Absolute pure joy!
You have met Isabel and her parents on this blog before! In fact, only a few weeks ago! But this time wee 15 month old Isabel brought along her very special Nan for some photos too! Pauline, Becca, and Isabel make up three very lovely generations of the Ryan/Toschi family. We met down at the beach... which turned out to be a winner of a location for Isabel! She was curious and skeptical of the daffodils at the last shoot, but she had the time of her life at the beach this time!
Absolute pure joy!
Pauline had just had her hair cut, so Isabel took a wee minute to work out who she was... but after that it was all smiles and giggles with her beautiful Nan!
And of course fun and games with Mum too!
Pauline looooves her wee grandaughter so much. It is so obvious in every interaction they have.
"Must... scale... this huge sand mountain... alone..."
"Perhaps with a little help from Nan, I can juuuust make it... ahhh bored and tired... I give up, just drag me down instead...."
One mouthful of sand later, she realised it was much funnier to throw handfuls of sand at me, instead of in her own face.
Ahhh sooo cute!! I loved photographing you three stunning girls! Thank you for organising the shoot, Pauline, and for getting amongst the sand and water! You are a very fun, awesome Nan... Isabel is a very lucky wee girl to have you around! XOXO
I have been waiting for this moment ever since you became a professional photographer, that I would be sitting here emailing you about an *engagement* shoot!!! The proposal was super cute, totally un-rehearsed, but just perfect and under the most beautiful sunshine and laughter of children playing in a playground. I would love (love love love love) you to be my official Engagement & Wedding photographer.
Love Becky xxxx"
This is the kind of email that puts the hugest (and probably most ridiculous looking) smile on my face. And this is exactly the email I got from Miss Becky Baird in August! Becky and Omid fell in love two years ago, and they are getting married in April!! Here are the happy and beautiful couple...
Becky has always been a keen follower/stalker of my blog... and I looove that! I always appreciate her lovely comments and her support. So when I got this email, I definitely didn't think twice!
Despite the freeeezing wind, we had so much fun doing their engagement shoot! We went out to Aramoana, where they had some of their first dates. It is a beautiful wee area... with an awesome rock shaped like a heart!! Perfect-o.
I am soooo excited about their Queenstown wedding... it is going to be in the most magnificent venue, and as Omid is Persian, there will be both a Christian ceremony, and a Persian ceremony! It will be very awesome and different.
Beautiful Becky needed another excuse to get another wear out of her fabulous ball dress!! I love all the greys in these images, they both matched the rock face so well! I think Becky was giving just a tiny taster as to how amazing she will look in her wedding dress.
It was really windy and cold, so poor Becky was nearly hypothermic in her dress!!! I was fully clothed, and wearing my jacket AND Becky's puffa jacket (so that it didn't blow away!), and I was still cold!! Plus I looked like a hephalump. Good times.
Becky and Omid brought along helium heart balloons, but it was far too windy to use them at the beach, so we went and found a wee sheltered reserve. They had lost a little of their oomph when we pulled them out of the car tho! Omid was playing a little hard to get (more with the balloons than his kisses tho).
Loving the lens flare rainbows!
Becky and Omid are an answer to each others prayers, they are a blessing to each other, and they are completely themselves together. Whenever Becky has talked to me about Omid in the past few years, her face has just lit up with a big smile. They are in loooove and it shows!
Earlier in the shoot (when we were still at the beach and Becky was in her fancy ball dress), I asked them both to lie down, with Becky resting on Omid. I can't post photos of what happened next... the wind was so strong that Becky ended up with her dress nearly around her ears!!! Strong wind + poofy dress + lying down = not a good combo. So we tried again later...
Here's the clouds you wanted Becky!!
Thanks for braving the cold and getting all dressed up to get some fantastic images! You are both so awesome and I can't WAIT for the wedding!! Wahoo!!
Hope you enjoyed your debut on the blog (I know you have been looking forward to this for a long time, Becky!!). I know you are doing an amazing job at planning your perfect wedding!! Lots of love to you both xoxo
Melissa Reed is the beautiful face behind the camera over at Artifex Photography! She is passionate and talented and has a great eye for photography! She is a busy girl... when she is not photographing families, children and stunning models, she is studying Classics at Otago Uni. I am photographing her graduation in December when she finishes that too! Eeep, fun!
Mel is hilarious. I actually laughed so much with her. She has a flippin' awesome sense of humour and the cutest way of saying what she wants to say.
She originally booked a siblings shoot for her and her brother, but being a typical teenage boy, he decided it would be a better idea to go away for the weekend instead of having a photoshoot. So it was me, Mel, and a couple of cameras. I was really looking forward to meeting Mel... we had been in cyber-contact for far too long, without being able to put a face to the name!
