The story of the Bloom family is nothing short of magical. A tale of courage and love, it centres around a little magpie named Penguin, who played a pivotal role in restoring the family's hope during extraordinary circumstances.
Photography by Cameron Bloom.
In 2013, Cameron's wife, Sam, fell six metres after a balcony collapsed beneath her and suffered life-changing injuries that left her paralysed from the waist down. After months of extensive rehabilitation, Sam returned home, where the family found a little magpie chick abandoned, having fallen from a nearby tree. Pengiun was promptly taken in by the family, who made it their mission nurse her back to health. Eventually it became clear that it was in fact Penguin who was helping the family recover, bringing joy, tenderness and a sense of lightness to their home.
As a photographer, Cameron documented everything, focusing on the unique relationships that slowly blossomed between his wife, his three sons and little Penguin. Their exceptional story spread, leading to a book deal, Penguin Bloom, and now a film starring Naomi Watts, which is currently in the works. Here, Cameron once again turns the lens to his brood: who, in celebration of Father's Day, share with us what they have learnt from their father along the way.
“Dad always taught me to never want more than you need, to consume less and look after what's around you. This means a lot to me now as I consider the impact that every one of us has upon the environment around us and that of the planet.”
“When Dad and I made a bamboo stretcher and surprised Mum by carrying her to the top of her favourite spot in Palm Beach. I scattered rose petals and poured mum tea as she sat and watched the sunrise. We were so excited we made it possible together.”
“I love creating with Dad, making stuff from objects or rubbish, building and learning skills from him is priceless. For the skills I possess today, I owe it to him – making sculptures and toys with me as a kid. The principles he taught me still reflect within my design and constructing processes.”
“Dad and I laugh about the most random and silly things, we make fun of each other and laugh it off.”
“Dad has given me so many gifts over the years, teaching me how to think about others, being a compassionate person, and learning not take things for granted.”
“A precious moment I can remember with my Dad is being at the International Jazz day in Melbourne. Although the few days I spent with dad we’re such a joy, the most special moment was being on stage during the rehearsals talking to some of the world's most renowned jazz players. As a guitarist, this meant the world to me.”
“One of the more enjoyable things I do with my Dad is surf. Most weekends and sometimes before school I am out with him having an incredible time and enjoying nature.”
“My Dad has most definitely given me my hard-working and persistent personality, I have always looked up to my Dad because of these special traits.”
“My greatest memory with my Dad would be jumping on the trampoline every day after school. It was so much fun and I always had such a good time.”
“I love to take awesome photos with my Dad because he teaches me some photography techniques and always gets the coolest photos ever. We also love to laugh about jokes and funny videos.”