When the initial email from Celeste at Tourism and Events Queensland came into The Blogcademy inbox asking us if we’d consider an all-expenses paid trip to Queensland I nearly deleted it, assuming it must be spam. I mean, this kind of opportunity doesn’t exactly come knocking on your door everyday. After verifying that Celeste wasn’t, in fact, just playing a rather cruel prank, we started to plan our epic adventure down under!
Skip forward eight months or so and we were finally there. Celeste and her team had pulled out all the stops and scheduled an action packed five days for us including koala cuddles, surf lessons, boutique hotels and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef! I’m so excited to share some of my highlights with you guys over the next few weeks. This new Honeymoon Travel Guide feature of mine is working out quite nicely don’t you think?
Queensland isn’t somewhere I’d ever really considered visiting before, but after this trip I can say with the utmost sincerity that I will be going back, only next time I’m bringing Gareth with me – this tropical paradise is just made for lovers!
I’m not going to pretend for one second that I’m some kind of expert in the world of travel or honeymoons. BUT you may have noticed that I’ve done rather a lot of globe-trotting over the past 12 months. And as we’re about to launch our 2014 Blogcademy world tour in a couple of weeks it would appear that it’s not really going to change any time soon!
So I figured, why not share some of the places I’ve visited and the experiences I’ve most enjoyed with you lovely lot? First up is a honeymooners paradise - Santorini.
For her 30th birthday Gala decided that she wanted to whisk us away to the Greek Islands. Of course Shauna and I weren’t complaining! Ever the travel guide, she organised most of it (so I can’t take any credit!) but what I can do is share the things we loved on our trip. Hum… it’s my 30th in April, I wonder if we can top this?
Whenever I travel, an apartment rental service like Air B&B or GowithOh! are my hosts of choice. Not only are the houses and apartments usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel, I personally think you get a much more authentic and interesting experience not being hauled up in tourist city.
For this trip we stayed in this apartment, in Oia. I kid you not, it had the best view on the whole island and the private balcony overlooking the ocean completely sold it to us. Our host, Nicolas, was also amazing. He and his porter Vasilis, (who carried our 25kg bags up and down those stairs with ease!) were attentive, helpful and made our stay a total pleasure!
One of the questions I get asked over and over again is what would Gareth and I do differently if we were getting married today. Of course my answer is always “so much!”. Both of us have changed considerably over the last five and a half years and our styles and tastes couldn’t be more different to how they were back in 2008.
As many of you will have read last week, Lisa asked if we would model at the two year anniversary of her Photography Farm. During every workshop she organises a styled shoot for her students to practice what they’ve learnt, but more than just that, she always pushes herself and her team to come up with something creative that reflects the real-life couple who are modelling.
When we started chatting about the kind of shoot Gareth and I might have, we began by discussing the whole “how would you do your wedding differently?” question. And then Lisa had a brainwave. Photography workshops are supposed to be all about teaching aspiring wedding photographers how to book, shoot and process weddings, but they only ever give the students the chance to practice these things in an unnatural situation – i.e. a styled shoot. Sure, the couple might be real and the styling authentic, but getting the shot when you have two hours to work with the couple is a totally different beast to needing to nail it first time and getting creative within your ten minute allocated time-slot for couple portraits.
It seems like a lifetime ago, but just as I’m ramping up to head off to America again this week, Made U Look Photography sent over the photos from our Disneyland adventure in April. I’d never been before and on hearing this revelation Gala encouraged… nay insisted that they take me there for my birthday. Well who am I to turn down an invitation like that?!
What are you looking for in your wedding photographer? Someone who shoots images you love, who you quite like as person and that fits within your budget I’d assume. But today let’s look a little deeper. I want to talk to you about photographic style, and hopefully to highlight the importance of the art of your wedding photography. Bear with me, this is all starting to sound a little airy fairy and arty farty but I do have a valid point I promise…
I believe that all photography – illustrated in no better a place than weddings - is art. No question. In my mind no other creative has to work as quickly or to such precision as a wedding photographer. They are required to capture fleeting moments and blink and you’ll miss them memories on the most important day of someone’s life. No pressure right?
I may have always known this, I mean I’ve been banging on about how much I love and respect wedding photographers for years, but it wasn’t until recently, just last month in Paris in fact, that the validity of the art itself became so clear to me. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I’m going off on an airy fairy tangent again. OK let me clarify…
For our Parisian jaunt, we had both Lisa Devlin and Shell de Mar shooting us. Having such a busy few weeks beforehand we hadn’t really planned the shoot extensively – we were just going to rock up to our apartment, find the Eiffel Tower and hopefully make some magic. The day went great, the locations were perfect and we had outfits that worked really well (sounds stupid, but makes such a difference when you’re doing shots of the three of us together!) All in all we were pretty chuffed with what we’d pulled out of le sac magique.
For the second part of our Parisian adventure it was time to leave our paradisiac apartment and venture outside. With such a limited time to shoot we knew exactly where we wanted to go – La Tour Eiffel!
Yes it’s a cliché, but don’t you groan. You can’t really go to Paris without paying this landmark a visit. It’s inevitable. Of course there are hordes of tourists trying to take ‘selfies’ with the tower in the background, and the place is littered with annoying hawkers selling Eiffel Tower paraphernalia – but even with all that, it’s still a pretty awesome sight to be seen.