Engagement

Jannika & Matt: Woodford Engagement Portraits

Close up Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt against dark green background in the main street of woodford

After speaking with Matt at length in the lead up to the shoot I knew I had the perfect spot for their engagement photos, a location I had only just discovered recently when passing through.  Matt had mentioned that they love old, rustic and vintage styles; Matt had actually proposed while they were at Old Petrie Town. 

Jannika, Matt and I met up in the main street of Woodford late one afternoon in a quiet little side street lined with rustic sheds, timbers fences and tress with dappled light.  Both of them were super excited when they first saw the background I had chosen and I was having a blast finding pockets of light and framing Janikka and Matt in the doorways of the old sheds. 

Not long after the photo shoot we all met up again for the reveal of the images where Jannika and Matt chose a few of their favourites to use in their engagement party invites.

Thank you again Jannika and Matt for the great afternoon, and I wish you all the best in your future together. 

Full length portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt standing in front of rustic tin wall in the town of Woodford
Urban rustic Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt in the warm afternoon sunlight standing against rusted tin wall near the main street of woodford.
Urban Rustic Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt in front of a green tin wall near the main street of woodford
Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt standing in Woodford
Country rustic Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt leaning against the stock yard fence in woodford
Full length Portrait of newly engaged couple Jannika and Matt walking along the street in Woodford

Casey & Gary: Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens

close up portrait of newly engaged couple, Casey and Gary, at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens dancing in among the bamboo trees.

Before meeting Casey and Gary at the Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens I had a few images in mind and headed into the shoot with a plan, hit up the Conifer garden first with the flowing pathways, and then head to the Japanese garden; I didn't think I would find my favourite image among the bamboo trees at the end of the shoot.

Wide portrait of Casey and Gary standing on a windy path in the middle of the conifer garden at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens for their engagement photo session

I chose the gardens as our meeting place as Casey had mentioned that they wanted to get married in the rain forests at Mt Tamborine, I figured this would give them some nice images to compliment the style of their wedding location.  

Casey and Gary standing on the rocky pathway in the middle of the Japanese Garden at Mt Cootha Botanical gardens during their engagement photo shoot

The Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens offer a huge range of background from dense rainforest, urban art installations and open parkland.  We had a lot of fun together as the three of us walked around and shot in as many locations around the gardens as possible.

Close up portrait of newly engaged couple, Casey and Gary, enjoying the Botanical Garden at Mt Cootha
Newly engaged couple, Casey and Gary, enjoying a walk over the foot bridge at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens during their photo shoot.
Casey and Gary sitting on a rocky step in among the dense rainforest of Mt Cootha Botanical gardens during their engagement photo session
Portrait of newly engaged couple Casey and Gary standing in front of an urban art installation at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens

Thank you again Casey and Gary for the awesome afternoon, congratulations again on your engagement and I wish you all the best in your new future together!


Portraits in Rainforest Locations

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

  • Dark and Moody

  • Greens, Browns, Greys and Black

  • Wear brighter colours to contrast

  • Mid-Morning to Mid-Afternoon

Head to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for amazing rainforest locations such as Kondalilla Falls or Mary Cairncross Reserve.  You will come across some wonderful elements such as interesting tree trunks to pose against, rocks and boulders to sit on, pathways and bridged to lead into the scene, and not forgetting waterfalls and streams.

The rainforests are typically dark and moody with hues of browns, greens and blacks, so choose brighter colours that contrast with the dark greens of the background.

Rainforests are great at any time of day as the sunlight doesn't change dramatically under the dense canopies.  On sunny days you may get a lot of dappled light and pockets of light shining down like spotlights.

Alternatively, if the weather is overcast and verging on light showers, your images will tend to be softer and more evenly lit without harsh lighting and shadows.  I feel that the middle hours of the day are well suited to a rainforest photoshoot.


Khalia & Mark: Red Beach

Khalia and Mark have known each other for the past five years but only met each other in person two years ago, and after spending an afternoon at the Beach with this laid back couple I get the feeling that these two will be the best of friends for years to come.

Mark had recently proposed to Khalia when visiting Cairns, being a bit of a joker Mark had asked Khalia if the box on the back seat of the rental car was hers or if it had been left there by the previous person, it must have been quite a shock as Khalia opened it up.

We headed to Red Beach at the southern tip of Bribie Island for the afternoon, the diversity of places to take photos is great with beach scenes through to the stringy paper barks and drfitwoods - it really is one of my favourite spots to photograph.      

I think it took a little while for Mark to warm up to me and the camera but pretty soon both Mark and Khalia were into the banter and had really loosened up.    


