GLAM it up for charity raises $20k for Orange Sky Laundry

Celebrating its’ tenth anniversary on Friday night, Tara Castle and the team at GLAM it up for charity raised $20,000 for Orange Sky Laundry. GLAM started in 2007 and has been raising funds annually at an affordable charity dinner evening (tickets are usually $80).


Tara Castle and her husband Joe Cole


Lucas Patchett, Tara Castle and Nic Marchesi




I was privileged to be asked to take the photos of the night and was moved and inspired by the founders Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi.  Lucas and Nicholas have taken a seemingly impossible concept- helping the homeless have showers and clean their clothes and have taken their service national.

The most interesting aspect of their presentation was however, learning that the fundamental importance of the services provided by Orange Sky Laundry was not, what I perceived – dignity- providing cleanliness, and hope. However, what they have found is that is the most intangible of all concepts- human connection.   Whilst clean clothes and showers provide the homeless with a service that we all take for granted, the real power is in the regularity of contact between the volunteers at Orange Sky Laundry and the homeless. While the clothes are washing, the volunteers sit on plastic chairs with their friends, and have real conversations. This act of listening and talking one on one provides them with real hope and a sense of connection- a sense that someone does in fact care.




Here’s the video I made of the photos that I took on the evening.

If you’d like to volunteer for Orange Sky Laundry, take a look at this video and then contact the guys on their website to see how you can be involved.

You can connect with GLAM it up for charity on Facebook.


We might have got a little excited for our first #bookweek.  🙂  Angus woke at 4:45 am becuase he was too excited to sleep given that he is wearing his Harry Potter costume today. Hamish decided just two days ago that he wanted to be Ned Kelly, and luckily for us a friend Sally showed us a costume idea 🙂


Photography: Grab your loved one by the hand

One of the wonderful parts about the development of mobile phones into smart phones has been the camera. We no longer have to lug around heavy cameras to take candid happy snaps of our friends and family. We’ve all been recording impromptu moments of fun and learning along the way, naturally, what works with photography.

But if you’re like me, in the process, you’ve gotten so many pictures, that you don’t print them out anymore, and they sit on your computer’s hard drive. I also don’t have any nice pictures of myself with the kids- you know, “keeper” photos.

Impromptu attempt. however, one child wouldn't get in the photo with Santa- you can see him behind me in the blue striped shirt

Impromptu attempt. however, one child wouldn’t get in the photo with Santa

Recently, I have been approached by a number of friends to take candid family photos for them. I’m always hesitant when the word “family portraits” are used because I have heard so many stories of husbands and wives investing fortunes in family photography only to have one spending more that was agreed, and the other feeling ripped off. When people look at the “package deal” photos on the wall, they no longer see the smiles, they see dollar bills in flames. Which is probably why I like photographing trees…


So I have set about testing the water, and have used the opposite approach to many. My approach has been to create a situation which involves the maximum fun and laughs and the minimum stress. I’m not about styled picture perfect Pinterest portrait shoots. I let the kids run wild, and make the parents hold hands and kiss. It’s amazing how many couples have not held hands for a long time.

I'm a bit nervous about this kissing thing!

I’m a bit nervous about this kissing thing!

And as for kissing in front of the kids… I make a song and dance about it, and do shots where the kids pretend they are not looking and then make them look. Those photos are never going to be the ones that they put on the wall and frame, but guess what. The after effect is amazing. Ask a couple to hold hands for five minutes and make them kiss and the world changes. Literally.

Kids might squeal but deep down it gives them immense comfort and satisfaction.

Kids might squeal but deep down it gives them immense comfort and satisfaction.

We get so caught up in the world of making a life, and doing all the things we need to do that we forget about the things that mean a lot and make real memories. Not just photographic memories, I’m talking about impressions on our mind that will make us smile when we are 75.

It's the moments when you're not posing, that mean the most.

It’s the moment’s when you’re not posing, that mean the most.

