The Great Ocean Road: A Summer Road Trip

After our visit in Melbourne, Jeff and I set off on a trip along the Great Ocean Road with my sister Kate and our friend Matt. The Great Ocean Road definitely deserves a spot on the list of the world’s most scenic coastal routes, right up there with Highway 1 in California and the Road to Hana in Maui. We did the Great Ocean Road before, as part of our massive road trip in 2007, but it’s always fun to revisit such a scenic region equipped with professional photography gear! :) For this Christmas-time trip, to our delight it was beautiful, warm and summery as we set off down the highway. We stopped for a peek at the view near the famous surfing spot Bells Beach, near Torquay.

Bells Beach, Victoria, Great Ocean Road

At the “entrance” to the main attraction: you might be too distracted by the beautiful scenery to remember where to put your car!

Our first stop along the road was in Lorne, a cute little country coastal town, with the requisite scooters, coffee shops, seaside accommodation, and a lovely beach.

We mentioned in our last post that we “bounced” along the Great Ocean Road. This brings us to the thing that takes Lorne from great to truly awesome: a huge block of outdoor trampolines at the Lorne Sea Baths! I have always been a little bit obsessed with bouncy things. I adored trampolines and inflatable bouncy castles as a kid, but was robbed of much of my childhood right to bounce due to my more-than-four-foot-tall height. Ah, the injustice. Thankfully, the lovely staff at the Lorne Sea Baths saw no issue with our adult-sized frames and happily took our ten dollar entry fee. Yes!

Trampolines at Lorne Sea Baths, Great Ocean RoadTrampolines at Lorne Sea Baths, Great Ocean RoadTrampoline park at the Lorne Sea Baths, Victoria

These trampolines were extremely bouncy and just. so. awesome.

Trampoline park at the Lorne Sea Baths, Victoria

If you like this, you’ll love what we got up to in Warnambool, at the end of the Great Ocean Road… check out the end of this post for a super fun video!

It was nearly Christmas and so we had to celebrate somehow… we decided a Christmas tree would be too challenging, and no one was that keen on making sand angels. So a sand-man it was!

I guess it was actually more like a sand-woman.

Christmas on the beach in Lorne, VictoriaChristmas in Lorne, Australia travel photographers

We decided to splurge on the accommodation in Lorne and booked this sweet apartment at the Cumberland Lorne Resort. A great decision!

Cumberland Lorne Resort, VictoriaDinner on balcony at Cumberland Lorne Resort, Victoria

Sadly, we had to leave Lorne, but there were other wonderful things waiting to be discovered. We took a side road into the Great Otway National Park, where we had heard rumors…

…that there were koalas! There were, and they were EVERYWHERE. Cute ones, funny ones, sleepy ones, baby ones! Koalas in every tree!

Koalas in Great Otway National ParkAustralia Nature Photographers, koalas on the Great Ocean RoadCape Otway koalas, Great Ocean RoadCute koalas in the Great Otway National Park, Australia Nature PhotographyCape Otway koalas, Great Ocean RoadCape Otway koalas, Great Ocean Road

I love this one sprawled out on the big branch. So cute!

Koala in Great Otway National Park, Victoria

Eventually we came upon the most famous attraction of the Great Ocean Road: the Twelve Apostles. There aren’t really twelve any more—it’s more like seven or eight, as the monoliths are slowly crumbling into the ocean.

Australia Travel and Landscape Photographers, the Great Ocean RoadTwelve Apostles, Australia Landscape Photographers

Holiday portraits on the Great Ocean Road

It was a hazy day, but the colours of the peachy sand and turquoise water were still so striking!

Great Ocean Road Seascape, Australia Landscape PhotographersGreat Ocean Road Seascape, Victoria Wedding Photographers

Just past the Twelve Apostles is this interesting narrow bay, called Loch Ard Gorge.

Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell VictoriaLoch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell Victoria

We ended our Great Ocean Road journey in the coastal town of Warnambool, where our dear friend Matt is from. We spent Christmas day with his wonderful family and enjoyed a delicious feast!

We went out for some more wildlife spotting and views of the town at the Tower Hill Wildlife Preserve.

View of Warnambool from Tower Hill Wildlife Preserve

Sure enough, it wasn’t long before we spotted the local emus!

Tower Hill Wildlife Preserve, Warnambool

Kate was a little bit frightened by the mangy looking birds… LOL!

Tower Hill Wildlife Preserve, Warnambool

Warnambool has some beautiful coastline…

Beach bridge in Warnambool, VictoriaSouthern Victoria seascapesWarnambool seascape, VictoriaSeaside portraits along the great ocean road, VictoriaGreat ocean road beach portraitsSeascape in Warnambool, Victoria

After all the fun we had in Lorne on the trampolines, we (er, I) had become a bit obsessed with finding somewhere else to bounce on the trip. Matt said he thought that his home town had something. Would it be open during the holidays? Was it really there? Imagine my delight when we found that YES, Warnambool has one of the few “jumping pillows” in Australia, and YES, it was open just after Christmas, and YES, they allowed adults, and YES… there was nobody else there except for us! OMG. We had the whole thing to ourselves for over an hour. What is a jumping pillow you ask? Well just click play below and be warned, you may need to travel a fair distance to find one to jump on!


This was one of the most fun road trips ever! Thanks to Matt and his wonderful family for letting us camp out in the backyard for Christmas, and thanks to Kate for making the trip especially memorable. We need to do this again!

Stay tuned for the next blog post, featuring the stunningly beautiful and special Fraser Island…

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Jack Walker - That’s one stunning journey. Bells Beach certainly looks like it can provide the serenity that I’ve been searching for a long time. And the way you guys have traveled. Two thumbs up! That’s the way I want to as well.

