The Wedding of Bang and Chau

What an amazing day!!  I still cannot believe I have photographed a wedding.  And to be able to photograph this gorgeous, loving couple was an absolute dream.  How could I take ordinary photographs of them when they look so good.  Not to mention the rest of the bridal party.  This is simply a day to remember and I am so happy that I could be part of it.

It was a scorcher.  I think it got up to about 38 degrees in the shade and when I discovered it was going to be a garden wedding at Willow Creek Vineyard, I gulped once.  I regained my composure and thought, well, at least the lighting will be good.  The only major consideration I had was the amount of sweat beads that might be highlighted on the faces of my beautiful subjects.  And I was ever so conscious of my own sweat levels.  (Note to self – carry a spare can of deodorant in the car next time.)   It was unbelievably HOT!!

The couple had booked a holiday house in Mount Martha for the family and bridal party to prepare for the wedding.  I was thankful it had aircon.  As this was my first wedding (ever!!), I was incredibly nervous and excited.  But the family made me feel completely comfortable right away, so it was a breeze doing the preparation shots of Bang, Chau, the two flowergirls and the gorgeous bridesmaids, in between taking swigs of water.  I asked Chau how she was doing and she said she was a bit tired from setting up the venue from early in the morning.

Then came the ceremony.  Bang had offered for me to follow him to the venue earlier, but I declined his offer so I could get more shots of the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids.  When it came to driving from Mt Martha to Merricks North, I got lost.  I had the Melways out, the GPS map thingy on my phone, and my own (limited) knowledge of the area.  And I was getting low on petrol.  After pulling the car over twice to check the map, driving up and down the freeway, and realizing the roadworks had changed the location of the road I wanted, I made it to the vineyard well before the bride.  I was thanking my lucky stars that the girls took their time getting ready.  I took a few deep breaths and got my gear out and started taking photos.  Despite the heat, everyone was in a fun mood and I began to relax and really enjoy myself.  And it was obvious why Chau was tired.  She had done a beautiful job with the already breathtaking venue.  The details throughout the inside of the cottage and out were so amazingly done.  She is one creative girl.

The ceremony was beautiful and very emotional.  It was full of love and friendship and I got a little lump in my throat during the exchanging of the vows.

The Willow Creek Vineyard gardens were beautiful and the food was so nice.  I really appreciated the meal, thank you.

I think I have prattled on for long enough.  I hope you enjoy the photos and feel the love.

Chau was hard at work to put this display of their love together. The detail was incredible.

The stunning bridesmaids and adorable flowergirls.

The bottom image shows the table set up for "The Backstage Team" where the thankyou bags were put together to give to the guests as they were leaving.

Bang sang two songs to his new wife. And their friend sang a beautiful Spanish song to the couple.

Another couple of examples of Chau's creativity. The top image is of old photos of the couple displayed in a vintage suitcase on a table. The bottom image shows what all the guests received as a thankyou. Everyone was photographed by her sister on one of those Polaroid instamatic type cameras and everyone got a little bag containing the photos and these trinkets. And yes, that's me in the pics.

My heartfelt thanks to Chau and Bang for your faith in my ability to record your wedding.  I loved every minute of it and wish you all the best in your new life together as husband and wife.  You have truly changed my life and I am forever grateful to you both.  This is an event I will never forget.

Merry Christmas and Thank You

I was going to upload a cute photo of my dog with a Santa hat, but he just wanted to sleep. So you've got this instead. My kids' fluffy Christmas decoration.

It’s Christmas time again.  That time of the year often means it’s the end of the year too.  Funny about that.  It’s time to reflect on the achievements of the past year and think about goals for the New Year.  My 2011 has been incredible.  I was hugely inspired by Jasmine Star to follow my dream.  While I had a very stable job with regular pay in the Police Force, I searched for years for something more for me within the job.  I found a love and incredible passion for photography while I was on maternity leave in 2007 and thought I could take a decent photo.  I had always wanted my own business, I just didn’t know what sort of business I wanted.  So I took the plunge in May this year, with the support of my husband, Matt, and resigned to be a photographer.  To say I was nervous and scared of leaving the stability of a government job was an understatement, especially considering that stable government job was very good to me for 14 years.  It was a case of “It isn’t you, it’s me”.   But I believed, with the help of my fantastic family and close friends, that I could succeed in something I loved.

