Information :: What Makes an Image Important

Narrowing down the options when choosing a wedding photographer is typically multifaceted. You want to love the photographer's work. You want a personality that "gets" you as individuals and as a couple (put simply, you want someone relatable!). You need to be able to afford them. With this is mind, some of the most important reasons for why we blog regularly (fyi: we blog once a week and this is our 128th post) are:

  • to tangibly demonstrate how passionate we are about our role as wedding photographers

  • to show who we are and what this means to you as our client

  • to share tips and ideas

Essentially, the kind of information that we are hoping will be important during your decision-making process. Today, we are sharing a little more about us & some food for thought for our clients. A recent discussion about some of our most memorable & personal images to date was the catalyst.

We work really hard on perfecting our craft. We focus a lot of attention on people skills, composition, chasing the most ideal light, depth of field... have we lost you yet? ;) We decided to strip all that back during our discussions and we challenged each other to think of our personal favourite images (rule time: we could only pick a maximum of 2 images). Of course, we both gravitated to ones that have all three of us in them. However, we currently do not share images of our daughter, Chloe, online. So we started again. Naturally, our minds drifted to favourite shots of the two of us - mostly taken during travels. With that in mind (and as the exercise was beginning to feel too easy!), we narrowed the criteria down even further: Pete had to choose two images that featured only him and I had to choose two that only featured me.

{Try this for yourself! You might surprise yourself with what you end up choosing. Actually, why don’t you stop reading now and pick out your two all-time favourites. We’ll come back to yours in a moment.}

In the end, Pete settled on one image. He felt that this one summed up everything for him:

I chose two as they are from a similar time period (same year) but during very different experiences and I find the polarity striking:

Interestingly, all three are “okay” images (definitely not terrible). However, are they perfectly composed? Was the lighting nailed? Honestly, does it even matter? All three tell a story that is important to the subject. Pete chose his representative image for a range of reasons. Skydiving was a dream come true. He was proud of himself for taking the risk. Pete experienced freedom that comes with… well, jumping out of a plane with all risks carefully calculated. I chose my graduation image as I was (and am) so proud of this achievement. It is something that was the result of hard work & dedication. I chose the one from my first time experiencing snow. This moment features in one of the top 10 days of my life to date. Experiencing snowfall was (in my case, anyway) a magical moment. I don’t usually take selfies but this was a moment I wanted to freeze forever - literally.

When you selected your two images, did you think anything along these lines, “I really like x one but I can’t possibly keep it! If I took it again, I would make sure I was a little more off-centre. If it followed the rule of thirds, I think I would be more inclined to keep it”… “Hmmm, this is a good one but the shadows on my face are too pronounced. I think I will scrap it. Shame really as it always makes me feel happy when I look at it!”… “Oooops - the highlights are blown! Forget it! …

Correct me if I am wrong but I am guessing that you chose based on how looking at those images makes you feel?

Capturing an image in such a way that the subjects feel something for the rest of time is at the heart and soul of wedding photography.

In conclusion, we wanted to take this opportunity to re-frame the importance of capturing the moments that are important to you. Yes, we will strive for perfect composition, image processing, lighting, timing, & storytelling. However, we will not compromise storytelling & capturing raw emotion at the expense of perfection. We want the resulting images to tell your story; not be representative of our “brand” per se. We want you to love your wedding photography for a lifetime.

Collab with Style Hens Party Inspiration in Brisbane, Australia

We recently received a message from Savannah Lyle, the owner of Collab with Style, asking if we would be interested in working together. Two days later, we participated in a hens-inspired shoot together. It was absolutely beautiful; full of rich, earthy tones with pops of pink & yellow! The entire shoot was styled perfectly and Savannah, Queen of Organisation, was amazing to work with. All the vendors involved are listed below; we enjoyed working with each of them.

Event Organizer: @collabwithstyle
Styling & Setup: @mini.yay
Clothes: @gsthelabel
Flowers: @marypoppies @marypoppiesbag
Photographer: @poppyandsagephotography
Candles: @estilhome_au
Hens Decorations: @sodapop.au
Cakes: @lyfeiswhatyoubakeit93
Hair: @_hairbyfaye_
MUA: @makeupbytaylahz @glambyfiscv_
Scrunchies: @rj.lavenderandco
Ice Blocks: @getlickdiceblocks
Bags: @bohemian_leatherware
Meringues: @dolceorganico
Earrings: @emilyjane_designs
Models: @astyndonaldd @kaitlinshave @elliekate__ @lily.fokas @maddy.tia @paigebentleyy @i.am.jasminerollason @dakotaduffell @bryah & @tashhoeksema_

