december belongs to the cities

i shared the beginning of a scattered december between melbourne and sydney.

i met josh when me and m were sleeping on the cold floor of a fashion photographer’s apartment in melbourne. he’d casually stroll by us in his underwear in the mornings. it was a cliche, him being the muse of the photographer living there and naturally i thought he was an egotistical ass, as most male models are. i was kind of right, but he had a good heart there somewhere. i shot a campaign with him in sydney almost a year later, and he became a kind of brother to me.

i was in melbourne for an exhibition i was in and i was staying with josh and the gypsy boys in a terrace near the city. their house was littered with paintings, guitars, rubbish and empty beer bottles. it was a kind of haven for the ill of mind and those drunk on music and art.

those summer days were long and hot. we brought a fan into the room and i’d sit in front of it, singing along to whatever record was playing. some late afternoons we’d walk barefoot to a school across the street and i’d lay on the grass listening to music. the boys played soccer and skated while the sun set the deepest orange. like a sky on fire. i lived on a diet of corner store muffins and iceblocks.

while we were there one of the boys brother’s and his lover stayed with us after their house burnt down. the brothers looked alike. long red hair curling like smoke. they spoke the same too, and when i closed my eyes i couldn’t know which was speaking.

sometimes the atmosphere was hectic, wild, drug-fucked, and sometimes when i woke before any of the boys it was quiet and safe. like calm water.

in a way they were all my big brothers, i was picked on but always looked out for. and even though i was falling asleep amongst ankle-deep mess on a strange smelling mattress on the floor every night, i was content.

soon i was in an apartment above a brothel in newtown, sydney (or to those unaware: a massage parlour). this is my friend claire’s place (a journalist who i met during an interview for cream magazine), shared among 3 or 4 other pretty girls. it was like living in another world compared to the gypsy house. everything was clean, nice smelling and sweet.

i went to the movies, had long train trips, met with agencies and took pictures around the city. i went touring with my friends from papa vs pretty. it was all filmlike. all of us cramped into a tiny car filled with instruments, driving across two states. packed venues, the mayhem of music. later on i met with david lachappelle to talk on the radio. i was full of hope and naive about my dreams during that time.

it was a kind of haze that lasted only a short while. many things happened i chose to not remember. all drowned in that deep haze in my thoughts. sometimes as a writer you want to keep moments alive eternally, whether good or bad because they are created some part of your persona. but some moments are better forgotten.

gypsy apartment in parkville. the lovers whose home burnt down.

tim & josh.

the homeless.

man & dog on melbourne tram.

woman & dog on street.

an exhibition i took part in.

josh through the window.

tim’s brother on the balcony.

the boys playing soccer across the street.

quiet allen.

josh & a clouded windscreen.

on the road.

josh’s sister and josh.

josh’s cousin at sinterklaas (dutch christmas).

josh’s cousins at sinterklaas (dutch christmas).

indian headdress.

heavy clouds.

flying into sydney.

sitting on the roof of a car at bondi.

claire’s apartment in newtown.

claire and her ex-lover.

freya on the train.

on a train over the harbour bridge.

dinner at bill & tony’s.

my favourite friends in sydney.

bondi boys.

mad busker in dee why.

thomas’ journal.

roadtrip with papa vs pretty.

upset girl and her boyfriend at a gig in canberra.

central station.

shooting courtney on a mattress on the sidewalk.

82 love notes

  1. I always come back to this page for inspiration. And to get motivated to up my photography. You have such lovely exposures. And focus. I’d love to live inside your camera. It’s probably really magical in there.

  2. i love to reread your posts. it’s so inpirational. sometimes i feel sad when i realise that you have done so many amazing things when you were as old as i am now, and i’m stuck in this world. i just turned 18, i wanted to be seventeen forever but i realise i have to grow up. you’re amazing. (oh, and ‘sinterklaas’ isn’t dutch christmas, we have christmas here too, it’s called ‘kerstmis’. sinterklaas is santa claus 🙂

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  4. oh. I just found your blog from a recommendation on another blog that had a post on the homepage at, a kind of blogspot where I have a blog of my own ( completely random. so I liked your pics and just kept scrolling through them all, up until here. and then I realized; hey! that's CJ! I know her! I met her in Sydney when I was there modeling and I went to her house warming party with a Harry Potter theme and all. it's a small world, even in such a big place as the Internet.

