Meet Matt & Grace :: Playground Love Weddings (Italy)

We are kicking off a new series today. 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. We are going to be sharing local stories by local photographers from around the world throughout our posts this year.

For today’s post, we had a chat with Matt & Grace from Playground Love Weddings in Italy (seriously - check out their work for some stunning & emotive photography with impeccable attention to detail!). We learned a bit about their part of the world. It was too good not to share and, if you are anything like us, you are adding Matt & Grace’s recommendations to a well-loved travel notebook stat. Enjoy!




Tell us about where you live: We live in Bellagio, a small town in the center of Lake Como. Lake Como is one of the most beautiful lakes in Northern Italy. It is full of old villas and breathtaking landscapes.


What makes your town, state or country unique?: Bellagio is timeless. The lake is full of small towns, like Varenna and Lenno. Como is the only big city and it’s a mix of cool urban life, mountains and lake.


If I traveled from the opposite side of the world, what should I visit in your town, state or country?: In Bellagio, you should visit Villa Melzi and its gardens. In Varenna, Villa Monastero and Villa Carlotta. In Como, you have to take the funicular to Brunate. There are so many places!!!

Photography by Playground Love Weddings (Villa Melzi, Italy)


What is something quirky we would find in your town, state or country?: There’s only one small island on the Lake, called Isola Comacina. The island is full of ruins of churches from the past centuries and has a restaurant; here you can drink a coffee flambé.


Coffee or chai/tea?: Let’s take a walk and reach the Caffè Sancassani, in Visgnola. It’s a hidden gem with a mix of traditional pastries — try a “cannoncino”— and healthy, fresh-baked cookies.

Photography by Playground Love Weddings (Villa Melzi, Italy)


Best breakfast cafe?: Bar Rossi , in Bellagio, is absolutely the most charming place for a breakfast coffee in front of the lake. The interior is furnished with wooden carved furniture that will transport you to the beginning of the last century.


Three reasons for why someone should visit your town, state or country?: You can visit an amazing place, full of history. You can take a boat and relax by yourself or you can go on a hike on the mountains. And, last but not least, the food is amazing! One of the typical products of the lake is the oil and it’s totally amazing!

Photography by Playground Love Weddings (Villa Melzi, Italy)


Any local legends?: Every year there’s a carnival in a small city called Schignano. It’s a crazy, funny & legendary event where people wear traditional masks and costumes.


Train, bus, car or walk?: In Bellagio, you must absolutely walk. For example, you can reach Punta Spartivento, the panoramical point, in just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. Then use the boat to reach Varenna, Lenno and Como.

Photography by Playground Love Weddings (Villa Melzi, Italy)


Best accommodation?: Villa Serbelloni


Must-see vantage point?: Brunate in Como and Punta Spartivento in Bellagio.

Photography by Playground Love Weddings (Villa Melzi, Italy)


Who is the most note-worthy person to come from your hometown?: Alessandro Manzoni, a famous Italian writer, who lived in Lecco. But one of the most famous from the lake is George Clooney, isn’t it?!


Most colourful character in your hometown?: In Bellagio, you can find some sculpture of a really talented artist named Abele Vadacca. You can meet him at work in his studio-gallery in San Giovanni of Bellagio.


Number one thing you miss when you're away?: The fog on the lake during the winter time.




You will find Matt & Grace here:

Milestone <3

This is our 107th blog post.

Odd number, we know.

However, it marks 2 years of hitting ‘save & publish’ on our weekly blog. We have been shooting together since 2009 (10 years - what?!) but blogging for 2 years. Our first post (here) was from Terrence & Rebecca’s 2016 wedding.

We all know that we should slow down a little more than we do so, in honour of celebrating the little milestones, cheers to us!

Topics we have covered have included:

  • Weddings

  • Creative shoots

  • Photography tips

  • Travel (both domestic & international)

  • Brisbane (local events, our recommendations & so on)

Thank you for following along with us! We have appreciated every single one of you. Looking forward to the next 107 blog posts and the growth that comes with the journey.

Information :: Our Personalities

Pete & Em. We have already introduced ourselves here. We have shared our priorities in blog posts regularly (such as this one). However, there is a little more about us that might be of interest to our clients.

From our wedding by Lady Jayde Photography; the parent life means that we don’t often get shots of just the two of us these days ;)

Our personalities.

We are very different. Pete is the extrovert; Em is the introvert. Pete is driven by logic; Em is driven by emotion. Pete embraces posing & taking the time to set up the perfect shot. Em embraces photojournalism & allowing the moments to unfold. Pete enjoys interacting with people & helping them to relax in front of the camera (sometimes Dad Jokes play a role; after all, Pete does get a lot of practice with little Chloe). Em enjoys making sure the raw emotion & details of the day are captured. Pete works best with lists and makes sure that our shooting follows the plan. Em goes with the flow and works best in the background. Opposites attract.

