Do you know what happens when some of us ladies get together over coffee? Well, coffee and cake happen, and talking. Lots and lots of talking. Laughing. A cascading flow of ideas and inspiration and somehow the hours fly past before we even realise it.
You see, when you're a creative, sometimes the ideas just won't STAY ideas. They are ideas worthy of expressing, for no other reason than just to create. Sure, it's nice to have other people look and them and "ohhhhh" and "ahhhh", but that's not really what drives us. We create, simply to create.
So here, I present to you the collaborative work of myself, Leanne, Nina and Deirdre. With the help of Paula from Vintage Events Design and Hire, Paperswan Bride and the Pretty Prop Shop. And of course, the ever stunning Anneke lending us her beautiful self to dress up like a dolly. Seriously, this was one fun little project!
So the theme was rustic, vineyard goodness. Nina and Leanne were in charge of all things pretty. In case you're new in these parts, Nina, AKA Pink Poppie, is a wedding and event florist. But to say only that would be selling her short (and I just know I'm going to get into trouble with her if I gush too much about her!) but Nina is so much more than just a florist, she's so good that she's been snapped up by the World Skills team as an international judge who regularly trips all over the planet judging floristry competitions. Together her and Leanne from Vanilla Hayes, purveyor of paper goods and bespoke design, and one of the cleverest designers you're going to find, worked with a palette of raspberry reds, dazzling pinks and a good dose of gilded sparkle. And gold cutlery. That part made me particularly happy!
Did you know that the original family of Auntsfield lived in this little house with their children over 100 years ago? That's more than a little bit cool!
Auntsfield is the oldest vineyard in Marlborough, with its original wine cellar from the 1800s, it was the perfect place to host this styled shoot. Owned by the Cowley family, the property also boasts the Locks and Lashes Powder Room where Deirdre Cowley pampers her brides. And if you don't know who Deirdre is, you clearly haven't spent enough time on this blog! Deirdre doesn't just work her magic on weddings, she's also been known to lend her talents to the television and film industry. She could throw some pretty big names into a conversation, but unless you asked her about it, she may not ever even mention them.
I wonder what stories this old cellar could tell, if it were a talking cellar?
Gold cutlery. Need I say more?
Do you want to see even more of this shoot? Head on over to Truly and Madly if you like!
So there you have it, you've seen a bit of what we get up to in our spare time. How lucky am I to have such talented wedding vendors and friends wanting to play with us? Thank you girls for lending your creativity, your passion and your spare time. We had a ball!
Venue: Auntsfield Estate
Floral Design and Prettiness: Nina, Pink Poppie Designer Florist
Stationery, Design and General Awesomeness: Leanne, Vanilla Hayes
Imagine Pollard Park in the Autumn full piles and piles of leaves; add to this mix one set of proud-as-punch parents and two of the most adorable girls you've ever seen, and, well, you can understand I'm right there in my happy place.
The last time we did photos for Rebecca and Alan, Laura was just a toddler. Now a couple of years later, I'm introduced to her cute-as-a-button little sister Kate.
I suppose I could be called a 'seasonist', in that I do love one season over all of the others. But of all the 'ists' one can be, I think that one is just fine.
You're never, ever, to big for Mummy cuddles. True story.
Kate knows nothing about pretend smiles. I'm glad about that, because check this out!
Excuse me while I just add some leaf jumping shots. It just has to be done.
Rebecca and Alan, thank you for coming out to play in the leaves. I can absolutely see why you are so besotted with those two little girls, they are all kinds of lovely! Well done you guys!
She was the little girl with the cheeky face, lashings of long beautiful hair and the funniest sense of humour. You see, we knew Holly since before she was born. Her Mum and I were good friends from donkey's years ago and our two little girls spent their first few years as each other's best buddies. Kimberly and Holly would see one another at least once a week when they'd play and do their 'schoolwork' together. For Kimberly it was known as 'Holly Rose Day' and Holly knew it only as 'Kimberly Day'. The two were a perfect match. Kimberly was quiet and reserved and utterly sensible, and Holly was full of games, imaginary friends and was never ever lost for words. Then Holly and her family moved up north and the unavoidable passage of time created two young ladies (and a couple of older mothers!) The girls did keep in touch, however, with occasional visits and letters. Then, over a year ago, Kimberly received a letter from Holly telling her all about this boy she'd met at church. "Tell your mum she can photograph our wedding! No! Jokes! Don't!"
Ben is a pretty epic match for our Holly. He is sweet and quiet and sensible and pretty much exactly what every mother wishes for her daughter. He's musical and he laughs at Holly's jokes. It didn't take too long for the two of them to fall in love and realise they fit like a glove and so they got engaged. And just like she had planned in her secret notes to Kimberly, they are having us photograph their big day later this year!
Holly and Ben came and stayed with us; a good old fashioned sleepover. And while they were here we decided we would do their engagement session. I asked where they'd like to go, and the first thing they both wanted, apparently, was THE TREE. Who can blame them? So the plan was to end at THE TREE right on sunset. She was also after something rugged. Perfect. Rarangi it is then!
