It was the wettest day Dunedin had seen in a loooong time. After absolutely stunning weather the day before, the heavens opened, and the rain arrived in epic proportions. But there was NOTHING that was going to stop the plans that one boy had that day.
My heart was beating with a mix of excitement and nerves from the moment I woke up that morning. Some sweet kiwi ingenuity was necessary to keep our gear somewhat dry, and we put on our jackets and made our way through the botanic gardens. We searched for some sneaky trees, and each found our hiding places. And then we waited. And waited. And got a little sopping wet... annnnd looked like absolute stalkers hiding in the bushes with giant cameras. But that didn't matter. It was a big day for our awesome friends, and we felt hugely privileged to be a part of it!
Is it ok to lie when there needs to be some serious convincing to get a girl out of her warm car, and get her walking through the gardens in the pooouring rain? I won't tell you the marvellous plan Ollie conjured... but after a few secret texts, and an exquisitely planned and timed phone call, Ollie managed to convince Chu that she needed to come with him. She was none the wiser about what was about to happen.
We first spotted their umbrella bobbing up and down as they walked through the pathways, and we could see Chu trying to tell Ollie over and over that he was going the wrong way! He's a pretty smooth talker though, and he got her right where he wanted her... on a beautiful bridge, nestled amongst the incredibly gorgeous colours of autumn! And then with spine-tingling romance and the all-necessary element of surprise, it all happened...
I think that's a yes!!!
Through the laughter and tears and all the hugely exciting emotions, we forgot about the rain briefly! It just got heavier and heavier though, and by then we were all pretty drenched... so we ran inside the tropical greenhouse for a couple quick celebratory photos!
Ahhhh so exciting!!!
Soooo happy for you Ollie and Chu - to capture something as incredible as a proposal was definitely a major privilege and a highlight... THANK YOU for inviting us into this incredibly beautiful and personal moment!! I'm SO glad you pulled it all off, and that we didn't accidentally sneeze or something to ruin the surprise!
We cannot WAIT to photograph your wedding next year - you are an amazing couple and we know your big day is going to be so awesome. Chu, you are going to be a gorgeous bride! Have fun planning!! :)
3 beautiful sisters... and their boys! If you missed the beginning of the Tyree Family Shoot blog
, check out the first part here
. Otherwise carry on for some fun couples shoots!
Youngest first?! Why not. Suszie and Rob are ridiculously cute together. They got engaged in January... and definitely don't do things the normal way. Their pretty epic but scary proposal story involved tramping, getting swept down a river, having to be rescued and airlifted out... talk about introducing some drama into your proposal! They are spending the next year both studying overseas - Suszie in Germany, and Rob in America, so will begin to plan their wedding when they both return home. We had a very sweet, casual shoot with them to celebrate their engagement before they left...
Suszie used to be in a band called 'The Violet Pillars'... and they spent some of their band practices tagging a wall at their home... love it!
Next up is the James Bond fanatics... Libby and Mike! Also engaged, and getting married in April 2014... they are also too awesome together! I gave each couple free reign on what they wanted to do for their shoots... and I wasn't surprised in the least when I got told it would involve guns, a suit, and running around the forrest on their property! We are shooting their wedding and I am so excited... their plans so far sound very unique and fun!
Annnnd some beautiful portraits without guns too! :)
And last, but definitely not least, are Jenny and Rowan - all the way down from sunny Nelson! Once again, a very cool couple... and they are very excited to be having their first baby in October!!! Soooo much to celebrate in this family! All the very, very best for the rest of the year guys - you are going to be such amazing parents! Jenny and Rowan aren't afraid to get a bit silly and laugh a lot together... I loved photographing them in the early stages of their pregnancy!
Thank you ALL for your awesome shoots... I loved photographing each of you! You are a family full of amazing people, lots of laughter and fun. I hope you like these sneak peeks... so many more to share with you xoxo
The Tyrees are a VERY awesome family. They are self-confessed crazies... loving life and everything that comes along with it! So many BIG things are happening for this family at the moment - engagements, weddings, babies, and some moving overseas - so it was a perfect time to capture 'life' for them, at their beloved four acre property down in Otatara, Invercargill!