Here’s some behind the scenes videos of a couple of recent photo shoots. I think they are best summed up by the gentleman who said to his wife “wow, that was a real feel good moment right there”. Yep, heart swollen.

You want me to what?

You want me to what?

Grab your loved one by the hand.

For further information about portraiture contact me at or on 0411 040 688. Limited spots left before Christmas.

Monday Motivation

Every morning you are

Photographing the essence of a kindred spirit


Meet Chantal

You never know when you’re going to meet a kindred spirit. For me, it was at school pick up. My son started prep last year, with a little girl named Sophie, and I have had the pleasure of getting to know her mother Chantal. Chantal is inspired to help people live their lives authentically, with passion and in a way that helps them glow inside out, from healthy thoughts and food.

Recently I was excited and honoured to take photographs for a magazine article that Chantal was writing, and Chantal chose one of my favourite places in Brisbane to be photographed- the Mount Coot-tha Botanical Gardens- Japanese garden. We started our shoot with a Japanese tea party and centred ourselves so that we could capture both the beauty of the location, and the relaxed and spiritual nature of Chantal. I hope you enjoy these photos as much as we did taking them- here are a selection of my favourites.


Chantal has kindly provided some delicious recipes which she has created- you can purchase the doTERRA oils through her website.

Chantal Roeloefs

Rosemary, Toasted Pepita and Spelt Breadsticks :

Makes about 60 sticks
– 5 Tblsp of pumpkin seeds (or pepitas)
– 4 Tblsp of olive oil
– 750 gm of spelt flour (and a little extra for kneeding the dough, shaping up the breadsticks)
– 2Tblsp of dried yeast
– 1 young tender stalk of rosemary leaves, very very finely chopped
– 5 drops of dōTERRA Rosemary Oil
– approximately 350ml of warm tepid water (enough to get the dough to the right texture)
– small dish of olive oil with some sea salt to brush the sticks before you put them in the oven.

Lets get cooking :
Dry fry the pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over a low to medium heat for about 2 minutes, tossing regularly, until lightly browned or toasted. Grind the seeds with a Tbsp of olive oil, into a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle (or grinder).
Sift flour into a bowl, add the seed paste, yeast, rosemary, rosemary oil, and then mix in enough water to form a soft but not too sticky dough. Knead vigorously on a well floured surface, then cut the dough into 30 pieces (I cut the ball of dough into 2 – then those 2 into 4 – then those four into 4 – then 4 again, and again…till they are the size to make a decent breadstick). Roll each piece of dough into a 15-20 cm long rope.

Lay the dough sticks on 2 large, oiled baking trays (or baking paper), spacing them slightly apart. Brush lightly with the remaining olive oil, and cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place for about 20 mins, or until they have risen a bit. Remove the tea towel or plastic wrap (and honestly most times i don’t bother about this rising process…. they work out great.)

Bake breadsticks in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees celcius, for 10 -15 minutes. The sticks should be a little golden brown at the edges.
Put a few breadsticks in an airtight container and use within 24 hours. Pack the rest into a freezer bag, or plastic container, and seal and freeze for up to 6 weeks. Take out a few at a time as required. They don’t take much time to thaw. Great for picnics and lunch boxes !

 Smashed Avocado with Lemon Oil :

1 x avocado
4 drops of dōTERRA lemon oil
celtic or himalayan salt
black pepper
(1 drop of dōTERRA black pepper oil – optional)
Halve the avocado, and spoon the flesh into a bowl, and smash it with a fork. Add 4 (or a few more if you want it very lemony) drops of dōTERRA lemon oil, a good pinch of salt, and a good grinding of pepper to the avocado and mix through.

Top some sour-dough toast (I used a spelt sour-dough) for a yummy breakfast or snack.

