A few days ago in my last blog post I mentioned that I wanted to BLOG a whole lot more. It's been such a wet and cold weekend that it's been the perfect time to get stuck into it and start 0ff my 'more blogging' adventure with a wedding that was the first of 2017 for me. It was also wedding number 6 for me in my whole career; man it's eye opening looking back at older work and seeing just how far I've come in a short space of time in the Adelaide Wedding Photography game. Regardless of that, this blog isn't meant to be about me. It's about two of the nicest people you'll ever meet, Nikita & Ryan. Let me introduce you to them...
This Is Their Story...
Nikita & Ryan's story began in highschool. They're the classic high school sweethearts. Nikita remembers a friend of hers telling her about a guy in 9th Grade with a classic Lloyd Christmas Dumb n Dumber hair cut. She couldn't believe that someone would actually come to school looking like that and just had to meet this Jim Carey lookalike. Fast forward a few years through highschool and into their 20's and we came to a hot 40 degree day in January where these two lovers were due to get hitched!
These two are travellers at heart so they wanted to save as much money for their honeymoon. They became DIY gurus in the preparation for their big day and making the day a reflection of themselves was really important to them. So being the industrious and creative people they are made many of the decorations themselves and even some of the outfits from the day were made out of older materials. Stuff like this is what makes a wedding day unique and Nikita & Ryan's day was full of unique little touches that made it all uniquely them. I'll be sure to point them out as you scroll down, but for now take a look at the memories made for this beautiful couple with your own eyes!
Nikita made all of these flower bouquets herself! What a talent!
they had a 'wine box' ceremony where they both wrote unread letters full of reminders as to why they love each other to one another, with the plan to open them up on their 5th anniversary!
Ryan & Nikita walked back down the aisle to an ACDC classic 'Highway to Hell'
Mum was pretty proud!
The lesson here is to not wear long dresses on 40 degree days. Unfortunately for the girls they didn't have much of a choice and this is them trying their best to keep cool!
and this is the lads being lads.
this brought back a few memories from my early 20's!
Nikita & her Dad broke tradition and had a Father/ Daughter dance to a Rockabilly banger!
This garter toss was one that I will never ever forget...
for pretty obvious reasons!
and yes...that's me...with my shirt off on the d-floor. Not an ounce of anything in my system. Just me being me!
Venue: Queens Head Hotel in North Adelaide
Cake: Shazzas Kitchen Creation
Dress: Adelaide's Brides & Bloom, Mawson Lakes
Alterations: The Sewing Room
Rings: Michael Hill
Event stylist/prop hire: White Fox Wedding
Celebrant: Pamela Zajac Distinctly Yours
Catering: Queens Head Hotel
An Adelaide Wedding Photographer Has Had Enough.
Shooting more personal work was something I told myself at the start of the 2017 Adelaide winter. I wanted to work at building connection with my subjects and take them to a place where they were completely open to sharing heartfelt moments with me. Jesh Derox an American photographer and speaker suggested the idea that people often believe that photography is mainly about how you LOOK and while this has some truth to it, photography is about how you FEEL. This idea was one that completely flipped my mindset and helped me to work out WHY I do what I do as a photographer. I'd found myself striving to 'get the shot' to 'stand out from the crowd' in the overly saturated wedding photography industry but in doing this I was doing the exact opposite of what I really have always wanted my career as a photographer to be about. CONNECTION.
My time with my friend Imogen was my way of kickstarting a new approach. Perhaps not a completely new approach but certainly a more refined one. I knew what I wanted to work on so I set out to do it. We decided to hit up Aldinga in the southern suburbs of Adelaide, more specifically the incredible McLaren Vale Wineries and fields which are nestled just between Sellicks Beach & Willunga.
We set off mid afternoon and made the short journey through the stormy weather to be greeted by the incredible yellow fields of Aldinga. This gorgeous lady made my job an absolute breeze, one of the most awesome humans I have ever met. I set about letting her soak in the unique geographical beauty as we frolicked around snapping away and building that connection I was seeking.
Here’s how it went down.
Ellie & Nick are two super down to earth and relaxed people. They've been on quite the journey together and the emotion that was expressed during my time with them is a real testament to that. They met in Sydney a few years ago and at the time Nick had been working in the mines. It didn't take long before Ellie took the plunge and moved to Sydney to be with Nick on a more regular basis in 2013. A couple of years later they both moved together to Adelaide in 2015 to start a new life here together and in May 2016 Nick asked for Ellie's hand in marriage presenting her with a beautiful Meadowlark Ring. Speaking with them and hearing about their plans for their future together was something really special for me and I could see they're two people full of ambition. They've also recently rescued and adopted a racing Greyhound and we all know how much I love a cute doggo, so this was a little added bonus for me.
As I was preparing for their engagement shoot I had been spending time looking at a few other photographers work, trying to find some inspiration. One common theme I noticed is that a lot of engagement shoots had all been spent down along the coast or in amongst a pretty forest and I knew straight away that this wasn't what Ellie & Nick were suited for. I kept searching and came across a few photographers who had gone into the homes of their couples and I thought that this would be a perfect way to start my time with Ellie & Nick. I put the idea to them and explained my reasoning for wanting to try it out and being the awesome people they are, they said sure. I won't go into every detail that went down during our time together in their home but one of the questions I had both of them answer was "When was the time you needed the other person the most?" What followed was one of the most intimate and expressive moments I had experienced with a couple in my short time as a photographer. It was truly a beautiful experience and one I won't forget quickly.
Afterwards we hopped into our vehicles and headed down to Port Adelaide in search of some cool street art and pretty light. I must admit, both Ellie & Nick were feeling quite nervous before their shoot as they hadn't their photo taken before in this kind of setting, but after a while spent hanging out, playing some games and sharing some tender moments they both admitted that they had a fantastic time with me.