So 2012 is even more exciting for me as I branch out into the competitive world of wedding photography.  I hope I can be better than I think I can be.  I am so excited to be part of something so special in a couple’s life together.  To be able to record one of the most beautiful days in anyone’s life is such an honour.  I know that sounds cliched, but it is true.  I love people in love.

I want to thank so many people for helping me realize a dream come true – firstly Matt.  Without you I don’t think I could do it.  And I’d probably be homeless and hungry, of course.  Despite not knowing the ins and outs of photography and business in general, you trusted me to make it work.  Thank you.  To my Mum and Dad and your respective spouses, Albert and Julie, your encouragement and belief in my abilities and talent is endless.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my little family.  I love you guys more than I can say.  To my Mother and Father-in-laws, again, I couldn’t have done this without your help and support.  Looking after my kids at a moment’s notice when I’ve had to rush to the post office before it closed to get clients orders out on time, giving me extra days almost weekly has been a Godsend, and your encouragement is most appreciated too.  Love.  To my friends, Ange, Nic, Kel, Kaz, Kerry, Mandy, Jo, Rachael M, Clare, Rachelle F, and Sophia you all gave me something that contributed towards this moment.  Your friendship means so much to me and your advice and support and suggestions and brilliant ideas from all of you has absolutely changed my life – definitely for the better.  Loves to you girls too.  I have this horrible feeling I have forgotten someone.   My most humble apologies if I have.  It’s after 11.00pm and it’s been a busy day :/

Thank you to the photographers from around Australia and the world who have inspired me and taught me so much.  There are way too many to name, but I wish you all the best and hope you feel the love.

And my clients.  You don’t know how much joy and warm, fuzzy feelings you have given me over the years.  I have had the best time meeting you in person and chatting with you over the internet.  Your kind words about my work, even in the very early years, has spurred me on to be a better photographer and to strive to give my absolute best to you.  Thank you for your patience, praise and referrals.  Bless you all.
 
(And I have no idea why the font suddenly turned to italics.  I can’t reverse it.  Oh well.  I suppose it adds emphasis.)
 
Now for the resolutions – I am hopeless at making resolutions and even worse at keeping them, but here goes:  I will  ……   nah!!  I just can’t do it.  No wait.  I have one.  I promise to only say something on my blog, facebook and twitter profiles that are positive and happy and fun.  Except when it comes to rogue telecommunications companies.  I think I’m allowed to say bad things about them.  And I have to exercise more and practice my skills more.  See, I can make resolutions.  Wait till next year to see if I kept them 🙂
 
That’s it.  I look forward to staying connected with you all in 2012 and I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year and stay safe.  Love Nic x

Soulmate Session – Kylie & Brad

Brad and Kylie met me for the first time up in Mount Dandenong a couple of Sundays ago.  Brad asked me to pick a place close to my home as I will be hiking it north of Melbourne for their wedding in April.  We had in mind the wineries in the Yarra Yalley, but after Googling them, and stressing about a pretty location that could give us a variety of looks, I ended up asking my neighbor where we should go.  She suggested the Alfred Nicholas Memorial gardens in Sherbrooke.  Wow!!  If I had been there before I can’t remember it being so beautiful.  I knew this would be an amazing session.

And I was correct.  It didn’t take long for my models to start getting into the groove of being photographed.  Kylie was the more reserved, I thought, but with a bit of coaxing, the super model came out.  I know I feel extremely awkward and goofie being photographed and have no idea how to pose and get my “best angle”, but these two got the idea very quickly.

Despite the on again, off again showers (Melbourne weather, of course), we spent a couple of hours just enjoying the moment.  I am so excited to be part of their wedding plans.  Bring on April!!

 

 

This shot was taken about 10 minutes into the session. As you can see, they started to relax and I managed to get some really candid expressions.

 

Love this one of Kylie. The hair blowing over her face. Made me feel like a fashion photographer for a second.

