Samantha and Jason were wed surrounded by their nearest and dearest in the garden of a family friend at The Old Farm in Winmalee. Luckily it was perfect mountains weather. Not too hot, not too cold, and beautiful colours all around.
Getting ready at the home where she grew up, Sam and her family were relaxed and jovial, dealing with any ‘mishaps’ that came along with humour and pragmatism.
Like most men awaiting their bride, Jason looked calm, handsome and just a touch nervous. A surprise ride to the ceremony in an awesome car would have taken the edge off. And then, as it usually happens, the bride walked down the aisle it would have all melted away.As much as my clients fall in love with each other, I feel like I fall in love with my clients, and their adoration and commitment to each other, with their quirks, their ‘in’ jokes and their quiet confidence in being themselves, just as they are. I feel I get to reflect on my own commitment, and renew it in my heart as I watch others make theirs and share it with their own community. With weddings in the Blue Mountains you never know what the weather will bring – snow, sunshine, mist or rain – or a combination, or all of the above! We were lucky enough to bask in warm sunlight as the afternoon light lingered.Samantha and Jason took a little time to themselves between the ceremony and the reception to pause, connect, and reflect momentarily on their commitment. A recurring theme with my clients, is that they are usually camera shy and just ‘want to have a photographer there’ without having to pose stoically, or spend hours traipsing from one location to another. That fits with me perfectly as I prefer to create moments where couples can connect, looking their best and in love as they already are, and make beautiful images that capture the genuine love and connection that down-to-earth people have and emanate on such a special day.
And then they partied.The groom made his guests laugh and his mother-in-law cry (with happiness) in his speech, they danced their first dance to Metallica’s Unforgiven and Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia made a guest appearance atop the wedding cake. Need I say any more?
The cake topper says it all. My kinda people.
In the last weeks of summer, I spent a sunny afternoon with a family that makes my heart melt. So much love and tenderness, and gorgeous smiles. Clare is a mother that I admire for her gentle energy and calm strength. For the photo session we incorporated aspects of their lives that would be something held dear when the children grow up, and handmade felt letters for each child made by Mum was something they were very proud to have me capture.
Hanging out and joking together relaxes everybody – and of course we have to include the fur babies.Siblings are so sweet how they can interact during a photo session, oscillating between competing for my attention, to full of love and affection.
Once we had taken photos at home to capture memories of that special phase of their lives, we went on a walk down a little valley near to Katoomba Falls. I had no idea a special place like this was down the end of my very own street! Going to a special place that Clare and Nav take the kids to frequently meant they could all relax and play together, feeling comfortable in the environment they were all familiar with.Connections happen when we let the kids be themselves, and play along with their energy, reading what it is they need in that moment. A snack? A cuddle? A change of place to explore and throw pebbles? I am so grateful for the opportunity to capture the love and connection between this beautiful family, for their box of memorabilia, but also spending an afternoon creating wonderful memories.
Paul and Ming used to the visit the Blue Mountains from Sydney for bushwalks as a young couple many moons ago. This time their visit was of a different nature. A short family getaway, with a new addition! We had a wonderful time playing in the gardens at Parklands Blackheath, where they were staying for the weekend.
Often when we are preparing for a photo session parents can become anxious that their toddler or baby may not ‘perform’ or not be at their best on the day. That is always a possibility, so that is why we prepare for anything. Ming packed some healthy snacks, a beautiful little rug that was familiar and some favourite cuddly toys that they didn’t mind having featured in the photos if necessary. Needless to say, we didn’t need them but it is nice to have them on hand.
We played and giggled, and moved from one spot to the next, and had a wonderful time just before the mists rolled in.
Location: Parklands Country Gardens and Lodges
Arranging family photo sessions in the Blue Mountains can require some flexibility and patience, and when you have those, the wait is more than worth it. Tracy and I rescheduled our photo session more than a number of times due to rain, mist and illness, and I am so glad we persisted. One thing that Tracy mentioned when we spoke was that she had this image of sunshine and brightness, and as tempting as it was to ‘just get it done’ so the in-laws could see their beautiful family, I knew deep down they weren’t going to fit that vision she had in her head.
Then, one beautiful Saturday morning, it all fell into place. Tracy, and Alex brought the kids to a location I had stumbled upon a few months before. I kept glancing down an alleyway every now and then thinking, one day I’m going to shoot here. And we did. It fits Tracy and Alex perfectly. A little bit mountains, mixed with a little bit of Melbourne, they are the trendiest, most artistic Librarians I have ever met.
As parents know, small children have moods that change like the weather, and the wrong colour t-shirt, or wrong flavoured milkshake can cause major upsets. Photo sessions with little people can be quick moving, sometimes emotional, plus a lot of fun. But for parents with a fixed idea of how their children should be, or look, it can be stressful. I am so grateful that Tracy and Alex put their trust in me and the process, and went with the flow. Trying to let go of the idea of making a small one ‘smile’ for the camera, and creating opportunities for them to engage gives us better results every time. But that process to a parents can come across as chaos, or disorder.
I have found when we let kids be themselves and feel their emotions, we can give them cuddles and kisses, and work through shyness, tiredness, and random craziness we don’t understand to get lovely results, and everyone happy in the process.
I am so grateful to have been a part of capturing this beautiful family, and am very proud to share this sneak peek from our photo session with you.