Shipping Container housing – Amsterdam

Shipping container housing in Amsterdam from Jeremy Beasley on Vimeo.

A shortage of student accommodation in Amsterdam lead to shipping containers being used as student apartments.

At only 20m2 these spaces are quite small, but these colourful places still provide a great living environment.

Do you have a tiny house or know someone who does? Email me: hello [at] jeremybeasley.com.au [Currently in Oregon USA for Aug/Sept 2013]

 

How this project changed my life – The Voice of the Rain

I have no idea how this will come across. All I know is that I have to write this. I have to express how I feel, how dramatically my thought process has changed in the last 12 months and by sharing this perhaps it might spark something in you too.

After working my butt off for four years solid, I burned out. I lost my passion. My soul. My heart. I wanted to throw away the camera, throw away all the things I’ve been working on. Turn away completely from photography and go and live in a tree somewhere. Probably not the best option, but it was all I could think about.

Let’s take a step back and see how I got to that point.

For six to nine months of the year, weeks would pass where I couldn’t remember the last time I slept in my own bed because I was traveling so much.

Emails. Weddings. Personal projects. Work. Business. Networking. Emails. Facebook. Instagram. Accounting. Exhibitions. Emails. It was completely insane. Some weeks involved three weddings in multiple states, multiple time zones and barely 12 hours between the end of one and the start of another. Months went by where I spent more time in a plane than in my own house. Life was really weird.

You’re probably thinking right now “seriously, you’re upset over living such a life, it sounds like a dream job!”

Well it is… and was amazing. The incredible experiences I had, places I was lucky enough to go to, the beautiful couples I photographed. It was like a ‘happy drug’ every weekend going to photograph a wedding. I guess this is why it was so hard to see that working so hard was a bad thing.

I had “made it” to where I wanted to be. I had ticked every single business goal I had set out to tick. Studio in Melbourne, weddings all over Australia, destination weddings overseas, won some awards, got featured on some blogs and was even paid to speak to other photographers.

The only problem? I wasn’t happy. My life didn’t feel any better than it did in the previous five years. How could this be possible? I thought… “I’m successful, I have wonderful friends, I’m making money, I’m traveling, why am I not the happiest person on earth?”.

Probably because I was so completely buggered from the 70 or 80 hour work week. Probably because I never actually “switched off”. Probably because I didn’t have time to hang out with my friends on the weekend. Probably because I didn’t have time for my family. Probably because I didn’t have time to stare at a tree. Probably because I didn’t have time to ask myself what I really wanted in life.

Then something crazy happened. I was in Fiji for a wedding and a series of coincidences led to me meeting the Evisisi family. I had spent less than an hour with them and just knew I had to come back and see them. I didn’t know how, when, why or what for… I just knew it had to happen.

So after many emails, Skype chats and phone calls with a friend in Fiji, I booked flights. I packed my bag. I was going to live with the Evisisi family for 18 days.

I’d do everything that they would do. Sleep where they slept, eat what they ate, do things on the farm, go to church, head to town for groceries. Most importantly, I would understand what “fiji time” meant. I’d understand what it meant to “let my mind freewheel”.

Which has been, single handedly, the most important change to my life. That is, however, part of a different post.

It gave me perspective. It gave me the breathing space.

Suddenly I felt completely liberated. It was like this heavy dark cloud was lifted off me and I could finally see! I could finally realise what I needed to be happy. To be content. And it involved nothing more than looking inside myself.

Almost 12 months on I still have this feeling. Almost everyday. My attitude towards life is completely different. Free. Liberated. Happy.

And I have the Evisisi family to thank for it. They brought me into their home, allowed me to live with them, taught me (without even realising it) some of the most important lessons I have learned in life.

So, what on Earth could I do for them to even begin to return such a gift?

Do something for them. Do something for them involving photography. Maybe I could give them pictures. Maybe I could make them a book. Momo (the father) mentioned in one of our chats that he would love, more than anything, to build a house for his children. So they can have a proper house to live in, with doors, windows, a flush toilet. A home where wild dogs don’t run through the house at night. A home where they could have separate rooms for the parents and the children.

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I’m going to build them a house, using my photography skills.

And you know what? This project has been the most rewarding, satisfying thing I’ve ever done in my career. It has taken more work than I would have ever imagined, but it warms my heart every single day just to try. Just to think about going back to Fiji and seeing Sulu’s face when I tell her what I’ve been working on. How the hundreds and hundreds of people have contributed to building their home. How this one little idea became a reality because other people believed in it too.

