Well, last weekend saw the annual table tennis competition (as above) take place in the studios here in downtown Lilyfield.

You may well ask what is this all about?  Well, I’ll tell you….it’s the continuation of a 9 or may be 10 year tradition of staging a friendly, amicable and totally absurd afternoon of table tennis.  It started at the home of a good friend of mine, Ann Maree (aka Pat McGroyn) however, due to extenuating circumstances (nothing to do with any illegal practises) the event had to be moved to a new location.  I put my hand up for an alternative venue and at the same time, managed to score a 2nd hand table from the antique dealer next door (who closed down shortly after the sale of the table).  God was on our side.  The event was not in danger of folding in fact it was about to take on even greater momentum and notoriety.

For example here’s the poster we formulated to promote this years competition.  It features Pat (the Hostesse with the Mostesse and official adjudicator – her word is final) in her competition outfit as the face of TTTT (Table Tennis Today Tonight Tomorrow).  It is customary that a general theme is devised for each year.  This years theme was “Stuff Peace – Give War a Chance”.  The theme is accompanied by a dress code which was…..”Dress for Conflict”!



Basically the afternoon is designed as “friends coming together for a bit of fun and a chance to be silly together”.  The table tennis competition acts as an engaging focal point for this main activity.  Some even have a serious competitive approach to their game (can you believe it?), others are happy just to be part of the fun and don’t mind at all if they are knocked out in the early rounds.


Once the games have been won or lost, the winners emerge.  A medal ceremony takes place, including awards for “the worst dressed”, “The most disliked”, “the most incorrect” and so on……..  My friend Jonathan Turner (Rome based art curator), each year at the end of the proceedings, formulates an hysterical “Court Report”.  The Court Report is an paradocial, inside view of what happened during the afternoon with some deep insights into the motivations of some of the players.  A must read!


Here are a few further shots from the day…..all in all, a lot of fun!


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The Week in Review

In an attempt to keep this blog posting going on a regular basis, I am writing a week in review entry (with pics).

This week saw Benefit at it again with a huge launch of a new charity concept that the company is implementing for the month of May.  Benefit are donating a sizeable portion of the profit from each customer at their “Brow Bars” across the country.  This money is going to a selected group of charities involved with women’s affairs namely, “Look Good Feel Better”, “Sister2Sister” and “Fitted for Work”.  Benefit is hoping to raise at least $200,000.

Benefit is, as you may know, is an exciting cosmetic company started in San Francisco by 2 ex-model twins, Jean and Jane Ford.  They both continue in the business which has now become part of the LVMH group of companies.  What is particular about Benefit, apart from the fact that they are one of the leading cosmetic companies in this country, is that they rely solely on social media for all their promotion and advertising, choosing not to enlist the more traditional promotional approaches in the cosmetic industry such as print media.


I covered the event and here are a couple of images.  I particularly enjoyed snapping the reactions of the girls at the “Kissing Booth”.  You can rely on Benefit to inject a bit of fun into every activity and the 2 boys dishing out “pecs on the cheek” to anyone who was willing to donate a small amount into the jar beforehand, was no exception.


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(I assume the boys got paid for doing that….not a bad job really, hey?)



It was great to see Bob (aka Mark Trevorrow) out and about again this week.  He dropped in for a quick photoshoot for his next appearance which will be in Melbourne in a couple of weeks at the famous “Spiegeltent”.  Bob will be “taking charge” as Master of Ceremonies with an obvious “Big Top” approach.  Bob is a consummate professional and has no trouble in adopting the “most natural” of poses our “candid” portraits, as you can see from some of the examples below…………always a hoot!


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Jonathan Turner’s – Mardi Gras!

My dear friend Jonathan Turner dropped me an e-mail following the recent Mardi Gras event in Sydney.

I just had to publish his synopsis of events, as follows:


10 Mardi Gras Highlights from Jonathan Turner

Sadly, the 37th Mardi Gras is over, and all the recovery parties have now been mopped-up and vacuumed. Each year, there are numerous festive signifiers, demonstrating how all of Sydney really does become Mardi Gras in early March. Here are some events we witnessed in 2015.

