The Elegance of Kara and Steve | Southern Highlands Wedding Photographer

I have always had pictured in my mind, if I were to get married again, of a Donna Hay style, outdoor afternoon, at a long table, where family and a few guests can enjoy each others company. Nothing thrills me more, when I am given the privilege of shooting a couples wedding whose style would match my own. When Kara first emailed me asking if I was available on the date of the wedding she replied

” Excellent, because if you weren’t I was changing the date of my wedding”

With this, I was honoured, she loved my work. And then it hit me, I have to do an amazing job. See Kara was emailing me from the U.S. She had chosen me, from the internet!!!! We met in one of my favourite towns, Bowral, and shared pots of Earl Grey tea as she tole me how she and her Fiance Steve couldn’t wait to get married, yet wanted to ensure the photographs spoke of who they were. To me, they had chosen the ultimate venue, where I have had the pleasure of shooting at before, Hopewood House. It has changed owners now however, and is now owned by the Storriers. I recognised the name as she said it, and yes, I couldn’t believe it, it is the Australian Painters Tim Storrier’s residence. ( and yes OMG I did get to see some of his artwork and a few originals by Olsen. Had secretly hoped he would be there, but he wasn’t)

The Wedding day could not have been more perfect. The sun would shine and then some relief from the heat as we got some of that Southern Highlands cloud coverage. Guests mingled in the courtyard as dressed in a beautiful champagne floral dress, Kara walked through the garden to her groom, wearing matching socks to be wed. Their vows had me giggling of small details of their life of what they love about each other. As the music played so elegantly throughout the ceremony, the musical talent of Kara’s nephew was showcased as he sung for the bridal couple confidently and with passion.

The afternoon was then set under the pergola, where guests dined on amazing food, and the conversations flowed with the wine. Perfectly styled, and every essence reflected the class and style of Kara and Steve. I so enjoyed this day, and I hope you both live happily ever after in the U.S.

The Tour Begins…the Glory and Gore of Rome | Travel Photography

Our last day in Rome was with our tour group, an early start wake up calls were at 5:30am to have us leaving for the Vatican at 7am! Yes early, but wow when seeing the crowds when we left, great idea. And this the reality of touring. Our local guide Marco was brilliant, he was literally a walking text book of knowledge about the Vatican and Colosseum. Walking into the grounds you enter into lush green grass with sculptures adorning the outskirts and then in the centre a contemporary rotating sphere. Inside the museum we saw many tapestries, sculptures, old body armour and gold jewelry. Outside Marco took us through the meaning and symbolism within “The Last Judgement” by Michelangelo. No photos are allowed in the chapel which KILLED me. You have to be totally quiet with guards calling out ” Silenzio”. The height of the ceilings was overwhelming. Knowing all the paintings in the chapels are frescos, which means they are painted directly onto the walls. So back in 1535 Michelangelo, up on scaffolding ( along with some of his students ) painted the Last Judgement and on the room the nine scenes from the book of Genisis. This amazed me, the detail, the perfection and the scale of this is an amazing example of High Renaissance art at its best, by the best. After completing the museum we entered St Peters Basillica, built on Vatican Hill, at the age of 72, Michelangelo became the head architect to create the deigns for the new dome, and made alterations to existing plans. St Peters square outside, created by the artist Bernini, adorns 140 statues of Saints and a circular row of columns. The entire experience, whilst long and tiring, was something I will take away forever.

Next stop after lunch was the Colosseum. Outside the Colosseum is the Arch of Constatine which is said to be the inspiration of the Arch de Triumphe in Paris. The colosseum itself when you are within it is one architectural feat. All those years ago, the arches  were supported with liquid iron, the holes that you see all over the structure where at the fall of Rome, the iron was stolen, out of the walls to make weapons from. Marco explained the games that would be played before the Gladiators would fight, the sounds of the animals, the cheers of crowds and the whimpering of the slaves that would be thrown to the wild beasts for entertainment. So brutal. The heat coming off the bricks was inscrutiating as we walked up the large stairs to the first level to look inside. The grandure of the place though and in its prime would have been something, marble on the exteriors ( which was stolen ) frescos on the walls and roof. The experience called for the days first gelato.

That night we found a little trattoria where i ate ox tail, and on the walk home the illuminated city on the Tiber called for me to get Lily to the hotel, me changed and into gym clothes, joggers and the promise to Mum I wouldnt be long. I got to the bridge took the photos of the reflections….instead of going back…i ran, up the river stopping here and there for more photos, and then next thing….I ran all the way to St Peters Square. I got back to the hotel and our tour guide Elvira was at reception looking at me covered in sweat as I excitedly showed her my photos. Great way to finish Roma. Amore!

