If you are considering choosing me to photograph one of the most intimate and memorable days of your life, gosh, thank you! You are thinking about letting me into your world, I want to let you into mine.
So I figured a good way to start, is to tell you where the name ‘River and Fern’ came from.
To do this I have to share a bit of a sad story, but bear with me, it has a happy ending!
I love nature. I love bodies of water, oceans, lakes and rivers. My photography practice (and basically, my life) revolves around being close to nature. In Perth, I have always lived close to the Swan River, and walked my dogs there. In 2012, on the way to a walk by the river, my beautiful little dog Lucy was hit by a car and killed. I got her when I was a young teenager, struggling with severe health problems. Lucy was my medicine. It was a devastating loss. My immense love for animals meant that without Lucy, I found myself searching for a rescue dog to adopt and I poured over pictures and stories for weeks. Then, through SAFE Broome (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) online, I finally found my new companion! Without even meeting this little girl, I followed my heart and adopted her, and they flew her over 2000 km straight into my arms. We’ve been inseparable ever since. I called her River. So through the tragic loss of my Lucy, I found my greatest joy, my best friend.
Now, Fern. I’m obsessed with ferns. My Dad was kind of obsessed with them too (we’re weird.) In 2014, I lost my Dad after a long battle with cancer. Since Dad passed away, I’ve been doing a lot of things to feel I’m connecting to him. One of these things is to grow plants, more specifically, ferns. I have so many in my house now! They are so freaking beautiful, lovely, peaceful, and my dad got just as stupidly excited about them as I do. After I started collecting plants, I discovered mum and dad used to spend time together when they were first married, buying plants with money they didn’t have. Especially ferns. Pretty special.
My Dad continues to inspire me every day, he embraced life, and I do too.
River and Fern. The stories may be sad, but from that sadness has come so much wonderfulness. I shared them because they are a big part of what makes me who I am: An animal-loving, nature-crazy, beauty-seeking, list-writing (I seriously love writing lists), creative, passionate human, that I hope you can connect with. If you can, we are going to make beautiful, meaningful photographs together.
Photo credits: Bianca Kate Photography, Chris Bann, Malini Parker, Mary Parker, Jamie Nicholson.
Illustration by Paige Tuzee.