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!

 

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!

 

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!    

 

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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P & F Meet & Greet | St Joseph's Northam | 22 June 2017 {Avon Valley Event Photographer}

On Thursday night, the St Joseph's Northam P&F held their Meet & Greet and Small Business Showcase, in the St Marcellin Performing Arts Centre at the primary campus.

The evening provided parents, teachers and friends of the school community an opportunity to meet, make new friends and connections, and enjoy a night out in a warm, social environment.  It also provided local small business owners with the chance to showcase their products and services, with Confetti & Co (Sarah and Holly) arguably the clear favourite, with their incredibly long grazing table running straight down the centre of the room!

Also on display were Little Hearts Tribe (Lauren), Juice Plus (Christine), Nature Direct (Jayde and Juana), Northam Women in Business (Enrika), Thermomix (Karen), Tupperware (Angela), Wheatbelt Party & Event Hire (Paula), Younique Makeup (Cara), Be The Change Yoga & Wellness (Theresa and Mavis), Celebrate with Bliss (Esther), Northam Holden & Mazda (Brian and Jo), Do Terra (Cherie), Chevy's Fitness, and Angie Roe Photography (me!). 

The night was a great success, and the P&F would like to thank all those who contributed, donated, and who volunteered their time and energy, as well as those who came along to share in the evening and support our local school community.  Communities are what make events like this, and there was certainly a strong sense of it present last night, so thank you again everyone! 

 

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...