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The Road Not Taken {A little review of 2014}

I wish I knew how to write it all out, how to say everything I want to say, but I felt like I needed a bit of distance between myself and the last year before I even began to think about it.

You see, it was a year of personal loss and professional gain and in a way I feel like that’s always how it goes.  When one thing in your life is going well, something else suffers. 2014 was by far the best year for the biz with getting to shoot so many amazing weddings in so many gorgeous places both near and far, being asked to speak at the Canada Photo Convention, and getting named as one of Rangefinder’s Rising Stars of 2014, but we had a lot of loss in the family. My grandfather passing away being the biggest and it left a deep sorrow that I wasn’t sure quite how to process. I can deal with most any kind of physical pain without skipping a beat (for those that don’t know me so well, I broke a toe in the first hour of shooting a wedding and kept on going right through the other 11 hours), and yet this pain was different.

This last year has had me reliving some of my family moments, through the photos and little notes written on the backs of them. I remember my very teeny grandma telling my brother and I that she was “average height” for her generation and the two of us, who towered over her, laughing. We found some photos fairly recently of my grandma and her group of friends and sure enough, she was the same height as everyone else!

There are few things that I regret, but not taking more photos of my family is by far the biggest. I have so many photos of my family from when I was little, but in the hubbub of life, you forget to take photos of your family as they are now. Sometimes I feel like the builder with a half-finished house. My resolution for 2015, if you can call it that, is to take more photos of my own family, as it grows and changes. To document our lives as I get to document the lives of others.

I’m so very thankful that this job means that I get to do just that, document other people’s lives and tell their stories, viewing some of my family story has made me appreciate it even more. Most, if not all of my favourite images of last year were of family and friends enjoying a moment at their weddings. Candid little morsels of time. I look through the photos and they remind me of the joy, love, nervousness, and care that is this life.

I feel like I’ve written much too much, but my goodness, it felt good to write it. Before sharing some of my favourite photos from the last year, I wanted to share with you a poem by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. In the last year, I’ve questioned my path a lot, but this one, right here is where I’m supposed to be.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost


TeePee // The Grounds of Alexandria Wedding

Oh me, oh my! Theresa & Pete (affectionately called TeePee by their friends and family) had one cracker of a wedding, and honestly, I knew it was going to be a lot of fun and a lot of craziness right from the get-go.

You see, I met Theresa & Pete in 2011. Vy, Theresa’s sister was getting married, so we set up a time to meet and I met not only Vy & Matt, but also Theresa, Pete, and Matt’s sister, Alexis. It was intense in the best way possible! I loved that they were so close and involved in each other’s lives. They cared not just about the photos, but also how everyone got along.

Theresa & Pete’s wedding was planned in much the same way as that very first meeting, making sure that everyone got along and enjoyed themselves, their wedding wasn’t just a celebration of their love, but also of how much they loved their families and friends. Of course with a little bit of quirk thrown in… I mean, how awesome are the TEE PEE balloons?! And bowling the morning of the wedding? I feel like this is a new trend that needs to be started! It was just awesome how excited everyone got for bowling and also just how relaxed Pete was!

I’m not the only one who thinks this wedding is crazy adorable, it was recently featured on one of my favourite blogs, Nouba, you can check it out here.

Theresa’s dress: Carla Zampatti
Theresa’s shoes: Mimco
Bridesmaids dresses: Carla Zampatti
Pete’s suit: Brent Wilson suit, Saba shirt
Pete’s shoes: Aquila
Rings: Cerrone (Theresa), Raffini (Pete)
Accessories: Tiffany & Co. earrings, The Tie Bar ties
Hair: Murphy Gozzard Hair Community
Makeup: Liquid Illusion
Ceremony/reception venue: The Grounds of Alexandria, Sydney
Celebrant: Kirsten Carter Custom Celebrations
Flowers: Florals by Silva
Entertainment: The Baker Boys Band
Stationery/invitations: DIY, printed by Digital Press
Transport: bride’s father’s BMW

Entry way at Theresa & Pete's getting ready for their wedding
amazing decorative T and yellow bridesmaids dress

