These are a few of my favorite destination wedding portraits from Briony + Mark’s wedding at Avalon in Swansea, Tasmania.
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Environmental portraiture is a portrait of a person in their working environment, in their natural surroundings. For example: a cook in his kitchen, an interior decorator in a living room they designed, a welder in their shop, or as depicted here a cinematographer in the field. Traditional portraiture has the subject looking directly in the camera; however some people prefer the more voyeuristic candid portrait. It really depends on the use of the photo and the subjects preference. Either way, environmental portraits speak volumes over traditional headshots on a paper background so consider going this route for your next portrait.
Briony + Mark
We had the honor of photographing and documenting Briony and Mark’s destination wedding at the Avalon Coastal Retreat in gorgeous Swansea, Tasmania. Words cannot express the beauty of Swansea that could only be complimented by the intimate and emotional ceremony of this great couple. The day started off rainy with dark clouds and a stormy sea, which did nothing to dampen the mood of the bride whom we spent the morning with while she had her hair and makeup done. But by the time she walked down the “aisle”, the sun started to peek out and by the time they were pronounced man and wife, a rainbow appeared…a testament to their life and love for each other.
Watch the highlight film here!
After we finished shooting our clients wonderful wedding at the gorgeous Avalon Coastal Retreat in Swansea, Tasmania we decided to take a quick road trip to the famed Wineglass Bay. It is noted to be one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world and it was only about an hours drive north of Swansea in the Freycinet National Park. So we packed our camera gear and headed off. Along the way we stopped at one of the many vineyards for a quick tasting, then headed onward enjoying the vast open space when we realized about 40 minutes into the trip that our gas tank was less than an 1/8th full. It had started off a little less than half. We had yet to see a gas station… or even a town for that matter. No worries, a town was on the map just ahead. We finally arrived and drove around burning more fuel… and there is NO gas station. We headed to the next town, the last town before Freycinet National Park. We breathed a sigh of relief as we saw a sign for a “petrol” station. We followed the blue arrow to find THIS:
It had burnt to the ground and was fenced off. Uh. Panic. Funny thing about being in “the bush” is that there aren’t gas stations on every block like there is in the States. Actually there aren’t even any “blocks”. You can go for miles and not see a gas/petrol station. With no phone and no towns and not a lot of traffic we were NOT looking forward to hitchhiking. A bit dejected, we decided to head back. Then we thankfully saw another sign at the next side street for a petrol station in that same town. Somehow we had missed it. So with a tank full of fumes and despair, we fueled up, had a beer (we needed one after that panic attack!) and headed onward to see Wineglass Bay. We parked and set about a 45 minute hike up a pretty steep mountain and came to this vista:
After all of that, and as gorgeous as Wineglass Bay is, we still think that Avalon and Swansea’s beaches are far, far prettier!
The next day was Monday, so we drove down the east coast to Hobart (our flight was out of Hobart that night). The scenery changed dramatically and reminded us quite a bit of Pennsylvania with its rolling hills covered in trees. We arrived in Hobart at Blackmans Bay just in time to catch this gorgeous rainbow:
We were starving so we stopped in along the waterfront in Hobart at a really cool restaurant called the Ball and Chain. The food was AMAZING. Jeremy had fillet mignon and I had trevella, I am probably spelling it wrong but it is a delicious deep-sea fish. I also got a gluten and dairy free yummy dessert that we both split. One thing about Australia, the food costs a FORTUNE here…BUT…it is all absolutely DELICIOUS and authentic. Most of it is 4 stars or better, is locally grown and cooked fresh without fillers or other “junk”. Even in the middle of nowhere in Tasmania you can get a cappuccino or latte and the quality of food is unmatched.
We had plenty of time to spare so we drove around a bit and decided to head up Mt. Wellington, the highest peak in Tasmania. It was a VERY long drive up (yes, we made sure the gas tank was full this time). It was positively FREEZING. There was snow and it was VERY windy, but the view was SPECTACULAR! You can see Jeremy taking video footage on the platform (black jacket with white and black camera strap).
We finally made it to the Hobart airport and didn’t get to Melbourne until the wee hours of around 2am. We had booked a reservation at a new hotel called the The Blackman. We got a REEEAALLLY good deal on it so we were skeptical as to what it would look like. It had received a 5 star rating but it was only 6 months old. We checked into our rooms and after 5-10 minutes of trying to figure out how to turn the lights on…we were AMAZED at how gorgeous it was. The entire hotel is designed around Charles Blackman, a brilliant painter. The hotel is all black, very modern and contemporary with spectacular lighting. Lights turn on down the hall as motion sensors detect your presence and turn off after you move away. There is a frosted glass door to the bathroom with a painted sketch on the door. Walls are hung with his art. Elevators are decorated with paintings. Here is Jeremy catching the elevator downstairs. Amazing hotel. Amazing artist.
Today we took a drive up to Daylesford, a little laid-back hippy town about an hour and a half north west of Melbourne and had some delicious handmade chocolates from the local chocolatiere. Tomorrow we are taking our last day trip, and will drive down the Great Ocean Road. It is similar to the Pacific Coastal Highway in California. This is the life!
We arrived in Tasmania on Friday around 10am at one of the biggest airports… and we had to walk across the tarmac if that tells you anything about the island. It is rustic and untouched and absolutely perfect. We drove from the airport along the coast and stopped in at a random bed and breakfast for some coffee and brekkie where we had the most delicious food and coffee I had ever eaten: a cappuccino (with soy for me…surprisingly everyone has soy milk around here) and eggs and smoked salmon with capers on a croissant (and this particular B&B had homemade gluten-free toast for me. Yes. In the middle of nowhere they still catered to dairy and gluten free people. I am still amazed). All of the food here is freshly grown and cooked to order. The B&B was a little Georgia-style farm house built in the early 1800s. It was gorgeous. Definitely a diamond in the rough. We haven’t seen a fast food joint or a Wal-Mart or anything of the sort, thankfully. But we did see a cool guy in a kilt, and Jaime had to check him out.
We then drove down the coast. Fields and scenery are a combination of different places in the US that I have visited: a little bit of Wyoming, a little bit of Pennsylvania, a little North Carolina and Vermont. And maybe a little African savanna thrown in. All the roads are lined with barbed-wire fences keeping in little sheepie things. I have yet to get a good picture of them. I am debating if I will get arrested jumping the fence for a photo. They are very protective of the environment here and there are no advertisements or billboards lining the road. The coast line is uncluttered by condos and beachfront properties, and the gorgeous white sand beaches are completely untouched and often uninhabited by anyone.
We passed a nature preserve along the way and stopped in to feed the kangaroos and wallabies. We played with koalas and tasmanian devils and wombats. The kangaroos were very excited to see Jeremy.
The wedding we photographed was Saturday morning (yesterday to us). We woke up to a torrential downpour…which is not conducive to a beach wedding. However after a couple hours, the weather cleared up, the sun broke through, a rainbow appeared and we got some gorgeous shots of the bride and groom. (Pics will follow later. It’s hard to edit here.)
Unfortunately, we didn’t realize that we were actually “in the bush” over here and wi-fi isn’t in all the cafes like it is in the states. We will post when we can…and in the meantime, we will leave you with this gorgeous shot of the Great Oyster Bay on the coastline of Swansea, Tasmania. Yes. We are here.