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swiss photographer

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Susanne + Philippe Maternity | Basel Photographer

Susanne + Philippe are new in our apartment building and hosted an apero for their friends and tenants of our apartment building to get to know us! When I found out she was pregnant and has pretty much the same name, I took it as a sign that I should go! SO glad I did because not only are they lovely, but I also got to know quite a few others from the apartment building too! Was a really fun night!

Another pleasant surprise is that they were wanting some maternity pictures which I was more than happy to do for them. We split the shoot between indoor and outdoor and I think it gave them some great variety - we got the classic maternity portraits as well as some lifestyle shots inside the home. We also had such nice weather which was lucky because rain had become a familiar friend at that point.

I’m so looking forward to capturing their newborn soon! Our little ones will be around a month apart so it will be baby mania soon! These are my favourites from the session:

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Carla's Dreamy Maternity Shoot - Basel Photographer

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Carla's Dreamy Maternity Shoot - Basel Photographer

Carla has a talent for creating visual feasts for the eyes - with flowers, invitations and styling - so i was absolutely ecstatic when she asked me to take some pictures of her to remember her pregnancy. I love that we have the same taste in style and picture taking and I think we really make a good team working together to create some beautiful images. So its no surprise i absolutely adore these photos - they’re light, soft, feminine and oh so dreamy.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with beautiful maternity pictures - as they really do speak to how incredible the journey is. How a woman’s body can nurture a tiny cell by growing a whole new organ to sustain and give energy and love to grow a whole new person. However, unlike the photos, the whole pregnancy journey is not all pretty dresses, perfect hair and flowers - its an up and down mix of emotions, lack of comfort, a whole host of weird body changes and a flurry of medical appointments but it’s really not as fun to look at those pictures! haha. While i whole-heartedly believe in, and love creating these maternity pictures (every pregnant woman needs to bask in the beauty of her body’s capabilities), I need to remind every pregnant woman out there feeling ‘less than’ (me, right now!) - that all pregnant women feel the lows and the highs. We need to sit with those lows (and know we have the strength to get through them) but we should damn-well celebrate those highs and thats what i try and do with maternity shoots!

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

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Romance in Bloom | Basel Photographer

I had the most amazing opportunity come my way to collaborate with some local vendors (who I absolutely love) for a beautiful shoot. I’ve been dying to share these with you for some months, but have had to keep them secret as we’ve been waiting patiently to have this photoshoot featured on the popular Hochzeit Guide. You can read the publication here.

I worked together with Carla from Festum Artis to create an incredible creative vision for this shoot. Carla designed all the floral pieces and dressed the beautiful table. Our brilliant makeup artist was Sandra from Boholicious. Can’t say enough about her beautiful artistry on our model - Paulina Urba.

The shoot took place in an old antique store in Basel. We were able to use a few corners of the house which was full of beautiful nooks and crannies. It felt magical being able to shoot there, amongst all the little treasures and aged and worn walls. It was sensual, intimate and romantic, soft and feminine yet strong and sexy.

It is my aim in everything I photograph to evoke some sort of emotion, to make the viewer feel like they are right there with me, taking a moment to pause and observe how grand the small moments are, how (sometimes imperfectly) beautiful it is. I hope you also take a moment to view this gallery and the beauty it holds!

If you ever want to be the subject of a beautiful moment - contact me for your own shoot!


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Travel in Switzerland: Niesen

I've been working on a couple of shoots I can't post yet, however i've also been taking advantage of this beautiful summer weather by making a few short trips here and there!  I have a friend over from Australia so we thought we'd venture to the top of a mountain.  The Niesen is a mountain which i first spotted in Spiez - Patrick an I thought "what a perfectly shaped mountain!"... It's featured in many of my Spiez photos. like this one:

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its been dubbed the Swiss Pyramid because of its beautiful shape.  We went up on a gorgeous day in June first thing in the morning.  We left Basel at 7am and were on the funicular to its peak at 9am.  I like being the early bird so its a little quieter.  The funicular is red (in true swiss-style) and takes about 30 minutes - you have to change train half way.  Tickets were quite expensive - its CHF57- return but with day ticket on the trains or a swiss pass its CHF28.50.

The views are pretty spectacular at the top - it has 360 degree views, a cafe/restaurant (apparently also a small hotel) and a pretty cool playground for kids. We stopped for a coffee and took in the views, snapped a few pictures and went back down around 11/11:30am. 

If you're thinking about going here are my tips:

  • Choose a clear day - it was just starting to cloud up when we went and it's pretty pointless going up if all you can see it white... unless you're into clouds...