Great Ocean Road - Love your photos. The Cumberland was a good choice. Happy Travels! Did you try out Great Ocean Road App while you were there?

Victor@Great ocean road tour - The great ocean road is very spectacular. I am glad you enjoyed your trip. Your pictures are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Port Douglas to Melbourne: The Martin Family Visits Australia

Happy New Year, everyone! Since our last blog we’ve had a relaxing summer break, before we gear up for a busy and exciting 2013. Christmas this year saw us at beautiful Lord Howe Island for a relaxing week, and January has allowed us to get caught up on some personal photos that we’ve been waiting to share with you for a long time. We got so busy in 2012 with our wonderful clients’ wedding and engagement photos that we ended the year with quite a backlog of our own travel and family photos (my Dad may have likened us to the producers of LOST or Breaking Bad… sorry to make you wait, Dad)! ;) Over the next few blog posts, we will share some of the fun we got up to last year. So, without further ado, let us introduce you to our most patient clients of all: my parents and sister (who technically visited at the end of 2011–gasp!)

Port Douglas Photographers

It was my parents’ first visit to Australia, and their first visit to the southern hemisphere! As they are not big international travellers, this trip was several years in the making. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to finally get to share a bit of this beautiful country with them. Jeff and I have come to love playing tour guide for all our visitors, so we had the Martin’s Oz Highlights Tour all planned out for them, starting with a glimpse of Far North Queensland. We based ourselves for a few days in gorgeous Port Douglas.

Diving Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Swimming in the Great Barrier Reef was on the bucket list for both of my parents, so we knew that was a must-do, though I had to convince my mom that she would not be the oldest person on the boat. Happily, there were plenty of other “mature-age” snorkelers! ;)

Diving Agincourt Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Jeff and I have been lucky enough to visit the Great Barrier Reef several times now, and the part of the reef that we saw on this trip was definitely our favourite. From Port Douglas we travelled on the Silversonic to the Agincourt Ribbon Reef on the outer part of the Great Barrier Reef.

Clown Fish, Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier Reef

The corals were definitely the healthiest we’ve seen in the Cairns to Cape tribulation region, with no shortage of beautiful fish. Jeff and I did a scuba dive, though the corals were just as amazing viewed from snorkeling on the surface.

Clown Fish, Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier ReefSnorkelling Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier ReefSnorkelling Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier ReefSnorkelling Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier ReefSnorkelling Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier Reef

I’ve never ceased to be amazed by giant clams like this one.

Snorkelling Agincourt Reef, the Great Barrier ReefNature Photographers, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

While we were up north, we took a drive up to the scenic rainforest village of Kuranda, to see the famous butterfly sanctuary:

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda, QueenslandAustralian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda, Queensland

We also took the three-hour drive up to Cape Tribulation to see the amazing world-heritage rainforest of the Daintree. Of course, no visit to Cape Tribulation is complete without a crocodile cruise!

We spent some time walking the trails in the rainforest and admiring the crazy vines tangling every tree and plant in sight, and getting up to some true Martin family goofiness:

Cape Tribulation Beach Photographers

We came upon this beautiful beach at sunset and went for a stroll.

Cape Tribulation Beach Photographers

The soft sand was perfect for drip-castle making! For those who are not familiar with this type of sandcastle construction, it is a sort of vertical zen-garden method of sandcastle building, recommended for patient types with attention to detail! My dad taught my sister and I how to do it when we were very young and its always been my favourite way to make a sandcastle. The specimen here, however, is pretty pathetic and should not be taken as an indication of our skill…

Landscape Photographers, Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland, Australia

Flames of the Forest, rainforest dinner in Port Douglas

Before we left the rainforest, we also experienced a delicious dinner at Flames of the Forest. The evening included traditional Aboriginal stories and the soothing and soporific sounds of the didgeridoo.

Flames of the Forest, rainforest dinner in Port Douglas

Hunter Valley Wineries, Hunter Valley Wedding Photographers

The following weekend we took off for the Hunter Valley for some wine-tasting fun. My parents discovered their new favourite wine, which also became mine: Hunter Semillon, specifically the type that has been aged at least 5 years. We tried some particularly tasty varieties here at McWilliams Mount Pleasant Vineyard.

Hunter Valley Wedding PhotographersHunter Valley Wedding PhotographersHunter Valley Wedding Photographers

There was certainly no small amount of delicious Hunter Valley cuisine consumed on our trip!

Our adventures didn’t stop there! Later, we hopped down south to Melbourne for some sight-seeing, tram riding and November horse racing. Melbourne is of course famous for its often cold and unpredictable weather… but on a sunny summer day, I think Melbourne is just glorious.

For those who don’t know, the fascinator and hat fashion in Australia and England is non-existent in America (a shame—what a fun accessory). My mom and I entertained ourselves for a good hour in David Jones looking for the silliest, most fun hats we could for Melbourne Cup. We ended up not choosing the truly outrageous ones—though I was tempted to go with something truly gargantuan. I still thought it was a bit funny that my hat made me taller than my very tall father…

Melbourne Cup 2011Melbourne Cup 2011

Though we didn’t win big, we managed to win back nearly all that we bet and spent on chips—for this wimpy gambler, that’s not bad! Before leaving Melbourne, we took a quick trip down to see the little penguins and catch a glimpse of the beautiful coastline.

Melbourne Wedding Photographers

It wasn’t long before we were back in Melbourne with my beautiful sister Kate, who came to visit us over the Christmas holiday.