So far we’ve raised $18,000 putting us only $12,000 away from our final funding goal to be able to build the house. We’ve printed 400 books (only 200 of which are left) and we’re well on the way to getting into the second stage of the project – the design and construction!

If you think it’s a worthwhile cause, grab a book. By doing so, you’ll be helping build the Evisisi family a home and you get a book out of it! If you’re one of the awesome people who has already purchased a book then please share this around. We need as many people on board to help as possible. Every bit counts!

[UPDATE] You can now get a copy of the book via an instant downloadable PDF


To purchase the book click here (100% of the funds raised go directly to building the Evisisi family their home).

New Orleans – A guide to a kick ass time

The only way to describe New Orleans is to think of her as a beautiful woman.

A woman that has that look in her eyes.

She’s a a little shy at first… but the devil definitely knows where she lives

She’s beautiful, charismatic, a talented musician and a little older than I. And cook? Man can she cook.

One of her best meals would have to be at Aldofo’s on Frenchmen St. It’s this tiny little place, hard to find (above some dive bar just down from the spotted cat). You’ll have to wait anywhere from half an hour to an hour and a half to get a table – but its worth it. Not too pricey either – and they stock Chianti.

After dinner she likes to sing a little, shake that butt of hers and get a little funky. Some of the nastiest funk you ever did hear.

Before we get onto the kick ass guide of DOs and DONTs in New Orleans, here are a couple of pictures (shot + edited on the iPhone).

DOs
Food
- Adolfo’s
- SoBou
- Courgette
- Krewe De Brewe for Coffee (semi decent + free wifi and cheap snacks)
- Sazerac at the carosul bar
- Head to the Garden District
- Crawfish Boil (if you can get a local to take you out to Perino’s – amazing!)
- Mimi’s
- Luke’s
- Jacques Imo’s

Music
- The Maple Leaf
- D.B.A
- BMC
- Cafe Negril
- Jazz fest (if you time the year right)
- Tipitinas
- Mimi’s

WWOZ Gig guide (All the most that’s playing every night of the week)

DONTs
- Walk by yourself at night off the main streets (even a short walk isn’t really worth it)
- Carry a bunch of cash on you at night
- Be one of those horrible tourists being a giant turd on Bourbon Street.
- Wear Mardi Gras beads when it’s not Mardi Gras

Some stand out joints for funk: The Maple Leaf, D.B.A, BMC pretty much any night of the week. There is a new street popping up with a handful of good bars with anything from jazz, to hip-hop and punk. It’s not far from the Treme (or maybe it’s even in the Treme) but I’ve forgotten the name of the street and didn’t actually get to go. However, I have it on very good information that it’s badass. Ask a proper local and I’m sure you’ll find it.

How do you work out if someone is a local I hear you ask? They say things like:

“Where yat?” (How are you?)
“Yeah you’re right” (Good)

Or

“Making groceries” (Grocery shopping)

Or they call you Baby.

Bar Tender: “What can I get you, Baby?”
Aussie: “A G&T please”
Bar Tender: *blank stare* *blink* *blank stare*
Aussie: “A Gin & Tonic”
Bar Tender: Coming right up, Baby.

I’ve probably missed a bunch of things, hit me up in the comments if you’re got a wicked place to share!

Curiosity leads to adventure – A local Wedding in Vietnam – dam cuoi

Curiosity in a simple and naive way leads to the most wonderful adventures.

Like being invited to a Vietnamese wedding by complete chance.

After spending the morning at the shipping yard I was on my way back and stumbled across a family setting up for what looked like a celebration. Luckily, one of the girls spoke excellent english and explained that her brother was getting married tomorrow and they were setting up for it. They invited me to come along the next day (to wear a shirt and pants… not some scummy t-shirt and shorts! And to take a present/flowers)

Here’s some of the interesting things I learnt:
- A Vietnamese wedding is called “dam cuoi”
- The wedding goes for two days (one day at the brides house, one at the grooms)
- Each day has three sections (early morning is immediate family, lunch time is a big lunch with family and night time is a party with friends)
- A vietnamese wedding costs around $3000 USD in a village like this (much bigger more expensive ones in the big cities)
- A special wedding (or celebration) treat is dried watermelon seeds (eaten in the thousands and they actually taste like coco pops!)
- People marry quite young (and it is very common for women under 25 to be married)
- Guests all give money in an envelope to help pay for the wedding (and it’s expected)
- The bride has many outfit changes
- The couple take pictures in their “western style” wedding outfit weeks before the wedding and include a giant framed picture on entry.

Thank you Hung & Nga for allowing me to come along to your wedding!