Information :: Open Day at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events

On the 18th of May, Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events held their first Open Day. We were delighted to showcase our business; even more delightful, however, was the opportunity to meet all the lovely couples that visited & other wedding vendors on the day. We will introduce the fellow vendors in the post below. A huge thank you to David & Kerri from Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events for hosting such a fabulous day! You will find Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events listed on our recommended vendors page. Here are some fast facts about this stunning venue:

  • It is located approximately 45 minutes from Brisbane CBD (A3->M1->you are there)

  • it is also located approximately 45 minutes from Caloundra (M1)

  • It features 31 acres (some of which is a blank canvas so that you can create your own dream event; other parts feature country-inspired structures)

  • It is family run (David & Kerri will take care of you)

It was a pleasure to be able to showcase our business alongside other wedding vendors at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events’ Open Day on the 18th of May.

We asked Emunah Events to style our table - incorporating their stunning floristry, of course. This was their take on our ‘still life’ brief and we could not be more delighted with their expression.

This bouquet featured on Emunah Event’s table. We decided to include this image directly under the one above as it perfectly showcases the team’s talented spectrum of work. They created the still life for us - classic brief - and they created something on-trend (soft & romantic) - modern brief - for themselves. <3 All other work we have done with the Emunah Events team to date can be seen here. Otherwise, a brief visual recap can be found on our recommended vendors page.

We had never heard of/seen ‘cow’s udder’ before! Trusty Wikipedia informs readers that, “Solanum mammosum is commonly known as nipplefruit, fox head, cow's udder, or apple of Sodom” and “is an inedible Pan-American tropical fruit”.

These biscuits were made by Diana from The Sweet Society Co; more about Diana soon as she was the cake vendor present on the day.

Emunah Events with all the floristry & styling on the day.

Diana, from The Sweet Society Co, showcased cakes that demonstrate her keen eye for detail & beautifully unique artistic flair. We also sampled her cakes and they were perfect. Highly recommend friendly & personable Diana for your big day.

It was a pleasure to meet Yvonne, the owner of Exquisite Gowns by Yvonne. Yvonne has a lovely, diverse collection of gowns. Yvonne provides the following statement on her pricing structure: “For all those that have not yet been to visit: I am often asked how can I offer dresses at such low prices. Please be re-assured that all my dresses are as I describe, brand new, with labels and offered at a fraction of the RRP. I source my suppliers very well and only buy dresses that I feel are excellent quality. I also buy from actual wedding shops here in Australia and America and I pass on any savings I can to you, the customer. I believe that a wedding is about the love and commitment that 2 people share for each other and not about the costs. Nowadays, money is hard come by and more and more couples are having to budget. With this in mind, all my dresses are worthy of a high price tag yet nothing in store is over $900. So please be confident in knowing that I am genuine and passionate about my work and well worth a visit. Yvonne”

It is always a delight to see Moe & Samantha around. They are the memorable characters behind Roaring Twenties Vintage Wedding Car Hire. We did a shoot with Moe & Samantha recently and we can’t wait to share what magic we created together.

All lighting on the day was provided by Jesse from Brisbane Festoon Hire. More from Jesse’s website: “Brisbane Festoon Hire is a professional lighting hire provider for weddings and events requiring unique and specialty lighting hire and installations. Our massive range includes festoon, pendants, chandeliers, fairy lights, lanterns, light up letters, LED lighting, site lighting, power distribution, cabling and more! We can provide DIY equipment hire or a complete hire, delivery and installation service”.

Anna Staines (celebrant) is vivacious and full of personality. We often see threads in online wedding groups asking if the celebrant is really worth being pedantic about (in other words, “Should we just choose the least expensive option in front of us?” or “What value do they really offer to us?”). Our opinion from the sidelines is that a celebrant can make or break a ceremony. Yep, make or break. If they are dry and dull, the tone of the ceremony is dry and dull. You get the picture! As you chat with Anna, it soon becomes evident that she is passionate about her role. Also, there is always a laugh just around the corner - perfect match for any concerns about nerves or awkwardness. Or your priority is to have a fun & memorable wedding experience - Anna is your girl!

Chillingworth duo, Holly & William, are the sweetest. We had the pleasure of hearing them perform and, honestly, you can’t go wrong. Put them at the top of the list for music options. More about them here: “Chillingworth is an Australian based pop duo that formed in 2017. William and Holly Chillingworth started their music career playing acoustic covers at parties and weddings. William then made the duo official by ‘putting a ring on it’ in 2017, and the couple have since been working hard, writing and recording their own music in their home studio. William brings the sweet guitar tones while Holly graces the vocals”. A little more from their bio on Triple J Unearthed: “Their synth pop sound is complete only with William's glorious guitar tones and Holly’s sweet vocals, and the pair are already making a name for themselves with their debut single ‘Young Love’ released late 2018”.

