Every so often I’m lucky enough to be a part of something very special.
The wedding of Alena and Lawry at Yestergrange, at Wentworth Falls in the upper Blue Mountains is just such an occasion.
Not only was the weather perfect, the location was stunning, but the couple were a joy to work with as they laughed and joked with each other, enjoyed their family and friends and seemed to really soak up their big day.
I was enjoying myself so much it didn’t feel like work!
All of this contributed to producing some great shots.
What do you call a group of photographers gathered in the one place? A capture, perhaps?
I recently had the pleasure of being part of a capture of photographers at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre.
To coincide with the National Portrait Prize Exhibition showing at the Cultural Centre, and as an initiative of Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC), a list of all of the many portrait photographers practicing in the Blue Mountains has been formulated.
BMCC is pro-actively promoting the Blue Mountains as a centre of Artistic excellence and this ‘capture’ of photographers is part of that. Known as a creative cluster, it will form part of an overall combination of clusters within the region and help to promote the area and its many practitioners.
Looking at this family portrait of a dad and his daughter in a leafy park in the Blue Mountains got me thinking about all the great dads I’ve met and photographed with their families.
Dad and daughter photographed at Corridor of Oaks, Faulconbridge Blue Mountains.
Good news for dads and great news for their kids!
In 1975 fathers spent an average of 15 minutes per day with their children; by 1995 it was 2 hours. Today, 23% of British fathers spend around 28 hours or more with their children per week according to this article.
Apparently it has something to do with the increase in fathers now being present at the birth of their children rather than out in the waiting room nervously pacing the floor. This has an effect on the feel-good chemicals that new mums produce to help bond with their baby. Apparently dads experience the same thing!
Here is a tip for looking your best in your family portrait photograph. Your mum will love it!
Did you know that a direct gaze and a smile are considered most attractive to the viewer? I read in a psychology journal from the Psychology School of Aberdeen that an averted gaze without a smile is perceived as more attractive than an averted gaze with a smile. In addition to this the study found that a direct gaze without a smile was less attractive than a direct gaze with a smile.
This all sounds fairly obvious I know, but it is surprising how powerful this information is when you are shooting a portrait of somebody.
When my clients view their family portrait images they inevitably have ‘favourites’ and they are more often than not those images that have them or their family smiling and looking at the camera. This information allows me to concentrate on capturing these types of images on the portrait shoot and not spending time on averted gazes (even if I like them).
The only time I would bend this rule is when shooting groups or couples looking at each other such as with a wedding couple or family. The interaction between people can be attractive in itself and make for beautiful candid images.
Look at the examples below and draw your own conclusions.
Direct gaze and smile give this image an attractive feel.
The Happy Couple looking at each other makes for an intimate feeling to the image.
Direct gaze without a smile can give a particular feel to the image.
A mix of direct and in-direct gaze helps draw the viewers eye through the image toward the baby with the ‘most’ attractive gaze.
Spring time in Sydney is ideal for getting married, and with the warm days and long afternoons its no wonder.
This is by far the most popular time for shooting weddings and the busiest time of the year for me. Over the last 6 weeks I have photographed some lovely and memorable weddings in Leura, Emu Plains and the beautiful Yarramundi House on the grounds of UWS Hawkesbury.
Each of these weddings was unique of course and I’d like to share some of my favourite images from each.
The first wedding was at Leura and the location was Leuralla open-air amphitheatre. This location is brilliant because of the stunning valley backdrop.
Leura amphitheatre makes a brilliant backdrop.
The happy couple arriving together.
Another shot of that valley just for the sake of it!
The reception venue was walking distance from the ceremony and shared the same valley view.
The second wedding was at the quaint little Uniting Church at Emu Plains. The service was very much a family affair with the grooms siblings performing the music, a friend delivering the vows and both parents joining the couple for a prayer at the end.
Here comes the bride. I love this shot!
The newlyweds leaving the church.
Don’t they look happy together!
Talk about upstaging the bride!
Speeches and toasting the couple.
Finally to the wedding of an old school friend of mine on his 40th birthday at the beautiful Yarramundi House at UWS Hawkesbury.
Congratulations Jason and Christina!
The girls preparing to walk down the red carpet.
A happy couple is easy to photograph.
Their daughters were flower girls and they did a great job.
The great location meant we were spoilt for choice when it came to backdrops.
Former race horse Armada was destined for the knackery if not for his beloved owner Brianna.
As a gelding Armada had won over a million dollars racing in Honk Kong, but as with all goods things his racing days came to an end. As a gelding he couldn’t be bred from so his odds for a life off the track had blown out to be un-backable.
