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…

 

Meckering Earthquake Gala Dinner | Meckering WA | 13 October 2018 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Event Photographer}

On the 14th October 1968, an earthquake rocked the small Wheatbelt town of Meckering in Western Australia, demolishing 60 of the 75 homes, and most of the commercial buildings in a matter of minutes. The population was effectively reduced to a quarter of its original 500 inhabitants, as most of the business owners and many local families never returned to rebuild.

But fast forward 5 decades, and Meckering is again a thriving community with the vision and talent required to host a remarkable commemoration weekend recently, in celebration of 50 years since that fateful day. And I had the pleasure of covering the glitzy evening that was the Gala Dinner on the Saturday night!

Held in a Swan Events marquee in the middle of town, 200 guests from all over Australia enjoyed a fabulous 3 course dinner catered by Citron’s Catering, an exclusive commemorative beer by Lucky Bay Brewing (aptly named Richter Ale!), and music by DJ Mac and one of our favourite local bands, Another Fine Mess. Rosary Floral Design provided the gorgeous floral arrangements dotted around the marquee, while the boys from the Cunderdin Football Club did a sterling job of serving tables throughout the evening.

Then Sunday saw over 2000 people descend on the town for a day of celebration, which included bus tours to the earthquake fault line, a display of memorabilia in the Hall, and the unveiling of the revamped earthquake walk trail.

A huge thanks must go out to Rebekah Burges and her team of 30 local volunteers, for the 12 months of work that went into bringing this incredible weekend to fruition. What a credit to you all, and a shining example of what’s possible out here in the Wheatbelt!

 

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!

 

Tim + Bonnie | Backyard Festival Wedding, Toodyay | 21 October 2017 {Perth, Avon Valley & Wheatbelt Wedding Photographer}

It was an overcast and stormy day for Tim and Bonnie's rustic, festival styled wedding held in Toodyay, in Western Australia last month.  With a ceremony on the side of a hill in the bush, and a marquee nestled amongst the trees in the backyard of Bonnie's family home, this wedding had a beautiful, rural Australian feel about it.

Add to that a gorgeous rambling cottage garden (created and lovingly maintained by the brides parents), a host of DIY touches (including the boys belts, who were made by groomsman and saddle maker Simon, the couples daughters dress, which was made by Bonnie's Nanna many years ago, the garden sculptures and signage by Bonnie's dad, and the flowers by her sister Ellen), some amazing food by the clever folk at Kazoomies, and a close circle of family and friends who returned to Toodyay to celebrate, and you have the perfect recipe for an awesome day!

Big shout out to vendors Lynne Lawson (celebrant), Petallica Flower Co (brides bouquet, flower crowns and wine barrel arrangements), Bonnie's sister Ellen Putland (bridesmaids, cake and reception flowers), Bonnie herself (cake), SJW Hairstylist (hair), Daniella Piscopo (makeup), Samantha Wynne (gown), Kazoomies (catering) and Swan Event Hire (marquee & furniture), who all helped make the day such a success. 

Congratulations Tim and Bonnie, and thankyou so much for having me along to cover your beautiful wedding day for you.  It was awesome!

 

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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