In which Jo trashes a dress, and encounters the sand.

Hey guys,

Last Thursday, we headed out to KareKare beach in Auckland with the fabulous Jo – to do some dress-trashing.

We kicked off with some cool tree / rockpool shots….

And then headed down to the beach.. where we started off with some (mostly) dry shots.
These weren’t overly dry, as Jo had just come from sitting in a rockpool… but “dry” in a relative sense, based on what was to follow!

Then it was time to get into the water. About a split second after this shot..

Jo pretty much dived headlong into the water, and it was all on!
The dress, once soaked through, became ridiculously heavy – so sitting / lying down was a great option!

The whole shoot, we also had Amber’s brother – Tam – filming. He’s doing a film & television course at South Seas, and his lecturers had given him the day off to come along for work experience. Which is great, because at this point was when Jo started making sand angels (they’re like snow angels, but messier). No photos – but video will come one day :)

It was starting to get quite dark – so we helped Jo get back to her feet (harder than it sounds with so much wet material around you) – and grabbed a few last shots…

Much sandier than we had arrived, we trudged back to the car – getting some weird looks from the last few stragglers on their evening walks. On the way back, Amber stopped Jo for a final shot on the sanddunes (which didn’t really work because it was nearly pitch black by this point) – and Jo then proceeded to “roly-poly” down the dune! If there wasn’t sand EVERYWHERE before, there most certainly was now!

So there you have it – some awesome shots, great laughs, and a whole heap of sand.
I hear that Jo has now finally managed to clean up most of the sand (including vacuuming out the bath tub) – and the dress is recovering.

If you’re keen to book us in for a TTD shoot – it’ll only cost ya $150 (which isn’t really much at all)… so make the most of your dress – and trash it!


Isaac & Amber :)

Auckland Zoo wedding photos – Trent & Angela’s sneak peek!

Hi guys,

On Saturday, we headed off to photograph Trent & Angela’s wedding at the Auckland Zoo.

For the week leading up to their wedding, I hadn’t been able to get the “We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo… How about you, you you?” song of my childhood out of my head… and it was the same story on the day. I think Amber & Holly may have got sick of me singing it.

We began around at Trent & Angela’s home, for some shots with the boys..

Then it was off to the Stamford Plaza hotel in town, where we caught up with Angela and her bridesmaids.
I learned that there actually is a valid reason for having those little sprinkler heads dotted down hotel hallways… obviously they’re for hanging dresses on!

There was a little bit of jewelry deconstruction / rebuilding going on too, along with the necessary implements.

Angela & her bridesmaids looked amazing.

The hotel also had a cool patch of light… we love those (being geeky photographers and all)

We then headed down to the zoo… I love this shot of Kathy (the celebrant) reassuring Trent as the cars arrive and Angela is just about to walk down the aisle.

We had extra access to areas of the zoo not usually open to the public, which was really cool.
This one is called “Willow Island” – we shot the immediate family photos down here, which was beautiful with this soft backlight. Then a few more shots with the bridal party, and just the two of them

For the bridal party photos, we wandered around a loop circuit of the zoo (well, some of us wandered, and others got to ride in the zoomobiles!) – Trent got his wish of a shot with the groomsmen imitating the monkey… you can see him hanging in the background, wondering what’s going on!

I think the monkeys might have been a little threatened by these 4 guys moving in on their turf & dancing around… because pretty soon after this shot was taken, monkey backup arrived – and we could still hear them screaming from halfway around the zoo!

The Sealion didn’t come right up close to the glass while we were standing there, but I still love the silhouette shot (and you can see him in the distance, near the surface).

The grounds around the zoo are gorgeous too – we needed to climb a fence to get into this tree area, but the keepers said it was OK, so off we went!

The keeper then asked whether Trent & Angela would be interested in feeding a giraffe… which is definitely the first time we’ve had the pleasure of incorporating both a giraffe and a bride & groom into the one photo.

There was a lion too.

But they weren’t allowed to feed him.

Our lovely walk around the zoo finished up at the Pridelands, where we made use of the cool lines & architecture of the boardwalks in the images…

We had such a fun day – Trent & Angela were just so laid back & relaxed, and very much in love… and all we needed to do was enjoy the ride!
Thanks so much for having us along – you guys rock :)

Isaac, Amber, and Holly.

Auckland wedding photos – Tamara & Daniel’s sneak peek!

Hey guys,

On Friday, Amber, Holly and myself headed up to Auckland to photograph Tamara & Daniel’s wedding.

We headed around to the boys place first up – where we caught up with Daniel practicing his guitar (he sang Tamara into the ceremony as she walked down the aisle – so beautiful!).

Then it was off to the girls – where we found hair & makeup nearly all finished (well done!) and everything laid out just so – all we had to do was arrive & take photos of it!

