Wedding Wonderland

Beaming with excitement to be able to finally share this wedding.  Meet Tina and Brad, a couple very happy and giddy with love.  Brad adores and showers Tina with love and affection each and every day, I have never seen my dear friend so happy, she often tells me just how blessed she feels every day.

This is why I was honoured to be asked to photograph their wedding. Tina and Brad had planned a small intimate wedding at their beautiful home on the Gold Coast in mid December last year.

Tina known for her artistic talents did most of the planning for the wedding and celebration including designing and making the invitations.

On the day, I arrived and was quickly ushered into the “make up” room where the bride remained hidden from her nervous but excited groom.  After Tina’s daughter completed her Mum’s make up, we did a quick “switch-a-roo” into the main bedroom for the final preparations before the ceremony.

Tina’s son walked his Mum up the aisle (which as a friend, was such a moving and special moment to witness).  Tina & Brad stood in front of family and close friends whilst Gwen Inglis, Marriage Celebrant, guided them through the formal ceremony.   Apart from exchanging vows and rings, A special moment came from Brad’s Mum who recited a poem, it was an emotional moment for all and something very much from her heart to them.

After the ceremony, it was time to let their hair down and party, celebrating this special day with those close to them, the first day of their lives as Mr & Mrs Brad Norton.

Congratulations to you both I was blessed and privileged to be invited to share your day and create some everlasting printed memories to keep.

Until next time.

Kassy

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R and R equals Retreat

At the end of last year it was time for some R and R and in my world R and R equals Retreat – a 3 day photography retreat with a couple of good friends and fellow photographers.

We decided that it would be a good idea to rent a cottage on acreage around the Boonah area.  We found the perfect place, Rose Cottage, Milford Country Cottages at Boonah.  A nice 2 bedroom spacious cottage set on acreage.  So much to do, photograph and see and that was just around the property, perfect for 3 budding photographers.

Our adventure started with lunch at the local pub before heading back to prepare for our first lesson, how to lift wine glass from table to lips (whoops sorry wrong retreat 😉 ).  Seriously thought after dark we were heading down to the dam on the property to learn about, live composite, a function on the EM1 Olympus.  Night and astro photography is the perfect subject to practise with.   As we got into the play we added some further interest and used our torch to “light paint” the old tools.  For my first time using this feature the results were pleasing and it was well after midnight before we finally hit the hay.

Olympus Live Composite at Work

After a “little” sleep and much coffee we packed our gear and headed out to see the “sights”.  Our first stop for the morning was a little off the beaten track at a place called The Gorge.  A stunning water hole that just appears almost out of nowhere.  After exploring the area until we could go no further on foot , any further we would need to swim, so it was back in the car.

Hidden off the Track – The Gorge

Onto our next destination, Moggerah Dam.  The dam was near full and as we walked the road around the dam wall, the sound of the water was deafening, mountains of water was flowing over the wall, just our luck making it easier to get captivating images and great water effects.

Moogerah Dam

Our last stop over for the morning was the lavender farm and winery, honestly can’t tell you exactly where, all I know it was somewhere out in the country on a road.  Unfortunately the lavender was not blooming however the kangaroo’s were a plenty and so was the wine.  Perfect to end our morning outing, being late December, temps were around 40 and too hot to stay out all day.  Time to download our photos, process and have a learning session back at our accommodation.

Lavender Farm and Winery

There is so much more to our Retreat but best to leave you wanting more (and gives me another future blog post). Before I sign off tonight, need to shout out a plug to Karen Willshaw, our trusty Tour Guide, Karen is running a Photography tour to Vietnam in October this year, highly recommended, and for further information on the tour or to book please visit her Facebook Page

Until next time.

Kassy

A Model Story

Recently I was contacted by an up and coming model to shoot her portfolio.  The lovely Breannen had made it through the internet submission for Australia’s Next Top Model and was due to submit a portfolio for the face to face interview.  We chose to do this shoot on location at Mt Tamborine Botanical Gardens.  The Botanical Gardens are such a beautiful place with loads of different scenic areas at your figure tips, it is the perfect place for a shoot like this.