Oh Holly, you are so so pretty, both inside and out!
As the sun was setting we made a mad dash to THE TREE. As usual he was playing along just nicely.
But WAIT! Check out this little dude just down the hill from him a little. I think THE TREE has some competition!
This was my view:
And this was Paul's view:
One last stop before we headed home for tea. Why not add a little urban grunge to the shoot? Turns out they can rock that too.
Ben and Holly, thank you for coming. Thank you for playing along and most of all THANK YOU for having us be chief photographers (and cheerleaders!) in the next amazing and exciting chapter of your lives. I'm proud of you guys. Super proud.
The first time I met Jess and Nik was at Mandy and Chris' wedding just last month. Anybody with exceptional powers of observation (or perhaps too much time on their hands?) will recognise Jess as one of Mandy's beautiful bridesmaids. Even the gorgeous little Archie made a wee appearance on the blog. And now, because he's just so gosh-darn cute, Archie has managed to wrangle his cute little self into his parents engagement photos!
Check out those little teeth!
But it really wasn't ALL about Archie, Jess and Nik did get a few moments to themselves (thanks to our wonderful Emily and her baby-entertaining powers!)
Jess and Nik are super cool, easy to be with and great fun to photograph! Oh, and more than a little bit good-looking! Bring on next Summer, I say!
And this, my friends, is possibly the cutest Tree silhouette yet!
Thanks Jess and Nik for coming out to play and for bringing that adorable little Archie! See you in February!
Oh glorious Autumn! How much do I adore the opportunity to photograph in your beautiful hues of prettiness! I have to admit, I was pretty stoked when Sarah and Anton chose this time of year to have their engagement session done. We hadn't met before, all contact was done via email and so I was looking forward to putting faces to names and making new friends. We had arranged to meet out at Old St Mary's Convent in order to make the most of the amazing grounds and incredible colour. While I was prepared for the possibility of cold, wind, rain or sun, there was one thing that I wasn't really ready for. Just as we were outside the door of the Convent waiting to meet Sarah and Anton, the ground began to shake. Like, really really shake. The building wobbled and creaked and then there was just this swaying of the path, just a nauseating sway. I didn't waste any time to move AWAY from the building and just then Sarah and Anton came out. And this was how we first met. Nothing like a 6.3 earthquake to make you remember your first meeting!
Thankfully all was well and after some calls to loved ones and the ease of the heart rate we put it all behind us and went to play.
Sarah and Anton met while competing at a UN Model Competition. After they had told me that they had never really been in front of a camera like this before, I was a little bit surprised that they then admitted to being models. Turns out it wasn't that kind of modelling. UN, as in United Nations. It was all about politics, diplomacy and suchlike. They soon became friends and slowly but surely the friendship grew stronger over the years, until cupid took aim and love blossomed.
I could have spent hours with Sarah and Anton, they were fun and friendly and laughed when I said funny things (laughing with me, not at me?) And to top it all off they shone in front of the camera. Sarah, you are seriously beautiful!
Please note: there were also fantails present. Fantails who were very bossy.
So here's a bit of fun. Check out this reflection. Perfect stillness, beautiful light, epic reflection.
This is the image upside down. I quite enjoyed flipping it one way and then the other, so I figured, hey, you guys might like to see it too! Pretty neat!
And this, right here, is 100% reflection. Just as it was.
Sarah and Anton, we had such fun with you both. If this whole lawyer thing gets old, maybe you could pursue your new found skill of modelling, because you guys nailed it! Bring on January!
Gemma and James first met at a soccer game, there were no bells and whistles, no angels singing in beautiful harmony, it was just a chance meeting. Little did Gemma know that the handsome man she just met would one day become her husband. Fast forward about a year later and they both happened to be at the same awards ceremony. James had obviously spotted Gemma and instead of going back to his friends he hung back and became very "interested" in the snacks table, which happened to be right by where Gemma was. It didn't take long for Gemma to see James, and realising he probably needed company, went over to talk to him. Soon after James' phone rang and Gemma overheard him say "Yeah bro, I'm talking to her now". And the rest, as they say, is history. Somewhere between that time at the table with the cold spring rolls and now, James stole Gemma's heart. So much so, in fact, that the two got married on Sunday at Old St Mary's Convent surrounded by their closest friends and family. The smiles were unstoppable, the hugs abundant and the colours of Autumn made the whole day sing.
As Emily and I arrived at the Chapel Suite we were struck with how incredibly calm everything was. Don't get me wrong, there was still the excited hustle and bustle that half a dozen ladies produce, but underneath it all was a lovely sense of calm.
Melissa was the cutest little flowergirl ever.
Meanwhile, Paul is with the boys as they get ready to come to the convent as well.
Gemma, you are just so so pretty!
Gemma has the kind of smile that you just want to preserve in a jar to let out on bleak and dreary days, because hers is the type of smile that can make it all better. You can tell how much James loves that smile every time he looks at her. He is totally besotted.
