Sweet Baby Naomi. It is such a delight for us (read Pete; he is our newborn photographer!) to capture these fresh moments. The little lined feet. The tiny curled fingers. The pencil lips. The wide gaping yawns. The strong emotions! It’s a vulnerable, fleeting time in life. We will be forever grateful that our early memories with Chloe were captured. It is a privilege to be able to provide the same for our beautiful clients. Sometimes we capture these sessions in hospital and sometimes, like the one below, at home. <3
We kicked off a new series in January featuring traveling photographers from around the world (most recent feature here). We make no secret of the fact that we love travel. We love learning about other cultures. We love contributing to a smaller, more interactive space. With this in mind, we are going to be sharing local stories by local photographers from around the world throughout our posts this year.
For this month’s feature post, we are featuring… well, ourselves! We are showcasing our hometown of Brisbane, Queensland. We posted on this topic previously (here); we do have a different slant for the topic of our hometown this time as most of the recommendations are close to Brisbane City itself. These recommendations also feature a heavy smattering of parent influence but our toddler might disagree. If this post was left to 2-year-old Chloe, it would probably feature our local dog park at the top. Some recommendations will double-up with our previous list - these are possibly the ones to put at the top! We pride ourselves on having a transparent business model. We think that you will find our view of our hometown to be transparent, too. Warning: this post contains Aussie sarcasm. We hope that you enjoy!
"Tell us about where you live": We live in Brisbane, Australia’s third largest city (behind Sydney & Melbourne, Australia’s largest & second largest cities respectively). Descriptors & phrases you will hear about Brisbane, our river city, include that it is liveable. Family-friendly. Affordable. Cosmopolitan. Has a laid-back lifestyle. Offers enviable weather (except for our humidity! Try to avoid December-February). Is a rapidly emerging global city.
"What makes your town, state or country unique?": Possibly one of the most most unique elements of Brisbane is the Royal Queensland Show, or Ekka, our largest cultural festival. Actually, it is the largest one in our state of Queensland. Ekka, richly steeped in traditions, has been an annual show since 1876. On average, 400 000 people attend. We shared our 2017 Ekka experience in posts here & here. What is not pictured is the “Ekka flu”, the sickness that unfortunately seems to be inevitable & prevalent around that time of the year.
"If I traveled from the opposite side of the world, what should I visit in your town, state or country?": Our recommendations (below) are pretty much limited to inner ring suburbs (up to 5 kilometres from the city centre) making exploring our city feasible. Brisbane is a sprawling city and outlying suburbs can be up to one hour drive (or more depending on peak hour traffic) from the central business district. Aside from Brisbane City itself (check out the Botanical Gardens in the heart of the city), here are our recommendations on both sides of the river:
North of the River:
Eat Street Markets consists of a series of shipping containers offering internationally-influenced street food & drinks. Plenty of entertainment on offer, including an outdoor cinema.
James Street is a chic & trendy fashion hub. Excellent spot for a stroll and some window shopping if indulging & escaping is part of your holiday plans.
Northey Street City Farm, a non-profit community farm in the heart of the city, is our home away from home. It’s our local backyard. It’s where we unwind and clear our head.
South of the River:
South Bank Parklands cover 17 hectares of river-front land and feature free swimming facilities, walking tracks, picnic spaces and more. Very family friendly.
QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art) also offers free entry to permanent exhibitions. Usually worth popping in and losing yourself for a couple of hours.
"What is something quirky we would find in your town, state or country": The fact that our city has been built around a murky river (well, an estuary to be precise), attracting monikers like “brown snake” because, quite frankly, you can never have too many references to our deadly wildlife. Ah, we are grateful to live here - truly.
Since our city is pretty laid-back, you can be walking along Queen Street one moment and experiencing Sheppard live the next (can personally testify; they raised the roof with Geronimo). Brisbane is a bit of an unassuming city and we love that. We hope it never changes in this respect.