Tamara and her girls looking gorgeous..

Next, it was back to Tamara & Daniel’s house (where the boys got ready) where they would see each other for the first time – as we were doing the bridal party shots pre-ceremony.

Daniel stood in their garden with his back to the entrance, and Tamara walked across – and he turned around & saw his wife-to-be for the first time.
It looked like this.

Next stop – Cornwall Park.
We went for a drive around Cornwall Park earlier in the day to have a look at the ceremony location, which was on the Kauri Steps. We had assumed that the Kauri Steps were the big, main steps at Cornwall Park – where we have photographed quite a few ceremonies in the past.

As we drove up, we noticed a smaller set of steps, leading down to a grove of trees with beautiful autumn colours. It was the best place in the entire park – and we just had to get some shots there before heading off to the planned locations.

Well, it turns out that these smaller steps were in fact the Kauri Steps – so the one spot in the whole of Cornwall Park that we loved the most on this particular day, was in fact Tamara & Daniel’s ceremony location! How perfect is that :)

Here’s what it looked like..

After finished up here, it was back to Ellerslie for some shots next to an awesome graffiti wall that Tamara had scouted out and found.
By this time, the overcast cloud from the morning had mostly gone – and with the wall in full midday sun, we had some tricky light to work with.
The solution? Absolutely blast it with the studio lights, and overpower the sun! The result = bright & punchy colours, so cool and suit the location perfectly!

Amber had a play with the fisheye lens..

This next wall / building was on the other side of the carpark – about 3 metres away from the graffiti wall. Gotta love versatile locations!

Our final stop on the photo shoot was Ellerslie Racecourse, where the contrasting doors make for a really interesting background!

The girls then headed off to touch up, and the boys went off to the ceremony (with a quick stop at KFC en-route – ahh, it’s good to be a guy!).

Daniel’s father was the minister for the ceremony… I think it is such an honour to have your marriage officiated by a parent (Amber’s mum was our celebrant when we were married) – so personal & special, both for the parents, and the bride & groom.

The ceremony was beautiful – intense & emotional.

The bubbles were overlooked by most of the guests.. but the little ones didn’t miss a thing, and made good use!

Afterwards, we had a few minutes to sneak just the two of them up to the summit of One Tree Hill for a few more shots…

The last stop on the wedding tour for the day was Butterfly Creek in Manukau, where they had their reception.
When we arrived, we got some shots of the room before everyone headed in…

Tamara had made the lanterns by herself, out of tissue paper – and they looked fantastic! I wish we were there late enough to see them all turned on!

The tables were named for concerts they had been to, with the name of the album that the band was touring at the time.
This idea really resonated with me – as Amber & I go to every concert we can, so it was awesome finding another couple for whom music plays such a big part!

Finally… what Butterfly Creek wedding would be complete without some photos involving butterflies??
The Butterfly house is so humid, that our cameras fog up nearly instantly going in there!

After unsuccessfully chasing butterflies for 10 minutes of so, we thought that this was as close as we were going to get…

But then, the lady in charge managed to catch a butterfly in her hands, and pass it along to Tamara & Daniel. You can see it’s wings blurring in her hand as it takes off.

It was a beautiful, honest, and fun wedding day – thanks for inviting us along to share a part in it!
Enjoy the photos, and enjoy Raro!!

Isaac, Amber, and Holly :)

Sarnia Park wedding photos – Rochelle & Tony’s wedding sneak peek!

Hi guys,

On Saturday, we headed out to Sarnia Park in Cambridge to photograph Rochelle & Tony’s wedding.

The morning kicked off with Tony proving you can indeed use superglue in your wedding clothes, and not get any on you. Thanks to the broken cufflink for providing an avenue to prove this theory!

In the background of this shot, you can see the fence – running along the right hand side. This has just been built – by them – all 300+ metres of it!
Fantastic effort!

Then it was off to Sarnia Park – where we caught up with Rochelle, looking gorgeous.

After explaining to Dad who the buttonholes were meant for…

She received a yellow rose & letter from Tony:

Which was the closest we came to catching her crying all day!

Down on the Cherry Blossom lawn, the guests had arrived, and Tony was waiting patiently.
Pam Bayes, their celebrant, has a fantastic way of keeping the groom with his back to the aisle as the bridesmaids come along, and then turning around just as the bride is at the far end of the aisle. I LOVE this – it makes the anticipation & emotion that much greater!

The ceremony was beautiful – heartfelt and real. Although Pam didn’t quite manage to get Tony or Rochelle crying, the guests made up for it :)

The sunlight was perfect for the ceremony – as it gets later in the year, the ceremony area there has shade in the afternoon – which was lovely!

The girls still had use for their parasols though..

