travel photography, photography, life

Big Island

For the first time since moving to Australia in 2013, I went home for Christmas these holidays just past. And by home, I mean somewhere I’ve never actually lived, to Vancouver where my sister and her family live.

On the way back to Melbourne, my partner Jason and I met up with my parents had a quick sojourn in Hawaii, in the Kailua-Kona area on the ‘Big Island.’ My parents love to avoid Canadian winter now that they’re both retired and have been to Hawaii several times, so they’re excellent tour guides and very knowledgeable about the tourist traps vs. the authentic Hawaiian experience. We only had 4 short days there, but I snapped heaps of photos and would like to share a few.

Directly across the road from where we were staying was a small rocky beach with excellent snorkelling. That was one thing that surprised me about the island of Hawaii - how rocky and desolate it is! When most people think of Hawaii, they think of Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu and the famous white sand beaches. Volcanoes, sure, but mostly beaches and palm trees and resorts. Driving around on the island of Hawaii you see fields and fields of crumbling, tumbling black and brown lava rock, and very little else.

On our second day, my parents took us for a drive down the coast to South Point, the southern most point of Hawaii and therefore the United States. We saw epic rocky coastlines, fishing operations, oddly placed pastures amongst the lava rock with grazing cattle, and a picturesque wind farm jutting out into the sea. There was also a strange field with satellite dishes and large white domes, reminiscent of the X-Files…

On the third day, on a local hot tip, we ventured to a snorkelling place known as Two Step because of the shelf of rocks that makes it relatively easy to get into the often rough waters. We snorkelled pretty much every day, but I don’t have a waterproof casing for my camera so unfortunately I can’t share the natural bounty we glimpsed underwater! Better to save some memories in the old brain anyhow…

After snorkelling at Two Step, we headed to the Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park, a sacred (kapu) site of ancient absolution rituals and a temple housing the bones of 23 chiefs (ali’i).

After that we headed to the famous St. Benedict Catholic Church, or ‘Painted Church’ as it’s more widely known. It’s a tiny little Gothic chapel on a hillside surrounded by an early 20th century cemetery, and the interior of the chapel is covered entirely in murals.

The next day my parents wanted to take us to see a lava tube, a naturally formed tunnel just chillin’ on the side of the highway. When molten lava flows, the top layer hardens and forms a crust, while the molten lava under its surface keeps flowing. In the case of this one, the lava flow had long since ceased (obviously) leaving a long hollow cave. In a few places the ceiling of the cave had collapsed, leaving ominous holes on the rock’s surface with a view into the tube below. It was VERY cool.

The rest of our time in Hawaii was spent lounging, strolling, eating, drinking, sampling Kona coffees and relaxing. It was so nice to spend some time with my parents and chill out before returning to the bustle of Australian summer with its weddings to photograph, its concerts and festivals and socialising.

Here are a few more random snaps from the trip. Thanks for reading!

photography, portrait photography, art

Mood Eyes

When Karin gets to photograph musicians, Karin is very happy :)

My latest music photo project has been for singer/songwriter/producer/teacher/friend James O'Brien, known as Darling James, and his forthcoming EP Mood Eyes. James and I spent a day in studio to create the above album artwork for the EP, as well as a couple of updated portraits of the fellow:

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Now we definitely didn't do it all ourselves. Set design was absolutely nailed by the very talented Zoe Rouse (who doubled as an assistant), and James' gravity defying hair was styled by Harriet O'Donnell. This was shot at Clik Collective in Kensington, my go-to studio these days.

Darling James and his four piece band are heading on an east coast tour in August, so if you like intelligent songwriting, high-key pop and synth-y goodness, check out the tour dates over on his Facebook page or give the band a listen on his Soundcloud if you're stuck on the west coast.

(Seriously though, go see this band if you can.)

event photography, non profit, photography

The Moth

If you've never heard of The Moth, allow me to introduce you to this wonderful organisation.

They are a global community dedicated to promoting the art of storytelling as a celebration of human experience and diversity. The Moth was founded in New York City in 1997, produces over 500 live events each year in 29 cities around the world, hosts workshops and education programs, publishes NYT Bestseller List collections of stories, and has its own Peabody Award winning radio show and podcast.

