A bit about me and where it all began!

I was recently a featured artist at White+Clover (a Newborn Prop group I’m in on Facebook) which was quite cool because I had a good look at where I’ve come from, I had a look through my archives which showed me that I’ve grown a lot in what is really a pretty short amount of time! So I thought it would be nice to share some of that here, it’s a little long so I will split it up over a couple of posts… there will be photos 🙂


Tell us about you? (children, background etc)

My name is Jodie, I’m 35 and I have been married to Steven for 8 years, we have three kids Sammy (my business namesake) is six, Charlotte is three and a half and our baby, Ryder, has just turned one.

I was born and raised in Kalamunda and have a background in sports admin and development (cycling to be specific). I followed Steven to Kununurra in 2005, living in a caravan and working in a boutique jewellery shop, saving the pennies before moving back to Perth in late 2008. Eventually starting my own business, Samantha May Photography in May 2011.

I’m an introvert who struggles with small talk (I’m comfortable in the silence haha!), unless in the company of long established friends, but I do love a chat about your babies, birth and family!

I over use emoji’s, I’m thrifty and love to DIY (although finding time to do it can be really tough!), while I don’t mind food shopping (on my own!) I hate shopping for myself. I don’t own or wear a scrap of makeup unless I’m in the bridal party and it is applied to my face by someone else. I don’t like editing weddings or spending entire days and nights away from my family. What I do love is newborns, and babies, and toddlers, and being pregnant, and birth, etc etc etc. So it was quite natural that my work gravitated towards families and children. While impatiently waiting for my husband to be ready to consider our second baby I needed a newborn “fix”, stumbled upon Kelly Brown and instantly knew newborn photography was for me!

How long have you been a photographer and how did you fall into it?

I have been a hobbyist forever, that cliché “always loved taking and looking at photos” applies to me 100%. Kalamunda High School had great photography and media programs as well as wonderful teachers!  So it was during high school that I really fell in love with photography! I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up. I proudly had my very own film Pentax and really enjoyed the taking of photos & developing of the film and prints. But then there was one semester which had a large focus on the history of photography and I wasn’t so sure anymore; I still enjoyed it, I was just unsure if it was my passion and the love for it was a little lost.

(Expanded a little on my original “interview questions”)
I have to drop a little thanks here I think! Mr Keith Sillitoe the photography teacher at Kalamunda was certainly my defining teacher during my school years, as he would of been for the number of students whom have also become professional photographers!  Everything I’ve ever done with a camera in my hand started off with what he taught. He showed me from scratch the basis of everything that I do now… manual operation of a camera, developing and editing film and prints, even re-touching to a degree. It was all on film, in a dark room and with ink pens but the theory of all of that was the basis for the digital work we now do. Infact I remember probably one of my lowest scoring projects was trying out a digital camera and reporting on it… it was probably just as digital cameras were becoming available at a consumer level (it was a point and shoot!) I hated it and reported that I didn’t like the quality haha!!   I’d be interested to see what photography class is like at Kalamunda now!

kalamunda high school photography class studio portrait of Carly

Kalamunda High School | Studio Portrait of Carly

kalamunda high school photography class portrait of Lisa

Kalamunda High School | Location Portrait of Lisa

kalamunda high school photography class Murray Street Mall Perth

Kalamunda High School | Murray Street Mall 1998


At the same time as my focus wandered, Cycling happened to me, I spent some time as an athlete but then even more time in a development and admin role. Working in an underfunded not for profit organization meant very little pay… actually in the very beginning there was no pay at all. So as my time as an athlete was dwindling I picked up my camera again and made a nice little bit of pocket money shooting my friends and selling the photo’s to their parents and partners!


cameron meyer perth speeddome

Cameron Meyer & his Dad Ken
Look him up to see what he is doing now!

scott sunderland perth speeddome

Scott Sunderland 2001
Look him up to see what he is up to now!

I did learn after this that the black strip at the bottom was a shutter speed issue… and using the flash at the track is now a no-no 😉

daddy and son

My favourite subject was my little brother… shot on film. This is my favourite picture of Harry and Dad.


Harry in vintage car

funny fact just a moment after taking the picture of him in the car that my dad was fixing he slipped off the seat and ended up under the steering wheel… baby safety people!

In 2005 I followed my husband and his work to Kununurra, we lived in a caravan and worked in the local jewellery store. Living in the Kimberley really spiked my passion for photography again… such a beautiful place how could it not?? This resulted in my first DSLR. We left in 2008 to move back to Perth and I went into business with a friend offering portraits and weddings. We both had other jobs and then had our first babies. Unfortunately that venture was quite short lived and while I was hurt at the time by the way it panned out, parting ways actually turned out to be very good for me. With a big push from my husband I jumped into my own business, devoured online resources to teach myself more about photoshop, shooting anything and everything and really began to find my confidence.

Samantha May Photography is now into it’s fifth year of business, I’ve been a member of the AIPP for nearing two years and honestly I’ve probably own started referring to myself as a photographer for the last year or two… that confidence in yourself thing is a bugger!

And the following six images were taken in Kununurra, the sunsets and lightning storms are pretty spectacular up there! The Boab on the blue sky is still the screen saver on our invoicing computer! (excuse the coloured boarders… that was a faze!)


lightning in kununurra

Lightning storm in Kununurra, taken from Kelly’s Knob

Wasp nest Kununurra

Wasp Nest, we had a little 4×4 which took us on some fun adventures!

Kununurra Sunset

“just another sunset” on the side of the road

paraglider Wyndam

A paraglider, taken from the top of The Bastian in Wyndham

boab on blue sky kununurra

Boab on a pretty cool sky

Lake Kununurra

Lake Kununurra, this spot was about 50mts from our caravan!








part 2…

This entry was posted in Newborn Tips, Tricks & FAQ's.


  1. Colleen McBroom July 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm #

    liked the photos, loved the story, and your honesty. I have come to know your family over the past few years through a orofessional nature. So good that you are able to combine your passions and your work. Your values and love of family are a credit to you and I wish you all the best x

  2. Keith Sillitoe March 9, 2020 at 7:43 pm #

    Hi Jodie,
    Hope that you get this. Annie my daughter mentioned that she was surfing web in relation to my name and came across your site. It’s great to see your lovely school images along with your later work. I love hearing about ex-students and their achievements. I remember each of your images very clearly.
    I now live in Albany (5years) and spend time making metal sculptures. Am soon to become a grandfather for the first time in May. Annie still lives in Kalamunda. So does James my middle child. Lachlan, my youngest emigrated to Canada with his mountain bike passion.
    Hope you receive this. Come and visit us in Albany. The photography opportunities are wonderful!
    Kind regards
    Keith Sillitoe and Anne Taylor

    • Jodie March 20, 2020 at 1:18 pm #

      Hi Mr Sillitoe,
      Great to hear from you and congratulations! New babies are the absolute best!!
      My Dad is still in Kalamunda so we get up there occasionally.
      I haven’t been to Albany in nearly 20 years, we might get there one day.

      Jodie x

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