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Just add some fun

This blog will be short and sweet for reasons you will see below. Pictures paint a thousand words, so without further ado…..

This 21st gig was held at a function room in Sydney. I took along my photo booth and set it up at the beginning of the night in the corner of the room. The goal was to provide an extra entertainment option for the guests – a way that people could enjoy themselves doing something silly, and for the client to take away an extra series of fun memories of their family and friends.

At first, the guest were reserved however once they got into the swing of it, there was no shortage of participants. As you can see from the photos, immense  fun was had by all, especially with the different props. They let their hair down, relaxed and really enjoyed making fools of themselves!

Rather than walking around the room, taking stagnant, boring photos of the guests at their tables and asking them to smile at the camera, the photo booth provided the perfect opportunity for them to entertain themselves and to show their true persona or their alter-egos.

Only recommended for occasions where guests want:

  • great entertainment
  • heaps of fun
  • lots of photos
  • quick personality/gear changes and
  • opportunities to be weird & wacky.

Other party booth themes could be in “kitsch”, or from the roaring twenties, rock and roll fifties, swinging sixties right through to the seventies, Hollywood/Bollywood styles or any other style that would complement your party’s theme.

If you are interested in adding super fun and enjoyment before and after speeches to your occasion (engagements, weddings, birthdays, in fact any occasion),

you can contact me here.

The Twinnegar’s 21st

Sarah and Emma’s or Emma and Sarah’s 21st

After a week of rain we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous day. Quiet humid but never the less, beautiful.

I arrived a little earlier at their home. I was greeted by one of the girls. Immediately I felt at ease with her beautiful warm smile. Short lived though as I had no idea who just welcomed my assistant and I in. I had to ask as to not embarrass myself any further. Was she Emma or Sarah? I am sure she had been asked this question many, many times before.  She chuckled whilst doing her hair “I am Sarah and Emma’s in her room.”

I started taking photographs whilst Sarah was curling her hair. At that stage I hadn’t met Emma so I had no idea what Emma was wearing or whether she was having her hair up or down. Secretly I thought if her hair is up – too easy but if it is down – not good for me remembering who’s who. How am I to tell the girls apart?

Sarah

“Will Emma be having her up”? Sarah’s quickly responded, “Nope, Emma will be having her hair down and curled as well”.  Off course she would be having her hair curled, my inner voice piped. I felt myself take a deep breath. It was obvious that I hadn’t been around twins although in my family there are many identical and fraternal twins. Even my Grandfather was an identical twin. From the stories that I have been told that they liked to do everything the same whether together or apart.

Emma

Where’s their Mother? I thought as I was taking another deep breath. She could let me in on how to tell them apart. Lynne was putting together two albums of her girls. Trying to identify which picture should go into each album appeared a difficult task and Lynne was their Mother. So this was a perfect opportunity to ask her. “What is the best way of telling your girls apart”?

She said without hesitation “just say SEMMA and they both will respond”. She didn’t mention how they would respond but I found out later that they do not appreciate being called SEMMA…. Fortunately I didn’t need to call them by one name as Emma gracefully entered wearing a beautiful turquoise gown. Sarah shortly followed her wearing a light coloured floral gown.  I must add I was a very relieved photographer.

Lynne, Emma & Sarah

As the photographer, my job is to capture this chapter in their lives. As a bystander, I couldn’t help but wonder about their childhood past: cubby house secrets, giggles and friends, a single swing (who pushed who? how high did they go? Which one of them is more out going?).  Then the Netball hoop, did they take it in turns to be shooter or who scored more goals? So many stories could be gathered from their childhood, adolescent and now adulthood from their backyard. All these memories from their past but now I need to capture all in this moment of time. Beautiful memories of fun and laughter and perhaps tears could fill the frames in this shoot.

Emma and Sarah

As I look back on the day, one thing I’m certain of is that two beautiful and confident girls have emerged.

Well done and congratulations both of you on your 21st.

Slow down and make the moment last

The mixture of salt air and a warm sea breeze day had woken my thoughts right back to the days of sailing in and around Moreton Bay. Yesteryear, when there wasn’t a care in the world (or it seemed that way) when I was cruising the Bay. The luffing of the sails was an indication to steer away from the wind not to completely stop but slow the pace. Compare this to Friday racing on Sydney Harbour with plenty of small islands and ferries to dodge – an absolute buzz.

Today I wanted it to be just like cruising Moreton Bay – slow down and make the moment last. However, this was the last day with my family in Queensland so I had pick up the pace to get everything done instead of taking it easy.

I had eased back into Queensland lifestyle with no problems. Hey, by now, I didn’t want to go back to the manic but beautiful Sydney.

My heart though will always be in Queensland. I will miss the humidity NOT!! Afternoon thunderstorms YES!  Three seasons –Autumn, Spring and Summer. No Winter Yes!  Flies, mozzies, spiders, cane toads and cockroaches – I could live with these but Sydney traffic, congestion, parking meters – No way.

