Brisbane :: NASA // A Human Adventure

We love our local city and take any opportunity we can to share it with everyone else. :) A recent event on our local calendar, NASA: A Human Adventure at the Queensland Museum, was an incredible experience. It was produced by John Nurminen Events in association with the US Space & Rocket Center, Space Camp USA, & Cosmosphere International SciEd Center & Space Museum. Queensland Tourism & Events was the presenting partner. It closes on the 9th of October 2019; we highly recommend seeing it for yourself but, in the meantime, here are some from our visit. Enjoy!

Brisbane :: Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens

We live in a beautiful, friendly city. Sometimes it is nice to just slow down - appreciate it - and then share. We have shared Mt Coot-tha through our eyes previously (here & here) but here are some shots from a recent visit. Enjoy and we hope that you can go along and make the most of this secluded Brissie spot, too, sometime soon! :)

Brisbane & Surrounds :: Bribie Island

Bribie Island. One of the most under-rated locations in our local area, in our opinion. It might be small but it is full of natural, tranquil beauty. We cannot think of a better spot to explore, relax, swim and enjoy fresh-from-the-trawler fish (& chips) while watching the sunset - all in one day. If you are lucky, you might see some dolphins, too! Plenty of suggestions at Visit Bribie Island. In the meantime, here are some photographs from a recent (memorable) day at Bribie Island with friends. <3

THE FAMOUS HUT Artist Ian Fairweather outside his studio and living quarters at Bongaree, Bribie Island.

Fairweather lived on Bribie Island from 1953 until his death in 1974. Those years were his most productive as an artist.

Born in 1891, Fairweather had a solitary childhood. He spent many decades restlessly traveling the world until he settled on Bribie.

Luminaries of Australia’s visual arts community made the pilgrimage to see Fairweather at his Bribie hut.

The site of the hut is now at Fairweather Park on the corner of First Avenue and Hunter Street, Bongaree.

Ichthyology: fish science

Ichthyology is literally the study of fish: ikthus meaning fish and logos meaning study.

As a scientific system, ichthyology began with Aristotle – just a small part of his quest to document and describe everything on earth. By 332 BC he had described and classified 117 species of Mediterranean fish.

The father of modern ichthyology, Peter Artedi, standardised fish classification under the system of Carl Linnaeus, his friend and colleague at Uppsala University in Sweden. Most of Artedi’s work was done between 1724 and 1728. Unfortunately his career was cut short when at the age of 30 he fell into an Amsterdam canal and drowned.

Artedi had been visiting Amsterdam to catalogue the famous fish collection of Albertus Seba, a prosperous pharmacist. Seba had formed, as a private individual, the richest natural history museum of his time.

Fish in bottles

From the earliest days of the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of Queensland, members collected, identified, and preserved specimens of fish to track the changing quality and quantity of fish stocks in Queensland waters.

More than 300 of these are still in the collection. On some of the jars can be seen the meticulous handwriting of the collection’s first curator, the renowned ichthyologist James Douglas Ogilby.

In the years 1905 to 1912, Ogilby was working with the Amateur Fishermen’s Association of Queensland as a professional ichthyologist, publishing papers, attending meetings and even going on the Endeavour’s expeditions in 1909, from which 67 of the 280 specimens made their way to the collection.

The specimens at their peak probably numbered over 2000. In the bumper collecting year 1907, 601 specimens were added to the 456 already in the collection. In 1908, 295 were added. In 1909, at least 215 were added, probably more, and in 1912 another 345 were added. Just these recorded additions amounted to 1912 specimens in the collection.

This collection now has fish, crustaceans, seahorse, sharks, stone fish, one sea snake and even kelp. There are 9 flatheads, 10 gurnards, 10 leatherjackets, 12 eels and 15 cod. The specimens came from all up and down the eastern coast of Australia, from Cape York to Tasmania, but by far the most came from Moreton Bay and Bribie.

At least 30 were officially names and described by James Douglas Ogilby who was also the most active collector, contributing 53 specimens. Next best was EJ Banfield with 28 specimens.

What is a fish?

This question has probably caused more argument than any other. Are sharks fish? What about lungfish? Some eels have no fins, but they are fish. Some animals other than fish breathe using gills.

Only someone wanting to get thrown into the sea would quote Berra who wrote in 2001 that, allowing for exceptions, “we can define a fish as a poikilothermic, aquatic chordate with appendages (when present) developed as fins, whose chief respiratory organs are gills and whose body is usually covered with scales”.

Much easier is to point at a fish and say: “That’s a fish”. Unfortunately we don’t often have one handy when we are arguing about them.

As it happens, along with whiting, bream, snapper and flathead, which we all know are fish – whale sharks, manta rays, moray eels & seahorses are all not only fish, they are 100 per cent fish.

The best answer to the question “What is a fish?” is any animal a credentialled ichthyologist wants to call a fish. Unfortunately ichthyologists are not always handy either.

Fish all have backbones, but they are not always bony – shark have cartilage skeletons. Fish are cold-blooded. This rule is an important one as it excludes dolphins, whales and dugong. They are warm-blooded mammals, just like us.

The Norfolk – Matthew Flinder’s Sloop

This model of the Norfolk was built by Bribie Island resident, Kenneth Aldridge in 2010.

Newborn Shoot :: Baby Naomi <3

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

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:
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 @dakotaduffell @bryah & @tashhoeksema_

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.

Information :: Please Check Spam


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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