Whoa! 10 years as a Victorian!
It’s highly likely that at some stage that I’ve mentioned I’m from Tasmania. The Photobat name was actually born in Melbourne wayyyy back in 1999 when I had to create an email address for uni. I was studying photography at RMIT and I was mostly known as Wombat… So wombat@ what ever .com was taken but when I put Photobat together it was available…so the name was born. And then In 2001 it was registered officially as my business name and the real Photobat fun stated.
ANYWAYS. One day back in the Launceston office, my wife Vikashni got a job offer in Melbourne. I’ve always loved Melbourne and within 3 weeks (2 1/2 of them were in Hawaii on holiday/shooting a wedding) we had relocated to Melbourne. I was being the mostly full-time dad to Saffron who was 18 months and also shooting all over the place. I’d fly back to Tasmania to shoot weddings and portraits on weekends and then reconnect with old friends in Melbourne during the week.
These catch ups, along with recommendations from my Tasmanian clients is where a heap of my first Melbourne jobs came from. The families I got to photograph when I first arrived were all pretty special and I’m so grateful for all of them all and I’m in touch with them still.
By the end of 2012 we had moved from out our temporary home in Balwyn North to the beachy life of Beaumaris and discovered that Bayside had officially trapped us in her bubble.
So that’s the story on how we got to Bayside… what followed was experiencing the laughter of hundreds of families who popped up in front of my lens and the excitement of delivering artwork for their walls and calling so many clients friends now!
It’s rare to walk down the street or duck down to the shops without bumping into someone for a chat… thankfully no one has cared about the trackies!
I’ve quickly thrown together some highlights… there are many many more but this is a good start!
Thank you for reading and being you.
I really appreciate you
A few highlights...
Bayside At Home
100 families in Lockdown all for the sake of history. This was ridiculous because it was all photographed at a distance, in 14 days and with the sole purpose of giving families a memory of what was a unique time… which lockdown was, the following ones not so much.
Then and Now's
When I started out taking family photos and doing weddings it was because I was obsessed with photography. Now I’m more obsessed with the capturing the families stories, one session is always great but when you get to know families over the years it just makes me smile so much. Like Steph and Chardy, my first wedding and now I get to make their kids laugh!
Zach is also pretty cool… we met at his first birthday when I was asked to do a “different cake smash” and most years since we have done a session.
Zack is also pretty cool… we met at his first birthday when I was asked to do a “different cake smash” and most years since we have caught up and done more sessions. Of course the later ones included his little sister who we also cake smashed with but Zack was the OG and that makes him just the little bit more special.
Georgia Wilkinson, an ambitions opera singer whom I saw perform when I was photographing some catering. I thought she sounded better than what I was supposed to be photographing so I enjoyed the performance then checked out her website… she really needed some photos that represented her talent more. So I reached, proved I wasn’t dodgy, out and did a session with her for fun… that has now turned into many sessions not just with Georgia but also her family, who I wish lived closer as they are all just fantastic. So these photos are taken over a 9 year period!
It’s not often I get a call to take a portrait of a grandparent, but when I do it’s always a very special occasion. Chatting, hearing about history and learning about the way things were is something I could do for hours. Bert was in his late 90’s when we did this session at the home he lived in most of his adult life. He was a bit deaf so many of my questions got different answers but he was a lovely host and sadly missed now.
Adrian and Govind’s wedding certainly was a highlight of my Melbourne years, and indeed my whole wedding career. This was my first same sex wedding… but it wasn’t a wedding as that was illegal at the time. It didn’t’ stop these two families and a massive tribe of friends having an epic ceremony and party to celebrate their connection with each other.
The Greagan’s. Just a standard family photo shoot… but when Dad has a blog that blows up and it’s called “Reservoir Dad” we had to go the suits. Our initial location was a bit cruddy when I got there so I found the back of a new supermarket with a ample supply of milk crates. This stands out as everyone was up for everything and we got some of my favourite family shots that were indeed a bit different.
My more “documentary” family portrait sessions were a thing that didn’t quite catch on. But I loved how real they were. Spending an afternoon or morning with a family and just capturing what was happening. It was popular at the grandparents homes and one of the best was a Sydney family who just happened to hire a combo and go clamping and have me along!
When I was studying in the late 90’s I would head off to see live comedy every week. That meant I got to know some comedians and those comedians then got to be known by everyone. So when I popped back up in Melbourne I’ve been called upon by many performers, managers and magazines to help them with photos.
Big shout outs to Ali McGregor who’s late night variety show has been a repeat highlight. Of course there is that Hannah Gadsby lady, the shot here is from our first session which she didn’t even tell her manager about, she just called. Of course we did more, including that Nannette one which ended up on the New York Best Seller list. A big shout out to Cal Wilson too, one of the loveliest people you can ever meet, luckily enough I’ve done some promo photos but also and more importantly, family photos.
There are hundreds of Melbourne families that have my photos on their walls. While having a photo on a famous book, or a bill board is cool, I’m much more excited by the legacy I’ve created for so many people. The sessions where people laughed, the ones where we have got up to mischief, the ones where I end up soaked but the family are still dry… they are all fun to me!
Sadly there are a few portraits that have ended up already being elevated to priceless, the ones where the people in the photos are no longer with us. I’ve been called upon many times when the end is near and been able to create something special.
I could do a series of 100 volumes to tell all the stories and photos I want to share from the families I’ve met, just be assured that I’m extremely grateful for each and everyone of you.
So what now?
There are many more stories to capture!
So no time to slow down.
Thank you to everyone who has in someway supported Photobat along the Melbourne journey!
Want in on the fun???
Because it’s out 10th Anniversary we have ten $10 Portrait Specials available!
This includes the whole session + an 8×12 Fine Art Print + $100 Artwork Credit
+ 10% off your final order
Valued at $520+