Celebrating 50 Years as Family

Quite a few weeks ago now I had the utmost pleasure to drive to the Sunshine Coast and capture some images of this wonderful couple who were celebrating 50 years of marriage with their family. Even more special is the fact that I get to call these lovely people family – my Uncle and Aunty, cousins and second cousins.

It was a beautiful afternoon – although a little on the windy side, such a wonderful occassion to come together to celebrate.


Aleisha and Tim’s Simply Beautiful Yabbaloumba Retreat Wedding

This lovely couple chose one of the most STUNNING locations in South East QLD to celebrate their wedding.  If you’ve never heard of Yabblaoumba Retreat before I highly recommend you check it out.

It was an absolutely gorgeous September day in the Mary River Valley and Aleisha and Tim created the most beautiful sanctuary down by the river.  The wedding was officiated by the groom’s brother as celebrant as family and friends gathered in the shady glen to witness the two take their vows.

The bridal party then set off in a 4WD to capture some images with this most beautiful background before coming back to join their reception complete with lawn games and a bonfire.



Congratulations to this lovely couple on your beautiful day.



Wedding Planner: L&L Co.

Venue: Yabbaloumba Retreat

Cake: Half Naked Cakes

Hair: Hair By Sam Edwards

Make-Up: Amelia Livingstone

Music: Dan Horne


Waiting on Baby {Petrie Maternity Photographer}

It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago I was asking people to volunteer to be my guinea pigs as I prepared a portfolio to move into the professional photography circle.  This lovely couple were one of those volunteers when they were pregnant with this hansom young who is about to become a big brother!  I hope you enjoy your photos and congratulations on your baby girl!

wSMP_6703wSMP_6705wSMP_6788bwSMP_6728SMP_6760SMP_6807SMP_6859 bwSMP_6897cSMP_6973SMP_6977

In front of the camera

I’m usually the person behind the camera, not in front.  Even with my family I always position myself with camera in hand so that I can avoid the picture itself.  Why?  Mainly because I have seen waaaayy too many photos of myself with half closed eyes, mouth hanging open mid-yelling-at-a-child or with three chins then anyone needs to see of themselves.  Yes I am self conscious and there is a lot about myself that I pick apart when I see a photo of myself – but….

Recently I read an article about mums (and dads) making a effort to be in the pictures with their families.  In the article – I’m sorry I forget the author and title – it basically highlighted a story from a young woman whose mother had passed away and she realised she had very few photos of her mother.  Some from her youth but as she got older there were fewer and fewer images.  I made a pact with myself that day that I would get in more photos with my family.  More awkward family selfies, more asking random strangers to take our photo, more letting my husband and friends take photos with me in them rather than me taking them.  And it doesn’t matter if my skin looks bad, or my hair is a mess because one day none of that is going to matter.  When we look back at photos of ourselves as children and teenagers, we don’t see those flaws that were so glaringly obvious in the moment – no,  time adds a hazy glow that makes everyone look amazing… except of those 90’s fashion choices – boots with scrunchie socks and patterned leggings – what were we thinking!

This year I turn 35 and although I still need to drop a few kilos and there are no ways to hide my smile lines and grey hair (except for photoshop 🙂 I got out in front of the camera the other day to do some self portraits for a photo-a-week project #dogwood52.  It was awkward and embarrassing – especially when a couple walked past and I’m just sitting out in the middle of field by myself with tripod and a camera and my picnic basket smiling like an idiot. But I dare you to try it! I encourage all mums and dads to make this year the year you get out from behind the camera and get in front of it.  Whether it’s with your family or some nice pictures of yourself in your favourite place – just get out and do it and enjoy the moment – laugh at yourself while you try and figure out how to fit everyone into that selfie or grin like an idiot at a camera with (hopefully) no-one else around because you are beautiful right now in this moment.  And it will never be this time again and you will never look at young as you do right now 🙂

A Walk in the Forest

So it’s school holidays here in Brisbane and every holidays i try and get the kids out to a National Park or two to recharge our batteries and enjoy everything that nature has to offer. Maiala National park at Mount Glorious is one of our favourites.  Gorgeous rainforest trees as well as ancient gums that dwarf the other trees.  Although it took some damage in the 2011 floods in Brisbane the rangers have carved the track out again amongst the massive trunks of fallen trees, including one beautiful staircase that takes you up and over one of the largest trees in the forest. Maiala is also special to us as it’s where we held our vow renewals two years ago which was photographed by the very talented Liss Brewer from Liss Brewer Photography.  If you ever get a chance to pop out that way I highly recommend it.

