First Time In Fiji

This was my first wedding shoot in Fiji and boy-o-boy-o-boy was I excited. I jumped on the Ferry out of Denerau on the morning of the wedding, sailing was smooth and the skies were blue. Just quietly I was a bit delighted to be commuting to work on a ferry to a small island in the South Pacific. Ticking off the career goals!!! After a quick 45 minute ride we arrived at Musket Cove. I was impressed with the understated beauty of the resort. 

There’s no cars on the island so I grabbed a yellow bike and rode to Jeanette’s bure. This is Jeanette’s second wedding so she was a very chilled bride. I guess she knew what to expect having been there done it before. Like me she was probably also charmed by the beauty of the island and soothed by the sun and the sea. 

And her beau Bruce was low key hanging out with his sons, his dad and his best man brother  in a bure across the lagoon. It was obvious their children and family meant the world to them, they’d asked me to make sure I got lots of family photo’s. 

Her son gave her away and her daughter was her bridemaid. A local fijian dressed in traditional dress blew on a conch shell to lead them down the isle and announce their arrival. Bruce waited patiently with his three boys as his best men. 

There were salty tears dried on their cheeks by the gentle ocean breezes. With rings on their fingers and joy in their hearts, the deed was done. There were drinks, snacks and songs and family photo’s

Then the three of us disappeared for some romantic couple portraits. I’d picked out a few magical spots when I arrived early that morning

Then it was time to party. Fairylights, sunset, tropical flowers, fire twirlers and dancing. This was a blissful place to enter a marriage. A promising start.

Quaking Applause

One of the most powerful moments for me at this wedding was during the celebrants officiating speech, the part where it usually reads “Marriage is the union between a man and a woman” had been changed to “Marriage is a union between two people.” I found myself letting out a spontaneous loud cheer of relief and joy that marital laws now respected the choices of same sex couples. I’m all for love and this handsome couple were definetely very much in love and very much loved by many. 

Ashwin and Rod were married in a Quakers Hall in Surry Hills to pay homage to Rod’s mothers chosen religion and in a nod to their tolerant and accepting attitudes towards same sex love. It was an austere interior, all polished floorboards and wooden floorboards. What was remarkable was the circular formation we all sat/stood in.

They had been together 27 years, Ashwin was 13 years Rod’s junior and Rod was was getting married at 70. Inspiring! They did a rockstar exit and disappeared out the back alley to get an Uber to their reception at Stanton and Co.

They invited me to photograph them in the mens bathroom when we arrived. They attended the ceremony in Kurti’s, as a salute to Ashwins indian heritage and changed into sharp navy single breasted suits. I felt awkward being the bathroom with them but these two were so committed to spending as much time with their friends and family who had flown in from all over the world I accepted whatever time I could have alone with them to make some romantic artistic portraits. Luckily the bathroom had a rustic semi rendered wall that gave texture and the light was ok. And they were 90% dressed. 

One of Rod’s family sculpted a groom and groom topping for their wedding cake that included their precious and beloved pet rabbit.

It got stormy outside and steamy inside with the appearance of a Bollywood dancer and the DJ spinning classic 80’s numbers. There was a lot to celebrate! 

Rabbits, Snakes and Horses

Being a recovering Hippy I’d always wanted to visit Daylesford in Victoria. Its a mecca for mineral hot springs and alternative therapies. Things lined up for me with Kat and Mikey’s wedding, I was in the area a week before covering the Australian National Skydive Championships in nearby Nagambie. My partner is also a camera person - in the sky. He films teams competing to make formations in freefall. We had camped out in his SUV for a week at the dry and dusty dropzone and arrived in Daylesford with me flushed with girlfriend pride -he had won two gold and silver medal and the title of being an Aussie Champion yet again. Mikey, being a personal trainer was interested in my boyfriend achievements, we chatted about them briefly before we celebrated the love at the Air Bnb they’d rented for their special day.   


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