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User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Nov 6, 2017 9:42 AM (UTC)
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Me (centre, hello yes I am a closet redhead and no I don't have a soul) to my left is one of the best second shooters I've ever seen. Give him another season of weddings and he will be giving us all a run for our money.
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To my right is my new studio manager. This is a photo of me not wanting to share. I NEVER want to share. Well, one of the things I have realised is that I can't do this alone. I wanted to, believe me. I'm the petulant toddler flapping her arms and demanding 'I do it myseeeelllllffff'. Mostly for reasons of ego. Look at the martyr running this entire business on her own. See how she quite literally burns for her work! Oh what strength and fortitude! Such a boss!
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Well, scuse my French and shit, but fuck that. I've realised this year that the thing that brings me the most joy is seeing the people around me realise how awesome and able and talented they really are. When you remove the ego, all this other great shit appears in its place. I've had to relinquish control, replace it with trust, and share all the things. But that's okay. We're building a thing here, and by some strange twist of fate the two dickbutts I am most genetically similar to are along for the ride. Today the studio took on its second full time employee, my sister Alex, and she's going to whip us all into line. Proud sister moment! #cantbelievethiswastenyearsagoalready #yesimprettyyoung #justababy
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Sep 25, 2017 11:20 AM (UTC)
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I handed the nice girl behind the desk my company registration. 'So, when did you go full time with the photography thing?' the business banker asked me today. 'Oh umm, I've been working for about five years but only went full time last April'. She looked over to Shaun 'but you don't work for yourself do you? Like, you work for a big company?' Shaun the Aussiest bloke I know shakes his head 'nah, yeah I'm an employee' Business banking lady smiled at me 'oh well that's a nice bit of security for you to make the jump to full time then!' Shaun pat my leg and said with a proud grin 'she didn't need it, though!' And with that, my heart exploded all over the capalaba branch of my bank. Pic of Shaun hiding in waves off Tallows post-elopement photo-ing gig on Friday because bank photos would be weird, right. #cloudcatchersincorporated
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Sep 20, 2017 12:33 PM (UTC)
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After our wedding, I pulled the succulents out of my bouquet and threw them in a blue plastic bucket with some dirt. Then we went overseas. Then my grandfather died. Then eventually life picked back up and the succulents stayed in their bucket down the side of the house. 1,222 days later I noticed they have started blooming these little yellow flowers. I have decided this is some sort of marriage-ometer and we are doing okay. Otherwise wedding flowers wouldn't start to bloom 1,222 days later, right? Tonight we were laughing at how we have ended up here and how we are a terrible mismatch for each other. When you have been with someone since their late teens it's kind of hard to reconcile that person with who they are now. There's no guarantees that your partner will always be the same person, I guess. Through all of our iterations, we just keep showing up for one another. Tomorrow we will be back in that place where we met 4,408 days ago. When etnies skate shoes and sweat bands were cool. When shaun had a mullet and I had red hair. When bundy rum out of the bottle seemed like a good idea. I'm glad so much has changed, actually. Especially the mullet thing.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Sep 14, 2017 9:55 AM (UTC)
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Half way through my lunch of a handful of rice crackers #cleaneating #fitspo I looked at the stationery I had pilfered from my desk job. 'Huh. I don't have a desk job no more.' I thought to myself. What a strange jolt of awareness it was. Imagine you're on a cruise ship, going 'wow this is a great cruise ship' and then you look around and nobody else is on the ship. Then you look down and realise your hand (the one not holding the rice crackers) is on the throttle... and you aren't wearing any pants. This is a weird metaphor for running a business. But anyway, there it is. Work has been all consuming my friends, and i will be at the helm of this ship, pantsless and covered in crumbs, for a few months yet. But my ship is pretty cool and I hope I'll see you when I make landfall in 2018. (Pic from the other night when I stayed up late and so did ze cat)
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Aug 28, 2017 12:41 PM (UTC)
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I sat on a milk crate in the sand this morning as my horse was expertly exercised by my sister. I clutched the large coffee she had picked up on her way for me. All I had to do was exist in that moment without tipping off the milk crate and face planting into the sand, and it was about all I could manage after hanging out with my old mates Diazepamela Anderson and Cameron Diaz...epam this past week. I've read The Art of Asking. I get it. It makes sense. But still, this year I have hit multiple junctions where I have had the option of stubbornly and miserably trudging on alone and half-arsing everything and then just bursting into flames or to have the incredibly vulnerable and uncomfortable conversations where I ask for help. I am as staunchly type A as they come, but I've realised that to become the Type A-iest Type A to ever Type A (in which I save the kids trapped in the well, defuse the bomb on the bus, have some semblance of a normal life and have a reasonably successful photography studio and THEN keep the cute guy who I married that one time who I don't see much), I need to humbly sit with my family and my friends and my peers and other professionals (namely, people good with numbers 'n' shit) who are better at their respective jobs than me and ask if they will be on my team. It's nauseating and I turn these conversations over in my head late at night and wonder what these other people see in it for them and what they think of me even daring to ask. Yet here we are. I'm trying, as always, to lean into this discomfort of asking. To loosen the reins a little, as it were, and to sometimes literally and figuratively hand them to another person so that I don't spontaneously combust from spinning my own wheels so goddamn hard. I'm learning that it's okay to lean into the people who are willing and able to lean back into me. Also, I am so motherfuckin' thankful for these people. Because otherwise I'd just be over here in a ball of flames, unable to defuse bombs on buses. Nobody wants that.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Jul 19, 2017 2:41 PM (UTC)
