Raul & Melissa's Big Family Wedding...{Gold Coast Wedding Photography}

Gold Coast Weddings_Royal Pines Resort

"The best times are always found, when family and friends gather round."

- Author Unknown


Today I wanted to share with you some snippets from Raul and Melissa's Wedding at the Royal Pines Resort. It was a beautiful day and one where I really felt the strong family bonds within this close and loving Romanian family and their friends. A big thanks to Melissa and Raul for being so easygoing and relaxed and really just enjoying their day and being present throughout the moments of the day, and especially their couple session which was so enjoyable and so beautiful to witness.

You may notice there are no 'bridal party' photos, as the bride and groom decided not to have a traditional bridal party. In fact, Raul and Melissa's whole wedding was quite unconventional (in accordance with western standards). They had two ceremonies: one at home and then one with the reception, which was held during the day. And Raul and Melissa's couple photos were shot last, so they could just relax, take their time and enjoy the last rays of sunlight as a fitting end to their day. As a photographer, I thought that was brilliant, as it allowed more time to get really beautiful images! Who says you have to follow the norm?

I hope you enjoy these snapshots as much as I enjoyed capturing them.

Kerry :) xox

 

 

Couple Photos

 

Black & White Photos

 

Bridal Preparations at Melissa's family home in Underwood

 

Romanian Marriage Ceremony at home with family

 

Ceremony No.2 & Reception

 

Group Photos...family & friends

 

The 7 Best Things About Road Trips...{Brisbane Documentary Photography}

I love a good road trip. And I have been known to sing cheesy 80's songs at the top of my lungs on a windy road when no one can hear. ~ Morina Baccarin

Being at the start of school holidays, I am always trying to think of ways to occupy my daughter whilst juggling running a business.  It can be tricky sometimes.  Being the workaholic I can be, especially when I get into that creative space can sometimes be detrimental to me doing my best work.  I've found the best way to 'disengage' from my business when it comes to holidays is to go on a road trip.

For creatives like myself, I've found road trips to be one of the best holiday options in as far as removing myself from being busy and feeding my creative muse.

 

Here are 7 best Things I've found about taking a Road Trip.

1.  It forces us to RELAX!

Family time at the beach - sunset, Byron Bay NSW

Family time at the beach - sunset, Byron Bay NSW

Did I mention I can be a little of a workaholic?  So getting out on the road physically forces me to remove myself from my office. And it also gets my daughter away from computers, devices and distractions.  That goes for me too.  So it's about bringing us back to present to just savour this moment in time.  Getting behind the wheel of car, and just being in a car with the motion, watching the world go by and the feeling of going somewhere, is enough to help me begin to relax.  And the thought of not having anywhere to be, to not be watching the clock or have responsibilities, I find, helps my whole body to start unwinding and 'feeling' what it is to be alive.  And when we're relaxed we begin to look at the world completely differently. Which leads me to the next best thing about road trips.

 

2. It allows us to get a different PERSPECTIVE on life

Landscape photography

Let's face it.  When we're so busy 'doing' life, we can sometimes become resentful because we are so busy creating our ideal life, we forget to stop and realise that the very things we are trying to create are often right in front of us. If we only just stopped long enough to acknowledge it. So when we remove ourselves from the everyday grind and place ourselves somewhere else, it allows us the time and freedom to stop and actually notice what is around us.  It gives us a deeper appreciation of what we already have and we can enjoy it again. 

Road trips give us a sense of the vastness of the world we live in and all the beauty, magic and possibility there is right here and now. We realise how small we are and that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. It can often help us also see that the problems we thought were huge and insurmountable can seem quite small when we think of the world at large. Basically, it provides context for the fabric of our life.

 

3. It brings us back to the PRESENT

documentary photography

Are you a person who lives in the past or the future?  I've found that most people live in either one, but rarely do we live in the present. I'm a 'thinking and planning for the future' kind of person.  When you're on the road, you literally see all life before you.  You are meeting the present head on. The present becomes so inviting and you  just want to be there and savour each moment and start laying those experiences down in your memory bank, to draw upon when you eventually return to your 'normal, busy' life.

