Capturing the moment. Creating a memory.

Welcome to Paper Tree Photography

Thanks for visiting the website.  Here you can learn a little bit more about me, Samantha Harding-Farrenberg – How I became a photographer and why it’s my absolute passion!

The beginning

Watching Brett Whitely draw as a little girl.

There was always a strong creative streak running through my family (my grandma was an artist and my grandpa was a hairdresser and make-up artist) and for me it originally emerged in the form of acting when I studied at the Ensemble Theatre Studios under the late Hayes Gordon. My love for photography began when I went travelling.  I was inspired by the people, the stunning beauty of the natural landscape, the diversity of cultures, the architecture, food, textiles and jewellery.  I felt so lucky to be roaming free and exploring the world, but more than that, I wanted to bottle the experience, capture it, so that I would never forget. I’d packed my trusty old Pentax K1000 (it was second hand with a broken light meter but I loved it anyway) and spent the next eight months photographing everything and anything – sending box loads of photographs back to Australia.  I still have the pictures of my boyfriend playing soccer in the rain with the local children in Siem Reap, of grinning men in Jaipur dying clothes on the sun-baked rooftops and of the spicy bustle of bodies in the Maputo markets.

But there’s one photograph I especially love:  I was trekking in the Himalayas; it was pretty tough going with long days on dusty roads at high altitudes.  We arrived as the sun was going down in Hongde and set about finding rooms for the night.  All I wanted was to remove my boots and relax by the fire.  A little girl appeared and motioned for us to follow her, we did, and she led us to a lovely little hostel run by her mum and dad.  Before we went in, I asked if I could photograph her.  She shyly agreed.  When I look at this photograph today, I’m right back there.  It captures the memory for me perfectly.  It’s why I became a photographer.

The middle

When I got back from my travels, I enrolled at NMIT in Melbourne to study photography and after graduating, I worked for several of Sydney’s top photography studios before moving to boutique studio Milk & Honey Photography in Sydney, where I worked for five years.

The now

I decided to go it alone and set up Paper Tree Photography so that I could live my dream of being a freelance photographer.  I now live in Sydney with my partner and my cat Bamboo.  Photography is still my passion and I feel very lucky to be able to do something I love for a living.

How I work

© Andrea Romeo.

Taking photographs offers me the opportunity to meet different people from all walks of life.  For a day, or for just a few hours, I have the privilege of being part of their experience.  I believe that trust creates great photographs. My approach is to:

  • Work closely with you, visiting you in your own home, to talk through exactly what you want from your portrait or wedding shoot.
  • Use natural light to bring true clarity and realism to your photographs.
  • Be unobtrusive – I don’t believe in ordering people about or setting up fake situations, I use a photojournalistic style to create genuine, beautiful photographs.
  • Use Sydney’s many beautiful locations to create the perfect backdrop for your portrait or wedding photographs.

I believe that this results in intimate, unique, stylish photographs, that capture the moment and the memory.

Get in touch

If you’d like to make an appointment or get more information, then please contact me.