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I just survived 24 hours of no phone reception. I was not aware it was coming and so couldn't warn people that I would on some modern level cease to exist, albeit briefly. I rang shaun on my drive home and was greeted with 'oh good, you're alive!' I slipped into the contactless vortex yesterday uneasily, left with a compulsion to keep checking my phone even though I knew rationally that it wouldn't tell me a goddamn thing beyond the time. This was a lesson... two lessons. The first was that the impulse to just look at my phone is constant and more ridiculous than I realised and this is even with my conscious effort to Facebook less in the past few weeks. This morning I drank tea by the fire and watched the creek and sat with myself. I am alone a lot, but it turns out I find actually spending time alone uncomfortable. Hence the persistent phone checking. Second lesson was that the world still turns if I don't check my emails.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Jun 11, 2017 8:49 AM (UTC)
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Self portrait with Biggie Smalls, 2017. Alternative title: mo riding mo back problems #sendhelp
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Jun 8, 2017 10:40 AM (UTC)
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This week I did this crazy thing where I picked up my camera for no money. It has been a long time since I have done that, which is terrible. So please validate my free shooting with your crispy endorphin-inducing likes. I'm kidding (or am I? I am. ...Or am I?). But honestly it was good to shoot with no brief and no agenda and to drink coffee and shop for plants and talk business but not DO business. I'd like to do it more often. Please get in contact with me if you'd like to drink coffee, talk business and make portraits and I'll send you your booking contract and deposit invoice... wait. No. This is an unhealthy pattern to be in. What I'm saying is that taking photos is fun and I like it. Thank you @sparklehorse_ for being the kindest and directing yourself in front of my camera so I didn't have to do anything too strenuous. #liveauthentic #blessed #instagramoftheday #fantasticpostmyman #fascinatingone #hashtag #onemorehashtag
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Jun 7, 2017 11:01 AM (UTC)
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Half a bottle of champagne down, I noticed this guy. He sat on the rock in complete silence, oblivious to the ridiculous Instagram posing, the surfers fighting against the rip, the children running riot, the dogs barking, the 80s tunage coming from our picnic just behind him. No screens, no cameras, no noise. He didn't move a muscle. He didn't even release his gaze. Just a guy on a rock in the sunset. #meditationtotallyrocks 🤘
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: May 21, 2017 12:13 PM (UTC)
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Life has this pace to it I find unsettling at the moment. I thought that working as a photographer full time would afford me the time and space to breathe, think, create. To slow down. I'm still waiting for that to happen among these episodes of life that seem to always come dichotomously. I'm hoping that winter is the slow down my head and my heart need.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: May 11, 2017 12:02 PM (UTC)
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@sparklehorse_ storyteller on a journey. Storytelling as she journeys. So much authenticity. Not pictured: @eventstylistandco fangin' on a bug roll. #liveyourbestlife #workpowow
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: May 8, 2017 11:25 AM (UTC)
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The year was 2009. I had a 450D and had just brought myself the 85 1.8 after muuuuuch internet research and sitting in this very arena watching the light. All I knew was it was dark in the arena and I needed more light. Then, when I started shooting moving horses at f1.8, the riders went blurry. Why? More research. More light watching. Times of day, they changed things, too. Red was mine for a brief window in his long and happy life. He taught me much about independent seat, gave me washboard abs, and made me work really hard. He made me ask a lot of questions. He made me feel stupid. A lot of the time, actually. As I worked him in his twilight years I learnt to be okay with what the body would allow this very day - the fact that not every day he would feel so great. Sometimes he was stiff, or he'd hop a little. My own body is perhaps a little more geriatric than it should be, I spent the first few years riding him in a back brace. We were patient with each other but he didn't give me anything for free. There was a lot of work and understanding and learning each other's languages. Sometimes I just couldn't get him going and my coach Mel, his life long owner and trainer, would jump on and make him do all the things. And so I'd be back to sitting on the mounting block. Watching the light. Following Mel and Red with my 450D. Trying to make an image (with my limited photographic knowledge and ability) that showed what riding feels like when it's right. I draw a lot of parallels between dressage and photography. Today Red left this earth. But like all good teachers he will never truly leave. I'll feel him when my rides go right and I'll see him in that sparkly light. #lowres2009facebookphoto
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Apr 27, 2017 12:25 AM (UTC)
