Rachel and Reuben. Wow. Just wow. What a flippin' awesome day! After years and years of flirting, chasing, dropping hints, missing hints, getting together, going their separate ways (quite the running joke!), then finally years later getting together again for good... this awesome couple sealed the deal on Rachel's beautiful family property in Patience Bay, Te Anau!
I have so much I could say about this wedding. And I also have soooooo many photos I could share! But you are here to see the photos, not read my waffle. Because I actually don't need to tell you that a) Rach & Reubz are 100% made for each other, b) they don't take life too seriously AT ALL, c) they have a ridiculously awesome bunch of friends and family who loved the camera a little too much, d) they had the most fun on their wedding day I think I've ever seen, e) Rachel was a drop-dead gorgeous bride, f) even when it threatens rain all day, Te Anau is a STUNNING location for a wedding, and g) all of the above made for the most hilarious, light-hearted, beautiful, relaxed and heartfelt day ever. I don't need to tell you that. You will see for yourself...
Rachel's Dad organised for the greenstone to be made for all of the guys, which came from Milford Sound. Loved the open neck look with the greenstone!
The girls got ready in one blocked off room, while the guests gathered outside on the lawn for the ceremony!
Rach even made all of their bouquets. She is a very good catch this girl - beautiful, talented, athletic, funny, super lovely, humble, and just all round amazing.
I'm not sure that peeking out of the curtain at the growing group of guests was good for the nerves, but it was pretty tempting!
Rach's veil started where it should be, but her Dad ended up wearing it by the end of the aisle! Suits you Tom!
Not a bad view from your front lawn.
Reuben's Uncle did an incredible job of their ceremony, as did family members who told some awesome stories of their journey so far.
What happened next was nothing short of a movie scene. While everyone was enjoying mingling and drinks, the Mission Impossible theme song began resounding throughout the property (and every other property in Patience Bay!). Rach and Reubz chucked the bridal party aviators... they each thought they were the only one who hadn't been taught the dance they were obviously about to do. The guests were all questioning what the heck was happening. But a dance never happened... because in the distance, the sounds of two choppers got louder and louder... and then landed right on the front lawn of the house! Let's just say there may have been happy tears from some of the bridal party. Best exit from the ceremony I have ever seen!
Unfortunately the low cloud meant we couldn't actually land up on Jackson's Peak for photos, but I really don't think anyone cared! We had the most amazing ride over the hidden lakes, dipping around mountains and flying over Te Anau, and everyone was totally buzzing for the rest of the day.
Reubz and Rach first met at this very wharf in Te Anau. Conveniently, it's also where he proposed after an epically planned day. So it was an essential location for the wedding photos!
These guys hated being in front of the camera ;)
Reuben didn't even get jealous when I was just taking photos of Rach alone...
They attracted lots of Asian tourists along the way too. Some stuck around for a little longer than socially acceptable. But nothing was stopping these guys in front of the camera!
Jumping on a thin wharf wasn't my idea. Unfortunately we had a very sad casualty too - one pair of aviators was drowned in the making of this shot.
And the silliness ensued.
But I made sure the prettiness did too.
Back to the house, Tom's pretty proud of his new deck and his big rock. Hope we did them justice Tom :)
I give the bridal party an A++++ for the fun, dedication and awesomeness they brought to this wedding! We knew nearly all of them, and they all knew each other really well, which made it SO much fun and so easy for us! There were zero personal space issues... we kept turning around to find them all huddled together keeping warm!
Back at the Distinction Hotel, the guests were busy putting the wedding cake together. One big sticky, colourful, delicious piece of fun.
Some of the decorating was awesomely questionable. But it takes a village to raise a child, and a village to make a wedding cake. Loved this idea! Their sister in law, Julz, made the awesome giant cupcake! Impressive :)
The 'Maori Girl' and the 'White Boy' made their reception look INCREDIBLE! Beforehand Rach had told me they weren't putting much effort into details and decorations... somehow I didn't actually believe her.
Yes indeedy, there is a very old-school song called 'Reuben and Rachel', written in 1871! That's all sorts of awesome.
Hilarious and clever speeches, honest and heartfelt words, and a couple of the most amazingly funny videos put together made for an incredible reception. And then the party got let loose, and we danced up a storm for the rest of the night!
Love love love. So much love and fun and hilarity. Thanks guys for such an AMAZING day - it was such a privilege to see our two awesome friends give their lives to each other, and to hang out with you for your day! You have an awesome friendship and love, it's inspiring to watch. It was also awesome to catch up with so many friends and to see so many familiar faces in the crowd! Thanks for all getting amongst it and making this wedding day something truly memorable.