 

4. It allows greater opportunity for CONNECTION

Heron on the shores of Bribie Island at sunset

Heron on the shores of Bribie Island at sunset

In the world we live in where we spend so much time in cyberspace, on computers and our phones, we become 'disconnected'. We need to allow ourselves to be 'physically and mentally' present so that we can connect or reconnect not only with ourselves, but also with our children...our family, friends and other people.  

And something we often forget to do, is to connect with the world around us.  With nature, with the plant and animals that we share this world with.  If we fail to connect with all of these things, we become self-absorbed, and we then can lose sight of the fact that everything we do impacts those around us and the world we live in. Through this disconnection, we can harm others and the world at large, thinking that what we do does not affect anyone or anything else, and so, we create a lack of empathy and understanding.

What I love about being in a car on a road trip with my daughter, or with my family, is that we don't have the pressure of having to be anywhere, so we actually have the time to really listen and feel what is being said.  It allows us to really understand others, our families and to get to know more about who they really are as individuals.  I am often amazed by the person my daughter is becoming when I actually stop and genuinely listen to her without placing any of my own 'motherly' biases on her and begin to see her as an individual who is in the beginning of her own life journey.

 

5. It allows us to create MEANINGFUL MEMORIES

My daughter, who loves photography herself and is following in my footsteps with a love of video.

My daughter, who loves photography herself and is following in my footsteps with a love of video.

Road trips are not only about the places we go, though that's important for us to anchor our memories. To give our memories more significance and meaning, the mere act of engaging with other people is one of the most powerful ways to cement them. Because we are more in the moment, we notice more of what is going on around us. Our view of the world changes and our perceptions. Our senses are more alive and engaged. Because we are utilising more of our senses, our memories attach more strongly in our minds and hearts. Have you ever been to a particular place and when you've returned home, you smell something...a fragrance, certain sounds (like waves crashing onto a beach) or maybe food , and it transports you back to that place? Well that's what I mean. And if you've shared a significant experience at that time and you've really connected with those you're with, then that memory attaches more strongly.

So when you begin to look back at times and periods in your life, it's the memories where you've felt a great emotional connection to something that was really important to you, or turning points in your life, that will be the most meaningful.  With myself also, road trips are becoming a bit of a ritual that mostly my daughter and I do on school holidays.  Rituals are also a way of forming deeper and more meaninful memories, because they become what is unique 'ours'. And of course, the fact that I love capturing the moment on film (as my daughter does too), makes it easier to go back and look at those photos and reflect upon these times together.

 

6. It's a great way to stimulate CREATIVITY

landscape photography

When we get to stop on our travels, if we plan it right and make time to be able to stop and take in where we are, we can quieten our minds because we are no longer preoccupied with deadlines and responsibilities. Freeing up our minds allows thoughts and ideas to then enter, and we can often experience 'AHA' moments or gain more clarity and focus during these times. For creatives like myself, periods of quiet and contemplation are a necessary part of what I need for myself and gives me access to the muse that keeps my creativity alive and flourishing. Solitude keeps my mind open to the energy of thoughts and ideas that are always there, if we but tune in to them (mind you, if you have children with you, that's not always easy to create, but it can be done and there are ways to ensure you get those times of solitude).

 

7. We can be transported in time with MUSIC

Portait Photography

If you're anything like me, when I'm travelling any distance in a car, I feel safe and cocooned. I feel like I'm in a bubble, watching the outside world pass by.  And when I'm listening to music it transports me to other places and times.  I actually do a lot of daydreaming and visionary work while driving and listening to music. For me, music is one of my favourite methods of accessing my creative muse.

So how about you?  Do you love road trips?  And what do you love about them?  I'd love for you to share your experiences.  Because 'road trip' can mean different things to different people.  That's the fun and interesting part.  So feel free to share your own road trip versions in the comments below.

Ciao for now...I'm off again to spend more school holiday time with my daughter.

Kerry :) xox


 

Rules Not to Follow About Weddings, and a Romanian Wedding...[Gold Coast Wedding Photography]

Gold Coast Wedding Photographer

"By all means break the rules and break them beautifully, deliberately and well.
That is one of the ends for which they exist."