Each live Moth event starts with a theme, announced in advance. The Moth StorySLAMs are open-mic style events, where attendees can put their names into a hat in order to share their 5 minute, 100% true story related to the night's theme. After ten StorySLAMs in a city, winners from the StorySLAMs compete for the title of GrandSLAM Champion with a brand new story with a brand new theme. The SLAM events feel like a mixture of stand-up, theatre and documentary, and the stories told run the gamut from tragic to hilarious.

Last week, I had the absolute pleasure of photographing my second Melbourne GrandSLAM at the National Theatre in St. Kilda. The theme of the evening was 'When Worlds Collide,' hosted by comedian and TV personality Cal Wilson. I love event photography, especially when it's such a special event as this, so I really wanted to share some of my photographs from the evening.

Click to enlarge.

The storytellers on the night were (in order of appearance):

  1. Andy Cameron
  2. Matt McArthur
  3. May Jasper
  4. Lisa Carroll
  5. Wade Kelly
  6. Jacob Kaye
  7. Louise Newton-Keogh
  8. Tess Birch
  9. Janine Hilling
  10. Steven Bell

This year's GrandSLAM winner was Louise Newton-Keogh with a moving story from her childhood about her father's alcoholism and attempted suicide, and their worlds colliding 10 years later.

Special thanks to Merrilee McCoy for having me along, and for producing all of the great Moth events in Melbourne. The next Melbourne event is a StorySLAM open-mic on July 2nd at Howler. Check out the Facebook Event - the theme for this one is 'Age.' Come & tell your story!

photography, portrait photography, local business, fashion photography

Dive In!

I've written before about collaborations with and work I've done for my friend Leah's business The Aquarium Vintage & Costume. She's got a brick-and-mortar store on High Street in Northcote, Melbourne, as well as an Etsy Shop that I've been doing heaps of catalogue work for (and been meaning to write about... you can see some of that work here.) Recently we collaborated on a super fun project that I'm very excited to share. 

Leah approached me with some imagery ideas that she wanted to achieve for a website overhaul, involving mermaids, beach vibes and fantasy hair & makeup. In addition to being a vintage queen and fancy dress enthusiast (to put it lightly), Leah is also a FANTASTIC stylist. Her creativity, attention to detail and ability to effortlessly mix patterns, fabrics and accessories into one cohesive look is incredible to me.

Using pieces from her shop, her personal collection, and some wigs and accessories from Rose Chong Costumiers, Leah created 6 different looks that we photographed on a beach down in Sorrento, Victoria. 

Look #1: Mer-Queen

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Look #2: Sequinned Siren

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Look #3: Catch Of The Day

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Look #4: Goldfishie

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Look #5: Pretty Pirate

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Look #6: Rock Lobster

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Now I gotta give credit where credit is due. We had a fantastic team for this shoot, put together by the one and only Leah Brimblecombe, stylist, business owner of The Aquarium Vintage & Costume, and all-around babe.

Model: Tamzen Hayes

Makeup: Jordan Hallewell

Wig Styling: Rose Chong Costumiers

Assistants: Heidi Valkenberg & Lucy Scriven

Photography: Karin Locke 

wedding photography, photography, event photography

A January Wedding

Last month, I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of two friends of mine: Mark and Kelly. I don't necessarily consider myself to be a wedding photographer, but inevitably I end up doing a few here and there, usually for a friend or acquaintance. I approach weddings in the same way that I approach event photography, focussing on documenting rather than directing, often sneaking around largely unnoticed by guests. 

Mark and Kelly were actually featured in my last blog post, about my portrait series "FoWo Fam," which you can read about here. I've known them for about 3 years, and in that time we've become such good friends that they actually helped me move house in the week leading up to their wedding...

It was a simple, joyous, honest and heartfelt affair at the Children's Farm in Collingwood on a rainy Friday the 13th. Despite the weather, everything was perfect, and I did my best to capture the day in my own special way.