From the balcony of the apartment, I could see storm clouds building. The weather bureau forecasted rain and plenty of it. It didn’t bother me as I was leaving for Sydney where it has more rainfall than Melbourne! Then it dawned on me. I haven’t taken any pictures of my Mum and her two daughters (which was the whole reason why my family of five flew up to Queensland). It was her 80th birthday and we wanted to honour her by giving her a little holiday and to spend some time with her. Panic started to set in as the slow pace was now not an option. Had to apply Sydney mode: rush, rush, puff, puff, get out of my way, I’m in a hurry. I didn’t even have any pictures of my sister and myself.  All pictures that were taken were of the grandchildren and great grandchild with Mum, but not one of my older sister and me.

The night before we had made plans to meet and go and see Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. I so wanted to do this but I wanted the pictures even more. Had to think quick as my sister and her family were staying in another unit only moments away by car. However, this is where the problems lies – time and my sister don’t really hit it off. As the saying goes “Time waits for no-one”. I knew I had to do something before it rained. I prayed. An option was that I could take the pictures inside the unit, but I had done that the night before. I wanted a different backdrop.  I decided to utilise the beautiful gardens and resort facilities provided for guests who are staying there. An ideal solution as it had shelter if required.

By this stage it was around midday and no photographers like to shoot in the midday sun especially in Queensland. Not a flattering look with everybody squinting or worse, harsh shadows on our faces. By now I was now praying for an overcast day. Then it started to drizzle and I  hoped that  it wouldn’t  pelt down. The rain eased to a gentle shower and gradually the clouds came over and the wind picked up. In the far corners of my mind I could clearly hear ‘head to wind it’s time to tack’. The place was now empty of people. Perfect for a portrait shoot! But will my sister be on time?

Steve and Glynis

Whilst I was waiting for my sister and her family to arrive i took the opportunity to take a picture of my mother with her grandson Christian (my son) who isn’t in the picture as I had to crop him out .These are his wishes and  I have to respect this.

HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY MOTHER

Haute Couture

Recently my daughter and I flew up to Brisbane to see a fashion showcase at the Queensland Art Museum. We had to get up at 4.00 am Sydney time to catch the flight from Sydney to the Gold Coast. Thankfully, Queensland doesn’t have daylight saving so we started to slow down and take it easy as soon as we arrived. Gaining an hour helped as this was the final showing which closed at 4.00pm for viewing.

When we finally arrived at South Bank, we parked the car and walked to the Art Gallery. The surrounds had changed so much since the last time I was there, parts looked unrecognisable. I was bought up in Brisbane and could recall going into town with my Mother to do all the shopping at Myer’s including having lunch at the cafeteria. This was called a “big day out”. Just where South Bank starts is where the train line used to stop so we had to get off and catch a 171 bus over the Victoria Bridge into the city. I also recalled some places around the area where I used to work.

South Bank itself also brings back memories. Brisbane hosted the World Expo in 1988 on the site, the year my first child was born. We frequently visited this place as we were living up the road in Kelvin Grove. Brisbane successfully transformed the site after the Expo into the beautiful South Bank which we also visited often. My son was a nipper at the surf club there. Not sure whether they still run that but that certainly gave him the taste for swimming.

So back to the Art Gallery after a pleasant and memorable walk. The queue for the showing was really long by Brisbane standards but since we live in Sydney this was nothing. Besides we didn’t care – the day was absolutely beautiful. We were very excited and I had taken my Nikon D3 with me with a small lens. This I thought wouldn’t look to conspicuous. All I had to do to gain entry was to pass the security guards and smile nicely to them.   Everyone is so happy and nice in Brisbane. I also turned my cameras strap inside so the camera name wouldn’t show.  As my daughter pointed out, it’s not like it is an iphone, “Your camera is huge!” Anyway, we got in and I didn’t see any signs of no photography allowed. I did look but not very hard.

These dresses, frocks, pant-suits etc were incredibly stunning. The work that had gone into them was remarkable. Some gowns would have been so heavy to wear, it would be impossible to sit or stand for too long. With all this beauty surrounding us, I and many others were overawed. At one point,  I saw a guy free-hand sketching the dresses and thought “he too must want to remember these beautiful pieces of art by sketching them”.  At that moment I realised as well I too would like to share these beautiful pieces to everyone who missed out. So I started to see if anyone was taking pictures and I saw a young girl with her iphone clicking away. I asked her if she was allowed to take photos and she said she wasn’t using a flash. That was my cue as I to didn’t have a flash but thought that I would put the D3 high ISO up and see if my baby does what all the reviews says it does. That is, in very low or dark light, it can take excellent images. I think I achieved this but I’ve talked myself into that.  What do you think?   Can you see the images and is the image free of noise?

