What do you get when you buy a fancy chair off Facebook Marketplace, borrow a princess dress and drive into the bush with no destination? Lily & I set out on a photo adventure and got really, really lucky. We initially planned to find a field around Samford Valley, about a 35 minute drive, but accidentally ended up driving up and over a mountain to the point where we had no reception and could only see patches of green and blue on Google Maps, that’s all our phones could manage to load. So we followed the blue patch and were not disappointed. I don’t exactly know where we were, but it was magical. We got a perfect golden hour (like LITERALLY golden) and a gorgeous backdrop of such a classic warm toned Australian landscape. I love how picturesque these portraits turned out, they feel more like a painting.
As some of you may know, when I’m not taking photos I’m working my day job in the death care industry - which is how I met Thalia-Star & Jarrod. A funeral director and a crematorium manager, they initially planned on a big wedding day but decided to ditch it for an intimate elopement on top of the hill at Toowong Cemetery.
Many people who I’ve told about this wedding assumed the couple would be ‘goth’ and the whole event would be very Halloweeny - but people (like us) who work in them daily don’t see cemeteries this way. This wasn’t just a place to go to to have a ~spooky quirky~ wedding. Toowong Cemetery is a tranquil, lush green space with so much history and a stunning view of the city skyline - and it couldn’t have been a more fitting place for them to have their best day ever.
Surrounded by a small handful of their nearest and dearest, the couple shared hilarious and beautiful vows which I’m fairly certain made everyone cry (including me, thank you Canon for making my gear somewhat water resistant.)
The Winter Solstice meant we almost had to chase the sun down the road for photos as it was setting so quickly, but it also served up a perfect pink sky as dusk fell. While we ventured off for photos the guests enjoyed a celestial wedding cake crafted by Grace from Milk & Honey Cake Creative and took full advantage of the photo opportunity that was their iconic vintage altar provided by Danielle’s Moonsieur Photobooth adorned by florals styled by Xavier Nicolle.
Dinner and drinks followed at the Mermaid Lounge (the secret bar at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall) on Caxton Street. I can confirm the pasta there was delicious.
I am so stoked to have helped guide my friends through the craziness of planning a big wedding, cancelling said wedding and ending up creating a day that was perfectly fitting for them and who they are. It’s very easy when you’re navigating your way through wedding planning to follow the lead of others or get convinced you ‘need’ to do certain things, but guess what - you really don’t! The best advice I can ever give my couples is to be unapologetic and create a day that is personal and tailored to them.
Also, a quick word on cemeteries (sorry I can’t help it as it’s literally my job) - I strongly encourage you coming to visit cemeteries to appreciate the space and learn about the history, but please be careful! Be gentle and respectful walking around graves and monuments (aka ‘tombstones’) and if you are wanting to hold an event or shoot something, please make sure you contact Brisbane City Council to discuss your intentions and ensure your plans will not impact any funeral services that may be going on in the grounds, as the families these cemeteries serve are their utmost priority.
And with that said, enjoy the magical day of Mr & Mrs Dann x.
“So the wedding is 80’s themed, I’m wearing a wig and a tear-away skirt, my grandma is the flower girl and don’t tell Tony but I’m rollerskating down the aisle,” was the first description I got of Rebel and Tony’s wedding. Later on I heard about the bridesmaids’ Spice Girls medley dance number, the other grandma’s hula dance performance and, well, no one could warn us about the hoard of Santa’s that appeared out of a maxi taxi. I guess that’s the risk you take getting married in December.
I already know that I will never see another wedding like theirs, and it was very hard to condense their photos into a blog sized post. After the big day they jetted off to Vegas to get married, again, by Elvis (because of course!) So grateful for Tony and Rebel for sharing this magical day with me.
I do most of my location scouting via Instagram, which brings mixed results. The below series is the outcome of the most serendipitous location scout to date. I had seen online that there was this particular spot with some cool coloured dirt, but when we got there (after it had just poured rain for the first time in months) she was no where to be found. Meaning, the cool dirt was now ~less cool~ mud.
Determined that we could still make a thing out of this shoot that now had no location and no concept, we walked a little further past the recently deceased Instagram dirt spot. Suddenly we were on a bike track that went on forever up and down a wavy hillside, which was covered in beautiful long grass with wispy little tips and birds and wind and it was perfect!
I took some clients back to this spot following our success, and ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL LONG GRASS WAS GONE.
So let this be a lesson in seizing every chance to take photos in pretty places when you can find them x.
This portrait session really, I mean really took Kelly and I for a ride. She showed me some water nymph inspo and suggested we head to Gardners Falls or Kondalilla on the Sunshine Coast one Sunday. Upon arrival to both places, the cars were parked way up the road and around the bend and it was pretty clear we weren’t going to get the space and privacy needed to feel safe shooting in a wet, white dress… if you know what I mean.
I dug deep into the recesses of my teenage mind to a spot I used to frequent in high school. All I remembered was that it was down a dirt road, with no signs and very close to a commune. With a little help from my Instagram friends I was able to narrow down the road name and somehow we found it!
It was still the haven I remember it being and Kelly was the perfect subject to be the floating fairy / water nymph she envisioned. Very grateful I’ve snagged her as a repeat client, she’s such a beauty.
