Fresh 48(ish) :: Baby Kimiko <3

This sweet little bundle of joy, Baby Kimiko, was only a few days old when we captured these images of her. We did a newborn shoot with her big sister Florence last year (here). Toward the end of this blog post, we have interspersed some images from Big Sister Florence’s shoot with Newborn Kimiko’s below. Whilst both girls have their own unique features, we also found their similarities striking. Two adorable little humans. <3

Florence concerned about Kimiko’s hearing test <3


Here are some of Florence’s newborn shots side-by-side with Kimiko’s shots. We think that there is a lot of similarity! <3

Baby Florence (now Big Sister Florence) <3

Big Sister Florence <3

Baby Florence snuggled in Mum’s arms <3

Baby Kimiko snuggled in Dad’s arms <3

Baby Florence’s feet <3

Perhaps Big Sister Florence shares our obsession with baby feet <3

Beautiful family of 3 <3

Beautiful family of 4 <3

Baby Florence <3

Baby Kimiko <3

Baby Florence <3

Baby Kimiko <3

Baby Florence <3

Baby Kimiko <3

Lavender & Berries Wedding Inspiration at Country Weddings Queensland, Australia

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend! We are thrilled to share one of our most recent shoots. The shoot took place at an exciting new wedding venue: Country Weddings Queensland. This stunning property is located on Maitland Road, Burpengary 4505. David & Kerri, the personalities behind it, are a delight to work with; their warmth and hospitality is memorable. Any couple that chooses to celebrate their big day at Country Weddings Queensland is in for a treat.

The entire team behind this shoot made the process seamless. Special mention, though, of the talented duo behind Emunah Events. Carissa & Serena are responsible for the 1) planning, 2) styling and 3) floristry! Thank you, once again, for all the hard work (mostly behind the scenes) that goes into a project of this size. It all came together perfectly - thanks to your determination and efforts - and matched our initial vision to a T! Emma Blakey & Dorrion Kroon made shooting a breeze; such a delightful couple. Finally, a big thank you to each of the businesses; we enjoyed working with all of you and your individual outstanding products/services! Looking forward to seeing each of you around in the near future.

Travel Diaries :: Prompts for the Journey Home

We have shared a couple of musings from our travels (here & here). We are continuing that theme today but from a different perspective. We have mentioned previously that we are not diary-type people but that we do enjoy chronicling our adventures. In fact, we make it a priority. On our way home, we pen our final thoughts: the good, the bad & the ugly. It is our way of summarising the cliff notes - or the key events & experiences, if you like - while they are still fresh.

On our way home from Europe, we interviewed each other with some of the following prompts:

Our holiday in review:

  • Most exciting moment

  • Most depressing

  • Most notable

  • Most life-changing (neither of our answers were very philosophical, by the way!)

  • Most confronting

  • Most relaxing

  • Most stressful

  • Most awkward

  • Most challenging

  • Most humbling

  • Places we must revisit

  • Most interesting people

  • Best hotel moment

  • Worst hotel moment

  • Strangest food

  • Best sugary treat

  • Biggest highlight

  • Favourite city

  • Least favourite city

When we visited India, we adopted a different approach. We made a list of things we would not miss about India and things we would. Here are just some of the things we listed that we would miss:

  • Friends/adopted family (both)

  • Curry for breakfast (Pete)

  • Organised chaos (both)

  • Polite hospitality (both)

  • Colours (both)

  • Masala chai tea (Em)

  • Architecture & art (both)

  • Roti, garlic naan & paratha (both)

  • Constantly exploring (Em)

  • Nat Geo in person (both; wonderful experience to see places we had only read about previously come to life)

  • Beeping horns (both; we actually adapted to the background noise and, in the end, it grew on us)

  • Eating with your hands (Pete; we were really nervous about this aspect of Indian culture upon arrival but we ended up adjusting within days and grew to enjoy this further tactile extension of the eating experience and found it hard to believe that we had been concerned in the first place)

Just reading through this list makes us want to go back to India stat. We are so glad that we recorded these feelings & thoughts while they were still fresh. The following two sentences sum up how we feel about documenting our travels. If you do not record these adventures, you may regret it one day. If you do record your adventures and you never look at your writings again, at least you had the choice. Do future you a favour and write it all down. Furthermore, you just might find that your trip home feels that little bit shorter. Or it could just be the “return trip effect” but that’s a different story. Happy & safe travels! :)

Publication :: Becoming One

We hope everyone had a great weekend. :) We have some exciting news: we are published in Becoming One! You will find plenty of inspiration and fantastic vendors in the magazine. You can find the publication here (pages 172-187). Our feature was from this shoot: Pantone's "Parisian Pâtisserie" Palette Wedding Inspiration at Mirra in Brisbane, Australia. So proud of the teamwork that went into that shoot! Hope everyone has an enjoyable week. :)

Toowoomba :: Carnival of Flowers

Here are some images from three gardens that we visited as part of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. One can only imagine how much time and effort goes into each of these gardens! We stopped at Danish Flower Art for a delicious lunch. It was such a relaxing spot and we enjoyed warm, friendly country hospitality. The food was yummy and hearty; highly recommend. If you end up going, make sure you check out the wall celebrating Crown Princess Mary of Denmark. Enjoy!