Red Frills

Now if you were wondering why I didn’t put all the pictures up there’s a very good reason. The security guard requested that I shouldn’t take any photos as it could damage the material. He tried to see what camera I had but he could only see my daughter with her iphone. I did mentioned that I wouldn’t use a flash as I don’t have one on the body but realised that only professionals know that a pro-body camera doesn’t have a built in flash.  So there you have it. Enjoy.

Silver Wedding

BTW- No model release was required for these images as they are unrecognisable :-)

Hand painted on Silk

Life Is ….

Beach Babe!

Whilst I was on the Gold Coast last week I had the opportunity to meet with Alisya, Paul and of course the most delightful Miss Ella for a family photo shoot. Alisya was over 8 months pregnant so it was an ideal time to take some shots of her belly.

I was staying in the heart of Surfers Paradise and Alisya, Paul and Ella lived nearby. I was happy to travel but I was on a tight schedule with my families’ reunion/80th. So I suggested having the pictures taken at the resort where I was staying. They were very obliging and we finally met after they overcame the  problems of finding the hotel, parking and of course finding me within the three towers of this resort with its multiple swimming holes (as they say in Queensland) and a security key entry to each of them.

We ended up finding each other on the ground floor at the Coles entry. Alisya wasn’t too hard to spot with a beautiful red rose in her hair, a lovely cream dress, looking radiant and ready to pop! Ella had a matching red bow in her strawberry blonde hair. Her curls are to die for. Paul has a mo’ which when Alisya questioned why he didn’t he shave this off for the photos his answer was “This is for Movember” which seemed to satisfy Alisya. Personally I think this look suits Paul.

As we went through the labyrinth to the swimming holes, Ella was ready for action. She didn’t disappoint. Her striking blue eyes and her mischievous look meant that I had to be on my toes for this photo session or should I say getting my lower half of my body wet.

Whilst Alisya was changing into her bikinis and sarong, Paul kept up with Ella. Ella loved the sand and the water play but as I watched them both, I noticed how trusting and secure Ella was with her Daddy. I can safely say that she is “Daddy’s Girl”!

As Alisya walked towards me I couldn’t help but say “OMGOSH! You look Hot! And you still have 4 weeks to go!” It was only then I was told its only one week really. Well there goes the pictures I had in mind of Alisya running along the sand with Ella as Beach Babes. Four weeks to go a possibility but a week? No way was I going to be the cause of the baby birthed on the sand. Just kidding, you guys. You guys are the best a photographer could ask for.

Alisya, Paul , Ella and baby ,  a Big Thank You as I had so much fun with you guys. I hope you enjoyed your BBQ after the session. Hope Ella slept well that night for you.

As the years go by when you look back and cherish the  moments captured in these photographs I’m sure that you will see what I saw – Your Love for each other and a bond as a growing family.

Daddy's Girl

Love Is …

Love is in the air

Reilly & Aimee didn’t have to travel too far for this engagement shoot. I looked at Reilly’s parent’s property aka Baker Acres which had a lovely dam, a quaint little bridge and Reilly’s new mini. However, it had been raining for some weeks and the dam looked too murky.  So we collectively decided to forego the shoot there and think of somewhere else that was going to have Reilly’s car in the picture. Fortunately, I realised that Fagan Park was only up the road and could have the car drive up and park nearby. This however, had to be very early in the morning before lots of people started jogging, walking, etc. and I wanted the car in some of the pictures but we couldn’t get access through the gate as the side entrance for wedding cars was closed.

On this particular day we were blessed with an absolutely gorgeous morning. The sun was mild and the light was ever so soft. The birds and flowers greeted us with such cheer. Love was in the air. One of the things I like about Fagan Park is the different country style of gardens. Every garden there was alive with spring colour. The many types of ducks and water fowl just added to the serene beauty of the lake.

Aimee wanted both some candid shots and some posed. She bought along an array of clothes as she wanted the “fifties feel” look. One planned shot was of Reilly kissing her whilst she sat in the front passenger seat with her clutching a posy in her hands. Unfortunately since the car couldn’t be in the picture, Aimee stayed in the clothes she came in but Reilly did steal a kiss from her whilst she clutched the posy.

I enjoyed spending the time with you guys and allowing me to share your special moments.  Thank you for waking up so very early and making the pictures amazing.

Aloha

Phalaenopsis - Shih Hua Gold

Phalaenopsis - Shih Hua Gold

Taken in Big Island Hawaii just after a down pour of rain. I love the rich vibrant colours that surrounds the entire photo almost seeming like a 3D image. I was hurrying to take the photographs as not only was I concerned that the rain could return but we had booked a helicopter flight that afternoon over the volcano which we heard that morning was stirring.

My caddie (husband) was doing an excellent job of holding the umbrella, spare lens, backpack and tripod and quickly helping me set up – multi tasking! There was no time to stop and smell the roses or in this case orchids. I love the tropical paradise which reminded me of my island home – Australia, in particular where I grew up and spent most of my life in Queensland.