Sandra and Kevin have brought up 3 absolutely beautiful daughters - Jenny, Libby and Suszie - and they are all amazing in their own right! They have each brought a wonderful boy into the family... so the Tyrees are now a family of 8 instead of 5!!
I just couldn't get over how affectionate and loving these guys all are. It just made my heart melt! Every time I turned around, each couple was hugging, play fighting, jumping on each other, laughing or kissing... it didn't matter!
The beautiful girls!
And the boys... the imports!
This shoot was for Sandra's birthday - an awesome gift to herself to get photos of her family all together again, before Suszie and Rob both headed overseas. She wanted me to capture 'life' - in and around their crazy awesome house, and we seriously had so much fun. Annnd I got to meet 'Taco' - the old pet rat!
Sandra even played me some beautiful music... and I got a peek into Kevin's awesome office! Kevin is also a photographer (no pressure, Kim!)... so we had some good chats about geeky things like cameras, lenses, computers and software!
As I said, Suszie and Rob left to study overseas just a couple days after this shoot... so Rob's parents made the most of their time here and came along for some photos too!
There were just soooo many different aspects to this family shoot - I photographed for hours! I have plenty more to share - I did awesome personalised shoots with each of the girls and their boys too - so check out the next blog for those images! xoxo
Meet Rhonda and Pete! They are one of those couples that just instantly put a big smile on your face when you see them with each other. They have found love, and they dedicated their lives to each other in a beautiful ceremony at Glenfalloch Gardens on the peninsula! Their day was a celebration of two hearts and two families coming together - a beautiful story of love and companionship.
But hold up, I'm getting ahead of myself... beautiful Rhonda hadn't actually arrived at her beautiful wedding at Glenfalloch Gardens yet! The guests all gathered together with a flurry of hugs, handshakes, and smiles as they all caught up with old friends and family.
A sneaky peek around the corner to see the bride on her way...
...so a very happy groom gets into position! Pete has such a great smiley face!
Rhonda just looked so beautiful, and was walked up the aisle by her lovely "bridesmaids"!
Love the way they look at each other.
For Rhonda and Pete, this day definitely wasn't just about them! They wanted photos of every single guest there with their partners and families... a celebration of all those there who support and love Rhonda and Pete! Here is just a wee collection of some of those gorgeous photos!
After the ceremony, we went off with the bridal party for a short photo shoot around gorgeous Glenfalloch.
Rhonda and Pete are incredibly affectionate, and had no qualms about getting snuggly in front of the camera! In fact, I couldn't actually stop them! I got the feeling their children didn't really appreciate this all of the time though... :)
Pete's "Best Man" (his lovely daughter, Anita!) and his two sons, Brad and Todd, made an awesome support crew for Pete. And I was waiting for Rhonda's "Bridesmaids" (her sons, James and Luke) to turn up in dresses, but alas, it didn't happen. These guys all seem to have a really nice bond, and so much respect for each other.
A sneaky wee practice of their first dance...
While I was taking the above picture, Liam took this candid shot... Rhonda and Pete looking proudly at their awesome new family!
The family gave some incredibly hilarious and heartfelt speeches, and then the party got started!
As the guests all tucked into dinner, Liam and I went running down the hill to get to the gorgeous sunset looking over Dunedin. A beautiful end to such a lovely day!
Rhonda and Pete, thank you so much for inviting us into your wonderful wedding!! It was just all so beautiful, and the way you love each was just so lovely to capture! There are SO many more images to show you! All the very, very best for your life together!
Central Otago has to be one of the greatest, most beautiful places on earth! And Michelle and Jason's Lauderdale wedding was up there with the most perfectly planned weddings on earth! It was filled to the brim with gorgeous rustic flair - the details, the venue, the landscapes - it was perfection. We had it all with the weather - from thick fog, to burning hot sun, to moody clouds, to very light spots of rain, to a still & mild evening... it all just added to the Central Otago flavour!
Michelle and Jason's wedding was one I was looking forward to hugely from the minute I met them at their hilarious, muddy engagement shoot
. I knew their wedding was going to be fun and relaxed, but also immaculately thought out and beautifully classy. They are an awesome pair, whose deep love and commitment made this a very special day.