"Coffee or chai/tea?": Our coffee scene isn’t as strong as some other Australian cities so we are going to go with chai tea. The best place for this is at The Three Monkeys. It will be served to you in a bowl. Just go with it. Oh, and pick a table all the way out the back of the cafe. You will find a cosy back garden where time slows down and you will want to return stat. :)
"Best breakfast cafe?": The Low Road Cafe. This is a must. Please don’t fly halfway around the world and not partake here. We mean, there is a very good chance that you will pass the cafe on your way from the airport to the city so just.make.the.pit-stop. We have been going to the Low Road Cafe since they were kind enough to offer a highchair to tired & harassed parents. We heard a rumour that after writing “Kick Me” on the back of the highchair, they threw it under a passing train on the nearby tracks. Needless to say, we haven’t seen that white highchair in a looooooong time. Top tip (nothing to do with food as you can pick anything here): just be a decent human and they won’t publicly shame you on their facebook page. They probably won’t remember you, either, so there’s that, too.
"Three reasons for why someone should visit your town, state or country?": 1) What you see is what you get; Brisbane is not pretentious. 2) The Low Road Cafe; we are yet to find a cafe in the world that gives us the same comforting postprandial hypotension to kick off our day and, at the same time, promises to ruin our next event if we choose to book it with them (we never said that we don’t have Stockholm Syndrome). 3) Brisbane is family-friendly; a big deal for us now that we have a little one.
"Train, bus, car or walk?": If you live here (backstory because it’s complicated), it comes down to where you live. Brisbane is still ironing out the public transport options in general. If you are here for travel, you might be able to get away with public transport (we have made sure that most of our suggestions above have been public transport friendly). Outside of the city, car hire will be the most reliable option and will allow for greater flexibility in outer suburbs; just keep alert but not alarmed for parking signage (fyi: our parking ticket officers take their job seriously). The central business district itself is conducive to walking but make sure that you slip, slop, slap, seek & slide (slip on a shirt, slop on the 50+ sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade or shelter & slide on some glasses; Australia is the melanoma capital of the world after all).
"Best accommodation?": We wouldn’t know for sure as we haven’t experienced Brisbane accommodation outside of our living quarters! In terms of luxury, Sofitel is highly rated and about as central as possible to Brisbane City. Otherwise, Airbnb it and get to know some (more likely than not) friendly locals!
"Must-see vantage point?": Mt Coot-tha Lookout offers panoramic views but is over-rated. There we go; we said it. It can also be a little bit inconvenient to get there (some advice here; parking at the top is at a premium). Our local council is currently redeveloping the Mt Coot-tha site to include a treetop canopy tour, a scenic zipline tour, & an Indigenous cultural heritage tour and skywalk. In other words, watch this space (the treetop canopy tour is expected to be open as early as sometime this year). At the base of Mt Coot-tha, however, are some very pretty gardens: we shared some of our small adventures here and here. They are really nice gardens to wander in for a few hours.
"Who is the most note-worthy person to come from your hometown?": Geoffrey Rush. Possibly? Well, he was actually born in Toowoomba (down the road and around the corner) but he went to school & university here in Brisbane so that sort of counts, yes?
"Number one thing you miss when you're away?": It is hard to beat our climate for most of the year. You thought we were going to say the Low Road Cafe. We would but they don’t offer us a highchair. :p
If you come and grace Brisbane with your presence, feel free to hit us up for fresh/season-specific recommendations. We would be only too happy to help.
We introduced ourselves here. We shared a little about our personalities here. We included a list of 10 random things about us here. Today we want to share 10 reasons for why we provide two shooters on your wedding day. It has been well-documented that many couples regret not spending more on photography (base assumption being that greater value would equate to higher quality). While the appropriate compensation for photography services is subjective and dependent on key factors such as experience & expertise, there is one thing for sure at Poppy & Sage Photography: we want to go above and beyond to ensure that you love your images. We want to exceed your expectation for quality. One way we strive to meet this goal is through the provision of two shooters. Why exactly? Well, here are 10 reasons:
One of us is responsible for the shot list provided by the client & meeting standard composition requirements; the other typically focuses on candid photography & creative composition (everything comes back to our questionnaire, though, and the priorities that you have detailed!)
Second set of eyes = different perspective (for example, height differences; there is a foot between us!)
Bride & groom are at 2 different locations? No problemo! (In the event of one photographer, it would be necessary to stack getting ready sessions = adding extra time to the day)
Ability to split up timeline so one can focus on the bridal party, for example, and the other on the couple portraits (especially useful when timelines can run behind on the day or we need to meet specific criteria, such as couple portraits at golden hour)
Technology can fail; nice to have built-in back-up with a second shooter as part of risk management
Bigger wedding (100+) with a lot going on (getting ready, a first look, details, family portraits, and so on)? We’ve got it!