 

 

The Italian Love Affair Continues…Rome Part 2 | Travel Photography

After the mammoth effort I put my mother and daughter through in walking to the gardens and zoo on our first big day out, the next few days were a little more relaxed. Allowing for the love affair to continue, falling more in love with the place every turn I made. Our first venture was to walk up to the Castel de Angelo, the Castle of Angels. Now a museum, this was a safe haven for Popes back in the day with a tunnel leading from the Vatican. We spent the most part of the morning here, from the top you can see over all of Rome. Breathtaking. Continuing on we fell upon another Piazza, the Piazza Navona, built in the 1st century AD, all Baroque Architecture in the centre is the fountain of four rivers. We had lunch at a little place where the waiter outside sold us with his promise ” Our Chef is actually Italian”. We then continued to venture through the alley ways, my favourite part of Rome, the best way to experience it is put the map away and get lost amongst the labrinyth of streets. And by doing this we found a little Cafe/Trattoria that became one of our favourite spots. Everywhere in Italy you order drinks, it comes with food. This place you go in and serve yourself, they had pizza’s, bruschetta and salads to take. Outside in the square was a fountain that Lily played in, all the water that runs in Italy is safe for drinking, all around Rome you see the water flowing from the aqua ducts which have been running for an eternity. The freshest, cleanest and coldest water you’ll ever taste, and was amazing for the hot summer Italian heat! After this we stumbled on the Gelateria that was recommended in the lonely planet. Here my flavours of choice….Lavender and white peach, Coconut, and sage and raspberry. Heavenly. Seriously could this place get any better!! A shoppers dream is within the alleys little shops with some reasonably priced things. Over these few days I purchased my leather jacket ( to die for) a mask to wear in my fitness model competition and a few bits and pieces of jewelery. Lily….her first big purchase her first ever handbag…in Italian Leather!!!!!

How I do adore you Roma. Be sure to watch the Slideshow at the end.x

 

 

The Trip Of A Lifetime…Italy…..ROMA, Part 1

I booked this trip a year ago for Lily and I, and it seemed for so long to be so far away, the countdown began, and now I can’t believe it is over. Worth it. Absolutely. I saw so much, and love the Italian culture ever so much more ( like we thought that was possible ). Italy ignites the senses, the aromas of the Trattorias, the sights of the architecture, but also the beauty of the Italians themselves, Oh the tastes…yes we had some Hallelujah moments, the art, the history, it was overwhelming but yet has left me appreciating every second I spent over there.

This is the first two days ( so you can imagine how many photos there are to share ). Mum Lily and I stepped off the plane into what could only be described as a box of sardines of people trying to find their drivers. Keeping calm I set off to find ours before finding the Uscita ( haha still laugh at this word ) and entering the heat. Of course we were dressed in winter clothing, hello 35 degrees, sun and crazy Roman drivers. Welcome to Rome. Getting to the hotel took us past the Vatican and the walls around it that date back to the 3rd century after Christ. Some old bricks there. Once hitting the hotel room we couldnt get changed fast enough and out to explore. It was on. We had 3 days before the tour started, this is the first 2, exploring Piazza’s, Galleries and of course food! The highlight of these two days for me, The Piazza that we tasted our first Spritz, going to the DaVinci Museum, The Borgese Gardens, going to the Museum of Modern Art where I fell upon my favourite Klimt artwork and stood infront of it for some 20mins, and the fantastico fish cooked Italiano OMG OMG OMG. Here I realised I live in the wrong country. Only took two days, I fell in love with everything to do with Rome.

 

Enjoy the slideshow….number 1. Many more to come.x

 

The Aussie Wedding…Holly and Darius MARRIED | Southern Highlands Wedding Photographer

It was a perfectly set scene, in one of Camden’s historical properties. The bridal couple live at the property which they spent hours on fixing up and styling to make what looked like a Donna Hay dream when I arrived, it took my breath away. My godfather had named it ” The Aussie Wedding” and yes, indeed it was. The sun glowed throughout the day, not a cloud in the sky as half of Camden met to witness the vows of Darius and Holly. Many locals would know Holly as she is the smiling face that has worked in town for years selling what I’m sure are the best meat pies in town at Creme de la Creme. And Darius being the son of the owners of the Deli at the end of the street. And it was so lucky that one of Holly’s sisters worked there years ago. It would seem this was an integral part of Darius ensuring Holly knew he was interested. The messages would be sent home ” Can you tell Holly I said Hi??” ” Did you tell Holly I said Hi?” ” I saw Holly the other day, can you tell her I think she is beautiful?” ” Did you tell Holly I thought she was beautiful” and so it went on. And eventually Holly said yes to date, and their relationship began with the sisters vying to marrying him if she didn’t for the tasty desserts he would take over for dinner form his Mum Chris’s Deli. For me, I have known Holly for years, since we were kids. She is the same age as my sister, and so a few of their mutual friends were at the wedding, our families being close friends a lot of the guests I knew well, which made it one of the best weddings I have been part of. She was absolutely stunning, and her smile, completely infectious and behind it the most amazing laugh that just makes you smile from ear to ear. Darius was completely entranced by her and his adoration of his bride could be seen every moment he looked at her. When you are in the presence of these two, you just know they are meant to be. Everyone was happy to stand and smile for a photograph and have a good chat with me, and above all, all ready to party the night away celebrating the happy couples wedding.

Please enjoy the slideshow at the end of the post, feel free to share on facebook and tag away…..and leave some comments for the couple below.x

 

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