All the best Mr and Mrs Caldwell! Lots of love,
Kim and Liam xoxox
Clare and Richard are the epitome of cute. Richard looks at his beautiful girl with total adoration, and they are very playful... yet also gentle, soft and sweet together. Claire was born in the Orkney islands, where Richard proposed to her last year when they went back to visit her roots, and they are tying the knot in December at Grandview Gardens. These guys have some awesome plans for their big day - it will be a really different and interesting ceremony, mixing in some Celtic and Scottish traditions. Can't wait to see everything come together!
Let's get into the sweetness of their engagement session...
Clare absolutely loves yellow tulips - but dislikes the colour yellow! Go figure ;). The tartan around the tulips is called 'Pride of Scotland', and Richard's cufflinks are the emblem of the Robertson family crest (Clare's family), so both are particularly cool!
I just love talking to Clare and Richard - not only because Clare has the most BEAUTIFUL accent that I could just listen to all day - but also because they are really interesting people, with awesome stories, awesome jobs and just generally awesome lives! Clare is a nurse at the hospital, and Richard runs a backpackers in town... and earlier this year he took over the Laserforce / Mini-golf / Mars Bar Function centre, which they are doing up and making completely 100% awesome. That makes for some pretty great work stories I imagine!
Clare and Richard, it was so awesome having you in front of my camera! It was a really fun afternoon trying to dodge the rain! Let's do it all again in December (without the rain perhaps)!! xox
It was January 4th. Long gorgeous summer days were upon us, and Jennifer and Caleb were holidaying in glorious Kaikoura. Caleb went for a run along the beach in the morning... but little did Jennifer know he had sneakily written in the sand and planned a beautiful proposal during that time! Shortly after, they went for a walk together along that same beach (how very convenient). Caleb was nervously waiting for Jen to notice the writing in the sand ahead of them... but it didn't happen as easily as he thought. Jennifer even stopped to take a photo which actually has the big question written in the back of it, but still... oblivious! Getting closer and closer, Jen still wasn't paying any attention to his marvellous plan... so since walking right past it wasn't really an option, he had to point out of the obvious - "oh look, what's that in the sand?!".
And the rest, they say, is history...
Jen and Caleb are super relaxed, easy going, loveable people! They are a couple you instantly want to be friends with. Somehow, all these beautiful, awesome couples keep finding us... and we love it!
I think it's super sweet that they first met in high school. They used to go for picnics in the park just down the road from Caleb's house... so we went back to that very same spot for their engagement shoot! They even had the same drinks and the same dinosaur lollies they used to share!
Snuggling in amongst those little white flowers that make you smell like garlic for hours afterwards... romantic!
They're a bit cute eh?!
Ahhhh so much fun! Thanks for an awesome afternoon - just got me even more excited about your wedding rolling around! Hope the planning goes well for the next two months!!! Lots of love xoxo
When I was asked to photograph Chrissy's bridal shower, I had no idea about the extent of the celebration, the traditions, and the colour and joy that would burst out of this day! Chrissy and David were preparing to get married back home in Tanzania, Africa in August... and I had the privilege of capturing Chrissy's pre-wedding celebration here!! They did ask us to photograph their actual wedding in Tanzania too... which we obviously would have been a dream come true, but unfortunately we couldn't work it around other bookings... gutted!!!! It looks like they had an incredible big day over there though :)
I left this bridal shower just feeling totally filled with joy - us kiwis have a thing or two to learn from these beautiful African people about celebrating!! They sure know how to party! There are no limits, no inhibitions. There is freedom to dance and sing and laugh and talk to your heart's content! There is colour galore, bright happy smiles... and more dancing. There is music and drumming and good food... and more dancing! There are speeches and gifts, words of wisdom from mighty women... and more dancing!
It was an absolute, total privilege to see such passionate culture, and to celebrate with these incredibly beautiful women xo
Chrissy was veiled for her entrance... and after some time, David and his crew of men were danced in to unveil her. They went away after this to leave the women there to give Chrissy useful marriage advice and plenty of gifts, and to perform for her!
Chrissy and David, I am so happy for you! You are a beautiful, humble couple and it really has been so lovely getting to know you through this!! We were so disappointed to miss your wedding day - but we know the celebrations must have been even bigger and brighter! Thank you for allowing me to see your amazing culture and inviting me to capture this awesome time for you. Love and blessings! xx
We took a beautiful ballerina out of the studio... beyond the tight hair buns, barres, mirrors and etiquette, and into the soft sand and the bright city lights, where there are no rules. Freedom to just dance with passion.
