On Saturday we met Dean, Danielle and their miniature schnauzer Ted at Northburn, just up the road from Cromwell, for their engagement session. Most couples mention to me that they don't really enjoy having their photo taken and we love being able to show them at the engagement session that it can be (and should be) fun, conversational and enjoyable. After Dean and Danielle's engagement session I got a message from Danielle to say how excited they were for the wedding photos now - which just makes me super happy!
We had a blast getting to know Dean and Danielle during their sunset session. The autumn colours and light were incredible. Ted loved exploring in between posing for photos. And the location for these portraits was not only gorgeous but also special to Dean - who remembers family holidays along the shores of Lake Dunstan. In fact the stone ruins you see in the photos is the remains of the family's crib!
Dean and Danielle - thank you for hanging out with us on Saturday! We are so excited for January to roll around!!!
I'll be in touch soon with all your engagement portraits. Until then, enjoy the school holidays and I hope Ted has got all those weeds & twigs out of his coat by now! :-) x
This July will mark my 3rd year full-time with our business. I still remember the nerves, anticipation and excitement of taking my love for photography in both hands and leaping into the unknown. It was a period of hustle. I hustled so hard, wanting with every fibre of my being to make a success of this business. I hustled to save enough money to feel secure to leave my accounting job. And for two years straight I hustled every season to ensure the numbers stacked up & that I could continue to pay myself and meet every mortgage payment.
There is a time for hustle, and hustle I did. But that time has now passed. I feel 'at home' in our business. Well established. I've proven to myself that it's viable. Now I'm ready for the next season of business; sustaining.
2019 and beyond for me looks very different to the previous few years. The hustle and big hours are being replaced with a calmness, steadiness and balance that has got me just as excited as I was taking that leap full-time. It's not that I can now sit back and rest on my laurels - I don't think you can ever do that when you're in business. But I am learning to button off, say no to what doesn't set my heart on fire and create more space for life.
Instead of stressing about getting enough bookings to keep my cashflow happy, I have been concentrating my energy on doing the work that brings me joy and letting the latter take care of itself. Rather than allowing my calendar for next wedding season to fill up every single weekend, we've capped weddings at a maximum of two per month. I no longer say yes to commercial shoots, because I'd rather be shooting portraits & weddings (and those enquiring value my honesty & recommendations for better suited photographers that love shooting commercial stuff because it will mean better results for them!). I've quit putting pressure on myself to post to social media at least 5 times a week! I plan to take it slow this winter, to work on some personal projects and recharge my creativity. Not to mention that we're building!
I am so excited for this new season of our business. It's like that feeling of free-wheeling on your bicycle after you've worked hard to get your speed up. We're still moving forwards, but without having to push as hard.
Brent and Nicole's Hawthorne Gardens wedding was a day of utter perfection - the celebrations, the autumn light, the fun, the love and all those gorgeous wedding moments that complete the day.
These two incorporated many special and sentimental details into their wedding including having their fur-babies Toby & Oscar at the ceremony. Nicole wore heirloom rings from both sides of the family. Brent and Nicole also planned their day to be laidback with plenty of time just to chill out with their bridal party, hang out with guests and enjoy the day - which is something we are always huge advocates of.
Brent and Nicole's wedding is the last of our summer season and what an awesome season it has been. I know I have probably said it in every blog post this summer but each & every wedding has been so much fun to be a part of, there's been a truly cruisey vibe with no rushed timelines and all our couples have made their wedding days uniquely their own.
I'm so excited to share Brent and Nicole's blog with you!
While Nicole and her ladies got ready at home, Brent and his two groomsmen Brad & Brad got ready at the Kelvin Hotel.
It was awesome to be back at Hawthorne Gardens in Invercargill. Brent and Nicole were married by the lovely Sharyn Payne under the weeping willow tree. I believe Sharyn married both Brent's siblings too! So cool. And check out those cute-as-a-button flower girls and pageboy!
Things got a little teary as Nicole walked down the aisle.
After the ceremony guests enjoyed drinks & food in the gardens while listening to live music by Dene Allen. Such great weather too - it hardly felt like autumn. Brent you picked the date well!
Okay get ready for portraits galore! I may have gone a little overboard with the size of this blog but I have SO many favourite images, I couldn't help myself! Sorry (not really) if it takes ages to load!!!
Brent and Nicole took a little time out in the afternoon to place flowers on Nicole's mum & grandparent's grave. A beautiful way to include & remember their loved ones on the special day.
We finished the afternoon with a picnic & portraits amongst the pines...
I swear my husband is a giant!!!
The Kelvin Hotel was looking fabulous for Brent and Nicole's reception. I always love photographing here - the room has gorgeous light, it's well set out and the staff are so friendly.
How stunning is that wedding cake, made by the Urban Kitchen!
Speeches were heartwarming and filled with good punch lines.
After dinner the bridesmaids organised the always hilarious shoe game...
And then it was time for the first dance.
Brent and Nicole snuck upstairs for a couple of quiet minutes to themselves on the balcony of the Kelvin and I made the most of the soft hues of the evening sky.
Congratulations again Mr & Mrs Fowler! Wow, what an incredible wedding day! I'm so excited for you to see your highlights blog. Thank you for having us as a part of your wedding - we have LOVED getting to know you both & wish you a lifetime of happiness in your marriage.xo
DRESS: Brides by Donna Rae | HAIR & MAKE-UP: Headhunters Hair & Skin Clinic | FLOWERS: Lily Jackson's Flower Company | CELEBRANT: Sharyn Payne Celebrant | CEREMONY VENUE: Hawthorne Gardens | CATERING: Southern Graze | RECEPTION VENUE: The Kelvin Hotel | CAKE: Urban Kitchen | MUSIC: Dene Allen | STATIONERY: Hollie Cooper.