1. Bunnings warehouse in Alexandria jam-packed with power-tool poofs and handyman dykes buying hardware for expert float construction.

2. Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” played at high-volume over the loudspeakers of Woolworth’s in Double Bay on Friday afternoon.

3. Mimi the “mermaid” having an aquatic-themed birthday party at Sea Breeze fish’n’chip shop in Darling Street, Rozelle, complete with bubble machines, deejay Garry Tee playing deep oceanic music, and various guests dressed as lobsters, pirates, flotsam, “jelly-fish bitches” (the obligatory Maltese Joseph, Nigel, Ivan plus Paolo), Bondi life-savers, Helen as the Bermuda Triangle, Cameron as the Muff Diver, and some idiot as a blue-ringed octopus.

4.  Policemen in couples cruising/patrolling the dance-floor at the Harbour Party, then a huge police RBT line-up breath-testing outbound motorists on post-Mardi Gras Monday morning at 10 o’clock on Victoria Road just after the Anzac Bridge (10 a.m. on Monday! – who says the police aren’t targeting the “gays”?).

5. The Olympic trampolinist Ji Wallace “surfing” his chauffeur-driven convertible up Oxford Street ahead of all the out-and-proud sports royalty, footballers, Australian star athletes and their allies, who participated in the Parade.

6. The hedonistic parade-goers including futuristic gladiators, the legendary Ron Muncaster, a Kim Jong-Un impersonator on a jizzing golden tank battling against an army of zombies, a lone, perfect  hibiscus flower, plus the hilarious and mega-munted group of equestrian girls on their hobbie-horses, frequently galloping in the totally wrong direction.

7. Kylie standing on her tip-toes at the side of the dance-floor, taking snaps of her little sister Dannii performing on stage at the RHI.

8. Mardi Gras saving the best for last: the closing sets at the Mardi Gras Party by deejay Mike Kelly from Cologne at the Hordern Pavilion, the impeccably pink-haired Kate Monroe playing at the outdoor arena at dawn and the slick, tight and fluoro-glow finale performance at the RHI by Betty Who.

9. All the bears at North Bondi, cordoning off a special nursery-rhyme area on the sand with white picket fences and pink flamingos, then kissing like Goldilocks much to the amazement of the families from Lakemba and Linfield.

10. Overheard at Woof Recovery at Arq: “Those guys are so old that they dance the YMCA in lower-case.”


How to turn adorable David’s fish and chip shop in Rozelle into an instant Mardi Gras venue.

1. Install bubble machines, Mimi the mermaid, lifesavers and a blue-ringed octopus as catch of the day.

2. Dueling Mardi Gras deejays Garry Tee (Kuala Lumpur) and Mike Kelly (Cologne) on the decks.

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Mimi celebrating her 40th at David’s Fish & Chip Shop (SeaBreeze, Darling St, Rozelle) with Life Savers and Jonathan Turner as “The Octopussy”

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Gary T (Malaysia) and Mike Kelly (Cologne, Germany) on the tables at Mimi’s 40th


I just happened to be in front of the Seymour Centre on the weekend.  Matthew Mitcham was in the vicinity and couldn’t help get up to a few antics in front of his rather large poster promoting his season of Sydney Shows (See below)


By the way…..go and see one of the shows this week!  It’s a very entertaining evening and Matt is brilliant.  Who better to play Matthew Mitcham in a cabaret show than Matthew Mitcham!


Twists and Turns

Seymour Centre, Cleveland St

Thursday 26, Friday 27 and Saturday 28 February, 2015

Book Now ph 02 9351 7940



“It’s a cover up!”


Who says Matt doesn’t love himself…LOL




Circa AD Shoot

This week saw us down in Rushcutters Bay for a jewellery shoot with Circa AD Jewellery.  It was a beautiful summer morning and we were shooting in a fab apartment over looking the water and boats.  What more could you want.  The shoot went well and we got the shot.


