Halfway to 50

Birthdays.. So my birthday in Australia was on Saturday, October 24th, however, in the states it was halfway into Sunday – strange! On Friday night myself and the girls grabbed a bottle of wine and had a couple glasses on the deck of our staff accommodation(aka mansion). It was Kristin, Amy and Lauren, who are the girls I am working and traveling with on “studio 4” which is one of the 15 traveling studios for Imagine That Photography across Australia. There was also Carly, who is Irish and been in Australia for 4 years now and she is our boss. She also loves in the house but permanently. Also there was her younger sister Mel and a coworker of ours, Sean, who brought his guitar and sang us some tunes. It was a nice chill evening so we could wake up and work the next day. On Saturday, we worked 830 – 4 and hit our weekly target of sittings which gets all four of us a solid bonus, happy birthday to me :)! I woke up this morning to find three separate cards from the girls, red velvet cupcakes, a birthday banner, some Aussie lollies (Aussies say lollies not candy) and some wine – what great friends I have found already! After work we had to “bump out” which we will do every other Saturday when our two week stint in a mall or city is over. So for example, this Monday we will bump into the Karratha mall for two weeks and bump out that Saturday, November 8th. From there we will drive a couple hours north to the next city and bump in there for two weeks. We have a company car and trailer which is where we house our studio – lights, props, clothes, backgrounds, etc. we move that in and out of kiosks in these malls. 

After we bumped out we stopped at the bottle-o for some cider and headed home to eat, shower and head to Surfers for a night out. We got a taxi to downtown Surfers Paradise, which is where I was originally staying when I arrived in Australia. Our first and only stop ended up being Boutique, which is a night club. It was ladies night so we had free champagne and casually made our way into VIP. It’s very similar to clubs at home really with songs I know and the party environment. It was definitely a solid ladies night out! We grabbed some kebabs after leaving around 2, despite the fact that they close at 5 or 6 in Surfers. That’s the old lady in me but also because we had to leave the house at 5 am to make our transportation and flights. We got home to the staff house, which is in Hope Island, around 3. This left time to quickly finish packing and a small nap before getting up and heading to our train. The train from Helensvale to Brisbane was a long one, about an hour and a half but made for a great nap. Our flight was delayed an hour which was scary given that we only has an hour and a half layover in Perth. The plane that we were suppose to take broke down so they had to organize a new one for us. The Quantas flight had an iPad with movies to watch on our five hour flight from the East Coast to the West Coast though and the girls and I had the four seats in the middle isle together. 

I watched Walk The Line on the ride over and loved it, as much of a movie buff as I am I’m surprised I hadn’t seen it before. I was able to sleep a little after that. When we landed we had about ten minutes to make our connecting flight to Karratha. Luckily, the gate was about twenty feet away so we hopped in the back of the boarding line and made it. I am writing this post from the plane actually. When we took off from Perth there was a great view of the coast with the turquoise colored waters and the skyscrapers lining the curving coastline. From here you could  

 easily mistake it for a city anywhere in the world but fifteen minutes into the flight it get vastly different. It’s orange. With no cities or towns to be seen but actually looks like… Outlines of trees drawn in pencil… Me photo doesn’t do it justice but I like that I have a window seat and can gander at it on our short flight to our new home for the next two weeks.

Our accommodation won’t be as nice I don’t think buy is a small cabin on a holiday resort, I think there are only two rooms so Kristin and I will likely share a room but they have a pool and there is a beach in Karratha too as it is along the coast. I should definitely take the time to say that I feel so incredibly grateful and blessed that this far things have been working out really well (even with my credit card getting used fraudulently :)). Our flights and transportation to the West Coast was entirely on the company so we didn’t spend a dime. When I first arrived I had it in my head that I didn’t know if I would get to the west coast in the time that I had here because there was so much more to do on the east coast. We have six weeks traveling up the coast before we get four weeks off. The girls and I are going to do the Great Barrier Reef, New Zealand for Christmas (Aussies call this Chrissy) and  

 Byron Bay for New Years in those four weeks and then request to head to a studio in southern Australia to see another part of the country. Hoping we can stay together after that but Amy may be headed off after Holiday and things happen :).

 The boss man at Imagine That, Brian, met with us Thursday morning to let us know the details about sending us out together to the West Coast and that Karratha won’t be nearly as busy as the Gold Coast has been on our training studio since it is a less populated mining town. The four of us are also new and they haven’t sent that many new people out together before as one team but they think we are all set and more than capable too. I do as well, we work really well together as a team. I wish I could tell you so much about all the people that have trained and worked with us because they are so great and positive. Every time we see one of them it’s smiles and laid back laughs. Some of it reminds me of work at home with the perks but people are just genuinely in a good mood. There’s Kirra Lee who may have a wicked poker face but she is so much fun and helpful and a hard worker. There’s Sammy who is the funniest, she brought a nerd gun into work one day when we were in the head quarters and was shooting it about – she is the tech gal and knows all the good stuff about lights, computers, etc. Brian and Dean are the boss men and I literally don’t think Dean is physically able to not smile. Chad is the mechanic man who helped show us how to hook and unhooked a trailer, he is originally from Canada and is a fun goof full of smiles too! I am grateful for this company and the laid back yet hardworking mentality.

 I am really enjoying the photography part too. It’s a challenge. I have 20-25 minutes to take 3 wides hits and 3 midshots on three backgrounds (white, brown and black) with two different props/ styling on each and two different poses on each prop….. Confusing? Totally. So it equates to 72 shots on a good day. Newborns, like a couple weeks or months old, are my favorite to shoot. Siblings are tough for sure because getting them both to smile  

 and old still is the worlds biggest challenge. That’s where Kristin comes in to help with smiles and posing – we do styling equally because that’s been tough for me. I am still improving and building my creativity skills. But they are coming along. 
The girls and I found out we have this Monday off and bump in Tuesday since we are traveling all day today and worked six days last week. There are some hiking and scenic things we want to do tomorrow which will be exciting. As for tonight, we are going to go grab some groceries at Woolys or Coles for a “family dinner” – something healthy :). 

  
Thank you all for the lovely birthday wishes xoxo 
Missing you all so much, if we have wifi at the house I am hoping for some more skyping time. Google wasn’t lying when they said wifi was super spotty in Australia. Hope you are enjoying the fall weather! Talk soon xx

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3 thoughts on “Halfway to 50

  1. Hey Sara-

    Belated B-day greetings!! Just think, when you are an ‘old lady’ in a rocking chair reminiscing about all of your past birthday celebrations, you can recall…. the one in London… and the one in Australia… and…??.. the one in….??… where ever you next celebrate the birthday… and the next… and the next…!!!!! It will make for some great tales for your kids/grandkids/friends/colleagues..

    Sounds like you are having a ball! Good for you! Enjoy every minute!
    love, Uncle Bob

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