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!

 

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!

 

5 Tips For Avoiding Wedding Photos You'd Rather Forget | Polka Dot Wisdom | Polka Dot Bride {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

A little article I wrote, published recently by the lovely ladies at Polka Dot Bride...

1. Ask Your Friends and Family For Referrals
 

Despite the rise of social media, and the abundance of wedding photographers that can now be found online, personal referrals are still (and always will be) the best way to find a photographer who will produce amazing images, and gel with you on the day. If your friends were happy with them, there's a good chance you will be too.

Plus you can ask them lots of questions that you might not feel like asking the photographer directly, like whether they were cool and easy going, or loud and overbearing on the day! And if you've found someone whose work you love, but you don't know anyone who has used them previously, try asking around in Facebook group forums, or searching for testimonials online - you'll soon find out what they are like to work with!
 

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2. Get To Know Them
 

This doesn't necessarily mean meeting in person - I get it, we're all time poor!  But there are a number of ways you can get to know the photographer you are considering booking, before you part with that hard earned cash. Follow their work on social media. Read the comments and any reviews and testimonials. Give them a call, or Skype them for a chat. Or send them an email - all will give you an idea of what they are like both personally and professionally.  And then if it's possible, arrange to meet up for a coffee and chat in person.
 

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3.  View Their Work
 

Most photographers will have a portfolio full of gorgeous images on their website, as well as individual client galleries, which show a larger number of images from recent weddings. Have a good look through their work, and ask yourself if the images look consistent (in both shooting and editing style), if they appear sharp and correctly exposed, and if the colour and overall toning appeals to you.

Then when you contact them, ask to see a couple of full wedding galleries, showing all images which were delivered to the client.  This is the best way to see how they shoot a wedding from start to finish, and to get a feel for the storytelling aspect of their wedding photography.  It's also a good way to get a feel for what 'x' number of images delivered looks like - you'll soon realise that 300 beautifully edited images covering all aspects of the day, is way better than 1000 poorly edited images with parts missing! 

Viewing their images online will often be enough to help you decide whether or not they are for you, but if you do meet in person, ask them to bring some example albums and/or prints along, so you can see what their work looks like in print.
 

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4. Check Their Level of Experience
 

A glance at the portfolio on their website should give you an idea of whether or not they've shot many weddings, but if it doesn't, ask them.  Weddings are fast paced, and often throw curveballs, like rain (and sometimes lots of it!).  Wedding photographers need to know their gear, and they need to be able to work quickly and effectively in stressful situations.  They also need to know how to direct and pose non-models like yourselves, so ask them how long they have been shooting weddings for, and roughly how many they've done.
 

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5. Check What Equipment They Use
 

This is a great way to start an argument amongst photographers, who generally fall into one of two camps - either Canon vs Nikon, mirrorless vs DSLR, full frame vs cropped sensor, or whatever. I firmly believe that it is the photographer who creates the image, not the camera, so I don't really think this is a big one for you to worry about. Whatever their choice of equipment, they are producing the beautiful images you have just seen on their website.

But what is important, is that they bring a backup of every piece of equipment they'll be using to capture your gorgeous wedding images, on the day.  This means at least two camera bodies (I prefer three), two flashes, or lighting systems if they use lights, multiple lenses, batteries and memory cards. 

And their camera bodies should most definately have dual card slots.  This allows your photographer to write to one card, and backup to the other, so if a card fails, your images will be safely stored on the other card. It also allows them to keep one card in the camera, and one elsewhere once they have finished the job, which reduces the risk of loss through theft or fire.  Which means your images will always be safe - phew!

So there you go, my five tips to get you started on the hunt for the perfect wedding photographer. Have a totally awesome day, and enjoy those photos, both on the day and in years to come!
 

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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!

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Wayne + Rachel | Darlington Estate Winery | 10 February 2017 {Perth Wedding Photographer}

It was a dark and rainy day for Wayne and Rachel's gorgeous rustic wedding at Darlington Estate Winery in the Perth Hills recently - and in the middle of February too - who would have thought?!  But that didn't deter these two, or their family and friends, from celebrating the love that they so obviously share, with a beautiful and unforgettable ceremony and reception, as the rain came down around them.  

But even though the weather misbehaved, it was actually a blessing for me, because the light was soft, even, and really quite beautiful, resulting in wonderfully moody images shot at high ISO's and wide open apertures.    

Wayne and Rachel first contacted me on a recommendation from Rachel's Dad, who I worked with in the agricultural industry for many years.  It's always just that little bit extra special to be asked to shoot such an important event for someone I have a connection with, and I felt blessed to be given the opportunity to both capture and share their day with them, and many others I know through the industry.

And so many beautiful details too!  All credit to the amazing vendors they chose to work with, including Darlington Estate Winery (venue), David Cohen (celebrant), Beans & Bunches (florist), Lailee Taj (HMUA), Desiree (cake), Delish Ice (icecreams), Luv Bridal (bridal gown) and Taro Cash (suits and menswear), who came together to create this couples dream day.

Congratulations to you both, and thankyou, I feel privileged to have been a part of it with you...

 

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...

 

Paige | Family Portrait Photography | 18 May 2015 {Avon Valley Family Photographer}

I have been itching to find the time to blog this one, and already 6 months have flown past!  I loved everything about this session.

From the moment Paige's mum called me, I knew this was going to be a special shoot.  A 10th birthday present to her daughter.  Not an ipad, or any of the latest fads, but a photoshoot to mark that special day you hit double digits, and to celebrate the magic of childhood.

And a daughter who loves dolls and matchbox cars, vintage dresses and her amazing big brother, who wanted to incorporate all these things into her shoot.  Someone who wanted to style it with me.  Someone who had her own ideas and vision, and who was clearly excited about what might unfold.  And all at the age of 10 - what a dream client!

So at the end of Autumn, with the first cold Winter winds blowing in, we found ourselves an open grassy space, a railway line, some tin sheds, tracks and puddles just over the back of our place in Grass Valley, and this is what we came home with...

 
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