Carla Zampatti black and white stripe wedding dress
Theresa's Mimco wedding shoes
A detail of Instax Minis
Makeup getting ready with Liquid Illusion Makeup
Writing the Maid of Honour speech
The final makeup touches in the morning for Theresa & Pete's wedding at The Grounds
Final touches of makeup by Liquid Illusion Makeup Sydney
Theresa getting into her Carla Zampatti wedding gown
Bride getting dressed in her gown
Bride walking down the stairs in her black and white stripe wedding dress
Theresa putting on her Mimco shoes at the last moment
Floral hair piece by Florals by Silva
putting dad's bow tie on and getting ready to get married
Bridal portrait the morning of her wedding
Bowling the morning of their wedding in Alexandria, Sydney
Sitting around at the bowling alley and getting ready for the next frame
Celebrating at a bowling strike
The groom bowling on the morning of his wedding
Congratulations sign at the bowling alley for Theresa & Pete
The boys getting ready house for the wedding
Miss Molly, the puppy getting ready with the boys for the wedding
Pete getting ready for the wedding
Groom doing up his shirt
Theresa & Pete's wedding ceremony at The Grounds of Alexandria
The rooster at The Grounds of Alexandria walking around at TeePee wedding
Theresa arriving for her wedding in her dad's vintage BMW
Individual portraits of the bridal party
Bride & Groom portrait with lush greenery around
Theresa & Pete in the atrium at The Grounds
Lush green wedding portraits at The Grounds of Alexandria
Striped wedding dress and stripes at The Grounds of Alexandria
Quirky wedding portraits in Sydney
quirky dancing portraits of Theresa & Pete at The Grounds of Aelxandria
quirky dancing portraits of Theresa & Pete at The Grounds of Aelxandria
quirky dancing portraits of Theresa & Pete at The Grounds of Aelxandria
yellow, black and white bridal party portrait
Bride & Groom with a big yellow ballon at Sydney Park
Bride & Groom with a big yellow ballon at Sydney Park
Wedding portraits at dusk

The Grounds of Alexandria wedding
Sydney Wedding Photographer

Rangefinder 30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography 2014

These magazines have sat beside my side of the couch for a little while now, I think from pure shock I haven’t posted about it on the blog. When I started out in wedding photography, this was the list I read every year looking at who the newest batch of amazing wedding photographers were and aspiring to create the same level of work for my couples as they did for theirs.

I’ve always dreamt of being a photographer and have found so much joy in getting to actually live out that dream, that getting this kind of recognition for it feels like icing on the cake. What makes it so much sweeter is that some of my favourite people and wonderful photographers are on that list along with me. We, essentially, grew up together photographically. I’ve known Nessa & Brit since before I shot my first wedding, and they’ve both helped shape and support the person and photographer that I’ve become. I’m thankful to them and to all the couples that have hired me to document their day and have trusted my vision and style. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

rangefinder rising stars of wedding photography,  sydney wedding photographer
rangefinder rising stars of wedding photography,  sydney wedding photographer

Katelyn + Tyler’s Awesome Saloon Themed Rehearsal {Spokane Wedding}

So much of what we do as photographers is about anticipation and happenstance, a mix knowing where and how to be at the right place at the time and being at the right place at the right time by kismet. With Katelyn and Tyler, it was the kismetic recommendation of a fellow photographer friend Matt Shumate that brought us into each other’s spheres and brought me to Spokane in Washington to shoot their very much family affair of a wedding.

Katelyn & Tyler invited my better half, Nick & I to their saloon themed rehearsal dinner a couple of days before their wedding to get to know their family & friends. Through our Skype chats & emails they’d very much begun to feel like old friends and I won’t lie, I was really excited to meet their extended families and get to know everyone a little bit better. I was told that under no circumstances was I to bring my camera (but really… what kind of a photographer would I be if I left the hotel without at LEAST one camera?) and that we were there to be their guests and enjoy it all.

I’ve never been more thankful for my always camera-toting ways than when we arrived at Tyler’s family farm. I wish there was a way to bottle that atmosphere, because really, it felt like we’d arrived at our family house.

I’m going to camera-geek a little bit with you guys and say that one of the things that I loved about shooting this rehearsal was shooting purely with one camera and one lens (Canon 5D Mark III & 50L for my curious photographer friends). There’s something about using the one focal length and using your feet & getting up close and personal which I love, it makes you think everything through much more clearly.


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I Love Wednesdays at One Fine Day

To say we loved our booth for this year’s One Fine Day would be an understatement. It was a real labour of love and DIY goodness. We basically transported a part of my house to Australian Technology Park and tried to bring love and colour to our booth.

A lot was DIYed in the weeks prior to the fair, including our rug (which is not so secretly my faovourite DIY from this year). But our kind of amazing wall was made by the wonderful guys from WildSets, who built our epic wall, I really wanted it to feel lived in and like you were coming into our backyard and they really nailed the look. It turned out more perfect than I could’ve imagined, and I’m trying to figure out how to put it up in our house!

Thank you to my better half Nick for, as always, keeping me sane and running with my crazy ideas, my biz buddy Vic for making sure things ran smoothly, Jack attack for coming to help set everything up and to everyone else who came and said hello it was so lovely to meet you all and I hope you enjoyed the fair!