Tim + Zoe | Avon Valley Country Wedding | Beverley WA | 30 March 2019 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

As many of you will know, I love a good Avon Valley or Wheatbelt wedding, and Tim and Zoe’s beautiful day held out in Beverley, just over 100 kilometres from Perth, certainly didn’t disappoint.

From the leafy surrounds of the Station Gallery for the ceremony, to the paddocks on the outskirts of town as a backdrop for bridal portraits, and the romance of one of our treasured Art Deco buildings for their reception, the town of Beverley really was the perfect wedding location for this local farming family. As was the weather - a glorious Autumn day full of light and colour (and the usual sprinkling of dust we get at this time of year!).

Add to that a team of awesome vendors and hard working, creative locals, and you have the recipe for an event to rival anything currently being produced in the city. All credit to the following people for making Tim and Zoe’s day so completely fabulous - you guys really know how to nail a country wedding! Carissa Shaw (P&C event co-ordinator), Beverley Electrical Services (festoon lighting), Love Ashleigh Perth Marriage Celebrant (celebrant), Foliage Bespoke Floral Design (flowers), Grandscene Wedding & Event Hire (furniture hire), Simple & Beautiful Catering (catering), Three Shucker (oysters), Say Cheese Towers & Blue Cow Cheese Company (cheese platters & cake), Hair By Sonora & Naomi Payne Hair (hair), Freelance Make-up Artist (make-up), The Wedding DJ (music), and Mr Potplants (plant hire).

Congratulations Tim and Zoe, and thank you for having me along to document your special day for you…

 

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...

 

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! 

 

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!

 

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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