Larger venue where you can’t possibly run back and forth to see from both side (or if you did, it would be pretty distracting)
One can focus on the couple and the other on guest reactions (while walking down the aisle, for example)
Two photographers typically shoot with different settings, such as aperture - this can make a huge difference to the overall feel of the image
We have different strengths and interests - this is represented in our individual work and complementary perspectives
We enjoy working together… oh, wait - that’s 11! We’ll stop. ;)
Hahndorf, established in 1839 (Australia’s oldest German settlement), was such a lovely little surprise. The state heritage area charms with a unique Bavarian ambience. Aside from the obvious traditional German beer sampling (there are a number of boutique breweries, wineries and distillers to choose from), there are plenty of quaint tea rooms, historic inns, craft shops & art galleries to explore - to name a few. Hahndorf’s main street is lined with beautiful elm trees; you will want to slow down & enjoy the wander.
We enjoyed our coffee, chai & babyccino at Caffiend so much that we went back for lunch; #noregrets.
A highlight for our toddler, Chloe, was the Hahndorf Farm Barn. We just wish that we had arrived earlier in the day so that we could all enjoy it for longer!
We chatted with some locals and, we must say, we sensed some frustration that Hahndorf appears to be losing its charm over time to tourism. The general consensus seemed to be that they would not like to see change if the driving force is tourism. There are surrounding villages of Crafters, Stirling, Aldgate & Bridgewater that might be worth checking out.
We left a piece of our heart in South Australia. It was a memorable trip and one that we will treasure. There is still so much to do that we want to roll over to another trip (hopefully in the not-too-distant future):
What is there not to like about the 912 km² that is the Barossa Valley? We have no answer to this question. Stunning Barossa Valley (peppered with picturesque communities including Angaston, Lyndoch, Nuriootpa, Tanunda & Williamstown - as well as hamlets & villages) is steeped in German heritage. Fertile soils. Grape growing & winemaking (home to over 170 wineries & over 80 cellar doors; some unbroken lineages entering their 7th generation). Fruit trees. Meticulous & sophisticated degustation menus promising a culinary journey. Bienenstich. Mettwurst. Streuselkuchen. Vollkornbrot. Artisan cheese. Mediterranean climate. Warm, friendly community. Local characters. Australian landscape of rolling hills & scenic vistas. Live music. Historic churches. Houses built from locally-sourced bluestone, ironstone, sandstone & marble.
Local community is at the heart & soul of the Barossa Valley. With this in mind, we stayed at Pembury Homestead, Angaston (Airbnb). Jonathan and Kate are the lovely hosts of this beautiful home set in superb countryside. They were immediately warm and friendly and helpful. We rarely revisit the same place twice as we both prioritise adventure; however, we are definitely considering going back to Angaston and checking in again for some more (child-friendly) hospitality at Pembury Homestead. Not to mention, the location is central and ideal for day trips around the Barossa (if you want to cycle, Pembury Homestead is located right next to a bike path). Oh, and for the dog-lovers: the stay comes with the added bonus of fur-babies Baxter & Sally.
Maggie Beer's Farm Shop was definitely a highlight of our trip. Maggie Beer is a well-known Australian cook & author (“The Cook and the Chef” is an Australian television series). The Farm Shop is the perfect spot for a relaxing picnic overlooking a dam. Think calm, peaceful surroundings and you have pictured the setting. A visit here is a must.
Apex Bakery still uses slow natural ferment doughs & a wood-fired Scotch Oven, traditions carried on since opening in 1924. Recipes date back to the 1800s (featuring no preservatives & breads with no sugars). We took them at their word & opted for a Bienenstich - it was delicious as promised!
Mengler’s Hill Lookout provides one of the best views of the farming patchwork that is the Barossa Valley; you can see for miles. Fantastic opportunity to stop and take it all in - and we could imagine it would make a fabulous picnic spot, too.
Barossa Chateau boasts 30000 roses. After visiting a cellar door or three or ten, visiting Barossa Chateau and getting lost in amongst the roses is a pleasant palate cleanser. This was officially the most amount of roses we have seen in a day! We have heard really good reports about the high tea on offer at the chateau so we just might be back for research purposes. All in all, a lovely day out and one we recommend.