Everything took place within minutes of each other between the two tiny historic towns of Lauder and Becks. I love this rugged slice of NZ... you just seem to walk back in time, into an open-countryside full of history and unbelievable landscapes.
And there we met some very awesome people!
After the boys got that out of their system, it was time to head back and get ready.
Ahhhh, the smell of brand new leather shoes...
Michelle's wedding day gift to Jason was an engraved Leatherman - 1 John 4:19 - "We love because he first loved us".
Lauder isn't a very big place, so right next door, behind a big fence, Michelle was getting all made up beautifully by the lovely Lynda...
...Leesa was going for the comfy casual look in the polarfleece onesie... and some people were sneaking oysters they weren't meant to be eating yet...
Michelle, you are beautiful. Those eyes... amazing!
Measured to perfection...
Tucked amongst the barren mountains and dusty roads lies an exquisite and private wedding venue in the heart of Central. We were blown away by how amazing Lauderdale
is... a raw, rustic and different venue for guests to experience, possibilities for photographs everywhere you looked, and gorgeous stone ruins as the back drop to the ceremony.
Last minute touch ups for the groomsmen!
They look at each with so much pride, so much love, so much happiness.
Big ups to this band who did an incredible job of the music... spine tingling goodness...
I'm always jealous of the gorgeous dresses that girls get to wear to weddings! I have to wear reasonably practical dresses given the running around I do... but I doooo love checking them all out! The dresses that is, not the girls...
'Uncle Bob' is a term thrown around jokingly amongst professional photographers to describe particular guests who are keen-bean photographers and go to any lengths to try to get the best shot. Michelle's Uncle Bob (literally!) became the butt of the jokes during the family photographs... he was very elusive and kept missing the photos he was meant to be in... then what do you know, I turn around and there is he is taking my spot on the ladder!! :P
Meanwhile, the new Mr and Mrs Gorton kept having these gorgeous little moments that they thought no one was watching...
Oh boys. Love it.
The guests played lawn games and strolled around the gorgeous Lauderdale property while we were away doing photos with the bridal party!
Liam is my ring shot man. He does them at every wedding. Never before has he been nick-named 'Frodo' from the whole bridal party and the drivers before though! I guess carrying the gold rings up and into the rocks kinda gave him that vibe tho... :)
Back to Lauderdale
, where the guests had found their tables, and were admiring all the incredible
handmade decorations that Michelle had poured her heart and soul into!
Taking a bow... and rightly so! The reception venue looked sooooo amazing!
Wow... Jason and Michelle... THANK YOU! It was truly a privilege to be part of your day! You were both just so relaxed and fun... and your love for each other is so obvious and awesome. We wish you all the very best for your life together... I have no doubt it will be full of fun and laughter! xoxox
PS. If anyone else thinks Lauderdale looks like a perfect place to get married... get in touch with us too! We want to go back! xx
I'm not afraid to admit that I ate far too many Easter eggs over the past week. And come on, be honest... you probably did too.
It was Easter Monday a year ago. An awesome day that changed Julie and Geoff's lives for the better. Julie stumbled across a very awkward and nervous Geoff, who was trying desperately to distract her from the fact that he was in the middle of hiding something in her drawers. Suspicious of what he was doing, Julie naturally pushed the matter until he finally gave in and let her look. She found a sneaky Easter egg... but wait... there's more! Inside the egg was a beautiful ring... and all of a sudden Geoff was on his knee proposing, despite the fact that his romantic proposal didn't go exactly as planned!
I don't know how many times I heard people saying "It's about time!" at their wedding, but after over ten years of being together, these high school sweethearts commited their lives to one another on the 8th of March. It was an incredible day - full of fun and laughter and craziness. We began with the boys, who were slowly working off their wedding day breki, and just cruising before they had to think about getting into suits.
Even though it was overcast... sunglasses with built in moustaches were essential!
Over at the girls', everything was coming together perfectly...
How beautiful is Julie's dress?!?!
Julie was absolutely flawless... so amazingly elegant, and a beautiful person inside and out.
