Saturday 23 November 2013: Russ and Lisa marry in Tanilba Bay.
I recall a number of years ago speaking to our great friends Lisa and Russ debating if marriage was required to formally combine a family. They were adamant that all that was required was love and pledged never to marry. However, years have passed, our beliefs have changed and the weekend brought about a new beginning.
After years of love, these two decided it was time to formalise their love in a low key marriage in the private comfort of their own home. Only their closest friends that made up the wedding party were invited to the private ceremony. There was to be no fan fair such as flowers, catering, venues, photographers, dresses, outfits, cakes and all the other ancillary items that we think of that goes into a wedding.
This was unique and represented what these two beautiful people are all about. Their wedding was to be a gathering of close friends, some sausages and the essential ingredient of love. I could not have thought of a more fitting and beautiful wedding for these two.
They did not want us there for the ceremony however we were invited to share in the celebrations of this new beginning.
We arrived to be greeted by Lisa. The dress was gorgeous as was Lisa, I think I may have expressed this out loud
Unfortunately there was no professional photographer to capture the day. However, as always my Olympus OMD EM5 with 17mm 1.8 prime was by my side. So I opened a beer and met everybody, observing and being social before I reached for my camera. It is a strategy I like as it makes the camera invisible and it provides a more real time approach to photographs.
At first, Lisa was keen to show us around their beautiful house that they are currently renovating.
The pride of the Lisa’a music room is her many signed album covers from Led Zeppelin to Red Hot Chili Peppers. The walls have become an endless painting generated by a game Lisa and Russ plays. She paints a stroke then he paints a stroke until a picture is formed.
I originally processed this image in black and white however I felt the vibrant colours mixed with light and shade capture the quirky space that has become Lisa’s sanctuary.
Soon, though, it was time to re-join the party. Everybody was relaxed and strangers became friends in minutes.
When I said no cake, I meant it. Although, when you have great friends that can bake then never say never. Elaine was beautiful enough to bake a cake just for me to break the surf boards on top.
It did not matter, unveiling the cake was an emotional moment and Elaine was in tears. This is emotion broken by some quirky silliness.
This was a party that had discussions on who has the biggest fire pit, the best garden, the nicest guy and anything else that we all relate to that makes us laugh.
So what is a wedding without a bouquet and beautiful food? Not this one as it had both.
Russ and Lisa are beautiful people. They stand proud and have a love for the environment, the surf, music and each other.
The best man giving one more embrace to the bride was so unexpected. It just happened with no time to spare. I just took the shot and didn’t exposure compensate. It did not matter it captures the moment.
As the clouds started to move over and glimpses of sun appeared, a discussion (argument?) over what weather pressure system was above us (Low or High). Like any good weather discussion it can only be resolved with an IPAD and the Bureau of Meteorology.
Russ was correct it was a Low pressure system. However, I could have told them that as I had the ISO on the EM5 between 800-2000. I have no concerns with this as anyone with the EM5 will know the noise control is very good for a small package.
So how often do you see a bride playing darts?
As the sun went down. Lisa yelled out
“Let’s go for walk.”
I ran inside in hope to capture Lisa walking back into what was her church for the day.
I thought the walk was a great opportunity to capture the typical wedding scenery shots. The sun had dipped below the horizon and the light was poor so all these pics are taken at ISO 2000. I trust the OMD in this area so I don’t mind it.
Unfortunately, the beautiful bride ran off in front and I only had the 17mm 1.8 prime. I was so craving a beautiful zoom as I could not get close enough as other guests had taken out their camera to also capture the moment.
I ran up to Lisa and yelled out. She turned still with that smile.
Lisa walks out on the beach alone, Russ yells out to join her, they proceed to dance around each other, he moves in closer and his thoughts are captured in the way he looks at her.
You will notice that other than some asking for a quick picture, all photographs are as they happened. It is my documentary way of telling the story as I see it. I am sure these images break all the rules of what makes great wedding photography.
However, my aim is to capture the story that unfolds and be honest with it. For this is what is behind the scenes through my eyes.
Congratulations Lisa and Russ. It was a privilege to share this special day with you.