2014 has kicked off with a bang. Coming off an amazing wedding shoot in Sayulita, Mexico, I flew to Auckland, New Zealand to capture the special day for Tony and Suzanne. The best part about this wedding was that I met the couple while rock climbing in Argentina back in 2011. Soon after they were engaged, Tony messaged me about coming to New Zealand to shoot their wedding. How could I say no? So I didn’t. We booked the date and I was bound for the land of the Kiwis and their awesome accent.
The morning started with the boys getting ready and heading out to their stomping ground at the Waiuku Rugby Club.
Back at Suzanne’s parents’ house, the girls were getting their hair and make-up done where I moved from room to room and captured candid moments of everyone doing their thing. The large windows around the house provided really soft lighting that was just beautiful.
Champagne always helps to calm the nerves. If it’s not already common knowledge amongst brides-to-be, it should be.
I loved these types of moments. You can’t plan for them. You just have to be there and be ready.
Here’s Suzanne all dressed up while her brother and Dad wait for their first look.
I think this says it all.
Catching Tony taking a deep breath right before the ceremony started.
This is one of my favorite shot of the bride walking down the aisle literally glowing as she enters the doorway to the chapel.
The St. Stephens Chapel was the tightest venue I’ve ever shot a ceremony in, seating just over 50 people, but it was just a beautiful and intimate space when everything started. While moving around unobtrusively was a bigger challenge than usual, it also inspired me to work with the different angles I had within my working space.
One of my favorite of the maid of honor. The light coming from window in the back just lit everything up.
Auntie Robin and her delicious sandwich bites and refreshments just outside the chapel.
For our portrait session, Tony and Suzanne had a large brick wall in mind that was a great background. I love shooting directly against a wall. Often, the texture and colors provide an interest contrast to the couple’s dress and suit.
We continued with this theme and found another great background. This darker one provided some nice and simple vertical lines against the pattern on Suzanne’s dress.
Didn’t I say earlier that champagne helps. It works for portrait sessions too. You can’t fake those smiles.
After getting shots of the couple and a few with the best man and maid of honor, I wanted to do something creative that took advantage of Tony’s huge size and strength so I suggested he lift both the best man and maid of honor on his shoulder. He didn’t even break a sweat. My favorite quote of the day: “Brooke, can you open the legs wider?” A straight forward request from Tony as he tries to get in a good position to lift up the maid of the honor.
I love the back of Suzanne’s dress. Revealing, but elegant.
There’s a theme here. Champagne is great for everything.
Tony’s grandmother reacting to her son’s heartfelt and emotional speech.
The most delicious hot dog I’ve ever had. Hands down.
Now the fun begins.
A rare shot of me after one of the guests cleverly takes my camera away and turns my in your face flashing technique on me.
I love traveling. While I’ve seen some amazing sights, it has always been the people I’ve met along the way that have made the journey so memorable. It’s simply a blessing when something like this happens and I’m able to go from meeting someone for a day to capturing their most special day half a world away from San Francisco just a couple of years later. Who’s next?