Category: News
Now Shooting Wedding Photography

I’ve begun calling myself a Melbourne wedding Photographer. And I’ve created a website just for my wedding photography here in Melbourne.

You might read this and think…why? Why would anyone go from being a commercial advertising and fashion photographer to a wedding photographer? Some might see this as failure. That some how I was not good enough.
But I’ve shot everything from magazine covers to international campaigns with models selling hamburgers so it’s not true. Moreover, I’ve worked with some of the world’s leading brands and spent months at a time shooting commercials overseas (I still love this part of the job…I admit!).
But isn’t moving from fashion to weddings a backwards move from a career point of view?
Believe me this is exactly what I would have thought only a couple of years ago, and it is most certainly what some of my industry friends think right now. But I don’t agree! Here is why:
The truth is there are some wonderful images coming out of the wedding industry these days. Pictures that any commercial photographer would be proud to call their own. Images that they would place into their portfolio and shop around to advertising agency art directors and creative directors — wedding photography has come along way to be sure. Still this is not why I am moving my focus from photographing advertising campaigns to photographing weddings. I feel inspired by these pictures I see from some wedding photographers but that is not the reason…at least not the entire reason.
Here’s the thing. Wedding photography is important. It is important because each wedding marks the start of something new. Something meaningful. Something more than mere pictures that help sell a product.

It is about people. It is about raw emotion. It’s about connections beyond anything physical. And it is about something deeper than words can express.
And I believe this is true because I believe that in capturing these moments of raw connection between people we are given a rare glimpse beyond the mask people present to the world and into the essence of being. It is up to us to find these moments and capture them for others to see.

Weddings give a photographer a rare platform to do this. And in doing so we are bringing something of ourselves to other peoples lives. And we are there from the beginning. This is a big responsibility. It should be taken seriously. For that reason wedding photography is important and I shoot weddings now because this is what is important to me.

This new venture is super exciting. That is why I wanted to pass it along. I cannot wait to get into the thick of things and look forward to being busy.

I realise you do not know me well but, I’d love it if you could pass this on to a friend who might need a wedding photographer.

If you have any friends or you’re getting married soon my collections start at $2490

Thank you. I really appreciate it! 🙂

kind regards,

Clarke Scott


Finding Time to be Quiet
HHDL thanka

Screenshot from a video I made years back while in India doing my PhD.

Today I feel like writing. I woke this morning feeling good.

I sat in front of my computer. Turned to youtube trying to find inspiration with a Seth Godin interview someone tweeted. But in the end all I was left with was a headache and a feeling that I am not honest enough to have anyone take me serious. It’s a depression place to be in. I mean I believe in myself. I feel like I can make art that people are interested in seeing, hearing. reading.

Finding time to be quiet will always make me a better man.

Clarke


Into Post for Moments

Just wanted to update you on the progress of our little film, A Thousand Moments Later as the main chunk of principal photography is now complete, and I’m back at home beginning the larger task of sorting the footage and putting together an assembly cut from which I will begin to mold the piece into a proper movie—adding music, sound design, and of course, finessing the edit itself.

 

Here’s what has happened thus far:

 

We started in a little apartment owned by a friend to do the opening scenes when Gemma (Lily Hall) and Ryan (Chris Farrell) appear on screen together for the first time. This was early in the month and we were there for two days. We used black plastic to cover all the windows of the apartment so we could shoot during the day and have it appear as if night. Strangely, after a few hours inside the blackedout apartment it really did feel like night time.

 

After this we had a travel day to get to the coast and setup for the coming two weeks—food shopping, sort out who got the best rooms etc. We all lived together in one house. It was fun! Like a little family. And yes we also argued like a family at times. But the feeling of going through something together bonded the small group beautifully.

 

So this beach house was base camp and each day we’d travel to the location for that days shoot. This meant a lot of 4:00am starts. It was both exhausting and exhilarating as I would often not finish the day before 10:00pm or so.

 

Now I had always seen the film with lots of sun and clear skies but the weather was not kind to us. Not kind at all! But rather than fight this I rewrote sections of the film and used the weather to add to the drama.

 

Much of my background interests are clearly marked in the thematic scheme and voice-over of the film. But I am keenly interested in the film having a dark(-ish) edge as I believe this contrast between light and shade, between the theme and the images used to convey said theme will go someway to adding complexity to the story.

 

But when I say “dark” I do not mean negative or emotionally destructive. I simply mean “real.” Real life. Real people. That is the goal.

