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Exquisite location for Tiffany and Joe

In late 2017, I was given an opportunity to shoot the engagement photos for soon-to-be-wed couple Tiffany and Joe, and it was the most treasured day of shooting. We had ventured out to three locations (Lake Joondalup, Neil Hawkins Park and Iluka Beach) but their wedding day on New Year’s Eve 2019 succumbed the bridal party and guests to one stunning destination – Maitraya Private Retreat.

Set amongst the unparalleled beauty of Albany, the resort delivers Western Australia’s southern coastline at its finest to all visitors, and Tiffany and Joe could not have picked a more picturesque location, with nearby islands and surrounding mountains.

As a loved up couple who have a passion for the beach and the great outdoors, Maitraya Private Retreat certainly was the epitome of what they each represented. Wanting a venue that was different to everyone else in Perth, it was an opportunity also for their family and friends to stay in Albany overnight and congregate as one big happy collective.

Both Tiffany and Joe prepared for their big day at the same location, of course, but in different rooms and it was an absolute photographer’s dream to shoot here – the big windows with the tropical plants, the cliff-ocean views, even the furniture in the rooms were exquisite – providing a great level of background for each picture.

Tiffany got to relax with her bridesmaids and family in a large room, with plenty of space for me to move around and capture as much as possible. Even when we all headed outside to take more photos, in particular with Tiffany’s parents, it was a complete oasis – one could be forgiven for thinking the bride was getting ready on a tropical island somewhere off the Pacific coast!

On the other hand, Joe and his groomsmen got ready for the big day somewhat differently to the bride and her bridesmaids – a dip in the pool was pretty much the first thing they all did! Their idea of relaxing was definitely unique, but after a quick game of ping pong following a morning of water splashing, it was soon time to get the show on the road and put the tuxedos on.

Joe’s room was also fairly spacious with plenty of lighting and colours to make the most of every angle I could get my hands on, and the results of pictures taken outdoors with the view of the Indian Ocean really captured what our stunning coastline is like.

And after intimate family photos of the groom’s side, it was time to walk over to the ceremony.

With the sun shining and the ocean as their backdrop, Tiffany and Joe declared their love for one another in a setting filled with family and friends. It was fairly clever to not have their arch filled with flora as it would have taken away from not only the breathtaking view, but from the newlyweds as they clasped hands together in the company of loved ones.

Tiffany’s dress was elegant, delicate and sophisticated, fitting in with the richness of the atmosphere and it suited her perfectly. Joe’s grey suit tied in nicely with everything also, not overpowering anyone or anything, but complementing his bride. The space I got to work with outdoors here at the ceremony was brilliant – I had the freedom to move around as much as I could, and this meant I could capture almost every minute possible, from the loving glances between the bride and groom, to the guests smiling and adorning their eyes on the happy couple.

Not a cloud in the sky, and the big blue set perfect tones to photographs.

Straight after pictures with guests, it was off to bridal photos where the newlyweds could embrace in a few private moments, take it all in, and just let it all hang free.

We took advantage of as many spaces as possible at Maitraya Private Retreat, from the gazebo by the lake and the aeroplane runway, to a golden meadow and sunset at the private beach. It was so enjoyable and exhilarating photographing Tiffany and Joe in these wide-open spaces, and they took to the locations with open arms – fully immersing in the photoshoot and really having a lot of fun.

Golden hour had peaked at the meadow, so it was all guns blazing as I snapped away to capture more intimate moments – Tiffany and Joe were the absolute epitomai of newlyweds, their feelings for each other bouncing off one another, infectious.

We really got a great abundance of varying locations for this wedding day, despite actually being at the one location. We aptly finished with beach photos, and I couldn’t have asked for a better afternoon – I’m sure it was the same for both Tiffany and Joe.

Onto the reception, and it was perhaps one of the most chilled out, most relaxing celebrations I’d ever attended. Combining it with New Year’s Eve, the crowd was definitely up for a party, and the more the minutes ticked over into the reception, the more everyone let down their guard and just had a great time.

Family shots were incredibly popular, especially with views of the Indian Ocean, and as the sun set further to reveal a darkening sky, I could see all the guests thrived on this cocktail-style reception.

One of my favourite photos is the Star Wars-looking image of the bride and groom spraying champagne – I set up the lights to give an effect of blue and red, the bottles exploding and made to appear like lightsabers.

After a New Year’s countdown, it was really a fantastic way to end the day. I wish all the best for Tiffany and Joe; may your lives be filled with joy and happiness for eternity.

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