Sam Riles shows us her warm and sunny beach side home

Plate with rockmelon on wooden bench with coffee and magazine.
Sam sitting on a day bed drinking a coffee.
Shot of the bedside table with products and greenery
Shot of banana leaves
A photo of the bench with bowls of fruits, lamps and foliage.
A shot of a chair against a wall with an artwork and straw bag.

Photographer, Sam Riles, is one of our fave creative ladies in Sydney. We love her laid-back style, fresh aesthetic and friendly face. Today, Sam takes us on a tour of her sunny home in Avalon on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and talks tea, palm trees and to-do lists.

 

  1. HOW DO YOU TAKE YOUR COFFEE? 
    To be honest I always change every time I order because I don’t really have a preference and secretly get choice anxiety. Although you can’t go wrong with a chai latte!
  2. HOW DO YOU EARN A CRUST? 
    As a lifestyle and wedding photographer.
Shot of banana leaves
Shot of the bedside table with products and greenery
A row of hooks, with hats and bags hanging from it.
A shot of a cat on a bed
  1. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? 
    Wake up and put on the kettle for a cup of tea. Jump back in bed for a little longer and cuddle my cats. I’ll tidy up around the house and then go for a walk to either Whale Beach or Bilgola Beach, and will most likely call a friend for a chat. I then spend a big chunk of the day editing photographs from recent jobs, writing back to emails or I’m out of the house shooting on location in Sydney. In the afternoon I love to water my veggie patch and plants and pick up some groceries (organic when I can) for dinner. I’ll cook up something heartwarming for dinner, currently I’m loving making a bowl of sweet potato mash, wild caught fish, greens and roasted chickpeas with paprika.Glass of red and some Netflix time with my one and only, then I’m in bed by 9:30pm (with our IN BED linen) because we’re old people and our bed sheets are so lush.
  2. TELL US ABOUT YOUR HOME
    We live in Avalon, in a humble little duplex that resembles a fibro beach shack.
  3. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS IN IT?
    High-raked ceilings, white walls and lovely windows that I can push open to let in the sea breeze. My favourite thing is the small patch of grass we have in our front yard that’s protected by palm trees, it’s a luxury having a private outdoor space in Sydney and I definitely don’t take it for granted!
A photo of Sam on her front porch in a relaxed white linen jumpsuit

“I love that I don’t have a standard 9-5 job though because it means if the weather permits, I can spend the day outside in the garden or seeing a friend.”

  1. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT FINDING CLIENTS?
    They usually find me through Instagram or are referred from past clients. I started out shooting families and babies but quickly realised that there was only so much room to grow in that field (despite my mild obsession with babies) and have since then shifted my focus onto lifestyle photography – which in turn, encapsulates everything I love and also draws in a variety of clients.
  2. HOW DO YOU START YOUR WEEK?
    I try to create structure in my week by mapping out a short to-do list for the week and for each day. I love that I don’t have a standard 9-5 job though because it means if the weather permits, I can spend the day outside in the garden or seeing a friend.
  3. WHAT ABOUT ENDING YOUR WEEK? 
    I often struggle with drawing a line between work and life so when I have the weekend off I like to delete all of the apps that tend to consume a lot of my head space: gmail, Instagram and Facebook. We usually try to organise dinner with friends last minute and like to head down to the Newport for sunset drinks.
A shot of a chair against a wall with an artwork and straw bag.
A photo of the bench with bowls of fruits, lamps and foliage.
Plate with rockmelon on wooden bench with coffee and magazine.
  1. TELL US ABOUT A PROJECT YOU’VE LOVED THIS YEAR?
    This year has flown by! It’s been such a whirlwind! I would have to say I’ve loved collaborating with In Bed on their journal. It has been such a great way for me to meet creatives and have a peep inside their beautiful homes. I also feel In Bed is very authentic in what they do and it has been a pleasure to work with them.
  2. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST HURDLE YOU’VE FACED AS A FREELANCER?
    The inconsistency of work – some weeks I’m fully booked and then others it’s quiet- also seasonally I’ve noticed how much work can increase or decrease, so finding ways to generate money in the quieter times of the year was something I learnt was important quickly!
  3. WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?
    I seek inspiration from so many people and things…a well-made film (Celeste and Jesse Forever, Stealing Beauty ), a good playlist on Spotify, my Pinterest feed and conversations with friends. Sometimes even just taking a different route home gives a fresh perspective!
  4. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A CREATIVE RUT?
    Put on a favourite song (at the moment: Summer Friends by Chance the Rapper) and turn it up really loud and make myself clean the house and dance like an idiot. That usually does the trick!
  5. WHO ARE YOUR CREATIVE HEROES? 
    It’s forever changing…although there are people in the industry I really look up to and admire for the way they’ve managed to keep their head on their shoulders but also run a successful business. To name a few: Tess Robinson from Smack Bang of course, Pip Vassett from In Bed and Graphic Designer and Artist Tess Guinery.
  6. NEXT ADVENTURE?
    So many planned at the moment! Potentially moving home, going to Hawaii with Max to see world surf league, and a new and exciting business venture with a friend!
  7. WHAT IS ONE LESSON YOUR BUSINESS HAS TAUGHT YOU ABOUT LIFE?
    That practice gets you closer to perfect…that no one really knows what they’re doing to begin with and we all simply learn by putting ourselves out there and making mistakes. No one is perfect.
A shot of Sam's kitchen. With white cupboards and lots of utensils.
Sam sitting on a day bed drinking a coffee.
A photo of a wall with the bag hook holding hats and bags, with a picture of the surf next to it.
Photo of a plant in a basket
Sam holding onto a hanging plant

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