Amy & Jamie’s wedding day was full of family, friends & laughter. They had a sweet ceremony followed by a casual reception all held at a local reserve which Amy & Jamie had decorated with vintage teapots, masses of flowers and hay bales for seating. It all came together to create a welcoming & relaxing day, and a perfect place to party as the sun went down.
After the ceremony the Bridal Party & I went down to the Waimakariri River for some dreamy, romantic photos in a field full of wildflowers. After that it was back to the reserve for cricket, dinner, some hilarious speeches & partying!
Annabel & Kent first met at a Waipara vineyard event, so for their special day a vineyard venue was the perfect choice. They brought their family & friends together to celebrate their marriage at The Vineyard at Rossendale, at Tai Tapu near Christchurch. It’s a gorgeous venue set in amongst beautiful leafy gardens and of course surrounded by grapevines.
Annabel travelled to The Vineyard in style, taking a classic London Black Cab which was a nod to her parent’s wedding day – her father showed me the photograph of her mother as a young bride in the back of the cab that she took to their wedding, which was lovely because I could then recreate a similar photograph of Annabel in her cab.
The ceremony was held in the shade of an enormous beech tree, and there were plenty of spots for creative shots of the bridal party around the venue – amongst the vines, under pine trees and with old farm machinery. Things moved indoors for the reception, with guests popping outdoors to leave video messages for the bride & groom with videographer Geoff Gilfedder.
Victoria met her lovely Irish chef Bernard in Christchurch. They travelled the world together, got engaged in Ireland, and then returned to Christchurch to marry.
They had an outdoor ceremony at her cousin’s alpaca farm in Loburn, followed by a marquee reception with (as the best man described it) an Irish-Kiwi-Polish-Mexican-Dinosaur theme! They’d hired Mamacita’s Taco Truck, Bernard showed off his culinary skills with an amazing array of sides & salads and Victoria (a florist) had decorated everything with masses of flowers, bunting and little gold dinosaur figurines.
Here are some of my favourite shots from the day – in particular their bridal pictures, which were taken down the hill behind the marquee in the sheep paddocks so that I could make the most of the classic Canterbury landscape of ochre grass against blue skies.
Kerry & Dave had an intimate ceremony in a marquee in Dave’s parent’s backyard. The day was overcast (perfect from the photographer’s point of view) but the sky cleared just as the sun was about to go down.
There was a simple elegance (that I’m sure still took a lot of planning!) to everything, and too many gorgeous little details to mention so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Katie & the bridesmaids started off the day at The Gatehouse at Greystones, the pre-wedding bridal party shots were taken there as well, including a “first look” moment, the first time David saw his beautiful bride all dressed up.
David & the groomsmen arrived at the ceremony in a fabulous old Bedford truck that he and his family had restored especially for the wedding. Katie & the bridesmaids arrived at the ceremony in a fabulous (and loud!) blue Chevrolet.
The ceremony & reception were held at Cossars Wineshed in Tai Tapu. Katie had done an amazing job of creating a gorgeous aisle with posts and potted succulents, and white & purple lanterns hanging from the trees. She tells me that most of her ideas came from pinterest and it sounds like she had heaps of fun crafting everything herself including making a cake stand out of a heart shaped section of a tree!
My first official portrait model, Rory, is now 2! He’s now a VERY active little boy, so we had a lot of action-shots at this session.
In keeping with my art-documentary approach I don’t take props to a shoot. I think kids in particular respond best to their own toys and in a familiar environment, and it results in more real photos of this moment in his life. The shoot took place at their home, and mostly centred around Rory playing on his favourite toy: a balance bike. After a run-around outside (Rory’s dad was also a great sport and got in on the action in a few shots) we moved inside where we had a few more quiet moments.
Emily & Andrew had a garden-party style wedding (complete with giant jenga & croquet on the lawn) at the simply stunning Hampton Lea Gardens near Rolleston.
The midday ceremony was followed by champagne & canapé’s, and while the guests mingled I took Emily & Andrew off for their formal photographs at a few different spots around the gardens, in the old woolshed (which doubles as the wet-weather ceremony space) and against the old 2 story barn. After the late-lunch reception Andrew & Emily took their first dance on the lawn. Despite the forecast for showers we were very lucky with the weather – overcast is great for photography! – and the showers stayed away until early evening.
Emily & Andrew liked my art-documentary approach to wedding photography and asked for mostly informal photographs of them with their guests throughout the day, with a few formal photographs of just the two of them. I had so much fun capturing the story of their wedding day: from a nervous & excited bride arriving at the venue, through the sweet & simple ceremony, a relaxed celebration & reception to the first dance on the lawn and culminating with Emily’s enthusiastic throw of her bouquet (she got some serious height!).
Another winter hiking adventure I had recently was to the top of Peak Hill, which is sandwiched between the Rakaia River and Lake Coleridge.
After walking up “Mount” Sunday the week before (which is pretty wee as far as mountains go) I thought that a “Hill” would be fairly tame. Arriving at the bottom of it I realised that perhaps whoever had named Peak Hill might have been having a laugh. I’m told by very reliable sources that it’s only (ha!) about 650 meters or so of climb, but the route to the top goes straight up. No dawdling around leisurely zig zagging your way up, oh no.
The view from the top is absolutely stunning, so it’s definitely worth the steep ascent. You get panoramic views across Lake Coleridge, and over the Rakaia River right out to the Rakaia Gorge.
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I love winter hiking, the air is crisp, the mountains are snowy (although not as snowy as I’d like – it’s been a bit of a mild winter!), the sky is almost unbelievably blue, and the light has a slightly golden tone to it. All in all, a perfect recipe for photography.
These images are from a visit to Mount Sunday, and the Ashburton Lakes area. I was introduced to Mount Sunday by Andrei & June who asked me to photograph their wedding here back in March. I knew at first sight of the place that I would HAVE to come back in winter to take some landscapes, and it didn’t disappoint. >> View Images