In the quiet lull of mid-December to January, my world as a commercial photographer in the bustling realm of tourism and travel slows to a near halt. This annual pause, once a source of frantic outreach and simmering frustration, has morphed into a period of acceptance and preparation. It’s a season where I lean on the sales of prints, books, and calendars, turning the cozy Vasse General Store into a makeshift shipping centre for my work, dispatching pieces of my world to distant lands.
Post the festive whirlwind of Christmas and the New Year – a time I spend holed up, evading the chaos of crowds and traffic – my family, friends (who are more kin than anything), and I retreat to Western Australia’s South Coast. Here, in the embrace of nature, we find our rhythm in the ebb and flow of the ocean.
Our days unfurl in a medley of activities – fishing, kayaking, and snorkelling, interspersed with bouts of weather-induced or sheer exhaustion-driven respite. Mornings are often lazy, indulgent in literature and leisurely discussions, while afternoons are for aquatic adventures – exploring on paddleboards or venturing further aboard a friend’s boat. Each spot, whether a familiar haunt or a new discovery, holds the potential for becoming a cherished memory.
This year, the waters were exceptionally welcoming, allowing me to introduce my daughters to the underwater world. Teaching them to snorkel and free-dive, we explored the ocean’s depths together, encountering its diverse residents – from a majestic stingray to a benign shovelnose shark. It’s in these moments, I believe, that we’re crafting memories to last a lifetime.
Sometimes, I wander off alone, camera in hand, driven by curiosity and the need for solitude. These solitary explorations, marked by silence and introspection, are a ritual for rejuvenating my creative spirit, a time for my soul to catch up with the rest of me, as the old African tale goes.
I’m learning to embrace this seasonal stillness, understanding that constant motion isn’t always necessary, nor is it always good. Camping offers us a simple yet profound escape, a chance to reset and recharge, even amidst looming thoughts of house moves and financial strains.
As each day folds into night, we gather for communal meals – sometimes feasting on the day’s catch – accompanied by the soft strumming of Nick’s guitar and the backdrop of kangaroos grazing and twilight skies. Evenings are spent in shared stories, laughter, and plans for the future, before we surrender to the call of our tents.
Returning from this annual pilgrimage, I find myself refreshed, sometimes bubbling with creative ideas, though this year was quieter, shadowed by thoughts of an impending house move. But still, the seeds of inspiration are there, waiting to be nurtured post-move.
For those interested, my prints are available, a slice of these adventures and contemplations, ready to find a new home. As I gear up for the year, I welcome the opportunity for new commercial projects, carrying with me the tranquillity and lessons learned from this time of pause and reflection.
Also, for those who recognise any of the locations in my photos, I respectfully request you kept that to yourself for this set of photos. If I don’t share a specific location, there are usually reasons for it.

I hope you enjoy the selection of photos from this time: 

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