Wedding Photographers in MelbourneMelbourne Street Photography by Sydney Wedding Photographers

We just love the Melbourne laneways, with the ever-changing graffiti artwork, European-style cafes, vintage and boutique shops, and youthful vibe.

Wedding Photographers in MelbourneMelbourne Street Photography by Sydney Wedding PhotographersWedding Photographers in MelbourneMelbourne Street Photography by Sydney Wedding PhotographersMelbourne Trams, Creative Wedding Photographers

We had just received a new Lens Baby as a Christmas gift, and had some fun trying it out around town.

My sister Kate is incredibly funny and as you can see, she makes amazing faces. It’s faces like this that I remember frequently from our childhood. Love it!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

It wasn’t Kate’s first trip to Australia, but she had never actually held a Koala before, so that (along with some Kangaroo feeding) was on our list!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

As you may know, you can’t hold a koala at every zoo and wildlife sanctuary; the zoo must have a minimum number of koalas so that they can be rotated sufficiently to minimise stress to the animals. We visited Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, where there are koalas galore. Lone Pine has multiple enclosures for their koalas, including (my favourite) the “Koala Kindergarten”, with dozens of cute babies!  When I paid to get my photo taken with a koala here years ago, they handed me a large geriatric specimen with wiry fur and a musty smell—clearly he came from the Koala Nursing Home (poor old thing).  Kate, however, got to cuddle this cute young one. How cute is this?!

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

We got up to quite a bit more in Queensland, but that will have to wait for a later blog!

Jeff and I had such a blast with my parents and my sister. Mom and Dad, thanks for visiting us and thanks for being as patient as a Breaking Bad fan in the midst of Season 5. I think you need to visit again so that we can re-do the photos and take even more. ;) This wasn’t the end of our travels with Kate—check back soon for the next two blog posts, where we will share some of the photos from our Christmas road trips.  First we’ll feature more of Victoria, where we—quite literally—bounced along the Great Ocean Road. Then, we’ll tell you about our 4WD camping trip on the spectacularly beautiful Fraser Island, one of my personal favourite places in all of Australia! Until next time…

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Royal Botanical Gardens & Watson’s Bay Engagement Session: Kristen & Kalon

Take a good look at the photos of this gorgeous couple, Kristen and Kalon, and someday you’ll be able to say you knew of them before they were famous! Kristen is an actress originally from the USA, with dreams of someday becoming the next big sitcom star on American TV. She met her handsome fiancé Kalon here in Australia several years ago and they are headed to the states next year for their wedding. We were thrilled that they chose us for their Sydney engagement shoot, to help them always remember their time together in Sydney. Kristen and Kalon were a delight to hang out with for the afternoon!  Kalon had presented Kristen with a stunning ring that features Australian pink diamonds. Such a unique and beautiful choice!

Sydney Botanic Gardens Engagement session photosSydney Botanic Gardens Engagement session photos

Aren’t they a great looking couple? Kristen looked beautiful all dolled up for the session. These two seem SO in love!

Pre-wedding photo session in Sydney Botanic gardens

Pictures of engagement session in Sydney Botanic Gardens

Couples portraits in Sydney botanical gardens

Since Kristen’s family is in America, we had to get lots of shots with everyone’s favourite harbour icon. It was very cloudy on our shoot day, but the dramatic clouds looked beautiful behind the Opera House.

Couples portraits at Sydney Opera House and botanic gardensEngagement photographers Sydney city and Eastern Suburbs

Kristen and Kalon are so cute together. They seem like two peas in a pod!

Cute engagement photos in Sydney Botanical GardensMrs MacquarieSydney skyline engagement photos

Love this one. You guys are so great together!

Fun and natural engagement photography SydneyPre-wedding pictures on Sydney Harbour

Another one of my favourites.

Cute engagement photos at Mrs Macquarie

Creative pre-wedding pictures with Sydney Opera House

Kristen made this adorable sign to use as a prop. Just as we were setting up for these photos, some little old ladies walked by and started cheering loudly. It was too cute!

Proposal and engagement photos on Sydney harbourCute pre-wedding photos with Sydney skylineCouples portraits with Sydney Opera House and BridgeFun and natural pre-wedding photography Sydney

Kristen and Kalon wanted to go to a beach for the second part of the session. We are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Sydney, but Kristen and Kalon settled on a beach that is a bit more special to them: Watsons Bay. Kristen and Kalon love coming to this harbour beach so it was the perfect spot to finish out the afternoon. As soon as we arrived, they kicked off their shoes and took off running down the beach!

Watsons Bay engagement session SydneySydney eastern suburbs pre-wedding photographers

You can tell these guys have so much fun together. They are full of energy and joy!

Watsons Bay Sydney engagement and wedding photographersRelaxed and natural pre-wedding photography Sydney

Cute and fun engagement and wedding photography Sydney eastern beaches

We loved all the overturned boats along the beach. These quickly became some of my favourite photos from the day!

Natural and relaxed engagement photography Sydney eastern suburbsSydney Eastern Beaches relaxed and fun engagement photography

Kristen, you are gorgeous!

Beautiful and natural engagement photos New South Wales

I love these. Too cute!

Watsons Bay and Vaucluse wedding and engagement photographersSydney Eastern beaches unique wedding and engagement photographyPre-wedding photographers Sydney Eastern Suburbs

The lights in the distance in the city started to turn on as we finished out the day.

Cute coupleEvening coupleWatsons Bay Sydney engagement session

Kristen and Kalon, we loved meeting you both and had such a fun afternoon with you! We wish we could be with you again at your wedding, but since we can’t… we hope you have the most memorable, fun, beautiful day you can imagine! Thanks for letting us share in the joy of your engagement.

