Sharn and Tui were married outside at Yanchep Inn, in the Yanchep National Park in Western Australia, with their reception held in the Cabaret Cave. It’s an amazing venue. The lawn where they held their commitment ceremony is shaded and lush, and the cave is just incredible – lit with fairy lights and floor lights that bring the warm rock walls to life, creating an gorgeous, intimate feel despite the generous size of the cave. Perfect for two of the awesome-est guys I’ve had the privilege of meeting. 🙂
While Sharn was getting ready at Yanchep Inn’s gorgeous accommodation, his mum surprised him with a beautiful wooden box filled with lovely treasures: letters and mementos from his life.
Then it was time to head to the Yanchep Inn lawn, and await the arrival of his beloved…which was another surprise, and a style truly Tui 🙂
Once everyone was over the excitement of having one of the grooms arrive in a helicopter, the ceremony began. Sharn is a pretty laid back guy, and not overly fond wearing shoes, so his bridesmaids went shoeless in support. I back the move…much easier to walk on grass in bare feet than stilettos, that’s for sure! 🙂
Tui, on the other hand, is always very well put together, so his bridesmaids rocked the heels…and managed the grass just fine. 🙂 They all walked down the aisle to the amazing sounds of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. If you haven’t heard it, click the link, it’s super gorgeous. 🙂
They were very happy to see one another, as you would expect. ♥ The ceremony was conducted by Sharn’s mother, which made it very personal and very intimate. Same sex couples aren’t legally allowed to marry in Australia, so Sharn and Tui, unconstricted by the requirements of a civil union, were free to design a ceremony entirely theirs. It represented their relationship perfectly. Their vows were simple, heartfelt, and incredibly moving. And very funny at times, which was awesome – they’re a couple who love to play, with mutual respect and love always.
After exchanging vows, they tied a lovers’ knot in two gorgeous pieces of green and black rope. Well, Sharn did most of the knot tying, while Tui helped…sort of. 🙂 Here is an excerpt from their ceremony, read by Sharn’s mother while the knots were tied:
“Sharn and Tui have just sealed their relationship with the exchanging of vows. Today their relationship is further symbolized by the tying of a true lovers’ knot, for it is the strongest there is; its bond will not break, becoming ever stronger under pressure.
These two cords represent your past; each of you as individuals and the unique and special gifts you bring to each other. As you fasten your pieces together, these actions represent the present; this moment when you join your two lives into one common purpose. The completed knot represents your future, secure in the knowledge your relationship will continue to strengthen despite the inevitable changes life brings. Although the lover’s knot is one of the simplest to tie, it is also the most enduring and the sturdiest. As stress is applied, the knot becomes ever stronger.
It is the goal of devoting yourself to another to achieve a blending of hearts and lives, but like the spaces between these cords, let there also be spaces in your new life together, so each may encourage and nurture the individual growth of the other.
I ask that you know pull on this rope to see it strengthen under pressure while still allowing us to see the individual cords ~ just as your support of one another as beautiful and blessed individuals strengthens your union.
As you hold one another in mutual concern, shared respect and love, may you continue holding each other tightly in your hearts, formed as one in mind, body and spirit from now and forever. Let this knot indicate the strength of your love and be a symbol of your unity from this day forward.”
Champagne to celebrate, of course! What’s a wedding without bubbles, I ask? Followed by hugs and tears of joy and lots of laughter.
Once the congratulations were done, Sharn and Tui signed their life contract, witnessed by their mothers while Sharn’s dad looked on proudly.
World’s cutest flower girl:
And ducks and kangaroos all over the place!!!
Bit of a fly issue during the group shots…
We did a quick portrait session by the Yanchep Inn lake.
They’re so lovely together. ♥
Then it was in the bus for a quick ride up to Cabaret Cave, with some shoe adjustments on the way. 🙂
I love a good bowtie!!! And this one is particularly awesome.
Tui is a New Zealander, and his family and friends greeted the guys with a haka – so powerful and emotional and spine-tingling. It filled the space with love and strength.
After their spectacular entrance, it was all hugs and food and lollies and speeches and laughter and dancing and singing…lots of beautiful singing.
It’s exhausting being a flower girl, don’t you know? Yay for cushion-filled nooks in caves. 🙂
After cutting their awesome “Mr & Mr” cake, the grooms danced to Sia’s Chandelier, and then the dance floor got very busy!