 

The late great Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, Cold Mountain) believed that cinema had a moral function. By moral function he simply meant a way of showing us how to be in the world in such a way as to make it a better place. I agree with him. Thus by putting “real” characters in pseudo-real circumstances and having them display their own potential as sentient beings is what I am interested in.

If you have not seen this bookmark it and make time, some time, to watch the master discuss his process — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ihVndJm_yM

 

So there are sections of the film that are very quiet and almost European arthouse in aesthetic. While other sections of the film are jump-cutty with lots of camera shake as I felt this reflected the inner emotions of the situation.

 

I hope my choices were correct because I cannot edit around these choices now! 🙂

 

So…below are a couple of screengrabs and behind the scenes pictures (if you follow me on instagram you may have seen a couple of these already).

 

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Into the Given Part 2 — Embracing Failure

As part of the pre-production process for my upcoming film, A Thousand Moments Later, I put together a document for the actors and crew to give them something to think over. The document contained some prose and some reference photos of key moments. What follows is part of that document.

Part 1 — What’s needed is an experience
Part 3 — A choice the premise

EMBRACING FAILURE!

For those aspiring to say something meaningful it can be easy to get caught in thoughts of whether a project will be understood. We carry expectations into our projects and as such it is easy to become disheartened when these expectations are not met. Or worse, we let these expectations guide us through the creative process. This way is death.
Setting to one-side expectations of any kind is the light even if this entails the possibility of failing to be fully understood by everyone.

Successful filmmakers—no, strike that—successful people, embrace failure. That is to say, they embrace the possibility of failure for such people are not put off by long and difficult journeys towards understanding. They know it is a journey of discovery for both filmmaker and audience, and they lean on this process to get them through. In fact they are often inspired by such challenges and the patience needed to follow an unknown path. They trust in each other and the ability to see through common everyday likes and dislikes offsetting short-term narrative satisfaction for longer-term meaningfulness. And they do this with steely persistence. Wong Kar Wai and Terry Malick being two filmmakers that embody this tradition.

Process. Patience. Trust. Persistence.

These four tenets cohere creative teams. Allowing them to remain on course as everything else around them turns to mud and the haters (both the inside and outside haters) come to play.

Losing You Way — Finding Perspective

But sometimes it happens—we get lost. Lost in thought. Lost in time. Lost in life. Lost in the creative process. And yet these times can be the catalyst for fresh insights into old truths.

It is important, therefore, to allow oneself the chance to be lost.


What is needed is an experience Part 1

As part of the pre-production process for the upcoming film, A Thousand Moments Later, I put together a document for the actors and crew to give them something to think over. The document contained some prose and some reference photos of key moments. What follows is part of that document. (sorry but I cannot use the pic here as they are copyrighted)

Part 2 — Embracing Failure
Part 3 — A choice the premise

WHAT IS NEEDED IS AN EXPERIENCE.

A pithy line of dialogue, a reveal engendering insight, all these cinematic devices are the tools of smarter men and women than I. Indeed cinematic storytelling, for the most part, is not easy. It is not easy because it is a sophisticated medium where hours can be spent frustrated by misunderstanding, or, as is more often the case, a sense of not fully understanding what the hell it is you are doing/watching. Frustrations notwithstanding it is an experience for which one is better off for having regardless of whether or not the filmmaker’s intention was missed or misunderstood.

With the aforementioned in mind, and as good evidence of my point, I want to address the notions of clarity and coherence in cinematic storytelling. Some might argue there is, in fact, a lack of clarity in the very enterprise of filmmaking for cinematic storytelling is inherently abstruse by its very nature—to some degree images are subjective. To make things worse, the ideas we are grappling with here are difficult. Yet is it their importance that renders them difficult, or is it their difficulty that makes them important? I think one could argue it is, in fact both, and for that very reason, it is important for those engaged in the articulation of these themes to make certain the answers are accessible to as many inquisitive minds as possible. If the filmmakers, through artiness, simply add to the abstruseness of their project, thus taking important questions and making them impenetrable, cinematic storytelling turns into the quibbling of vain men and women.

Having said all that, and by saying it in such a way as to highlight my very point, I want to ask the following question: Is misunderstanding the fault of the audience or the filmmaker? Does clarity ensure comprehension? Or is understanding “given” through the art of visual eloquence? This question goes to the heart of a pedagogical dilemma presented herein: how do we get knowledge — the cognitive effect of understanding—from page, to screen, to the heart via the head? Is it the duty of the writer to forge this understanding? Cleaving difficult ideas in plain English even at the risk of cogency. Or is it to the director we must turn in order to lift obfuscated prose from the page? What role do audiences have in this play of wits? These questions seem important to me for freedom from suffering is at stake here—if the opposite of freedom is ignorance.

