fran miller photography

19 Beautiful Images of Ladies Logging All Over the World - The Inertia

Why by cold when you can be warm? That’s my favorite motto. With the impending winter greeting me on the Gold Coast of Australia, it seemed only fitting to make my way to warmer waters. California, New York, Spain, Portugal, France, Mexico…a whirlwind trip photographing the world’s finest loggers. Trim is in.

Check out the photos on The Inertia

Escape the Fake....letting my mind do the talking on Moreton Island!

‘Escape the fake’ was the bold headline that greeted me as I boarded the ferry on a gloomy, overcast midweek morning. I had departed my home in Coolangatta well before any light had made the false promise of a beautiful Gold Coast morning, with the hopes of finding my own paradise on the ‘least tourist friendly’ island in Queensland, Moreton Island. Having just spent the previous weekend partying until the sun rose, I knew I needed something, even though I wasn’t sure what.

I had received a call the day before from Ivy (Thomas), as she was already on the island. Her eager voice was barely tempered by the fact that she had to 4x4 to one spot on the island to even make any phone contact. “It’s perfect, it’s perfect” she exulted. That was enough for me. I passed out across five seats on the ferry, and woke to a loudspeaker announcement that we had in fact, arrived in paradise.

Moreton Island is not your typical tourist destination. For starters, there are no fully defined roads, and all access across the island is either by foot or four wheeler. Having spent a good month last year driving off road across Mexico, the excitement of paving our own trail wherever the tide would allow was clearly on my mind. As we made our way towards our beach house at Bulwer, the first reality check hit when the car in front of ours became bogged and was unable to proceed. A shovel and tow later, Barbara the Toyota Landcruiser had saved our poor acquaintance. We proceeded to Bulwer, off loaded some gear, and then packed our boards in search of perfection.

The island is the perfect place to let your mind wander. As you drive past mountainous sand dunes that resemble the Sahara, and fly across vast sand plains with millions of crabs soldiering in unison, it is impossible not to reflect on life. Where I’ve been. Where I’m at. Where I’m going. I can not help but wonder how I came to live this life, so abundant from the natural world around me, but connected to the society of which I am an active member. I am a questioning type of human. I always think and ask how and why. I strongly suspect that being aware of why we do what we do, it is more feasible to live a happy life as we take control over our being and to be conscientious in our process and that of others. As we trekked across another unmarked trail into a small protected cove that revealed a beautiful peeling wave in turquoise water, I couldn’t help but think, no one really deserves anything, both good and bad. Life just is, and you either embrace it, appreciate it, accept it, or you don’t.

Nobody else surfed in the cove that day except for a pod of dolphins and two small sharks. What lead us to this place in time? Each choice you make leads you to the place you are at. You are not a tree, you are free to move, free to choose. I contribute to society, but will not be defined or ordered by its expectations. I am a content human, and I still wonder how I got here. But I am certainly appreciative that for a period in time this week, I passed my days in a place that encouraged me to think and explore my own mind, whilst revelling in the wildness of nature.  







Shark bait sessions with Ellie Brooks and Codie Klein…team building and getting it done…

So I had spent the previous day photo shooting with the lovely Ellie Brooks for Reef which had involved not a whole lot of surfing with the swell being flat. Ellie is a fantastic surfer who travels around the globe competing on the World Surf League qualifying tour, and I really wanted to show off her surfing skills because as many surfer girls will state, they are surfers, not models! So when I got word that we would be heading to South Stradbroke Island the next day, I was excited to go. Firstly, because I had never been there and had heard the surf is amazing and secondly, because everyone talks about how beautiful a spot it is!

The night before I asked Ellie what I needed to be aware of for shooting at this location to get prepped, and I felt pretty confident it was going to be an awesome day. Drive to the ferry, catch a water taxi over, shoot for the morning, water taxi home, voila! We also called up another fantastic surfer Codie Klein to join the squad.  We were set! After gathering early in the morning, coffees in hand, we made the drive north and arrived to the ferry terminal, excited for an incredible day of surfing.

Perhaps I should have been more concerned when I saw the confused look on the girls’ faces when we arrived and started to unpack at the ferry terminal. I could see Ellie scanning for the water taxi, but it was nowhere in sight. “Nah girls, he’s on holidays this week!” echoed a local who had just made the paddle back from the island. Our faces dropped. The Gold Coast seaway is a renowned hangout for schools of bull sharks, also known as the 'bull shark superhighway', and the paddle across is a death defying experience at the best of times. Only the week before a close friend of mine had stitches in her face from the entry to the water over the oyster encrusted rocks, let alone avoiding a pack of sharp toothed flesh chompers.  

“What are we going to do?” whispered Ellie hesitantly. She was in no way keen to paddle across. I looked over at Codie, and could see her concern too. “I will swim across,” I said half-jokingly, only then recalling the story from a commercial scuba diving friend who at one time saw numerous bull sharks tracking the surfers paddling above as he fixed a pipe in the seaway. “Let’s do it,” said Codie with a hint of falsified confidence. What the heck. Seriously? Ok. Crap.

Water housing in hand, two surfboards, three humans, we trekked up the groyne of the seaway. And yes, it was a trek. When your head is saying, “What the hell are we doing!!!!” and your heart is pumping so fast that you think it’s going to explode onto the other side of the seaway, I could feel myself start to raise some logical concerns. Quick, snapchat that I love my mum and dad and sister and friends and OMG. What are we doing!!!! Nah. This is completely messed up, but it’s going to be ok. I calmed down. We lowered ourselves down the groyne, and jumped into the Gold Coast seaway.

We started vigorously. I put my housing on Codie’s back, grabbed the side of the board and started swimming. The current was reasonable that morning, and swept us down the seaway. I couldn’t help myself half way across. The girls were looking forward. I put my head down into the water and opened my eyes. It was black. I raised my head back up faster than I could kick. I didn’t say anything. I just kept swimming. Faster. We passed a fishing boat. The crew looked at us perplexed. Three ladies of leisure enjoying a day out on the water, swimming across the seaway. LOL. And then we were there. After the most intense ten minutes, we scaled up the groyne on the other side and were in paradise. Welcome to South Stradbroke Island.

Thankyou to the squad, Ellie and Codie for the epic day. And a big shout out to Chris Brown, who kindly gave me a lift back across the seaway from the island on his jet ski. Legend…

And probably, never again. 

Early morning sleep ins...

I was up early for a photoshoot with talented young logger Jordan Spee from the Sunshine Coast but he had been sick as of late and we decided to postpone the shoot. 

When I did my first surf check, there were 25 people in the water before sunrise and it was one can only mean one thing...Sunday! 

Without my board with me and with camera in hand, I snapped a couple of photos of some happy crew that were enjoying the Sunday Sliders....Happy Weekend Everyone!

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