'Nagammal' film by Daniel Christiansz screened Internationally

In 2017 I interviewed Nagammal for what would later become the short film which is embedded below. The Leprosy Mission have altered the course of Nagammal’s life - but I had better not spoil the video. This film has been screened internationally. Make sure you give it a watch!

Daniel Christiansz reviewing footage with Nagammal in her home in India

Daniel Christiansz reviewing footage with Nagammal in her home in India

Nagammal at the hospital in India where she had received treatment for her leprosy

Nagammal at the hospital in India where she had received treatment for her leprosy

NGO Video Storytelling: Emiliana's story

Recently I travelled to Timor Leste with The Leprosy Mission Australia to capture Emiliana's story. You can watch her story below and let me know what you think in the comments.

Here are some technical details:

Camera body:

Sony A7II
Slow motion: 60p conformed to 25p (with 180 degree shutter)
AVCHD 17/22 mbps
Picture Profile 1


Zeiss 16-35 f4
Zeiss 55 f1.8
Zeiss 85 f1.8
Nikkor Micro 55 (Close-ups of the coins and sewing machine)


Zhiyun Crane
Fotga Shoulder Rig with local rock as a counterweight - double bagged :D
Manfrotto Befree tripod


Sennheiser Shotgun microphone ME66/K6
Zoom H4N
Audio post production by Jono Callow

Special thanks to James, Andrew, Bel, Sheldon, Pam and Paul from The Leprosy Mission Australia and Nona from The Leprosy Mission Timor-Leste.

Filmed on the island of Atauro in Timor-Leste

Virtual Tour: TRP Truck & Trailer Parts Store

Recently I took a day trip to Adelaide to capture a 360 virtual tour of TRP's new shop. The 360 virtual tour is helping attract new customers and build the brand's profile.

In this virtual tour, the client decided to use audio voiceovers to guide the viewer through the shop and explain key brand messages. Virtual tours allow the user to get a feel of the location, while the audio creates another messaging touch-point. 

My colleagues at Mayte (also Melbourne based) who handled this project also built an app for TRP. You can check that out here.


NGO Video Storytelling: Shiveram and Samana are Defeating Leprosy

Recently I travelled to Nepal. While I was there I met a girl named Samana, as well as her dad, Shiveram. I had the opportunity to hear their stories and ask questions about how Leprosy has affected them. Having heard their stories and discussed with the The Leprosy Mission Australia team, we knew that this story needed to reach a wider audience than just us.

We filmed this story across three days while in Hetauda, Nepal. I was inspired by the change that is taking place in Shiveram and Samana's communities, and I hope you are too!


The video is currently being featured in The Leprosy Mission Australia's Annual Appeal. To donate please click here.

Tracey & Tom's Family Farm Wedding in Gembrook

Tracey & Tom had their wedding on a family farm in Gembrook, Victoria. It was the first wedding I've shot where neither the bride or the groom were wearing shoes.

Star Wars emerged a few times during the day. The first was the Star Wars theme song as Tracey walked down the aisle. The next was the wedding cake which featured Lego Star Wars characters.

For the camera geeks out there, this was my second wedding using the Sony A7 + Sony A7II set-up. I used four lenses: the Ziess Batis 85 f1.8, Ziess 55 f1.8, Sony 28 FE f2.0, and an adapted Micro-NIKKOR 55mm f3.5.

Which lenses did I use the most in this shoot?

As you can see, I find myself continuously reaching for the 85 f1.8. I also own the Sony 28-70 and the Ziess 16-35 f4. Since my new 28mm lens arrived, I'm finding myself reaching for the zooms less and less. There is something really special about shallow DOF at wide angle that only wide primes can acheive.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do! These are really some of my favourites.

Empowering Leprosy Survivors in Timor-Leste

Late last year, The Leprosy Mission Australia sent me on a resource trip to Timor-Leste to capture photos, stories, videos, and virtual tours. During the trip I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with people affected by leprosy. There is a lot of stigma surrounding this disease, so part of my challenge was to represent those affected in a respectful manner that counters the 'untouchable leper' narrative.

I was inspired to learn how TLMA has worked to empower those affected by leprosy so that they have control and autonomy over their futures. Some people affected with the disease receive chicks which they can sell, while others are trained to make gifts. This is development without dependency.

If you're inspired to take action, please consider donating towards the work of The Leprosy Mission Australia.