Vow Renewal: G+C <3

Greg & Claudine renewed their vows at beautiful Newstead Park, Brisbane. When we had coffee with them initially to make sure we would both be a good fit, we were struck by how family-oriented they were. Nearly everything came back to family. They were renewing their vows as family had been unable to make their overseas wedding. They wanted the focus of the images to include candid family moments. On the day, we offered to over-deliver on time but they were concerned that they would keep family from going out and celebrating together. A truly special and lovely couple. We wish them many adventurous holidays around the world on their motorbike. The location was beautifully styled by Beach & Garden Ceremonies and we worked alongside Simply Special Events on videography. Here are just a handful of highlights from the day. <3

The way Greg looks at Claudine <3

Claudine looking like a queen <3

Brisbane :: Roma Street Parklands

This weekend, I (Em) am planning to enjoy some of the gardens that feature as part of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. It should be a lovely & relaxed weekend that I will be able to share with some friends. I will be sure to take the camera along, too, and no doubt eventually share here. In the meantime, here are the links to last year’s posts:

Toowoomba :: Steam Train & Carnival of Flowers (1/2)

Toowoomba :: Steam Train & Carnival of Flowers (2/2)

Closer to home, we recently went to the Roma Street Parklands; as can be seen below, the gardens are looking spectacular and are full of pretty pops of colour. Wandering through the gardens is a pretty alright way to spend a spring afternoon. :)

Pantone's "Parisian Pâtisserie" Palette Wedding Inspiration at Mirra in Brisbane, Australia

Photographer Emily McDonald was glancing through one of Pantone's inspiration colour palette collections recently. One, in particular, jumped off the page: "Parisian Pâtisserie". Between the grounding 'Costly Cacao' & 'Apricot Spice' and the cheerful 'Melted Butter' & 'Pink Frosting', this was guaranteed to be a delightful theme to execute. Pantone's challenge to 'blend them in daring ways with icings & sugary embellishments' was accepted and the concept for the following styled shoot was born. We embraced simplicity and elegance (the Parisian way) and teamed them with a playful pop of pastel.

While Emily was responsible for the conception of this shoot, Carissa & Serena from Emunah Events undoubtedly formed the backbone of the planning process. In addition, they executed the original vision flawlessly and styled the shoot beautifully. It was a privilege to work with them and this shoot would not have been possible without them. We are incredibly grateful.

Tess (from Little Duck Calligraphy), responsible for the stunning stationery suite, carefully curated elements that showcased the palette for this shoot. Tess delighted with her bespoke & timeless style that is characteristic of her brand. Sarah, from Gloriosa Florals, embraced the theme and delivered classic floral styling with playful pops of pink & orange. The bouquet was wrapped in Songbird Silk ribbon; the softness and drape of the silk adornment radiated sophistication. Little White Couture’s Bree supplied the elegant accessories for our lovely model, Samantha. The exquisite crown and jewellery complimented the theme perfectly. Gabrielle, from Makeup by Gigi, expertly created Samantha’s look (both hair & makeup).

Samantha looked stunning in her When Freddie Met Lilly gowns (we were lucky enough to be able to showcase two of them!). Johnré, our distinguished groom, rocked his suit from Wil Valor. Fiona McIntyre, our lovely celebrant, was a pleasure to work with; Fiona brought both her charisma and professionalism to the shoot. Mirra provided the perfect backdrop in terms of venue location and Rebecca (from Mirra) could not have been easier to work with.

Click Picnic provided the event hire, including the adorable & versatile white cart. The chairs for the table setting were obtained from David at Superb Party Hire. Macarons by Monika contributed the pretty-in-pink cake topped with a Molossi Designs cake topper. Molossi Designs also provided the donut board. Sophia Mulheran Designs handmade the copper bowls and plates. Last - and in no way least - Raw Cotton contributed the beautiful leather clutch.

We are very grateful to each and every team member for their individual, professional contribution. There is always a lot of hard work that goes into shoots behind the scenes but, all in all, this shoot was a lot of fun!

  • Samantha Blackie // bride // website

  • Johnré Blackie // groom // website

  • Click Picnic (Dave & Brodie) // event hire // website

  • Emunah Events (Carissa & Serena) // planning & styling // website

  • Fiona McIntyre (Fiona) // celebrant // website

  • Gloriosa Florals (Sarah) // florist // website

  • Little Duck Calligraphy (Tess) // stationery // website

  • Little White Couture (Bree) // accessories // website

  • Macarons by Monika (Monika) // cake // website

  • Makeup by Gigi (Gabrielle) // makeup & hair // website

  • Mirra (Rebecca) // venue // website

  • Molossi Designs (Josh & Suzanne) // cake topper & donut board // website

  • Poppy & Sage Photography (Pete & Em) // photography // website

  • Raw Cotton (Anna) // leather clutches // website

  • Songbird Silk (Tamara) // silk ribbon // website

  • Sophia Mulheran Designs (Sophie) // copper plates // website

  • Superb Party Hire (David) // chair hire // website

  • When Freddie Met Lilly (Vanessa) // gowns // website

  • Wil Valor (Mark) // suit // website

Brisbane :: Botanical Gardens

We love our beautiful hometown of Brisbane. Previously, we collated a list of our favorite things to do and see and eat in Brisbane. Every spring, Brisbane Arcade hosts a flower show featuring spring fashion collections and a stunning bloom display installed throughout the Arcade grown and harvested by Redlands Fresh Flowers, one of Brisbane’s last remaining flower farms in the Redlands Shire. This year, the flower display:

  • was installed over 3 nights

  • required an estimated 150 hours of manpower

  • covered 850m2

  • featured more than 1340 stems

  • 1894 bunches of flowers

  • 36 bags of moss - and more!

We planned to pop into the Arcade and share some of the impressive work here BUT we were one day too late. :(

While at the Arcade, it was impossible to resist a spot of window shopping at Wendy Louise & Belle Folie (see below). We actually have a shoot featuring Wendy Louise accessories due for release next month. Looking forward to sharing!

It is a reasonably straightforward walk from the Arcade to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. The staff looking after the gardens always do a wonderful job of caretaking. The space is really welcoming and well-maintained. The most recent garden layout, however, would have to be my (Emily’s) most favourite to date, though. We are so grateful for such lovely, clean gardens in the heart of our city.

Story Bridge, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Elephant in the Room :: Pinterest

tl;dr: The best outcome is borne out of compromise.

Expectation vs Reality

Ah, Pinterest - in short, it's both a blessing and a curse.

When we were in the position of the client, we printed off the images we found that resonated with us and provided them to our wedding photographer. We get it. Totally. When it comes to weddings, there are so many different styles and concepts out there. Pinterest really gave me (Emily), in particular, some much-needed clarity during the planning process. Not even sure how brides figured it all out before Pinterest, to be honest!

We (Poppy & Sage Photography) have set some boards up to (hopefully) make life easier for our clients:

We are on your side, of course. However, like most things in life, Pinterest is not simply black and white for us. ;)

Tammie Joske (a photographer) states: "Photography is one part art, one part science, one part math, and that extra something else we can never put our finger on - usually we call it a 'good eye', or natural talent". We agree. You need all four components for a truly outstanding image. When you are busy focusing on replicating an image produced by someone else, there has to be compromise somewhere along the line. In addition to the above-mentioned components, there are usually environmental variables to account for, too: lighting, colours, natural elements*, to name a few. If everyone is okay with that, we can work with any situation.

[*For example, the image sourced from Pinterest might have a lot of movement in it from wind. We may need to bring along a leaf blower to replicate this situation. ;)]

I (Emily) worked at a small pharmacy on the Sunshine Coast for several years. One of the pharmacists I worked with was equally left- & right-brained (we'll call her Anna). To keep both sides stimulated, she worked as a pharmacist some days of the week and a hairdresser on other days. Hairdressing clients would come to Anna with cutouts from magazines or from hair colour boxes with the request to make their hair the same colour. Anna would ask the client a couple of questions to gauge what was motivating that particular colour choice (especially if she thought that the colour might not suit them best and she needed to find a diplomatic way to suggest a slight variation). One day, she mentioned that she had noticed an interesting phenomenon. Anna said that it very often became apparent that the client was more attracted to the image of the person rather than the hair colour per se. She found that stripping the situation back and addressing the colour alone was, in some cases, quite challenging. Sometimes the client genuinely seemed to think that they would look more like the model if their hair colour was similar.

This is just one aspect of how the concept of expectation vs reality can play out.

Some would say that this grey situation can stifle creativity and limit the creation of unique content. We would not disagree.

In addition, spending time replicating images has the potential to disrupt (to one degree or another) the organic flow of the day.

HOWEVER, a lot is dependent on the situation for us. We will explain where we are coming from.

If we are doing a personal project for our portfolio, we'll go out with a model and experiment... explore our creative realm... take risks... push boundaries; that is our personal creative release.

If we are shooting an event for a client, we are respectful of your wishes - including inspiration derived from Pinterest. No questions. No judgement. It is not our day.

Ultimately, you are hiring us to capture your story your way. One big aspect of our business model is to work closely with our clients. In fact, one reason for why we provide two photographers for weddings is so that one can be responsible for ensuring that we meet the brief given to us by the client. We print off communication from our couple (including Pinterest suggestions and the questionnaire) and that shooter has the responsibility of keeping the brief on track.

In addition, we love that Pinterest means that we see less matchy denim pants and white shirts, peeking awkwardly around trees, terrible studio backdrops that are Awkward Family Photo-worthy, and so on. Pinterest definitely has a place in the wedding photography world. On a personal note, my travel board is bursting at the seams and I am okay with that. ;)

Final Thoughts

Feel free to bring your lists from Pinterest to us. We will happily work through them.

One final thought is buried in this adage:

Don't give the client the images they want. Give them the images they need.