If cinematic art is to be important to people it must be important for people. And for this to be the case a film must leave the viewer with a visceral experience not found elsewhere. It must speak to them in such a way as to seem important even when the narrative is difficult to grasp. Indeed, I would argue it must be somewhat difficult to grasp as this is what will inspire deeper thought. It will ignite interest to look beyond the ordinary.
This indeed is a difficult task but how could it be any other way?

I believe, therefore, that clarity and coherence is dependent on audience and filmmakers alike. Nevertheless, there is simply no way one could fully grasp the intended meaning upon first viewing because that is not how knowledge moves from one being to another.

This indeed is a difficult point but how could it be any other way?


Unconditional Surrender

I just had a memory of my teacher, Geshe Thubten Loden and the creation of art and expectations.

It was around the time when I first became involved in Buddhism. I’d been going to his dharma centre for only a short time. I had not yet moved in with him so it could have only been a short time after I first met him.

I’d made him these little bookmarks hand painted in a kind of mandala/aboriginal style dot painting. I was so proud of those little things and spent days creating them.

I was having my first “private audience” with Geshe-la and so I wanted to present him with something. This is what I did.

So on the day and when I finally got to sit him front of him I pulled out my gift and handed it to him with both hands as a sign of respect.

and without even looking at them he placed them onto the side table and began asking me questions not at all related to what I had just given him.

I was surprised. A little hurt. But I also knew he was showing me something (This kind of thing went on daily for the next 15 years).

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This morning I recalled this and in the following context: Anyone that creates stuff—either for a living or not—but anyone that presents their work (often hour and hours and hours of work) to other should do so without expectations.

Speaking to myself now: create your work without expectations. And without thought of what will come. For an expression that is pure, is the best gift the world can receive regardless of how it is indeed received.

I aim for this. But fail more often than not.

I have no idea what happened to the bookmarks. I suspect they were thrown in the rubbish-bin soon after I left. And this is ok. Indeed the prefect place for them. Not because they were rubbish but because I thought the opposite!

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How to be Amazing

What does it take to be amazing? It takes work. Lots of work. Talent too…of course but, without a willingness to do the work—whatever it takes…you will never be amazing.

 

But if you are willing to do  the work then you will have a chance to do a lot of good in the world.

 

To be amazing, however, is less about what you do and more about how you do it.

 

You must know your chosen craft deeply of course but to be amazing you need more than skills to deliver.

 

You need to touch people in a way that goes beyond the ordinary. It must touch them in a way that shifts their experience of themselves and the world.

 

And you really do need to do this. You really do need to be amazing! I want you to do it. I want you to be amazing. Indeed, the world needs you to be amazing.

 

So what does this kind of amazing look like? Simply put: Help others by inspiring them to become seekers too.

 

Your chosen field does not matter. Not at all. What matters is that whatever you are doing it effects others in a positive way. This is what will make you amazing.

 

And to do this you will need to do so with compassion and this is where the work is.

 

It’s not easy to act with compassion in the face of your own and others struggles but trying is enough at the start.

 

Compassion is the wish or aspiration that one or more beings be free from suffering and it’s causes.

 

Compassionate actions are those motivated by the desire to either directly elevate the suffering of others, to inspire others to do it for themselves, and  or simply giving people the tools to do so.

 

And importantly, no where in that definition does it mention the need to be soft or gentle. This is not an excuse to treat others as you wish but, don’t be a pussy either! Those that have lived with Tibetan monks will know this.

 

If rough and gruff is required. Use it!

 

Do whatever it is that you do with compassion, and people will be effected by you. I can guarantee it. Not everyone for sure. But that’s ok. Not everyone has to like what you do.

 

So, show up with that intention. Pursue your activities with single-mindedness to change the world. Do so with a compassionate heart and you will effect someone out there.

 

Even if it is only one person. This is a good thing.

 

But know it won’t be easy. It won’t be easy to be out there, trying to get things done even when motivated by compassion and have people believe in you and help you achieve.

 

Why? Because people are at their own level. They might not be open to hearing what you have to say. Or they might simply want to do things their own way.

 

It’s not that they are not good people but, it is that they are not the right people for your journey. No matter. Move on.

 

In the end the only thing you can control is your mind, your motivation, and your willingness to show up and do the work.

 

Practice doing whatever you do with this compassionate heart until you embody it. It is just who you are and before you even reach that goal you will already be amazing.

 

Go. Do. It!