Julie and Geoff had both bought matching sunglasses for their bridal parties. I think they were a hit... no one wanted to take them off all day!
Time to head to the ceremony... in big American Dodge Rams!
The ceremony was held at beautiful First Church in Dunedin. It's a stunning, impressive church... but fill it with a big bunch of wonderful friends and family, and a gorgeous bridal party... and it just gets even better!
All those pre-wedding nerves were worth it for this moment...
Sealed with a kiss... they become husband and wifey!
And they couldn't be more happy about it!
Spitting rain?! Pfffft... get out in it anyway! A little rain never hurt anyone....
I highly commend Julie and Geoff on their choice of bridal party! Not only were they a pretty good looking bunch... they made sure they laughed their way through the day...
From beginning to end, Julie and Geoff's day was FUN. They didn't take life too seriously, and had a ball all day. We loved every second of shooting these guys and gals!
What a guy...
Geoff and Julie are an awesome couple. Even though I only got to know them through a couple of pre-wedding meetings, they were just so cruisy to work with, and totally trusted us to do our thing!
Under their suit jackets and waistcoats, these dapper looking guys were hiding...
And just so you know, we did do lots of beautiful, mostly normal shots too!
Sweet moves bro.
It's awesome when the bridal party all know each other well already! Julie's two beautiful sisters and gorgeous cousins were obviously all very close. But the guys were close too. Like, really close. The holding hands, hugging, sitting on knees type of close. I guess that is what all being high school friends does to you!
Time to head back to enjoy the rest of the party happening at the Dunedin Art Gallery!
And the guests welcomed them back pretty enthusiastically...
I had tears rolling down my cheeks from laughter during their speeches! A full reenactment of the proposal by the guys who always have Geoff's back...
... and some sweet 'Afternoon Delight' singing, with audience participation too! ;)
The dancing was beautiful and romantic...
... well, some of it was romantic!
We stayed until late in the evening and set up a photo booth for the guests while the d-floor was still raging!! It's an awesome way to get guests into photos when they wouldn't normally... and they looooved it! Here is just a wee selection of the antics...
Julie and Geoff, it was truly SUCH a pleasure to photograph your awesome day! Thank you for trusting us to capture the most special day of your life... we hope you love the photos! Can't wait to show you more! It was so hard to choose a few for the blog! We hope your lives together as husband and wife are more awesome than you could have ever imagined! XOXO
A newborn baby is one of lifes greatest blessings. I met baby Juno when she was just 10 days old - and my goodness she is an adorable wee button. An absolute bundle of perfection, with a whole head of amazing hair!!
You may recognise Juno's adoring parents too! Laura and James are commonly referred to as the "yellow plane couple" when clients come into my office. They have been such an amazing couple to work with, and I have been so lucky to have been able to capture all these hugely important life events for them over the past couple years! It began with their engagement
(which ended up winning the ODT Wedding of the Year award
!), and now, their adorable new daughter.
I just loved walking into their house, and seeing their walls absolutely covered in huge canvases and framed fine art prints of my work! It was an amazing feeling - that is why
I do this!
I was able to capture portraits of some of the extended family, including grandparents and great-grandparents, who were all doting over the gorgeous new addition!
GUS! If you have seen the previous blogs, you will know this wee dog is rather loved. And energetic. And hilarious. And there was no way we could do a newborn shoot without including Gus in some way. He is part of the family fully and compeletly! Juno's baby room actually looks like a shrine to Gus because it has a VERY big canvas of him from our engagement shoot covering the wall! Not your typical newborn shot - but I just love this! So proud of his new wee sister!
Beautiful, beautiful wee girl.
Laura and James, I had no doubt you guys were going to have stunningly gorgeous babies... Juno is SUCH a wee cutie!!! You are doing such an amazing job as parents. Can't wait to see her grow up, and maybe add more family photographs to your walls! xoxo
It's amazing when love is so visible that you see it in every look, every touch, every moment. Richard and Victoria's love for each other is just that. Completely visible. They spent their whole wedding day (and I presume the large majority of their whole relationship!) just exchanging cute wee glances, smiling ecstatically at each other, and pulling each other close. Despite being together for years, it was as if they had just
fallen head over heels in love!