Sam & Jacqueline, from Something for Catering, created some magic for the vendors and attendees at the Open Day. The food was delicious and the service was second-to-none. In their own words, “We are South-East Queensland’s leading food, beverage catering and planning service.

If you are planning any outdoor or indoor event (wedding, corporate function or festival), we know it can be so much fun but also equally stressful for you. We are the experts in events and when you work with us we happily guarantee that you will enjoy the highest quality, food, beverages, planning and professional services so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy your event stress-free.

We provide high-end, restaurant quality food from our purpose-built, unique mobile catering van. We can travel far and wide no matter the location. Accompanied by a team of professional caterers, you couldn’t be in better hands”.

You can find out all about White Wings Dove Service here.

Finally, we had some fun with the reception lighting on the day and took the following images to showcase some non-traditional reception photography. It was all made easier working with Jesse’s lighting installations (see feature above).

All in all, it was a fabulous day. Thank you to the couples who visited on the day. To the fellow vendors, we really enjoyed meeting you, too!

Information :: Perfectly Imperfect Memories

When you strip everything back and map out your wedding day, what is the key driving influence(s)? As Josh Withers succinctly points out, “The legal simple act of getting married only requires 120 words and five signatures. The answer to this question is interesting. It can range from “we want to celebrate the new chapter in our life with the people we love” to “we want to ensure that we don’t have regrets down the track” to “a celebration is important to my partner so I am going along for the ride” - <insert whatever reason here>.

In terms of photography, is the key driving influence to have perfect images of a perfect day? It is easy to get swept up in a current of pinterest boards, instagram hashtags, wedding planners, blogs - all of the things! - and lose sight of what makes the two of you exactly that: the two of you.

We were recently flicking through Deborah Needleman’s beautiful & relatable book The Perfectly Imperfect Home. The following stood out to us, in particular:

“Growing up, I was struck by the fact that our house had nothing personal in it. Nobody ever tacked up a picture she found amusing. No momento was brought back from a holiday and put on a shelf. No bunch of flowers was ever cut from the yard and stuck in a vase.

In fact, nothing ever got moved around or changed, until the day the decorators were brought back for an update. There were certain rooms, like the dining room and the living room, that we rarely entered. And there was a piano that no one knew how to play.

It was by no means a sad house. We were loved and cared for and the house itself was neat and attractive. But I have come to realise that the soul of a house needs attention. Our house had very little life - it wasn’t heavily used, engaged with, or loved. It didn’t add much to my conception of childhood or happiness.

This led me to appreciate deeply homes that are imbued with a sensibility and spirit-homes with a strong personality and signs of life. It made me long for a home with interesting people and dinner parties and friends spending the night. And it made me dislike homes that look perfect and unlived-in, or that have no whimsy.”

As you read the following two paragraphs, substitute the word “home” with “photograph” (okay, it’s somewhat of a tenuous stretch but please bear with us!):

“…Embracing imperfection in a home does not mean that anything goes. Here it means aiming for beauty tempered by reality. If real life involves mess, accidents, memory, and the incidental, then so too must decorating account for serendipity, and even embrace it.

…Good decoration solves problems elegantly. A stylish home is highly functional and reflects the best possible look for your life, budget, and mode of living (even your peculiarities), and the problems and advantages of the place you live in. This will lead to a home that enhances your sense of well-being, that inspires you and looks after you. Luxury cannot be defined by expense or by grandeur. Style is luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy.”

Our advice to you:

1) Take a deep breath

2) Don’t lose sight of the two of you

3) Enjoy & embrace the moments - even the perfectly imperfect ones! They are all part of your uniquely beautiful story.

Emunah Events :: Event Styling & Floral Design

We will start at the start.

We have worked with Emunah Events on a few projects now:

You will find Emunah Events listed on our recommended vendor page. We believe the following shoot will reinforce why they are highly recommended in our books. Not only are Carissa & Serena brilliant florists & stylists but they are all around lovely people, too. It is always a pleasure to work with both of them.

This shoot took place at the stunning Gabbinbar Homestead located in Toowoomba, Queensland. It is a truly magical venue. The beautiful cake was created by Cake House (more information here). Katrina, from Cake House, thoughtfully left some mini cakes for us to enjoy; they were delicious and were much appreciated.

