Amanda and I were both born in Simi Valley, a quiet suburban town in Southern California. Our social circles overlapped early on; we attended rival high schools across town and shared common friends but we didn’t become close until well after graduation. In fact, it wasn’t until after college, and just two months before I deployed to Japan as a Naval Officer that I asked Amanda on our first date. So we added 9,000 km of separation to our blooming relationship and watched our fondness grow through letters and emails. An improbable and inconvenient start to romance, I admit, but also a worthwhile trial in trust, love, and commitment that would set the exciting tone for the rest of our dating relationship. After two years of Facetime dates and care packages overseas, Amanda moved to Japan, accepted my hand in marriage, and made 2015 the most rewarding and thrilling year of my life.
Ashta & Anthony were married in Byron Bay, over two wondrous days: a Vedic ceremony on the first day, a western ritual on the second. The weather was stormy: each day clouds furled and unfurled across the green hills. Sometimes it rained, but so gently that the birds never stopped singing, and you could always catch sight of the long blue crescent the of the ocean. It was so beautiful, but I got the feeling sometimes that Ashta & Anthony barely even noticed. Their eyes were always for each other.
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.
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).