Port Kembla beach is one of the best in the Wollongong region, and was the perfect setting for Ashley & Josh's sunset engagement session!
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!
Amy & Kyle - Engagement
There's just something so magical about watching the sun head behind the horizon to sign off for another day. Almost as magical as finding that someone who your heart just knows will be your forever.
Amy & Kyle are so well suited for each other! From our first meeting over coffee to discuss their upcoming wedding plans I could see the very strong and solid connection these two share.
With their August 2018 wedding fast approaching, we headed down to one of the Illawarra's best beaches for their sunset engagement session a few weeks ago. This week put out some of the best sunsets that we'd yet to have seen for Autumn and the day of our session the sky did not disappoint! Our session was full of fun and laughs, reflecting these qualities of their personalities and showing the bond that their hearts share.
Looking forward to their wedding at the end of August!
Ingrid & Situa // Married
All the way from Griffith, Ingrid & Situa travelled the picturesque Illawarra for their wedding! They met through a mutual friend at the pub, how very Aussie! They've been together for 8 years, and engaged for four, after Situa popped the question at the lookout point in Griffith following a nice meal shared together.
Their wedding was held at Panorama House, overlooking Wollongong on the escarpment. For the morning preparations, they rented AirBnB properties and both of these properties I felt both gave a little character! For groom prep, there was a natural timber outdoor bar and for the boys with their custom flasks and glasses, bottle of Wild Turkey and cuban cigars - this was perfect! For the ladies, the property was so full of natural light, and in the adjoining yard there was a huge bamboo plant which made for the perfect setting for a few quick snaps before the girls jumped in the limo.
There was a lot of emotion on their day, which you'll see from the images below. From Ingrid's Mum, proud as punch as she gifted Ingrid with a necklace representing their New Zealand heritage which she kept with her all day around her wrist, to not a dry eye when Ingrid first turned around dressed in her wedding gown. To when Situa first laid eyes on Ingrid as she was accompanied down the aisle by her Grandmother, to finally saying "I Do" and the nerves and anticipation that the morning brought to them both, finally disappearing.
Much alike myself, Ingrid is a passionate footy fan and her beloved New Zealand Warriors were playing the Canberra Raiders on their wedding day, and here she is in the limo on her way to her wedding watching the game live on the NRL app. Now this is just a true fan here - in her wedding dres, on her way to the ceremony... and watching the footy! Luckily, in what was a very close game, the Warriors got the win with a final score of 20-19 which just added that cherry on top of a wonderful day of happiness for her and Situa.
A highlight for me of their day, was at their reception. Both Ingrid and Situa are very close with their families, and their cultural backgrounds. Ingrid's family background is New Zealand, Situa's is Tongan. We had cultural prayers in native tongue, song and dances from both sides of the family and being able to witness all of this culture come together was truly amazing. Situa's younger sister performed the Tongan dance, whereby it is custom that while she is dancing, that guests bring up money to her, which is then given to the newlyweds. After the music started and she started dancing, the Best Man, Situa's brother was on the dancefloor, followed by family, friends and Situa also. I just love how connected and inclusive this was!
Congratulations once again to you both and thankfully for inviting me along to share and capture your special day!
Venue: Panorama House
Florist: Aimee Clayton
Makeup: Jade Nardi Makeup
Cake: Delaney's Cakes
Transport: Crown Limousine
Wedding Gown: Something & Love
Bridesmaid Dresses: White Runway
Bride's Shoes: Luxe Shoes, Griffith
Groom's Suit: Tarocash
Flasks & Glassware: Giftware Direct
Carly, James & Georgia // Family Session
How hot was Sunday!?
Whilst most were enjoying the waves at the beach or staying inside with the a/c blasting, I had a mini-session marathon with 4 sessions! I know, only crazy people work in 40°C weather right?!
This session was my second last for the day. This family had just traveled back from Canberra after visiting family for their nephews 3rd birthday, and then endured the tropical humid heat for our mini session - and we had so much fun! Georgia is only 18 months old and just so full of life. We had laughter, tears - and this girl has SO many different facial expressions from cute as pie to sass queen and everything in between.
Such an adorable little family with a lot of love and it was a pleasure to capture this family, even in the phenomenal heat on the day!
Bec & Chris // Married
An intimate wedding of just family and a few close friends was the perfect choice for Bec & Chris - a big wedding just wasn't them. Another thing that made their wedding uniquely theirs, that they included in their ceremony was a pledge by all attending guests that they were to celebrate and cheers with champagne with them as the reception kicked off!
