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!

 

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 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! 

 

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!

 

The Wheatbelt Collective | Rustic Boho Styled Shoot | Faversham House & Mt Brown, York WA | 17 January 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

The Wheatbelt Collective has now been established for just over 6 months, with the aim of seeking out the best of our local Avon Valley and Wheatbelt talent, in order to provide both city and country folk with a host of quality suppliers to choose from, when planning a wedding or event in a rural area. 

Founded by myself and the lovely ladies from Confetti & Co and Petallica Flower Co, the Wheatbelt Collective is a collaboration between like minded wedding and event specialists, based in the Avon Valley, just east of Perth in WA.  

The Avon Valley and Wheatbelt offer a stunning backdrop to any style of wedding or event, and being local to these regions, we have an intimate knowledge of rural venues and suppliers, which means that together, we can help you plan a unique and exciting day that runs smoothly, is loaded with personality, and most importantly, reflects you and your event.

We are not a directory of suppliers as such, but rather, a bunch of creatives who love to work together, and who take our recommendations seriously, which is where our styled shoots come in.  The aim of these shoots is to not only have fun creating something awesome, but to allow us the opportunity to work with local suppliers we may not have worked with before, and in turn, showcase both them, and what we can offer you in the country, should you choose to keep it local.  

So in preparation for our summer shoot, we put our heads together to brainstorm something uniquely suited to our region, and invited an amazing bunch of both new and old businesses to contribute. And not only did they all do an incredible job, but they were also totally lovely to work with, which means we'll definitely be recommending them in the future! 

So a huge thanks to Nola at Faversham House for providing such a perfect backdrop (and a beautiful cool room to get ready in, on a very hot, sticky day!).  And to Jasmine Fowler for her incredible hair and makeup work with our fabulous model, Ash, to create a natural, summery boho look.  And to Kimberley from Blue Silk Design Studio for not only providing a stunning gown, but for tailoring it to Ash on the day. Also to Sue from Birdsnest Gallery of Old and New Things for all her gorgeous rustic knick knacks for our table styling, and to Angela from The Knotty Kiwi for her stunning macrame backdrop, flower wrap, table runner and chair pieces.  

And of course, to Sarah and Holly of Confetti & Co for providing the brief for a rustic, summery, vintage boho look, full of natural tones and pops of pink, peach and copper, and for their fabulous table and arbour styling on the day.  And to Sarah from Petallica Flower Co for all the beautiful blooms you see, and finally, to Lauren and Ben from Swift Hound Films for their incredible film footage, which I really can't begin to describe, so seriously, just watch it, people! 

And following is the result. Which I have no words for.  Except to say that I feel immensely proud (and lucky) to be surrounded by so many wonderful personalities, and such talent, right here where I live.  This is what we are capable of out here, and I think you'll agree, there's really no need to go to Perth, or to source your suppliers from the city, when planning a wedding or event in the Avon Valley or Wheatbelt!    

 

Nic + Tenielle | Rustic Farm Wedding, Merredin | 16 December 2017 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Photographer}

It was a typically warm and windy summers day for Nic and Tenielle's rustic farm wedding, held on the family property in Korbel (between Kellerberrin and Merredin), in Western Australia, a week before Christmas. 

With the ceremony held in a paddock surrounding historic Massingham's Rock, and a machinery shed converted into a stunning reception venue, this wedding had all the elements one could hope for at a rural Australian wedding.

A host of gorgeous details, including eucalyptus table runners, blackboards, wine barrels, hay bales, packing crates, vintage suitcases and crockery, hessian bunting and festoon lights, all came together to create a rustic, DIY vibe, perfectly suited to Nic and Tenielle's big day.   Add to that a full selection of drinks from the bar in the corner of the shed, some amazing food by the clever folk at Supper Road (all the way from Margaret River in the southwest!), and a close circle of family and friends, and you have everything you need for a totally awesome day.

A huge thanks to vendors Leanne Meldrum (celebrant), Bloom Tribe (flowers), Tenielle's sister Emma Growden (cake), Lush Hair & Makeup (makeup), Nicola Richards Hair Studio (hair), Tuscany Bridal (gown), MJ Bale (suits), and Supper Road (catering), who all helped make the day so memorable. 

Congratulations Nic and Tenielle, and thankyou so much for choosing me to cover your beautiful wedding for you, it was such a fabulous way for me to end the year!

 

17 From '17 | A Snapshot of 2017 {Avon Valley & Perth Wedding, Family, Event & Commercial Photographer}

As 2017 draws to a close, it's time to reflect on what an amazing year its been for me, with a random selection of some of my favourite images from the past 12 months.

So here they are, seventeen memorable moments from 2017, in no particular order.  An eclectic mix of images from the incredible weddings, families, events and commercial work I've been privileged to shoot throughout the year.  And a few from my own collection too, including a self portrait of me towards the end (yep, in my car, of course!).  Because its important for photographers to make time to document our own lives too.

So a huge thankyou to all of you who have made 2017 so rewarding for me.  Because without you, my amazing clients, friends and family, I wouldn't have been witness to these moments, or had the opportunity to create these images.

Have a fabulous Christmas and New Year, and I'll see you all again in 2018!