Wedding Planning? here are some top tips to help you get the best photographs of your special day

This month my husband and I are celebrating our 12th wedding anniversary.  Our wedding day was one of the most wonderful and memorable days of our lives.  It was a lovely relaxed day with family and friends.  We were 21 and didn’t have a lot to spend and I was so lucky that my very talented sister was there to capture our day – on film! Can you believe digital photography was only just becoming an option in 2003!

Our wedding party in 2003 - shot on black and white film -remember when that was a thing?

Our wedding party in 2003 – shot on black and white film -remember when that was a thing?

These days reports suggest Australian’s are spending any where from $10 000 to $65 000 on their big day with the average in 2012 being $36 000 – a far cry from our $5000 wedding in 2003 (and that included our week long honeymoon), all the more reason for couples to make sure that the lasting mementoes couples have of their weddings are truly beautiful.

Since that beautiful wintery day 12 years ago I have been fortunate to attend many weddings as a guest and as a photographer and I have a few tips I’d love to share with you so that you can look back at your photos in the decades to come and remember such a special day.


In the planning of your wedding there are a couple of decisions you can make that will ensure you have some amazing photos.

  1. Timing – any good photographer will be able to capture your wedding at any time of day, however the fact is the light around sunset is the ‘best’ light – it makes everyone glow and gives the photos that special something. Look up the time of sunset on your chosen wedding day and discuss timing with your venue and photographer.  You will want to have between 1-2 hours from the end of your ceremony to the start of your reception depending on if you can use your ceremony location for photos or if you have to travel.
  • Do you want to have photos taken right on sunset?
  • Is your ceremony taking place inside? Undercover? If outside – will it be out of direct sunlight? Even at 3-4pm in the afternoon the Western sun can cause quite harsh shadows to fall which can affect your photos.
  1. Where are you and your partner getting ready? Many photographers will charge travel fees if the two wedding parties are getting ready more than 30 minutes away – or you might want to hire a photographer with two shooters so one can be with you while the other is with your partner.
  2. Transport – Is transport important to you and your partner? If so, when booking your transport factor in some time to ensure you get photos with your mode of transport – either before the ceremony or afterwards
  3. Details – it is the little touches and special details that make for a truly touching and memorable wedding.


There are two main things I tell all of my wedding clients and their attendants;

  1. Smile – all the time. Pretend like you are on a reality tv show and keep that smiling face on all the time.  Why is this important?  Your photographer will be photographing every moment of this day – that’s what you are paying them for and nothing ruins an image like a bridesmaid with a grumpy face in the background during the reception or the bride scowling at her husband during the speeches.
  2. Touch – touch is so important in photos. It shows relationship and tells a story.  When you are with your partner – hold their hand, touch their shoulder – kiss often – you’re married! When you see a family member, hug, kiss, reach out and touch their hand – whatever you are comfortable with.

Getting ready?

Whether you are getting ready at home, at someone else’s place or a hotel there are a couple of things that will help you get some stunning ‘getting ready’ shots.

  1. Choose a room that is light and airy. Your photographer and make-up artist will thank you
  2. Try and limit background clutter including televisions
  3. Make sure you tell your photographer if you have any special jewellery and point out what your old, borrowed, blue and new things are if you want them photographed.
  4. Leave putting on your jewellery, dress and shoes so your photographer can capture every moment.
  5. Make sure your attendants are dressed completely before you, so the photos of them helping you get ready look polished.
  6. Are you hoping to get some of those lovely images of your rings, shoes and flowers? Then make sure the rings are with the bride and her attendants while they are getting ready


This is the part where people get nervous.  Take some deep breaths and s..l..o..w.. down! This is the moment you have planned for months or even years for.  Enjoy it.

