Glenn + Jess | Rustic Farm Wedding | Northam WA | 22 September 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

I love a good farm wedding, and this one was certainly no exception! Held on the family farm at Southern Brook just east of Northam, surrounded by their family and friends, and blessed with a superb Spring day, Glenn and Jess really did have the makings of a perfect wedding day.

But farm weddings can be hard work too, with much of the labor required the day before, and on the morning of the wedding. Everything has to be accounted for, and set up without the help of a venue or experienced staff to share the load. Furniture, seating, flowers and decorations need to be brought in, drinks, food, and portaloos sorted, and the ever present flies and mozzies dealt with.

So early in the planning stages, Glenn and Jess decided to engage the help of local wedding planners and stylists Holly and Sarah from Confetti & Co Events. These girls rock at what they do - seriously, they take all the stress out of the day! They organise the hire of furniture and equipment, which they collect, set up, and then drop back to the suppliers when it’s all over. They help plan the schedule and timetable for the day, then keep vendors updated and running on time as everything unfolds, and they deal with the little problems that can arise on a wedding day. Plus they’re super creative too, adding the finishing touches to everything from ceremony areas to table settings, to take your wedding to the next level.

So I was stoked when they announced that Glenn and Jess wanted me on board as their photographer, along with Sarah from Petallica Flower Co on flowers, making it a Wheatbelt Collective collaboration. Formed just over 18 months ago by myself, Confetti & Co Events and Petallica Flower Co, The Wheatbelt Collective encompasses a group of local wedding and event suppliers who aim to provide a high level of service and quality to people who wish to host their wedding or event in the country. Our goal is to encourage people to ‘keep it local’ by providing the kind of service previously perceived to only be found in the city.

But our ability to provide great service relies to an extent on the fabulous suppliers we work alongside on the day. And we were blessed to have the following team on board for Glenn and Jess’s wedding. Julie Chesson A Love Story (celebrant), Jasmine Fowler (hair & makeup), Yvette’s Cakes (cake), Lala Design (stationary), Little Miss Vintage, Grandscene Wedding & Event Hire and HA Hire Events & Weddings (furniture & tableware hire), Complete DJ (DJ), Avon Valley Hospitality (catering) and The Northam Country Club (reception venue).

A huge thanks to all of you for creating such a beautiful and well run wedding for our couple, and for showcasing the possibilities for events held out here in the Avon Valley and Wheatbelt. I think the results below speak for themselves. Seriously, why would you want to get married anywhere else, people?

Congrats Glenn and Jess, and thank you so much for having me share your day with you, it really was fabulous!

 

Meckering Earthquake Gala Dinner | Meckering WA | 13 October 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Event Photographer}

On the 14th October 1968, an earthquake rocked the small Wheatbelt town of Meckering in Western Australia, demolishing 60 of the 75 homes, and most of the commercial buildings in a matter of minutes. The population was effectively reduced to a quarter of its original 500 inhabitants, as most of the business owners and many local families never returned to rebuild.

But fast forward 5 decades, and Meckering is again a thriving community with the vision and talent required to host a remarkable commemoration weekend recently, in celebration of 50 years since that fateful day. And I had the pleasure of covering the glitzy evening that was the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night!

Held in a Swan Events marquee in the middle of town, 200 guests from all over Australia enjoyed a fabulous 3 course dinner catered by Citron’s Catering, an exclusive commemorative beer by Lucky Bay Brewing (aptly named Richter Ale!), and music by DJ Mac and one of our favourite local bands, Another Fine Mess. Rosary Floral Design provided the gorgeous floral arrangements dotted around the marquee, while the boys from the Cunderdin Football Club did a sterling job of serving tables throughout the evening.

Then Sunday saw over 2000 people descend on the town for a day of celebration, which included bus tours to the earthquake fault line, a display of memorabilia in the Hall, and the unveiling of the revamped earthquake walk trail.

A huge thanks must go out to Rebekah Burges and her team of 30 local volunteers, for the 12 months of work that went into bringing this incredible weekend to fruition. What a credit to you all, and a shining example of what’s possible out here in the Wheatbelt!

 

Helena & Aurora Range | Koolyanobbing WA | September 2018 {Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Documentary Photographer}

The Helena and Aurora Range (also known as Bungalbin by the Kalamala Kapurn people) lies 100km north of Southern Cross, near the mining town of Koolyanobbing in WA.

Surrounded by the Great Western Woodlands, and classified as a Conservation Reserve within the Yilgarn Shire, this is a special place which only recently escaped mining through the recommendations made to government by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The range is a 10km Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) containing more than 350 native plant species, and a number of remarkable animals - according to the brochure. Although to be honest, we didn’t hear boo from the animals, although we did find some roo poo up in the caves along the eastern side, and there were a couple of crows hanging around our camp!