As I was perched near the front of the church and waiting for the girls to walk down the aisle, I couldn't resist grabbing this shot of James with the light bulb. James, if ever you need an image of yourself having a good idea, go ahead and use this one.
And here they come!
As Melissa makes her way down the aisle the entire church full of people melt just a little bit.
Gemma just kept on smiling that beautiful smile of hers, in fact, she was so happy she turned to the congregation to announce "I just can't stop smiling!"
And they're married!
James decided to propose to Gemma during a snowy holiday with friends down in Queenstown. They were there for a week, and while the first four days were all about the snow, James had big plans for day five. He made up some excuse that the weather wasn't good enough to go snowboarding and so instead they headed into town together. There he planned a day of luxury, with massages, a beautiful lunch and finally a surprise stop at a private hotpool with a beautiful view of the night sky and candles all prepared in advance by James. Down on one knee James admitted that there was a very good reason that this day was particularly special and he asked Gemma if she would marry him. She said yes. I sure am glad she did!
I love kids at weddings because they are so gosh-darn unpredictable. While we might have liked to have Melissa in more than one bridal party photo, she had other ideas that involved running and playing.
So we all know how much I love Autumn weddings, right? And with good reason. Colour, light and general amazingness all around.
Even if it sometimes is a little damp, it's really no drama.
Hellooooooo pretty Convent!
This bridal party was so good looking, I think you could probably rent them out as a ready-made bridal party!
This image also contains a bride. Just sayin'.
I think it's fair to say that James is pretty easy on the eye. A fairly nice looking fellow. A handsome lad. While I might like to lay claim at discovering him and being the first to photograph James, I have to admit that I'm really not. Turns out, in fact, that James was Cleo Magazine's Bachelor of the Year in 2013 after they spotted him as Mr August in the fireman calendar. So ok then, he's a good looking fireman, surely it must be all skin deep (says me, who tries hard not to jump to conclusions!) But nah-ah (you've got to say "nah-ah" with kind of an attitude if you want to say it right). Anyway, Nah-Ah, James has got to be one of the friendliest and most genuine guys around. This guy, right here, is the whole package.
I'd say there are three main types of images we create, completely candid, natural posed and highly posed. Generally we tend to swing towards the candid side of things, and when we do pose people we try to make it look as natural as possible. But sometimes we're asked to branch out and try a different style, and Gemma and James' wedding was just that. We've actually been seeing some pretty snazzy highly posed and carefully lit wedding images around lately so when we were asked to create something similar we jumped at the chance! Old St Mary's convent lends itself perfectly to this style too.
The rain stopped just long enough for us to dash outside again. In case you forgot, it's Autumn (I like to bring that up whenever possible. Autumn. Right there.
It's still Autumn.
Then it was off to Wither Hills where an evening of fun and laughter awaited us!
Also a Haka.
It was starting to get pretty dark, but not wanting to let go of the fact that we were among vineyards, so hopped on over to the vineyard and made the most of the last smatterings of light.
We're always on the hunt for something new and different, particularly when we photograph the same locations over and over again. I'd not seen these lights on the wall before. So here we are mixing things up again.
Then inside the snug and warm atmosphere of Wither Hills the fun started.
And the food was good. Of course.
The speeches were great.
And the MC sang a Queen song. In fact, I'm pretty sure we all sang that Queen song together.
There were several people who couldn't make the wedding, but that didn't mean that Gemma and James weren't thinking about you.
Gemma and James, thank you ever so much for inviting us into your amazing day. We so very much enjoyed getting to know you both! Wishing you miles and miles of happiness!
Ceremony and Portrait Venue: Old St Mary's Convent
Reception Venue: Essence Events, Wither Hills Winery
Minister: Doug Pa'u
Hair & Makeup: Locks & Lashes
MC: Luke Bird
Videographer: Le Films Videography
Cake: Debbie, The Cake Company
DJ: Sonic Soundz
Car: Regal Rolls Royce
Yes, you read that right. Studio Portraits! It's been a long time coming, many many months of dreaming, planning and building, but it's finally here. We have a studio! While it's still a bit of a work in progress on the outside (ahem, landscaping....), we're all good to go on the inside! So just in time for the chilly weather we've now got somewhere warm you can bring yourselves, your Nana, your toddler and your baby!
To be honest, I'm so excited about the studio that I still walk in and stroke the walls and tell it how much I love it when I open it up for the day.
So may I present to you, our fist official studio attendee, the adorable Claudia, whose birth I was able to photograph the week before. Here she is at only 6 days young. Check out the dimple. Melt.
Any mother of two or more children is looking at this image and sniggering to herself, because when do all of your children ever sleep ALL at the same time? That would be never. Good thing these boys were absolute stars and just pretended to sleep for me. All I needed was 200th of a second.
Lisa and Matthew have the perfect little family! Wouldn't you agree?
So there you have it! The studio is up and running, so if you're keen to stay in from the cold and get some snazzy images of you or your loved ones, drop me a note at: email@example.com