This Is Life

National Puppy Day! by Amy Lobb

Scrolling through social media this morning, I realised today is "National Puppy Day." My dogs are one of the biggest parts of my life, so I thought I'd share a couple of my favourite pictures of them from the past year.

Riley is my old girl... 11.5 years and I've had her since she was only 7 weeks old.
Kaia I've had for only a year and she's estimated to now be 2 years old.

Why Photography? by Amy Lobb

I'm sure this is a question every photographer is asked, "why did you choose photography?" Heck, I'm sure everyone in any profession is asked why they went down the path to the career they have chosen. I'm not sure I've ever been able to give a good, solid, or coherent answer as to why I chose photography. I've always known it makes me happy. Even when I didn't realise it could be a career, taking photos made me happy. I also know I love producing images that have a nostalgic feel to them. I want to capture memories and moments, photos to look at and reflect upon, and hopefully even make you smile.

For the past 10-15 years, this time of year becomes quite reflective for me. I spend a lot of time sitting, listening to music (most likely City and Colour), and thinking. I think about what was happening in my life at this moment in 1999; I think about what was happening in my life during November and December in 2005; I think about the people I lost during those two years; I think about our friends and family that also lost those people; I think back to earlier times and the memories I still have; I wonder how life might have been different "if"; I think about missed times and times that will never be; and I hold onto any physical memories I have to help me remember. These physical memories include dried flowers, long-ago written notes and cards, perfume bottles, teddy bears, key chains, video snippets, and photographs.

Three days ago, my newest niece was born. At the hospital I snapped a couple photos on my phone. There are 2 photos that include baby, big sister, and mumma. They're a bit fuzzy (on account of trying to take them really quick in poor lighting), but when I look back on them, they capture a memory that I will want to hold on to for years.

This birth, and the anniversary of my mother's death, has made me realise why I love to take photos for other people. I want to provide them with memories that they can hold onto for years: a face or a place that takes them back. Back to wherever they want to go. Perhaps to a time they had forgot about. Perhaps to a place that is yet to be discovered. I just hope my viewers feel something and go to another place in their minds when they look at my photos. I hope I can provide you with a piece/memory/snippet to cherish and look back on fondly.

For today, that's the reason why I chose photography.

Goodbye Melbourne by Amy Lobb

The only touristy photo of me in Melbourne. Taken by my friend Jo Maxwell, while visiting in 2013.

The only touristy photo of me in Melbourne. Taken by my friend Jo Maxwell, while visiting in 2013.

It's official, I no longer live in Australia. Boxes have been packed and shipped, bags have been stuffed and flown, bank accounts have been closed, goodbyes have been said, and a few tears have been shed.

I moved to Melbourne on February 6, 2009. Somehow the year before, I decided I should apply to do a photography degree... on the other side of the world from my home. The whole application and acceptance process to get into university only took about a month and a half. I shocked a lot of friends and family when I told them I was moving to Australia in order to study photography. I had never even been to Australia before! I had a lot of Aussie friends after living in Whistler, and when I was in high school I thought it would be cool to do an exchange to Aus. The whole thing made sense in my head.

I was extremely fortunate when I arrived that I had a friend that picked me up (with an Aussie care package - everything consumed minus the Vegemite), helped me open my bank account, get a working phone number, and drove me to my new apartment. The housemates I had found online were better than I could have ever asked for. By chance, I found a couple to live with - one of them had just graduated from the photography program I was beginning, and the other was a year ahead of me in it. These two were my family and incredibly helpful and supportive.

Fast forward 3 years... photography degree complete and finished with a high distinction. Migration agents are telling me that I'll have to leave the country because my new career is not in need in Australia. I'm stubborn so I found a visa I could stay on. That gave me almost another 2.5 years in Melbourne. During that time, I assisted various photographers and learned valuable skills to bring to my own practice. I slowly built up my own client list and got to the point where I could work as a photographer instead of as an assistant.

After 2 separate trips home in 2013, I decided I would move home and set up shop in Vancouver the following year. Famous last words. A month after I made this decision, I met the guy that captured my heart. He is a Kiwi boy (New Zealander for those that don't know) that has built his career in the Melbourne coffee scene. I swapped onto a working holiday visa so I could stay in Melbourne and live with him.

At the start of 2015, Calum (the previously mentioned captor of my heart) suggested we move to Canada at the end of the year. Well... it's the end of 2015. We're moving to Canada. Technically, I've already moved back to Canada, but I had to head back to Melbourne to wrap up the last of life there. That's what I did over the past 2 weeks, and now I'm with Calum's family in Auckland until December.

I know there are things that I'll miss about Melbourne, but I'm actually quite happy to leave and have new experiences. I'll miss my favourite food and coffee spots; I'll miss my friends; I'll miss the CHEAP flight deals offered in Australia; I'll miss the surf trips down the coast; and I'll miss my creative team/partners in crime. I appreciate all the opportunities I had while living in Australia. I'm a traveller at heart - I know I'll see my friends again, but I'm a small town girl that misses the mountains, forests, ocean, and lifestyle of west coast Canada, so I'm headed back to where my heart is happy. Peace out Australia, I'm not sure when I'll see you again, but I'm sure it will be someday.