Twenty Thirteen

Without doubt 2013 was one of the busiest years of my life. I’m not saying that it’s something i’m proud of, I probably could have relaxed a little more, but in other ways, yes, I’m super proud of some of the things I achieved amongst it.

I started the year by photographing a celebrity wedding, I photographed a couple actually getting engaged, I spoke at an international conference & I taught a whole bunch of workshops. I look back and can’t quite believe how much I actually packed in, and how many goals I smashed.

2014 is looking to be even crazier.

In no certain order, here is just a small glimpse of what my year looked like through the lens.

Boys just wanna have fun.

One thing every single one of my clients should expect when they hire me is that they’re going to have fun and well, things might be a bit “random” at times. I have some crazy ideas, you could almost consider them experiments.

For example, yesterday in Geelong at Tess & Trent’s wedding, I asked these young lads to imagine they were on the new One Direction CD cover and they each need to come up with something. This was what they came up with.

I find that giving people a bit of an idea or framework, then letting them run wild within that is how I get the best images. Exactly what they’ll do with my idea is always hilarious, inspiring and a lot of fun to watch. It makes my job not actually seem like a job.

If you’re here because you’re looking for a photographer, then welcome! If you’re looking for someone who will quite literally have you and your guests in fits of laughter & your grandma feeling like she’s 21 again then I’m your guy. I like to have fun.

Why do I operate like this? Well, for me, a photo is a window back to a certain moment and I want for people to be taken back to moments where they felt amazing and were having the time of their lives. I know that people are already having a great time at a wedding, but people are so used to being so serious when a professional photographer is around. I want to change that.

Saraid + Tom at sunset.

I photograph weddings in the Hunter Valley fairly regularly. It would only be second to the Southern Highlands as far as regularity for me. When I’m up there, I often make sure I arrive early and drive around and find new locations. I’ve driven past this spot (in the photo) a few times in the past and kept it in the back of my mind for a place to take a couple some day.

The reception venue I was shooting at was a 2 minute drive up the road, so I knew it could possibly work at Saraid + Tom’s wedding. We jumped in the car, buckled up and raced down the road to get here just in time. If my calculations were right, I knew that the sun would set in just the right place.

Just before this image, S+T were running through the Olive Grove as I was saying, “I literally have 20 seconds before that sun dissapears, let’s go”.

Right on cue, everything aligned and I could finally produce the image that I’ve had filed away in my mind now, for quite some time.

Thank you to Saraid + Tom, and in fact all of my clients, who trust me 100%, with my crazy ideas, my constant search of light and my over enthusiastic passion to produce images that I hope resonate with at least 2 person out there. :-)

James.

Ben & Emma (Hunter Valley Wedding)

Emma & Ben were married in Lovedale, in the Hunter Valley just a couple of weeks ago. Here are a few images from the day that remind me of the fun day we had!

Sunset

As a photographer, one of the first things I’m always drawn to when seeking out an image to capture, is the light that I’d like to photograph it in.

There’s something about sunset that is truly magical and I generally try and photograph as close to sunset as is logistically possible.

In the Winter months, it makes this so much easier, as the sunset is around the time when couples generally have a break between their ceremony and reception anyhow. In the summer, it’s not quite as easy, but sometimes we can simply duck out for a few moments of the reception and capture images somewhat like these. I often wonder why more people don’t choose to get married in the Aussie winter. It’s usually not that cold anyhow, and guys are so much more comfortable in their suits!

I thought i’d share with you some images that were shot last weekend at Chateau Elan in the Hunter Valley. The day was full of beautiful moments, gorgeous faces and amazing details, but I thought i’d simply pull out a few images that highlight the light.

I love light. I truly do.

Isaac & Sam (live proposal)

On the weekend, one of the most magical things I’ve ever witnessed took place in front of my camera.

I was teaching the group of photographers who had flown from all over Australia to learn more about how I do what I do. Little did they realise that this “model” shoot was going to turn into a live proposal.

Little did Sam know that she was about to be asked if she would marry Isaac.

Isaac said to Sam,

“Samantha Kate Freshwater, you are the love of my life. I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my days with you. Will you do me the greatest honour…will you marry me?”