Other optional toppings on top of lemony avocado toast:
– Goats Cheese
– Tomato and finely sliced basil (try with dōTERRA basil oil)
– Soft Poached Egg with shaved/ grated parmesan

: Thai Noodle Dressing ::

3 x Tblsp Fish Sauce
3 x Tblsp fresh lime juice
150 ml coconut cream
2.5 Tblsp palm sugar – grated, or cut into really small pieces – ready to dissolve into dressing
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 Tblsp finely grated ginger
handful of mint leaves
handful of coriander leaves
1-2 drops of dōTERRA ginger oil
2 drops of dōTERRA lime oil
1 drop of dōTERRA lemongrass oil
(finely cut chilli – optional – to taste)

Put oil dressing ingredients in a bowl, and whisk until the palm sugar dissolves, and the ingredients are infused with each other.

Use this dressing over 150 grams of softened mung bean vermicelli noodles (softened in boiled water for about 5 minutes – then drained of water), and toss through about 12 cooked prawns.

If you enjoyed these recipes, subscribers to Chantal’s website receive a complimentary cook book!

If I can be of assistance with helping you update your profile picture for your professional or personal social media accounts, please don’t hesitate to contact me at




Transformational travel

Part 2: Transformational Travel- A kid’s perspective


It’s week two of the school holidays, so today’s blog about transformational travel is from a special friend of mine. The Kid President.



For more amazing kid president wisdom, go to

Heartfelt thanks


Photo by Michel Poknee of Chicoz Photography

Photo by Michel Poknee of Chicoz Photography

It takes a village… thank you to all my wonderful friends and family who came to and supported me for this exhibition. It was a mammoth exercise to shoot, collate, print, pontificate over, market and organise this exhibition.

I couldn’t have done it without the support of my kids and my mother and my sister, Liz, the wonderful support of photographic buddies Amanda and Russell, the Instagram community, the Chapel Hill S.S community.

To those who travelled from the coast, and those who I hadn’t seen since I lived in PNG or who I went to Primary School with!!

Thank you to my B.G.G.S school buddies- you are bloody legends- always supporting me. Truly a wonderful year group.

Thank you to each and everyone who spent time with me this weekend, and thank you to those who are ill and sent me messages from their bed.

Thank you to everyone who supported me from the sideline and especially those who valued me and my photography and purchased. You are truly special people and I am blessed to have you in my life xx

Photo by Michel Poknee of Chicoz Photography

Photo by Michel Poknee of Chicoz Photography

My new bespoke cushion-available for order by contacting me.  Image by Michele Pocknee of Chicoz Photography

My new bespoke cushion-available for order by contacting me. Image by Michele Pocknee of Chicoz Photography

The green side of the room- featuring my new bespoke cushion based on the ‘a touch of paradise’ photograph. All my photographs are now available as a cushion for $100 plus postage. Two weeks order time. Thanks again to Michele Pocknee of Chicoz Photography for this photo.


If you were unable to come to the exhibition, all the photographs are now available for sale at this link  Contact me if you are interested in international orders as I work directly with your local printer to ensure quality of reproduction and to eliminate costly international shipping charges! There are a few printed canvases available from the exhibition in the 36×24 $400 and 24 x 24 size ($250), please contact me to find out which ones these are.

Happy Snaps posted on social media. Thank you to everyone who entered the selfie competition. The winner is Tanja Prell, who wins the display canvas of  “Solitude”.  Tanja please email me to organise collection of your photographic canvas.

Daring and Disruptive


Image taken from Lisa Messenger’s Website- Photographer unknown:

It’s no secret that I love to read. I read to learn, to understand, and to be inspired. I also read to relax. It’s not something that I consciously do, it’s just a way of life for me. If you come to my house you will find piles of books beside my bed. My shelves are not full, because I pass my books on, hoping that others will be touched by them as I am. So I am excited to share a book with you that I found inspiring, both for my personal and professional life.

My review for ‘Daring and Disruptive’ by Lisa Messenger is now live on the Profitalist.  Please note that I do not have a physical copy of this book to share, as I read this as an e-book. If I had purchased a physical one, it would be covered in highlighter pen, as I always mark books with post it notes and highlight passages of prose that inspire me.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it from Profitalist. This has in no way influenced my review, and I am eager to read other books by Lisa as a result.