When I left, the d-floor was crowded, and the party looked like it was going to kick on for quite a while. 🙂 It was an amazing day, one I loved being a part of. Thank you for having me, Sharn and Tui. You guys are ace and you really know how to throw a party. :)♥ xox
I’ve been photographing headshots for actors for a pretty long time, and I’ve been acting and having my own headshots done for even longer. I’ve worked out a handful of things that you really want to get right when you’re having your acting portrait shot. They are things you can control, outside of the photographer’s input, and it’ll make an enormous difference to your professional acting headshots, I promise. 🙂 So, here they are…5 Tips for an Awesome Acting Headshot Session. Yay!
Brush Your Hair
I know, sounds obvious, right? Like I shouldn’t even need to say it. But…I do. So, there it is: just brush your hair, and before you do that, please make sure it’s clean. And also bring a brush/comb with you to your headshot session. We want hair that looks nice, you know? Freshly styled, however you like it. And bring hair ties, if you have long enough hair to tie back, because we’re going to do different things with your hair.
Changing hair style radically affects your look: it changes the shape of your face, and that can result in a photo where you look younger or older, or stronger or softer, or a whole bunch of things that are useful in an acting headshot. And range is everything, so any time you can add to an age range, or emotional range, or social demographic range, or any other human variation, it’s very worth doing.
Avoid Logos on your Clothing
A headshot is about YOU, not the brand of clothing you love the best. Logos, catchphrases, words, and patterns are distracting, and we want everyone who looks at your headshot to only see you. Nobody is casting Nike or Lululemon or the hottest top from the latest shop in their film or play or television commercial. Keep it simple and let your awesome face do all the talking. 🙂
Bring a couple of different changes of tops with you: something casual, something colourful, and something a little formal. It helps make your headshots look different from each other (important when you’re posting them on a casting website like Showcast) and can contribute to your dramatic range. In the headshots below, the wonderful Greg Marsten started in a black collared shirt for the serious headshot, then paired a bright blue tshirt with a suit jacket for a relaxed and friendly commercial headshot, then rocked out the tshirt for a great three-quarter headshot full of personality. In each photo, Greg’s face and expression tell the story, with support from the clothing. That’s exactly how it should go. 🙂
Ladies, this is for you. Some of you will find this easy and some won’t. But, it’s really important, so I want you to pay attention: please don’t wear makeup on your skin. By that, I mean concealer, powder, foundation, illuminator…nothing. Go nuts on the eye makeup, and lipstick is good, too, but keep your skin fresh and clean. Please. I can do wonderful retouching with those annoying breakouts that happen RIGHT BEFORE YOUR SHOOT (yep, happens to everyone), honestly I can. But I can’t match the colour of your made-up skin to the colour of your natural skin on your neck and chest, which will very likely be visible in your photos (unless you’re wearing a turtleneck, which I generally don’t recommend…do you want to look like a turtle in your headshots?). Plus, casting directors want to know what your natural skin tone is – they like to know what they’ll be working with. 🙂
I’m often asked about professional makeup for acting headshots, and I always say if you can’t replicate it yourself, don’t do it. Your acting headshot is a casting directors first point of reference for you and your suitability for a role. If you’re marketing yourself in a way that doesn’t actually reflect YOU, you’re doing yourself a great disservice. It’s important to arrive at auditions looking like your headshot, otherwise you’re wasting your own and everyone else’s time..
A great headshot is mostly about the eyes. The coolest looking shot in the world won’t get you far if your eyes don’t jump out of the photo and grab the casting director’s attention. The way to have this happen is to be connected to the camera, as if it’s a person. Connection happens when you’re engaged, listening and communicating actively. An empty mind means empty eyes, so put something in there that reflects the mood you’re trying to create with the headshot. I often tell my headshot clients to think the words, “I’ve got a secret”; not any specific secret, just the words, over and over. I ask them to decide what kind of secret it is, then give the words that feeling. It’s amazing the difference it makes.
Most people find it difficult to see themselves in a flattering light. We all look for flaws, and we’re well practiced at finding them. But a great acting headshot isn’t about having the prettiest photo of yourself – it’s purpose is to generate interest, and interesting comes in all shapes and sizes. An actor needs to embrace themselves, as they are, and use what they have to generate character. So, try to be objective when you’re looking at your shots. But if all you see is flaws, please listen to your photographer – he or she knows what makes a good acting headshot, and is working hard to represent all aspects of you, to give you the most useful range of headshots possible. If you have an agent, show them the proofs and ask which shots will work best for you. Trust the professionals around you, they know what they’re doing. 🙂
This family shoot was super special and a mountain of fun. My friend Nat booked in a session with me because her oldest daughter had just decided that she was going to give up ballet after years of study. She was starting high school and was entering a GATE program (gifted and talented) at a wonderful school, and she really wanted to give it all her attention…lots of transitions, all at once! Nat thought it would be lovely (and very important) to document this time of change, with the intention of putting it all into a keepsake book.