Friends and family of Kristen and Kalon, leave a note below for the happy couple and let us know what you think of the photos! Leave your email address in the email field to be notified when the full gallery of images is available online for viewing.

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Sydney North Shore Newborn Session: Christian & Family

CUTE BABY PHOTOS! If you know Jeff and me, you know we love adorable babies (and taking their photos)! When our friends-turned-new-parents see us cooing over their little bubs, they usually ask if it’s “about that time” for us. It’s true that over the last few years, my level of cluckiness has risen to match overpass Jeff’s [edited by Jeff], who I think has had a fairly constant level of cluckiness ever since I met him 12 years ago. Which is great, since I could continue my endless goofy baby talk whilst processing these photos without fear of judgement from my partner. ;)

As photographers, we are privileged to be a part of capturing some of the most wonderful moments of a person’s life, whether it be an engagement, a wedding, or starting a family. I think there’s something extra special about capturing the early days of a little bub’s life. We still have not gotten over just how outrageously adorable this little one is! Everyone, meet Christian, who was just 10 weeks old:

Sydney newborn photographers

Isn’t he the cutest baby EVER? *Insert silly baby cooing noises*

Sydney baby and family photographersNewborn portrait session in Sydney North Shore

Gahh. Hello new little Gerber Baby!

Adorable baby pictures from Sydney Photographers

Sydney Eastern Suburbs baby and family photographers

Christian’s parents had decorated his nursery with a super cute monkey theme! His toys and books were arranged just perfectly on the shelf, patiently waiting until he is old enough to enjoy them.

Newborn photos in your own house, Surry Hills photographers

This one on the left is one of my absolute favorites! He looks soooo huggable!

Sydney Eastern Suburbs newborn and baby photographersEast Sydney, Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst family photographers

Christian pleasantly surprised us because he was SUCH a good model for the photo shoot. He fully cooperated for the artsy photos that we hoped to get! Here he is with his gorgeous mum Rosa:

Baby and family portrait photographers in Surry HillsSydney newborn photographers

Rosa, you are beautiful!

Sydney baby and family photographersCute newborn portrait session in Sydney North Shore

We absolutely love these! What a beautiful family.

Baby pictures from Sydney PhotographersSydney Eastern Suburbs baby and family photographersEast Sydney, Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst family photographers

This is so cute I can hardly stand it! When did a baby ever look more squeezable? His look just says, “I’m fully trusting you with my life… so take good care of me, okay?” Or maybe that’s just me.

Cute newborn photos in your own house, Surry Hills photographers

So sweet with his daddy Sam.

Sydney Eastern Suburbs newborn and baby photographersBaby and family portrait photographers in Surry Hills

More favourites. Can they all be my favourites? :) Christian looks like he’s going to have the same big beautiful brown eyes of his parents.

Sydney newborn photographersSydney baby and family photographers

At 10 weeks, he was still sooo adorably tiny.

Newborn portrait session in Sydney North ShoreBaby pictures from Sydney PhotographersSydney Eastern Suburbs baby and family photographers

Christian did so well indoors that we decided to venture outside for a few shots. Time to put your jumper on!

East Sydney, Surry Hills, and Darlinghurst family photographers

By the time we got outside, he was feeling a bit sleepy. Rosa and Sam’s little dog was keen for a walk too! So cute!

Family photo session with photographers based in Surry HillsFamily and baby photographers based in Eastern SuburbsFamily photos in Sydney Park with baby and dog

Is this one sweet little family or what??

Pet and family photographers in Sydney AustraliaSurry Hills pet and family photographers, Australia

Rosa and Sam, we just LOVED meeting your new bub and spending the morning together! Thank you so much for letting us capture some precious first moments in Christian’s life. We hope you (and he) treasure them always!

Friends and family of Rosa, Sam and Christian: leave a comment below and tell us what you think of the photos! You can view the full gallery of images here (just ask Rosa and Sam for the password).

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rich - these are some of the sweetest baby pictures ever! Christian has such adorable eyes!

Darling Harbour & Sydney City Engagement Session: Vito & Susan

Some of you may remember the beautiful engagement session we did with Fera and Arief earlier this year. After seeing the photos, their friends Vito and Susan knew they had to have us as well for their own engagement photos! We were excited about hanging out with these guys. Vito and Susan are such sweet people, which you can partly tell in the way they interact with each other. They seem so caring and kind and it was a delight to hang out with them for the afternoon. The Sydney cityscape and harbours were their first stop on a photo tour around Australia, as they planned to take more pictures in other Australian cities before heading back home to Indonesia for their wedding. We wish we could have gone with you, Vito and Susan! Next time pack us in your suitcase? :)

Natural and relaxed portrait photography Sydney

We started our photo session in Martin Place, which was lovely and empty on a weekend day.

Martin Place engagement session in Sydney city

Cute and fun engagement photography Sydney

Aren’t these two so cute together?

Relaxed and natural engagement photography in Sydney

Sydney city engagement session in Martin Place

I love the architecture at Martin Place. The historic buildings are quite impressive.

Creative engagement photos in Sydney CBD

We had to pay a visit to the famous fountain. At least, it’s always been famous in my mind because of The Matrix. Do you remember the “woman in the red dress” scene?

Sydney Martin Place pre-wedding photo sessionCute couples portraits in downtown Sydney

Susan was looking absolutely beautiful (and adorable)!

Creative Sydney photographers

Next we took a quick jaunt through the city to the stunning Queen Victoria Building. Quite similar to The Strand, and built in the same time period, The Queen Victoria Building is another favourite place of mind to window shop for expensive Opals and designer clothing, or just walk through to admire the beautiful windows and architecture.

Unique and vibrant engagement photos

See? Wowza.

