The majestic entrance to a Balinese family compound.
Folk here invest a lot of time and effort into the upkeep of their family homes.
These are large communal spaces where generations old and young all live together in their own quarters.
It sounds like a nice way to live, there seems to be a lot of pressure on people in the West to leave home, get their own place and live a comparably individualistic life.
But surely the immediate support of your extended family could be worthwhile to both your and their general well being (as long as they don’t do your head in too much). Studies have shown that those with a strong sense of community and social support tend to live the longest and happiest lives.
But this sense of community which the Balinese pride their culture on is something that feels relatively absent back home and the more you travel, the more you notice.
We could all probably learn a little from this aspect of the Balinese way of life.
Anyway this week I’ll be heading home for Christmas and really looking forward to seeing all family and friends!
We were on our way to Muntigunung when we stopped to take in the amazing view of the sun rising above the volcano and into the valleys of Kintamani.
For me this photo kind of epitomises the magic of Bali, magic that I became all too well familiar with during my first two visits to the island.
However I’ve just wrapped up my third year visiting Bali and to be real for a second, although I’ve had a great time once again, I feel like I haven’t really done the beauty of the island justice this time round.
Most of my time has been spent working on commercial and client jobs, with many days spent indoors editing instead of exploring, capturing what I hope are powerful images and inspiring stories.
I’m really thankful to have worked with some great clients which will be an asset to the portfolio - a little bit of client work is ultimately necessary to make the nomadic lifestyle work at the moment.
But at the same time I’ve learned a lot about the fine balance you need to strike between passion and profession, in order to live a truly fulfilling life.
I’m not trying to sound like Gary Vaynerchuk or some shit...I have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m just some guy with a camera - But for me, I think I’ve seen how important it is to constantly remind yourself of the core reasons you start following a passion in the first place.
Through this, you can try not to get distracted by too many opportunities which are not really beneficial.
Focus on what’s essential to the dream, double down on this passion and watch everything else fall into place - Marko Randelovic (Some guy chatting shit on instagram who you shouldn’t listen to)
If you want to listen to someone who actually knows what they are going on about then check out a book called “Essentialism”, it really helped bring all this home. It’s by Greg McKeown and it’s definitely worth a read.
So if you are actually still reading this then I’m sorry for rambling on, feel free to DM me and tell me shut up. I know you are really just here for pretty pictures 😆
Anyway, it’s time to go back to basics...
Been a blast so far being back in Bali! Trying to keep a healthy balance of shooting with plenty of exercise and afternoon strolls on the beach like here.
Even thought I’d take up surfing and did my first lesson - be rude not to as this is my third year visiting Canggu. Was reminded pretty quickly that I’m not the best swimmer and ended up hobbling home a broken man after standing on a sea urchin 😵
Luckily had @sophielouisepollard
on hand to help me excavate the spikes out my foot with a blunt safety pin which was a bit of an ordeal but hey I’m alive bro #cowabunga
and ready to hit the waves again tomorrow dude 😎...or not!
Other escapades such as bicycling ended up with my bike breaking far away from our villa and then getting dog shit all over the seat stranded in Seminyak. Eventful day that.
Think I might just get into kite flying like these Balinese kids here, lots of respect for them. It’s pretty common to see many of the younguns all over the island choosing the simple pleasures in life like this over been glued to a screen.
But then again, if I did it I’d probably just end up accidentally strangling myself with the string... Anyway never a dull moment, onwards and upwards. Happy friday 🍻🌚🤠
Pai is a stunning place, was a pleasure to live here for 3 months and see sunsets like this on the regs!
While I was there I made a short film about an old Muay Thai fighter striving to keep the traditional art alive.
Check it out, link in bio!
*Link in bio* Finally finished editing Fighter! The story of an Old Muay Thai boxer struggling to preserve his traditional marital art in an increasingly commercialised Thailand. Give it a watch if you like, would love to know what you guys think!
Looking forward to getting back to Thailand in November, putting the camera down and letting this guy put me through my paces 🥊🥋 Thanks to @matadornetwork
for their support on the film. Pic credit goes to @bykietle
thanks so much man. You can watch the film by clicking the link in my bio, cheers!
Looking forward to early Balinese mornings like this very soon, it’s just over a month till I head back to Asia!
There are over 580 different languages used in Indonesia, Bahasa is now the predominant language but there is still a concerted effort to keep the ancient Balinese language alive.
It would be interesting to find out more about the Balinese language, those working hard to keep it alive and hopefully I’ll learn a few more words on what will be my third stay on the island of the gods.
Stars are aligning for another trip out to Asia this summer. All roads lead back to Bali but thinking of shooting in Vietnam and maybe Sri Lanka before. Let me know if you have any travel tips or ideas of what to shoot if you’ve ever been to these places!
If you’ve ever enjoyed any of my photos and films it would mean a lot if you could take just 2 seconds to click the link in my bio, scroll down and click on 5 stars to vote for Kayan in the Woman’s Voices Now festival.