Nat had a very clear vision for the shoot and wanted to firstly capture her daughter at home, in her room, surrounded by the things that would soon be put aside for more grown up pursuits. After that, we’d be moving to the Midland Railway Workshops, a space I’d been wanting to shoot in for the longest time, so I was all hands-in-the-air excited. 🙂
The Workshops have an incredible history. They were in operation for a century, maintaining the steam engines that ran right up until 1971 and providing development and maintenance for the entire West Australian rail system. The workshops were one of the major employers in WA throughout the 20th century, and were a vital training ground for tradespeople in Perth. My window washer guy told me that back in the day, if you couldn’t get work, you just rocked up to the workshops and they’d give you an apprenticeship. When they closed in 1994, WA lost a massive industrial workspace, and a whole social structure and community built on friendship, tradition and shared workmanship. Despite the fact that working there was dirty and often dangerous with harsh conditions, it left thousands of people devastated by the loss.
They’re not easy to access, being heritage listed, so while we waited for permission, Nat at I spent several weeks sending each other inspiration shots and getting together to compare ideas and drink coffee and hatch plans. It was loads of fun. 🙂 Getting in there to shoot was a quite literally a dream come true – I’ve been living in the area for years, driving past it all the time, just salivating at the thought of being in amongst all that history and space and epic structure, camera in hand. I’d had several cracks at getting in there over the years, and had been turned down each time. So when we got the go ahead, I just about wet my pants. 🙂
It’s seriously amazing, full of old train-related machinery and bits and pieces, dark in some areas and full of light in others. Enormous cavernous spaces, very industrial, and old. When we placed a beautiful young ballet dancer within it, the contrast was striking, just like Nat had envisioned (she’s very clever, and clearly more resourceful than me!). I don’t really have the words to do it justice, so let’s just look at the pictures. 🙂
Nat has two other equally gorgeous kids, so once we’d shot a bunch of awesomeness with her eldest, we called the other two in and got all sibling-licious. 🙂 Her youngest also dances, and looks pretty darn adorable in a leotard and tutu. 🙂
This is some incredibly cute tushie-shaking – she’s not exactly a wallflower, this one. 🙂
Then we got middle brother involved, and he isn’t a dancer. 🙂 But he is a basketball player, and it’s super important to him, so when he was asked what he wanted to wear, out came the uniform.
Nat’s younger two are such characters. They’re full of mischief and fun, and not a bit shy. We’ve known each other for a pretty long time, though, and that always helps. 🙂
From 2008 to around 2014 (I think), part of the Workshops was occupied by the Midland Atelier, an art and design studio hub created as a partnership between the Metro Redevelopment Authority and FORM. It housed interstate and international artists-in-residence, as well as a number of local designers across various disciplines – photographers, furniture designers, painters, all sorts. It was totally rad, and now there are a bunch of really cool artworks just casually living in the empty spaces, like this amazing Cerberus (Susan Flavell, cardboard, glue and mixed media, 2013). Nat has a (sort of weird, but I love her anyway) affinity with the three-headed monster, so this image is now hanging in her home, nice and big, beautifully framed. 🙂 We’re still finalising the ballet book, so I’ll post about that when it’s all done. 🙂 xox
Courtney and Stuart had a really awesome wedding, which, once you know them, makes ABSOLUTE sense. 🙂 They’re adventurers, always on the lookout for fun and interesting things to do with their time. They’re both whip smart and effortlessly stylish, don’t sit still for long at all, and they’re all-round good people with lots of love in their hearts. My kinda peeps. ♥
Stuart and Courtney came back to Perth from Paris (where they were living and working) for their wedding, so they could be with all their family and friends. But they brought France back with them: Stuarts very sharp suit was custom made for him by Blandin & Delloye (monogrammed! sigh), and his simple and elegant shoes are from LodinG. And yes, that’s me reflected in the gold bits of the wooden LodinG shoe trees. 🙂
I’d been wanting to make a photo like the one below with wedding rings for AGES, but hadn’t come across a dictionary at the right time, and I prefer to shoot what’s already there, rather than bringing in elements that don’t belong to my couples – like my own dictionary. 🙂 So I was VERY excited (possibly embarrassingly so!) when I found a lovely dictionary in Stuart’s parents’ home! These rings were made for Courtney and Stuart by a family friend, which makes them even more special.
