Chris and Stacey are my kind of people. Stacey, particularly, is just a touch of crazy (the good crazy, not the creepy crazy) and is always ready with a laugh and boy the day sure did have plenty of laughs! Chris is super easy going and totally dotes on Stacey, who, in turn thinks the world of him. On Saturday they got married and it was quite possibly one of the most relaxed and happy wedding days that we've been privileged to be part of!
I also stole some shoes.
Stacey got ready at her childhood home, surrounded by some of her closest friends. One of whom was Lyndy Lu, who is not only a good friend but also did a gorgeous job of Stacey's hair. Turns out that Lyndy has a pair of shoes that look remarkably like a pair that I have at home, and they were sitting right at the door innocently waiting for their rightful owner. But instead I came along.
You can imagine Lyndy's horror upon realising that her shoes were no longer at the door when she wanted to leave. No. It seemed that the photographer had stolen them. Why would the photographer do something like this? I couldn't tell you, and I didn't even realise that I was wearing them for several hours, even through wet wet grass. Once they were fairly well drenched I was told about the stolen shoes, looked down and INDEED they were not my shoes at all! There was much laughing, and most of it was not my own.
None of this took away from the fact that Stacey was absolutely radiant and, apart from the shoe incident, the day went without a single hitch. Beautiful makeup by Deirdre at Locks and Lashes, and gorgeous flowers by Andrea Prince.
While his gifted cufflinks might say that he'd 'rather be hunting', I can assure you that Chris was fully keen to spend this special day marrying the girl of his dreams!
Stacey and Chris opted to do most of their portraits before the wedding. We suggested that Old St Mary's Convent would be the perfect place for it, as the weather was looking pretty iffy and the colours there right now are super amazing!
Stacey, you surely are a gorgeous bride!
There was no holding this bridal party back, they sure were a boatload of fun!
Then onto Drylands for the ceremony. I love me a Nana hug!
This is possibly one of the most precious images of the day.
And then it was time to head off in the HELICOPTER! As if this day wasn't already special enough, we managed to sneak away with Stacey and Chris for a little while and find a couple of epic locations for a few more photos.
This, right here, is proof that Stacey and I get on just fine. I know someone's mother once said not to pull faces lest the wind change and it stay like that. Thankfully my mother never said that, so I think I'm safe.
This old cob cottage was in the middle of nowhere. It was totally asking us to land and take some photos with it!
Then we found a pretty saddle and left Stacey and Chris to hang out together while we flew around them. You would never have guessed that these two weren't trained models, the way they just owned that hill and made the images both romantic and magical. Well done guys!
Then back to Drylands to continue the celebration. Mary Parker makes the most beautiful wedding cakes. Check out this little icing doggie, modelled after Chris and Stacey's dog Duke.
Chris and Stacey have shared many adventures together hunting, so it was perfectly fitting for them to have planned the table centrepieces around this theme!
I think these would have to be the most epic wedding bands I've ever seen! And they were designed by Chris and Stacey themselves! Pretty darn fantastic if you ask me!
So this brings our wedding season to a close. Chris and Stacey, it was a real treat to share the day with you and capture those special moments for you. We wish you all the very best in life, and may you have many more amazing adventures together!
And Lyndy, I'm sorry about the shoes.
Those of you who remember Anneke, my beautiful niece, from previous blog posts will not be surprised that the 'good looking' gene did not stop there. Meet her cousin Ted. Although Ted is her cousin on the other side of the family I think I still should somehow be able to claim him? Seems fair to me!
Ted's landed himself a modelling agent over in the USA where he lives and so we could hardly let him finish his visit here without plumping out his portfolio somewhat!
Paul took the opportunity to create some beautiful light, being the lighting geek that he is!
This is what happens when Paul leaves to move the car for a couple of minutes. Left to my own devices I manage to sneak in a 'tin soldier' shot. It had to be done.
Thanks for coming out to play Ted! We had such fun with you!
Shane was quick to claim that Nikki was the first of the two to fancy the other, but then again, he would. Shane loves to tease Nikki, who is able to send it right back while the two of them have a laugh. That's the kind of fun vibe Shane and Nikki have. Clearly it's a vibe that works beautifully for them because next year they're getting married!
Shane and Nikki met in England while Shane was over there playing cricket professionally. Yet another example of the Kiwis winning over the English! There seems to be a trend going on!
While the day had been somewhat grey and ugly, there was hope on the horizon and as soon as we started our E-session the sun came out and the light was everything we were hoping for! Combine the great light, a gorgeous couple and loads of laughs and it was pretty well the perfect way to spend an hour and a half!
Like most guys, Shane is not generally super excited about having his photo taken. In fact, apparently there are more photos in existence of him with his hand in front of his face than without. Shane, you did a super job and I think you may just have surprised yourself!