When I asked Bec to describe their wedding in 3 words, she said small, intimate & romantic. These three words perfectly described their day! A few tears, a lot of laughs, and you can see from their guests faces, a lot of love and support for this beautiful couple.
Ceremony Styling: South Coast Party Hire
Florals & Flower Crown: Flowers and Crowns by Lauren
Celebrant: Carol Martin
Venue: The Lagoon Seafood Restaurant
Hair: Hair by Nat
Makeup: Samantha Dunn (friend)
Wedding Gown: Sweet Angels Bridal
Cake: Lee Karayiannis (friend)
Hannah & Nathan // Engagement
I love when I meet with my couples and they're as silly and chilled out as I am. This was exactly the case with Hannah & Nathan - actually I think my personality is the blend of the two of theirs combined!
I had a blast capturing their engagement session in one of my favourite, less-travelled to parts of the Illawarra. I recommend with engagement sessions to opt for a location that contrasts to your wedding location. Hannah & Nathan are a military couple, both in the Australian Navy, and will be married on base in Sydney later this year. With the picturesque Sydney Harbour views that will serve as the perfect backdrop for their wedding images, they travelled down to my neck of the woods and held our session in beautiful bushland of the Illawarra escarpment, overlooking Wollongong.
Oh, and if you bring your daughter along - I totally can't promise that she won't steal the spotlight for your session! Isn't Vida just adorable! This week, Hannah and Nathan have announced some very exciting news, that there'll be a new addition attending their wedding, with their second daughter due in August. What an upcoming exciting year ahead for this growing family!
Hes & Styve // Engaged
Engagement sessions are a great way to get to know your photographer, and their style prior to your wedding day in a more relaxed and casual environment. I encourage my couples to think about their hobbies, if there is a sentimental or special location for them - could be where they had their first date, or just where they like to spend their weekends. I think engagement sessions are all the more special, and personal when they have an element that represents the couple. Eg. If you and your fiancé are in the surf most mornings and just live for the beach - then I'd probably recommend we choose a beach session to reflect this.
With Hes and Styve, being a Sydney couple they regularly frequent the Centennial Parklands on their weekends with their adorable son Ollie. My gosh, what a place! These parklands aren't just a normal patch of grass with a playground set upon it - no. These parklands have ponds, grasslands, fields, woodlands galore and it's absolutely huge! This place has so much to offer and a huge variety of landscapes, there was no wonder that this family regularly come here! But it was set, there was no better choice for our location than Centennial Parklands. We set our place to meet, but the minute I parked and got out of the car I knew where we'd be holding our session.
This gorgeous tunnel alley of trees, with this stunning soft light shining through was right next to where I parked! I took a quick snap and when I met up with Hes & Styve at the nearby café, showed them the location I'd just seen and they were as hooked as I was!
Now as I mentioned earlier, engagement sessions are best when they're a visual representation of the couple. Their son, is a super important element of their life - so of course we included him! This goes for pets, children, sentimental items - things that reflect you as a couple I love. The love that Hes & Styve have for each other, and their combined love for Ollie just flourished in our session. I like to have fun with all of my sessions, there's always a lot of laughter involved and this session was no exception to this! There's no rigid "alright guys, nice in close together, looking at the camera and on the count of three, say cheese!" with my sessions. I'm all about capturing your personalities, the inside moments, the love and the laughter in a very relaxed, laid-back and candid way - capturing shots that nine times out of ten, when you receive your gallery back you won't even know these moments happened!
Hes & Styve will be married back at this beautiful location in April, and I cannot wait to capture their upcoming intimate wedding!
Jess & Shannon // Married
Aussie girl meets Kiwi boy via Aussie sister via an online game!
Well, this is a super confusing way of how Jess & Shannon met! Fast forward two and a half years, a move to Australia from New Zealand for Shannon and a beautiful daughter who has just turned one... and they became Mr & Mrs on January 27th.
Shannon proposed in Manly Botanic Gardens on a bridge. A lot of nerves, tears and a YES! A year on from this special day, they were wed at Wollongong Botanic Gardens, and of course we had to utilize the symbolism of the Kawasaki Bridge given their proposal story!
Just like how they met, their wedding included a strong sense of family & love of their friends. In their ceremony they also included a balloon release, and a padlock ceremony with their daughter.
Reception: City Beach Function Centre
Florals: A_Flower - Alanna Foo
Hair & Makeup: Lauren Ashley Hair & Body
Cake: Mi Cakes & Design
Rings: Michael Hill
Dresses: Mr K
Welcome Sign: Noelle Ula + Brothers (friends)