However, the fantastic stylist on the day, Mr Jonathan Turner, couldn’t help get into a few of the frames as he meticulously rearranged the set, ready for the shot.  Of course, I didn’t hesitate to keep pushing that shutter button as you can see in the shots below.  We worked with Cheryl Stevns who was our consummate model, together with Claudia Yamyang, the delightful and brilliant make-up artist.



There’s Jonathan……..



There’s Jonathan again….what’s he reading?



There’s Jonathan…….again!



and there’s Jonathan again………..




I often shoot for Slide, a cabaret performance space that does amazing food, in the throbbing heart of Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.  They create amazing performances under the direction of the talented musician and artistic director, Jeremy Brennan.


This recent shoot in my studio in Rozelle was, however, rudely interrupted by a four legged intruder.  The seasoned talent took this intrusion totally in their stride without missing a beat.  I’ve included some shots as proof, below.


Check out one of the nights at Slide (41 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, ph 02 8915 1899)


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The intruder in question with a “Fat Man”



The “Fat Man” being re-positioned and tidied by the trusty stylist, Jonathan Turner.


Last week I shot for the magazine, Mindfood.  This was my second shoot with these guys.  I enjoyed the day totally.  It was a great team with hair by Dan McLennan, make-up by Andrea Black, and the fashion editor was Emma Wood.


We shot in the studio of Neil Frazer (just referred to as Frazer).  He’s a talented NZ born, Australian artist who shows with Martin Browne Fine Art, one of Australia’s leading contemporary commercial galleries.  It was so cool to be surrounded by all his art work and just to be in that kind of creative space.


I shot Frazer in his studio and I also shot a colleague, Viola Raikhel-Bolot.  Viola, although not an artist, is a top level art advisor.  We had a lot of fun and worked hard for most of the day on creating some interesting and engaging images for the magazine.


I’m looking forward to the winter edition when it comes out on the shelves.  Buy a copy!



Here’s me in the middle of shooting Viola for one of the shots……..



Fabulous creative space, as you can see.  The man looking very heroic is Darren Lee, Mindfood Artistic Director.



The very beautiful Viola in make-up with Andrea Black



Frazer and I having a laugh in between takes………….


I photograph regularly for a very dynamic cosmetic company called “Benefit”.  Some of you may know them.  They are unique among the big brand cosmetic companies in that they do no standard advertising (ie print, billboards, television etc).  All their marketing is social media based and they happen to be one of the leading brands in Myers.  I find this very interesting.  Their reach is directly to the general public via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc, and to the major bloggers.


It kind of reminds me that I should perhaps be paying more attention to the importance of social media, by blogging and posting stuff more diligently than I do.  But you know how it is…..all that takes time and when you’re busy shooting and preparing images, the last thing your thinking about is how you must post an up-date on the web.  LOL


Here’s some photos of a couple of examples of the initiatives they come up with in order to get the word out.  I was asked to photograph 2 unusual Yoga events.  One took place at the level of the look-out at Centre Point Tower and the other took place in front of the huge fish tank, sharks swimming by, at the Aquarium.  Who would of thought….yoga with the sharks….although they do yoga at Bondi Beach and that’s pretty close to a few sharks.


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And now for the Aquarium…………


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Follow them on Instagram if you think you’d like to participate in Benefits next round of “wild” things to do!



Vivid New Colour!

This week at “John McRae Photography” will see the continuation of filming of “Dr Martin”, directed by Wahn Sulli.

The studio space will be converted into the home and studio of one of the characters in the film, a young photographer…apparently.

In preparation of the set we see Dot, a trusty artist who has a studio space in another part of the building, working on painting the walls.  (pictured below



The colours are quite a dramatic change from the stark white we are all used to.   I used the opportunity to snap a few images of a group of my friends on the weekend.  We had gathered in the studio to play a round of cards.  Knowing that this colour scheme will be quite temporary I wanted to document the experience and asked them to pose.  Here is Lachlan, Jonathan, Matt and Rob.