Rochelle & Tony wanted something a little different for their photos – a bit more of a farm / rustic flavour… so they went exploring, and came up with this awesome field!!

I love this shot here, with the veil streaming out…

Much of the reason why I love the shot above, is that a split second after that shot, the wind decided to complicate things slightly…

There was also a cool old gate…

I love what Holly has done with this image… while I was sitting there cursing the fact that the big shadows were getting into my shots, Holly changed her angle and utilised the shadow – making it a feature instead of an annoyance!

We then headed down to lake Karapiro for a few more photos…

The camera was right at water level for this next image – I could feel the ripples lapping against my fingers as I held the lens.. but I love the effect & reflection it gives..

A few quick grab shots before we left…

And we arrived back at Sarnia Park just in time to catch the rays of sunlight coming through the trees. Magic.

It was an awesome wedding – thanks for having us along!!

Isaac, Amber, and Holly :)

Things I love about weddings

It’s getting towards the end of the “wedding season”… we’re totally snowed under with editing… we are shooting 2, sometimes 3 weddings per weekend… and I’m shattered!

So… I thought I’d sit down and list a whole heap of things I love about weddings – as a way to rejuvenating myself – and why not share it?

I love seeing families come together, and capturing the little moments as old friends reconnect.

I love seeing “everyday people” going through the process of having professional hair, makeup, putting on a beautiful dress.

I love the reaction when the bride first sees herself in the mirror.

I love how the guys are apparently laid-back but mostly trying to disguise the fact that they’re nervous.

I love a father’s face when he gets the first glimpse of his daughter all dressed up.

I love the expressions as the bride walks down the aisle.

I love when grandparents sneakily reach across halfway through the wedding ceremony to hold one another’s hand.

I love when people cry.

I love that sometimes, it makes me cry too.

I love it when people hug so enthusiastically when they congratulate the bride & groom that their faces smoosh in weird ways.

I love the fact that the family photos I take are going to be treasured by many people, for many years.

I love that I get to play ‘fashion photographer’ for an hour or two.

I love working under pressure – and needing to come up with beautiful images, no matter what the setting, the light, the weather.

I love that the bridal party get sick of having photos taken before we ever get sick of it… even when we did a 4 hour bridal party shoot, we could have kept going!

I love it when guests give a huge cheer as the bridal party enter the reception.

I love the fact that during speeches, people often take the time to say the things that are never said. Hearing a big, strapping best man talk about what an amazing guy the groom is, I find humbling.

I love it when people cry when they see their pictures.

I love the fact that the couple’s Queensberry album will be enjoyed by their grandchildren – a legacy that will live on longer than the couple.

I love that people trust us to capture their day.

I love that people trust us to craft their family history.

I love weddings.

Markovina wedding photos – Stu & Renee’s sneak peek

On Sunday, had headed out to Markovina in Kumeu, for Stu and Renee’s wedding.

We caught up with the boys earlier on – who were remarkably organized, all dressed & ready to go!

Next it was off to Renee’s place – and again, the girls were SO organized! It made for plenty of time for great shots! Helped in part by the speed of fantastic makeup artist Amber Haldane, and her hairstylist Nancy.

I like that here, Renee is looking at the wall of family photos – no doubt one of the next ones added to this wall will be from their wedding!

We even had enough time up our sleeves for a quick pre-ceremony location shoot with the girls – we popped down to a nice little lake / boardwalk near their house – lovely light :)

Then it was off to Markovina for the ceremony… officiated by the lovely Alexa Bartlett

The mums enjoying a glass of bubbles afterwards…

For the bridal party photos, we began with the row of trees out the back – which owner Rina planted herself over 30 years ago – how’s that for foresight???

There’s also some handy vines..

And sky…

Just as we finished up, we noticed the afternoon sunlight streaming through the field of long grass – so Stu & Renee braved the prickles while we placed them in the middle of it… worth it I reckon!

Enjoy the photos guys – we had a great time taking them!

Isaac & Amber :)

Onemana wedding photos – Greg & Kylie’s sneak peek!

On Saturday, we headed across to Onemana (next beach up from Whangamata) to photograph Greg & Kylie’s wedding.

These guys also had to change their ceremony location – as a few days prior when they checked out the spots, the sand was too hot to stand on at 3pm! So they decided to move things to the grass area just above the beach – good call!

I really liked the fact that the guys went for trousers & short sleeved shirts – perfect attire for a summer beach wedding!

Down on the beach, the sun came out long enough to keep everyone warm – and then went behind clouds long enough to give us great light! Perfect!

Kylie & Greg had gone for a walk down the beach a few days ago & found this cool little cave in the rocks…

I love this shot, with a flash tucked in behind them in the cave to create a nice silhouette

The clouds were coming over well & truly now – which gives us great light, and also big, epic skies – the weather played it’s part perfectly!