Sydney Queen Victoria Building engagement and wedding picturesColourful wedding and portrait photography SydneyQueen Victoria Building engagement photos

The next stop on our city walking tour was the famous Darling Harbour! It was quite breezy up on Pyrmont Bridge as we enjoyed the view out over Cockle Bay. Susan also had an outfit change into an adorable orange dress. She looked so cute and fashionable! Vito also changed his shirt and looked very handsome and coordinated with his bride-to-be.

Pyrmont and Darling Harbour pre-wedding photography

Love these! Their outfits were perfectly coordinated with the scenery, too!

Creative and colourful engagement photosDarling Harbour and Pyrmont wedding and portrait photographersCreative Darling Harbour photography

It was a beautiful, warm, breezy Spring afternoon.

Cinematic inspired pre-wedding photography Cute fun relaxed engagement photography Sydney

Vito and Susan, you guys are seriously adorable together!

Pictures of Darling Harbour couples photo shootDarling Harbour engagement photos

Our walking tour of the city wasn’t finished, but we needed to give our feet a rest!  We hopped on a Darling Harbour ferry straight over to the Opera House.

Candid and relaxed couples portraits SydneyCinematic inspired engagement photography

Sydney Opera House pre-wedding photography

Unique Sydney Opera House engagement photographySydney engagement couples portrait sessionOpera House photo shoot Sydney

After a day that had been mostly overcast, Jeff and I were unsure what kind of sunset was in store for us. Well… you could say we were pleasantly surprised…

Sunset couples photography Sydney

Sydney engagement session with beautiful pink sunsetBeautiful sunset engagement pictures

Okay, we were more than just a little pleasantly surprised. In fact, we couldn’t shut up about how AMAZING the sky looked. This one was truly a photographer’s dream!

Unique and creative engagement photos, amazing sunset picturesBeautiful sunset and landscape and portrait photography

Vito and Susan were only in Sydney for a short period of time. How lucky they were to catch an evening like this on the harbour.

Amazing sunset pictures, Creative couples portraits

I love these so much. The Wong Couple love their colourful skies and mother nature delivered on this night!

Amazing sunset photos, colourful and vibrant portrait and wedding photography

The perfect backdrop for a city skyline panorama! Click the image to view the panorama larger.

Vibrant landscape panoromic photography

Vito and Susan, you guys are one lucky couple (and not just because of the sunset we got). We’re so happy we got to meet you and wish you all the best with your wedding, and your future lives together as husband and wife! Congratulations!

Friends and family of Vito and Susan, leave a comment below to tell us what you think, or to find out when the full gallery of images is online (leave your email address to be notified).

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Chris Fawkes - These are wonderful Erin. love the reflection silhouettes.

rich - you guys know how to bring out the best in your couples and the locations you shoot in! such beautiful shots!!

Rich - Gorgeous shots! And WOW what a sunset! Australia looks amazing :)

A Traditional Vietnamese Wedding: Trung & Thu – Part 2

After the beautiful and colourful morning festivities, it was time for some fun photos with Trung and Thu and their lovely bridal party! We drove to Bicentennial Park where, despite being told there would be a whopping six other wedding parties in the area that afternoon, to our surprise we ended up having the whole park to ourselves.

Creative and fun Asian wedding photography SydneyRolls Royce wedding car, Sydney wedding photographers

It was fun to see the excitement in Trung and Thu as they were being chauffeured around in these beautiful classic Rolls Royces.

Vibrant and creative wedding photography SydneyPhotojournalistic style Asian wedding photography Sydney

They were definitely keen on some shots with the cars. Wasn’t Thu looking just gorgeous?

What a good looking bridal party!

Bride and groom photos at Bicentennial Park Sydney

There were some nice features in the park, like this cool series of fountains. The bridal party had a bit of fun here, before letting Trung and Thu enjoy an intimate moment to themselves.

Fun Asian wedding photography Sydney

Creative wedding photography SydneyVibrant and fun wedding photography Sydney

One advantage to the overcast day was the lack of people. We got to enjoy most of the park to ourselves. We especially loved this long row of trees!

Bride and groom at Bicentennial Park SydneyBridal party photos at Bicentennial Park Sydney

What a cute couple Trung and Thu make!

Elegant Asian wedding photography Sydney

Once we’d had our fun in the park, we made our way over to their reception venue at Golden Harvest Restaurant, where the restaurant staff and musicians were busy setting up the main hall for Trung and Thu’s 300 or so guests.

Vietnamese wedding reception photos SydneyElegant Asian wedding photography Sydney

Everything looked beautiful all set up and ready to go. Their cake was especially lovely.

Vibrant and colourful wedding photography Sydney

Trung and Thu ordered a beautiful white Linen Guestbook album from us, which we designed using the images from their engagement session. It’s always so exciting to see guests signing our creations at the wedding.

Then it was time to introduce our newly married couple!

Creative photojournalistic style Asian wedding Photography Sydney

After the fathers’ speeches, Trung took the microphone to announce a little surprise in store for Thu—he would be romancing his new wife with a solo vocal performance! Of course, the inside joke was that Trung cannot sing at all. Thu’s reaction was priceless!

Golden Harvest Restaurant has quite a fancy sound system, lighting setup, and a pretty sweet fog machine.

I love these next few images of their first dance. As you can see, we had a lot of fun shooting with all the lighting effects as our disposal.

Creative wedding photography SydneyVibrant and colourful Asian wedding photography SydneyFun and colourful wedding photography Sydney

The band really got things going and started off a long night of a very full dance floor!

Sydney wedding photographers, wedding rings detail

With dinner over, the bride and groom were brought to the center of the floor for some special words from the best man.

