When Amy & Warwick told us that they were having a DIY backyard wedding in the Hunter Valley, we weren’t expecting this. We were told very little about the wedding venue as Amy & Warwick wanted to surprise us. In my head I had a very different vision of what a DIY wedding in NSW would look like. Everything was indeed DIY. We weren’t expecting that the venue itself would be built from scratch by Amy’s very crafty step-dad, Rod. Welcome to the little country town of Dungog. This is Quartpot Downs, home to 2000 acres of green and 550 head of beef.
We met Michelle & Mark over a year ago, and they warned us that their family & friends were very..well.. outgoing. I think that was an understatement. I danced until my feet were sore, cried until my eyes were swollen and laughed so hard my stomach hurt. And that is how Michelle & Mark’s wedding was in a nutshell. Their wedding was held at the beautiful House of Laurels in Maleny. Intricate details found throughout the wedding took us through a whirlwind of emotions, as we remembered loved ones who could not join us. And as we witnessed how close Michelle & Mark were to their family & friends; it was a completely new perspective on love. I don’t recall the last time that I hugged so many people, so many times at a wedding.
Kat is an extremely talented Rockabilly Pin-up Icon & Make-up Artist, and Lee is a super awesome photographer. We never really planned on shooting when the sun was at its peak because of the usual harsh shadows it casts, but I got a bit carried away with trying to find out everything I could about Kat & Lee. This involved touring Kat’s backyard, meeting her dad, her dog and seeing her Custom Restored and Hand Painted Furniture. Kat & Lee even showed me a few projects they were working on…a caravan for touring Australia! They couldn’t get more rad. Dealing with the sun was a challenge, and it involved many 1cm shifts to the left or 2cm wiggles to the right…(Your right or my right? haha). Just as we were figuring out how to cross the river without getting our shoes wet, we came across a little runaway puppy who followed us around and paddled in the river. I guess he was also curious about Kat & Lee. They are as close you can get to a real life 1950s glamour couple. From every small detail, they are exactly that- it was a magical experience to observe and capture their vibrancy and love for each other.
I don’t really want to get this morbid on my blog, but I really need to share with the world that I’ve been dead for a while. My life has gone through a whirlwind of change in the past month. This is my new beginning. And there is no place better to start fresh than to visit my roots. I recently flew across the ditch back to my homeland. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to the land of the long white clouds. And goody-goody-gumdrops things have changed!
Faces have aged. People have come and gone since I was last on this soil. I miss Hokey-Pokey. I miss my family. I miss seeing wild daisies grow from cartoon-green pastures. Things were familiar, yet so foreign. I felt like a tourist, and I had to capture everything old and new just to feel alive again. One of my favourite places in Auckland is Cornwall Park. It’s more beautiful than I remembered. Or maybe I regret that I had probably taken it for granted when I was driving past it every morning eight years ago.
I met Loran & Steve who have recently moved to Auckland from Hawkes Bay, the land of really good wine and cool stuff like that. It was their first time to Cornwall Park, and I felt kind of chuffed to be able to show them around. I did this shoot using one lens. It was a challenge and certainly had its limitations, but I wanted to prove to myself that having awesome gear isn’t everything. I wanted to go back to the basics and to really feel it. I wanted to breathe and let go. Thank you Loran & Steve…you’ve brought me back to life.
If you’re at all familiar with Auckland, you’ll know that the weather isn’t too kind during Winter. And it was darn cold too. But you can hardly tell from these pictures because Loran & Steve are just so in love.
And a million hugs of gratitude to my best friend Michelle who took me under her wing and drove us everywhere.