrakech was the afternoon we did a workshop on portraits. Our days at Peacock Pavilions would start with a delicious breakfast in the main house, followed by a workshop led by Jen, Susannah and myself. Our workshops generally started with discussion in the tent that led to shooting in the pavilions and around the grounds. After our portrait workshop, we let everyone get to it to shoot portraits and self portraits.

Susannah made it her mission to try and shoot everyone and she did such a wonderful job of capturing each of us in such a beautiful way. Check them all out here. Both she and Jen shot the 2 best portraits that have ever been taken of me. Lucky girl, I am. I wasn’t so conscientious and spent time just observing and watching as everyone turned the cameras on one another. I am kicking myself now because I didn’t get a proper shot of Susannah- I will have to try later this year when we meet again!

Everyone was relaxed, laid back and enjoying spending time with one another and I love that we had that time to let go of some fears, from both behind the camera and in front. That afternoon, many of the ladies wanted to get back into the Medina to do some last minute shopping, so a small group of us stayed behind and had a shooting-fest in the gardens around the Medina Pavilion. It was a great way to really spend some quality time with amazing people.


A big thank you to Briana Morrison for shooting our Instant Love author portrait. She was certainly put through the wringer with 3 demanding photographers who took their time agreeing on an image. Thank you, Bria!

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Shoot By Design Autumn Session

And you can do no wrong in my eyes…

I think we were channeling jedis on planet Tatooine for this one- Polaroid Portraits

Today I am announcing that I will be running my Shoot By Design: Refining Your Photography Style course again this Autumn. The course will run from Monday 31 October 2011 to Friday December 9th 2011. I had such a great response from the first group of students that I knew I had to offer it again. You can find out more about the course here. Registration will start this Friday 14 October at 9am AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time). This will make it Thursday 13th October 3pm on the West Coast of North America.

Registration is now open!

I’m so excited to get started with a new course again!

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Polaroid Portraits i

I have missed this little girl so much. She’s grown up a lot since we were last together. My baby sister isn’t a little girl anymore and it’s kind of hard to accept. I love her so much that it hurts. Being home hurts. - Polaroid Portraits.

The first of the Polaroid Family Portraits were shot on some expired film that unfortunately was well past its prime.

Listening to this is a different kind of hurt…a hurt that twists up your heart it’s so beautiful. It’s great to hear Wally on the radio again. I love me a little Aussie voice from heaven. Listen to Gotye.

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The Last Goodbye


I have uttered the words, “I only have ‘X’ packs of Polaroid film left” many times in the last 2 years. Until last week, I was all out of my beloved 600 and had been all out for quite some time. I recently made a teeny score of film from another Polaroid lover and despite its age, I’m holding onto it ever so tightly.

During the course of shooting Instant Love, I realised that a lot of my Polaroids centred around still lifes, landscapes and travel work. Yet, all of my most treasured Polaroids are the portraits I’ve shot. I have tons of sentimental Polaroids that Sean and I shot together of us as a couple, but I feel I almost missed the boat on shooting portraits when the film was readily available.I’m one of those people who is still in denial about things taking place long after they’ve happened. The rain is bucketing down, but I wait all day for it to clear. I guess it makes me a hopeful person.

I’m heading home to Sydney in a fortnight with a few packs of Polaroid in my carry on. I have promised myself that the bulk of those images will be portraits – portraits of my loved ones. The plan is to shoot my family and close friends and make images that I will cherish forever. I don’t want one of those Polaroids wasted. I’m sure I’ll probably screw up a few, but I’m making a concerted effort to make magic and memories with my Polaroids.

I really feel like this will be it. My last goodbye to my beloved Polaroid 600 film. Of course, I’m sure I will end up scouring the globe for a few packs to take to Morocco in February but this may well be the last goodbye.

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