Of these threatened species, the Malleefowl and Tetratheca aphylla, subspecies aphylla (a spiky little number with a delicate pink flower) are the rarest, with the latter being the main reason the range was given a temporary reprieve from mining. The whole area really needs to be made a Class A National Park though, to give it greater protection, because under WA Law a Conservation Reserve can still be mined. And pooey to that, I say!

So last weekend my old Uni mate Hugh and I packed the bare minimum (just the important stuff, like swags and food, a winch and a coffee perculator), and headed east to explore the ranges. And this is what we came home with... no words required, really. And all made possible by that big piece of blue Duplo, the Toyota FJ Cruiser, which took us into places your average 4WD couldn’t, and allowed us to climb to the very top of the ridge at dawn to shoot the sun rising over the Woodlands. Truly spectacular...

 

Justin + Hannah | The Lake House, Denmark WA | 18 August 2018 {Perth, South Coast, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

With its rolling hills, forests, and vistas of ocean blue, Denmark is truly a spectacular place to host a wedding.  So I was very excited when Justin and Hannah announced that we'd be travelling south for their big day, to be held on the grounds of The Lake House in the hills just out of town.  

And I was even more excited to discover that Hannah was adapting her Mum's wedding gown into her own, especially given I had photographed her Mum in it 8 years previously.  And then, as if that wasn't enough to get me pumped, I discovered that she'd be arriving in her Dad's HK Holden, and the jokes were on - being a fellow HK owner, I was warned not to take too many photos of the car (unless the B&G were also featured!).  So I behaved myself as best I could, but I did manage to sneak this first shot in, because, well, who can resist a Holden parked under a date palm beside a farm shed?!

So many highlights from this special day, and even though I'm still buried in editing, I thought I'd share some of them with you now, because let's face it, we all love to see pretty pics in the days following a beautiful wedding.

All cred to the following vendors for helping make it what it was. The Lake House (venue), Anna Jane Celebrant (celebrant), Albany Event Hire (marquee), Starfish Lane (invitations), The Floral Folk Co (flowers), Entice Food Co (cake), Kate Samiotis Hair (hair), Makeup By Carissa R (makeup), Elvi Design (dressmaker), and Ferrari Formal & Bridal (suits).

Congratulations Justin and Hannah, and thank you so much for asking me to share your beautiful day with you.

 

The Wedding Network | Sky High Glamour Styled Shoot | Aloft Perth Rooftop | 8 August 2017 {Perth Wedding & Event Photographer}

I really should have blogged this beautiful shoot long ago, but you know how it is, work and life get busy, and before you know it, another year has passed (I know, I know!).  But with my wedding season kicking off again next weekend, and the anniversary of this shoot falling right about now, I thought today would be as good as any to share it with you!

Held on the rooftop at Aloft Perth, one of the cities newest hotels, and overlooking the Swan River, we had the perfect venue for a stylish and sophisticated urban shoot, to showcase the work of a number of Perth's top wedding vendors for The Wedding Network.  Although being August, and being on the rooftop of a hotel, it was pretty damn windy - but it's amazing what you can do with a wad of blu-tac and a number of hands to hold things down between shots! 

And that light, we really couldn't have been blessed with more beautiful Winter light.  It reflected the soft pink tones of the styling, and picked up the eastern sky at dusk beautifully.  All cred to the amazing creatives who took part, for both their vision and the hard work that went into pulling such a beautiful styled shoot together on the day. 

It was a pleasure to be able to record it for you, and I think the results speak for themselves. 

The Wedding Network (co-ordination), Lace Petals and Hearts (stylist), Aloft Perth (venue), Event Artillery (furniture), A La Table (tableware), Synapse Event Lighting (lighting), Floral State (flowers), Bridal Select Cakes (cake), Hair For All Occasions (hair styling), Renata Jonev Makeup Artistry (makeup artist), Squiddly Ink (place cards), Creative Edge Weddings (crystals and geod rocks), Through The White Door (gowns), Linneys (jewellery), Chiara Fragomeni (model) 

 

The Wheatbelt Way | A Road Trip | May 2018 {Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Documentary Photographer}

With my Autumn weddings done and dusted, I took the opportunity for a three day Roadie earlier this week, heading north-east to the shire of Mt Marshall on the edge of the Wheatbelt, where the Emu Proof Fenceline divides our farmland from station country.  

Late Autumn is such a beautiful time of the year out there.  The days are warm and still, the flies are (mostly!) gone, and the evenings cool.  But it's also the driest time of the year, normally following a long hot Summer, and before the first rains of Winter settle the dust and germinate the newly sown crops. 