As a part of their epic costume-change adventure shoot, Charlotte & Ben took me to B Lucky & Sons, a sweet new arcade/bar with really friendly and helpful crew who were happy for us to shoot (there’s nothing better than finding a cool location and also having permission to be there!)
These two have such a strong connection, so an awesome location wasn’t necessary but was certainly a bonus. As a Blade Runner fan girl I really appreciate all the neon and the colours and the hint of Japan in this set.
Recycled balloons. A carpark. A stormy afternoon. I can always count on Abby to be down for any weird / vague / last minute concept I come up with. Turns out helium balloons are an electrical risk at train stations, so prepare to have a few concerned station masters after you if this is the prop you’re travelling with.
A sweet little home session with Charlotte. Everything was going along normally until she asked if she could get a shot with her skeleton, Seymour, with whom she has a matching tinsel jacket. Because of course she does. Charlotte is such a unique gal and I had a lot of fun capturing this delicate side of her.
We were going to drive out west this day, but when Remy pulled up at my place the sky was turning black, so we thought it best to not drive too far with a storm coming. We huddled at a picnic table for over an hour, getting sprayed by the nearly-hail storm and wondering if it was going to end before the evening.
This post-storm sunset was something else. There’s a lot of different looks in this series, mainly because the sky was insane and changing colours by the minute. This might be my favourite set ever, so much magic.
Golden hour doesn’t get much better than this session with Charlotte and Ben. They have such amazing chemistry that direction from me was not at all needed. My personal favourite is the final few shots, when I jokingly told Ben to ‘take her for a ride’ and he literally zoomed off around the carpark and it was equal parts cute and hilarious. Please, more rooftop sunset shoots!
Months ago on Instagram, I saw Charlotte post a picture wearing this dress and I knew we had to shoot in it. Those sleeves are SOMETHING ELSE. When I was driving through the suburbs to her place for the shoot, I went past a local soccer club that was the perfect match. I love a good happy accident.
Last weekend I ventured up the mountain to Lamington National Park with my good friends Bek and Cam. I met Bek on Tumblr about six years ago, she found Cam on there too. Safe to say they’re one of the best things to have come from the internet.
The best thing about October in Brisbane is our attempt at a cherry blossom season AKA the fleeting bloom of purple jacaranda trees speckled around our neighbourhoods. Our original location fell through, so this shoot was suuuper last minute with zero location scouting, but luckily spring time brought the goods.
All of these shots are taken in the same location, but I wanted to play around a bit and create some variation to have mini sets within this series. Enjoy :’)
Last weekend Jarrod, Thalia and I braved the crowds of the Ekka to create this magically colourful engagement session. This location was pretty hectic to navigate, but these guys are so much fun and really made the day special. I cannot WAIT to shoot their wedding next year (and possibly again sooner.) For now, enjoy these pretty neon portraits.
This time last week was my 24th birthday, and my husband and I took a day trip down to the Northern Rivers of New South Wales. A little windswept and a little wobbly in inappropriate footwear, we ventured out to get some cutey coupley photos of our own (thank you tripod.)
A Saturday afternoon well spent with a friend, some wheat and a lot of manual effects. I love this series very, very much and can't wait to work with Remy again x.
Nick & Jen were the best dancers at my wedding. My husband and I had taught ourselves a quick waltz via Youtube the night before, meanwhile these guys were out there spinning and grooving like pros. So there's a lot of dancing in this set, prepare yourself for all the twirls.
Clients-turn-friends of mine manage this ridiculously picturesque crematorium in northern New South Wales. It's so beautiful that I am 100% willing to inconvenience my family by subjecting them to the 2 hour drive to cremate me here. Careful to ensure there were no services on this day (residual habits of a funeral coordinator hi hello) we spent an afternoon in the gardens. I assumed that the garden was the only thing to see but there was SO MUCH MORE. It turns out before it was a crematorium, this place was an outback themed restaurant that now stands as a semi-abandoned looking warehouse, and before that it was a train station, with the platform still in tact.
One more big thank you to Nick & Jen for being good sports and good dancers, and to Thalia and Jarod for the funeral banter and permitting access to the location x
On June 16th I had the privilege to capture Ash & Amy-Rose's wedding day. The ceremony and reception was held at an eco farm in the Redland Bay area, and their photos were taken...well, you'll see. Instead of rings they exchanged tattoos, the bride wore black and the bridesmaids made their own dresses. It was the perfect day that was so unique to them and I'm honoured to have been a part of it. Here are some highlights from that day x
I know wedding portraits are usually quite cohesive - they're shot in a single location so everything is the same colour scheme, mood etc. But that all goes out the window when your wedding is up the road from Daz, a man who, in his own words, 'likes to collect strange things.' Such things might include a church bell strung up in a gum tree, a giant fibreglass shark sculpture, an appropriately themed slogan or a froggy waterslide.
The following set is the slightly-more-serious 'proper' portraits that I am IN LOVE WITH.
Recently I enjoyed an afternoon in Ruby's gorgeous home to shoot some portraits of her and her lovely long boy, Travis. I've never really considered pet photography but this pair's connection is so pure and I was delighted to come out of this shoot with such a wholesome, emotional set. I remember when Ruby was preparing to adopt Travis (he's a rescue greyhound) and she loved him so much before she'd even taken him home. He's definitely one the luckiest of rescue pups around. I'm sorry this post is so long but I really struggled to cull these photos because this pair are just too sweet.