Sunday September 9th was an amazing day! The sun was beaming, the waves were crashing and the wind was absent down at the Newcastle Oceans Baths on this spectacular afternoon sundy sesh!
I met with Crystal, Rees, Nate and Duke the Dog for one heck of a maternity shoot!
As I waited for this little fan bam to meet me I turn my head and am memorised by the bulked up, tanned, amazing looking... dog!! Duke caught my eye instantly. Next I notice a dolled up gal who seemed ready for a shoot! So I approached the family to ensure these are the guys I'm shooting today and sure enough they were.
After a quick introduction we were quick to get into outfit number 1. We approached the big blue steps, which after reading my blog on the engagement at this location you all should know this is my favourite spot! Poor crystal put in all her efforts at 34weeks pregnant to climb those stairs. And as she took each step I urged her not to go into labour! Thankfully she didn't and we all ventured those steps together successfully.
After strolling around the baths, the sand and the beach for about 25 minutes we changed into outfit number 2. A stunning floral printed fitted gown with a small train. We continued this part of the session under the glowing sun with our feet in the gritty, wet sand. A few quick snaps, ALOT of talking and getting to know this family and before we knew it we were at the point of the day where the sun hides behind two tall buildings as it faces the water. This moment is by far my favourite! And so we slipped into outfit number 3, White lingerie with a lace kimono. This is the moment when the sun is still present and the afternoon is still bright, the sun just peaking through the gaps between two buildings allowing for magnificent rays of light transferring through each image. I have a nak for peer pressure.. So I did my best to peer pressure Crystal into jumping into the water to an uncomfortable depth with water splashing against her as each wave rolled in and crashed up her legs and back. While she may have hated me for making her do it, the image result was exciting, fun and sooo beautiful!
Now a bit about the family! Crystal has one son Nate with her fiancé Rees. Nate was a ball of energy! e was stoked to be wiggling his tiny little toes in the sand and running around getting as dirty as a kid could get! Duke the Dog spent his first day at the beach and was soon overwhelmed with the situation! He just wanted to explore each and every aspect of the sand! He attracted much attention and mesmerised a lot of on lookers. This family were beautifully full of happiness, love and laughter and made my job super easy!!
And... So as we strangled every last beam out of the sun we concluded our session and thus concluded our laughs, smiles, chat and poses for the afternoon. I LOVE MY CAREER!!!
As you know I started my business in 2017. And if you didn't know that well you do now. It came to the very start of January 2018 and I noticed all the photographers I looked up to were uploading images to Instagram from their first weddings of the year. While it was exciting to see I couldn't help but worry about the direction I was taking within my photography journey and I wondered if I would ever book my first solo wedding. I'm pretty sure all photographers starting out go through this. And boy was I feeling it.
So feeling a little depressed but mostly motivated. I made a goal of booking my first solo wedding. I posted ads on gumtree, Facebook, Instagram and in my local community Facebook groups advertising my wedding photography services. Gaining experience as a wedding photographer almost feels as though your pulling shit from thin air. Finding that bride who will look at your portfolio you currently have without seeing those works of art from your previous non-existent weddings can be best described as trying to find a needle in a hay stack. But I ventured on...
I offered low prices, long hours and complimentary engagement sessions with all packages. And while I still offer all this I feel so much better I have a tiny bit of solo photographer experience behind me now. It wasn't until August 2018... yes literally now... That I has booked my first wedding. I showed up about an hour early to the location and then left again to scout all the photography spots the bride had requested. I arrived back at the venue on time and started shooting my heart out. I finished my night on a high and couldn't wait to start the editing process.
Now two weeks later (you may be thinking, "geez its one wedding thats hardly any experience.") I am half way through editing my art and getting ready to send them off to the new Mr & Mrs. I have a number of weddings booked for the rest of this year and the beginning of 2019 up until the day before I leave for my own Honeymoon in April 2019.
So that's the beginning of my story to becoming a wedding photographer (recently appointed). And now for the Brides.... Here are some tips I believe are a crucial part to your day.
1. Taking it SLOW...
Some of you have been planning your big day for a long time!!! And so much effort and time has gone into making every detail right down to the glitter painted candle holders you painted yourself.
So it is a MUST to take your day slow. Appreciate every single minute. From the moment you wake up and have breakfast with your bridal gang to the moment you have your guests light their sparklers for a bride and groom send off. Try not to stress about meeting your schedule to the very second and leave the run sheet up to someone else so your not constantly wondering why its 9:31pm and you haven't tossed your bouquet yet.