Richard and Victoria came down from Auckland for their beautiful big day at Grandview Gardens
! Dunedin turned on another tropical day, and everything at Grandview was just set up to perfection! A beautiful venue for a wonderful couple, and their family and friends, to celebrate a deep and awesome commitment.
Our day began at the ceremony, with the excited guests arriving by the bus load... and Richard getting lots of hugs and squishy kisses on his cheeks from relatives!
Victoria and her support crew all arrived in style... in a car that, in the past, has transported the Queen and Nelson Mandela no less! Royal treatment for a beautiful bride...
When she first arrived, Victoria walked through the gorgeous reception area, all set up to perfection by the wonderful Grandview staff and Jolene at Estelle Flowers
.... and her face just lit up seeing it all come together! All that planning for months and months, all the little details and different people contributing...and it all just totally worked.
It looked amazing!
After a nervous wait for the groom and the guests, Miss Victoria walked down the aisle, with Mum and Dad right by her side.
They had a lovely candle ceremony involving their parents, but the best bit was the whole bridal party and family crowding around to form a wall so the wind didn't blow out the candles! And I think that is an awesome picture of what marriage is all about... having the support of a community around you throughout your marriage, to ensure your flame doesn't weaken.
Patrick searched the other groomsmen's pockets before finding the rings! ;)
Richard vowed to continue making Victoria a cup of tea at least once a day using an egg timer to get the perfect strength, to always be chivalrous even when old and wrinkly, and to maintain a weekly romantic date night!! What a guy!!
Husband and wife!!! The wedding march music began, but quickly mixed into "Poi E" which they danced out of the aisle too! I had to turn it on while I was editing these so I could get into the groove...
After an awesome time of congratulating and mingling (and adoring the random cat who stood proudly at the front of the family photos!), we set out around Grandview with the bridal party! Sooo many awesome locations here... Jo and Wayne do such a wonderful job of upkeeping this incredibly gorgeous venue. It is a huge asset to the wedding industry in Dunedin!
Victoria and Richard proved immediately that they were so natural and beautiful in front of the camera.
Awesome big bridal party! These guys were seriously amazing and fun!
This is what you get when you tell 11 people to pretend to be trees.
Victoria's brother, Edward, and Richard's sister, Roseanne, played the part of both bridesmaids and groomsmen!
Victoria's smile is so captivating! And it didn't leave her face all day! Such a beautiful bride...
Richard and Victoria are big adventurers! They love tramping and the outdoors... and one of Richard's favourite things to do is climb trees (he nearly jumped out of the boat in the middle of the pond when I mentioned climbing a tree!) They didn't hesitate at all to get in the row boat. But the groomsmen tried it out first for a lovely little bit of bromantic time...
They were, um, really good at going around and around in circles.
Time for the bride and groom... who were much better at rowing in a straight line!
As I said, these guys love the outdoors. They had a 'native bird' theme throughout their reception details - including little birds nests that they had collected over the past few months! 'The Velveteen Rabbit' childrens book was their guest book for people to sign, and was part of their ceremony readings.
What they don't know is that when we were inside waiting for them to be introduced, I noticed them outside by themselves having this gorgeous wee moment.
I have never heard the introductions and house keeping all being rapped... but there is always a first!! Dan was a hilarious and awesome MC. He had put some serious time into prepping for his role.
Victoria and Richard, what a magical, fun day!! You guys were just perfect - it was obvious that the guests had such an awesome day, and you both just overflowed with love!! Thanks you for asking me and Liam to capture the hundreds of special moments during your day. We loved every minute! Hope married life has been amazing so far... I have no doubt it will have been! xoxoxoxo
There are thousands of ridiculously cute 2 year olds in this world. That is a fact.
But today I have a favourite, and I'm not afraid to admit it. My snuggly, cheeky, hilarious, intelligent little niece is sneaking into the delightful two's today!! I asked her how old she was turning, and she told me "TWO MUCH!"
So I am just sending out the BIGGEST, SQUISHIEST HAPPY BIRTHDAY cuddle with too much love, to my best little 2 year old friend!