Creative and unique wedding photography SydneyPhotojournalistic style Asian wedding photography

Trung had also prepared a beautiful touching speech for his bride, his parents, and his new in-laws.

Asian wedding photography Sydney in photojournalistic style

Photojournalistic style Asian wedding photography

Colourful and vibrant wedding photojournalism Sydney

As is tradition in Vietnamese and Chinese cultures, the bride changed into a beautiful qipao mid-way through the reception, before having to cut through their too-pretty-to-eat cake!

Cake cutting at Golden Harvest Restaurant weddingElegant and colourful wedding photos Sydney

Trung and Thu had several vocalists throughout the evening that kept the dance floor going. It felt like a concert!

Unique wedding photos SydneyWedding photography Sydney in photojournalistic styleColourful wedding photography

The other tradition that I love about Asian weddings is the part where the bride and groom go around to each table to receive a toast and well wishes from their guests.

Photos of wedding dance party Sydney

Love this one! What a party!

Fun crazy wedding dancing photosPictures of fun wedding dancing, colourful wedding reception SydneySydney Asian wedding photojournalism

Trung and Thu, we had so much fun at your wedding! A huge congratulations to you both. Wishing you much happiness and good fortune in your new lives together!

Friends and family of Trung and Thu, let us know what you think in the comments below, and leave a comment below with your email address to be notified when the full gallery of images is available online.

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Natalie - Hi,

JUST WONDERING, WHERE WAS THE LOCATION FOR THE PHOTOS BETWEEN THE ROWS OF TREES?

Thanks

Victoria - Hi there !

Beautiful photos you have there :)

Just a question, did you have a pay any fees or book the park area to take the photos and videos? Or did you just show up and did it?

Erika - I love the fountain photos! What a gorgeous couple.

Biju Oommen - Pictures are full of fun and joy. Loved every pic. You guys bring out the best in any event.

A Traditional Vietnamese Wedding: Trung & Thu – Part 1

Today we bring you a little bit of culture and colour with a traditional Vietnamese wedding! When Trung and Thu found us during their engagement, we were delighted at the thought of being the ones to document this special day for them. Since Jeff’s family is Vietnamese as well, we share a special connection! Of course we loved hanging out with Trung and Thu during their awesome engagement session a few months ago, after which we were even more excited for their big day. In a traditional Vietnamese wedding, the festivities begin with a procession to the bride’s home.  Thu’s family had beautifully decorated their home for the occasion with lots of colourful, traditional and symbolic touches. The house was bustling despite the very early start to the day! Everyone was awake and excited. I loved capturing some of the colourful details that would be a part of the ceremony to come.

Buddhist wedding ceremony photographyAltar at Asian wedding ceremony in AustraliaIncense in cultural Vietnamese tea ceremony

Photos of colourful and cultural wedding preparations

Thu was looking absolutely beautiful in her Áo Dài, the traditional Vietnamese dress.

Vietnamese bride getting dressed in Áo dài or qipao cheongsam in SydneyBridal wedding dress, Sydney Australia

But of course she also had several other dresses for later!

Asian/Chinese/Vietnamese wedding qipao or cheongsam ao dai in Australia

Trung was looking handsome as well!  In the lead-up to the wedding, he had told us that all the last minute planning was like being a part of grandfinal week, preparing for the big game on Saturday. Haha! His groomsmen and friends watched with smiles as he got ready.

Trung and Thu were very excited about two special cars they had hired for the day. Is this one cool looking or what?

Rolls Royce wedding car for Sydney Asian weddingGroom bringing gifts to bride for Vietnamese wedding

Then it was time to get the vehicles packed up to make the procession over to Thu’s house for the ceremony. The boys carried eight special trays containing gifts for the brides family. The red cloth coverings, as well as the specific number of trays, are believed to bring the new couple good luck.

GroomGroom

Meanwhile, at Thu’s house, the crowds were gathering in anticipation of the groom’s arrival. Trung and Thu had even managed to hire Lion Dancers and some pyrotechnics to annouce the start of the ceremony!

Lion dancing costumes and firecrackers at Sydney cultural weddingYoung lion dancers at Vietnamese/Chinese wedding in Australia

As the groom’s processional rounded the corner, the musicians began vigourously beating their drums and clanging symbols.  The long strands of firecrackers were lit and went off with a wild crackling as the strands thrashed about in the air.  The din echoed around the block, drawing out heaps of curious neighbors onto their patios to glimpse the festivities! The lion dancers went at it full throttle, jumping, lurching and bobbing around with tons of energy.

Firecrackers and lion dancers in a Chinese/Vietnamese wedding

In addition to the eight trays, the guests came bearing other gifts, including the traditional gift of a giant roast pig.

Vietnamese wedding procession of Groom

The little bit of rain coming down sure wasn’t going to stop this parade!

Lion dancers at Asian wedding ceremony in Australia

Trung looked so excited!

Lion dancers at Asian wedding ceremony in AustraliaColourful lion dancers in cultural Asian-Australian weddingLion dancing at Sydney Vietnamese wedding

As the two families greeted each other, they presented the bride’s family with some traditional lacquer boxes and gifts for the bride.

Serving tea at Vietnamese cultural weddingBride

The women now carried the eight trays inside, containing gifts of fruit, cakes, and other sweets.

BrideGifts and fruit at Vietnamese wedding tea ceremony

Once inside, the tea ceremony began with the burning of incense. The bride and groom and family pray to their ancestors and ask for their blessing.

Documentary style photography of Australian-Asian weddingPhoto-journalistic wedding photography

Gifts of jewellery for the bride are always essential! The mothers lovingly presented Thu with her beautiful new pieces from Tiffany’s.

