I find discovering why we do things helps drive, motivate and focus what we do. As an artist, and i'm sure many out there can relate, I'm constantly questioning everything I make. I'm my worst critic and mortal enemy. Over the years I developed a perfectionist mind set and I feel it truely crippled my full potential as an artist for decades. Recently discovering why I do what I do helped me shed that burden of perfectionism to reach a new creative mindset that has set me free from the constrains and horrible pressure perfection puts on the process of making art. The concept of perfection is completely flawed, like many of man's ideals.

My why contains a lot of emotional drivers. I do what I do to cut through, I want to hit people in the heart, going beyond pretty pictures. I want to paint and flow, not document. Documenting isn't enough for me. I want to see how I feel. I want to become unbound from my physical into a space where emotion, colour and light speak to the heart. There's limitless freedom in this space and creativity is unbound by the horrible suffocation of ideal results. 

Intuitive mind games

Ok. So here is a funny story. Not ha ha funny but one that brings you into the mindset I have occasionally. I love the play between intuition and the grind mind. This could be a longer story but I'll try to keep it short. This afternoon I told myself I was being drawn to swim back out to shoot more seascapes after returning to shore and calling it a day this evening. The light had faded to my favourite glow, I was shore bound and magnetically drawn to the water. Again. I had to go out for one more shot. The water picked up my heals and drew me into the line-up as I trod back to my car slowly in a meditative state along the shore line. The light teased me. I could sense a set approaching in 5 minutes or so. I re-entered the zone and swam out. I wasn't wrong. I found myself in position for my best shot of the day as my sensed set approached. It was black. Highlights shimmered in the negative glow, on the face of an oil like swell. I set my composition and the camera tried to do its part as it hunted for focus. My shot was before me, the one I'd be dreaming of this afternoon. No exposure captured this time. My camera failed me. A vision escaped me without a trace. The swell unloaded upon me, flipped me, twisted me and one fin separated from my foot. I struggled to surface and hunted for my fin as I recovered my orientation on the foamy surface. I was defeated in the dark of dusk. I'm not sure which part of my mind won this time. The intuitive one or the logical mind? What drew me in? My mind or my heart to go for that little more? That unknown? I'll explore this when I swim out tomorrow with one fin and see what happens in the heavy swell of the dawn.   

Sharks in Tahiti

Last week I was in Tahiti shooting a global swimwear stills campaign. The location was out of this world, complete tropical perfection. The whole team had long hard days shooting in the blazing sun so during spare time we would chill, have an icy cold beverage and relax on the jetty watching the sunset. It became a daily routine. This time would also include watching black tip reef sharks circle us below while we sat and chatted as the day closed. It was a very unique situation that I couldn't help but take advantage of. On the very last evening I summed up the dutch courage to swim at dusk with the sharks and create some unique photos. This is the result and on reflection I wish I had done it more.

"Shoot what you feel."

I love bringing a brief to life through photography. I highly value clients mutual trust and respect in this process. For me this type of creative relationship is a catalyst for flow on a shoot and it allows me tap into the brief on an intimate level.

I'm always looking for fresh perspectives to build from. I'm always on the hunt for that little point of difference audiences often overlook in their daily lives. Things that trigger emotion and evoke a true sense of authenticity.

Luke Scharkie, Design Manager of Surf Stitch feels this in my work. He asked me to capture the essence of summer over a 2 day TVC shoot around Sydney. "Just shoot what you feel," was the brief.

The open scope of a brief like this is highly challenging and one I really enjoyed creating intimate moments and feel good lifestyle images with. Here's my personal selection of Surf Stitches "Make Summer More Summer" '16 Digital and OOH campaign. 

New Project

I've been working on a project on the side for 18 months now ... it should all be ready by Australian Winter 2017. It's something new and innovative for our next generation to wear at the beach. If you spend loads of time at the beach with your young family this could interest you very much. I'll keep you posted.

Australia. Seriously? 2017 Exhibition.

I'm fortunate enough to be exhibiting my Australia. Seriously? work again next month. If your keen to see big photographic prints about Australian life that will entertain please read on, the media release from the Moran Arts Foundation is below:

AUSTRALIA. SERIOUSLY? Places, spaces and things.

January 20, 2017 – Queensland photographer Trent Mitchell won the $50,000 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize in 2015 for Boy in Boat with judges describing the photo as a “quirky and beautifully observed moment”. His exhibition Australia. Seriously? follows this same theme and opens at the Moran Gallery, Sylvania on 7 February. 

The exhibition is a body of work selected from a collection of over 5,500 film exposures created by Mitchell during his travels across the country.  “Colourful intersections of spaces, places and things engage my curiosity in a playful act with my everyday Australia, camera in hand.“ said Mitchell.

‘Australia. Seriously?’ will be officially opened by Photographic historian and 2016 Moran Photographic Prize judge, Alan Davies.  Now Emeritus Curator of Photographs at the State Library of New South Wales, Davies was the Library’s first curator from 1989 to 2014, overseeing a collection of a more than a million images.

‘Australia. Seriously?’ Officially opens at the Moran Gallery Sylvania on Tuesday 7 February from 6pm to 8pm. 

The exhibition will be open from Wednesday 8 February to Sunday 2 April 2017, 10am to 4pm daily with free entry.