Foges and Clara get married – In Sweden

Despite the fact that my wife Carla misses out on a date to the wedding, the opportunity to photograph your best friend’s wedding is pretty cool. Even cooler when it’s in Sweden.

The first time I met Foges, I knew straight away we were going to be friends. Our first interaction included him bailing on the ‘get to know you session’ on our first night at college.

 “…um, I think I am just going to cruise over to my friends house. I will catch up with you all later”. 

I just sat there wishing I could high tail it out of there with him away from the awkward chit chat. We have been good friends ever since, sharing a number of different households and becoming founding members of a large group of steadfast friends collectively known as ‘The Boys’ (and which now also includes a number of equally rad girls).

The Day before

The day before the wedding, the Knight tribe finally arrive in Sweden and Foges and his twin brother Gerry were there for the pick up. We had a few hours to check out locations for tomorrow’s before ceremony photo session and the happy couple had a number of ideas to suggest. I took off in the little VW excited about, not only seeing what they had to offer, but my first experience checking out Sweden.

First impressions were of amazement at the beauty of Sweden. Quaint little houses, large green fields and the beauty of Jonkopping’s amazing deep blue lake.

To be totally honest, I wasn’t too sure how Andy and Clara would go on camera. It can be challenging getting friends to relax when you work together. The main focus of my photography is intimacy and natural connection, and sometimes its easier to be your loved up self in front of a stranger. We got the lead out with a few shite jokes and posing 101 and I was very happy with the initial results.

It was a great afternoon catching up with them both and getting some time to talk through life in Sweden, hopes dreams for the future…and a very big (little) surprise.

Andy and Clara had organised a get together at a pub on the lake for the day before the wedding. Giving friends and family from Australia and Sweden a chance to meet/catch up. A great deal of friends from Australia had made the trip. Most had just finished a similar experience in London, where another one of The Boys tied the knot the week before.

It is hard to explain the friendship that ‘The Boys’ have developed since all attending the same university in Armidale. Initially we all bonded over skipping lectures and playing soccer. Our group has grown since our uni days, and for some these weddings were the first catch up in years. After 20 years, it is has got to the stage that we are family, warts and all…

The morning of the wedding had arrived and Andy was getting ready in his flat with some help from a few Swedish mates. He was in a good mood if not a little nervous about how the day would play out, especially with a storm on the way. We floated around the apartment for a bit, took a few awkward portraits and our lift arrived to pick us up.

Andy didn’t know it yet, but we had organized for a ‘first look’ moment down on a bridge in a quiet area of town. Andy and I had about 30 minute to wait for Clara to arrive and we talked about life, meaning and the usual banter. As Andy stood there ready to meet his soon to be wife, a beautiful lady in white made her way toward us. It was a wonderful thing to see Andy genuinely excited for what was to come. And all the joy of two people in love played out in front of me.

We headed off to the first location with the storm threatening. No one seemed nervous and we just took everything as it came. The view from the old castle was spectacular and Andy and Clara loosened up with a few forehead rolls and close cuddles. It is a bit of an effort to pose without really posing couples. They need to feel comfortable enough to think that they are the only ones there. To feel excited about being in each others arms, talking about the rest of their lives together. It wasn’t too hard with these two, they have a very close connection and you can tell that they are soul mates.

Back in the car and the rain begins. We are off to drop off their bags at a cute little cottage over looking a waterfall. As we arrive the rain is starting to belt down but without a thought we jumped out and I just start shooting. Then Andy spies an antique store and again without thinking we race in and again start shooting. It is poky, the lighting is all over the place and the owners look a little cranky…but somehow it just works. We just roll with it and they cuddle up next to the old cups, plates and quirky old mirrors.

Up until this point we didn’t really discuss where the ceremony would take place in the rain, but first thoughts were inside the reception venue. Andy’s Swedish stepped up and organised a white marque to be set up at the ceremony site. It seemed a shame that the beautiful view would be missed but in that little white tent with Andy and Clara’s family and loved ones it just worked. A beautiful short ceremony with every tucked in around the lovely couple.

Job done and onto the festivities. A little Swedish Fika and into the beautifully decorated hall.

Some lovely speeches were made, many kisses for the bride and groom when left alone at the table and a cure little song by Clara’s friends.

