At Home

Shandaleigh & Norm: Elimbah Wedding

Shandaleigh and Norm had their wedding in early January at their property in Elimbah, they had spent months and months preparing the barn and the bar for this momentous occasion.  This photo above of the happy family in the back of the old Valiant is by far my favourite photo of the day.    

The barn was full of colour and fairy lights, the table decorations were created from rusty iron and native flowers from the property and were positioned in the centre of an eclectic mix of well worn tables and chairs. 

Norms bar was off to the side of the reception hall, here the boys had a couple of coldies to cool the nerves.

Bride and flowergirl sharing a moment at home before wedding at Elimbah

Throughout the barn were brightly coloured doorways and fabrics draped in fairy lights which gave me so many backgrounds to work with.

The ceremony was held in the back yard under the sweeping branch of a huge jacaranda tree with rich greenery behind.    

Bridal Party standing alongside old cars in the middle of skatepark in Elimbah

Shandy and Norm wanted to keep the day quite informal and just hang out and relax, we all headed down to the local skate park and got the boards out.  

Thank you Stuart for your amazing photos! You went above and beyond before, during and after the big day. We highly recommend Stuart’s photography, both quality work and friendly, easy going personality
— Shandy & Norm

Samantha & Terry: Traveston Wedding

"Terry, there's nothing weird about another guy photographing you in your duds"

As a second shooter it's my job to document the boys getting ready and in particular the groom.  I arrived at the Traveston property early in the afternoon to photograph Terry and his mates as they got ready.  The guest house was tiny and dark but had great window light.  Once everyone was ready we headed outside to say 'cheers' and jump on the bikes.  I took the shot below while riding in the tray of a ute on the drive down to the ceremony. 

In between shooting the Groom and waiting for the ceremony to start I photograph all the smaller details that are ready such as the signage, bridal table and reception hall, personal effects and candid portraits of guests. 

Always on the ready for the Dad and Daughter moments.

During the ceremony I work hard to get opposing angles to the main photographer and make sure I am out of their shots.  If they are shooting wide, I'm usually shooting long and vice versa.  Once the formals begin, its my time to capture the guests and if required shadow the main photographer during the formals and always keeping an eye out for distracting elements in the shot or just assisting.   

Groomsman jumping out of ATV

For a second shooter I have a fairly good and reliable Nikon kit, shooting with both D800 and D610 full frame bodies.  I will generally stick to a 24-70 F2.8 and a 70-200 F2.8 lens for the ceremony but will rotate through 18-35, 35 F1.8, 50 F1.8, 85 F1.8 lenses for the preparations and candid images.  For receptions and darker ceremonies I will use a Nikon SB-910 and SB-600 speed lights both on the camera and remotely triggered.  Sometimes I will also have a pair of Fuji X-T1's with me and shoot with 18 F2, 35 F1.4 and 60 F2.4 Macro.   

Backing up images is a huge concern of mine, both Nikon cameras will be set up to shoot back up to second card and I will swap out new cards in three stages over the day, preparations, ceremony, and reception, so that there is less chance of losing a full day of shooting.  After the shoot I will upload to my PC and then make a back up to two external drives, one that gets swapped over monthly with an off site copy and a second to a portable drive that goes every where with me.  The memory cards are not wiped until I have backed up to at least 3 different locations and delivered to images.     

Brian & Tash: Family Photos at Home

Outdoor family photo at dusk in home garden setting

Sometimes the best place to take family photos is at home; yes in the familiar surrounds of your own backyard.  Home is generally a relaxing environment, perfect for children to just be themselves in their own space and perhaps oblivious to the person behind the camera.  I spent the afternoon and evening with Brian, Tash and the twins in their very green back yard.

First up we spent some time in the vege patch while the kids were warming up to me, instead of jumping straight into posed photos we let the kids show me around the garden.  The two photos of Father and Son picking peanuts and Mother and Daughter picking flowers are some of my favourites from the afternoon as they show both the bond between them and to the environment.  After we had explored the vege patches I set up a nice family shot between the flower beds and captured a mixture of natural and posed photos.  The background may be a little unconventional but I like that the plain grey of the shed walls make the colours pop and all focus is on Brian, Tash and the kids.     

I like to include props and activities in my family photos, here we used a vintage push bike and sidecar which the kids love to ride around in, I jumped on it to with the twins for a bit of a laugh.  The bike has been in the family circle for many years and was gifted from a close family friend, i'm sure there are some photos of Brian sitting in the sidecar when he was a child.   

Props and activities also lead to some great candid moments where the children forget about the camera and do what kids do best; Play.  dad is a tinkerer and spends a lot of time in the shed with these two so we set up a spot in the shed with tools and a small engine.  With the scene set we left the twins to their own devices and watched the play time unfold, sure enough just like dad they are on the tools and having a blast.