On meeting Brea (as she prefers to be known) I was struck by her warm and inviting smile, she looks and acts a little bit of a tomboy but it didn’t take me long to discover her “girly” side.  The day was overcast and the light was just magic for these photos.  As we start Brea has a fresh face (little to no makeup) for her profile pics needed for her upcoming submission.     The green garden backdrop at the front of the Gardens was just perfect against her white tshirt and jeans.

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After a clothing change and make up (applied by Ebony),  Brea was set to go to our next location within the Botanical Gardens, we wandered down the garden path with the lakefront gazebo in our sights.   The aqua dress Brea is wearing compliments perfectly her lovely skin and long dark hair, which is apparent in the photos I am capturing.

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Our last outfit for the morning was a striking red gown with a red beaded headpiece, she looked like Xena, a warrior princess, naturally we found a location to bring out the best in Brea and the dress.

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As I am photographing I am getting to know a little about Brea.  Brea had a difficult childhood, coming from a broke home, a father who was interested in things other than Brea.  Brea was lucky enough she had a mum who was always there for her and loved her greatly.   Brea’s difficulties didn’t stop there, unfortunately she was also bullied at School, for being one of the boys.  Brea dreamed of being a model, she had a passion for being in front of the camera, with all the troubles within her life it was hard for her to believe that she could achieve her goals.

When watching the last season of Australia’s Next Top Model Brea found herself relating to one contestant, she was one of the boys, lacked social skills and confidence in herself.  Brea saw so much of herself in this person and watched as she grew and succeeded, Brea knew deep down it was the right time to follow her dream.

Since our shoot Brea has heard back from the selection team at Australia’s Next Top Model, unfortunately due to her height she hasn’t made it to the next step.   Irrespective of the decision of the selection team Brea will continue to push forward and pursue her dream into the modelling industry.  I wish her all the best, I know my camera and I love her and I see big things in her future.

Until next week.

Kassy

RAW is BOLD, RAW is ME

What a whirlwind the last 4 weeks have been (I guess this is another way of saying to my loyal readers that it has been so busy and that’s why the blog has been very silent”.

In July this year I was asked to become a RAW artist and showcase at their September event called BOLD.  I was honoured to be given this opportunity and couldn’t wait for September to officially be part of the world wide RAW family.   At first when you decide to “put yourself out there” it is all exciting and you get stuck into the preparation, ticking things off the to do list you feel you are cruising along and on track.  Then comes the photo selection and that part of the experience hit me like a tonne of bricks, what do I include in the selection?, what photos are “good enough”? after all I am putting it all out there, to be judged by both the public and fellow photography peers.

After some sleepless nights, endless photo folders, culling, regrouping and many test prints later my final prints were chosen.   I must add that during this lead up process I could not made it to the night without my husband (Ben), my mentor (Sheryn) and the team at INK FX who not only had to deal with the many phone calls and questions but asked to rush prints.  I do recall my husband at some time mumbling under his breath, “that he couldn’t wait till Thursday 24th”, forget bridezilla I guess me being me I wanted perfection and almost drove all persons around my crazy.

Before I knew it the day was here, this occasion called for a special outfit and very special hair do (from my wonderful friend of over 20 years and amazing hairdresser, Michelle Red) we head off to the venue to get everything set up.  On arriving we unload and “check in” and find my wall space.  Just after arriving the event photographer introduced herself and off I went to get my official headshots done (now I’m feeling like an artist on the red carpet).  It took us about an hour to set up my display and tweek a few things.  I am now ready to greet the world and present, Kassy Solomon and Solo Images Photography at RAW.