A wonderful night of booze, dancing and random chats ensued right up until 2am. Many sing-a-long ballads, many rad wine stained shirts and hugs and kisses all around. I never thought that I would ever spend 5 weeks in Europe with my young family, attending the weddings of two my best friends in the world. The whole experience has left me wanting more.

A wonderful reminder of the amazing experiences that life has to offer. Andy and Clara, you are two of the most important people in my life and I hope that the photos represent the connection and love that you have for each other. You mean so much to so many people. I can’t wait for our kids to grow up loving their Swedish cousins, and get the opportunity to play face to face wherever we may find each other in the world.

A life changing wedding – Let’s Dance

I was lucky enough to experience my first Zimbabwean wedding last weekend.

 

You could tell that a lot of work went into the preparation and it was all focussed on one thing ‘dance’.  I started to get a feeling that this was going to be the case very early with the boys listening to bangers all morning and dancing around the room during the preparations. Moods were high and I was constantly being reminded to get ready for one epic party.

The same intensity continued at the bride’s preparations with Aunts, friends and mothers all wanted to take part in the action. Everyone was looking great and the dancing continued during all parts of the makeup, hair and dressing. A special moment was when everyone knelt down to pray for Rachel and had her sitting in the middle of a circle of support. There were some great opportunities to shoot well-lit portraits and capture the happiness in the air. Some super cute opportunities to grab pictures of the little people involved in the wedding too!

The ceremony did not disappoint. There were some very open emotions on show and you could feel everyone connected to every word and every minute. Some beautiful words were said and the couple made each one of them count staring lovingly into each other eyes.

We had some great light waiting after the ceremony and options including a boardwalk, a garden and if time permitted the beach. Often couples find it hard to settle into the portrait sessions and take time to realise the best thing to do is totally forget about the camera and lose yourself in each other. These guys had no such trouble and they felt connected the entire session with very little intervention needed to pose.

I am so glad that we got to the beach as the light had settled just enough to find perfect colours. The bridal party was ready for the reception and took this moment to practice some of their routines.

And then came the reception…

Never have I seen this much dancing at a reception. Each group had their own moment and the different families each had their role in either choreographed dance acts or chaotic all in craziness.  As you can see this crew knew how to have a good time and partied late into the night.

One highlight was the bridal parties dance battle that looked straight out of  Run DMC film clip. A fitting end to a most perfect wedding.

 

Same Sex – Engagement Photography

It was well worth getting up early on Saturday to catch the morning light for Renee and Gabby. The Pine Forest in Miami allowed soft light to go streaming through the trees and onto two of the most amazing lovebirds you could ever see.

Renee and Gabby are two people very much in love. I didn’t say one word that related to posing and simply pumped the trigger as much as I could so I didn’t miss any special moments. I am very excited about the opportunity for these two special people to make their love official in April if all goes to plan.

Enjoy some of my favourite shots below and get in touch if you are interested in natural and casual engagement and wedding photography.

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Wedding Day Dreams – The Chapel in Montville

Star-photo

I sometimes question my decision to be a wedding photographer. The world we live in can sometimes feel like one big show with everyone desperate to outdo each other’s perfect Instagrammable lives.

But then you get two people so in love that you can’t help but get excited about shooting moments that are 100% about each other. Arie and Emily were such a cute young couple that could not tear themselves away from each other. Usually during the portrait session after the wedding there is a lot of discussion with the bride and groom to get them into poses that look natural and full of love. But there was barely a word spoken between myself and this lovely couple, mainly just a direction to “walk over there” and “keep doing that, looks spectacular”.

Speaking of spectacular. The Chapel in Montville may just be the most beautiful church that have been to. At night all lit up it is a sight to behold. Thanks so much to The Chapel for letting us return at night to grab this shot.


Enjoy all the photos below and get in touch if you are interested in talking with Knight Photography about your wedding day photography needs.

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Wedding at Glengariff Historic Estate

In the heart of Brisbane’s Hinterland Glengariff is a privately owned estate that is perfect for stunning wedding photography.

Today I have the honour of capturing Elliot and Laura’s charmingly intimate wedding day. The day started up with Laura and her lovely bridesmaids getting ready in a beautiful hill top location. There was a calm demeanour demonstrated by everyone and we were able to capture some lovely soft light through some windows in the front room.

