Growing up in a Japanese family, hugs were never part of my upbringing. Even now, I don’t often hug someone. For me, It’s not an automatic expression of affection. I’ve always found it interesting, growing up as Australian as the next bloke but missing this particular social norm. It’s amazing how much our upbringing affects our lives, whether we realise it or not.

These days, I’ll still tend to avoid hugs but I’m no longer awkward in a ‘hug situation’. I was looking though some of my photographs from back in 2006 and found a copy of this drawing that my friend Merryn drew.

4 years ago, I didn’t deal with hugs well at all!

Coffee, Castles & Relationships

I was going though some old photos and found these coffee photos. Working in the IT industry required a reasonable dose of coffee each day. I collected a few cups (washed of course!) and built this Coffee Castle. In a single year, I consumed about 520 cups of coffee to a value of around $2,200.

Now I have to admit, the coffee at Michel’s Patisserie isn’t the best coffee I’ve had, it just doesn’t have a much flavour as I like. A Coffee Guru opened up but I had already built a relationship with the staff at Michel’s Patisserie.

It’s made me realise how much we’re all influenced by relationships. If you have a good relationship with a business (or person), you’re generally more forgiving of any mishaps or short comings. You’re more likely to recommend and work with them.

Even now, 3 years later, every time I’m in Weston Creek, I’ll drop into Michel’s Patisserie to say hello and grab a coffee. There’s few staff that still work there from 3 years ago but those that do still remember me by name and I remember them too.

As internet based social media becomes bigger, I believe that personal relationships are going to become more and more important. In photography, I’ve found that it’s the primary difference between my competition and I. A landscape is a landscape and Fraser Island will always be Fraser Island.

If two photographers capture the same landscape, the difference between the two photographs is the story of the photograph. The story that each photographer will share.

For those of you who might be interested, these photos were taken on my my trusty 7.2 megapixel Sony DSC T10, back in 2007.