  • If possible, get the lowest row in the train on the way up, you'll get beautiful views! Second best is close to a window.

  • Have a hot drink at the top and soak in those views!

  • There's a particular point on the pathway that doesn't have a fence. Sit for a picture here and it looks like you're right on the edge of a cliff (in reality, there's a steep hill but you can still put your feet on the ground.

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The Barber Shop

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The Barber Shop

While we were in Perth, we stumbled across the coolest barber shop in the Treasury buildings! I have to say i've always wanted to take pictures of Patrick in a cool old-school barber shop, so I seized the opportunity to tag along and take some pictures.  Luckily the staff there at 'Ugly Men's' were super nice and let me click away.  I loved everything about the shop, the magazines(I thought it was quite coincidental that the monocle magazine they had on display was featuring Switzerland!), the clippers and tools all laid out, the whiskey bottles, the red brick, the deers head (although totally hoping it's not real), and the fact that they made this simple act of getting your hair and beard tended to an awesome experience. This would be a great treat for all the exhausted dad's out there who need a bit of pampering.  I also thought what a great location it is (right next to Como Treasury Hotel) for grooms to head there before their wedding - it would make such cool shots right!?

Anyway... I wanted to share with you the pics I took of Patrick while getting his beard trimmed. I love that these photos capture something ordinary... going to the barber, but the location has made it a bit special.  I can just imagine us going through these photos when we're old and grey (maybe with our future children) and pointing out how brown his hair was, thinking how dated the decor was, or just marvelling about what cool people we were! hehe.

 

 

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Documenting your life: Part 2

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Documenting your life: Part 2

Here we are on Part 2 of Documenting your life and today I wanted to talk about a great way to prioritise this (and make it easier on yourself) to capture your life regularly.  If you missed Part 1 about how to flex your beauty seeking muscle - you can read it here

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A great way to make sure you're capturing your life from year to year is to create family (or couple) traditions.  Make something fun that you do every year - it could be camping, an annual all-out big family picnic, taking your family to the mountains, a board-game night, making a big deal over the first day of school, or taking on the local festival as a family.  Whatever it is - make it fun, make it special and capture it.  Another option is to have the tradition BE the photoshoot.  Every Springtime, you could do a professional photoshoot and hold it in a different location - a city adventure, amongst the springtime blossoms, or bundled up for an in-home session!

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You could make a small album of this special day every year.  How cool will it be to look back on in 5, 10 years time - memorialising this same event every year - seeing how you've changed, how much you've grown with the same constant theme running through it (your tradition).  

Creating family traditions makes time for the important things in life - time with your loved ones!!  I remember one of my close friends used to have one Friday night a month where they would have a 'family night' where they used to do all sorts of activities together - from board games, to going to the cinemas, to a dinner cooked by every one together.  No matter what, they all had to be there (they were older kids).  They all looked forward to it too, it wasn't a chore.  I was a little disappointed we didn't have something similar in our family at the time, but I vowed I would create something similar in my  own family one day.  

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Do you have any family traditions?  Would love to hear them in the comments below!

I am now available for Spring Family sessions in Switzerland!  Get in touch if you want me to capture your first family tradition!

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An Australians' experience living in Switzerland

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An Australians' experience living in Switzerland

It's been a year since this Australian got on a plane to Switzerland, not knowing how long we'll be here for or what challenges, travels and momentous occasions will unfold.  I have to start this post by counting my blessings and although not every moment has been peachy, I do realise not everyone is fortunate enough to live in two beautiful countries such as Australia and Switzerland. 

I wanted to share what its been like for me, an Australian, to move to Basel - the quirks, the awesome surprises and the things that make me want to pack my bags and take the next plane back to Australia. 

The scenery

I had a funny encounter with a check-out lady who picked up on my accent. She couldn't understand why I had moved to Switzerland when I came from such a beautiful country.  She said she'd move to Australia in a heartbeat if she won lotto.  I remember saying something along the same lines to my husband - "Why would you move to Australia when you live in Switzerland!?" I'm not denying the beauty of Australia, however the Swiss landscape leaves little to be desired (okay, maybe the beach!) - majestic mountains and crystal blue lakes do something to my soul! I feel at peace around a landscape so grand.  

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They're not breakfast people

I tell you, I'm missing the cool cafes/restaurants of Perth - Harvest Espresso, Bib & Tucker, Imp, Tiisch and so many more.  I am dying for some creative breakfast food!  The truth is, they don't really do breakfast here - it's all croissants and muesli, which is okay... but it's a bit boring. Their brunch consists of meat, cheese, bread and if they're really out there - scrambled eggs and bacon.  It sounds like such a superficial thing, but visiting cool cafes was one of my most favourite things to do to relax. Cool interior design, awesome tasty food and good coffee.... c'mon Switzerland!

