Mermaid-Inspired Photoshoot with Catherine

Oh yes I am back blogging. It has been a year or so since I wrote something in my blog. Not because I was just lazy (well, kind of *wink). The truth is that I’ve been very busy and it is only now I am having a short break. When my friend Iori of Adventscape finally finished editing the video footage from our last collaboration with Ultra Violet Creates and our resident make-up artist Amber Croome, I thought it would be a good time to update my blog with this video teaser he created for us.

Catherine is a competitive athlete in the bikini body competitions. She was in the top 5 of Arnold Classic Australia 2017 (Congratulations!) held here in Sydney. Together with my other photographer mate Marc Obfenda, we shot in Turimetta Beach located in the North of Sydney. Ultra Violet Creations provided the dress for this shoot. It was a mutual understanding that the dress was going to be soaking wet and dirty afterwards.

And here are the finished products taken that day.

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Barry + Amber Engagement Shoot

The plan was to trash the dress and mother nature decided to play along with us. It was gloomy and rainy morning but we still decided to continue with the photo shoot.

It was not the first time that I had a photo shoot under a bad weather. I’ve previously blogged about it – you can read it here. This time however, the waves were much more active and dangerous. Luckily, Barry grew up in the coast of Fiji. He told me the waves reminded him how he grew up back home. He and his mates used to go fishing at night and those waves were normal. Yes! problem solved.

 I described to them what I was visualising that morning while waiting for them to get ready. But first, we identified the spots and made sure those spots were safe to shoot. Safety without compromise was our priority that day.

And these are some of the breath-taking photos I took that day. Thanks to Barry and Amber again for being so cooperative and giving all their best to make this photo shoot remarkable.

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Starry Starry Night

Finally! Another tick in my bucket list – to shoot the milky way.

DRG_4153_2My very first milky way shot is above. Taken at Nohra Heads in Central Coast, NSW an 1-hour drive from Sydney. I was so thrilled when I saw the raw shot in my camera that night.

It was totally dark and no one else were around except me and my buddy. But I was confident we will come out unscathed. My buddy that night was Garrie Plata – who shoots astro on a regular basis. Besides, he is also very familiar with the area and he knows exactly where are the safe places to shoot despite the darkness. Our only source of light was two torch lights to help us find our way and be able to see while setting up our gears in the darkness.
DRG_4176_2It was a fascinating experience for someone like me who normally shoot weddings and portraits. This will not be the last time I will shoot the milky way. The excitement and thrills were just of a different level. Can’t wait to shoot more in the near future.

Jared + Charisse tied the knot

It was a day celebrated with emotions, laughters and giggles from the beginning until the end.
I captured the excitement that unfolded as Charisse prepared for her big day.
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As she walk down the aisle, Jared was calmly standing waiting for his  bride at the altar. Tears started rolling down as she came closer and closer to him – a manifestastion of over whelming joy. An explosion of emotions only a madly in-love groom could understand.

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During the ceremony, his eyes were always on her, sending messages  that only the two of them could comprehend. She would always respond with a smile, a stare, a short burst of laugh or a simple squeeze of his hand.
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While the guests were having their canapés and afternoon drinks, we headed down to a nearby open park to shoot some photos. We were blessed with great afternoon sunlight that gave us stunning shots of the couple and the entourage.
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At the reception, the mood was initially relaxed. The vibes fired up again when the couple marched into the dance floor with flaring fireworks. The father of the bride’s speech was absolutely hilarious, yet nailed the most important message about being committed to each other. Just when everyone were still adjusting their jaws because of uninterrupted laughing, THE BATMAN entered the ballroom. Standing on the podium, he expressed his support, encouragement and brotherly advise.
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The night of celebration continued amongst relatives and friends. At the stroke of midnight, all guests lined up to send off the couple to their new lives.
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Barry + Amber Save-The-Date

I’ve known Barry and Amber for quite sometime now. I received a message from Amber one day asking if I can be their wedding photographer. I agreed with enthusiasm.
saveddate_BAThe wedding is still a couple of months away. We have more than enough time to do a save-the-date photo session this autumn and then, followed by an actual engagement shoot in the spring time. She loved the idea. Besides, she hasn’t send any invitation yet. Therefore, the photos will be handy to be put together and send them out to their guests they wish to invite.
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The photo shoot was quick and simple. Nevertheless, we managed to complete the shots we needed despite the on and off rain that afternoon. I’m also reserving really cool ideas for their actual engagement shoot.

