Vaucluse, Shark Beach & Vivid Sydney Engagement Session: Gia & Matt

Jeff and I love that so many of our couples adore photography as much as we do. During a caffeine-fueled meeting last year, we discovered the very enthusiastic duo of Gia and Matt happened to share our love not only of photography, but especially of sunsets, cityscapes, and vibrant colours. We were thrilled that they chose us to capture their fabulous city soiree later this year, and were pretty excited about the plans we had for their engagement session. They had chosen to do half their session after dark, at Sydney’s annual winter festival of lights, Vivid Sydney:

Vivid Sydney 2013, Sydney Opera House, purple opera house, blue opera house, Sydney Festival of Lights, Vivid Sydney Engagement Session

As photographers shooting an engagement session at Vivid Sydney, we were like kids in a candy store! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…

We started the session out in Vaucluse near Nielsen Park. On the day of the session, however, things were not looking so good. Gia and Matt win the award of most eager couple of the year, because on the scheduled day it was windy and cold, bucketing down busts of sideways rain. Despite the wintry weather, Gia and Matt had high hopes that the weather might clear, and were still gung ho to continue even in the rain! So off we went, and as you can see, their sixth-weather-sense proved to be pretty spot-on. To our amazement, by the time we reached Vaucluse the rain had suddenly abated, and the sun was back out in full force!

Vaucluse engagement session, Vaucluse portraits, Strickland House pre-wedding session, Nielsen Park pre-wedding photoshoot

Aren’t these two such a cute couple? Gia and Matt met back in their uni days and are similar in many ways, though Matt is the one to remember all the details in their relationship. When we asked when they first met or when they got engaged, Gia drew a blank face and looked to Matt, after which much giggling ensued. Matt remembers all the dates and numbers, though Gia is the accountant! Go figure. :)

Vaucluse park engagement session, Nielsen Park engagement shoot

Gia and Matt are like two peas in a pod. They love doing things together, like their weekly ramen-and-a-movie date nights at their favourite theatre. They look so relaxed and content with one another!

Milk Beach engagement portraits, Vaucluse pre-wedding photos

We walked down to Milk Beach in front of Strickland House for some harbour views. Though the rain was gone, the wind was not and the beach was quite eroded from the many recent days of heavy rain. Despite the conditions, a group of children had set up a home-made slip n’ slide on the hill behind us. Hey, as long as the sun is out, it’s always nice in Sydney!

Strickland House engagement session, Vaucluse couples portraits

Gia was looking beautiful! It’s pretty clear how much Matt is in love with his happy, spunky, energetic bride-to-be.

Sydney harbour skyline engagement shoot, Milk Beach pre-wedding photos, Hermit Bay couples pictures

Love these—you guys are so cute together!

Creative pre-wedding photography at Milk Beach, Hermit Bay Vaucluse

Engagement photography at Strickland House, Hermit Bay Vaucluse Sydney

Vaucluse engagement session, Nielsen Park pre-wedding photos

The area around Strickland House had so many cool features, including this cute little boathouse, and some beautiful stone walls. What an awesome location!

Vaucluse Park pre-wedding photos, Strickland House Nielsen Park couples portraitsCreative pre-wedding photography at Nielsen Park, VaucluseStrickland House engagement session, Vaucluse couples photos

What gorgeous winter light!

Winter photoshoot in Vaucluse, Sydney Harbour park engagement photos

Vaucluse Sydney harbour pre-wedding photo session, engagement pictures at Strickland House

We continued to be amazed that the storm had completely disappeared. To say we got lucky for this shoot is a bit of an understatement… and even though we did get completely soaked later, as you’ll see, we definitely made the most of it and used the weather to our advantage! But more on that later…

Fun and natural pre-wedding photography, Sydney harbour engagement sessionCreative engagement session photography Sydney harbour Vaucluse Hermit Bay Shark Bay Rose Bay

I’m quite in love with these next two!

Nielsen park Vaucluse engagement photo session, creative pre-wedding photographyCreative and vibrant wedding and pre-wedding photography, Nielsen Park Vaucluse Hermit Bay

Our next stop was Shark Beach, one of our favourite harbour beaches. With the unpredictable skies, we had it all to ourselves!

Shark Bay engagement session, natural pre-wedding photography, Shark Beach couples portraitsCandid and natural pre-wedding photography, Engagement session at Shark BeachShark Beach engagement photos, beautiful sunset Sydney harbour beach couples portraits

Gia and Matt both decided to get engagement rings, with Matt’s featuring a secret tiny diamond on the inside of the band. Engagement rings for grooms seem to be becoming more popular, and we think it’s a great new tradition!

Panorama of Shark Bay Pre-Wedding Photography

With the clouds’ sudden return to the sky, the beach was bathed in pastel light. Beautiful! Click to view the panorama above larger.