Emunah Events Brisbane Wedding Photography

Information :: Please Check Spam

Hello!

As we state at the top of our FAQ page: “If you have any questions, they might already be answered below. If not, feel free to use our contact page and send through your query. We aim to respond within 48 hours (Mon - Fri during business hours)”.

To date, we have responded to every enquiry within 48 business hours. If you haven’t received a response from us, please check your spam or feel free to call us.

Happy Easter!

We just want to take a moment to say Happy Easter! We hope everyone has been enjoying a safe and relaxing long weekend.

Last year we made a prediction: “This is the first year that our little Chloe (21 months) has been cognizant enough to go for an Easter egg hunt around our home. We are very proud of the choices that she is already making in the food department. She had part of one egg and then handed it back asking for "ap-pel" and "bah-nah-nah" instead. We happily took one (? two) for the McDonald Family team and finished the eggs off for her. Next year will probably be a different story. ;-)”

Yep. Our Chloe loved her Easter egg hunt this year. :D Absolutely sure no apple or banana (or any other fruit, for that matter) was consumed during the course of yesterday. Good thing Chloe is a little fruit bat nearly every other day.

We hope everyone enjoyed a memorable Easter, too, with family &/or friends.

We recently visited some friends in Mount Samson. Such a stunning part of the world and only ~45 minutes from where we live! So green and lush. It was a great reminder to slow down and make more family memories. <3

Rolling hills for days.

“There's a track winding back to an old fashioned shack…” <3

Information :: Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events

Six months ago, we did a photoshoot at Country Weddings Queensland. We fell in love with the venue and the shoot was memorable for all the right reasons. Country Weddings Queensland then became Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events and, during the past 6 months, the team behind Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events (David & Kerri) invested a lot of effort into this brand new venue. It now features a pontoon jetty, silo bar, and a white marquee (with more to come!). A huge thank you to Carissa & Serena from Emunah Events for organising this shoot. Furthermore, they are responsible for the gorgeous styling and head-turning floristry. The model was lovely Ainslea Barnes and the beautiful hair & makeup was the expertise of Courtney Cusack. The stunning dresses were provided by My Bridal Centre; really enjoyed shooting these! Thank you to everyone who joined in. :)

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Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events has an open day coming up next month!

You are invited:

Date: 18th May 2019

Time: 3 - 7 pm

Address: 55 Maitland Road, Burpengary East 4505

Register your interest here!

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Information :: What Motivates Us

Hope this finds everyone well and happy! :)

We have recently shared a few things about us and our priorities, including this list for why we provide two shooters as part of our wedding package. However, one topic we have not discussed yet is what motivates us in this field of wedding photography. So we sat down and came up with a few primary motivators.

Therefore, please find below just some of the things that motivate us:

  • The fact that documenting your love through visual storytelling is a huge privilege!

  • The people we shoot with: both clients and fellow vendors. You are all a source of inspiration and never-ending wonderful ideas.

  • The creation of something that we want you to look back on for years to come and enjoy. This is crucial for us. We choose not to get swept up in current editing trends or genres, for example, as it is only a matter of time and that particular style will no longer be in vogue. We want our work to be as timeless as the choice you make to love each other.

  • Working with the numerous factors that come into play - in most cases - for an image to be memorable (lighting, composition, and so on). Working within these well-documented parameters to create something magical & unique is an opportunity we welcome.

  • How easy it is to get lost in the moment. It is not uncommon for us to find cuts and bruises that we didn’t realise that we had acquired during a shoot! We honestly just get lost in the moment and the combination of the distraction & the natural high kicks in.

  • We are both romantics at heart; weddings are so full of energy and love and it is hard not to get excited about that.

  • The personal challenge to create something fresh. Part of the work that goes on behind the scenes is researching whatever venue we are shooting at, for example. We do this so that we don’t overlook anything our client might want. However, we also do this to challenge ourselves to produce something we didn’t find in our research. Ultimately, we don’t want to get lost in the crowd.

  • Our beautiful city of Brisbane, Queensland! So many photogenic nooks and crannies in and around our hometown. :)

Oh, and detail shots of delicious food… but that’s more me (Em) talking here ;)

Information :: Open Day at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events

Mark your calendar!

 

You are invited:

Date: 18th May 2019

Time: 3 - 7 pm

Address: 55 Maitland Road, Burpengary East 4505

 

We will be there alongside Emunah Events and some other equally wonderful Brisbane wedding vendors.

(We were part of a photoshoot on location at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events previously; you can see it here.)

 

You don’t want to miss it! Hopefully we will see you there :)