It's impossible to dislike Vanessa and Chris. Just sayin'. She's cute and bubbly and fun, he's a little quieter and laughs at all her jokes.
They met while on holiday with mutual friends, there was a little bit of confusion over who liked whom, but after chatting through the night it soon became pretty clear that they belonged together. Clearly they hit it off pretty well because come Autumn, guess who's getting married!
Being the light snobs that we are, we planned their engagement shoot as close to sunset as we could manage it. You see, the later you shoot, the better. When the sun is high on a Summer's day, the light is ever so harsh. Shade is hard to come by, and bright light is not flattering. Think squinting. Think scrunchy faces and watery eyes. Think deep shadows. Not cool.
New Zealand has the harshest sun on the planet (this may or may not be backed by science) so whenever physically possible, we keep our couples out of it in Summer!
Wowzers Vanessa! So pretty you are!
And because we had some sweet sweet light to work with, The Tree (please note, proper noun) was the perfect place to finish things off!
Vanessa and Chris, the weeks are going to fly by and before long we're going to be celebrating your wedding with you! Can't wait!
It was pretty well exactly this time last year that I had to do my last 'bulk' blog update! Seems the Christmas and New Year period sees us doing loads of portrait shoots, but not so many blog posts! So let's get a little updated, ey?
Check out Carter trying VERY hard not to laugh at my jokes. I'm pretty sure this was when we were plotting on how we could get his older brother to hand down his Play Station 2....
We were lucky enough to be able to catch up with Frith and Jeff, and just LOOK at this gorgeous little boy they have! Meet George.
Frith, motherhood suits you real, real good!
Ok, I'll admit it, I love crying baby shots. I'm just imagining how much this image of Ana´s will be adored in 20 years time!
And just so you know, we do sometimes photograph families that don't have small children!
Not that the 'bigger' children are necessarily any less playful! Oh, and by the way, that headstand, totally legit.
About 18 months ago Jefferson and Rowelson joined the Humphreys family. Aaron and Ruth have been on the waiting list for years, longing for, praying for and loving these precious children before they ever even met them. Now that they're here the Humphreys family is a better place.
Jack has done a fair bit of growing up since we last saw him too! Look how CUTE!
Vicky has this image on a massive canvas on her wall. It looked so good I almost wanted to keep it myself!
Amy and Andrew's family with two little boys is full of fun and energy and whenever possible, dirt and sticks.
When you're not exactly sure what to hold on to, ears are always a good option.
So there we have it! Not even nearly updated, but a good way on the way! Weddings are starting up real soon, so it'll be all flowers and kisses and happy dressed up people getting married. Beauty!
The first time Pep laid eyes on Rachel was the day she came in as his patient. Rachel thought that Pep was an assistant, not the actual podiatrist, and Pep treated Rachel as he would any other patient. So from all accounts, just another day in the office and not particularly love at first sight. But that's ok, fate would give them another chance and sometime later they would meet again. This time Pep chatted a little more to the pretty lady and the pair hit it off. Clearly they hit it off pretty well, because come next year Pep and Rachel are to be husband and wife!
Up until last week we had only been communicating through emails, planning wedding location and dates (sidenote: OH MY GOODNESS EPIC WEDDING LOCATION ALERT!) so I already knew that Rachel and Pep were pretty cool people. But then they turned up to the door, and the moment I laid eyes on them I was 100% smitten. I knew this was going to be good. Really, really good.
Oh evening light, how I do love thee!
We're always on the lookout for new locations, and just look at this amazing spot that Rachel found for us! Check out Barewood Garden in the Awatere Valley.
Rachel, you are an absolute stunner! You turn up to your engagement shoot like this, I can only imagine what the wedding day will look like!
Pep and Rachel make an awesome team, one a podiatrist and the other a physiotherapist. Together they're starting a new adventure in Australia (insert Aussie joke here, but not really because I'm secretly an Aussie....)
Rachel and Pep, your wedding is going to be crazy good. I already know. Next year will be here before we know it, in the meantime enjoy Australia!
This dear little girl, much longed for, hugely anticipated, and only known as 'Snowflake' before her arrival.
Then Ana´s arrived and for Matt and Anna the entire universe changed. The world was never going to be the same place, their hearts grew just enough to fit this very small snuggly girl inside.
And who even knows what people do with their spare time before a baby arrives, because, from my memory anyway, any spare moment is taken up staring at the new little person you just made.
Did you ever see anyone so cute? Man, I wish I looked this good when I woke up in the morning!
Matt and Anna, you guys are super star parents. Ana´s is about as cute as any baby can possibly be!