Next year they'll be getting married at Uraidla Show Hall and I have no doubts in my mind that that day will be one to remember. I can't wait.
The "when did you need the other person the most" moment. My heart melted
One of the Port Adelaide locals decided to come hang out.
KYLE & MELISSA'S
The Story of Melissa & Kyle
These two lovers first noticed eachother at their place of work. Kyle had been drawn to Melissa and her easy going style, big smile and glistening eyes for quite a while apparently. He was completely enchanted by her and says he had to somehow muster the courage to invite Melissa to have lunch with him after numerous rejections for several months. You could say the rest is history but that'd be doing these two an injustice. They sure have quite the tale to tell.
The first actual date was to a Jazz Night; now many of us would say this was a pretty risky decision on Kyle’s part. Let’s face it Jazz is not everyone’s first choice of music, but Melissa had grown up listening to her parents’ collection of Big Bands so she was absolutely delighted! #wellplayedKyle
Mel and Kyle shared a passion for live music and in particular The Timbers and Mel became a groupie and number one fan, going to all their gigs and music festivals. Many days were also spent on the couch growing their passion for farm life, watching river cottage and gourmet farmer. A few months after getting together, Mel was off to Nepal for a once in a life time holiday to embrace her inner yogi. Little did she know that she was six weeks pregnant. Daughter April was soon to be born, a huge and amazing surprise and the best thing that has happened to them.
A few job changes later, one involving Kyle moving away from full time studying the trumpet back into finance so that they could be as financially stable as possible to rent a place of their own. Kyle ended up taking a job with ANZ and their fastly expanding family moved down to Nelson to start their next chapter to raise a family in the country and live life as if they were retired.
Not too long after their move, Kyle wanted to recreate one of their fishing experience and engineered an outing to propose... where else, but on their beloved Glenelg River, at night, in a boat of course. Now this wasn’t smooth sailing, in fact, it evolved into some rather strenuous rowing after the outboard wouldn’t start. Melissa had no idea of Kyle’s plan and together they found it pretty funny. So, sitting out in the peaceful waters of the Glenelg, Kyle, in the dark, managed to find the engagement ring and together they pledged their love.
Kyle & Melissa found and purchased their dream home together Kinkella Farm in Mumbannar, Victoria during their engagement.
Originally city folk, they made the call to relocate 5 hours away from Adelaide. Their property quickly became the inspiration for their wedding as their long term goal is to become as self-sustainable as possible. Country life has become a huge part of who they are and they used this along with their incredibly close-knit, welcoming and warm community of family and friends all as inspiration too.
The Wedding Day
Nothing could really have prepared me for what I was going to experience. As I drove down their drive-way to the back of their home I found tents, caravans and a welcoming beer from some of their guests. I knew that I was in for a really special New Year's Eve celebratory wedding extravaganza! (try saying that 5 times fast)
The Kinkella Farm gardens after a year long process of weeding, prepping and getting ready became the location for their DIY wedding ceremony. Family and friends had travelled from places all over Australia to witness their special day. Melissa arrived in a fully restored Morris Minor which belonged to Kyle's grandfather who passed away the week before the wedding. It was his pride and joy and Mel and Kyle felt it was a true honour to have it included in the celebrations.
The local Mumbannar town hall was transformed into their reception hall where you found hay bales at the entrance that had been transformed into a make-shift stair case for guests to climb over a fence after they had walked through the field which had a path mowed through it thanks to the local neighbours. Inside was truly a DIY guru's paradise. Melissa had crafted all the decorations and set up the tables herself with eco-friendly materials that were all recycled and used for compost to go back into the property grounds after the wedding!
I could go on and on and on about all the unique little details of this special day. Simply put, a huge community effort made this day happen. What's more important is the love that these two have for each other, their family and their home. My words won't do these feelings justice so I'll let the images that I captured for these special people and who are now my friends, do the talking.
Also, Melissa also had some very kind words to say!
"Alex was truly sensational and more than we could have ever dreamt of. He drove 5 hours down from Adelaide and was happy to camp out the back with our friends and family. He is extremely warm, kind, friendly, without being intrusive. We felt he helped set a calm scene from the wedding eve at the wedding rehearsal. He seemed to just get us and what our day was all about. Towards the end of the reception he presented us with a beautiful card and a box full of polaroid photos from the day – to receive instant memories from him was incredibly special – we looked at them all night when we returned to our accommodation. We couldn’t speak more highly of him and his quality of work – which was also noted by all of our guests!"
Florals – Flowers purchased loose from ‘She’s Apples’ – Mount Gambier – Bouquets and Boutonnieres put together by the bridesmaids
Venue – Ceremony – Kinkella Farm
Reception – Mumbannar Memorial Hall
Stationery – DIY all made by Melissa (Bride)
Cake – Lamingtons from Kyton Bakery - Adelaide
Dress – Grace Loves Lace – Veil was hand made by Bride
Bridesmaid Dresses - ASOS
Rings - Vintage
PropHire – wine barrels umbrellas, stools from Rustic Wedding and Party Hire - Warrnambool
Hair – Hair by Sarah Shaw – Mount Gambier
Make up – Megan Evans from Vanity Make Up Bar and Beauty Bar – Mount Gambier
Suit – ASOS and H&M
Celebrant – Jennifer Buchanan – Port Fairy
Video – Kinship Productions – Astyn Reid
DJ/Entertainment – The Timbers Band & Tom Collins (live music)
Catering – Meat supplied and cooked by Mumbannar / Dartmoor local farmers
Salads and vegan options from Let Them Eat – Adelaide central markets
Bread – Hot Bread – Mount Gambier
Cake – Kytons Bakery – Adelaide
Gelati – All you need is love and a little Gelato – Mount Gambier