 

Sweeeet!!

 

 

Super model or what?!

 

I loved this place. Every angle had something gorgeous to photograph.

 

It even had a waterfall, for goodness sakes. Perfect.

 

 

After they changed their wardrobe (in the car) they cracked open the white.

 

 

 

 

 

On the long, uphill, calf-burning walk back to the carpark, I had to do some shots in front of this humongous tree.

 

See? It is a big tree.

 

Thank you guys for letting me be part of your wedding.  It’s penciled in!

 

Christening – Baby Ellie

I was so excited to be asked to do Ellie’s Christening.  Last Sunday, at St Gerards Catholic Church, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most cherished babies on the planet.  Her parents, Lexie and David were so sweet.  And her two sets of Godparents were funny and made me feel like I was part of this multicultural family.  Yes – this little girl is so special, she has two Godfathers, two Godmothers and her Mum and Dad.

One of the things I loved, from a purely photographic point of view, was that Lexie asked that the Godmothers wore the cream/ivory coloured dresses.  Nice touch.  But you were all so beautiful to photograph, you could probably have gotten away with red and white striped long johns.  Now that would be interesting.

I had never done a Christening before, so this was completely new to me.  I made sure all my gear was clean (and dry – see last week’s post about soggy cameras and lenses), batteries were charged and my head filled with ideas for beautiful baby photography.  I was buzzing.  And it all went without a hitch.  Hope you enjoy the images just as much as I enjoyed making them.

 

Mum and Ellie waiting in the foyer for the main mass to finish. Then a quick change and it's all about Ellie.

 

Watching the world from Dad's shoulder.

 

It's my Christening and I can poke my tongue out if I want to.

 

Ellie in her gorgeous Christening gown with Dad.

 

Ellie's three main men. Dad, John and Tim.

Blessing with the salt.

I thought it was so moving to see these four adults totally captured by one little human.

The Priest made me chuckle a few times and was even directed me to a position for the best angle for my shots.

Mum and Dad. Proud.

 

Ellie recieving the water. No tears................

 

.............until the water actually touches her.

 

The priest placed the pure white cloth unceremoniously right over her head. John's reaction conveys the humour of the moment.

 

This is one special baby. I love the looks of pure adoration on the faces of her Godparents.

 

Ellie's Godmothers.

 

Another moment of pure delight. And she was sound asleep moments after the ceremony.

 

A soothing hug from Mum and Dad after the ceremony.

 

Ellie's new family.

 

Ellie's Grandparents. So much love.

 

Tell me this little girl is ever going to want for anything.

 

Precious.

 

Gotta love this family.

 

Priceless.

 

 

Thank you so much to John for contacting me in the first place and Lexie and Dave to let me be a part of Ellie’s special day.  I hope she looks back on these pictures down the track and sees the absolute love that was showered on her.  She is a lucky girl to have so many wonderful people looking out for her.  God bless you dear Ellie.

 

V8 Supercars and a Celebrity Crushes

I don’t know where my love of V8 motorsport came from.  My parents certainly are not petrol heads.  Possibly one or two boyfriends have had an influence.  I remember sitting in a neighbour’s ute when I was about 5 or 6 years old, wishing I was big enough to drive.

Now I am big enough to go to raceways by myself.  That is what I did last Saturday.  My dear husband was happy to stay at home and watch the Supercars on TV with the kids.  I was so excited about going, I watched the weather forecast of heavy rain on Saturday and clearing showers on Sunday.  A sensible person would have chosen Sunday.  Nuh!  I didn’t care whether it was wet or not – I couldn’t wait to go to Sandown Raceway, and maybe even meet my celebrity crush.

I set myself a few goals for the day.  I have friends into the V8’s too, so I had to get shots of their favourite cars.  I also wanted to get into the pits area and take some behind the scenes shots, and maybe some of the drivers, if I was lucky enough.  It started raining as soon as I arrived and I stupidly parked right near the back straight.  I had forgotten how far it was to walk around to the pits and grandstand.  By the time I got there, I and my cameras, were already unhealthily rained upon.