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During the RAW event I met and spoke with some wonderful people including my local Mudgeeraba Councillor, Glenn Tozer and his stunning wife Melissa, they were so warm and friendly and we chatted for some time, Melissa was taken with my Love photo and gave me a few alternative creative ideas to try.  As the night went on I was humbled to see many of my friends who took time out of their schedule to come, show their support and say hi.  I really can’t properly express in words just how much all this support means to me, apart from family it is these moments within your life that you know you are truly grateful and blessed to be alive.   To top of the evening and a surprise was my brother came from the Sunshine Coast to the event to show his love and support, I know now he is without doubt of just how talented his little sis is 🙂

In summary there was a huge positive reaction from all guests who stopped by and admired my work.  I believe the most talked about and liked photos were  “Love”, “Wetland Wonders” and “Purple Sunrise”.  During the night one person commented to me standing in front of my “Purple Sunrise” and asked who was the artist, they mistook this canvas for a painting – it was almost to hard to believe it was a photo.  That was the icing on the cake.

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RAW, a magical experience, well worth it.  You never know I might be back for a second time 🙂

PS there is a few limited edition canvases still available to purchase please email me at info@soloimages.com.au for further details.

Until next week.

Kassy.

Model Shoot – David on Location

Since rebranding to “You are Beautiful” and devoting my time to my calling, photographing women, I have had very limited opportunities to work with male models.  That was until I had the opportunity to photograph David from Mystique Model Management at the location photoshoot recently held in Brisbane.

As we were getting to the hottest part of the day we started this shoot in casual clothing and found another cafe location within the grounds of QUT that had mix of glass, stark white and bold colours with a twist of a vintage industrial look.  Once behind the camera I have to stop myself from saying to David “chin out and down”, “push out that hip” or “give me a nice curve” and remember that I am photographing a man today.  Men are strong, muscular, fit and tall and need to be photographed in that way to best enhance their assets.  I was pleased to find that in front of the camera David oozes confidence and charm, making my job very easy.

David at QUT

David at QUT

Even in this heat I was able to convince David to change into his second look for the day, a business suit.  For our next location we move to the back steel stairwell area where there is a mix of glass, benches and stairs and this is where I start to push my boundaries and have a play with some mood lighting with a vision to convert to black and white images on processing.

David on Location at QUT

David on Location at QUT

More about David:  David is actually part of the marketing division of Mystique Model Management and is currently studying medicine at Uni to become Doctor so is waiting to see how that goes before signing a modelling contract.  You never know Australia, we may have our first Dr McDreamy right here 😉

David is a very easy going, smart, lovely person who impressed me greatly.  David is also well on his way to achieving his goals and has a clear future path in mind.  David was a pleasure to work with and I wish him all the success in the world and anytime he wants to model I will always be available.

Until next week,

Kassy

 

Model – Location PhotoShoot

Oh my, it’s hot!  You know it’s hot when at 5am in the morning you’re sweating before throwing gear into the car and the ice in your frozen drink melts within 5 minutes!  That is how my day started on very hot and muggy Sunday morning in January.  Where am I headed at 5am on a Sunday morning?  I’m heading to photograph models represented by Mystique Model Management on location at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens and QUT.

A fellow photographer and owner of Mystique Model Management, David met us on our arrival at the Botanical Gardens and we starting scouting our locations and getting set up – we were keen for shade as it was set to be a record breaking heat wave kind of day!  Both David and I are photographing today.  We have 18 models to photograph, nine each and we have two very experienced makeup artists working with us – Morgan of Morgan Leigh Makeup Artistry and Amy Cannon of Beauty and a Beast Makeup Artistry.

All the models outfits have been supplied by multi award winning designer Niki Teljega of Niki Teljega – Fashion Label.

My first model for the day was Holly Priscilla.  Holly’s hair and make up has been applied by Morgan Leigh.  Holly is relatively new in the industry and discovered by David last year when an existing model, already signed with Mystique, encouraged Holly to ring and attend a casting day.  The rest they say, is history.  Holly is an absolute delightful person and a dream model to shoot with.