Shark Beach engagement photoshoot, natural and romantic pre-wedding photos Vaucluse

We weren’t expecting too much of a sunset, but all of a sudden we took our eyes off of Gia and Matt and looked up to see the cotton-candy clouds absolutely glowing.

HDR pre-wedding photography, HDR engagement photos, colorful and vibrant engagement session photos

The water looked like a fiery opal. Love!

Creative artistic vibrant wedding and pre-wedding photography, Shark Beach sunset photos

Since they are such photography fans, of course Gia and Matt couldn’t resist taking out their phones to snap a few of their own photos… haha!

Fun pre-wedding photography, colourful and vibrant wedding photography, Shark Beach Vaucluse

The colours were absolutely breathtaking!

Amazing Shark Beach sunset HDR wedding photography, HDR engagement session photos

No sooner did the colour in the sky fade, back came the rain. Talk about perfect timing. We dashed for the car and had the windscreen wipers going full on before we were out of the carpark! Our next stop was a very unique location for an engagement session: the Vivid Sydney Light Walk! Jeff and I have been fans of Vivid Sydney ever since the first one in 2009. Now in its fifth year, the light sculptures and technology have become much more advanced. Evolving from fixed, changing images, to brighter lava-lamp style projections on the Opera House, Customs House, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, this year the projections looked more like a 3D video game or abstract music video. Many light “sculptures” and interactive exhibits are also featured around the harbour. The Festival has gotten progressively larger each year, with installations expanding to other nearby areas of the city, and of course lots more people. It was so busy this year at times it was difficult to move around! The rain worked in our favour on this night though, keeping a good portion of the crowds away. Gia and Matt hopped on this interactive installation called We See Saw. You’re never too old to see-saw…

Pre-wedding photography at Vivid Sydney We See Saw

The projector for the Opera House this year was relocated from its previous home in the Overseas Passenger Terminal to a giant tower constructed in front of the Park Hyatt Hotel. It featured a giant pink “V” that you can see below. Everything was glowing and sparkling in the neon lights.

Vivid Sydney, Vivid Sydney 2013, rainy day at Vivid Sydney, Sydney winter festival of lights, engagement session The Rocks

This giant screen displayed continuous oscillating colours.

Sydney winter festival of lights, Vivid Sydney engagement pre-wedding session

How gorgeous was the Opera House looking? It’s too bad they can’t display these beautiful flickering lights more often!

Sydney Opera House engagement session, Vivid Sydney engagement pre-wedding photos, colourful and vibrant wedding photography

Did we tell you Gia and Matt were gung ho or what? The rain was really streaming down here!

Rainy day at Vivid Sydney 2013, couples portrait session at Vivid Sydney, creative photos Sydney harbour Opera HouseVivid Sydney Opera House wedding photographers, engagement session at night

Then we convinced Gia and Matt to pose in the rain without their umbrella! Haha…

Running men at Vivid Sydney couple photography, nighttime pre-wedding photosVivid Sydney running man light installation, pre-wedding photography at Sydney winter festival of lights

It was fun to watch the 15-minute cycle of colours and images on the Opera House and pick out your favourite bits. I particularly liked this section of the morphing video:

Romantic rainy day photos at Vivid Sydney, creative and vibrant Opera House photos, engagement session at Vivid Sydney festival of lights Couples portrait session at Vivid Sydney, Engagement session at Sydney Opera House, nighttime pre-wedding sessionCreative and vibrant pre-wedding engagement session at Vivid Sydney

This was also the first year that they put lights on the bridge! We thought it was a great addition.

Sydney Harbour Bridge at Vivid Sydney engagement shoot

During a particularly heavy bout of rain, we snapped this gorgeous shot. Great job Gia and Matt, we think getting soaked was totally worth it! :)

Creative pre-wedding engagement session rain photo, night time engagement photoshoot

Congratulations on your engagement Gia and Matt, we can’t wait for your big day! Friends and family of Gia and Matt, leave a comment below for the happy couple and let us know what you think of the photos! We’ll notify those who comment when the full gallery of images is available to view online.

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Harry Wong - Dear Matt and Gia,
The pictures are amazing!
Lots of luck to you guys.

Best regards,

Love Uncle Harry and Auntie Amy.

Raven - Love these y’all! They are fantastic!

Ken - Great photos Matt, I remember when you two first met, infact i remember it invovled Uranus!

Gia - Love the photos! Can’t wait to see what magic you produce for our wedding.

Sharon - These photos look amazing! Congratulations again Gia and Matt for your engagement and also for choosing the talented photographers to capture your journey together. I loved the sunset photos and the last one in the rain, it just shows how much enthusiasm you guys have in your relationship and that you can do anything together no matter what the weather is like :) X see you on your big day!

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