Lyndoch Lavender Farm introduces you to more than 90 lavender varieties over 5+ acres. The landscape is tranquil & relaxed; we enjoyed a very pleasant afternoon tea here followed by a wander through the stunning gardens. PSA: if you are are allergic to bees, though, don’t leave your Epipen at home.
We were informed that D&M’s Bakery Cafe offers The Best Vanilla Slice in the Valley. Vanilla slice is a favourite of mine (Em’s) since childhood so it is safe to say that I have sampled a few over the years. As I am typing this, I realised that I have not had a vanilla slice since our South Australian adventure at the end of 2017. I suppose that is an endorsement in and of itself. Perhaps I will not bother again until we make it back to the Barossa Valley. Come to think of it, it probably is worth the wait. (Unless Pete offers to make his version in the meantime - in that case, I will be a lost cause.)
One of our travel goals is to see more of Australia. Given that our country is approximately 3860 kilometres long and almost 4000 kilometres wide, we think it is perfectly reasonable to shelve this ambition under a “goal” category. To date, we have explored parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria & Western Australia between the two of us. We were keen to add South Australia to the list even though our knowledge of the state can be quantified here (solid effort, Simon Taylor!).
Adelaide, the cosmopolitan capital of South Australia & the wine capital of Australia, was a great place to kick off our South Australian adventures. We fell in love with a few of its features. The city is surrounded by beautiful green space - rolling hills in the east & white sandy beaches in the west. Historical buildings. Check. Superb architecture. Check. Wide, welcoming streets. Check.
Adelaide Central Market was established in 1869 & is home to 80 stalls. Stalls offer flowers, fruit & vegetables, bakery & patisserie, continental & cheese, and meat, poultry & seafood, to name a few. They are proud to inform you that the market is visited by more than 8 million people a year.
We stayed at Sage Hotel Adelaide. It was comfortable, clean & the staff were friendly. We enjoyed a hot, hearty breakfast here, too.
We visited the iconic St Peter’s Cathedral.
Lunch at Kutchi Deli Parwana was a delicious treat. Lovely, attentive staff and memorable lunch for all the right reasons.
You will find a cluster of colonial institutions along the North Terrace precinct, the cultural heart of South Australia. Institutions include the Adelaide Convention Centre, Art Gallery of South Australia, Government House, National War Memorial, both Old Parliament House & Parliament House, South Australian Museum & State Library of South Australia. Heading east, North Terrace becomes Botanic Road; here you will find the National Wine Centre of Australia (we could have said something about it being within spitting distance but that would be too obvious) & the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
The Art Gallery of South Australia was an enjoyable pit stop. We recommend the experience. The staff members at the Information & Ticketing Desk were especially warm & welcoming. The gallery regularly changes displays & collections include Aboriginal art, contemporary art, decorative art & art from Europe, Middle East & Asia. At the time of our visit, the gallery was showcasing Paolo Sebastian:X (7th October - 10th December 2017). Paolo Sebastian is a label founded by South Australian fashion designer Paul Vasileff. The collection, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the label, was presented in partnership with Adelaide Fashion Festival.
The State Library of South Australia was a highlight. The Mortlock Wing, named after John Andrew Tennant Mortlock (the library’s greatest benefactor), has been voted one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. It opened as a public library in 1884. The Mortlock Chamber Clock is fascinating in its own right. The clock, purchased from Dent & Sons on the Strand in London, is wound each week with a large key.
Adelaide Botanic Garden & Botanic Park (150 hectares worth) celebrates plants from across Australia & around the world. In typical Adelaide fashion, the garden is rich in art, architecture & heritage.
We drove along the Mount Lofty Ranges for a panoramic view of Adelaide’s city skyline.
On the 19th of April 1982, Adelaide & the ancient Japanese city of Himeji became sister cities. Adelaide Himeji Garden is described as a Garden of Imagination (in celebration of the beauty of nature). The layout includes features, such as an Okunoin Lantern (an inscription reads For the friendship of two cities), Pine Trees (symbolising courage in adversity), & a Teahouse (represented by an open pavilion, like the porch of a Zen temple), to name 3 of 13 key features.
Happy New Year! We wanted to celebrate by sharing some of our favourite images from 2018. We're looking forward to comparing our posts in the coming years. (You can see 2017 here.) <3