Is it just me, or did 2015 get thrust upon us before we were even fully used to 2014? Call me crazy, but I think time is speeding up. Like, for real. Maybe we just live busier lives now and fill our days up with so much adventure that the weeks and months are whizzing by - but I wonder if there's more than that to it. Hmmmm.... bring on the conspiracy theories. I'm a little too scared to google the theory, just in case I fall down a rabbit hole of global warming, chemtrails and alien abduction (just sayin').
Aaaaanyway, so here we go. Hello 2015. We're already two weeks in and just to fill the days in a little more, I'm starting a blog mini-series. Turns out I haven't been fully awesome at keeping everyone updated with the happenings around here. I'm sorry about that (especially to the lady who stopped me in town to tell me to get new pictures online!)
Meet the lovely Sorayah and Andrew. It was a red crocodile lolly that Andrew bought Sorayah at the Dairy, that first got her to notice him. Having just left school and being full of youth and energy, Sorayah and Andrew fell in love and started their adventurous life together.
Andrew started working in Australia, away from home for months at a time. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, which must have been about right because on one of his trips home he brought with him an amazingly beautiful diamond ring!
Getting down on one knee he asked Sorayah to become his wife and spend the rest of her life with him. She said yes. And before long started to plan their wedding day together. Which is where we came into the picture (YUS!)
So next month we'll be hanging out with these beautiful people on their wedding day!
Oh yeah, one more thing. Meet Boy, their thoroughly loved and pampered pooch.
Have you ever seen a dog smile? Well now you have!
Andrew and Sorayah (and Boy), you guys are going to have a SUPER DUPER wedding and we can't wait to share it with you!
It's hard not to fall in love with 'my' families. I say they're 'my' family because I share such amazing experiences with them. Take Ben and Alice, for example. I watched them say I DO, a year later I stood and waited outside the labour room and photographed gorgeous little Otis as a fresh little new born. With what seemed like only the blink of an eye Otis has just turned one, and I'm back with Ben and Alice and capturing the next step of their family life with a toddler.
Alice, you just stay as stunning as ever! Being a mummy sure does suit you!
Otis has got to be the handsomest little one year old you've ever seen. Anyone who can rock a double chin like this is pretty epic!
Alice and Ben, you really do have a fantastic family. I'm loving watching you all grow together!
Birth is beautiful. It's one of the hugest of life events, it's full of raw emotion, joy and ultimately love. It's an experience that you can only understand by going through it, and one that is not soon forgotten. I love birth. I loved giving birth to my six beautiful babies, and I love photographing the experience for others. I am, among other things, a birth photographer.
Generally when I tell people I photograph birth their eyes widen, they smile through gritted teeth, they repeat the word 'birth' and carefully and quietly back away from the crazy lady. Some people get it right away, but others have to be assured that it's not about the gory details, but it's all about the miracle.
When Tanysha got in contact with me to photograph her birth I did my usual happy dance jig. I met with her and Annie, her mum, and we spent a couple of hours chatting over coffee and scones. I had made new friends. And then the wait began for the 'It's happening!' call!
I told Tanysha that I expected to be called about 2am, and that was pretty much exactly what happened. 2am and her waters had broken! I asked her to let me know when things stopped being fun. Turns out the fun stopped not long after and I popped my gear in the car and headed over to their house. Tanysha was planning a home water birth. Way cool in my books!
Just LOOK at this haven of gorgeousness!
There was even bunting. Because every homebirth should have a good dose of bunting!
Tanysha, seriously, you made birthing beautiful!
Their elderly cat was pretty close by the whole time. That's one great thing about homebirth that I'd never really considered, pets!
It wasn't long before things got really serious, the midwife had popped out and Tanysha had gone from 4cm to pushing in next to no time at all. Annie and I just looked at each other rather wide eyed and quietly determined that we could do this if we needed to! We took Tanysha to her pool and lowered her in.
Within minutes the midwife arrived to save the day and I didn't have to catch the speedy baby after all!
And with not even a panadol on board, Tanysha delivered the most beautiful baby girl you've ever seen.
Meet Thea. Gorgeous. Beautiful. Utterly perfect, Thea.
All 4.06kg of her (or 8lb 13.5oz!)
And there, again, Tanysha, you look like you've just come home from a shopping trip, and nothing like you've just given birth! What a legend!
Tanysha, I can't thank you enough for the amazing experience I got to share with you. Annie, thanks for singing along to the music with me, for being my contraction timing buddy and my alley in the whole experience. Thanks also to Simon for the great coffee! You guys are an amazing family, and Thea is so blessed to have you all.