Holly didn’t hesitate to do anything I asked.  Her first outfit was a gorgeous floor length gold Couture gown, complete with 6 inch heels.  Holly made the gown look even more stunning.  I photographed her standing in amongst trees, branches and leaves, in a clump of bamboo where she was getting eating alive by mozzies (whoever said modelling was a glamorous life, clearly haven’t tried it)

Model Holly Priscilla

Model
Holly Priscilla

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Holly’s second outfit was a form fitting little black dress, plunging neckline with a little bling on the waist, it really showed off her figure and allowed me to show off the curve of her body and capture her at beautiful angles  – truly she is every photographer’s dream.  Using the bright green clumps of bamboo as our backdrop made Holly and Niki’s outfit the stars in all my photos.

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Holly Priscilla - Model

Holly Priscilla – Model

A little more about Holly: she loves fashion and commercial modelling;  She would like to be seen as an inspiration for women everywhere to be fit and healthy; her dream is to become an ambassador for a large fitness brand, as she loves to travel her goal is to combine traveling to exoctic places with shooting on fashion assignments.

In my opinion Holly is well on her way to achieving these goals and will be an international model to look out for in the future.

Stay tuned for more adventures of the day in future blogs.

Until next week,

Kassy

Sunflowers and other things adventure part 2

As promised a couple of weeks ago here is Part 2 of my recent trip out west.  We pick up at lunchtime in Toowoomba 🙂 . After our wonderful lunch we headed back out to in the direction of Allora in the search of better sunflower fields. Along the way we couldn’t help it but take some side roads to see what we would find.

It was not long before we came across this charming little small town called Clifton. Clifton is known for been the backdrop to many Australian movies including The Thornbirds. The railway station was in service from the 1870’s and closed in 1998. Since 2012 it has been home to the Visitors Information Centre and has some great photo opportunities. One thing you do have to watch is when you are lining up a great low shot make sure to check your surrounds otherwise you may find something a little “extra” when you download your photos and find your photoshop skills are not up to the task of removing 😉 .

Clifton Railway Station Remember to check your surrounds you may end up with a little "extra" in your photo

Clifton Railway Station
Remember to check your surrounds you may end up with a little “extra” in your photo

Heading back out of Clifton we found an almost deserted road, detour time!   We came across this rustic old farm house, having the benefit of the afternoon light, we pulled over the car and got out to explore. One thing I found is that no matter how good a friend you have, when you are petrified of snakes, they will not hold your hand so you can get up to the fence to get a better photo (they want that photo for themselves), sometimes you just have to put on your big girl pants and either walk through the weeds or stand on the road and deal with the fence in the way of your shot. For those interested my big girl pants didn’t last too long 🙂 but I still got some awesome photos, even with the fence.

Beauty even with a fence post

Beauty even with a fence post

We then continued on to find other Sunflower field but unfortunately what we found was not favourable photographically with the direction of the afternoon light. It seems that these Sunflowers don’t actually follow and face the sun (something I didn’t know). It really didn’t matter we still found many things to occupy our time.

Sunflowers in the afternoon sun

Sunflowers in the afternoon sun

As it was getting late we were hesitant but needed to start our journey home. On the way back to the coast was a small sunflower field with a windmill that was filled with birds, we couldn’t help it and had to stop.  The sunflowers were very damaged but the birds were all around.   I didn’t have a lens long enough to just stay at the car and photograph the birds from the distance so had to take small steps across the road to try and to get close enough. Each time I moved so did the birds, we had to play the game of patience. At one stage I moved a little too fast and we were left in awe when the full flock of birds just flew off the flowers and tree trunks and flew directly above us and circled around. It was something that I can’t describe the feeling in words, all I can say is WOW what a magic moment to witness.

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Off again on our way home, we had to stop again just before heading down the mountain due to an accident they were clearing away. I was ‘naughty’ and took the opportunity to put down the window and start photographing the mountain side with just the right amount of light. Make the most of every situation in life, right.

We couldn’t resist the afternoon light and made a few more quick stops on the way home (Lesson – If you are not a photographer don’t travel with one unless you are happy to be late). It was a wonderful and productive day spent with friends who enjoy the simple pleasures in life. We are so blessed Australia is truly the lucky country. There is just so much country to see, explore and shoot.

Our last stop  Couldn't resist the last light of the day

Our last stop
Couldn’t resist the last light of the day

Until next week.
Kassy.