It’s been a long time since I did a pre-wedding shoot, or anything much else except weddings. I’m not one for overly manufactured photography, for posing and preening and manipulating – much more preferable to me are the shoots where I sneak around and document all the little events and emotions as they unfold, naturally.
Jessica & Jarrod were married at Goreman’s Road, west of Byron Bay, on a stormy October day. The wedding was a feast for the eyes: two beautiful people, a beautiful venue, a beautiful location. It rained on and off, but it was clear and sunny for the outdoor ceremony, and the sunset was a photographer’s dream: a mix of stormy skies & golden light. The reception was one giant laugh-a-minute party: good food, good drink, good times.
Sophie Hensser and Danny Bloom were married at Elements of Byron, in what I can best describe as an absolutely epic party. The day had a crazy sort of momentum that built steadily to the crescendo of Lisa Hunt’s final act at the end of the reception, perhaps outdone only by Danny’s impromptu DJ set at the end of the first dance. It was energy and love and madness dialled in and dosed up and I’m pretty sure everyone there will never forget it.
Rachel & Marty were married at the Intercontinental Resort in Fiji. It was an amazing wedding, and I was doubly lucky in that they were happy to travel to the highlands for some photos the day before. It’s quite a drive, and there’s a bit of hiking and climbing involved as well, but they were both super happy to be there, soak up the experience and enjoy the views – I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Enjoy the sample photos! Full gallery here.
Matt & Steph got married on Steph’s family farm at Old Koreelah, a beautiful area of wooded hills and grassy valleys just west of the border ranges, at the juncture of New South Wales and Queensland. The country is straight out of a Tom Roberts painting: brown hillsides hung with eucalypts, creeks cut through sandstone gullies, cotton-wool clouds floating in the burning sky. Kangaroos and cows and horses and every type of bird you’ve ever heard or seen, gossiping in the branches of the trees, everywhere we went. And of course the people are what you’d expect to meet out there: warm, friendly and authentic, with the dry humour that seems to be baked into everyone who makes their living in the country.
As always, I couldn’t quite believe my luck that I’d been invited to be a part of this wedding, and as usual, I tried to capture the day without altering it, to distill that feeling I had when I was there into photos, to try to mesh the landscape and the people into one story, of one day. It’s always an impossible task, but half the fun is trying.
I grew up on a farm, and I always appreciate going back to the country, especially to take wedding photos. I say it often enough, but I can never quite believe my luck that I’m invited to these places to do what I do.
Sometimes I shoot weddings at pretend country venues, with hay-bales hired from stylists and cow-sheds built with distressed timber, and all the extras rung-in and ordered up and manufactured – all perfectly nice and lovely for what it is, but at the end of the day, a tiny – tiny – little bit contrived.
But this country wedding was the real deal. A bona-fide, genuine, fair-dinkum, country shin-dig. On a real, authentic, working farm, in a proper working community of people (most of whom, it seemed to me, were at the wedding).