Monthly archives: November 2013

Last week, I lost a close friend, and the world lost an amazing person. Holly and I have traveled in 3 continents and lived together in another (Australia). Holly was a very gifted writer and truly believed that she could make the world a bit better. She believed in conservation through awareness and education so she used her writing and radio segments to tell stories. The last trip we took we traveled in Borneo, Holly took off to even more remote spots to get stories from locals from what the deforestation was doing to the villages. She put articles together with my photos and her writing. We always talked about what the two of us could do together for conservation. Not only were we close friends and great travel buddies, but together we made a great team.

Holly traveled to Thailand with me last year. When I think of her, I think of this image and this moment. I was photographing a wedding for an Australian Adventurer. The groom is an avid rock climber and his friends are also crazy adventurous people. They asked us if we wanted to go climbing. Holly had never really done outdoor climbing, and this was with an extreme group of people. We scrambled up to start on the side of cliff already pretty high up. I could see just a few nerves in Holly but she threw a harness on and was ready. She jumped on the route so fast and without hesitation, not slipping or falling once, on a rather hard route, climbed strait to the top, impressing everyone there. When she came down, with the beauty of the mountain, the accomplishment of the climb, and a few dropped jaws (including mine), I remember looking over at her face and seeing just pure pride and pure joy. She was overwhelmingly happy, and it was a beautiful moment. I will always remember feeling her happiness at that moment. Holly just full of pure joy.

When I found out she passed away, I looked into flights to Sydney, to be there for her funeral. It didn’t feel right. I felt that it wasn’t what Holly would want. So instead, I decided to continue fighting her causes and give donations in her name. I want to celebrate her life, through her commitment to conservation and change. So if you want to continue her fight just a little bit with me, please consider a donation to the following causes.

Earth Matters Radio (Earth Matters Radio presents local, national and international environmental issues with a strong social justice bent.- from facebook)

Deforest Action (organization Holly worked with in Borneo) –

Anyone reading this take a moment and don’t forget to invest in what you believe in, that is why I made this a public post. This world is beautiful and it is worth fighting for.

Holly you will be missed. Thank you for inspiring me to be a better person and for your commitment to trying to make this world a better place.

  1. Amy said:
    Thanks for posting this Kristi, really beautiful.
    November 26, 2013  12:35 pm
  2. Patsy Nomvete said:
    Dear Kristi, I was very touched by this post. Thank you for sharing about Holly. Patsy
    November 28, 2013  5:47 pm
  3. Mischa Hutchinson said:
    Hi Kristi
    This is beautiful, thanks you for doing this for Holly. I was wondering if I could have a copy of this photo? It's perfect.
    December 4, 2013  3:30 pm
  4. Mark Worsfold said:
    You probably don't remember me from UNSW days but thanks for posting this about a dear friend.
    December 24, 2013  2:54 am

Mia and James Castrission
Rayavadee Resort

I met James almost a decade ago, we used to rock-climb together when I lived in Sydney. I hadn’t seen him in seven years, but definitely kept up with his adventures. Not only is James an inspiration to me, he is an Adventurer, Author, public speaker, outdoor enthusiast, and with his buddy raised 10s of thousands for children’s cancer centers. With his best friend Justin, he was the world’s first to Kayak from Australia to New Zealand and recently was the world’s first to walk from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. A feat he completed only a few weeks before his wedding day. When he sent me a facebook message asking to shoot his wedding, I may have done a happy dance, or two! If you have a chance, please watch these movies, they make me cry,

I had never met Mia until Thailand, and immediate was drawn in by her warmth, friendliness, laid back personality and huge contagious laugh. Getting to know her a bit I realized just how inspirational she is herself, let me just say, I was very impressed. She planned her wedding while her fiance was close to dying in Antarctica, and instead of trying to stop him, she encourages him to follow his dreams. She has a way of making everyone feel special and making everyone around her happy. I could not be happier for my friend to have found such an amazing women.

The wedding was just amazing. I was worried, you see, photographically it is easy to make a mediocre wedding look spectacular, but it is a challenge making a jaw dropping wedding show the awe that was present. This wedding was the most spectacular wedding I have seen. The day started with groom doing a mulitpitched climb on his wedding morning, while the women got to sleep in a bit. Mia surprised all the groomsmen with custom underwear that read the role each of the guys had in the wedding, and these guys are not shy. I am used to girls not being shy around me, but wow, they had no problems changing underwear right in front of me (as you can see the groom changing his undies behind his best man a few images down – don’t hate me James). During the reception (and on other occasions) the guys were pantless, showing off their underwear. There were fire-twirlers, late night runs for the ocean, a wooden boat I got to ride on with the newly married couple, amazing Thai food, and a reception under a huge sky of stars. Crazy amazing!