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Then it was down to the boy where there was an obvious shift of speed (and noise) surrounded by fast cars and superbikes. They were all very calm about what was able to happen and were lucky enough to get some time preparing themselves is something called The Celler which was suspiciously similar to a dream man cave. They shot some pool and had (I am sure) just a few drinks to help calm any pre ceremony jitters.

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The ceremony was perfect with big open skies and a great view down into the valley. Elliot especially shone with memorised vows that had everyone tearing up followed by an equally special performance from Laura. Then after the ceremony was complete it was only a short walk down into the valley to capture some great evening light and let the newly married couple get to cuddle up and soak up the newly wed emotions.

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The reception venue is an equally extravagant room where an amazing meal was served and Elliot and Laura had their first dance as husband and wife. It was a great pleasure to shoot such a love filled wedding and I wish Elliot and Laura all the best for a long and loving relationship.

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If you are keen to know more about our wedding packages contact us here.

Old clients and acro at Sherwood Aboretum

I love being able to catch up with old clients and photograph them year after year. Sessions are built around being relaxed and trusting the process. There is no need to think about posing or giving tips about the best way to get photos that exhibit the real person.

The Van Wegan family are the epitome of a fun and connected family. They inspire me to work hard at building a strong and loving relationship with my two girls with an understanding that strong bonds exist even into the teenage years.

Many people out there don’t like getting their photo taken and that is mainly to do with the awkward moments waiting for the photographer to pull the trigger. But when you have people that are happy to just hang out and connect it makes the process so much easier. There is something to be said about a family that looks forward to their session and spends the whole time laughing, cuddling and acting naturally. A nice feature of the session is how close the siblings are to each other, especially with the girl/boy combination. There is an obvious strong trusting relationship as can be seen by the launching of a sister over brother in the photo below.

Although the business is taking a heaving direction toward the Family Documentary Sessions there will always be time for the odd family session out in the park (especially if they are all this fun).

 

 

If you are keen to chat more about the Family Documentary Sessions or think you have what it takes to get a natural family session contact us now.

 

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Baptisms, smartphones and professional photography

Documenting important events in a family’s life through photography is one of my favourite things.

 

Having families engaging with the experience and each other rather than feeling like they have to capture moments themselves is very important to me as a photographer.

You see it every day in all different parts of life. At music shows, birthdays, sightseeing and even at weddings. I often find myself at gigs working for the artist only to find a young motivated punter centimetres from the artist’s face filming every grainy and blurry moment.

There seems to be a compulsion to capture everything in front of our eyes so that

we can snap, share and feel the buzz of others liking our photos. But the real love is in the moment where you forget about the need to feel popular and cool and just sink into the loveliness of each other. Then a few days later get access to over a hundred professionally shot pictures that document the emotion of the day as well as have plenty of photos of the family together.

Don’t get me wrong…I am not against people taking photos on their smartphones. It is, after all, my most used camera for family moments. I just hope that people start to realise the moments that they are missing out on from being behind their phone. Live in the moment and enjoy the people around you….and if possible let the professional take care of the photos.

Everyone was definitely living the moment at the session below at St Andrew’s Cathedral in South Bank. It was quite a challenging shoot being at night in a dark church but that is why I have pro level gear that will give you photos a thousand times better than any smartphone can achieve. We even got a chance to head up to the lookout at Highgate Hill for some dramatic shots of everyone against the backdrop of the beautiful Brisbane City.

Have an event that you would like captured?…Contact us now.

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Why I love Documentary Family Photography (and why you should too)

Not everyone likes to get photos….and that includes me.

But…I do love seeing photos of my family and when I am included I love to see myself connecting with my family and not looking at the camera like a big goofball.

This is why I love documentary family photography. It provides an opportunity for everyone to be involved in a photo session without the need think about how you look, what you should be doing, or posing in a way that looks perfect. Actually, perfection is very far removed from the whole process and instead replaced with action and randomness that is meant to express the true personality of the subjects.

Take the session that I did last Saturday morning. The family ate breakfast together, went for a jump on the trampoline, played on the monkey bars and ran around with each other out the front of the house. That’s the shoot…no fuss and no hassle. It was so much fun to see the family interacting with each other in a way that represented who they were as a family and what they loved to do.

