Leisl photographing

Everyone is an artist, they just have to find their medium’, my very wise art teacher Ms West would say. Those words still stick with me. She was a pivotal path on my journey.

When I was 12 years old, my younger brother Deke was born. I was a shy little girl. Well, my Mum had an enlightened idea to help with that. She handed me a camera. Deke became my Muse and very willing model. Photography became a tool that helped me overcome my shyness. I loved taking photos of people and people seemed ever ready to have their photo taken, so it was easy to approach people. All my pocket money was spent on photography! Developing film and purchasing photography books (so not much has changed). Ms West, even got my school to build a darkroom because I was so passionate about it.

During my school years, I was lucky enough to do work experience at Pacific Publications. The then publishers of New Idea, TV week, etc. I spent 2 weeks shadowing photographers around and loved every minute of it. I went to a few locations, got to be part of a few studio shoots and spent the rest of the time in the darkroom.

A slight curve on the road

My photography portfolio landed me an apprenticeship with a leading graphics company. I specialised in Indesign, Illustrator and my favourite…photoshop. I worked as a high end retoucher. We worked under special colour corrected lights and I dreamt of colours. Part of my job was to make sure printed advertising was exactly the same colour as the product. I stayed in advertising working for many well known brands. Myer, David Jones, Kmart, Target, Coles, Woolworths, LOréal, Maybelline, Garnier, Henry Bucks, Officeworks, Beacon Lighting, Crown Casino. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few. I worked on packaging, point of sale, catalogues, brochures and bill boards.

Encore Beginnings

In 2004, I started Encore Studio. It was initially a Graphics Design company with the tagline, ‘A repeat performance you’ll ask for time and again’. Get it? Encore? 🙂

2013, in comes my now husband, Corey. What I first noticed about him, was his, ehem…camera. A Canon DSLR! He was speaking at a conference and we got chatting. We chatted practically every day (I think we missed one) since then.

Funnily, it was one month before I met Corey, that I realised photography was my true passion. People wanted to hire me as a photographer, and I knew my gear at that time, didn’t cut it. I decided against the Europe trip I was planning. Instead, I put that money towards a professional camera and lens. I decided it was time to pursue my true passion.

Corey was an avid videographer and had just started filming weddings when we met. I was lucky enough to come to weddings with him. Here, I learnt the flow of the day and how different photographers worked.

Photographing a bride and groom

I said ‘yes’.

2014, I was offered a full time Graphics job, which I decided to take. Encore Studio was no longer needed. We decided to rebrand Encore Studio for weddings. Every free moment I had, I studied wedding photography (and I still do). I continued to attend some wedding with Corey. In 2015, I officially started shooting weddings. Oh, yeah..It was a big year. Corey also proposed!

2016, Corey and I were married. It’s amazing being able to share my passion with my husband and we love doing weddings together. Over time, we’ve developed code words to get a message quickly to the other whilst we work. We bounce ideas off each other and really work as a team. What I really love about photography are the memories.

Soon after my Grandma passed away, we went to her house. My Uncle told me to take what I want. Whatever we didn’t take was getting thrown away. The first thing I rescued what my Mum & Dad’s and Uncle & Aunty’s wedding albums. I just hope that the memories I capture of our couple become their most treasured possessions too.

My new Muse

Oh and I do have a new Muse. In 2018, our precious baby was born. You can imagine, Corey and my phones are full of photos and videos of our precious little cherub!

So, Ms West. It looks like I found my medium…Well really, we always knew what it was, didn’t we?

Bride and groom's first dance