We celebrate our personality differences (as well as our individual interests and “eye”). We play to our individual strengths. I guess you could say that our personalities and different strengths are some of our unique selling points. When you choose Poppy & Sage Photography, you sign up for your story to be told two different ways. We look forward to working together to capture Your Day. Feel free to contact us here:

Information :: Wedding Budgeting Tips (The Photography Version)

Wedding Budgeting. Two words that are almost certainly guaranteed to induce tachycardia in brides & grooms the world over. Where do you start?!

Figure out your priorities and budget accordingly.

Is it the dress? Is it car hire? Is it the honeymoon? Only you two as a couple can figure out what should be at the top of this list.

Of course we are biased. ;) We could regale you with all of our personal reasons for why professional photography should be somewhere in the top 3-ish but we will limit ourselves to just a few (please do not think that any mention of other vendors serves to minimise their contribution to the day - all vendors are equally important!):

Plan for the event that the budget could be blown due to unforeseen costs.

We have listed the cost of photography with us on our website. If the numbers line up with how your budget looks, we’re happy to meet up and have a chat in person. The next step is to see if we’re a good fit personality-wise. Feel free to contact us here:

B&W Love

At first glance, black & white photography, or perhaps more accurately 'grayscale' as images are rarely truly black & white, can appear to be boring. Outdated or nostalgic perhaps. Or less expressive. Even forgotten. Black & white photography is synonymous with descriptors such as 'raw', 'stripped back', 'honest', & 'subtle'. In some cases, 'powerful', 'exquisite', 'iconic', & 'beautiful'. In a world full of colour, it can be challenging to fully appreciate all the variants of the colour grey (found somewhere between absolute black and absolute white).

Diane Arbus once said, “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them”. We agree with the sentiment. As post-processing is such an important element of photography, we feel that there are things nobody would see unless the images were processed in a certain style. As Georgina Green, a fellow photographer, states, "Black and white images are defined in the art sphere by their ability to convey emotion. When colour is removed from a photo, the aspects that people take for granted, such as a brick wall or a blade of grass, take on a new texture and a new presence".

We're sharing some of our recent favourite grayscale images below. Typically we deliver our full albums with some colour and some grayscale. However, feel free to let us know if you have a preference one way or another and we'll accommodate. Enjoy!

“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in black & white, you photograph their souls.”

~Ted Grant

“Black & white are the colours of photography. To me, they symbolise the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”

~Robert Frank

“Colour is deceptive. Black & white is interpretive.”

~Elliott Erwitt

"Colour is everything; black & white is more."

~Dominic Rouse

Brisbane Wedding Photographer

Information :: Updated Pages

With the year drawing to a close, we thought we would provide a compilation of pages we have been recently working on/adding to our site. Feel free to let us know if you would like more information on any of the below; we would be only too happy to help.

Feel free to contact us here:

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. :)

Information :: Five Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer

It can be challenging navigating the world of wedding planning - to say the least. This is especially true when you are looking for specialists in fields that are a) very often foreign to your own and b) over-saturated. At Poppy & Sage Photography, we try to make life a little easier for everyone; we would like to share some thoughts and tips on how to go about narrowing down the right photographer for you individually (we find that often one partner takes greater responsibility for aspects of planning, such as choosing a photographer) and as a couple, too, of course.

Choosing a photographer is a huge commitment. So many styles to navigate. Do you want documentary? Fine art? Edgy, bold, colourful? A great photographer will make an "average" wedding look stunning. A bad photographer will make a stunning wedding look average... or worse. More than that, though, some (definitely not all!) of the most popular wedding photographers do not necessarily have strong, well-composed, thoughtfully executed portfolios but have wonderful, easy-going personalities that make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed - an essential ingredient for the recipe of wedding photography you want to look back on for a lifetime. What if you want it all, though? Photographers who mesh well with your personalities and create images that you will treasure?

Here is a deductive process we recommend to help you to hopefully hit the jackpot:

1) Is this a business or a hobby?

One key indicator is whether the business has an ABN or not. Sometimes you will find this information on the business website and sometimes you need to ask for it. Another indicator is whether they have liablility or not. (You will find details for both our ABN and liability on our FAQ page.) Having associated paperwork (such as the above) tells you that the owner(s) is invested & takes their business more seriously than a hobby (just one piece of the puzzle but a very important one).

While on the topic of paperwork, do they offer you a written contract? Very often clients think of the contract as having a sole purpose: to protect the business. However, the contract is there to protect you, too. The business is legally bound to follow through on their end of the bargain. Do they clearly articulate the deliverables to you (minimum number of total images? Or how many images will be delivered per hour? Or turnaround for said images? Et cetera...).

2) Does this business genuinely care about our needs & wants?

How would you even know? It can be almost standard to feel like a number in business and you are as time-poor as everyone else so where do you even start? Unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with gut feelings. For example: if you feel as though you are being rushed to close the sale and things are not progressing at your own rate, this can be a key indicator that you are simply $$$ to the business. Another example: we all have insecurities we want to be able to work around and angles we prefer to be avoided. If you don't feel comfortable discussing these kinds of details with your photographer, they are probably not the best fit for you.