Sydney wedding photographers, Asian wedding photographersExchanging gifts and jewelry in Asian tea ceremonyExchanging rings in Asian/Vietnamese/Chinese wedding tea ceremony

After exchanging rings, the bride and groom served tea to each of their family members. Traditionally, at this point in the tea ceremony each family member has the opportunity to give a bit of advice about marriage and family to the couple, or to simply express their well wishes.  The bride and groom are presented with an envelope containing money, often in a lucky amount.

Photo-journalistic photography of Asian weddingDocumentary style photography of Vietnamese tea ceremonyVietnamese-Australian wedding, offering teaChinese wedding tea ceremony in Sydney AustraliaPhotos of Asian wedding tea ceremony in Sydney AustraliaAsian wedding photographers with photojournalistic style in SydneyOffering tea and respect at Asian-Australian weddingVietnamese tea ceremony in Sydney, Australia

After the tea had been served, the women handed the lucky trays back to the men… so that the processional could begin again and proceed to the groom’s house for the second half of the ceremony!

Exchanging gifts during Vietnamese wedding ceremonyGroomRolls Royce wedding car in Sydney, Australia

Trung and Thu were seen as officially married now, but the fun wasn’t over yet. Traditionally, after the tea ceremony at the bride’s house, the family members are invited to a reception at the groom’s house.  Trung and Thu had a fancy reception planned at a local restaurant later that evening, but all the family were invited to the groom’s house for lunch and a second tea ceremony. Once everyone had arrived, they formed a line down the block and proceeded inside, with parents first and other family members following in order of seniority.

Colourful bridal processional in Asian-Vietnamese wedding in Sydney

Thu was looking so beautiful and happy! I loved the way her red roses matched her Áo Dài perfectly.

Inside, the groom’s house was as beautifully decorated as the bride’s.

Creative and colourful Phoenix and Dragon fruit sculptures photography

I couldn’t get over how cool these food sculptures were.  Can you tell they are a dragon and a phoenix?  The dragon and phoenix are a yin and yang metaphor, representing male and female. These two mythic creatures are often seen as a part of Vietnamese and Chinese weddings, symbolic of blissful relations between husband and wife. These amazing creations were made out of pineapples, chili peppers, snake beans, cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves, and held together by tiny pins. They were truly works of art (and definitely too pretty to eat!). I was also quite partial to this succulent-looking green tree, made out of sweet sticky cakes.

Colourful fruit sculptures of Phoenix and Dragon for Asian tea ceremony

The groom’s parents lit more incense as they honoured the ancestors from Trung’s side of the family.

Incense and Buddhist altar during Vietnamese tea ceremony

Trung and Thu exchanged tea cups and envelopes with a few more family members.

Serving tea to the Groom

With their marriage official, it was just about time to begin the celebrations! Stay tuned for part 2, where you’ll see what we got up to with the bridal party at Bicentennial Park, and what a blast everyone had at their fun-filled reception at Golden Harvest Restaurant. Coming soon!

Friends and family of Trung and Thu, leave a comment below for the happy couple or let us know what you think of the photos! Leave your email address to be notified when the full gallery of images is online.

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Ruth Trevaskis - I loves these so much. Perfectly captured.

Meredith Lord - Wow, I love learning about different cultures. The colours are fabulous! As are the images. Absolutely beautiful!!!!

A Surprise Proposal on Sydney Harbour: Ryan & Lacey

Connecticut, 2:00am. A nervous young lad in a dark room whispers loudly at his iPhone, the patchy Facetime connection spitting static every few seconds, slightly obscuring the image of the black-clad ninja photographers.

“Operation Koala is a go. Repeat, Operation Koala is a go!”, the shaky voice repeats as the static buzzes. A fat bead of sweat drips onto his screen and he smears it away. “Confirm, please confirm, commence operation at rendezvous point, 16:30 hrs. Over.”

“Roger that, Private Ryan. 16:30 confirmed. Transmitting satellite images of rendezvous point now. Over and out.”

OK, so the conversation didn’t exactly go like that. Jeff and I don’t usually wear all black, although Jeff does sometimes like to think of himself as a ninja. Ryan wasn’t nervous on the call with us either. He was actually pretty calm, and confident about the outcome of this whole surprise proposal and photoshoot that he was planning for his sweetheart, Lacey. And actually, our video connections are pretty good over here. It’s Australia, not the inside of our volcano lair…

Anyway, we helped Ryan plan this secret stealth mission so he could surprise Lacey, the love of his life, with a beautiful ring and a very important question, during their vacation down under! It was SO fun. Ryan came up with the “excuse” to get Lacey to dress up in a cute dress and not question the afternoon’s activities—she was expecting a group photoshoot with some of Ryan’s friends who were about to be married. After a number of emails, that Facetime conversation, and lots of blue prints and schematics Google Maps, the plan was ready to go. Ryan and I secretly made eye contact when they came off the ferry, and I lay in wait behind a nearby palm tree, my telephoto lens pointed straight at Lacey! Good thing there was something behind Lacey that I could pretend to be photographing, otherwise I might have looked a little bit creepy…

Milson

But never mind that, Ryan didn’t waste much time and scrounged around in his camera bag, where he had been carrying the ring throughout their entire Australian trip so far! I couldn’t hear anything from my spot behind the palm tree, except I did hear Lacey’s immediate reaction to seeing that little red box in Ryan’s hand. A very clear, “STOP IT!” resounded across the Milson’s Point boardwalk, Lacey’s way of expressing her surprise. Of course, Ryan promptly ignored this request.