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Milo went off to live with my sister for a week. Maybe forever. If I can even stand it. I'm hoping as the week goes on I'll cry less for the little brown cat who has lived here for nine years and whose company I miss. Bluebell is pretty happy to be alone, and to know he's finally free of the constant stress he's been living with is the only thing making this whole exercise worthwhile. Milo has always been the dominant cat, so I feel like I don't really know Blue, even though he's been here just as long as his brother. I'm getting to know this little grey cat while he gets to know life as an only child. Home feels strange, empty, sad without our big boy.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Apr 19, 2017 1:13 PM (UTC)
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Last year, I turned 30. It didn't give me any sort of existential crisis to be 30. I do distinctly remember waking up in Hobart the day after to two things: first, the crushing anxiety of holy fuck I'm about to launch my own business and I have to tell a whole bunch of clients and I don't know if I can do this alone. Secondly, Prince had died and that was even more fucked than thing one. This year I'm heading into birthday town as a full time wedding photographer living the life marinating in my own filth editing and slowly losing my mind on weekdays before pulling myself together to be bright and sparkly and drop it like it's hot on dance floors everywhere on the weekend... with a side of that same old crushing anxiety over remembering all of the things. Let's say 31 is the new 18 because that was a time when I wore PJs full time just about, and also I worked really fucking hard to stand out, followed by a decade and a bit of working really hard to fit in. I'm also going to bring back my preferred clubbing outfit of the one shouldered top with flames on it plus flared jeans and studded belts because how did that go out of fashun. Anyways, photographically speaking I am less and less concerned about what everyone else is doing (quality, quantity, etc) in the pursuit of doing the things that I think look pretty cool (sometimes this thought that the thing is pretty cool is fleeting, but sometimes it's okay to blow your own socks off and then have to go hunt for them later). So onwards and upwards with a Bloody Mary in hand we must go. Grey hair count is still at zero. Will give you an update at 32. #instagramneedsparagraphs
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Apr 16, 2017 4:58 AM (UTC)
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Two years ago today, @bassamundi tells me! Things got pretty loose. I ended up dressed as he-man. There was fake blood. I think it was fake. Also, upon reviewing the hundreds of photos some months later I realised my fly was undone. All night. I've never been so hungover in my life. I nearly spewed on the train to Bondi. Most Sydney thing that's ever happened to me. I miss these boys. #spewin
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Mar 26, 2017 12:55 PM (UTC)
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Diazepamela Anderson came to visit today. She's a lot like me, but a little bit dopier. I was up with Ban when I started to get that rising panic. I can only compare it to the feeling you get when you're about to vomit. Not the nausea but the parasympathetic prickling in your cheeks, the heart about to explode out of your chest, the cold sweaty faintness. I get pins and needles down the backs of my legs. These things all happen before the burning nerve stuff takes hold. Luckily Diazepamela hides sheets of drugs all over the place. The minute I feel like I am in trouble, you can bet your sweet ass my homegurl has something stashed nearby to save me from impending doom. Sometimes this early intervention is enough. Sometimes, like today, it was not. I sat in the bath, I hit the SOS on my headspace app not once but three times. Really though, I was thrashing against this flare. I couldn't get my mind off the pain. I was resisting it and trying to shove it away, tensing against it, which made everything so much worse. My mind raced out of control with possible disastrous scenarios. I should know better. I know I should stand back and observe the big flares rolling through like a passing storm. Sometimes I can. Today was not one of those days.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Mar 24, 2017 9:45 PM (UTC)
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I have edited this post down to simply say: It's a wedding day. Here's last weeks' wedding #2 of 3. I don't often post my wedding work here but hello I am a wedding photographer so here we goooo.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Mar 21, 2017 12:10 PM (UTC)
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'You'll have to pick between ballet and horses one day soon' my riding instructor told me at 12. 'One makes your muscles long and the other will make them short'. I went home and cried that night because it was impossible to choose. Both appealed to my relentless perfectionist streak even though to the uninitiated both are boring as fuck to watch. At 14, en pointe, in French, trying to double pirouette and all I could think about was the dressage equivalent, also a double pirouette. I kicked off my pointe shoes for the last time. The discipline, the French exercises, the repetition, even the hair in a bun thing. It's all the same. But my dance partner farts loudly and his ears flop up and down as we dance. We dance to hip hop, mostly. #dressage #warmblood
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Mar 16, 2017 1:59 AM (UTC)
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There seemed to be this weird moment in the conversation when I said no. There was a pause, space in there for me to be soft and feminine and retract my No. But. No I will not budge. Not for you. If I was a dude, would there be that same reaction? Does it make me a royal bitch to say no? To stand up for my worth? Would people hardcore negotiate with a dude and then hang up and go 'wow, what a son of a bitch!' I wonder. I wonder. I've been wondering a lot about the energy I bring to my work, and to this earth, and how I'm as unladylike as they come. I make too many dick jokes. I swear too much. I like loud music of the non-pop variety. I drink beer. I wear boots and I ride horses and get mud under my fingernails. I wonder if it all effects how I see. How I relate. How people relate back to me. How I work. I wonder.
User Image alycekirkwood Posted: Mar 10, 2017 10:18 AM (UTC)
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How many sports are there where you can reasonably lean down to your partner, slap him on the neck and say 'good work, sausage!' #dressage #warmblood