Some of you might already be aware of the fact - but I'd take a guess to say most of you aren't - that photography isn't my full time profession. But over the next 6 months, I've got an opportunity to make it that.
The past two years I've worked in the world of PR and marketing. And while you'd might be mistaken for thinking this is another quit your 9-to-5 to pursue your passion type of posts - it's not.
The truth is, these past 2 years have been beneficial, where I've refined a range of skillsets I otherwise never would have been exposed to. From copy writing to media relations, and from graphic design to dressing up as giant Pikachu (don't ask) the range of skills I've acquired has been diverse, to put it mildly. And, most importantly, two years in the job gave me the opportunity to execute photography in commercial settings, where I had the chance to deliver the fruits of my work to happy clients.
And so, I've now officially resigned from my job to hit the road for the rest of the year with friends, family, and my girlfriend, Ivy. The state of things when we return still remains somewhat of a question mark. But one thing is certain, there will be a tonne of photos taken along the way. Photos I'll be sharing here and across social media.
It's a whirlwind world tour, but first stop, Iceland.
From what I've seen online, every landscape photographer seems to be making a pilgrim to Iceland - and now I will be too. From the grandeur of its waterfalls, to its rugged terrain, it's a location of breathtaking natural beauty. Ivy and I will be embarking on a two week round trip around the land of the midnight sun.
We'll be visiting in mid-summer, so unfortunately there will be no (or very little) snow, and the all-day sun will prevent any astro or aurora shots. Yet the waterfalls should be flowing strongly with the snowmelt, and the low-lying sun will turn the standard Golden Hour into Golden Three Hours. Can't wait!
The Grampians, Via Uluru
In 2013, my father and I drove to the outback - and back - and now we're doing it again. Last time round, Dad was shooting on his first DSLR, and I was using my trusty iPhone. This time we, I hope, now know a thing or two about photography, and have the gear to match.
We'll be making a bee-line to Uluru, where fingers crossed, we'll get clear, calm nights to capture the Milky Way in all its glory. We'll be returning via Adelaide (and it's photogenic jetties), and the rugged beauty of The Grampians in Victoria.
NSW North Coast
My two best mates from uni and I are going to embark on a road trip up the East coast of NSW towards Byron Bay. While primarily a road trip, I'm suggesting stops conveniently near bucket list photo locations of mine. I hope they don't mind the 5am alarms each morning ...
We'll be spending an entire month living in Vietnam with Ivy's family, where we'll be making trips to the resort town of Da Nang and the iconic limestone island of Ha Long Bay.
I'm looking forward to explore more with in-the-moment street photography, an area I'm relatively new to. Rather than thoughtfully planned and composed landscapes, I'm eager to experiment with the fast-paced nature of the street, and capture the varying, always changing moods of the moment.
With my grandmother - and a quarter of my family - from New Zealand, we used to visit ever year or two when I was younger. Yet I haven't returned for over a decade.
I'm particularly keen to view the landscape afresh with photographer's eyes. We'll be hiring an RV with mum and will set off on a three week tour of the South Island. We'll be travelling throughout mid-Spring, so there should be a good mix of pleasant weather, flowing waterfalls, and snow-capped peaks.
There's a lot going on this year - and it's daunting not knowing where I'll end up professionally - but it's going to be an exciting period nonetheless. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences - and images - with you here.
Bring it on!