Epic Week With Von Wong – Canoeing, The Fetish Club And The Conference

To view other parts of this blog series, click the links below:
Part 1 – The Surprise!
Part 2 – Photography, Photoshop And Fun
Part 3 – The Rodeo
Part 5 – The Final Days

Day 5

The Morning

The beginning of today was much quieter and a lot less crazy than the day would eventually become!
We got up and out of bed pretty early. I had been awake for quite a while, although I was too sore to even try and get out of bed for the first few hours! It was a good kind of sore though, and the pain was completely worth it as I was having the time of my life, and I wasn’t going to let my body stop me from enjoying the rest of the trip!

Ben had slept out on a hammock outside the house! I have no idea how he survived the night, as it was super cold out there! He really wanted to sleep under the stars though, so he braved the freezing cold night and slept in the hammock!Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | Ben

After we all managed to crawl out of bed, we got dressed and packed our bags and then walked over to a bakery which was just over the road from where we were staying to have some breakfast.
When we finished there we went back to the house and packed all of our gear into the car and headed out to Barmah Lakes to try out some canoeing!

Canoeing And Kangaroos

I had never been canoeing before so like most of the things we were doing on this adventure, it was a completely unexpected and new experience for me!
Wanda (from Autopsy Jude) and I got in the canoe, and while she was paddling away, I was taking photos! I wish I could have helped paddle, but I’m not physically strong enough to handle anything like that.
As we were paddling along, Ben was zooming past us filming me! Here are a couple of shots of one of those exact moment, from both of our perspectives!
Ben’s perspective is from the behind the scenes video, which you can watch by clicking here!Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | Ben
Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | My View Canoeing

After we were done canoeing, Ben decided to try out some kayaking! It was so funny to watch! He could barely last 10 seconds without capsizing! He fell into the water again and again and again! I managed to get a little shot of him capsizing! Here it is!Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | Von Wong Capsizing

Not long after that photo was taken, we decided to say our goodbyes to Wanda and the other lovely people we were staying with and head to Melbourne!
But before we got to Melbourne, we stopped ina  very small town in the middle of nowhere for something to eat! The lady who ran the shop informed us that this little town was famous for how many Kangaroos there were around town and how they always just roamed the streets without a care in the world! And naturally, as someone who had never seen a Kangaroo in real life before, Ben wanted to see one! So we began our search for a Kangaroo!
It was only about 3 or 4 minutes until we found one hanging out on someone property! In the couple of minutes we were there watching it, another 2 appeared! It was pretty awesome!
I hadn’t seen Kangaroos out in the wild either. I had only seen them in sanctuaries and zoos, so it was a really cool experience for me as well!

After we were done Kangaroo watching, we continued our journey to Melbourne!
When we arrived in Melbourne, we went straight to Silvia’s Aunties house, which is where we were staying for the next couple of days! We didn’t really do much while the sun was still up. We just sat around, rested and did some photo and video editing!

The Fetish Club Experience

When the night came upon us and after we ate a lovely Chinese dinner, the most unique experience that I have ever had happened!
We went to the fetish club!
It was..interesting…
It was full of cages and whips and even a demonstration room! We got invited to go to the demonstration later in the night, but we left WAY before that happened!
I’m not sure how Ben felt, but I was really uncomfortable in there, especially with my camera!
They had many rules in there regarding photography and everyone was looking at us as if we were the enemy!
The one good thing about it is that one of my best friends Luke, who lives in Melbourne came along to check it out. Here is a shot Ben took of us on my camera before most of the attendees arrived!Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | NeoEtica | Luke And I

I took a few photos, mainly of a girl with blue dreadlocks pole dancing with her nipples constantly falling out, but I don’t think I will ever share any photos that I took in that place, especially considering I have to get permission from the club to post them first! They are really bad shots anyway, so in a way, I’m glad they will never be shared online!

We were only in there about an hour, and after we were done, we said our goodbyes to Luke and headed back home and went to bed.

Day 6

The Beginning

This was one of the best days of the whole trip! It was awesome for a multitude of reasons!
Before we drove into the city for Ben’s “Anatomy Of An Epic Photograph” conference, we took a drive out to Borge’s Imaging out in Port Melbourne to pick up the free Cotton Carrier Camera System that Ben had managed to get for me.
As they were closed  on Sundays, we had to call the store owner up and get him to come and let us in so we could get the vest. We ended up waiting about 45 minutes for the store owner to come, but it was worth it!
If you are interested in reading about my thoughts on the Cotton Carrier, you can click here.
After we got the vest, we hopped back in the car and headed to the city! Albury Photographer | Tyler GRace Photography | Cotton Carrier | Borge

The Conference

We arrived at the Melbourne SuperStudio on Elizabeth Street and the first person I met was  Simon Pollock! For those who don’t recognize his name, he is the awesome guy who works for Think Tank Photo who offered me a free Think Tank bag on the day that Ben surprised me!
He gave me this huge box which had the bag in it! I was under the impression that he was getting it shipped out to me, so it was a complete surprise to me that I got it on that day!
I will have a review of the bag up sometime in the hopefully not too distant future!

I also got to meet a few of the other photographers and creatives who were attending before the conference started. They were all really awesome!

Ben started the conference and about 5 minutes in, he called me up to do my little speech! I talked for about 10 minutes in front of around 60 people! I was so nervous and I was freaking out so much that I could barely hear what I was saying.
I was going to bring a script to read off, but in the end I just said what was on my mind.
I spoke about being a chronically ill photographer, the challenges it brings me and how I try to overcome those challenges. The main point of the speech though was to inspire people to keep trying as hard as they can to get where they want in life and to never, ever give up!
I can barely remember any of what I said, but according to everyone who I talked to about it after the conference, I did really well! They were coming up to me and telling me that I was an inspiration and that I should get into motivational speaking! I never thought I would get any comments like that! All the support meant so much to me! Thank you everyone for all of your kind words!
Here are some photos of the conference. The photo of me is a screenshot from the behind the scenes video and the photo of Ben was taken by Simon Pollock
Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | The Conference | Me
 Albury Photographer | Tyler GRace Photography | The Conference | Ben

I also really want to thank my good friend Luke, the same Luke who came to the fetish club the night before. He came along to the conference and was there supporting me the whole time! Thank you so much Luke, you are beyond awesome! It really meant so much to me that you came!

After all of that, Ben held a competition to win either a free Smugmug account or a small camera bag from Think Tank! The competition rules were that everyone was to put one of their shoes in the corner and I would choose the two winners by picking their shoes!
I hope that the winners enjoyed their prizes!

The last photo taken at the Melbourne SuperStudio was a photo that Simon took of Ben and I, with Ben giving me the Think Tank camera bag for Simon to share on Think Tank’s Facebook page!Photographers In Albury | Tyler Grace Photography | The Conference | Think Tank Bag

The After Party

After we finished at the studio, about 30 of us who were at the conference went to a nearby pub to chat more and have something to eat!

It was amazing meeting and chatting to all the creative’s who were there! I made so many new friends and contacts! I honestly can’t express how much I enjoyed the day!

And thus, day 6 ended and so has this entry in the Epic Adventure series!

In the next and final entry I will talk about the biggest day of them all, the epic photo shoot, along with a day of hanging out around Melbourne with a couple of awesome new friends we made at the conference and shoot!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week so far, and as always, keep smiling everyone! 🙂

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