Bali Spirit Festival

This year I attended the Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud for the first time. The festival exceeded every expectation I had. Aside from being set amongst the lush green beauty of Ubud, it had attracted beautiful people from across the globe and had a program packed full of every type of spirit nourishing activity imaginable. 

Yoga

Dance

Music

Market Place

Voice

Backdrop

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Bali Spirit

Lucas & Bronya's Country Wedding

I absolutely love a no fuss country wedding. One couple who did this better than any other I've seen is Bronya and Lucas. 

Bronya and Lucas had no interest in an over-manufactured wedding. Instead they decided to hold the wedding on a family property in Byron Bay. When they arrived to explore the property they discovered a bamboo grove down the hill. Most would have disregarded it, but not this quirky couple who quickly got their hands dirty clearing the space with a tractor, by the end of the day they had created the perfect bamboo cathedral for their ceremony.

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The easy going couple didn't stop there, they booked their reception venue, Jaspers hall in Federal, without even seeing it based only on a friends recommendation and some picture. As for decoration it was a DIY, all hands on deck affair. 

Bronya sums it up perfectly, ‘We didn’t have time for themes! Unless there is a word that describes a beautiful, delicious, loving shamozzle of a community of loved ones, all chipping in, coming together, laughing (with AND at us!) and crying, heckling and bantering with us all day and night. It was perfectly unplanned, allowing for all of the emotion to spill out in exactly the way it did. We wouldn’t have had it any other way. The day managed to celebrate the simple things in life for us; nature, love and community.’

As a photographer I felt super privileged to have been a part of this wedding. The Bride and Groom were a delight, floating around on cloud nine, in love and having the time of their lives right from the get go. Meanwhile the guest and family were enjoying every second of the celebrations. Lucas and Bronya's Wedding was charming, authentic and reminded me what weddings are all about, two people coming together to unite their families and celebrate their love.

Lucas & Bronya's wedding was also featured on the fantastic blog Less Stuff More Meaning, you can check it out here.

Wanderlust Sunshine Coast 2016

This one has been on my festival bucket list for years. So I feel extra blessed to have attended my first Wanderlust Festival as a photographer, with the privilege of completely immersing myself  in this amazing event.

Wanderlust is a photographers heaven! No matter what direction I pointed the camera something amazing was happening; incredible demonstrations of physical discipline, heartfelt human connections and total party vibes.

Morning yoga on the green at Wanderlust Sunshine Coast 2016
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Caught some stunning images of this talented yogi William Wong.
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I've been circling around this gorgeous creature Deanne Love in the hoop community for years. Last week at #wanderlust, not only did I get to finally meet her, but also have a sunset photo shoot and chats on the beach. 
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The Water Pump

In 2013 I was working with an aid organisation and was invited to visit a small village in West Pokot, Kenya to see the results of a water and sanitation project. The village was located in a arid and remote region of the Rift Valley and we travelled for hours along empty dirt roads to reach it. 

Travelling to the project site through the arid and remote landscape of the Rift Valley.

The locals welcomed us warmly and were excited to lead us from the village along the barren river bed which was once a source of water.

The locals welcomed us warmly and were excited to lead us from the village along the barren river bed which was once a source of water.

We arrived at the water pump. The children quickly began pumping water and demonstrating how the newly installed pump worked. 

We arrived at the water pump. The children quickly began pumping water and demonstrating how the newly installed pump worked. 

The water pump means that the inhabitants of the village no longer need to drink dirty river water, teeming with parasites, bacteria and animal waste. This clean water access point in the heart of the community also means that inhabitants can avoid a long daily trek to the river with a heavy jerry can.

The water pump means that the inhabitants of the village no longer need to drink dirty river water, teeming with parasites, bacteria and animal waste. This clean water access point in the heart of the community also means that inhabitants can avoid a long daily trek to the river with a heavy jerry can.

Along with the installation of the pump the project also contained an education element teaching the importance of washing hands and face to avoid common diseases which occur in areas where water is scarce and sanitation is inadequate.

Along with the installation of the pump the project also contained an education element teaching the importance of washing hands and face to avoid common diseases which occur in areas where water is scarce and sanitation is inadequate.

Trachoma is an eye disease which is particularly wide spread in the West Pokot area. It is spread through unwashed hands and by flies that have been in contact with the discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person. Ongoing infection and re-infection fuels the progression of the disease to the stage where vision is lost. Here a child demonstrates how to wash their face to prevent the disease. 

Trachoma is an eye disease which is particularly wide spread in the West Pokot area. It is spread through unwashed hands and by flies that have been in contact with the discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person. Ongoing infection and re-infection fuels the progression of the disease to the stage where vision is lost. Here a child demonstrates how to wash their face to prevent the disease. 

The Life of the Maasai

It's hard to visit Kenya and not make a trip to the Maasai Mara to visit the nomadic Maasai people who live there. 

Despite the isolation of these villages, hints of modern society seep in. I love the contrast of the mud houses and traditional Maasai blankets with the moddern socks and sneakers worn by the Maasai man pictured. 

A typical morning in the life of the Maasai as they walk their cattle out to pasture. The leader (back left) explained to us that the number of cattle a man has is a measure of wealth. He was sure to boast that he is a wealthy man. 

Becoming a Maasai warrior is a long process involving many tests of courage. This man was something of a celebrity in the community. He has  only one ear, the other was lost during a rite of passage ritual in which a man must kill a lion. 

The man is proud of his handmade blade. He uses it for everything from cutting wood and slaughtering animals to starting fires.

Here a young Maasai girl cares for her younger sibling. It is common in a Maasai village to find young girls are responsible for chores such as cooking, milking animals and caring for siblings, skills which they learn from their mothers at an early age.