She had been pumped about the shoot for ages... but when it came to a couple days before she started emailing me freakin' out with nerves! But being a photographer herself, she knew exactly what she needed to do, she completely relaxed into her amazing self after about 2 minutes...and she looked amazing!!
Mel is currently completing her 'Radical Self Love Bible'... a book of thoughts, things, and vows... reminders to love and accept herself as she is. This Radical Self Love concept is becoming a world-wide phenomena... it is a month of personal challenges to create a radical romance with yourself, beginning with a small book to jot down anything you think and feel during that time. Part of this was getting some beautiful photos of herself. So that is what we did!
And we found some pretty rad walls along the way...
Mel, you are beautiful!! I hope you see that in yourself.
After some urban goodness, we set out to a pretty field of feminine and gorgeous flowers... (which left us smelling like garlic and onions... but that is beside the point...)
Ohhh I love vines!! So pretty.
Mel... look at you!! You look totally awesome in these pics... I hope you enjoyed your photo shoot that was all about YOU!! I loved getting to know you better (in person!), and having the opportunity to get stunning photos of you. I hope this helps you along your journey of loving yourself and seeing how beautiful you really are! XOXO
Juliet and Matthew are getting married very soon!! Wahoo!! They are perfect for each other. Their relationship is full of life and abundant in love, they are going the same direction in life, and they are two of the loveliest people possible!
Jules and my sister, Kirsten, are very close friends, and she is forever raving to me about how awesome and amazing Jules and Matthew are! She wanted to do something for them for their engagement, so this shoot was a gift, before they get married in Arrowtown in November! And Kirsten is right, they are the sweetest couple ever!
They just giggled through the whole session...
They were a bit iffy about kissing in front of the camera in the beginning... but I knocked that out of them as soon as I could!
And they had the best body builder poses I have seen in a very long time!
Beautiful Juliet has found her Romeo...
...sorry, had to be said... :)
You guys are gorgeous!!!! All the best with your last few weeks of wedding planning... enjoy this time!! I hope you can look back on these photos for years to come and be reminded of the exciting feelings of being engaged and very soon to be married!! I am sure you will be very happily married! Lots of love xoxox
Giselle and Daniel are getting married in 17 days!! I am so excited for them... they completely adore each other and have three beautiful kids! After shooting their engagement shoot out at Brighton Beach, I cannot wait for their wedding!!
Giselle and Dan got engaged at a picnic table in the Brighton Domain. It is such a stunning spot out there... and we struck a beautiful blue sky evening! It was really windy and cold, but we found some shade, found some gorgeous evening light, and some very cool textures and rocky areas! They were both soooo natural and gorgeous with each other! I hardly had to direct anything... being snuggly, cute and loving just comes naturally to them.
You are going to make a stunning bride Giselle!
I loved the contrasty colours and shapes out at Brighton...
Eighteen months ago, Dan and Giselle sat at this very table, and Dan asked his beautiful girl to marry him. And I get to be part of their wedding!! Exciting!
I am excited about some different ideas that they have for their wedding, and about shooting such a good looking couple...
Looovely evening light! Gorgeousness!
Ohhh I can't WAIT for the 11th of November!! You are both sooo lovely together. I hope you get better really soon Giselle, and you can get on with planning the last little details of your big day! All the best!! XOXOOX
Ten years ago, young Jennifer and Blair met at a joint school social, and they danced together for a few songs. Blair asked Jen if she wanted to go out, but Jen politely declined, telling Blair she wasn't allowed a boyfriend yet.... and that was the end of that.
Five years later, in 2006, Jen and Blair's paths crossed once again... this time both as part of an operatic show in the Regent Theatre. Jen again caught Blair's eye, being one of the hottest and most talented girls he had ever met. It wasn't long before he was driving an extra 32km for every practice... just to pick up and drop off Jen, despite only living 2km from the venue himself. It is amazing how love makes people do crazy things.
They fell in love in the theatre... sharing a passion for music, dance and drama. They have continued to perform in a huge number of shows, and their love has continued to grow. They are the most gorgeous couple - utterly smitten, affectionate, and totally obsessed with each other.
On October 8th, Jen and Blair declared that love in the most magical, amazing marriage ceremony, on the stage of Dunedin's beautiful Regent Theatre. While they wanted a huge emphasis on the theatre itself, and the meaning and memories that it holds for both of them, the day was not showy or staged. It was deep, true, emotional and completely beautiful.
Jen looked absolutely gorgeous... even in her dressing gown!!