I love collaborating with other photographers and playing with gorgeous models!! Stunning Zoe is an incredibly talented dancer from Balclutha - she was so super amazing... despite having to stand out in the freezing night air in little tutus! We joined forces with Shelley and Bailey from Shelley Povey Photography
to play around with some different lighting techniques and let our creative juices flow. Thanks soooo much for sharing your talent with us Zoe! You are so incredibly beautiful and graceful, and we really appreciated you completely numbing your toes on pointe just for us!!
My job is the best! I get to work with awesome couples... best friends who adore each other! What a flippin' big privilege! My absolute favourite thing to photograph is people in love. We give complimentary engagement shoots, because we KNOW the value of them! Tina and Josh weren't too sure about doing a shoot before their wedding, but they have since told me it was the best thing they could have done! Now they won't be nervous for their big day... sweet deal.
Josh loves the beach, and Tina loves beautiful expansive views... so we mixed it up with a bit of both! Totally didn't expect to have two completely different types of weather and light when we just we drove up and over a wee hill, but that's Dunedin for ya I guess! And it's what I love about shooting outdoors... it always provides different opportunities and challenges - I love playing with gorgeous natural light!
Gives me warm fuzzies seeing awesome love like Tina and Josh's!
Oh I love your smile Tina! You are so beautiful and funky! I'm so looking forward to seeing you as a stunning bride!
Doesn't look like it's going to end well...
Thinking we weren't going to see any sort of view anywhere in the foggy haze we were in, we left behind the moody clouds and drove up the hill quickly... to find gorgeous sunlight beginning to set down over the harbour!
MmmmMmm... it took me forever to drive home, because I kept stopping to photograph our gorgeous city in this beautiful light!
Tina and Josh, you totally rocked your shoot. It's got me so excited about your wedding day - I know it's going to be full of love and fun! xoxo
Meet Alix and Johnny and their gorgeous kiddlywinks, Matt and Hayley! They are one beautiful little family and we can't wait to see them again in October for their big wedding day in Port Chalmers! We decided it was super important to include Matt and Hayley in the engagement shoot, because they are obviously such a massive part of Alix & Johnny's lives and their relationship. They have been together over 5 years, and the next big adventure of their love is about to start - marriage!
These kids are really ridiculously cute! Hayley is about 11 months old, and has the sweetest little face and cheeky grin, and four year old Matt is full of energy and personality! I just loved watching Alix and John interacting with their beautiful children - they obviously completely and utterly ADORE each other, and have such playful and loving relationships!
Here is where all the mothers reading this have a mini heart attack, and all the fathers wanna go out and see if they can chuck their son even higher...
We tired the kids out with running around, boxing, getting thrown in the air, and doing flips... and then we let Grandma take them away, so we had some time with the awesome couple by themselves!
They spent most of the time fighting with each other. But not the yelling type, or the silent treatment type, or the evil looks type... more like the flirting, giggling, poking, hassling, play-fighting type!
Alix and Johnny up a tree... K I S S I N G!!
These two love birds used to spend hours and hours sitting talking in a huuuuge tree at a primary school when they first got together... so a giant tree was a must for their photos!
Alix, I cannot wait to see you as a bride on the 26.10.13! You are going to be GORGEOUS!
These two beautiful engagement rings have the four different family birth stones in them! Soooo pretty!
Alix and John, you guys are so awesome together - and it was soooo amazing watching your incredible parenting. You are such a fun family... bring on October!! xoxox
I love colour, I loooove playful affection, and I love engagement shoots! Elyse and Adrian pulled themselves away from the dairy farming life in Heriot to the big smokes of Dunedin for an afternoon, so that we could capture their fun and light-hearted relationship! I wholeheartedly adored this shoot! They gave me many disclaimers beforehand - 'Adrian hates cameras', 'we are both really unphotogenic', 'we are so nervous'... but it was like they had already done a million photo shoots before and they were here to nail it for this one! And that they did...
They are so cute together! I know that is very unmanly for me to say about Adrian, but seriously... they just laughed, smiled, were cheeky to each other, and showed so much affection the whole time!
And how can you not feel happy looking at so many colourful balloons!
Love love love...
How stunning is Elyse going to be as a bride?! I can't wait to see... she is so beautiful... and one of those girls who just oozes happiness!
