fun

Chris, Maddy & Hunter - Wollongong Family Session

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Chris, Maddy & Hunter

With eyes that tell a thousand stories, and umpteen in-between moments, this session is one of my favourites from recent. This may also have a large thing to do with this family being three of my favourite people, and the cutest family unit ever.

Hunter is the son of one of my oldest friends, Chris & his gorgeous partner Maddy. He's almost one, and we headed down to the local gardens at sunset for their first family session. This little guy (Hunter that is!) is seriously such a good boy, with killer smiles, a cheeky laugh and curls that go for days. 

Throughout this series you'll see the close bond within this family, the love, the laughter, the cuddles... and one of Hunter's favourite toys which makes one heck of a lot of noise! These are important in family sessions, particularly with younger kids that aren't yet comprehensive to the spoken word and cheeky bribes - bring along their favourite toy or something to spark their interest (on the spot, keys usually are a hit!) to get their attention and spark those token giggles!

Worthington Family - In-Home Lifestyle + Rhododendron Gardens, Wollongong

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Worthington Family

When I'm not shooting weddings, I have a huge soft spot for family sessions. Usually weddings are on a Saturday, so most Sunday's I'll have either a few family or engagement sessions on my calendar. The Worthington family wanted something a little different for their family session - and I was all for it!

We kicked off our session at their home in the northern suburbs of the Illawarra, where we got to really see the playful personalities of Anna & Charlie, two of the cutest kids I've ever met! I think this is the only time they'll be allowed to jump on Mum and Dad's bed and get away with it too!

With a wardrobe change and a change of pace from the intimate and cosy home environment, we headed up to the Rhododendron Gardens in Mt Pleasant. Though it is Autumn here, we've had a very Summer-like start to the season, and those trees that are usually already beautiful shades of orange with leaves falling everywhere are still very green. Though, we did find a spot where it seemed that all of the fallen leaves had left a sort of natural carpet on the ground - which made for the perfect props to finish off our Autumn family session with some leaf throwing fun!

Mel & her husband Trent are the owners of local children's clothing business Willow n Oak. Together with her Nan, they custom hand-make every design within their label - how awesome is that?! In our garden images, the overalls that Charlie is wearing, and the mustard romper that Anna are wearing are both new designs to the Willow n Oak clothing label. Definitely head on over to their site and check these designs out - there are some seriously adorable outfits on offer!

Tahlia & Matt - South Coast Wedding

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Tahlia & Matt // Married

Well this date rolled around fast! We held our engagement session back in July, making use of the stunning winter sunsets in the Illawarra. 

Tahlia and Matt are both nurses. They met in the halls of Wollongong Hospital. From my time getting to know them both, and from the greater insight given from the heartfelt speeches at last night's reception (Best Father of the Groom speech I have EVER heard also!), these two have been near inseparable since they first met and compliment each other perfectly.

They were married at Bewong River Retreat, on the beautiful South Coast. This location is just stunning, the ceremony is held on a jetty nestled on the banks of the river - so when you view the images below you can see that the backdrop for the ceremony is just divine!

With golf carts to get around and kangaroos galore, it is such a beautiful location, and one by which both ceremony, reception can be held, with accommodation options also.

There were a lot of little details in the day - and I LOVE details! Matt and Tahlia exchanged gifts the morning of - both a heartfelt letter, and Tahlia received a beautiful bracelet and chocolates, whilst Matt received a watch - both items worn on their day. Tahlia also wore her Mother's wedding earrings, and her Grandmother's watch was tied around her bouquet. Though he didnt attend on the day, outside the window when I arrived to capture Matt's prep I saw his 4-legged buddy, Rocky - so of course being part of the family was included for a few shots!

There was a lot of emotion come the time of the speeches. Matt was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2009, and was given a less than humbling chance of fighting it. However, he did just that, and is now completely cancer free!  This is where Matt's interest in a career of nursing kicked off, and thankfully what brought him to eventually meet his now, gorgeous wife Tahlia. There was not a dry eye in the room when Matt's father, David touched upon how there was a very real point that he never thought he'd be standing there giving a speech at his only son's wedding. Of course, it was followed by quick whit and a lot of laughs to continue his speech. The connectivity between Tahlia & Matt's wedding guests, all 100 or so of them was apparent throughout the whole day, for those that had supported them through their very tough times, and now stand by them celebrating in the joy.