Jen and her bridesmaids, Catherine and Maria, got ready downstairs in the house Jen grew up in... in their dance studio. Ahem, I repeat... in their DANCE STUDIO!! Woooo... must be nearly every girls dream. Well, I was pretty amazed anyway. There are mirrors, dance shoes, dance ribbons, framed photos, posters, props, and trophies galoooore! Jen and her sister Catherine have danced all their lives - ballet, jazz, tap... the list goes on and on. Jen has even danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet! It was a room filled with memories of things that have shaped Jen's life...and a room that she spent hours in growing up. I thought it was awesome that this dance studio was part of her wedding day too.
And what's a dance studio without a bit of dancing?! Especially when 'Moves Like Jagger' comes on the radio...
Love the details for the bridesmaids, and the flowers from Jolene at Estelle Flowers... woooow oh wow!! Amazingly different and beautiful...
Jen is a ballerina through and through, she just danced herself through the day, even when she thought no one was watching. She is petite, graceful and poised.
And if that isn't enough talent for one girl, she is also a fashion designer, and sews a lot of wedding dresses. She and her mother, Beverley, designed and made Jen's dress and the bridesmaids dresses and details! Sooo clever!!
This is Beverley's favourite photo of very young Jennifer - a pretty wee dancer dressed in a white dance costume... and now a beautiful young woman marrying the man of her dreams, in the most amazing white dress...
Arriving at the Regent Theatre in the Octagon!
Blair and Jen were determined to get married in the very place they fell in love - but they were also adamant that their family and friends would be just as much a part of the occasion as they were. For this reason, everyone sat on the stage with them, looking out towards the amazing architecture of the theatre. It was intimate and magical.
Too amazing for words.
After the ceremony and the essential mingling with their guests, the bridal party were left alone in the huge theatre! Jen and Blair wanted all of their photos inside this amazing location. This has probably given me the biggest challenge I have ever had at a wedding - Liam and I shot 95% of the day without a single hint of natural light. And I confess that I was very nervous about this - the light was magical, but very dim, and I really wanted to do justice to such an incredible location and an adorable couple.
Perfection in one couple!
They wanted to capture their love for each other in both the actual theatre, and in the raw, grungy, behind the scenes backstage areas. I felt like I was intruding on a secretive romance blossoming behind the curtains... but they tried to assure me this sneaky backstage kissing never happened previously. Uh-ha... suuuuure.
The bridal party were amazing! Paul, Owen, Catherine and Maria all supported Jen and Blair amazingly during the day and have obviously supported them for many years. Paul is Blair's brother, and he is also a wedding photographer. Eek, talk about pressure!
The girls were too cute! This darn lift door kept randomly opening and closing...
Snuggles and smooches in the newly refurbished changing rooms...
Mrs. J. Hughson!!!
I love the spotlighty, romantic feel of this image.
8. 10. 11 - a veeeery special day! And some lovely reception details
And a couple more portraits from the reception, just because I couldn't stop!
Jen and Blair... I just don't even know the right words to express how deeply amazing your wedding day was!! It was so unique, so completely you, and soooo beautifully meaningful. THANK YOU for letting Liam and I be part of it!!! It was an honour to be asked to be your photographers, and we had such an amazing day. I hope we have been able to produce images that you adore, and that do justice to the time and effort you put into every details of your big day.
I hope you have the most amazing time honeymooning in Aussie!! You totally deserve a break!! And we look forward to seeing you both on stage again in the future! You are made for each other, and that was completely obvious. You love is deep and heartfelt, and you have the strength of two wonderful families around you. All the best for your whole lives together!! We are so excited for you!! xoxoxo
Newborns, newborns, newborns! There has definitely been something in the water around Dunedin... there seems to be a mini baby boom recently... and I loooove it!!
This time I had the pleasure of meeting gorgeous little William Elliot and his wonderful first-time parents, Karen and Zane. They were smitten, and rightly so! He is a beautiful little boy. William was sleeping sweetly when I arrived... but that didn't last too long! He was a very wriggly wee baby, with a strong wee set of legs on him!! Any little poses we put him in, he just wriggled his way out... we needed some good strong hands to hold down the bucket so that he didn't push himself right off! He will be an adventurous one when he grows up!
Elliot has the coolest little room, with these awesome hand-painted wall decor stickers!
Wee William wasn't so keen on his photo shoot and spent a good lot of it crying, but Karen and Zane managed to sttle him beautifully each time...
A gift from a friend... one that represents the huge amounts of love abounding in this lovely little family...