Bronwyn & Peter: Kurwongbah

Meet Bronwyn and Peter, a young couple who met online and hit it off. 

I wanted to try something different for this engagement session with Bronwyn and Peter so after the shoot I sat down with each of them and recorded the stories of how they met, their first impressions, and how Peter proposed.  The video above is the first of these personalised slideshows that I have created and I hope to do more in the future.


 

    

Morgan & Lara: Brisbane Power House

Female couple in black jackets against brick wall with green glass behind during evening

I met Morgan and Lara at the Brisbane Power House at Newstead on a Saturday afternoon, the aim for the shoot was urban and colour.  There was a bit of a jostle for positions among the numerous wedding parties but we managed to get around to all the great backdrops the Power House has to offer.

We created many great photos during the shoot and these are a small selection of my favourites.  Towards the end of the shoot Morgan and Lara had a wardrobe change and upon seeing Lara is her leather jacket I knew she needed to be the dominant character in this image pushing Morgan up against the brick wall.  

Morgan and Lara have been together for three years after meeting at a conference and recently became engaged.  Unfortunately Australia has a while to go before we are given the basic rights to marry the ones we love.

Nicolle & Nicholas: Dicky Beach, Caloundra

Couple standing in rockpool at dusk with reflection in water

Wow - Dicky Beach, Caloundra.  So many spots to strike a pose; rock pools, the waters edge, dunes, rocks, stairs... the mind boggles where to begin.

Nicolle and Nicholas were after some engagement portraits prior to their wedding so we all met up at Dicky Beach for a late afternoon session.  The image at the top of the page was experimental but it paid off, I used flash in a soft box on a stand just out of the frame to light the couple which allowed me to capture those awesome dark purple and blue hues of dusk. 


Ashleigh & Damon: Lake Eden, North Lakes

Golden light filtering through her red hair as she looks into her fiances eyes

Ashleigh and Damon were awesome, really playful young couple who came out to Lake Eden for a bit of fun.  The session started out with a stroll along the pathways and a bit of getting to know each other, the golden afternoon light was filtering through the trees behind so I set up with shot of Ashleigh staring intently into Damons eyes - one of my all time favourite images.

As the afternoon sun passed we moved to a nearby tunnel where the footpath traverses under the road above.  Here I set up some lights to make the purple graffiti pop from the background.  I finished off the session using just natural light and my Fuji XT1 camera, the skin tones and light fall off from this camera are just spot on. 


Tennille & Salvador: Kondalilla Falls, Sunshine Coast Hinterland

Engaged couple on rain forest path sunshine coast hinterland

Board walks and pathways, all leading lines to this photogenic couple.  I joined Tennille and Salvador for a bush walk around Kondalilla Falls in amongst the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  The afternoon went quickly as they walked casually around the path seemingly forgetting that I was with them taking portraits.

The trees, figs, roots and pathways create plenty of locations and interest to set up a pose, I really enjoy taking photos in amongst all the greenery and dappled light.


Lara & Jason: Red Beach Bribie Island

Engaged couple looking over guys shoulder with golden light from behind

Red Beach is one of my favourite spots to visit, located at the southern tip of Bribie Island it makes for some fantastic afternoon portrait sessions.  While it is generally not sheltered from the weather, the tree lined dunes filter the afternoon sun perfectly making for some great bokeh.  

Lara and Jason met me there one sunny afternoon for an engagement portrait session and we were delighted with golden sunlight through the dark paperbark trees.  The image at the top of the page is my favourite from the portrait session; I like the light and airy feel from the golden sunlight filtering through the sea haze behind them.  The lens flair was not intentional but brings a feeling of warmth and retro charm to the shot.  The connection Lara has with the camera dominates the composition and draws your attention.

 
Thanks for your time today Stuart, it was great meeting you! Lara and I loved the setting and the shots.
— Jason
 

Engagement Shoot | Maleny

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to assist in photographing Althea and Jon in the lead up to their wedding later in the year.  We headed to a few spots around Maleny on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, the afternoon sun was sneaking out from behind the clouds and the Glass House Mountains made a fantastic backdrop.  While Jocelyn from JC Photographry Service | Capturing Lifes Moments took care of the directing, I looked for the candid shots between.  

Something out of the ordinary for me but I look forward to doing more of this in the future.

Nikon D7100 | Tamron 24-70 F2.8 | 1/400s | F5.6 | ISO200 | edit in LR5                                                     

Nikon D7100 | Tamron 24-70 F2.8 | 1/250s | F5.6 | ISO100  | edit in LR5