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Food photography for Pink Pitaya, Gold Coast

The photography business has gotten off to a great start for 2016 – a good sign for business in the Gold Coast/Brisbane region.
I’ve been shooting a lot of food lately, hence the silence on this blog! You can read about these shoots on my independent food photography site here.
One recent shoot was for Pink Pitaya, a Gold Coast company supplying pitaya (AKA: dragonfruit) to cafes, restaurants and health food stores in the region.

Preview of the shoot can be seen below…

A healthy pitaya (dragonfruit) smoothie sitting on a black slate tabletop, with raw dragonfruit in the background, out of focus. Photographed by Gold Coast Food Photographer, Paul Williams.A healthy pitaya (dragonfruit) smoothie sitting on a white timber tabletop, with a long silver spoon in the background, out of focus. Photographed by Gold Coast Food Photographer, Paul Williams.

A behind-the-scenes of the lighting setup on a food photography shoot by Gold Coast Food Photographer, Paul Williams. A healthy pitaya (dragonfruit) smoothie can be seen on the tabletop.

Behind the scenes…

A Big Blue Sky outlook for the Gold Coast.

Symposium participants at the Big Blue Sky event 2015 at Q1 on the Gold Coast

Last week I attended the inaugural Big Blue Sky event at Q1 on the Gold Coast.
This was an opportunity that came about after a meeting with my client, Karen, from Gold Coast Food & Wine Tours, who introduced me to her business mentor, Susan. Susan and I gelled almost immediately and got chatting about her past work writing about social justice issues and the UN’s Communications Department. To be honest, this shared passion of ours hijacked the meeting and the photography aspect was almost lost sight of! I later shared some of my past writing on social justice and foreign policy matters and voila, was invited to participate in this most amazing of events.

Big Blue Sky is an initiative that aims to change the way that business is done on the Gold Coast. More broadly, the ‘moonshot’ essence of it, is to change the entire paradigm of the Gold Coast from that of a somewhat tacky, unrealised city in the true sense of the word, to a progressive, community-led destination for innovative businesses, that will enrich the existing community in many more ways than just professionally. Vibrant, engaged communities self perpetuate positivity and flourish. Academics aside, this is the true heart of the Big Blue Sky initiative.

Crucially, this is a new model for sustainable and ethically sound business. It’s a grass-roots movement of critical thinkers and entrepreneurs who have decided to be proactive in creating the change that we’ve been wanting to see and have run out of patience in waiting for what we believe to be inevitable. Big Blue Sky is a community-led, inclusive enterprise that began with a day of keynote presentations from some of the most dynamic and sought-after change-makers in the world. I’ll be honest and say that being involved fundamentally changed how I see the Gold Coast’s future and how I approach business. I’m still digesting everything that was discussed and being intellectually out-gunned in such dramatic fashion, this process may take a while!!!

So now the true work begins.
We workshopped ideas broken into 3 ‘Moonshots’, which will be developed over the coming year, in preparation for major progress reports at the next event in November 2016, as well as infrastructure being put into place during this time. You can read more about these Moonshot specifics here.
This work is voluntary and I encourage anyone who has professional skills to offer, to get in touch with the team or myself for further information, where you will be brought up to speed and supported in any way that we can help us all reach these lofty goals that will benefit everyone on the Gold Coast. Mayor Tom Tate has leant his support to Big Blue Sky after being exposed to the calibre of ideas that the day produced and it’s great to see a member of the establishment recognise that communities need to be democratic, organic and less hierarchical. This will only speed implementation of the positive change.

I look forward to sharing more here over the coming year, as plans for our new community-led paradigm develop here on the Gold Coast. Good times!   🙂


A Gold Coast Aboriginal didgeridoo player opens the inaugural Big Blue Sky event on the Gold Coast, November 5th, 2015

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Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate (2nd from right) with Big Blue Sky Co-founder Lou McGregor, British entrepreneur Matt Desmier and Co-founder Christine McDougall.

Miss Saigon comes to the Gold Coast!


Kim & Chris - the lead characters in 'Miss Saigon' - The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre production

Last week I was asked to photograph the hero shot and program imagery for the new theatre production at The Arts Centre Gold Coast.

‘Miss Saigon’ is set during the fall of Vietnam at the end of their civil war, and addresses some of the many issues that arose from the USA’s illegal interventional policies, both at the time of the conflict and during the decades since.

The Arts Centre have created a beautiful range of stage sets which were great to get a chance to see and incorporate into the shots. Their talented cast were great to shoot and the crew very helpful in assisting with the theatre lighting to complement my studio lights. My kind of shoot!

