travelling photographer

USA June 2018 - Manhattan & Brooklyn NYC, Washington D.C. & San Francisco California Travel Photo Blog

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First Stop - New York City

Thought I would change things up a little and post a photo blog of images from the last 3 weeks spent travelling through America with my husband. This was our first overseas trip together, and was also our year-delayed honeymoon. Our first of our three destinations within the U.S. was New York City, followed by Washington D.C. and finishing up on the West Coast in San Francisco, California.

So our first destination was NYC. After near 19 hours of flying, 2.5 hours in layovers and approximately 5 hours in transport/waiting time we finally made it to our hotel on 39th St, Manhattan which would be our home for the next 11 nights. You've probably all heard the phrase when describing New York as "The city that never sleeps" - my gosh is this accurate! Countless 24hr businesses, the constant noise of city traffic and sirens, people rushing off between places at all hours of the day... there really is never down time in the heart of Manhattan, or at least being as close to Times Square as we were anyway!

Over the next 11 days spent in NYC we explored quite a fare chunk of Midtown and Lower Manhattan. Times Square, Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, The Met, 5th Ave, Grand Central Station, Empire State Building, Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Centre), Madison Square Park, Flatiron District, Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, Wall St, Ground Zero Memorials & The 9/11 Museum, Various famous movie/tv on-site film locations (Including Sex & The City, Gossip Girl, I Am Legend, Seinfeld, Friends, Big Daddy, Spiderman, The Amazing Spiderman, Ghostbusters, and many more), Intrepid Air & Space Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not, National Geographic Odyssey Ocean Encounter, Central Park Zoo, Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO, Williamsburgh, Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich, West Village - these were just some of the many things we did & areas we explored! For a relatively small island, Manhattan really is a concrete jungle (well said Alicia Keys!) just full of things to see and do!

Photographic representation of our NYC adventures:

Next stop, Washington D.C.

The best parts about our time in New York and Washington D.C. was the weather! Nearing Summer, and though we had many overcast and somewhat cooler days, the temperatures were still significantly warmer than the Winter we'd left behind back home. We had some days of 30ish degrees, and then come down in the low 20s - so very typical Summer weather for back home and given the 10-20kms we were walking each day these temperatures were actually pretty bearable!

We caught the train from New York to Washington D.C., going through New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware before arriving at Union Station in D.C. Being by rail there was only so much we could see of the states and cities we travelled through, but just the significant change in landscape of even Philadelphia and Baltimore was evident in contrast to the hustle and bustle of New York that we'd become so used to. Wider, less populated streets, a lot more urban landscape, agriculture and farmlands - and so much green! The landscape was just so lush and vibrant!

In D.C. we stayed in Dupont Circle, which is just a short metro trip away from Downtown where the heart of D.C. is situated. We enjoyed this change of pace after spending the last 11 nights in New York, as though we were in an area surrounded by nation's embassies, it was so quiet compared to what we'd just been used to!

Though only here for 2 nights, we managed to check out everything we wanted to, including the White House, International Spy Museum, Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial, Franklin Roosevelt Memorial, Capitol Building, National Mall, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum & The Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. We certainly made use of our short time in D.C.!

Photographic representation of our Washington D.C. adventures:

Last stop, San Francisco, California

Well it was goodbye to the beautiful summer weather of the Eastern coast and over to the much more temperate West Coast! And weren't we hit with it when we exited the airport! With temperatures in the mid-high teens we were expecting weather similar to back home at this time of year, but the wind chill felt like a constant icy southerly and we weren't expecting that! We stayed in Union Square, in the heart of downtown San Francisco and we were quite central to transport, shops and eateries.

San Francisco is such a beautiful city! The thing I was looking forward to most for this trip was booked back in March, and was our night tour tickets for Alcatraz. Oh. My. Gosh. For anyone travelling to San Francisco this is a must! I've had an interest in the history of the prison for years, and going there just heightened this interest! Sunset wasn't until around 8.30pm so when we arrived on the island just after 6pm it was still quite light - so this time to head over is perfect as you have the experience of the day, then the sunset following on to night as the sun drops behind the oceanic horizon. With Alcatraz only being 1.25 miles (approx 2km) offshore, the cruise over is only brief and the island has amazing views of San Francisco city. From hearing about escape attempts & stories from past inmates and correctional officers, seeing the cells and learning about what life on The Rock was like, to the big highlight after dark where we witnessed and heard the eerie iconic sounds of the cell doors being opened and closed. The experience was unreal!

In our 4 final days of our time in San Francisco apart from Alcatraz, we also checked out Fisherman's Wharf in it's entirety including seeing the fur seals at Pier 39 frolicking and playing, headed out to the Californian Academy of Science, walked around the headland over to the Fort Mason Centre, travelled via Cable Car, saw the views from Battery Spencer in Sausalito and walked along the Golden Gate Bridge and ventured down the famous crooked section of Lombard St.