Harmonies of Autumn

There is something about autumn. One has to experience it to appreciate and enjoy what autumn can bring to one’s life. The calming feeling of consuming the cool breeze of air that signals the coming of winter, the satisfying whiff of the smokey scents and drying leaves scattered on the ground. And to marvel on the lustrous colours of the tree leaves waiting to fall off from the tree branches. The charm of Autumn was what I wanted to transcend on Jared and Charisse’s emotions, then capture some  unforgetable moments.

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Jared and Charisse are going to say “I Do” pretty soon. It is therefore fitting to ignite more excitement in anticipation of being as one, through an engagement photo shoot.DRG_6736_1_web
We took the shots in Mt. Wilson, a small village in the Blue Mountains. This place is amazing during autumn and I knew that this place will be perfect for Jared and Charisse’s engagement shoot.

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The weather was also perfect. Although the colours hadn’t fully burst yet, there was enough colourful foliage I could use as  backdrop for the shoot.
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The highlight of the photo shoot was when we took the photos before  the sunset. I told the couple that we were going to shoot in the middle of the road under the line of big trees along The Avenue. I visualised these shots (photos below) on my way to Mt. Wilson earlier that afternoon. I was so ecstatic when I saw the amount of available light which was just right to set the mood I imagined.

DRG_6800_1_webExactly two-and-half hours later, we wrapped up the shoot. I will definitely be back to this place whenever there is an opportunity. There are still a number of gardens to explore that can be used as a scenery for the shots I have in mind.

There is also a Behind-The-Scene video footage taken by Iori Avellana. He was my assistant during the photo shoot. The BTS video can be watched here.

Behind-The-Scenes of Jared and Charisse Engagement Photo Shoot

Iori Avellena of Adventscape made a BTS video during the engagement photo shoot session of Jared and Charisse. Kudos to this man. His work ethics is superb and I can see lots of potential out of this budding videographer.

In case you are wondering what goes on during my photo sessions – here it is! Enjoy the video and please do not forget also to visit http://www.adventscape.com to know more about Iori’s passion.

Adam and Glaiza Ezy-shoot

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It was a very relaxed afternoon engagement photo shoot with Adam and Glaiza at Intercontinental Hotel in Double Bay, Sydney.

It was also my first time to meet and chat with Adam (the groom-to-be). It’s with Glaiza (the bride-to-be) I liaise most of the time regarding their wedding photography. Adam is a tall guy with a big heart and likes the 80’s music. We have something in common! – the 80’s music, I mean. The Midnight Oil’s Beds are Burning MTV was showing on the TV when I entered the room. I told him it was back in the 80’s that I danced with this music but never understood what it meant until I settled in Australia. He laughed and replied “same as I, guilty!”

Glaiza is a bubbly person and fun to talk with. I can sense her gleaming confidence which I think is one of the characteristics that Adam love about her. I also noticed the gorgeous dress she was wearing. The dress was supposed to be worn on her wedding dinner but she decided to wear it during the photo shoot. She found another dress to wear for the party.

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It was cloudy and threatening to rain that morning. Then, just when we were about to start the shoot, the weather turned out better than I anticipated. My sun dance moves probably worked :-).

DRG_5865_1_webWe were hoping that some of the clouds will clear and then head down to the beach to catch a glorious sunset for our next shots. That did not happen unfortunately so we stayed inside the hotel premises and shoot a few more shots before wrapping up for the day.

Nevertheless, I was still able to improvised what was around us that time. Despite that we were not able to shoot the sunset scene I had imagined, I went home happy knowing that the couple enjoyed our mini-session and liked the shots they saw from my camera.

The Red Brick Wall

It is ok to be coolThe Jornales Family (L-R) Nathaniel, Ed, Eden & ER

I was back in Melbourne for another photo shoot assignment cum holiday sometime ago. A friend recommended me to their friend who wanted to have their family portrait photo taken. The good thing about this assignment was that it coincided with the school holidays. The whole family also wanted a longer break and away  from the hustle and bustle life of Sydney where I am based.

I met the Jornales family at Brighton Beach that  sunny afternoon. With no single cloud formation above the clear blue sky, it wasn’t the ideal time to shoot. But that’s part of the challenge for us photographers – make things work despite of any conditions.

As we walk along the coast line, I saw this red brick wall of an old building located  towards the southern end of the beach. I thought I could use that for a really cool shot of the Jornales. I thought, to veer away from the traditional family portrait poses – cuddling, side-by-side poses, the famous V-formation etc. – would make the shot unique.

I was also inspired by the words of English photographer Lord Patrick Lichfield – “Remember that the person you are photographing is 50% of the portrait and you are the other 50%…”.  With bit of explaining, directing their positions, showing them their poses and some awkward moments, I was able to nail this shot.