Founded on a nomadic pastoral industry, which later included the cutting of sandalwood, the Shire of Mt Marshall takes in the tiny towns of Bencubbin and Beacon, running north to the Emu Proof Fenceline. Nowadays it mostly consists of vast areas of flat, open cropping country, pockets of bush teaming with native flora and fauna, long straight gravel roads, the remnants of small settlements, and some very large rocks.

So, armed with my Fuji XPro2 + 18-135mm lens, plus a few other essentials, like food, water, my coffee machine and a Wheatbelt Drive Trail Map, I headed east to the Beacon Caravan Park, to set up camp - ever conscious of the fact that I was going to be far more comfortable in my Donga than my great great great grandfather JS Roe would have been, when he first discovered and explored this country in 1836! 

  And for the next three days I drove long distances, trekked through bush, climbed rocks with easy to spell names names like Billiburning, Elachbutting and Beringbooding, and watched farmers kick up trails of dust across the landscape with their seeding machines.  I also walked through towns (both existing and extinct), and met a few of the locals, including Bruce and Mal, who offered me a stiff cup of black tea and a rollie, and took me through the Beacon Men's Shed, and a short history of the tractor in Australia. 

But mostly I just hung out on my own.  Sometimes it's good to just quiet the chaos, to switch off and celebrate the simple things in our own backyard. That's what this trip was all about for me. And maybe a little bit about taking photos too, because, well, that's just what I do! 

 

Joe + Nikita | Brookleigh Estate, Swan Valley | 17 March 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

March is my favourite time of the year, and such a beautiful time to get married (I got married in March myself, and can't help but love an Autumn wedding!).  And Saturday was a perfect Autumn day for Joe and Nikita's beautiful heartfelt ceremony and reception, held at the ever stunning Brookleigh Estate in the Swan Valley, in Perth WA.  

And there's something extra special about childhood sweethearts like Joe and Nikita, who have been friends since they were just 6 years old. It creates a bond which just seems to radiate on the day, bringing everyone present into the fold, and creating a vibe like none other.

And so backed by years of friendship, and a similar outlook on life, Joe and Nikita tied the knot in a lakeside ceremony, followed by a fabulous reception on the deck as the sun set over the lake - complete with ducks and horses frolicking in the background - who wouldn't love that?!

Congratulations guys, and thankyou for having me cover your special day! It was truly magical...

 

The Grand Ball | Northam Women in Business Fundraiser | The Grand, Northam WA | 24 February 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Event Photographer}

Last Saturday night the Northam Women in Business hosted their second annual Grand Ball, at The Grand, Northam, and what an evening of glitz and glamour it was!

 The proceeds of this gala event are awarded in the form of a Business Scholarship, to a local woman looking to open and/or continue to run her own business in the Avon Valley. The process for applying includes a written application and interview with a panel of representatives from the Bendigo Bank, The Northam Chamber of Commerce, and the wider business community. 

Applicants are required to demonstrate their desire, ability and readiness to either start or continue a career, venture or vocation that will bring wide ranging benefits to the Northam business and social community.

A huge amount of time and effort goes into creating an event like this, with dozens of sponsors, suppliers and donors contributing to make it second to none. So a big thankyou to all those who donated, especially our Gold Sponsor, the Bendigo Bank, and our Silver Sponsors the Commonwealth Bank, The Grand Northam, SportsPower, West Coast Fireworks, Darren West, Simply Spectacles, and Angie Roe Photography.  

Special thanks also to the following event suppliers, for making it such an awesome evening!  The Grand, Northam, Confetti & Co, Chalk on York, and Studio Luxe Candle Company (venue, styling and decorations), Swift Hound Films (videography), Citrons Catering and Confetti & Co (catering), Rosary Floral Design (flowers), Rhyce Toovey, BellyDance Bombshells Perth and Another Fine Mess (entertainment), WestCoast Fireworks (pyrotechnics), Leeson Digital and Jodie Longmire (marketing and artwork), and Spuds Marquee Hire (marquee).

And although I couldn't possibly list you all (there were more than 70 of you!), a huge thankyou to all the local businesses who donated their wares to both the auction and silent auction which were held on the night, and also to the people who bid on them. Your generosity contributes a significant amount of the funds required to make both The Grand Ball and the Business Scholarship possible, and we simply couldn't do it without you.

And the result of all this hard work and vision?  A fantastic night full of glitz and glamour, which saw guests enjoying the incredible grazing and dessert tables (think sweets with names like pear and almond frangipani flan!), and a host of entertainers, including Rhyce and the band, and our gorgeous belly dancers, who even brought their own snakes along - as you do!   

Now all that remains to see is who wins the scholarship!