Post comes on Saturdays 

Poor posties - they work 6 days a week... but it means we can get packages delivered on Saturdays too!  hooray!

The seasons

In Australia  (Perth specific)- there's basically two seasons - hot/warm weather, or rainy, slightly colder weather.  In Switzerland, Every one of the seasons brings a different landscape - the many flowers of spring time, the warm summer and blue skies, the spectacular shades of orange, red and brown in Autumn (where leaves actually fall off the trees) and the snow, bare trees and blistering cold of winter. I've seen so much more beauty in the seasons!!

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Swiss checkout assistants don't work as hard as the Aussies

Okay, maybe they do work just as hard but I actually miss food shopping in Australia.  It's so easy - great variety in each spacious supermarket, pick your food take it to the checkout, then put the bagged groceries in your trolley, to the car and then your home.  In Switzerland - It's a bit more effort.  When you pick your fruit and vegies, you then have to weigh it, put in the code and put a sticker barcode on each item.  Then when you get to the checkout (its a bit like Aldi) you have to bag it all yourself. It gets a bit chaotic when you're trying to bag everything before the next customer, pray you remembered to put the barcode on everything, and pay for it.  All my items are just thrown in the bags... lucky the bread is crusty and doesn't get squashed too much!  All plastic bags cost money here (so everyone generally brings their own) and then you've got to lug it home on the tram.  Food shopping should be an olympic sport here. I should get a medal! haha. 

Its easier to buy alcohol than panadol 

In supermarkets you can easily buy alcohol, even my corner supermarket has a good selection of wine, beer and spirits.  But panadol?  You need to go to the pharmacy.  We had a funny situation when we went to Mürren for a weekend and needed some panadol, but because it was a little town (only accessed by a gondola) and the town doctor passed away recently (!!!)  you couldn't buy any! Over the counter drugs are quite easily accessed in Australia, didn't realise this until I came here.  It annoys me I have to make a special trip to the pharmacy to buy panadol (first world problem, I know - but I live in Switzerland, all my problems are first world)

Dogs come everywhere

Honestly, nothing brightens my day more than seeing the happy dog on the tram that gets to go everywhere with their owner.  People are always out with their dogs, walking them, food shopping, getting lunch. Just don't forget to buy a big dog a ticket for the tram. I've seen (a few times now) dogs being carted around in prams. They honestly live the best life here, and they're pretty well behaved too... oh to be a dog in Switzerland! 

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No beach, No worries

So, there's no beach here - but that doesn't stop the Swiss from enjoying Summer!  They're out on the Rhine and multiple rivers and lakes around Switzerland with their beach towels and big inflatable flamingos bathing in the water and sunbathing on the grass. Some of the lakes are so clean and clear you can see the ducks legs paddling beneath the surface.

In fact, all year round - everyone is out enjoying the outdoors - hiking, skiing, swimming, skydiving, base jumping... it really is an adventurers paradise.

On the topic of water though- the water is so fresh and clean you can drink it straight from the tap. No filter required.

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They don't hip hooray 

After happy birthday we always do the hip hip hooray in Australia... maybe even a 'for she's a jolly good fello'.  But after the happy birthday (which they weirdly, all sing in English) there's nothing else... feels like its missing something!

Travel is cheap and easy

Travel is so easy. In a few short hours (or less) I can be in Italy, France, or Germany.  Its a 3 hour train trip to Paris, I can be in Germany or France in 10 minutes, and a short plane trip can take you to any european city.  The train trips through Switzerland  have the most beautiful views - I cannot put away my camera! Every time I'm on a train in Switzerland.. I count my lucky stars i'm here and get to see views like this on the reg. 

We also have access to a 'half-card'. We pay an annual fee to get half price off our train tickets - it's more than paid for itself. Sometimes they also have special day tickets - CHF29 for a day ticket. Considering I can get to any place in Switzerland in less than 3 hours it's easy and affordable to do day trips.

View from the Train over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva)

View from the Train over Lac Léman (Lake Geneva)

So much more smoking

I have to say... it's my biggest gripe about living here.  There's double the amount of smokers here than in Australia. Switzerland is very behind in smoking laws.  They're allowed to smoke on train/tram/bus platforms, they smoke right at the entrance to many shops and restaurants and even in kids playgrounds.  (I should note they are just about to trial no smoking in 6 train stations across Switzerland - it's been met with much resistance).  In summer, I feel sad that I can't really dine outdoors without breathing in smoke.  It's made me so grateful for the strict laws in Australia that makes fresh air a common privilege, but ugh.... It's the bane of my existence here in Switzerland.