I have many people I want to thank here, first and foremost, a huge thank you to Thu Tran, for coming all the way to Thailand to shoot this wedding with me, and coming to Borneo and letting me drag you all around Australia after the wedding. This was the trip of a lifetime and I love that we got to share it. You are one of the most amazing people I have met in my lifetime and your photography rocks, thank you a million times! My husband for letting me travel for 6 weeks. Amy and Holly for joining the adventure 🙂 Jame’s family for making us feel like part of the group, and for inviting us to their home for Sunday dinner, what a great night. Sarah and Ben for putting us up and being so amazing. The way you two welcomed me back to Australia meant the world to me, and also made my cry while sitting alone at the airport trying to leave Sydney. I miss you guys. Zander for lending us his car, taking us climbing in the mountains, and for just being tons of fun to hang out with. And last but not least, a big thank you to Justin Jones for letting us in your home. Thank you for housing and letting us hang out, we had a ton of fun with you. I feel very blessed to have each of you as part of my life, thank you.

Feel free to follow James and Justin’s adventures on or on their facebook page,

  1. Lisa Boggs said:
    awesome, kristi! loving all of the boat and water shots, those are stunning! great job!
    April 3, 2012  6:53 am
  2. Amber Wilkie said:
    Kristi, these are insane!! What a crazy awesome wedding.
    April 3, 2012  6:57 am
  3. Debi said:
    Awesome Kristi! I love so many of them!!!
    April 3, 2012  7:25 am
  4. Mario Brathwaite said:
    Holy crap! These are wonderful images, Kristi.
    April 3, 2012  7:29 am
  5. admin said:
    Thank you guys!
    April 3, 2012  7:33 am
  6. Mike Kelly said:
    The groomsman on the left in his undies had the right word for it. EPIC!
    April 3, 2012  7:33 am
  7. I LOVE this wedding!! SO amazing! Such an awesome job, Kristi!
    April 3, 2012  7:34 am
  8. YES!!! lOVE!!! Absolutely stunning! Such kick ass images! You totally rocked this one Kristi! xoxo
    April 3, 2012  7:48 am
  9. Sarah B said:
    Aaahhh!! LOVE. The boat photos are very special :)
    April 3, 2012  7:55 am
  10. rebekah j. said:
    i am DYING these are so good!! so proud of you man. SO proud!
    April 3, 2012  10:18 am
  11. KFinn said:
    Yes! Love the male undies!! Great shoot Kristi!
    April 3, 2012  10:53 am
  12. LeeAnn said:
    Kristi, I know how excited you where when James asked you to shoot his wedding and I can see why!!! The pictures are incredible and what a beautiful couple!!! I absolutely love the white veil surrounding them as they kiss!!! You do have amazing friends Kristi!
    April 3, 2012  4:00 pm
  13. Meredith said:
    Hi Kristi, Great photos. You have captured their intensity and the fun of their day too. I was at the wedding and this is the first time I got a look at Mia's shoes.
    April 3, 2012  6:31 pm
  14. Paul said:
    Woah! Great photos and what an amazing backdrop for a wedding. Hopefully our paths will cross one day, so glad Kristi had the opportunity to take part in your big day. Congrats Mia and James. Cheers!
    April 3, 2012  8:00 pm
  15. Zander said:
    Amazing photos of an amazing trip! I was so lucky to be a part of it and to meet you and your friends Kristi!
    April 3, 2012  8:49 pm
  16. Thu said:
    AAWE! LOVE!!! These people, these photographs, and this location-- they are all so amazing!!! Thank you Kristi for planning such an amazing trip and allowing me to witness and be a part of one of the most amazing weddings of my life! I feel so lucky to have experienced some of the most spectacular adventures, and meet some of the most incredible people I've ever encountered. There is too much love to go around and no words can ever express the deep gratitude I feel! What a pleasant break away from doing taxes. I want to stay in never land forever!
    April 4, 2012  2:57 am
  17. Lisa Robinson said:
    Love them, Kristi! I don't think you need to worry about making this amazing wedding look as awesome as it was. You crushed it. :-)
    April 4, 2012  11:58 am
  18. Wow... adventurous people. Great coverage and fantastic wedding at this beautiful place. You where a very lucky photographer. Congrats.
    April 5, 2012  8:21 am
  19. Candice said:
    Hi, great adventure and amazing photos. Can possibly get the photographers contact details, I may be intrested in hiring him for my wedding funny enough exactly one year ahead of the date of this blog. Destination Thailand.
    Thanks heaps.
    November 28, 2012  3:08 am