All this is behind him now as he bides his time under the gentle and loving care of Brianna. Armada and Brianna have an obvious bond and it was this special connection we wanted to show in the photographs we captured one Sunday afternoon recently.
As the sun began to set on another beautiful winter day, the overcast sky gave us amazing soft diffused light.
While Armada was quite distracted at times by the herd of goats in the paddock opposite, it did have the effect of keeping his ears pricked and forward making him look even more handsome.
Brianna whispered and cuddled him for the extent of our shoot and the results, I believe, are an accurate depiction of the obvious love and strong bond between horse and owner.
Armada was very interested in the herd of goats in the far paddock.
I’m always scouting around for great new locations for outdoor family portrait photography in the Blue Mountains and Penrith area.
Many of my clients live in the lower mountains, Penrith, Emu Plains, Glenmore Park and Mulgoa regions so its important for me to have a number of options for locations available at different times of the year depending on the season.
As we move into Autumn and then Winter more of my photo–shoots happen at locations in the lower mountains and Penrith area. One of my favourite spots is River Road Reserve at Emu Plains.
At the moment there are Autumn colours everywhere making for a beautiful backdrop to family photography.
This shoot took place at River Road Reserve and involved grandchildren assembling for some photos for Nanna. The children were great, they got on so well together and they all seemed to enjoy the time together which came through in the shots. Nanna was very pleased!
Brother and sister trying to look like they like each other
All the cousins together
Darren Edwards is a professional family portrait photographer specialising in family and corporate photography in the Blue Mountains, Penrith and greater Sydney region.
This weeks Blue Mountains Gazette (April 9, 2012) has a Best of the Best feature showcasing some of the regions best and brightest businesses.
I’m proud to say I have been included! I’m in there with Lady of Grace Funerals, Simply Beautiful Smiles, Almar Pioneer Interiors and Springwood Gas Centre amongst others.
Toiling away at your business week to week has its rewards I guess but its always nice to have others recognise what you do.
I believe its important to be humble and while I don’t consider myself the best photographer in the Blue Mountains, I do feel I have the skill, knowledge and experience the meet any photographic challenge and be considered one of the best.
Be it a family portrait in a great Blue Mountains location, a newborn photo-shoot at your home, or meeting a detailed brief from a corporate customer – I’m confident of producing the right image for my valued clients.
Autumn in the Blue Mountains is a beautiful time for outdoor family portrait photography.
With the abundance of parks and gardens awash with the colours of Autumn leaves, the backdrops are stunning.
An outdoor family portrait photograph adds that extra special element of being out and amongst nature and more importantly enjoying that time with your family and allowing that joy to shine through the images.
This young family travelled up to the mid mountains to enjoy the early morning sun and Autumn colours for their photo shoot and we had a ball. Their 9 month old boy giggled and laughed and seemed to really enjoy all the attention he was getting from mum and dad.
I tried to incorporate the golden leaves and the morning sun in the shots as much as possible to give the images a nice warm feeling. The morning sun backlighting them really made the leaves glow and become a great feature of the images. This shoot was a nice way to start the day.
Family Portrait outdoors with Autumn colours
Darren Edwards is a professional family portrait photographer servicing the Blue Mountains and greater western Sydney region. With 20 years industry experience and the highest quality products and services your family portrait, newborn, corporate or fine art photograph is in good hands.
Click “Darren Edwards Photography” to see more images, “Commissions” to learn more about our products or “Contact” to make an appointment for your individual commission.
Photographing a large family group can be a real joy with a carefully chosen location and a happy family group.
For this family portrait we chose the beautiful grounds of Norman Lindsay Gallery at Faulconbridge as the venue as it afforded us the opportunity to include the garden furniture and of course the wonderfully maintained gardens.
Most people are uncomfortable with being photographed and I find creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere at a great location often leads to better images and happier clients. After all, investing in professional family portraits means you’ll be enjoying the images on your walls for many years.
Following the large family group photos we moved onto smaller family groups, including the grandparents on their own and with the grandchildren, as well as the siblings together and of course the grandchildren on their own enjoying the fountain.
The clients told me they enjoyed the shoot and loved the results.
Norman Lindsay Gallery is a National Trust property in the mid Blue Mountains less than 30 minutes drive from Penrith or Katoomba.
Darren Edwards Photography is a professional photographic studio based in the Blue Mountains and servicing the greater Sydney and central west region. With 20 years industry experience, outstanding products and value for money, your photographic commission is in good hands.
Click on “Darren Edwards Photography” at the top of the page to see more images or “Contact” to make an enquiry.