‘Miss Saigon’ opened this week and tickets to this great show can be purchased here.   🙂


Cast member of 'Miss Saigon' - The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre production Cast members from 'Miss Saigon' - The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre production Some of the lead cast of 'Miss Saigon' - The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre production Pimp character from 'Miss Saigon' - The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre productionThe cast of 'Miss Saigon' on the 'Dreamland' stage set at The Arts Centre Gold Coast's new musical theatre production


Album cover shoot for Lauren Lane (Gold Coast)

Gold Coast musician, Lauren Lane, By Photographer Paul Williams



Two weeks ago I shot the new album cover for Lauren Lane – a young Gold Coast country/folk singer-songwriter.
Her upcoming album title is ‘In my head’, so I wanted the shot to reflect an intimacy that is fitting for this very personal collection of songs. By posing Lauren with an old suitcase of keepsakes and unspecified treasures, this shot becomes a nice visual representation of the emotions and experiences that Lauren’s expressing lyrically on the album.

Lauren was really supportive of the art direction and was fantastic to work with. She took direction well and managed some challenging poses like a pro! I must also thank Kristen Wyborn for doing such a great job with the hair & makeup. Kristen airbrushed Lauren’s makeup for the shoot, in order to avoid using oil-based makeup with a shine to it and the results held up great for the duration of the shoot, which was excellent.

This album cover shot was a very ambitious 5 light setup that needed to be nailed and balanced throughout. From the window light cast across the back wall (all done in-studio), to controlling the spill from the kicker flash placed in the suitcase, this is a shot that I’m really proud of. Most importantly, the client is beside herself with the shots, so check out Lauren’s music HERE and support a young Australian’s music once ‘In my head’ is released!

Gold Coast musician, Lauren Lane, By Photographer Paul Williams

Lifestyle photography for Seachange Developments, Gold Coast

Lifestyle photography by Paul Williams photography, Gold Coast, Australia

Last week I shot some lifestyle photography for Seachange Developments on the Gold Coast.

This very fun photo shoot involved shooting out the back of a golf cart, as 10 other carts followed, whilst winding our way through one of Australia’s most impressive over 50’s lifestyle communities. Seachange Emerald Lakes really made me think that retirement can be one long laugh, as the residents cruised around the buggy-friendly community to choose an f&b venue for the night, before cruising home with a few wines under the belt and no transport issues! We got some nice vehicle shots and people shots showcasing this lifestyle on the ‘Bridge of the rising sun’, and the surrounding streets that are lined by an 18 hole golf course.

You can read more about Seachange Emerald Lakes here.
Until the next!   🙂

Lifestyle photography by Paul Williams photography, Gold Coast, Australia

Album cover photography for the Gold Coast’s ‘Green Room Project’

Recently I was asked to photograph the album cover for The Green Room Project – the Gold Coast’s live monthly cabaret talk show.

The brief for the photography was to allow the personality of each group member to be shown, so a wider shot with a range of interesting poses allowed this, while also allowing the models to interact with each other. The striped marquee on the shoot location leant a theatrical feel to the photos, with some great wardrobe and props completing the styling!

Host, Matt Ward created The Green Room project as a novel way of showcasing emerging and undiscovered music talent, combined with mentoring by industry professionals. Recorded at Bignote Productions, six of Queensland’s most talented musical theatre and cabaret performers who have been featured on the show came together for the compilation album and were accompanied by musical director, Brad Rush, on a baby grand piano.

If you’re in the Gold Coast / Brisbane region, you can check out more details of this great concept here, as either an audience member or musician!


Brisbane barbershop lifestyle photography by Paul Williams

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The photography side of the business for me was amazingly busy for the last quarter of 2014 – and this blog very much fell by the wayside!
One of the best projects that I worked on over the manic year-end was the brand identity that I designed for a hip new barber shop south of Brisbane, named ‘The Harbour Barber‘.

I designed the logo and full identity for the client, from brand strategy through to all of their print collateral and web design. A subsequent photo shoot followed (naturally!), the results of which are featured here and have featured in 4 or 5 national magazines and newspaper supplements since.

I intended this shoot to be art directed in such a way that was a nod to the nostalgic brand essence that I’d created. Hence, the semi-sepia colour treatment gives a real sense of the old school customer service, while respecting that this is a contemporary business. I also love the confident ‘tude of the models which finds balance in the right amount of approachability. If you’re near the Cleveland area of South Brisbane, why not check out The Harbour Barber? It’s an excellent barbershop, very funky interior decoration and they’ll serve you a free beer with your haircut! Get in!  🙂

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Interior photo shoot, south of Brisbane


This week I photographed interiors for ABC Construction – a client in Yatala, south of Brisbane.
ABC produce steel kit homes and have an old school business model which, somewhat wonderfully, involves excluding banksters from any of their dealings, in order to reduce liability all round.

I shot both interiors and exteriors for them, photographing the entire show home.
Because the home was still in their enormous warehouse awaiting delivery , I also retouched the warehouse view through each window, with rural property views using Photoshop.

Both the photo shoot and image retouching turned out really well, the client was impressed and I got to hit the famous Yatala Pie Shop on the way home, so everybody was happy!