Sometimes you need to take a few risks in this job.
Being a Sydney wedding photographer, it’s not often I get a call from a couple who live in country Victoria and are planning to get married in a remote part of NSW.
To be honest it all sounded a little strange!
As I board my REX Airlines flight from Sydney to Griffith on Saturday morning, I’m a little unsure of what to expect. I’d been told on the phone (having never met the couple) that the wedding would be a small family wedding, held in a backyard on a private property. That’s about all I knew.
After driving for around an hour from Griffith Airport to a small town called Hillston, I check into one of only two hotels in town, The Hillston MotorInn On High. It turns out everyone was getting on board with the wedding – from the local green grocer doing some catering down to the Hotel Manager offering their classic red Mustang for photos after the ceremony!
After a quick rest after the flight, it was time to pack up and drive to the property and meet my clients! Driving for another 15 minutes out of town, I arrive at Cam’s parents house to find a beautiful homestead surrounded by lush green grass and massive trees reaching into the clear sky.
As soon as I met Kim & Cam, I knew the day was going to be special. They both seemed so relaxed (especially for their wedding day!) and so together. The whole family was there to help celebrate, support and help prepare the house.
Speaking of preparations & decorations – the decor of the house and yard was spectacular! It was all done by Kim, Cam and their families. A proper DIY Wedding!
But you’d think they had a professional event planner in. Nothing was out of place, and everything fit so well together. I was very impressed! Little things like, the flower petals were the same shade of purple as the bridal flowers. Each wine glass had a little tag for people to write their names on it, so you never lose your glass! The photo booth was setup underneath a set of trees with empty picture frames as props. The list goes on and on…!
After truly being WOW’ed by the venue, the location and the honest hospitality, it was time to do some work.
By this stage, Kim was starting to get ready and the hire bus from Hillston had arrived with all the guests. I had some quick shots of Kim while she was getting ready with her parents, then it was straight out to the backyard for the ceremony.
The ceremony was a quick affair, with the sun shining a perfect back light for the happy couple. After a lot of handshakes and hugs (plus some bubbles!) it was time for us to go for a drive and get some photos with the newlyweds.
Having not worked a lot in country NSW before, I was amazed at just how beautiful and photogenic the whole area is!! All we needed to do was stop by the side of the road every spot was perfect for a photo. Endless roads to the horizon, rusty old gates with bright blue skies, dirt roads with green grass and sun rays shining through – there were limitless options.
The bright red Mustang also helped…plus the glowing new couple!
After we got back to the house/reception, a few quick speeches were made and it was over to the massive BBQ for both fathers to do their duty – cook dinner!
As everyone was relaxing with a few beers and wines…I was keeping busy shooting detail shots when I turned and saw a stunning sunset. It was that magical golden light that photographers crave, and which make wedding photography come alive!
I rushed over and asked to borrow the happy couple, knowing we only had 10 minutes (as most!) to use mother nature’s little gift.
I positioned Kim & Cam underneath an arching tree, with the golden sun rays shining through. The rest was all natural. They both looked perfect, and with Cam having his sleeves rolled up just added to the relaxed and natural look I was going for.
Knowing that I’d captured all my photos for the wedding…I thought I might try something a little different. As I said earlier, this job is about taking risks sometimes!
I remembered Cam mentioning to me that at night you can actually see the Milky Way galaxy stretching up over the house in the sky…
It got me thinking. I had seen a photo a few years back which had stuck in my mind.
After walking out into a pitch black field with nothing more than the Torch app on my phone, I found a spot which I thought would look good. I setup my tripod and took a photo. WOW. The entire stretch of the Milky Way was right there, above me!
I’d found the right spot, first go. Not bad if I do say-so myself :)
After again asking Kim & Cam to spare me 5 minutes from their wedding day, we walked out and – after locating them in the pitch black – we snapped off 3 shots.
Perfect! The newlyweds standing directly below the Milky Way galaxy with millions of stars shining. Surrounded by trees in the darkness, showing an epic sense of scale.
Having never been to Hillston before, never worked on a Destination Wedding, and never met the couple being married…I had my share of questions before working on this job.
Looking back now though, it will be something I won’t forget for all the right reasons!
Kim & Cam were an amazing couple to work with and so accommodating to all my requests throughout the day. It made me feel at home in a faraway place, and made me even more proud of the pictures you see below.
If you’re looking for a Sydney wedding photographer or a destination wedding photographer, you can view my portfolio on my main website (http://www.ap-photography.com.au) or get in touch with me via my contact page.