2. The First Kiss
As a photographer trying to snap up all the happiness, joy and tears pouring in an emotional waterfall in this moment it is one of the most important images to capture. The first kiss shouldn't just be a peck. Your nerves are running high, you feel your heart pounding and you can see your grandma squinting her eyes into focus just to witness this moment. As mentioned in point 1... Take it slow. Let your partner really take you and kiss you like they love you... They should, you did just get hitched. When in doubt pinterest the hell out of wedding first kisses.
3. First Dance
When you take to the D-Floor for your first dance. Its not something that should be over thought. If you and your partner have just finished completing a billion dance classes in order to wow your family then that is amazing!! But if you've only got your song and each other don't stress!! Just take each other as you feel right and swaaayyyyyy. A little tickle here and there to make one another laugh is always cute to capture through the lens.
When in doubt. Thanks your bridal party, the guests, your parents, vendors and your partner for their support and/or endless love and dedication. After that talk about your partner, share a funny story from the past. Move onto the bridal party and how grateful you are to have these people in your life. Then end with toast to the night and love!!
I am sure theres many things I have missed but basically these are the things I'm thinking of when it comes to weddings and the day! I strongly believe its not just my job to photograph your day but its my duty of care to ensure you and your partner on the day are feeling happy, excited and in love and to ensure the amazing Pinterest worthy images are snapped up for you to keep forever. And if you are interested in booking your wedding with me please don't hesitate to get in touch for the available package investments. And remember to shop local as much as possible so that local, aspiring photographers and other vendors can become successful in their field.
Because it has now been 12 months since I started my business, I think writing an entry about how I came to this point in my life is only fitting.
This is an unfiltered, unedited post with no drafts written prior to this one. So if I make no sense half way through or go waaayyyy off track don't be surprised!
Okay... So I have always loved photography, even as a kid, but had always been too scared to really try and enter the industry. I mean being a photographer is some intimidating, daunting shit! Anyone with an interest in photography would know this.
But I thought... Screw it, Im 21, just engaged and have nothing to lose so let's give it a try.
Once I had the motivation I just needed to figure out what I wanted to photograph. I knew instantly I wanted to photograph love! Couples, engagements, weddings, elopements, family, maternity you name it, if it involved love I wanted to photograph it!
I started with A LOT of free couple sessions to build a portfolio. I worked in a few locations around my home town Singleton with local couples I knew personally. I then published my social media pages and started posting posting posting. I shared my work in every group I was a member of and told everyone about my work. But it's so much more work then that. In order to really get your photography out there let alone you company name you need to connect with other local businesses and work with the community in order to really be noticed. So I volunteered for some local group events such as the Babes & Picnics December event and some other charity events capturing the events.
I also scored myself a couple of second shooter gigs with an amazing Newcastle Photographer known as Lauren Anne Photography. She is an absolute legend for letting me join her to gain some experience and getting a look into the wedding photography industry. I grew so much knowledge and confidence after working alongside Lauren and her associate Jaden. I will forever be grateful!
Now I had experience and I was still advertising my photography consistently! After about 6 months I found I was still only photographing people I knew from my home town and not meeting new people from around Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Central Coast like I had intended. So I started to spread my work through Facebook groups belonging to these areas and constantly posting ads on gumtree. I eventually booked in a few new clients from around these areas! And so my business has been growing ever since!
You see it takes a lot of time and effort to be a photographer! And it doesn't just take one night to build an empire! It takes time and work! I am still constantly sharing my work, advertising on social media, offering free sessions, collaborating with local businesses and writing blogs to give you all a bit of insight to my work!
And on top of all this I still work full time, renovating a house, planning our wedding and studying! So its safe to say my life is pretty full on at the moment and I am constantly tired and up until 12am editing, advertising and researching tutorials and blogs on photography! But aside from the tireless effort I have really put into building my empire, this is my passion. No matter how busy I become this profession will never become work to me and it will never just be for the money because honestly I don't earn much from what I am doing. Pretty much all of the money I earn goes back into lenses, memory cards, advertisement, travel etc. etc.
So there you have it... My blood, my sweat and my tears for a solid 12 months have for sure helped me to grow my business to what it is. And what are my goals for the future? Well...
I want to photograph a surprise engagement, I surprise pregnancy announcement, tons more of wedding, I want to collaborate with many many businesses and I want to learn as much about my industry as possible! You can never stop learning when it comes to photography! Jana Williams eat your heart out!!! Wish me luck and I look forward to meeting my future clients who give me the opportunity to capture their story!