However, there are some tangible indicators, too. For example, how happy are they to catch up and have a chat with you? A wedding photographer should have excellent communication skills; good listening is non-negotiable. You will only be able to determine this by having a chat. If your location is outside a reasonable travel zone, are they happy to jump on skype? Make time for you over the phone? There is not much point falling in love with a photographer's work but then not really getting each other in person. We welcome whatever form of communication you prefer and we are very happy to meet in person within a 10 km radius of Brisbane CBD. We especially appreciate the opportunity as it breaks the ice. Furthermore, if you do choose to book with us, the wedding day itself will be so much more relaxed. We are another familiar and friendly face on the day. :)

Another key area to focus on is how well they get to know you and your wants and needs. We recently read through a comment thread on facebook. One bride mentioned that her photographer took ~50 detail shots of her dress and that she did not particularly care for that many. We love a good detail shot (could easily take 50 ourselves!) but we wouldn't if we knew that was low priority for the couple concerned. For example, we provide our couples with a detailed questionnaire upon initial contact. We do this to get a feel for your priorities and vision. Completing the questionnaire gives us an insight into your style and taste, too. Frequently, the questionnaire is handed back to us with unanswered questions. This is totally fine, too! If the question is asking for an answer that is not a big deal for you, that is still valid information for us. We try to tailor our product to suit both of you as closely as we possibly can.

3) Does the business interact with other related businesses or attend industry events, such as wedding fairs?

In other words, you're looking for social accountability. Is this business known to other businesses and do they seem to have some sort of rapport? The more you find a vendor sitting on the fringes of their industry, the more likely they are to be either complacent or unreliable... and sometimes both. We work with other businesses regularly; we share the information for the ones we love here.

4) Do I LOVE the photographer's portfolio or am I just okay with it?

Only you can answer this question satisfactorily. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have signature shots that we gravitate toward. We all have our own unique "eye" or bias or perspective. We all have our own secret editing sauce. It is so important that you find the portfolio that resonates with you. While you are going through the process of narrowing down a photographer, pick their portfolio apart. For example, if your wedding is in the middle of the day, you want to look for images shot in full sun. Do their indoor and outdoor images differ greatly? Perhaps their outdoor images are not that great but your wedding is indoors in a cathedral and they rock those particular shots in their portfolio?! Better yet, ask to see a full wedding and decide for yourself if they capture all the moments that matter to you and your significant other.

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Golden hour. The end. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Mid-morning light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Mid-morning light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Indoors with some light through the window. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital, too; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Also in hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors under the shade of a tree in the early afternoon. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

From the same shoot as the image directly above. The rain droplets on the lens are a little more clear in this black & white version. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We worked in the rain during this shoot; we actually love rainy days as the cloud cover usually results in gorgeous soft, diffuse light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This one was taken outdoors in a fern garden. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This was taken indoors with light coming throught the front door. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Golden hour. The end. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Taken at dust… I mean, dusk! Well, a bit of both actually. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoor shoot. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This image was taken outdoors. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Same object as shown above but photographed indoors with no natural light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. We love embracing colour in our processing. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Just on dusk. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Catching the last rays of sun for the day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Cathedral lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Cathedral lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

5) Does this business support a cause bigger than themselves?

People seem to be much more savvy these days when it comes to choosing a business to support. We all want to be part of something that makes a positive difference. Something that makes this world a better place to be in. The reality is this: the fact that we all need to put food on the table for our families and pay our bills is not necessarily reason enough to support a business. However, when you see a business doing their bit to not only support themselves but contribute to society as well, it is so much easier to get behind that. Find one that supports a cause you care about, too. That's our personal challenge for you! :)

When you are booking, feel free to check with us if we are supporting a local organisation at that time. We regularly run campaigns supporting local charity organisations. You will find information for them during that period. If we are supporting at the time you book, we will pass on their specific details and we will donate 10% of the total amount of money you spend on our service.

All the best for your search and may it be as smooth as possible!

Publication :: Becoming One

We hope everyone had a great weekend. :) We have some exciting news: we are now published in Becoming One! Lorelie from Becoming One put in a huge effort and delivered a stunning magazine over the weekend. You will find plenty of inspiration and fantastic vendors in the magazine. You can find the publication here (pages 92-103). Our feature was from this shoot: Classic Grey, Blush & Dusty Blue Inspiration in Brisbane, Queensland. So proud of the teamwork that went into that shoot! Hope everyone has an enjoyable week. :)

Information :: FAQ Page Update

Good morning! Hope this finds everyone well and happy. This is just to let you know that we have recently updated our FAQ page. You will find it here. We cover questions, such as:

  • What makes you different from the rest?
  • Do you have a set rate per hour for weddings?
  • Are you a registered business?
  • Can I purchase albums or other products from Poppy & Sage Photography?
  • Are you happy to meet up in person?
  • Do you travel world-wide?
  • Do you collaborate with local vendors?
  • What do you guarantee to me as your client?

Feel free to check it out. If you have any questions or would like to know more, send us a message through our contact form (here), email us at admin (@), or call or text us: +61424263106. We aim to respond within 48 hours (Mon - Fri during business hours). Hope you have a fabulous week!