It would be great to help spread the message of the Kayan people far and wide to help challenge the mainstream media’s simplistic portrayal of this complex situation.
I’d also really appreciate the support, this would really help me to keep on telling stories and giving a voice to people all over the world.
Shipbuilding ends for the day on Gili Meno.
Shortly after this sunset we organised a boat trip over to explore Gili Air at night.
About 8 local guys came along for the ride in their friend’s glass bottom boat, we all had a laugh and checked out the plankton glowing in the dark.
It was pretty similar to the psychedelic bar covered in fluorescent paint that we found after trekking round the island to find “where it was going off” - We’re so crazy.
After a few drinks we found ourselves at the only place serving food at that time.
We didn’t really know what was going on but ate lots of crisps and drank out of some pissed up Indonesian guys flask of god knows what...but it tasted like piss.
After that we called it a night and found our fellow sailors, it was time to get some sleep before we headed to Gili Trawangan for a civilised evening 🤔
Penglipuran village is a really interesting place, a perfect preserve of Balinese culture and architecture which works as a community based tourism site.
Residents make a residual income by inviting visitors to look around their homes, eat food with them or buy gifts.
Zlata Randelovic (1937-2018) My grandma will be dearly missed ❤️ This photo of her preparing some pumpkins was taken a few months ago while visiting Serbia. She loved to grow all kinds of vegetables in her garden and we loved to eat them just as much. Even though we lived 1000s of miles apart I will always remember the moments I got to spend with my kind grandma. Rest In Peace Baba x
After a good night sleep at Mu Tae’s house it was nice to wake up to a sunny morning in Huay Pu Keng.
Time really slows down in the village, this is probably due to the fact there’s no phone signal, WiFi and just solar panel electricity.
It’s pretty amazing how quickly you feel connected to nature and everyone around you without the distraction of technology.
Although technology has its merits and I wouldn’t have been able to share stories from the village without it, I think it’s essential to take regular breaks away in nature without phones and laptops.
The rate that technology has developed is so fast that we aren’t biologically able to evolve in time to meet the demands of an ever increasing technologically focused society.
The hunter gatherer lays within and yearns to leave the electrically charged concrete jungle behind in search of adventure in the wild...
Well that escalated quickly, was only gonna post a Instagram picture and here I am chatting shit about god knows what. Think I’ve been reading too much Sapiens!
Anyway, I made a film about the Kayan people while I was staying in this village. Links in my bio if you fancy checking it out!
*Link in bio*
This is Mu Tae, last summer I spent some time getting to know her in the Kayan village of Huay Pu Keng, northern Thailand.
The media and tourists alike have had much to say about the ethics of visiting the Kayan people or so called ‘long-neck’ villages of Thailand.
Tourists often encourage others to boycott visiting , claiming that the Kayan people are forced to live there as tourist attractions.
However upon visiting Huay Pu Keng and speaking with the Mu Tae it became clear that the Kayan people have their own strong opinions on the issue.
Ultimately should they not be the ones to decide if people visit them or not?
Take a journey into Huay Pu Keng and listen to what Mu Tae has to say in my new film, Kayan: Beyond The Rings - link in bio.
Wishing everyone a happy new year and all the best for 2018.
Trips to Kintamani and Batur were some of the highlights of the year, really looking forward to getting back out to Asia in the new year.
For anyone interested in my short films, I’m releasing a new one in a few days from the hills of northern Thailand. Keep your eyes peeled!
Freezing weather in England has me thinking about being back in tropical climates like this, where everything seems to be a lot more fun.
Where a visit to a waterfall is simple to arrange or enjoying a beautiful sunset on the beach free of charge reminds you how ace life is.
Oh well I'm back here for the next few months so best get my gloves on, stick a mince pie in my big gob and stop moaning. It's nearly Christmas oi oiiiiiii ❄️☃️🌨🎅🏻
Was funny to learn that in the late 1800s a British Lord removed and shipped several artifacts from the acropolis to the British Museum in London where they are still on display today, much to the dismay of the Greeks. ...That old colonial spirit will never die! #rulebritannia
The ancient Acropolis was something that I'd wanted to see for years, it was great to finally visit.
Just had a great time in Greece at the Amorgos film festival where my film 'Garuda' unexpectedly won 1st prize in the documentary category.
I was really surprised as there were so many great films shown, so I feel very lucky to have won.
We had an amazing stay at the @aegialis_hotel_spa
who arranged trips for us everyday to see and experience what the island had to offer.
On our last day we visited the impressive 1000 year old monastery of Hozoviotissa which as you can see was built into the cliffs of Amorgos.
No idea how they managed to construct something like this all those years ago!
This is one of a few shots I got of the amazing night sky on Gili Meno. For one shot somebody had the idea for the 6 of us to stand in the frame, put our arms around each other and look up.
As you can imagine it was the cheesiest thing ever and we looked like a bunch of mormons swaying gently singing "Kumbaya my lord". It may be the quietest of the Gili islands but we had a really good time at the @aviavillaresort