Thank you Elliot family for inviting me into your lovely house to do this shoot! I wish you all the best for your lifetime of parenthood and family life! I have no doubt you will be fantastic parents! xx
Just over a week ago, I was lucky enough to be part of a charity event for Bellyful Dunedin. Bellyful is a not-for-profit organisation that does an amazing job at supporting mothers with newborns, and mothers with sick children... by supplying meals and filling the plates on the table! This is a bunch of willing and caring mums who know what it feels like to suddenly have your life turned around with a new baby... and they want to help other mums wherever they can.
Bellyful Dunedin was launched with a fundraising evening called 'Be Beautiful with Bellyful"! This was a FANTASTIC event for ladies of all ages! We were treated to talks by fashion adviser, Fiona Jenkin, from 'True Expression Personal Image Coaching' and Christal from 'Christal Allpress Make-Up'. Fiona spoke about how to buy clothes that suit your body and personality, and how to mix and match all those clothes that sit in your wardrobe gathering dust with this seasons fashions. And Christal gave us all hot tips on applying natural and evening make-up! There were also heaps of stalls, auctions and prizes of all things good and girlie... like jewellery, chocolate, beauty therapies etc!
Part of my job on the night was to do a mini photo shoot for the two beautiful ladies who won the personal make-over to reveal on the night!! Cassandra and her mum, Veronica, were the fabulously deserving winners, and WOW did they look great on the night!
This is Veronica and Cassandra the week before the event... thanks Fiona for supplying this image!
Fiona and Christal did such a great job at re-doing Cassandra and Veronica's looks with beautiful colours to suit their skin tones, and clothes to flatter and make them look gorgeous! And hairdresser Jolene White, cut and coloured their hair! Don't they look AMAZING?!?! I highly recommend you go see these girls if you feel your look and style needs a bit of a spruce up! I am pretty tempted!
Fiona aims to "create great style, inspired by you"... and that is exactly what these ladies all did - they took all Cassandra and Veronica's great features and personalities, to create a style they were going to feel comfortable and amazing in. And it worked!! Check out the beautiful, newly 'made-over' ladies...
Cassandra and Veronica just looked gorgeous, and hopefully felt absolutely beautiful! Cassandra is getting married in a years time, so Veronica's look was inspired by modern 'mother of the bride' styles. They both looked elegant and classy, and we had such a fun wee 15 minute shoot in the middle Southern Cross Hotel.
And just because I think this is such a stunning pic... here is Christal (the fab make-up artist I collaborate with!), with her luscious fake eyelashes for the evening!
Big ups to Bellyful Dunedin (and in particular, Becca Toschi, who organised the whoooole thing!), for an awesome girls night out. Thanks to everyone who supported the evening and came along... please check out Bellyful and the wonderful work they do.
And of course, thank you Veronica and Cass for being stunning models, and for being YOU! Fiona, Christal and Jolene did an amazing job at just simply letting the 'you' shine out of you! XOXO
Gabs and Tash are two absolutely gorgeous sisters. Gabs is 16, and Tash is 19... they are funky, trendy, beautiful girls! I knew they were secretly looking forward to getting photos done... they just needed an opportunity to shine in front of the camera!
When we first met for the shoot, they were quietly giggly and a little unsure about whether or not this was going to be awkward. I assured them it would be pain-free and they were going to totally rock it for the camera. And that they did! We had some fun, they got over any initial embarrassment, and they totally worked it!
..and gorgeous Tash!
We even managed to get their mother, Kaylene, into a few photos... despite her being quite adamant she was keeping out of them!
We got some looooovely early evening light! Yummmmm...
See, that didn't hurt a bit! They weren't even very keen to stop, we could have kept going for hours. Thanks to you three wonderful ladies for a very pleasant evening out! xo
I have had the pleasure of photographing lots of gorgeous little faces recently! Spring is such an awesome time to photograph families - the air is warmer, the sky is blue, there are lots of fun bright colours around, and... there are daffodils!!
I met with Celia, Scotty, and their eleven month old daughter, Cadence for some lovely late afternoon spring shots. Cadence looked adorable in her wee red dress and headband - that Celia had just whipped up for her that morning! Clever lass. What made it extra special was that she used the left over material from her wedding dress for Cadence's dress, and we had photos amongst the daffodils, where Celia and Scotty had their wedding photos a few years before.
What a wee poppet!!
Cadence was practicing her pilates...
"What is with you guys just plonking me down in the middle of the grass by myself and expecting me to smile on demand??"
One of the funnest games of the day for Cadence was taking off her shoes, and sticking them in Mum and Dad's faces....
Stunning Celia and her gorgeous wee daughter!
Another amazing family to photograph! Celia and Scotty, you are fabulous parents and your love for Cadence just oozes out of you! Thanks for choosing me to do photos for your wee family. Enjoy xx