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.

Christmas in Brisbane

We have been spoiled. We have enjoyed a European Christmas previously.

We spent Christmas itself in Dresden with wonderful friends. One memory (it has been five years, after all!) that we cherish, in particular, was perusing the Dresden Striezelmarkt, Germany’s oldest Christmas markets. That Christmas really set the benchmark for us.

Christmas in Brisbane is… well… hot. Humid. Steeped in commercialism

HOWEVER, Brisbane has a beautiful Christmas experience to offer in and of itself. To be honest, you really do not have to look too far for opportunities to make some lovely memories. As our Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is quick to point out: “Brisbane is a great place to live, work & relax - it’s a safe, vibrant, green & prosperous city, valued for its friendly & optimistic character and enjoyable subtropical lifestyle”. These characteristics & attributes are reflected in our unique celebration of Christmas.

FURTHERMORE, many of Brisbane’s Christmas events are free and family-friendly. You can find things to see & do in The City, South Bank and Roma Street Parkland. (If you are keen to see what we get up to in Brissie, jump on instagram and follow the hashtag #MerryBrismas.)

We have compiled some images below from our 2018 Christmas in Brisbane. We hope you enjoy!

There is something that is a quintessential part of Christmas for me (Em): Pete’s (very rum) Rum Balls. They are one of the highlights of my year. Pete has truly perfected his recipe. (One of the best things about them is that they are not geographically limited!)

We like to say that Queensland is “beautiful one day & perfect the next”. However, we experience extreme heatwaves & explosive storms during our summer months. One thing is for sure, though: if you are looking to escape the snow, Brisbane is a safe bet!

We indulged in a pizza cook-up at Northey Street City Farm. The catalyst was random musings during a community playgroup; everyone’s individual contributions came together perfectly. This will be a lovely Christmas memory for years to come - for both parents and children.

Brisbane Arcade usually looks pristine and welcoming but is particularly stunning at Christmas-time.

Queen Street Mall, including the Myer Centre animated Christmas window display, is worth looking at during Christmas.

Regent Theatre’s foyer is another recommended Christmas-related spot to check out.

The South Bank Christmas Gift Markets are quirky and inviting. You will want to stay for a while.

King George Square boasts The Christmas Tree and the City Hall Lights.

In conclusion, our city is beautiful and well worth a visit during Christmas. <3

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:

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.

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. :)

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.