Bow ties are remarkably complicated and this one was no exception. But that’s what the internet is for, right?
So there’s a lovely story to go with this wedding. I had photographed Courtney’s maid of honour’s wedding a year earlier, but as an associate for another Perth wedding photography studio. Courtney loved the photos and wanted the same wedding photographer, but Madelaine (the MoH) didn’t know my name, only the name of the studio I’d been shooting for. Courtney contacted them, but they were booked for her date. She asked for a recommendation, and was given my details. They Skyped me from Paris and we had an awesome chat, lots of laughter, and we really hit it off. They booked me in for their date, without either of us knowing that they were actually booking the photographer they had hoped for right from the start.
So, their wedding day arrives and, after leaving the boys, I show up to photograph Courtney and her girls getting ready and who is the first person I see? Madelaine (of course – it was her house)! She immediately turned to Courtney and said, “THIS IS HER! THIS IS MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER! THIS IS HER!”, which immediately turned into lots of suprised and happy laughter and hugs and a whole pile of satisfaction that this was absolutely meant to be and that universe had worked things out perfectly. What a way to kick off a truly wonderful day. :)♥
Courtney and the girls were looking gorgeous (lovely work by Thianna Sperry MUA and Andrea Rose Hair Design), all wearing matching robes and ready to receive their fabulous bridesmaid gifts from Swarovski. Courtney was pretty excited to give the girls their presents and they celebrated with a glass of yummy Moet bubbles, because honestly, what’s a wedding day without bubbles?! They’re a really tight group of friends, but so generous and open, and it really felt like I was hanging out with people I’d known for years…yay. Perfect. 🙂
The bridal bouquets from Little Petals Floral Design were stunning, a beautiful combination of white and cream blooms set off perfectly with crisp green foliage and delicate baby’s breath. Classical, elegant and understated – very much Courtney’s style, as you’ll see from her choice of gorgeous bridal shoes from Repetto Paris and her incredible Stella York dress.
How stunning is this detail? Tiny delicate buttons nestled in soft, intricate lace work. So beautiful!
I love these moments. 🙂 The in-between things that show the relationships between people – this is the bride and her sister, and you just know they’ve done exactly this so many times throughout their entire lives. :)♥ I think it’s my job as a wedding photographer to catch these moments, because they’re just as important as the more obvious wedding day things.
Courtney is an accomplished pianist, so we took advantage of the lovely old piano sitting in Madelaine’s lounge room for some bridal portraits before leaving for the wedding ceremony.
The outdoor ceremony took place at Matilda Bay, alongside the Swan River, and was beautifully and simply styled by Wedding Day Flair. We had the most perfect Perth wedding weather: bright blue skies, puffy little clouds, lovely warm sun. Stuart stood nervously under a tree while Dolce Ensembles entertained the guests, all waiting impatiently for their first glimpse of the stunning bride, who was to be walked down the aisle by both parents.
The ceremony was full of laughter and love, with beautiful readings from family and friends, and proud parents watching their amazing children marry the love of their life. Ann Lord CMC, as always, officiated perfectly, with impeccable timing and lovely subtlety. It was simple and authentic, all rounded out with heartfelt and genuine vows from Courtney and Stuart. Joy and happiness filled the space, and beamed out of everyone’s smiling faces. It was deep and moving, light and funny, all at the same time.
The reception was held at Mosmans Restaurant, one of the premier Perth wedding reception venues. Overlooking the Swan River, it has spectacular views across the bay and an incredible menu. Mosman’s know how to throw a party, that’s for certain, and the venue always looks amazing when it’s styled for a wedding, especially when Touched by Angels is doing the decorating. Little Dollop Cakes did a wonderful job with their wedding cake, and it tasted just as good as it looked!
We had a spectacular sunset, which preceded a crazy thunderstorm – luckily we were safe inside when the rain hit! I’m pretty glad I had the chance to capture Mosman’s like this in the early evening light, with the storm clouds rolling in…so dramatic!
The speeches were definitely a highlight of this wonderful wedding – laugh out loud funny and love-filled sentiments galore.
Once the speeches were over and the cake was cut, it was time to party!!! Out came the magnum of Pol Roger (more bubbles; I told you these guys were my kind of peeps!) to share a toast over a delicious dessert from the Mosman’s set wedding menu.
Then Courtney and Stuart lit up the dance floor in one of the best first dances I’ve seen, full of twirls and dips and lifts and kisses. It was romantic, fun, and very well executed…Courtney and Stuart, to an absolute T. :)♥