  5. I see your photos around the place all the time and whenever I see the photo in this blogpost of the girl at central station I always think it's me when I was waiting around for my friend to turn up. It probably isn't but I kept seeing this photo and I kept thinking that so I just thought I'd tell you haha. Love your photography. 🙂

  6. I just came across your blog today for the first time and my oh my what a wonderful blog it is! Your photo's are fantastic! (-:

  7. you have such an interesting life. i could be wrong, but i think one of the images is a papa vs. pretty gig in canberra. i was there – i wish i had known you were there so i could have met you, or be close enough to you to absorb the tinniest fraction of what makes you so absolutely amazing. your writing and photographs are so full of love and rich with the touch of your life, simply breath taking!

  8. I admire you for sharing the raw emotions behind the portraits you take. They're more than just beautiful images, they're also poignant, heartfelt, REAL.

  9. You write so beautifully. And the pictures are so real. It's very inspirational and I really love it 🙂

  10. amazing photography.. you're really talented, I've been following your blog for a while and get really anxious when time passes by and there are no posts.. but then comes that day when I see you've updated and as expected.. you blow my mind.. I really love the way you capture moments, faces, places.. little things..
    stay cool!

  11. wow, absolutely gorgeous photos!!!

    love your blog, we follow u now!

    xx, Sabinna and David

  12. i really love those pictures! oooooooooh ! im in love with them!
    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  13. I really adore the way you write and the pictures you take while traveling. You are really inspiring to me and make me just want to open my self up to the world and see whats there.

  14. beautiful gypsy, your pictures, there are no words. When you take pictures of strangers do you ask permission? I often see people who intrigue me and I want to take their picture but I am always unsure how to go about it.


  15. i think this is my favourite of all your blog posts. Both for the words and pictures. Please keep living like you do.

  16. these photographs are so gorgeous and perfect, i love the way you capture life… you are amazing!!

  17. love ur blog so much! .. btw.. sinterklaas is not dutch christmas.. we have christmas and sinterklaas apart 🙂


  18. i sit here and read this and my heart hurts a little inside, i feel like i can relate to this, in a small fraction. my life is so different and yet so similar to your own. i used to wish for the excitement and unknown that i would hear about in your poetic posts and stories, but once you start living something of the sort, you find out that it is wonderful and terribly hard all at the same time

  19. Nirrimi,

    Thank you so much for blogging again. It is so wonderful to have you back!

    These photos are so real, so full of emotion. What's awesome about these is that they are not posed; they were the things around you, happening. Perfectly captured moments frozen in time.

    Your last sentence: some moments are better forgotten. I would never have thought that you would say that, but I do agree. 🙂

    Keep creating. We'll be here. 🙂


  20. Would have thought true free-spirits to be far more opened minded of individuals. "as most male models are" it's a very close-minded and naive comment to make, a lot of photographers are sleazy and rich but wouldn't it be ridiculous to assume that about everyone? Leave your heart and mind open.

  21. i love all these photos to death. i am so glad you continued to share your photos and stories.

  22. This was beautiful. I can't get over the last picture with the caption. So much is said between the image and those few words! Well done.

    – Ava

  23. How do I tell you differently what has already been said? These images are poems in their purest form. So lovely and real and beautiful.

  24. i admire your lifestyle and kind of envy your talent both in writing and photography.

    such an amazing post

  25. i strive to be as talented as you one day, and to love what i do every second of the time.

  26. You are, by far, one of the most talented people I've ever heard of. I'm so fascinated by you, your work and your life. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Nirrimi all your photos are brilliant – but you know that! The colours and composition, you have the most amazing eye.

    I adore the way you write, it makes everything sound so dreamy or like it's an old speckled film. I think you should make a movie about your life, but with no words. Just music – like those short films you made (which were brilliant).

    Sending you love from Canada!

  28. Amazing!

    p.s. sinterklaas isn't dutch christmas though..yes, it's a feast day and yes, we give each other gifts but we also have christmas besides that

  29. i absolutely love all of your photographs they take my breath away tooooo much times….its almost like your my friend and your telling me all of your experiences and i feel better when i see a new blog post… inspire me sooooo much even though i dont hang around the popular people and i feel excluded when i read your blog i feel like i'm special and beautiful and it continuously makes me feel warm

  30. What a colorful past few months it seems. You mentioned long train trips somewhere in there. I don't know if you always had a destination in mind, but sometimes I find the most calming trips to be the ones that lack any tangible purpose. Just to sit and watch from the window seat the sea or city or people.

    Beautiful photos, always.

  31. I am amazed each and every time I read your words, or view your pictures. I really am speechless, I don't think there are enough words to describe how I really feel about this other than WOW

  32. I love your writing.

    the photos are amazing, as always, you see people around you in such a special and beautiful way… and I am so glad that you share it.

  33. what amazes me is how sometimes you "just" forget things that unconsciously decided to put away.
    loved the picture you took over Sydney, it looks so full of live; and don't know who is Freya but she looks lovely, and the picture over the mattress.

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