Tradition 

Switzerland is steeped in tradition.  Patrick always snickered at 'tradition' in Australia - as it usually means it's only been running for around 100 years (or less). In Switzerland there are many traditional events such as Fasnacht, Vogel Gryff and Desalpé (in the mountains) which have been running for more than a few centuries - sometimes it's been running for centuries beyond what's recorded so it's hard to determine when these started. It actually boggles my mind thinking of all the people that have come before us also taking part in these events.  Sometimes I'm amazed that such outdated, and down-right weird events still take place. In Zurich, they burn the 'böög' (English translation: boogie!) until its' head falls off. The longer his head stays on, the better the summer will be.  

Desalpé in Charmey. When the farmers adorn the cows/goats with bells and flowers and walk them down the mountain for winter.

Desalpé in Charmey. When the farmers adorn the cows/goats with bells and flowers and walk them down the mountain for winter.

Expensive is an understatement

When I first arrived, I mentally converted the cost of things to AU$.  Probably a bad move!  AU$40 for a small plate of sushi (from the supermarket!), AU$20 for two Starbucks coffee's, AU$120 for two indian dishes, rice and 2 non-alcoholic drinks,  AU$5 for a short one-way tram trip to the city, AU$320 for a doctor visit (until you reach your health insurance excess).  The bright side is you obviously get paid much better here too.  But I can understand why some people can't afford to visit Switzerland for very long, but it makes visiting Italy even sweeter - "wait, the best pasta ever for 12 euro??? heck-to-the-yes".

They're serious about rules

Noise and recycling have the most restrictions in Switzerland. No noise from 10pm, and between 12-2pm and Sundays. So don't even think about assembling your ikea furniture during those times.  For recycling: take your glass to a local recycling station, take your plastic to the supermarket, your cardboard needs to be put together for a separate verge-side collection and general rubbish needs to be in swiss-approved bags for collection.  And for when the noise and recycling come together: No glass recycling on the weekends because it makes too much noise when you drop it in. Yes... I'm serious. 

One of many delicious meals enjoyed in Italy!

One of many delicious meals enjoyed in Italy!

So overall - what's it like?

There are obviously things i miss about Australia - Sunshine almost all year round, fresh clean air, creative affordable food, and of course - my friends and family.  However 2017 was honestly one of the best years of my life.  I've learnt some German, been able to travel to some GORGEOUS places with amazing people and got to know so much more about how the Swiss live and enjoy life. Switzerland is a visual feast for the eyes and as a photographer I couldn't be happier.  Financially, I am so grateful to Switzerland for giving us opportunity to build our wealth for our futures.  It's taken some time to shift perspective from what I'm missing in Switzerland to what I have, but I think ending a year here and being able to reflect on all I've experienced has made me super grateful and 'hashtag-blessed' for all it's given me.  

Even though I wrote this blog post after a year, I am still continually surprised by things which are new to me - pleasant surprises and also things which are darn confusing.  I'm looking forward to another year of learning and swiss experiences.  If you haven't been, Switzerland is definitely worth a visit - let me know if you want any recommendations. 

Lauterbrunnen Valley.

Lauterbrunnen Valley.

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Autumn Family Session

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Autumn Family Session

A couple of weekends ago, i met the gorgeous Gama family.  With 4 children, I was expecting a busy 45 minutes, however the kids were super adorable and well behaved.  The littlest warmed up during the shoot and we ended up with some amazing photos for them to treasure for the rest of their lives!  Morning light is superb by the way - and it's great if you have little ones as they are a bit fresher and happier in the mornings.  

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La Desalpe de Charmey 2017

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La Desalpe de Charmey 2017

One of the top activities I had to see in Switzerland was the annual cow descent.  There are numerous throughout Switzerland but we chose Charmey - a french speaking town in the canton of Fribourg.  The cows here make the tasty, world renowned Gruyere cheese, and is said to be one of the best festivals around.  

The descent has been taking place each year for centuries, and the festival in Charmey has been running for almost 40 years.  After 100 summer days grazing in the Alps, the farmers return the cows to their valley pastures before the winter arrives.  Apparently these cows produce over 3,000 tonnes of cheese every summer.   Alpine cheese is highly prized due to the quality of the milk - the cows graze on only grass and herbs which gives the milk and cheese a great taste and excellent quality.