~ Author Unknown


Last weekend saw me shooting a wedding for a gorgeous young Romanian couple, Raul and Melissa.  What was so beautiful about it was that the emphasis was on 'family'.  Not saying that other weddings are not. But if you know anything about Romanian families, family really is what is the most important thing, and what was stressed by Melissa and Raul for their day to really be special.

As one of the youngest of eight siblings, large families are not foreign to Melissa. The majority of guest numbers were made up mainly by her family.  With so many young families and children, this wedding was planned during the day and revolved around them and to ensure that children were made to feel just as welcome to share in the couple's special day as all the adults.

Now...about the Rules...

The other thing I discovered when doing a little research into Romanian weddings is that not only are they different from conventional Australian weddings, but even in Romania, depending on which part of the country you come from, the customs and traditions are different. Raul and Melissa's wedding not only broke the rules by conventional standards, but in true Romanian spirit, their own wedding was a little more unconventional.  

What was different about Raul and Melissa's wedding?

For one thing, the 'signing of the certificate' was completed at the start of the day,  after the first ceremony and processional at home in front of immediate family, according to Romanian custom.  But then, to satisfy Australian customs and laws, a second ceremony and processional was done in front of their entire family and friends before the reception, with both the ceremony and reception being held in one venue, at the Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast.  Also, Melissa and Raul did not have a bridal party.

 

But you know what my favourite thing was that was different?  Melissa and Raul wanted to have their couple photos 'after' the reception! What a revelation as a photographer. Because as every wedding photographer knows, the time that is always encroached upon (because things never run on time) is the 'couple and bridal party' photo shoot.

 
 

How's that for breaking the rules?  And it made perfect sense, because that way the couple could take a bit more time for family photos as well as spend more time mixing with family and friends, which was really, really important to them.  But best of all, it allowed Melissa and Raul to cruise into uninterrupted, flexible time leading into sunset, for their couple photos.  What a way to finish your wedding day!

"So who says you have to follow the rules?  It makes perfect sense to create a day that's built around what the most important parts to you are. Of course, still taking into account the legal requirements of marriage, why wouldn't you plan a day that allows for more spontaneity, and not have what convention or tradition say how it should be, but how you really want?"

However, in ending there is one thing about this wedding that was the same as every other wedding I've attended or had the privilege of photographing....they never, ever go according to plan! So future brides...you can at least take a little comfort in that knowledge.

Kerry :)

*P.S. Please enjoy a small selection of Melissa and Raul's sneak peaks. And please feel free to share this post if you know anyone who is yet to get hitched...Romanian or otherwise! :)



 

 

My No.1 Planning Tip for a Stress-Free Wedding!...{Brisbane Wedding Photographer, Gold Coast Wedding Photographer}

Weddings_Rosie-4.jpg

"What the world really needs is more love, and less paperwork."

~ Pearl Bailey


So have I told you that I love weddings!  I think the little girl in all of us dreams of fairy-tale weddings where everybody is happy and laughing and the bride floats along on air all day looking amazingly refreshed and beautiful all day long.  We have visions of grandeur of how it's supposed to be.

But the experience we often hear about can be the total opposite to a fairy-tale...lots of stress, frayed nerves, demanding family and a story of total and utter exhaustion by days end.

Let me tell you a secret....IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

From my perspective as a photographer, you get a real insight into how a wedding day is going to pan out.  And it starts with the bride.  You know that saying, 'Happy mum, happy family'?  Well the same goes for a wedding...'Happy Bride = Happy Groom = Happy, Happy, Happy!'

So today I'll give you the most important tip, I believe, is going to be the difference between a magical day and not-so-magical day...

Mikko brought along some champagne on the walk along the boardwalk to chill a little before heading back to guests and mayhem.

Mikko brought along some champagne on the walk along the boardwalk to chill a little before heading back to guests and mayhem.

...CHILL!

