2015 | year in review 5 2 w e e k s | 5 2 p i c t u r e s

Photo by Jarrad Seng

I have the worst memory known to man.

Which is why photography is the perfect profession for me, simply for the fact that it’s essentially my job to ruthlessly document everything I do, everywhere I go. I can’t remember what I did two minutes ago, let alone a year back.

So here’s to remembering a hectic 12 months on the road across 2015.

21 countries, 56 cities, 100 flights…. it’s been a wild one. Here’s those 52 weeks in 52 photos :)

  1.  A new year, a new city.  Kicking off 2016 in Malindi, on the east coast of Africa.


2.  Shooting Hannah and Will’s wedding in Kenya.  Casual zebras in the background.

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3.  Touring Australia’s most beautiful venues with this big boy – Passenger.

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4.  Finding a moment of serenity with Wafia amidst the madness of the Obliteration room at GOMA.

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5.  Crossing the Tasman for the first time and finding little gems like this. Love a good hedge. And then we made this!

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6.  Shooting this mega talent Meg Mac in Melbourne.  She kinda blew up this year, proud of you Meg!

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7.  Shooting the mermaids of Fringeworld.
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8.  Before jetting off to explore Tasmania’s ancient caves,  cliff faces and breathtaking night skies.

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9.  Returning home to shoot the spectacle of The Giants at the opening of the Perth International Arts Festival.

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10.  …Before flying out that same night for the South African leg of the Passenger tour!  And it was awesome to meet long time instagram friends Gareth Pon and Dave East – legends!

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11.  Came home to meet another legend – my long lost brother… Von Wong.
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12.  I don’t often shoot fashion but who can turn down a bikini shoot with former Miss Universe Australia, Renae Ayris?

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13.  Or a sunrise rooftop session at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.

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14.  Sculpture by the Sea – one of my favourite campaigns to shoot each year – we’ve been working together since 2012.

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15.  Another dream job!  Cruising around the Kimberley with Instagram royalty Lauren Bath and Garry Norris

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16.  As well as this guy, Max Veenhuyzen, who held up a metallic object in the middle of a lightning storm for this epic shot!  “Say, are iPhones good lightning conductors?  Asking for a friend.”

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17.  And it’s not a visit to Broome without heading to Cable Beach for sunset.  (One day I’ll actually ride the camels).

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18.  The big one!  Spending a week in Tropical North Queensland shooting a short vignette celebrating Indigenous culture.  Our film ended up winning a $20,000 prize package from Qantas, and was broadcast on national television.  A huge honour.  You can check out the clip here!

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19.  A blissful week in Bali with the Miss Universe WA Finalists. Someone’s gotta do it…

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20.  Raising $10,000 in 24 hours for the Nepal Earthquake Red Cross Appeal by completing some crazy challenges…. like getting a selfie this this little guy on Rottnest Island.  Check out the entire crazy ordeal here!

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21.  Although arguably the best thing to come out of the whole project was getting my nude picture in the local paper.

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22.  My Melbourne mate Jackson Loria sent me a text saying that it was snowing in Victoria.  Nek minnit… I’m on a plane.

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23.  But this time I was able to bring my lovely Bec (@thehatchling) on a trip with me for the first time!

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24.  Whereby I coaxed her into walking up fifty flights of stairs to get this view with our new mate Connor Vaughan.

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25.  And upon returning home realised my hair was getting a bit long and booked in haircut with the one and only Taku.  Not really.  If I ever get my hair cut it will be on top of a mountain, in blizzard storm, with a samurai sword… or equivalent epicness (Taku you are still invited).

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26.  A quick trip to London to shoot my main man Passenger supporting Ed Sheeran at Wembley frickin’ Stadium!  This was an unbelievably cool moment and I couldn’t be prouder of Mike.  I’ve watched him play to a dozen people in a manky pub four years ago…. and now this.  Incredible.

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27.  People don’t realise this but tour life is freakin’ exhausting.  You gotta squeeze in those naps whenever you can.  These abandoned castle ruins in Southern Germany seemed like a good spot.

