At ELK, we love all things local.

So when we discovered the work of Melbourne based photographer Samee Lapham we knew we had found a kindred spirit. Samee took over our Instagram account for a week, featuring special places and spaces that make our hometown of Victoria in Australia so unique.

Before Samee took over our Instagram @elkthelabel, we took some time out to find out a little more about Samee.

What is your favourite local spot in Melbourne?

There are too many to list! Since moving to Melbourne at the start of 2016, my map app has become so clustered with stars the whole of Melbourne is now engulfed by yellow! As I’m based in Fitzroy North, I'm quite biased about the area I live in—my absolute favourites within a 10 minute radius of my house include Carolina or Breakfast Thieves for brunch, Billy Van Creamy for the best ice-cream in Melbourne (hands down!), Gler Thai for a mean green curry, and Longplay or Joe’s Shoe Store for a drink with friends. Yes, it’s all about the food!

What’s a normal day in the life of Samee?

Perhaps the only normalities in my day-to-day are coffee and vegemite toast. Everything else at the moment is pretty sporadic and changes daily—from shooting & editing photos, to writing & curating content, to website design, social media management, preparing EDMs, designing print collateral, and replying to emails somewhere in there too! It’s organised chaos, as I like to call it.

Favourite travel destination?

Again, too many to list! Whilst I lived in London over 2013-2015 I managed to fit in quite a bit of travel to Europe and is in part what inspired me to pursue photography more seriously. Top of the list includes Lisbon, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and ALL of Italy.

I also travelled to a fair amount of ski fields with my parents and two brothers growing up, and our most memorable trip was to the Monashee Mountains, BC, to ski backcountry. Of the thirty-odd people on the trip, my Mum and I were the only two women, which made it even more daunting (why were we the only women!?)—we had avalanche training and spent five days in waist deep powder in the middle of what felt like nowhere. It was incredible.

What’s on your bucket list for travel destinations?

Santorini, New York, Joshua Tree, Reykjavík, Uluru and Tassie!

What inspired you to become a photographer?

I’ve had a camera in my hand since early high school, but it was actually when I first got a digital camera and then an iPhone that really sparked my day to day photo-taking the most. The friends I made whilst living in London played a huge part—we would meet up on weekends and wander around taking photos together, it was seriously the best fun. I was taking more photos than ever, but I was also looking for the better shots and learning from others who were equally as passionate.

I’ve worked as a graphic and digital designer since 2006, which I love, but it’s whenever I pick up my camera that I feel my happiest—and so I chase that feeling. It’s nice to have a balance between design and photography in my work nowadays.

What is your spirit animal?

I’ve always loved polar bears, so let’s go with that!

To find out more about Samee, head to her website here

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