I know you all have your own reasons for thinking the little 2 year old in your life is the best one in the world. But until my other cutie pie niece turns two as well (they only have 8 days of being equal favourites in each age group!)... I'm afraid Penelope wins.
Sarah and Nick put on an AWESOME wee jungle party for her and her wee buddies!
They have poured their heart and soul into Penelope over the last two years - they are the most amazing parents a girl could wish for. They have taught her so much in her short wee life so far... things that just amaze me. Like that 'W' for "Wow, Daddy!!", turns around to make an 'M' for "Mummy"! Who knew?!
They all made 'binoculars', complete with scribbles and overlapping animal stickers, and went on an animal hunt in the backyard!! Cutest thing in the world!
Um, watch out P... there's a rhino climbing up your arm...
I'm quite good at teaching bad habits like pulling silly faces for photos... I'm glad she's only two and won't be worried about how many chins she has in this photo....
What is not to love about Jessie's incredible hair?!?!
I grabbed Sarah (who has a sweet wee 6 month baby bump!! Eeeep... excitement!) to come out into the scrummy light... I just love these. Somehow Nick managed to stay clear of the photos on this day... but don't worry, you will be seeing more of these guys within in the next few months... we have a bump to play with!
'Uncle Leeeeeeeee' got in on the action!
And I nabbed her too...
I just love everything about her. Everything.
Happy birthday 'Dub Dub'!! Thanks for inviting us to your party!! 'Uncle Leeee' and 'Un Ma' love you to bits! In fact, next time we might steal you to keep. Don't tell Mummy and Daddy.
A kiss for your lips, a kiss for your cheek... and one kiss for my cheek too please XOXOXOXOXO
Where, oh where, do I begin...
Rose and Andrew's wedding day in Wanaka was such a treat to be part of!! It was full of laughter, beauty, friendship, and the awesomeness that is love. Rose, as a sweet sixteen year old, got to know Andrew when he was flatting with her sister, Catherine. He then headed to Canada, but they continued to keep in touch and started their relationship on opposite sides of the world! Since then, they have grown together, loved together, and built their lives around each other.
I became friends with Rose when we were tiny little girls skipping around in pink tutus at ballet school. It has been a few years since I have seen her though... so to be asked to photograph the biggest day of her life was a major honour, and to see such a stunning bride on her wedding day was so incredible.
Before we get a peek at the bride though... meet Andrew and his boys, Daniel and Richard. It was hot in Wanaka. Like REALLY hot. And they were in full black suits... yikes! It was worth it, though. They looked awesome!
Time to head to the beautiful girls getting ready. I literally skipped a wee breath when I saw Rose, and she wasn't even in her gorgeous princess dress yet!
Green shoes!!! My favourite... (it's no secret I have a major soft spot for that colour!). And lots of lovely details...
And here she is... perfection! I was definitely excited about photographing this beauty for the day.
And her utterly gorgeous bridesmaids, Melissa and Bridget were sooooo amazing throughout the day! They were there for Rose every step of the way... totally committed to being the most amazing friends a girl could want beside her on her wedding day.
The first peek for her family!
Everyone was so organised and prepared that we had heaps of time to kill, to ensure Rose wasn't too early for the ceremony! Happy dance for a photographer...
When I had a quick run around the back of the house to see if there was anything good to use around there, I did not expect to find this!!! LOVE it!!
Rose is such a sweetie!
Ahhhhh such a dream to photograph!!
Finally ceremony time... the guys and all the guests had been seeking any shelter they could find until this point... but the gorgeous lake-front ceremony amongst the rolling hills at Edgewater Resort
Wowed by his beautiful girl...
In an intimate wee ceremony amongst a group of about 50 special people, Rose and Andrew declared their love for each other, and their wish to spend the rest of their happy lives together...
Love the wee private moment they had after being officially made husband and wife!
All the planning for this day was for this very moment... the moment they are announced as Mr and Mrs Carson!
Happy families and friends... love it! We still haven't had all the pretty photos around the lake-front yet, so please carry on to Part II
! (You may even get to see a bride on a trampoline... just saying...)