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28.  I really do get to see some beautiful places in the name of work

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29.  I do, however, often find myself in incredible photogenic locations…. alone.  Which doesn’t matter too much as I just take creepy photos of strangers instead.
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30.  Trying to juggle campaigns, schedules, timings nearly made my brain explode this year.  But it was worth the trouble!  I received an invitation to attend the Converse launch of the Chuck II in….. Shanghai!?!  There was no way I’d be turning that one down, so found a way to find a few days off in the middle of the Passenger European tour.  From Switzerland to Berlin to Moscow to Shanghai to London.  Such an epic, random trip!

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31.  Now this one was a challenge and half.  What may seem like a simple image, in reality involved a whirlwind visit to Oxfordshire to meet up with the incredibly talented Bella Kotak, recruiting Natasa Leoni and Lewis Watson as flour girls and running around a secret forest.

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32.  It doesn’t end there.  The image needed to be turned into a window installation in Perth.  One catch.  I was in the middle of a European tour with Passenger.  Somehow with a bunch of friends and a bunch of Skype calls, we made this!  Team work makes the dream work, eh Butcher, Baker Stylist?!

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33.  I was invited to trial the new Panasonic Lumix on a campaign in Bangkok.  Unfortunately, the trip coincided with the tragic bombings in Thailand and it was a little too unpredictable to make it over.  Instead, I gave the camera a road-test in The Langham’s magical spa.

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34.  And then I found myself on the other side of the lens for once.  James Simmons and VAM media filmed a short documentary on what it takes to be a music photographer.  You can find it streaming on ABC iView here for a limited time!

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35.  Flying high over Rottnest Island for an upcoming collaboration with local artist Amok Island.

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36.  And hanging out with all the cool kids for a social media campaign in Armadale.

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37.  From #TheDale to the Northern Lights in Iceland.  An unforgettable night, witnessing the aurora for the first time.

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38.  A roadtrip with fellow Perth shooter Benjamin Hardman would provide the context for a series of self-portraits taken around the island, forming my fourth solo exhibition ‘the space between‘.

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39.  From Iceland to Paris, to shoot the wedding of these two darlings, Stephanie and Ollie.  Lighting options at the Eiffel were surprisingly limited so we improvised…

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40.  From France to Dubai.  Dangling my feet from the 125th floor of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  The image feels significantly less hardcore when I tell you that I was behind glass the entire time.  Getting my legs under the gap though was a whole other ordeal…

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41.  Desert sunsets with some of the best people I know.

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42.  Then in complete contrast – we traded in the Middle East for Middle Earth.  If you look really closely, you might be able to see Lauren Bath and Jewelszee huddled up in the glass pod while I took this shot.  The southern lights even came out to play!

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43.  Back home just in time to capture this dreamy moment with Stephanie and Peter.

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44.  What a delightfully inconvenient place for a picnic with Tara Milk TeaJarradSeng_top52_blog (45)

46.  Hosting Qantas Instameets in the far reaches of Australia with new friends @helloemilie, and @paulmp.  My first time seeing this big old rock!

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47.  And then we found this magical flame tree in Darwin.

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48.  Back on the road for another lap around Australia, this time with Passenger, Ed Sheeran, Rudimental and Foy Vance.

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49.  A last minute (I’m talking a 4pm Friday afternoon phone call here) chopper ride thanks to Tourism Tasmania to gather some aerial footage for this video.

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50.  This view will never get old.  A sea of dancing lights during the A Team.  Ed Sheeran you are legend!

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51.  The tour ended in New Zealand although I made sure to save a few days exploring Middle Earth with @thehatchling.  Just a casual visit to Bag End…

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52.  Smashing the bucket list on the home stretch of 2015.  Glow worm caves!

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52.  Finally taking a moment to reflect on the year behind.  Just joking.  I was more concerned with a futile defence against the mosquitos, and not falling off the swing due to sleep deprivation at 3am.  That’s #InstagramLyf for ya.

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2015, it’s been real.