The Leprosy Mission Virtual Tours at Surrender 2017

This year at Surrender Conference, The Leprosy Mission Australia will be showcasing 360 virtual tours which I created in Nepal. I'm looking forward to sharing the full tour shortly and will post a link to it when it is public. Until then, check out the preview on my Facebook page:

UPDATE: The full tour is now live! Check it out below:

Here are a couple of snaps from the conference stand:

Case Study: Annual Reports Don't Need To Be Boring

This is the third year in a row that I have designed International Needs Australia's Annual Report. Each year brings with it the challenge of making the design communicate better than the previous year. For the 2016 Annual Report, INA had a new logo and brand guidelines to work with which was really fun.

I've played around with UV printing before but this is my first die-cut job. It was really one of those 'less-is-more moments' which allowed us to highlight the new logo and even use the flip-side of the front cover to continue telling the brand story.

I also really enjoyed transitioning this report from a more traditional portrait design to a more modern landscape design. We changed the paper stock from glossy to recycled matte to reflect the organisation's sustainability values. My philosophy with this publication is that regardless of the amount of design investment, it is still going to take a lot of time and effort from multiple people to produce. If this time and effort is already going into the content, it seems wise to capitalize on it and turn it into a piece of communications that people will actually want to read and that the organisation is proud of.

NGO's have high standards they need to reach when it comes to communications and reporting. I've spent enough time reading the ACFID Code Of Conduct to know that the bar is set high. So when I design reports like these, or make content for other similar organisations, from the outset I am focused on ensuring brand communication complies with sector standards.

An NGO Accreditation Organisational Review of International Needs Australia for DFAT included the following comments about the Annual Report which I designed:

'The Annual Report presents as the ‘gold standard’ with highly relevant, positive images, complete with attribution to the project, photographer, and image identifier. Significant quality assurance processes were demonstrated, with multiple drafts and editorial commentary.'

One thing which really helps with reports such as these are professionally captured photos. A photo that looks nice on your phone or tablet often doesn't cut it for print as the dots per inch is usually much higher in a print job like this. Professional photos also give more options for cutting out images and using them in more abstract contexts. Whether you hire me or someone else, I highly recommend getting a professional in to take photos for your print publications.

I also suggest thinking ahead for publications such as these and ensuring that your organisation is continually maintaining a high quality image library with appropriate metadata tags (I've set clients up in Daminion and Flickr, but MerlinOne also looks like a great option - the system really depends on your needs and budget). Make sure your designer can access the best quality photos quickly so that you aren't paying them to sort through folders and folders of irrelevant and low quality images.

Here are some photos of the 2016 Annual Report below:

As mentioned, I also designed the 2015 Annual Report, but as I wasn't blogging when I designed that report I thought I would show the photos of it here. The front cover photo was taken on my trip to the Philippines and it is one of my favourites!

Campbells Croft Reserve Group Photo Session

In September I ran a group photo session. It's a new set-up for me but seems to be working really well so far. It is free to register and then $25 per photo. My standard charge (as of September 2016) for local photo sessions is $350, so this can often work out a little more economical. For those who are a bit less comfortable around a camera, it also means that my attention is spread out - so you have more of a breather between shots.

The next session is November 16 at Schwerkolt Cottage in Mitcham. Check out the Facebook event here and register on Eventbrite here.

Celesta & Nikolay's Suprise Backyard Wedding

You know that feeling when you're organising an engagement party but then decide that it would be a pretty awesome wedding instead? Well, Celesta & Nikolay decided just that. And it was totally worth it. Under a marquee in their backyard (on grand final day!) Celesta & Nikolay committed to each other for life. They were heaps of fun to photograph!

Some of the guests left messages on Facebook for Celesta and Nikolay

Melissa & Andrews's Traditional Melbourne Wedding

Held at the Church Of The Immaculate Conception in Hawthorn, Melissa & Andrew's wedding ceremony was a beautiful traditional service in a heritage listed church. On that note, the main section of the church was actually built back in 1867, but the tower wasn't added until 1891. Capturing weddings in Gothic bluestone buildings like this church is always a joy. Don't underestimate the many photographic opportunities there are just outside this church - it really is a photographer's dream.

After the ceremony we headed to St Kilda Pier where we made the most of the beach, pier, and garden area that St Kilda has to offer. If you have time, you can even break for a few minutes and grab a drink at Little Blue at the very end of the pier. Catani Gardens which is walking distance away from the pier (yes, even in a wedding dress) is perfect for group shots and photos of larger bridal parties. The best time for photographs at Catani Gardens is 'Golden Hour', about an hour before sunset. If you have limited time for photos this is really the spot to go to. We had the added benefit of a weekday wedding so it wasn't too packed with tourists.