Sam replied with,

“Oh my goodness, are you serious? Yes, Of course Yes!!!”

I met Sam & Isaac through Instagram, and I’d literally met them once before this happened. Yet, right now, I feel like I care for them like old friends. It’s funny how being present with people during big moments of their lives can draw you closer. I guess that’s what I love about being a wedding photographer. There are literally hundreds of couples that have shared with me their most precious moments, and entrusted me to faithfully capture them.

Isaac & Sam, thanks for having me be there with you. I’ll never forget it.

Mark & Amanda (engagement)

One of the best parts of the entire experience for me is the engagement shoot. I know it’s the same for my clients. They always walk away, about 1000 times happier, more relaxed and more in love with each other.

For me, it’s more relaxing than sitting by a pool in Hawaii. There’s nothing I love more than photographing people in love.

Mark & Amanda, you guys are legit, and it was a pleasure to hang out with you both!

James.

Love 2 Day Wedding Photography Workshop.


I am very excited to announce the next “Love 2 Day” Wedding Photography Workshop that will be held in Sydney on the 17th & 18th of August 2013.

Love 2 Day is a workshop that is aimed at photographers who would like to take their wedding photography to the next level.

There are 12 spaces available and once it’s sold out, that’s it. The last one sold out in 2 days. But who knows, maybe no one will want to come?

The primary focus of the workshop is client interaction and the techniques I use to bring out the best in people. There will be gorgeous couples to photograph and lots of 1 on 1 guidance from me.

I will personally teach you how to direct your clients in a way that is stress free and puts you in a zone where you can be creative, consistent and produce images that will leave your clients thinking that you are a genius.

We will be covering in depth the types of light I choose to shoot in and how to find them anywhere.

Together, we will play lots of games and I will give you challenges that will push you to create stronger imagery.

I understand it can be so daunting in your first few years of business. I’ve been there and come through the other side. I’ll tell you the mistakes I’ve made and how to avoid them. I’ll show you exactly how and why I do everything in my business. We’ll spend time dreaming & planning how you would like your photography business to support your chosen lifestyle.

You will also learn the steps to run a profitable business that also produces raving fans each and every time.

Surprises? You betcha. We’ll have surprise special guests joining us!

As well as all of this, I’ll be an open book. Any questions you have, I’ll answer.

Why am I doing this?
I’m passionate about teaching people how to create a business that serves their lifestyle and doing it in a way that supports the industry as a whole to grow and prosper so that we can all continue to have a sustainable business for many many years to come.

The dates:
17th & 18th of August 2013.

The times: 9am – 5pm (However we will probably go later!)

The location:
A gorgeous beach house in Stanwell Park (just south of Sydney)

The Cost:
$1500. A $500 non-refundable retainer is due to book your spot. On-site accommodation options will be available soon and will start from $50 for the entire length of the workshop. The $1500 will cover your tuition for both days as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks. My lovely wife Catherine will be in charge of all the food and looking after your needs! We’ll be dining out at the local restaurants for dinner.

How to book:
Head on over to – www.love2day.instaproofs.com

Can’t wait to meet you!

James.

Haley & Jarrad

I introduced Haley & Jarrad earlier when I shared their engagement photos. I shared how they were the couple that designed my current branding & website. They’ve become very good friends to me. They’re creative folks who care about aesthetics (their words), yet have a huge huge heart for the people in their life (my words – it was evident!). It made for an amazing wedding celebration.

Big props to Montrose Berry Farm in the southern highlands. It’s seriously one of the most amazing wedding locations out there.

Thank you also to Joshua Mikhaiel who assisted me at this wedding. Awesome dude!

Hawaii

A couple of years ago I was in Maui, photographing a wedding for Kristi & Richard and I promised myself that I’d come back some day for a holiday.

This week, I found myself once again in Maui. I love the way the locals say the word “Maui”, especially the girls. It’s almost like they sing it.

I can truly say that I love this place and feel so at home here.

Today Cath & I went to the top of Haleakala which is a 10000 foot mountain (extinct volcano) and without doubt it was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. We were looking directly into the crater of a volcano. Seriously cool.

I can’t wait to come back. (hopefully for another wedding!)

This is a double exposure, done in camera on my little Olympus om-d travel camera.

James.