About me

Maroubra Sunset. Photograph by James Brickwood

I love mastering my craft – the visual language of composition and the harvesting of light.

I also love stories, in all forms: books, films, music, design, images…

My biggest achievement professionally, as a photographer, has been winning a World Press Photo award.

Personally my biggest achievement is my family. We married last year in Ubud . I could say my little angels made adorable flower girls, but that would be lying. Adorable wild monkeys, is more apt. 

I see a wedding day as your day, not a photo shoot. My style is to stay true to my documentary roots, not to intrude on the day but to capture the moments as they unfold.

When not making visual stories, I can be found trying to play improv jazz on my saxophone, or grabbing a surf at Newport Peak…

A life that follows the heart: As a photojournalist my work has been published in The UK Herald Magazine, Brigitte, Der Spiegel, Stern, & The Sydney Morning Herald. I was a freelance photographer for The Sydney Morning Herald, intermingled with 10 years travelling through 60 odd countries and achieving my childhood goal of working as a shooter for the newspapers I grew up reading. I chased exotic stories with my camera until I found myself in Bali in the club when the bomb went off , October 12th 2002.  I knew then, with absolute clarity, that if I survived, this was not the path for me. I don’t want to photograph death & destruction. I want to capture life, both the ordinary times and the celebrations.

The great adventure, I finally realised, is right in front of me.

The all time greatest documentary photographer James Nachtwey said at a talk in Sydney:

“The span of a career in a lifetime is like the blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. But in that nano-second of eternity, think of how much we see and how much we are given to learn. We witness injustice and cruelty, suffering, greed, arrogance, envy, betrayal. But we also learn the value of integrity, tolerance, respect, loyalty, trust, kindness, compassion, courage, friendship, humour, forgiveness. Things that if we were lucky our parents taught us and we spend the rest of our lives learning for ourselves.

All in a heartbeat within the immensity of time”.


Image shows the birth of Hadassah, just 3 seconds old…


Above is an picture of the most astounding shoot I’ve done recently; the birth of Hadassah. Her mum (pictured above) rang me, out of the blue, and asked me to photograph her giving birth, at home. It was an incredible honour.


Telling stories, whether in the form of a wedding, a family or a birth is always an honour.


I would love to tell yours.


My documentary images can be seen at www.tanyalake.com

  • Tarmizy Harva

    Hi Tanya,
    I missing a friend so long, we meet in WPP, Amsterdam 2004.
    so sorry, long time no see.
    How are you?
    Since 2014 i am working freelance, after 12,5 years in Reuters.


    Tarmizy HarvaReplyCancel

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