Finally we headed to the Manhattan Hotel for a casual cocktail reception. The staff here were great to work with. Melissa & Andrew's reception was in Elliotts room which is a nightclub style lounge (a little bit different from the ceremony!). If you are having your reception in this particular room I suggest organizing all your group photos before the reception as this room is extremely dark and has no light/white surfaces. Nevertheless, with a little bit of flash and LED lights on the roof, it makes for some great candid portrait shots.

I personally think Melissa & Andrew had one of the coolest cakes. I may have sampled a macaroon while photographing their wedding rings :).

Reza & Mitra's Melbourne Wedding

These two are a stunning couple. I think they look fabulous. They are both on the quiet side. It's those inevitable smiles when they whisper to each other that show how deeply connected they are. Their wedding was at Dandenong Baptist Church. After the ceremony we headed to the steps of Parliament House for some portrait photos of the bride and groom

And so it turns out, it is a small world after all. Couldn't agree more with Robyn that Mitra was looking stunning!

Congratulations Reza & Mitra!

Gemma & Sam Portrait Session at Campbell's Croft Reserve

I've known Gemma & Sam for a little while, so we thought we would try something different. Here is their story:

Love is a lot of fun, but it’s also challenging. It comes with its own way of life that brings new joys & new challenges. It offers you a different perspective on the world. You get to know what grace really means. Grace is love beyond your own capabilities, a love which extends beyond yourself.
You’re not always going to feel good, and it isn’t about that. Love is acceptance of the good and the bad in both yourself and the other person.
A loving relationship is that transforming space where you can grow into who you are. You are always moving towards more of who you are because of the grace of the other person.
There’s a misconception that the marriage relationship is the fulfillment of the end goal. The purpose for this love is so that it spills over into the community. The safety of love is a beautiful space, but if that’s all it is, it becomes insular.
Part of the responsibility of experiencing love is to share it with others. Love has no end, it’s a constantly flowing river. It can be easy to find the beauty in love, but the real challenge is to go beyond the internal and seek out opportunities to offer love to other people in other places.’
There is more complexity to romantic love than to ‘agape’ love. You have to open up and push past your own comfort zones. Romantic love is a kind of exclusive love that you don’t need to share with everyone.
The call of being a Christian is to offer agape to everyone. A relationship should be the breeding ground to give this love to others.
You need to accept that you can’t be everything the other person needs
The romantic relationship is a home to come back to. It fills you with energy and life that can be shared in both safe and unsafe places.

Here are some comments on the photos

Captured at one of my favorite locations - Campbell's Croft Reserve in Vermont.

Chris & Sudha's Melbourne Wedding

When you're wedding day arrives, you hope for a day that was as beautiful as Chris & Sudha's wedding. At the Linley Estate Chapel, natural light comes flowing in from all directions through the large windows of the building. The gardens just outside made for a picturesque and convenient location for portrait photos before the bride and groom joined the reception (also part of the same property - they really have it all!).

There's always one joker in the family. You can probably spot him in the photos. The groom's dad kept everybody entertained with his humor.

Congratulations to Chris & Sudha!

Felicity & Luke's Summer Melbourne Wedding

I love weddings that are more about the couple than the wedding itself. Felicity & Luke are pretty laid back and love having a great time. So when it came to their wedding day nothing could really go wrong.

Linea Hairdressers in Croydon was a very good choice of locations for some candid shots. There's something about brickwork which always gets me. Then we headed off to a house nearby for some photos of the dress, shoes, and bridesmaids.

The ceremony was held at Maroondah Federation Estate. The large windows, white walls, and polished floorboards make for a very bright environment which is great for photographs. The courtyard outside also offers some great options for posed portraits and plenty of space for group photos.

The bridal party then traveled down the road to one of my all time favourite places, Schwerkolt Cottage in Mitcham. I like this place so much I even made a virtual tour of it. I shoot at this place heaps - it really is a hidden gem.

As sunset approached we traveled to Madeline's Tea House in Jells Park. This place is particularly photogenic for lunch-time functions and evening functions in summer. In winter you would lose some of the 'pop' that the colourful backdrop of Jells Lake provides. The reception had excellent music, great food, and all-round good vibes. My highlight was definitely the sister-in-law's speech!

Now I'd like to think of myself as relatively intellectual (I've spent a few too many years at uni), but someone will have to educate me on what the word 'dapper' means!

Slightly awkward but not to worry...

And another nice comment, just to make me feel a little fuzzy

And of course some praise for the mother of the groom!

How were the bridesmaids looking?

Congratulations to Felicty & Luke!