We had an idea of getting some big, sweeping & dramatic shots with Greg & Kylie out on one of the rocks… Amber had a vision of what she wanted (which was of course the furthermost rock) – and it was a good 10 minutes of careful maneuvering, with Greg holding Kylie’s hand, me holding Kylie’s dress, and Kylie wearing Amber’s jandals to protect her feet. Then we needed to get the flash, softbox, and battery out onto the rocks – and commandeered a groomsman to help hold everything steady. Was the whole process worth the effort?? We think so!

After clambering back in again, it was time to head off. As we walked back up from the beach, the sun came out in full force – so we got them to pause on top of the dunes & used the sunlight to really punch up the colours…

One thing about photographing weddings is that you never stop shooting… this is a grab shot Amber took as Greg & Kylie were walking back towards the car – love it.

No caption needed. Just cool.

Enjoy the little sneak peek guys – more on the way soon :)

Isaac & Amber

Auckland wedding photos – David & Lara’s sneak peek!

Hey guys,

On Friday, we headed up the Awhitu Peninsula (which is here)…

To photograph Dave & Lara’s wedding.

If you remember this blog post – these guys set the bar pretty high in terms of coolness… and once we arrived out at their locations to do our spot checks in the morning, we confirmed that they indeed have EPIC taste – some amazing vistas, old concrete ruins, and a little church on a hill.

Unfortunately, along came the wind.

A screaming southwest coming straight off the sea meant that they had to move their ceremony location – and we didn’t end up using the ruins either, as they were too exposed. It was so windy, we had to lean hard on the insides of the car doors just to get them open when we stopped!

Lara was looking fantastic in her dress..

When we arrived at the boys place, I loved this little cut-out with instructions on tying a tie..

These next two shots were taken at almost the same instant – the girls keeping a close eye on the tying progress!

Then it was off to the ceremony – a few showers came through just before Lara’s arrival, but at least they made for some really dramatic skies in the photos!

Here’s the little church where the ceremony was originally intended to be – unfortunately, it’s too small to fit all their guests inside – hence needing to move the location.
It was great to head down there afterwards for some photos though..


Just above the church was a hill that we climbed up, to get some of the sweeping scenery in behind – I like that you can see the church popping up there too.

Next stop was Matakawau beach – an area where Lara grew up, so it held special significance (as well as being a freakin beautiful beach that we would have used even without the significant aspect!)

Woohoo – married!!

Enjoy this little sneak peek of some shots from the day… and we’ll definitely need to get these guys dressed back up for a TTD shoot where we can use those ruins that were in Plan A (and there’s also a Lighthouse, we hear)…

Hope you have as much fun looking through these as we did taking them :)

Isaac & Amber

2009 Wedding Photo of the Year – winner!

Well, the votes are in… and the winner by popular consensus of our “Wedding Photo of the Year 2009″ is Sarah and Ian – with their gorgeous waterfall shot at Karekare beach.

This wasn’t a trash the dress shoot either – Sarah was keen as to get right into the waterfall on the wedding day itself! Commitment!

Congratulations guys – that is a beautiful image you have there, and it’ll look great as a framed print on the wall – which is your prize for winning :)

Thanks to all who voted!

If you didn’t see the original post – here’s the Top 10 Photos of 2009

And here is the winning image:

Lyndon & Rhonda’s wedding photos – sneak peek! Hamilton wedding photography, Ferrybank, St. Peters Cathedral

On Saturday, we photographed Rhonda & Lyndon’s gorgeous wedding :)

The day began (as our days usually do) with some shots of the boys – all looking very suave! It was so bright outdoors – even under the shade of the lovely trees in the garden it was so hard to see because of the glare – so well done to the boys for managing to keep your eyes open in (most of) the shots!

We then traveled over to Cambridge, where the girls were getting ready – at a beautiful place called Thornton House – not only do they have a fantastic house & great gardens… but they know how to put together yummy lunches too!

Rhonda’s sister Victoria made the beautiful bridesmaids dresses – and got a little teary when she first saw her big sis in her wedding gown

Karen (if you are getting married in Hamilton & don’t have a florist yet… now you do) arrived with the flowers – and we were set to go!

After a few shots with the girls, we headed back to Hamilton, where St. Peters Cathedral awaited us.

I have to say, this is my favourite church in Hamilton… good light inside + big, epic arches + only 5 minutes from the reception venue (and my house) = win :)

Down at the Hamilton Gardens afterwards, we found some great light & a convenient wall to sit on – and got some fantastic shots!

These last few shots were down by the Ferrybank – where the reception was… for which we stayed on & covered speeches & the start of the dancing.. you’ll have to wait for some of those shots though!

It was a fantastic day (and night) – thanks heaps guys for inviting us along to share a part in it with you!

Isaac & Amber :)