This was the end of our USA journey, and we've come home with memories and experiences we'll cherish forever. New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco are all so different and it was great to visit these places and tick them off the travel bucket list! As to where to next? Who knows!

Carly, James & Georgia - Shellharbour Family Session

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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!

Jessica & Shannon - Wollongong Botanic Gardens Wedding

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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.

Vendor List:

Hotel: Sage Hotel Wollongong

Ceremony Location: Wollongong Botanic Gardens

Reception: City Beach Function Centre

Videographer: VideoEditOz

Florals: A_Flower - Alanna Foo

DJ/MC: Davertainment

Hair & Makeup: Lauren Ashley Hair & Body

Cake: Mi Cakes & Design

Rings: Michael Hill

Dresses: Mr K

Suit: Connor

Welcome Sign: Noelle Ula + Brothers (friends)

The Graham Family - Quirindi In-home Newborn Lifestyle

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Welcome, Archer!

When I first put out word that I would be in the Quirindi/Tamworth region briefly between Christmas and New Year, the Graham family were quick to respond! They were actually due to have their bundle of joy right at this time - I mean, talk about perfect timing, right! Due to the uncertainty of actual due dates, and when babies decide they'd actually like to enter the world, there was a very real possibility that we may not have gotten our session in. However! I got a wonderful email the week before I was leaving, right before Christmas saying that baby Archer had arrived earlier than planned!

9 days old at our session,  and his parents hearts so full of love for their first-born. This is the perfect session to answer a few questions I'd had recently about how I conduct my newborn sessions, and what "in home lifestyle" really means. In short, these sessions are essentially all about capturing what's going on in a "day in the life" kind of way. So no un-natural activities, more or less capturing your family, in your home with your new baby, if it's an in-home newborn session (I offer in-home maternity, family and couple sessions also!).

You'll see from the starting images here, I captured bath time. It can get VERY warm in the Liverpool Plains region, being inland it doesn't have the coastal breeze I've become to take for granted living in coastal Wollongong. So we started our session with a bit of a cool off, and bath time for Archer, which he loved - I mean check out those adorable facial expressions! 

I look around your home (not in stealth mode sussing it out, just glancing!) for little decorative elements that make your home unique (signs, photos, etc). I just loved the quote that serves at the first image of the series about loving you more than chocolate! With newborns, this is also a great way to include heirlooms and sentimental gifts. Handmade toys, clothing or blankets I LOVE to include, not only due to their intrinsic value, but also as the Grandparents/Godparents/Extended friends and family, etc love them also, as it shows that their gift is being cherished.

And I love pets too! Though I saw these gorgeous pup's in photos on the wall, during this session I didn't meet any four-legged family. But with a lot of my sessions, indoor cats definitely get some shutter-time! Four-legged family to me are part of the family network too, and I love to include them in your in-home session.

If you're situated within the Liverpool Plains region and were interested in booking in a session with me, please get in touch! I have family in the area and am planning on heading back up in the near future. 

Reagen & Mathew - Panorama House Wedding

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Reagen & Mathew // Married

I love smaller weddings that are so heavily family focused. This was definitely one of those. Reagen and Mathew were married at Panorama House, surrounded by their closest family and friends - with the majority of attendees family. Reagen and Mat share the most adorable son, Finnick so they are their own little family also. I got to see the love and adoration not only do they have for each other and Finn, but for the concept of family as an entity when we held their engagement session months prior. 

Now I've mentioned many times that it's the people who attend a wedding that to me not only make the day what it is, but shed so much more of a story into the couple and the other relationships they keep also.

I like to stand back and witness these moments. Usually I don't hear the words being said, just a far bystander capturing the hugs and reactions. But in the images I captured of Reagen's Grandfather just following the ceremony, I did overhear what he was saying as he congratulated both Reagen and Mathew individually, and it was the same few words to both:
"I couldn't be prouder to be here today, and I wish you both the very best in your future together".

A few simple words, but you can see from his face how genuine and incredibly heartfelt they were.

I try and quickly grab these moments around the ceremony and the reception, of guests as they witness the couple being wed, the hugs of congratulations following the ceremony, the little moments whenever they have a chance, and the goodbyes as guests leave the reception. 
So many times I get by with a quick snap without guests even noticing, sometimes I'm caught and the hands go up to avoid capture. Years gone by, with future generations looking through their parents, grandparents, even great grandparents wedding photos, don't be remembered as the one hiding from the photos!

These moments to me, is what a wedding is all about!

Oh! And I love a couple that is up for an adventure! Reagen didn't wake on her wedding morning thinking she'd be bushwalking, in her wedding gown and stilettos but she did and totally rocked it! We travelled down the escarpment for their bridal portraits, to Austinmer and my gosh, we had some fun. 

Venue: Panorama House, Bulli Tops