Secret photos of surprise marriage proposal on Sydney Harbour

How cute was Lacey’s reaction and how cute are these two together??

Surprise marriage proposal and engagement photos Sydney

Pictures of marriage proposal at Sydney Harbour Bridge

Lacey was taken completely by surprise. I love her facial expressions!

Engagement pictures with Sydney Opera House

They were soo happy! Ryan pointed out to Lacey that I was capturing all of this from a distance. She hadn’t even noticed me. It wasn’t until they waved me over to come say hello that I realised how hard my heart had been pounding! Surprise proposal = declared a success. Time to celebrate!

Marriage proposal and engagement celebration at Sydney Opera House

After some bubbles and giggles with their friends who had been watching, Ryan revealed that there was more photo-taking in store, just for the two of them.

Photography of American vacation in Sydney

One of my favourites of the happy couple! How gorgeous is Lacey?!

Sydney holiday photographer, vacation photographers

Speaking of gorgeous, how about that amazing ring? Wowzah! :)

Diamong engagement ring, Sydney wedding photographers

I could tell right from the start that Ryan and Lacey are a super fun, energetic couple, and that this was going to be a super fun afternoon!

Sydney Luna Park pre-wedding photo sessionSydney Luna Park surprise marriage proposal pictures

You guys just look so in love!

Pre-wedding photo session with Australian wedding photographersWedding proposal under Sydney Harbour Bridge

A ferry ride is of course a must for any first-time visitor to Sydney.

Pre-wedding photos on Milsons Point to Circular Quay ferryEngagement pictures on Milsons Point ferry

Call me a big cheese ball, but something about this photo makes me smile. Rather than let my own words form into a big lump of mozzarella, I’ll just say it reminds me of a quote that I love:

“Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other,
but in looking outward together in the same direction.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Romantic engagement session around Sydney Harbour

After the ferry ride, we took a romp through The Rocks, where this lucky duo happened to be staying! An outfit change was in order. Lacey said this look was more “them” and after meeting them I see what she meant. They were both looking so relaxed and happy!

Pre-wedding pictures in The Rocks, SydneyEngagement photos by Australian Wedding photographers The Wong CoupleWedding proposal photography in Sydney, Australia

American vacation photos in The Rocks, Sydney

Love these! Ryan looking very cool and Lacey looking just beautiful!

Australia holiday photographySurprise engagement session at The Rocks, Sydney

Such a cute couple!!

Surprise pre-wedding photography session in AustraliaAustralian surprise marriage proposal and photo session

The Rocks marriage proposal and engagement photography

I must say I just love this photo here looking up the stair railing (yes, this one was taken by yours truly). ;)

The Rocks marriage proposal and engagement photography

Here was Jeff’s angle, which I also love. :)

Pre-wedding pictures in The Rocks, Sydney

Engagement photos by Australian Wedding photographers The Wong Couple

Wedding proposal photography in Sydney, AustraliaAmerican vacation photos in The Rocks, Sydney

Here’s another that brings me back to that Antoine de Saint-Exupery quote.

Reflection of Sydney Opera House Australia after surprise marriage proposalReflection of Sydney Opera House Australia after surprise marriage proposal

It’s that time of year again in Sydney, for one of my favourite things… purple trees!

Sydney marriage proposal and engagement photography

Sunset at the Opera House was definitely a must for our American couple.

Australian holiday photographers, Sydney Opera HouseAustralian pre-wedding photographers

We love the light of golden hour! I just can’t get enough of the beautiful warm hues.

Australian pre-wedding photographers

Pre-wedding photos at the Sydney Opera HouseAustralian engagement session, Sydney photographersCreative pre-wedding engagement photography at Sydney Opera HousePhotography for Americans vacationing in Australia

Ryan is a bit of a photographer himself with some pretty cool travel and landscape photos and a nice following on Instagram! It’s always really flattering when other photographers and photography enthusiasts like our work enough have us be their photographers. We especially love doing fancy things like our panoramas for those who love and appreciate them.  Click this one to view it bigger!

Panoramic view of Sydney Skyline and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Marriage proposal session at Sydney Harbour Bridge

A last panorama at twilight. You can click this one to view it big as well!

Beautiful panorama of Sydney Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge

Ryan and Lacey, a huge congratulations to you as you begin this new chapter as fiancé and fiancée! We’re so happy we could be a part of this wonderful day for you both. You guys seem so very well suited to one another.  You also seem to have some amazing friends, and we’re sure you’re going to have one heck of an amazing wedding!  Please keep in touch (and don’t hesitate to call if you need a wedding photographer)!  ;) You guys rock!

Friends and family of Ryan and Lacey, let us know what you think or leave a congratulatory note for the couple in the comments below, and leave your email address to be notified when the full gallery of images is online.

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Erika - Gorgeous colors and fantastic light!!

Ellen - Ryan and Lacey,

Once again Congratulations! The photos look amazing, I just don’t know how you are going to choose a few for your walls. I can’t wait to hear about the wedding plans.

Biju Photography - Beautiful moments captured. Breathtaking images. Congratulations to the new couple.

Connie Richard - Congratulations Lacey and Ryan. What an amazing proposal. Amazing photographs also. Ryan must be a hopeless romantic and very much in love! Huck and I wish you love, luck, and happiness…always!
Our love,
Huck and Connie Richard

Jeff & Susan Gandee - As the parents of the fiance/groom/husband/father (yeah, getting ahead but that’s ok), we just want to tell you what a wonderful job you did! We are thrilled with their engagement and very happy for both of them.

The pictures are great!

Congratulations and our love, Ryan and Lacey!

Fiona King Celebrant - What a fantastic story and you captured it so well!