Who am I?

I teach a 6am Yoga class, Rise and Shine at Beachside Yoga and Pilates on Kent St, Rockingham every Tuesday and Friday mornings. I have done this for now over 10 years. And in the last 15 minutes of our practice, we sit after Pranayama (breath) and I invite everyone, including myself, to set an intention that anchors you into the day. Maybe it’s a mantra, maybe it’s something that has resonated over the class, but I always ask to sit with creating an intention around how we wish to feel, with these two very powerful words…….

I AM….

This simple statement has the power to create. To transform. To connect and to redefine how we see ourselves, as we move through our day and this world. 

These last few years, my life has been turned upside down. Everything I thought was stable, concrete, a foundation so to speak, crumbled around me. I walked away from my beautiful Yoga studio, Soul Coast Yoga, that I spent over 7 years building from the ground up. My long term relationship fell apart. My life long career as a Specialist Highschool teacher violently ended (that’s a whole lot of story but honoring confidentiality as I am in the throws of legal proceedings), and everything that I thought I knew, fell away. No anchor, just floating aimlessly out to a big, deep, scary place. 

Diagnosis such as Chronic Fatigue and Complex PTSD were thrown around, scripts for anti-depressants, sleep, anxiety and everything else in between. A myriad of appointments, reliving the trauma, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and feeling like I was becoming numb to everything and everyone around me. 

Fuck…. For the first few months, I barely left my house. I slept, ALOT. I cuddled the dogs, ALOT, and if I just did one thing everyday, it was to walk my beautiful dog Abby down to my local beach in Shoalwater and just be in the water. 

Every day, I would force myself to just immerse in the ocean, just to feel something, anything. 

Gradually, I started back at Yoga. Not teaching, but just being on my mat. Back around people where I felt safe and held. 

Gradually, I ventured back to catching up for a coffee, a walk, a swim, a surf. Slowly, but slowly, little sparks where coming back. 

It was a good friends birthday, who happens to be a Freediver and Instructor (Emma @emma.ocean.yoga I love you mermaid siter). She mentioned to me a retreat up in Exmouth, a Level 1 Freediving Course and Yoga. It sparked a little light in me that I hadn’t felt for a long time. So, I followed that spark and went on retreat with the wonderful Salty Hearts Freediving and Inhala Yoga in Exmouth.

There, in those moments, at my deepest dive of 14m, I heard whales singing, saw sharks gracefully swimming by that I found a part of ME that I had buried for a very long time. Pure bliss and a feeling of total union. One breath. Just me and the deep blue ocean.

I was hooked. I have travelled all over the world, meditated on mountains in India, breathwork in Thailand, scuba dived in Vanuatu, surfed amazing waves in California and Bali, but THIS. I have never experienced such deep and utter peace.

So, off I went, little spark, by little spark on some solo adventures in my 1985 Jayco Dove camper (if you know, you know). Karajini, Broome and all up and down the coast. Everyday, in the ocean. My medicine. And this is where I picked up my camera for the first time in years. Capturing places and moments, but never ever thought of myself as a “photographer”.

Fast forward to 6 months later and I receive an email on another retreat from Salty Hearts and Ocean Aimee (Kyra and Aimee if your reading this, so much love hun) about an Underwater Photography Getaway, again in Exmouth. And for some reason, EVERY CELL IN MY BODY WAS SCREAMING – GO! 

So, again, I followed that spark and said yes to the retreat and underwater photography.

Now, I had never done any underwater photography, let alone had any gear. So, while researching underwater housings for my Canon DSLR and frantically You Tubing, “underwater photography” I thought, holy SHIT, I am way over my head here! I can’t do this.

Well, the universe thought otherwise, and while I was down my local park with my little nephew I serendipitously ran into another good friend, Sarah, from @thewonderfullylost, who is an amazing local underwater photographer. She has been photographing our local dolphins for Perth Wildlife Encounters, here in Rockingham and have always admired her work and not to mention her photos. We get chatting, and I was picking her brain, all things housings, cameras and gear. Then, she said, “actually, I have just upgraded all my gear and selling my old Canon 5D mk ii and Aquatica Housing”….. 

No way.

Again, another beautiful spark from the universe, and so I bought her “old” gear. Now I have all the gear, and no idea (ha ha ha), best I better bloody learn how to use it!

In the mean time, as I explored the world of freediving and learning all I could about underwater photography, I had been taken under the loving and nurturing wings of Aaron and Leigh Reddall, from Salt and Mantra Surf and Yoga School, Secret Harbour. Encouraging me to become a certified Surfing WA, Coach. I have spent probably the last 20 or so years, groveling around the waves at Secrets (or Surf Beach as it was known back then, and a sand track in and out). Again, little sparks, igniting my passion and slowly but slowly, learning to trust again, healing trauma, and being in the ocean. I then thought, why don’t I take photos of people, especially women, surfing?

Growing up surfing as a woman, I didn’t surf with many other girls or see many images in the magazines that showed women actually surfing, not just in a bikini. So when I see so many more women now, in the line up, massive big smiles, saying hi, sharing the stoke, it makes my heart sing and is what lights me up. I started taking photos of all these amazing women in the ocean. Their joy, their frustrations, as I feel we all share the same connection. All ages, all shapes, different backgrounds, different stories, but so much the same. 


The featured image above, a self portrait, taken on the very first time I ever used my underwater photography gear. My very first ever photoshoot, with myself and Abby my dog, floating around the beautiful islands of Shoalwater Marine Park, that had previously become so important in my healing journey. This image has also been featured in an exhibition by the Camera Queens (a women’s’ photography mentoring group I am proudly a part of) called,

I AM…can you believe it? Yet, another beautiful spark from the universe!

So, here it is…


Taken right at the start of my underwater photography journey, only a short while ago. The ocean is my place of healing, my medicine and my mirror reflecting back to ME, exactly where I AM in that very moment.

She is fierce, but soft.

She can be stormy then calm

She can be intense but nurturing 

The ocean is female and she is ME

Oceans of Love Photography was birthed from this story. When I owned my yoga studio, I always signed off all my emails, Oceans of Love. It has been a sentiment in my communications for a very long time.

I AM following those sparks.

I AM listening to my own intuition and wisdom

and I AM deeply trusting this new path, even though I would have never of dreamt this in a million years.

I invite you all (if your still reading this!) to tune into your own sparks. Your own whispers, your own path, because we all have it. I am not special or even think I am particularly talented in any given way. 


When I am taking your photo, in or out of the water, I listen to these sparks. I am guided to follow this and I trust it. The same thing happens when I teach yoga and surf. I don’t question, I just DO. 

Let it lead and guide you. It may not even make sense, I know it didn’t for me for a very long time.

I know I have a long road of healing ahead of me and that’s ok. I take every day at a time, I listen to my body and nervous system, I rest when I need to, and I follow those sparks, all the way.

I seek healing from my community. The healers, yoga teachers, naturopaths, body workers, cranio-sacral workers and my dog. Thankyou to you all that have been a part of this healing journey over the past 18 months.

For the first time in a long time, I’m excited for what the future will bring. And there are so many more sparks for me to explore – watch this space.

If you would love the opportunity to work with me, that would be awesome. I am only opening up 6 spaces for the month of August and September to honor my energy and as a token of gratitude for this new spark, 25% off any bookings made –   enquiries or BOOK HERE

I AM…..

How are you honoring your story today?   

How are you creating an anchor for yourself as a reminder of who you truly are?

I AM so happy your here, let’s capture that.

So much love,

Oceans of it…..

Amanda x

March 28, 2023

I AM……?


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