Documentary Family Photography

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I have been photographing families professionally for over three years and I love to see the diversity in the world that we live. Every family, couple and community has a different story and each one represents their love for each other differently.

I have been thinking about how the photos that I take support families to understand their relationships and connection to each other. Sometimes there are photos that just perfectly represent the bond between mother and child or brother to sister.

The more that I look back at those special photos the more I realise that the photos I connect with most are those that are candid and un-posed. They are usually when people are in their own moment and not thinking about getting their photo taken.

It was this thought that led me to look more into documentary family photography. I didn’t realise at the time but this is how I have been taking photos of my own family since I first picked up the camera. It is all about unplanned, unposed real life moments. Like when one of the little cherubs decides to climb up on the lounge and do spontaneous dance moves to The Prodigy.

You can find some pictures below of my first session with the most wonderful family I could ask for. I was blessed with a perfect session to start off my new found passion.

Have a look through and see if this is something you would like to try. Nothing to plan and everything to gain.

Hope to catch up soon.

Paul & Ange’s Blissful Byron Bay Beach Wedding

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Weddings are a truly special occasion that often tell you a lot about the personality of a couple. They bring out the good, the bad and the ugly and often evoke a great deal of anxiety for everyone involved. I have shot many weddings over the last three years but can safely say this was the happiest occasion I have ever been a part of.

Leading up to this wedding there was a lot of talk about impending rain. Many options were thrown about for alternative ceremony locations and where photos could be taken indoors. But, all credit to this amazing couple for maintaining the importance on how to make it special for family and friends.

The groomsmen started the day in good spirits with laughter and banter paying out on one individual’s lack of ‘clothing size expertise’ and pressure on speech performance. The thing I enjoyed most about the boys’ preparations were the little jokes cast at each other demonstrating the family-like qualities of their friendship.

Heading over to the bride and bridesmaids there was a trickling of rain and the anxiety was starting to creep up. How am I going to give the best shots if it is raining and we miss out on that breathtaking beach wedding?

The girls were all in good spirits when I arrived. There was champagne flowing, makeup and hair happening and stress levels were low. Ange was super excited and made me feel at ease about impending rain. I worked hard to try and make sure the shots represented the energy in the room that will hopefully transport Ange back to that exciting time.

The real love started when Ange’s little son Harvey arrived with grandparents in tow. Magical moments ensued with Ange cuddling up with her parents and sister, excited about the next few hours. Ange then headed upstairs to get ready with little Harvey, resulting in unscripted moments of beauty.

The time then came to make a decision about the ceremony. It was still drizzling with more rain on the way on the radar. BOM watcher family members weighed in but Ange stepped up and made the executive decision to go ahead with the beach ceremony. Paul was by then on his way (maybe a little reluctantly) doing his first official husband duties and trusting the directions of his bride to be.


What happened next was magical.


The weather held and there was one of those unique opportunities to grab a cloudy beach wedding bringing out the amazing pastels in the perfectly styled suits and dresses. As Ange walked down some precarious steps with her father a friend remarks ‘I am so glad I wore my sunglasses’ as they fog up with tears. Ange looked stunning walking down the aisle and it is easy to see how happy Paul was with meeting his bride to be.


I felt very blessed to take part in capturing photos of the happiest couple on earth. The smiles, laughter and fun made the ceremony easy to capture beautiful, happy and candid moments. The whole ceremony was over super quick and I made the decision to capture as many bridal party shots as I could in case the rain didn’t hold. The same love and excitement were apparent in this quick session. Everyone is loving being at this blissful wedding.

All of the bridal party jumped in the troopy (Landcruiser) for a quick blast out the road. I spun around and grab a quick shot with the fisheye that captures the fun of the experience.

There is a beautiful church 10 minutes out from Byron that I had my eye on but when we arrived there was another wedding taking place. Disappointed we keep cruising to see what else we can find. By pure luck, we stumbled across a magical row of trees only one minute down the road. We didn’t have a whole heap of time but had just enough to make sure everyone was remembered in a way that exemplifies the fun and excitement of the day. This also helped me ensure that the couple just sink into each other and don’t get caught up trying to fabricate any moments. It was as simple as a couple of laps around the trees and a couple of cuddles to create some moments of pure bliss.

One last cool shot in the darkness of the canopy on the road with all of the wedding party. I get the troopy parked up behind to create a bit of cool light and one last walk down the road and we are ready to party.

I love that moment when the couples return to the reception with everyone super excited about the entry. A time to realise that the party has started and good food, speeches and music are about to commence. The speeches are heart-warming with parents and friends giving thanks to having Paul and Ange in their lives.

There was a massive build up for the best man speech with Jeremy (Joc) being an influential character in the lives of Paul, Ange and their friends. It starts off well only to cut of super short with pages somehow lost in the craziness of the day.  Everyone was very disappointed but none more than the hollow best man left to contemplate the error of his ways.

One of the greatest things about the bride and groom is the love for their friends and family and respect for what they represent. The best man is often taunted for being a little unorganised and random but a most caring and genuine human being always there for his friends. So in the spirit of friendship and redemption, Ange provided Jeremy with an opportunity to read the recovered speech the next night surrounded again by (well lubricated) friends and family. This act of kindness from the bride and groom really shows the respect and love they’ve got for Jeremy and a real interest in what he has to say.

Back to the wedding and there are only two things to finish off. The cake cutting and first dance. To be totally honest the cut is usually a bit of an anticlimax. Although, tonight with such a beautiful cake and some elaborate excitement from the groom great moments are on offer.

The first dance is one of my favourite parts of the whole wedding. As a music photographer, I love how darkness and random flashes of light combine with movement. It allows photos that have a focus on the connection of the couple and a feeling of togetherness surrounded by the people they love.

What a magical day. Congratulations to Paul and Ange for putting together a wedding that demonstrated what a celebration should encapsulate. Great people, magical atmosphere and most of all, blissful love all around.

Check out a gallery of all of my favourite images from the day below. Contact us to talk about your own perfect wedding and how you would like it to be captured.