Hello lovely Autumn light!
It took absolutely no work to get Nikki looking this fabulous. I just told her to go and stand over there by that wall and BAM she just looks amazing. Easy peasy! Thanks also to Grace for the beautiful makeup job!
Shane and Nikki, we had such fun with you both and we can't wait for February when we get to meet the rest of your family and capture the two of you getting married! It's going to be great!
Dough. That's what my kids call it. It's soft and squishy and if I thought that the Internet truly kept me anonymous and I wouldn't run into you in the supermarket, I'd show you a picture of it. It sits right around my middle, mostly, as well as hanging onto other places with it's squishy cuddliness. The kids may poke it and giggle, but considering each of those six darlings had something to do with creating said dough, I'm not in the least bit offended. The time has come though, to part with a good chunk of it and Kim and Mark have been helping me do just that.
Now, I'm not a gym bunny. I'm more of a 'where is my secret stash of chocolate' bunny, and this is what has contributed to the kilograms sneaking on year after year making my pants too tight and my engagement ring no longer fit. Personally, I find the gym a little bit daunting. Those fit people and MIRRORS really don't help (you're nodding, aren't you?) But once Kim and Mark took me under their wing and started cheering me on things started turning around.
While they've been in the fitness game for years, they've just officially become Crossfit Blenheim, opened their own place (with nary a mirror in sight!) and changed how I feel about my fitness. Slowly, week by week, I began to improve. My almost completely inflexible body started doing what I asked it to, and just for kicks on my days off I can now run for 20 minutes without stopping. For those of you fit gym bunnies I know it's not THAT amazing, but when you're taking your dough with you it's pretty darn awesome! I've got a fair way to go, but at least I'm enjoying the process and look forward to each session.
When Kim asked us to take some photos for them we jumped at the chance. It meant that Paul (who has been getting super fit and leaving me in the dust!) got to have a good play with his lighting techniques and we got to sink our teeth into something very different!
We love the team atmosphere of the sessions, and the fact that every workout is different and you never know what you're going to do!
Kim knows what it's like to get her body back after having a baby, wee Jack is only 6 months old! All of my lame excuses fly out of the window!
To get a bit of an idea of what Crossfit is really about, check out this official Crossfit video (from crossfit.com). I would have said all of this and more, except I can't produce the swelling emotional music in the background! It's a good way to spend 2 minutes.
You might think Mark works out like this all the time, but in fact he's really quite humble about his physique. Kim had quite a bit of convincing to do to get him share what a dedicated crossfitter looks like. And just for the record, there is no enhancement in this image other than colour and contrast etc. It's all real.
This is actually really hard. I can't even get my legs off the ground for more than a nanosecond. That's why Mark's demonstrating it and not me. Be grateful. Be very grateful.
So get your tushies along to Crossfit Blenheim and try it out! The first session is free and if you say I sent you then you might just get a chocolate fish (although I'm probably lying about the chocolate fish). Say I sent you anyway.
Oh, and by the way, I need new jeans and I can wear my engagement ring again. Yes siree.
If you're looking for two people perfectly suited to each other, then look no further! Aimee is welcoming and friendly and Hayden is probably one of the most genuine guys around. On Saturday Aimee and Hayden became husband and wife and we were the lucky ones to get to be there and photograph their beautiful day.
Aimee and Hayden's home is filled with all sorts of fantastic, funky artwork and knickknacks, it was the perfect place to start the wedding day!
There was no lack of smiles, and the odd excited shriek of "I'm getting MARRIED!" The bridesmaids also took it upon themselves to declare that they, too, were the ones getting married, just to add to the sense of hilarity in the room.
While I wasn't actually there, I can only imagine that there wasn't quite the same shrieking while the guys were getting ready. However, I'm sure that Hayden was equally excited, although perhaps in a more manly way.
Super smart and ready to get married!
The wedding was held at Hayden's parents' property. It's abundantly clear how much love, time and effort has gone into making their backyard into the perfect wedding venue.
And then the beautiful bride arrives, and the smiles just continue to flow.
Connor, Aimee and Hayden's gorgeous 10 year old boy, did the most wonderful reading and had more people, than might care to admit, shedding a little tear. That's one of the beautiful things about a wedding, the excuse to cry happy tears.
And looking at the expression on Aimee's face, that tear right there is one of pure happiness.
A wedding day will also produce more hugs than any other day in one's life. Good, wholesome, happy hugs. The kind of hugs that make for happy memories, and we're all about capturing happy memories!
Ollie is Aimee and Hayden's OH-SO-ADORABLE little man. I had to practise my skills of self control not to cuddle him all afternoon. Step away from the baby Jess, away from the baby!
This old house was on the property and it was all kinds of fantastic to photograph!