Seriously you guys, you were amazing! Thanks so much for coming all the way up - this just proved to me over and over again that your wedding is going to be amaaaazing! I'm sure March will roll around super quickly xoxo
Jennifer just oozes grace and beauty as a pregnant lady - she is an absolute natural... born to be a mother. She wrote to me wanting maternity photos in her own home, for their third child. She had never had maternity photos before, but wanted some that were 'homely and loving, just like when you bring home a baby'. I walked into their house and my eyes just lit up. Their beautiful big white villa home was just perfect for such a shoot - clean, stylish and so incredibly 'homely'... and I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful subject to photograph!
Jennifer and Jon already have two absolutely adorable boys - Sam and Will - and they can't wait to have a new baby to love and adore! They all have such awesome Canadian accents... the whole family are in Dunedin for a few years, but heading back to Canada soon! Having maternity photos taken was a way to share this incredibly special and exciting time with their families and friends still on the other side of the world.
Enjoy the calm, pure, serene beauty of Jennifer and her gorgeous family.
Oh, apparently the whole shoot wasn't calm and serene... ;)
Jennifer runs a maternity/Mum's health and fitness website called 'Mama Lion Strong
'. I suggest that if you are a Mum (Or 'Mom' as Jennifer would say!), or soon to be... or you just enjoy reading personal, funny, inspiring, honest blogs about the quirks, struggles, charms and joys of parenthood... you should check it out!!
Happy sigh... so, so beautiful.
Jennifer directed me to check out 'A Beautiful Body Project'
- an incredible project aiming to 'celebrate the irreplaceable beauty of women through unaltered photographs and inspiring stories'. I urge you to take a look at this. It so so inspiring and such an awesome shift in the mindset of women.
I often have pregnant Mum's asking me to remove stretch-marks, and to 'tuck in' those extra few kilos they have put on throughout their pregnancy. I understand on a personal level. I do. Unfortunately, we all have things we dislike about ourselves. But this is such
a contested aspect of the photography industry... and in reality, it's very sad. Software makes these things possible. But really, SHOULD it be?! I want people to love themselves, love their photos, and be proud of who they are. I want them to show their friends, hang them proudly on their walls and feel great about themselves in them. But I don't want to change people into things they aren't, all because we buy into the rubbish we hear in the media about what is 'beautiful'.
I absolutely LOVED that Jennifer was so proud of her body, her stretch marks, her scars... the things which make her a woman and a Mum that need to be celebrated. The proof of what she has been through for her children and her family. Would love to hear other thoughts on this topic! It's a big one, I know... but an important one.
Jennifer, thank you so much for inviting me into your gorgeous home to photograph this time of your life. You really are so incredibly beautiful inside and out. It was soooo lovely to hang out with your family for the morning... thanks for lunch too! I wish you all the very best for the days, months and years ahead with this new wee button who is about to enter your family (or if I read between the lines... who may have already arrived yesterday perhaps?!). You are a wonderful family xoxo
I'm playing catch up! Woop woop! Here I have for you just a wee taster of just a few awesome portrait shoots that I want to share from over the past few months... in no particular order! (In fact, all out of order... ohhh look at me going out of my comfort zone!!)
Heather & Doug - Just 'Cos We Can!
Time with our very close friends, Heather and Doug from Heather Ellis Photography
and DpointR Photography
, is ALWAYS awesome! They stayed with us for a few days last week and we went on heaps of photo adventures... but the first up was a night of off-camera flash above the city! Mmmm Mmmm I loooove lights and bokeh... and this gorgeous couple!! They are both incredibly awesome photographers, AND look so good in front of the camera. How do they do it?! Doug is also a lighting genius, so this was just playing around, learning lots, and having fun! :)
'Deep Grey' Workshop - Christchurch
Way back quite a while ago, I left Dunedin at some ridiculous hour of the morning and drove all the way to Christchurch for less than 24hrs, all in the name of learning more and more about my craft. I sung my heart out to keep myself awake, and arrived to find an awesome bunch of photographers chilling out in the sun... about to start an awesomely inspiring workshop taken by Brisbane-based Adam, from Deep Grey
. We spent the day learning how rock our businesses and to make things more and more awesome for our clients in the wedding and portrait photography world. And just as the gorgeous sun went down over the gorgeous farm land, we went out and photographed this gorgeous couple... in some veeery pretty light! What better way to spend a day?! Play and work in one!
The Family Connection...
A gorgeous surprise for Christina and Maggie's father... precious family photographs for his birthday!
Aashna is one!
I photographed Abhishek and Puja's maternity shoot, and then their newborn shoot for little baby Aashna... and now she is ONE!! And completely and utterly gorgeous!
Anna, Richard and Charlotte!
Precious time to capturing gorgeous wee Charlotte - with her beautiful, mischievous streak, and her awesome parents!
Thanks for looking! xoxoxo