You know those couple you see walking down the street together just on their way for their weekly coffee date strolling hand in hand, giggles all around and eyes only for each other? You know the kind that are so obviously in love with each other that every eyeball passing them can see it?
Well my friends.. This is one of those couples!
Together around nine months, Kiera and Dave are happy, in love and ready to start the next chapter of their lives together. This right here is their engagement session.
This sassy couple gave me chills! Literal chills! We started our session at Newcastle Ocean Baths up on the steps. You know the ones.. The blue steps! Kiera and Dave sat there together and instantly positioned themselves in a cuddley, intimate snuggle. And me? Well I was the third wheel walking around them with a Canon 5D Mark IV snapping the sweetness up whilst also asking all sorts of questions to get to know this beautiful couple. Sometimes I speak before I think and blurt out really personal or inappropriate questions.. Lucky for me all my clients are care-free and totally don't mind!!
After laughing at common public watching them cuddle, kiss and sweet talk each other up on the big blue steps whilst I tripped, skipped and stumbled all around them capturing their story, we moved onto the rocky areas with waves crashing hopelessly against the rocks. As I take a bunch of cute AF pictures I start to giggle to myself.. "Have you guys seen the video of the lady posing on a rocky area like this and the waves come crashing over and sweep the poor lady away?" I scream to the couple. This video if you know what I'm talking about is by far the funniest yet most relatable thing I've seen go viral! The lengths we go for some images!!
The Dirty Dancers..... Boy oh boy was this the best thing I've witnessed in a session! This couple was up for anything and after a few jokes about the iconic Dirty Dancing lift into the air... Kiera and Dave were strongly encouraged by me (the lunatic) to pull this off. This was going to be epic! Almost as epic as pulling off the Iron Lotus for those Blade of Glory fans..
And so we take a few practices and then comes time for the real thing! Who knew there was so much thought put into the process of this jump. "Thumbs here, palms there, jump this way, lift with your knees". Annndddd presto!!
Ugh! This session like many others will have a place in my heart! Its moments like these that remind me why I keep pushing to build my business and get my name out there! For those who know me know I work full-time and run this business! With 12 months of hard work I am moving towards by goal of being a full-time photographer!!
I thank all of my clients, family and friends for your endless support and encourage all who want to enquire to do so!
And I thank this couple for allowing me to share these incredible moments with all the followers out there!
This blog begins with an image of a family that gave me the biggest reminder of why I love my career! One Saturday morning I met this family at the Singleton Showground for a 1 hour session. Its always nice to meet a family excited as these guys to have their images taken. Heather (Mum) had booked with me prior and turned up first with her partner. Next was her son Nathan and his partner Annie and followed the next car to pull up with Daughter Abby and partner Brad. Now that everyone was here on site and ready for the session it was time to get the ball rolling.
BEFORE we even started Nathan asked me if he could have an individual shot of just himself pulling the all mighty 'Blue Steel' look as mastered by Zoolander. This was a good start to the day! I could instantly get an idea of the personalities of these guys. I knew at this point I was in for an interesting and very entertaining day. I knew I could challenge this family to push outside their comfort zones with activities in order to get some beautiful images.
I have a very big passion for making people feel comfortable and excited to pose infront of that intimidating lens. But today my job was made super easy! We started with basic activities for the group and then worked towards breaking off into combinations to cover everyone in each shot. Everyone cooperated beautifully with laughter, smiles and great enthusiasm.The feeling of capturing this family still stays with me today at this very minute as it makes me giddy, excited and happy all at the same time!
After covering all the basic comination family shots, we began with the couples. Now.... Nathan and Annie.... Holy Moly what a laugh! If there's ever been a couple to make me laugh everytime I held up my camera it was this pair! I situated these two right next to some stinky horse sh*t and encouraged them to push each other to the point that one of them would end up in the sh*t. Without hesitation they began the battle. How did those images turn out? Well..
Next we come to another group shot. There was a bunch of white fences set in the ground forming a small yard for a horse. It was empty so we decided to break into this yard and have these guys sit up on the fence all together McLeod's daughter's style. The prep for this photos was a laugh in itself as the girls climbed the fence in the most delicate manor.
And so we end this blog with a special thank you to the Mcrae Family for contributing so much effort into their session and truely making one photographer feel very blessed and honoured to be working in such an amazing industry where lets be honest work is not work. Its all fun and games and most importantly its all about making those memories while I the artist capture those memories in a way that tells a story for years to come. While I captured your story on this very day... You created one for me to tell everyone about!
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