And I could already feel blisters forming on the balls and heels of my feet.  But I was determined to fulfill my goals for the day and eventually made it to the pits.   I was wondering if people were thinking I was weird as I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.  I was taking photos of the drivers!!.   All of them.  They were signing posters for kids at the back of their garages.  You have no idea how exciting this was for me!!  I met the nicest security bloke (wish I could remember his name) who talked about the drivers and got me a poster signed by Allan Moffat’s son, James and Dick Johnson’s son, Steven.  Which leads me to my celebrity crush – Mark Winterbottom, aka Frosty.  I thought, since I had autographs of Moffat and Johnson, how could I leave without one of Frosty’s?  So I stood in line with the parents and their kids to meet the man and get a signed poster.  I was a little embarrassed and, when it came to actually speaking to him – it went like this;

Mark:  “Hi, are you having a good time?”

Me:  “Yes.  Better for meeting you.”

Then silence.  I swear he must have thought I was a stalker, with my cameras with big lenses attached, hanging off my shoulder.  I walked away happy I had met him, but kicking myself that I couldn’t have an intelligent conversation with him.  I did feel like a teenager wanting to talk to the object of my admiration, but too shy to say something witty or intelligent.  Aaahh.  Next time.

I had a fantastic day shooting for the absolute love of it and doing it just for me.  I could keep writing heaps more about the day, but I do realise not everyone has this obsession with motorsport and V8 drivers.  I do recommend everyone go to a race, just once, and feel, smell, touch and taste the motoracing culture.

 

Mark Winterbottom - Ford Performance Racing Team.

The Friendly Security Guy

 

My personal favourite. The Orrcon FPR Falcon

 

Classic. SS Torana Hatch.

 

 

These are the sorts of shots I was hoping to get.

Fabulous Wedding Photography Competition – Worth $1100

Are you getting married in January to March  2012?  Are you wanting beautiful images to record that special day? 

Enter this fabulous competition and you will receive my services for the day for free!  And you will also receive a complimentary 2 hour Soulmate Session.  And a DVD of up to 100 images for printing up to 8×10 or 8×12 inches.  You and your friends and family will also have access to a private online gallery to share your beautiful images from the day.   This is a value of $1100!

You will also have your images featured in a dedicated blog post so you can show off how beautiful you are.

All you need to do is email me at info@nicolemartinphotography.com and tell me the date and location of your wedding and why you are so fabulous and deserving of this fantastic prize.  Attach a photo of you as a couple and, once the entries are in, I will create an individual  post here for all your friends and family to vote for you.  All they have to do is log in using their facebook, twitter or wordpress ID or fill in the form, and leave a comment.  The couple with the most comments will win.

If you do not win this amazing competition, the first three runners up will receive 20% off their wedding photography packages.  Forth place onwards receive 10% off their wedding photography packages.  So you still win.

This competition is only open until Sunday 26 November 2011 – so gather all your friends and family and workmates and anyone who cares for you to get behind you and vote.  It’s first in first served, so hurry.

If you know a fabulous couple getting married in these months, share this link.  Don’t let them miss out on this incredible competition.

Terms and Conditions:

This competition is open to anyone in Australia.  Travel costs are not included but I am a very economical traveler.  By entering this competition you agree that all or any of your images from your wedding day may be used by me for promotions and advertising in print and/or web media.

Scarlet Update

My Little Girl is Growing Up

  • Scarlet (the Seeing Eye Dog puppy I am sponsoring for SEDA) sent me another letter recently.

She is growing up and not looking much like a puppy anymore.  She sent me this new pic of her and, you have to admit, those eyes look very intelligent.  She met her caring family and loves them.  Her carers also have a SEDA breeding dog named India and another puppy named Izzy.  She is walking beautifully on the lead and she’s also learnt to walk past other dogs without being distracted –  an bonus for when she is leading her vision impaired person when she grows up.  She loves it when her Mum takes her to the local cafe to practice her training.  Her favourite thing is to run wild at the leash free beach, swimming and digging in the sand.  Verna, another SEDA pup, lives close by and they often play together.  She signed her letter and said “Big hugs and licks”.  So doggie 🙂