A Snapshot of 2018 | Avon Valley, Wheatbelt & Perth Wedding, Family, Event & Commercial Photographer}

As 2018 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.

A big year for my business, 2018 saw me awarded Owner/Operator of The Year at the annual Wheatbelt Business Excellence Awards, and a Finalist in the Best Home Based Business category at the Avon Valley Business Excellence Awards. I also managed to squeeze more than 50 weddings, family, event and commercial gigs in, plus a number of incredibly satisfying personal projects. And The Wheatbelt Collective grew from a simple light bulb moment to a successful collaboration with a bunch of great local suppliers and creatives.

So here they are, thirty memorable moments from 2018, in no particular order.  An eclectic mix of images from the incredible work I've been privileged to shoot throughout the year, plus a few from my own collection too, including a couple of self portraits.  Because its important for photographers to make time to document our own lives too (and because they took me forever to get right, so I’m pretty darn proud of them!).

So a huge thank you to all of you who have made 2018 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 beautiful images.

Have a fabulous Christmas and New Year, and I'll see you all again in 2019!

 

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...

 

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 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!    

 

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!

 

Why I Chose Pentax as My Weapon of Choice | Polka Dot Wisdom | Polka Dot Bride {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

A little article I wrote for the lovely ladies at Polka Dot Bride has just been published, and it goes something like this...

Hey, guess what?  I shoot Pentax!  Weird, I know?!  I don't think twice about it, of course, but every now and then I get asked why I chose Pentax as my camera system, usually by an observant wedding guest with an interest in photography, and almost always when I'm darting around grabbing shots, with no time to spare for explanations.  Well, it's mid winter now, and I'm buried in my office, with time to finally answer that question for you!

So why did I choose Pentax, when so many photographers have gone down the Canon or Nikon path?

Well, technically, Pentax chose me, when I joined my high school photography club and was handed one of the dozens of Pentax K1000's that the school loaned out to students on weekends, with a roll of film and a few vague instructions on how to use it.  My fate was then sealed in Year 11, when my parents returned from Bali with a K1000 they'd purchased for me Duty Free (thanks Mum and Dad!).

A couple of decades down the track, and I'm still shooting with that K1000, as well as Pentax's latest full-frame DSLR, the Pentax K1 (both pictured below).  And the reason I've stayed with this system is because Pentax make superb cameras and lenses.  They've been around forever, and have stood the test of time.  Their optics are incredible - they even make a medium format camera, the Pentax 645 Z, which just goes to show the level of build quality they are capable of.

They also boast a huge range of lenses, with many of the old manual film lenses being compatible with current digital cameras.  Which is a huge plus for me, because after so many years shooting Pentax, I now have a fabulous set of fast primes I can still use to create beautiful, dreamy images on your wedding day! 

And lastly, Pentax renders the final image with a lovely film-like quality, which goes hand in hand with my style, allowing me to produce images that hark back to the days of film, even when they're shot on the latest digital cameras.  So really, what more could I ask for in a camera system?!  Definately Pentax and proud!

Pentax Perth Avon Valley Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer.jpg

The Wheatbelt Collective | Launch | The Grand Northam | 26 July 2017 {Avon Valley & Perth Wedding & Event Photographer}

Recently, I teamed up with the lovely ladies from Confetti & Co and Petallica Flower Co, to form The Wheatbelt Collective, a collaboration between like minded wedding and event specialists, based in the Avon Valley, just east of Perth in WA.  

A stylist (Sarah & Holly), a photographer (Angie), and a florist (Sarah), we aim to provide an innovative and fresh approach to weddings and events held in both rural and urban areas, but with a particular focus on events held in the country.  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.

So in preparation for our launch, we put our heads together to produce our first styled shoot, which was held at The Grand Northam, an incredible old hotel, currently undergoing renovation as a wedding and event venue, right here in our beautiful Avon Valley. 

The aim of this shoot was to showcase what we can offer you in the country, should you choose to keep it local.  We wanted it to be fresh, creative and unique, and to incorporate some local product, which might not be found easily in the city. Hence the amazing venue, and the golden wheat heads and lustrous macrocarpal that Sarah used in her floral creations! 

Sarah and Holly (Confetti & Co) provided a brief for a bold, wintery, bohemian look, full of golds, blues and a hint of blush, and Sarah (Petallica Flower Co) began sourcing rich velvety roses, cascading eucalyptus, sea holly, andromeda scabiosa, banksias, queen proteas, the macrocarpal and wheat, and some super moody black and burgundy calla lilies, for the floral arrangements.

We then cleared an area amongst the renovations at The Grand, in front of the majestic dining room fireplace (under that amazing print of Napoleon Bonaparte!), and set up our table, complete with gorgeous gold chairs supplied by Event Artillery, and some stunning tableware by Orielle.  In addition, Sarah and Holly created an incredible rustic grazing table outside on the deck, to showcase the idea of picnic style dining, which is of course, so well suited to many country events.

And voila!  This is the result, and we couldn't be happier with it!  Now you know what's possible out here in the country.  Plus we had a heap of fun creating (and then eating!) beautiful things, so we can't wait until it's off-season again, so we can do it all again!

 

A Snapshot of 2016 | A Year in Review {Avon Valley & Perth Wedding, Family, Event & Commercial Photographer}

2016 has been a fabulous year for me and my business - I've met and worked with some amazing folk in some super cool locations, but now, with the exception of my little sisters wedding on New Years Eve, I'm done shooting for the year! 

So I'm taking some time to reflect on the last 12 months, with a selection of random faves from both my client and personal work.  Images that move and inspire me in some way to continue doing what I do.  It might be the colour, light or composition, the emotion or moment they capture, the personalities involved, or the snapshot they provide of a wider story, which led me to select them.  Sometimes I can't put my finger on it, I just know that an image holds and records something special for me.

So here they are.  In no particular order.  Some digital, some shot on film.  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 portrait of me right at the end (thanks to my very clever 10 year old!).  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 2016 so rewarding for me.  Because without you, my amazing clients, friends and family, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to create these images...