  1. If you are having young children in your wedding party consider having them go out between the attendants and the bride rather than first – or have them hold hands with the attendants
  2. Remind your attendants to smile and look up when walking down the aisle and to s..l..o..w.. down!
  3. Same goes for you! Walk slowly, take time to look at the people around you, at your partner, at whomever is walking you down the aisle.
  4. When you reach your partner, stand close to each other, touch each other – hold hands
  5. If children are going to be part of the ceremony then you need to be prepared for them to be kids and embrace the simple joy they bring to your ceremony

Post – ceremony shots

There are two part to the post ceremony session.  The formal group/family shots and the creative post-ceremony session.  The formal  group shots will normally always be taken at the ceremony location.  We all love Pintrest and it can give you some great inspiration for your post ceremony session.  In most circumstances where you have your ceremony and reception will decide where you can have your post ceremony session so consider this in your planning

  1. Devise a list of formal group shots you would like. Be specific. Although it seems monotonous now, planning this list now will stop you missing anyone else and getting bogged down having photos with everyone separately.
  2. Discuss with your wedding venue if you are able to have the post ceremony session on location (if it is suitable). If not – ask them where some popular locations are nearby
  3. Talk to your photographer – they may have some suggestions for you.
  4. Consider if you want your whole bridal party with you or just you and your partner.
  5. These are often the WOW images that you will treasure for years to come.  Be aware that the location you have your photos taken will really dictate what the final image is.  Look through magazines, photography blogs and Pinterest and see what images you really love.  Beach, field?  Is it that silhouetted image right on sunset? Is it an image with a fantastic view or background behind?  Is it an urban photo with a landmark that you both love?


  1. Think about the possibility of having a mock first dance and cake cutting. It will give your photographer the best opportunity to capture some lovely shots for you without all of your guests watching on.  They may also want to stay on to capture the real first dance with the guests and the parents.
  2. Are you being announced into the reception? If so remember – slowly 🙂  Give your photographer time to capture you and your partner entering together for the first time since being married. – and tell your attendants to do the same!
  3. Speeches – have the person making the speeches come out to the bridal table so that the photographer can capture both the speech maker and your expressions at the same time.
  4. On that note – now is not the time to discuss with your partner that your feet hurt or that great aunt Joan made some inappropriate comment – your expression during the speeches can make or break an image.
  5. Night shots – talk to your photographer about taking some night shots, especially if you are paying them to stay until you leave the reception. If you are too tired or busy meeting with guests – perhaps your bridal party can have some fun with sparklers and create a memorable light painting for you.

Most of all remember; although there is all this pressure to have a perfect day – in ten years time you won’t remember that your veil got dirty or that one bridesmaid broke her shoe and had to wear runners under her dress.  What you will remember is marrying your partner, enjoying your first day together as a married couple and being with friends and family.  Enjoy…..

*Sacred Moments Photography Australia supports marriage equality*

Down by the river

My homework assignment this week inspired me to attempt something I have always wanted to try and my gorgeous model Katie brought the whole scene to life.  After some scouting around I finally found the right location at Cedar Creek in Samford.  Katie answered a model call-out on our Facebook page and travelled all the way from Toowoomba and even with some trouble finding the place she was an absolute delight to work with! Thank you for your generous donation of time Katie and I hope you enjoy your photos.


Thank you to all my clients

Welcome to 2014! I just wanted to take this time to thank all of my followers and clients who have supported me in this new photography venture as I move out of the realm of enthusiast to professional.  Although I am not taking new clients at the moment this year is going to be exciting.  I am undertaking a mentorship with a prominent Brisbane photographer and I am looking forward to learning and growing my photographic skills in the new year.

I hope you enjoy this video of my clients from 2013.