Here's what is paramount.  PLAN FOR EVERY DETAIL, BUT PLAN LESS AND KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Firstly, I just want to say that it's important that you plan your wedding thoroughly.  Some brides like details, and others don't.  Just be prepared. But also understand that not everything will go 100% according to how you visual.  That's placing yourself under unnecessary pressure when in the end, the only person who is going to notice if things aren't perfect is you.

I would have to say that the biggest reason that brides, grooms and guests don't enjoy the wedding day as much as they really could, is because they try to fit in too much into such a short space of time.  

When planning or scheduling your wedding day itinerary, you need to understand that what times you write down on paper are just a plan, or an outline.  It all might look great on paper, but when it comes to the actual day, everything takes twice as long as what it looks like on paper. Why?  Because on the day you are not in control of what might happen.  There is no longer just you - there will be you plus all your guests, and all those people, like caterers, planners, photographers, etc who will bring along an element of 'uncontrollability'. 

Your guests when they arrive, expect to kick back and will probably want to chat and take their time getting from one place to another.  They have all the time in the world.  They are totally oblivious to all the 'behind-the-scenes' stuff that is going on, and unaware that there are things that need to take place on time.

And there are other factors to take into consideration, such as how long it takes to get from one location to another if the reception is in a different place or your bridal party or couple photos are in a different location to the ceremony or the reception.  You have to allow for traffic, distance and the unexpected. So give yourself ample time and allow for this.

 

So give everyone time to truly savour and enjoy the day. And most importantly...give yourself time to be in the moment...with your new life partner, family and with your friends. Give yourself the best chance of having the most splendid, beautiful, dreamy kind of day that you could ever imagine.

What a wonderful start it could be, to a BEAUTIFUL union and your married life's journey!

Kerry xox :)


 

 

 

Mothers & Daughters ~ Capturing & Strengthening Bonds through Photography...[Brisbane Family Photography]

Brisbane Family Photography

"My lifetime is my existence in a sacred moment."

~ Lailah Gifty Akita


Yesterday was Mel's viewing session for her 'Mother & Daughter' photo shoot.  It was a while in the planning and the shoot was postponed a number of times due to weather.  For this particular shoot, we needed the exact elements to come together to produce the right look and feel and colour.  So third time lucky we hit the sweet spot!  If anything, it was just a little too windy and played havoc with hair (a real bugbear for photographers when it comes to editing).

With any concept shoot, there is always a lot of planning involved to try and get the photographs I produce to match the vision in my head. And with any shoot that is not staged, that comes out of natural interaction and synergy between the people in your shoot, and that is influenced by elements outside of your control (like the weather), it can often be a tricky thing to pull it all off in the way that you envisage. 

It also requires that your subjects or clients,  i.e. the people who are the  main focus of your shoot, understand your vision and are co-operative in the sense that they rely and trust in the vision that you have relayed to them, and that they also agree and take ownership in that. Because in the end, your client...the people who are the focus need to love your vision for what's possible, just as much as you do.

Mel said that she loved this image, because Chloe often plays with her hair and likes to style it in her own special way, and the image reminds her that special thing that they do as mother and daughter.

Mel said that she loved this image, because Chloe often plays with her hair and likes to style it in her own special way, and the image reminds her that special thing that they do as mother and daughter.

So needless to say that Mel absolutely adored the end results!  And as per my vision, the objective was to not only capture those special moments between Mel and Chloe, in a way that was recognisable to them, but also to show it in a way that encapsulates that feeling of love, beauty and bond they enjoy, through artistic expression.

In the end, that's what portrait photography is about...capturing those special bonds and little things that we know only too well.  Things that as our children and our families grow, they are always remembered and treasured.

The added bonus with photography, is that you get to relive those moments and special things, well after the moments are no longer part of our reality, and are a distant memory. Through these images, they have the magic of bringing those distant memories back, in a way that it feels like it was just only yesterday ~  memories we can reach out and touch with all of our senses.

So if you love what you see, you can get in touch via my Contact page and we can chat about what you would like to create that captures those special bonds, and in a way that is an artistic expression of what is uniquely you.

Kerry xox

* P.S.  Stay tuned as I reveal more images during the week, and reveal the process that we went through to arrive at these images.

*  If you love these images, please feel free to share this post with friends and family.