We ended up getting a hotel in Fribourg as the Charmey hotels were all booked out.  A sign of how popular this festival is.  We made our way early to charmey village via train and bus.  The first group of animals came shortly afterward.  Crowds and TV Stations watched on as the cows (and some goats) were celebrated, adorned with flower headdresses and cowbells.  The farmers wear traditional dress including hand-stitched leather satchels (which the farmers apparently keep salt for cheese-making). 

These days, there aren't many days in which we show gratitude and respect to animals which serve us humans.  These cows give us milk, and a source of food.  They are a livelihood for many farmers and an important part of the swiss culture and trade.  It makes me so happy to see a community (and many visitors) get behind it.  (A side note:  even through Gruyere cheese is relatively cheap and plentiful in Switzerland, it sells for roughly AUD$90 a kilo in Australia!)

There were also many stands for wine, crafts, and of course - cheese! Alphorn players and brass bands entertained the crowds as the cows, horses and goats made their way through the village.  Traffic was backed up as the cows took precedence.  I felt like a had a true Swiss experience and I hope many others get to see it!

I made a little video from some of my photos and video clippings which hopefully give you a good glimpse of what the day is like. 

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Football and Scouts

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Football and Scouts

I love love love the concept of this shoot. Lillian and Emily's mother, Heather, wanted to capture her daughters hobbies!  Lillian enjoys playing football and is part of 2 different Swiss teams.  Emily is part of Scouts in Basel.  So we used nature and a football field to showcase and capture what they do best.  Completely adore this location - it was the perfect setting for each of their hobbies.  

I love that the focus of this shoot was on the girls' passions - it celebrates their individuality.  Every child should get the opportunity for this.  

Check out my favourites from the shoot:

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Salina and Maleah

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Salina and Maleah

Salina and Maleah have to be the sweetest mother/daughter duo ever!  Maleah is like a mini-Salina, their outfits perfectly complemented each other, and you can see by these photos how much fun they have in each others company.  

This shoot was so much fun with ice cream eating, lots of laughing, dancing in old town basel, and taking bites out of a baguette. 

This is only a THIRD of the images I delivered - I think this is a record number for an hour-long photoshoot, and it was so hard to pick, but if i included them all it would have been a really long blog post!  This just demonstrates how easy these two were to work with. Enjoy taking a glimpse into the shoot:

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Art Basel

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Art Basel

I was so excited to be in town for Art Basel this year.  Patrick surprised me with tickets so we made our way there this morning to make the most of the day. It was so much bigger than I expected - the equivalent to 3 floors of art exhibitions plus Art Basal Miami.  The collection of art were modern, a lot of them interactive and most with meaningful messages.  Art Basel featured works from over 4,000 artists from 291 of the worlds best galleries. 

I love that Basel comes alive this time of year - there's people out everywhere enjoying themselves, pop up restaurants in full swing and the rhine is lined with people soaking up the sunshine. My fitbit tells me i walked 14,000 steps today... and i'm not even mad - it's what happens when the sun shines 15 hours a day!  

Here are a few images from my first Art Basel experience.

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Gaio Family

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Gaio Family

I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing Martha & Deigo and their 3 children, Finley, Chiara and Devin in Basel's Lange Erlen on the weekend.  They are a multicultural family with heritage in the USA and Italy while living in Basel, Switzerland. They're all bi-lingual - something I marvel at as (so far) only speak one language!  Finley, the oldest of the three kids also represents Switzerland in athletic events! This family is seriously talented!!

Even though it was humid and hot (even after 7:30pm!) we had so much fun together. This family has a whole lot of love for one another and it really showed through in these photos. 

 

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Kevin & Katie

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Kevin & Katie

These two!  Outstanding photographers. Soulful creatives. Intelligent. A caring mother and father. Bookworms. Complementary. Resilient.  Never had professional photos despite being married for 13 years!  Just some of the things I learnt about Kevin and Katie on our week long getaway in Italy.  

It's quite intimidating photographing for two photographers!  However, on our last night in Italy, I really wanted to experiment with some new couple posing and also to give something special to Kevin and Katie.   

Because we were surrounded by mountains of Cinque Terre, after sunset we were left with a beautiful long twilight.  Katie found some gorgeous dresses in Vernazza that afternoon, and Kevin surprised Katie with a timeless string of pearls.

I am in love with these photos and I hope you can feel the love when you look at them!

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Dalglish Family

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Dalglish Family

As a kid, I grew up only a couple of streets away from Luke, and now, 20 years later, I had the pleasure of photographing his family!  Luke, his gorgeous fiance Rachael, and their 3 children - Quinn, Vea and Leon.  

These girls look quite perfect in their white matching dresses sitting on the floral swing.  And gorgeous Leon stole the show dressed so handsome in his suspenders!  

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