My approach to photography is always changing and there are limitless technical abilities that I am trying to improve. But the main thing with this type of work is to feel connected to the experiences of the family without always concerning myself with the perfection of the shot. It builds a collection of photos that are beautiful in their randomness and celebrates the imperfection and craziness in every family.

Check out the shots below and contact me if you would like to have your own Documentary Family Session to help understand who you are as a family.

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Gerry and Edwina’s Surprise Garden Wedding

One of the best things about being a photographer is that you get let in on special secrets.


Like the one where a couple is having people over for a ‘party’ and then turn it into one of the most special wedding ceremonies I have ever been part of.

Gerry had clued me in earlier in the week to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the excitement. I was so excited about the opportunity to capture this special moment but a little nervous about ensuring they represented the special moment.

The event started with Gerry and Edwina innocently hosting some of their closest friends at their family home. Everything was very ‘normal’ with some snacks, beer and wine keeping everyone in good spirits. Gerry’s twin brother was given the task of letting everyone in on the secret, and as he asked the crowd to turn to the backyard, people began to notice that there was a celebrant standing behind him on the deck.

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I was standing upstairs with Gerry and Edwina and a giant joyous roar could be heard from the backyard. I had placed myself upstairs to make sure I captured an image that embodied the excitement from above and was pretty chuffed with the shot. It really speaks volumes about this beautiful family and hopefully, they can look back on it in years to come and remember the moment just before they walked out to an enthusiastic group of family and friends.

Gerry and Edwina were standing up on a small deck and everyone surrounding them. The place they were married was in fact the same place that Gerry had asked Edwina to marry him. With their nearest and dearest all gathered it was pretty tight in the backyard. The feeling of intimacy was ideal. Everyone was absolutely beaming best represented by this shot of Edwina’s animated little brother.

Gerry’s family had pride of place up front and his mother, father and brothers were captivated with the moment and in love with the surprise. I don’t think I have ever seen so many tears of joy at a ceremony and by the end everyone needed a few minutes to compose and get back into the swing of the party. There was a magic buzz around and once the couple resurfaced there were many hugs and friendly blow ups about the surprise.

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We then took some shots of family and friends at the front of the house. This is the part of the wedding that can be a little dry but having the opportunity to get photos in front of the couple’s’ house and everyone still high from the surprise it was a great experience. I especially love the photo of Gerry, Edwina, their girls and their dog. Although it is not a perfectly crafted and artistic image, it made me so happy to be able to capture something that represents what they just did in front of something that they have worked hard to achieve together.

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It then came time to head to the hall down the road to continue the celebration. The couple organised a pizza van at the hall when everyone arrived and it was the perfect accompaniment to the low-key but highly emotional event. I spent some time cruising around grabbing candid shots of the guests and it was clear that everyone was loving the opportunity to be involved in the night.

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Speeches were always played down by Gerry and Edwina but Andy felt compelled to say a few words about his twin brother. The speech was great. And the bond these two brothers have had the majority of the party welling up by the end, as they hugged it out.  

It was then Gerry’s turn to start the crowd tearing up with a heartfelt talk to his wife. It was unscripted but a spectacular representation of why they were getting married and what his hopes and dreams were for the future. These special two people are going to do all right.

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After all of the emotion and drama of the day is it clear that everyone was ready to party. The dancing was just as expected from the excited group. Many great songs were played with a number of sing-alongs producing this special moment during ‘Don’t look back in Anger’.

Another special day comes to a close and makes me consider what photos give back to an event like this. Gerry and Edwina only really had two things they wanted. Photos of what was happening and photos of the people around them. It was not about looking spectacular (even though they both did), it was not about amazing poses and stunning photoshopped perfection…it was about two people and the folks around them being part of their story and the excitement about staying part of their future.

My only hope is that Gerry and Edwina have many occasions where they can look back at the photos and remember the remarkable thing that they did that day and how their love still feels precisely the same.

Now to close it all off here is evidence of some of the greatest fun you can have after a wedding. Enjoy … and remember if you are getting married or have a rad idea for a party contact us now to talk about your what you perfect photography coverage looks like.

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