To the new Mr & Mrs White, it has been a pleasure getting to know the two of you over the past year or so throughout your wedding planning process and I wish you both all the best in your future together as Husband and Wife!

Vendor list:
Makeup: MAC by Meg
Hair: Maiden Hair
Wedding Gown: Accapella Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Justin Alexander Store    
Flowers/Decor/Styling: As A Whisper  
Bridal Shoes: Wittner 
Suits: Tramps the Store 
Cake: Eileen
Entertainment: Nowra Wedding DJ

Tash & Mike - Wollongong Couple Session

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Tash & Mike // Couple Session

From the moment that Tash enquired, I knew we were going to have an amazing session! You can tell a lot from how people word their emails, and Tash's were filled with emoji's and exclamation marks - my favourite! :) 

We met at one of my favourite spots in the Illawarra, with angry looking skies to the north, but clear blue skies with radiant sunshine to the west. I was greeted with 3 absolutely beaming smiles, and excitement for our session! Tash is from Sydney, Mike from the northern suburbs of Wollongong and have been together for a while now. And then there's the beautiful Amani, such a beautiful 6 and a half year old, with a giggle that'd make the crankiest smile!

Mike was telling me that alllll Tash wanted was water shots. And this was totally okay with me! Thankfully at the spot I chose, there's waves, but there's also a deeper rock pool that is sheltered and the water is almost still. Thankfully being Spring, the water is quite temperate!

Tash and Mike are such a beautiful couple. I have tricks and ways to generate the natural emotion out of my couples, as having your photo taken can be an awkward thing and take some warming up to - but with these two I didn't them! They just have so much love for each other, and just like to have fun together, which made my job an absolute breeze. Capturing these personalities together exactly as they are, relaxed, raw and real.

The Prior Family - Wollongong Family Session

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The Prior Family

After rescheduling for months due to bad weather, we finally got to hold our family session! This was my second session with this family, and these two boys are two crazy peas in a pod!

My best advice for sessions with children who don't have a lasting attention-span for a full photo session, is to play on their terms. All Abel & Braxtyn wanted to do was have a photo by the water. After our main series of photos, I promised we'd capture a few by the water as a reward for co-operation. While Mum & Dad had a few photos and so that we didn't have two young boys in the water - I suggested a boat race. Simply, you drop a leaf at the top of the stream, and the leaves are pushed along with the current. Whichever leaf reaches a set 'end point', wins!

Well we didn't even get as far as setting end-point, but we did get photos of the boys by the water as promised!

Ingrid & Adam - Thirroul Beach Wedding

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Ingrid & Adam // Married

For Adam & Ingrid's wedding, we were constantly checking the BOM (Bureau of Meterology)  radar as there was a 90% chance of rain forecast. 
The ceremony was moved indoors as the day prior was steady soaking rain, and with the high possibility of further showers, it avoided possibly being rained out or guests standing on soggy grounds. 

Adam and Ingrid's portraiture session was a mix of serious and fun. The ratio of fun to serious was definitely more on the fun side of the scale! Such a great couple with a fun bridal party made for some great photos and lots of laughs!

And yet, the skies didn't open until 9pm that night, and moody skies and the moments mentioned above just added to what was such a wonderful day with this beautiful couple. 

The Finch Family - Townsville

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The Finch Family

This family was A LOT of fun. Held just a day after Belle's parent's session, we ventured out in hunt for some stunning golden light for our sunset session. Townsville is such a good location, in the fact that it has so much to offer. Gorgeous sunrises over the beach, and sunsets over fields and grasslands - prime locations at our disposal!
Belle & Chris's 3 children are so cheeky and hilarious. So of course, we embraced these qualities and captured the essence of their personalities!