Aimee mentioned that her bridal party had a somewhat warped sense of humour and that they weren't so much into serious shots. She was surely right about that. We had loads of fun!
While this may seem like your everyday, ordinary guy shot, check out the photobomber in the window...
Bridesmaids around the world will be thoroughly jealous of these Converse shoes right now, no sore feet! And just LOOK at how cool!
So gorgeous Aimee! Beautiful makeup done by the lovely Grace, who was also a bridesmaid!
I actually wasn't kidding when I mentioned modelling Hayden, if this banking gig gets boring, give me a yell and I'll hook you up with some portfolio shots
Good thing the floor was still strong enough to cope with my secret happy dance. Loving this house!
Beautiful flowers by Shireen Kilpatrick.
See, how cute are they together?
Then it was time to head back to the marquee, where Aimee and Hayden's fresh and funky style came through in the decor.
Every guest had one amusing photo of themselves at their table, quite big job for Aimee and Hayden to put together, but OH so worth it when you saw the laughs it produced!
Then, just as the light began disappearing, we braved the chilly air to get some lovely soft images in the vineyard.
Reason #143 to plan an Autumn wedding, the light is gone early enough to get sparkler shots.
That brilliant pattern right there was caused by me running around them 5 times in 13 seconds. I think I should put that down in my workout diary for this week, don't you?
Aimee and Hayden, what a fun and relaxed wedding you planned! Thank you so much for including us in the laughs, we wish you and your beautiful boys all the very very best!
Holy Moly, what an amazing wedding season it has been for us! It's been chock-a-block full of amazing brides, grooms and incredible families. We've loved being there for one of the most important days of people's lives, over and over again. We've delivered well over 16,000 images this Summer and we're not quite done yet! But things are starting to settle down, and like last winter, we're now offering portraits during our quieter months.
So to kick us off, meet Henry, fabulously gorgeous and full of sparkle!
Henry belongs to Letticia and David, who came to us wanting us to capture their beautiful family.
This is Reuben, Henry's big brother. You see, sometimes, to get the good shots, you just have to PLAY. You have to run, and chase and make crazy animal noises. Sometimes you have to laugh about doggie poo.
Sometimes when a small child runs away among the trees, instead of scolding and making a scene you simply photograph it. That's when you capture the childhood innocence, and the fun it is to be 4.
This image, right here, is why we love family portraits. How treasured will this image be when Henry is 21, to both Henry and his Mum? How priceless will this be to Henry's children and grandchildren? You can't underestimate the value of a moment like this, captured forever. Images like this one only become more valuable over time.
They say a builder's house is never finished, and while that has been somewhat true for our own family portraits that's all about to change. You see, I'm putting my money where my mouth is and we're having our family portrait session in a couple of weeks. I must say, it certainly is different being on this side of the arrangement! I'm worried about what to wear, and working hard to loose just a little bit more weight before the big day and I've booked in Deirdre to work her magic. But I know all of that will pale in comparison to the gift that this will be to the children, now, but even more so in 30 years, when they're showing their kids.
So here we go, opening up 2013 for portraits! If anyone is wanting more information, just email us firstname.lastname@example.org, we're taking bookings now for April and May.
If at first you don't succeed, try try again! I'm fairly sure that Thomas Edison didn't stop at his first 'no', nor did the Wright brothers give up when at first they failed. No siree, if you want great things to happen you've got to stick at it and that's exactly what Hayden did. Sometimes great friends can turn into something so much more if you just ask, twice. Once Aimee saw the light things progressed beautifully and this coming weekend Hayden will marry his beautiful friend in the presence of their family and friends, and we're going to be there to photograph it!
We spent the evening chasing the beautiful light. Claiming that they weren't really that good in front of the camera, Hayden and Aimee quickly proved themselves wrong!
We were in amongst the trees next to the beach and as I turned around I shrieked "Oh look at THAT!" It's not as if these trees haven't been here in this line every single time we've visited before, but tonight they were something special and I quickly hurried our somewhat bewildered couple in the gaps. I explained to them that it was about time for them to pretend to be a tree. The thing is, you never know who is going to make a good tree and who isn't. So at the command of "ONE TWO THREE TREE!" Aimee proved to be one of the best trees I've ever seen. Sadly Hayden wasn't quite as good, but quickly caught on and did some pretty impressive tree stances himself. It's a good thing we practised being trees, because you never know when you'll need that kind of tree skill.
Aimee had a baby a couple of months ago and I simply couldn't get over how amazing she looks! I'm still blaming my latest baby for my bulgy belly, but seeings that was three years ago I think it probably doesn't count anymore!
Gorgeous + Fun couple will equal a seriously great wedding, I bet ya.
Aimee and Hayden, we're crazy excited about your up and coming wedding, it's going to be fantastic! See you soon!