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Maddie & Deo Pialligo Estate Wedding

bride and groom pialligo estate wedding portrait

It was the best of times, long overdue after the worst of times. Back in September 2020 when large-scale gatherings and weddings weren’t happening in most states, the ACT was Covid-free and managed to reopen earlier (and with dancing!) before other states. Maddie & Deo forged ahead with their plans determined to mark their moment with joy and tears and good food.

“I love how Deo and always make me smile and laugh, no matter what is going on. He makes me feel so loved all the time with everything that he does.”

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Livia & Dean’s Sydney Centennial Picnic Wedding

Livia & Dean hosted a gorgeous picnic wedding in Sydney’s Centennial Park, complete with a hockey sticks, a competition involving cupcakes, and purple jacaranda trees.

“Dean tells me every day that he loves me. Often, he’ll use the phrase “don’t forget how much I love you” which is what I have engraved in my wedding band.” – Livia

When I first met Liv & Dean, they gave me a very clear brief: jacarandas. They said “we’re getting married in November, which is Jacaranda season. We would love some photos with the beautiful purple trees that are so iconic to Sydney”.

In addition, they gave me a rundown on their most anticipated part of the day: the Spalierstehen.

The Spalierstehen is one of the most practised wedding traditions in Switzerland. After the wedding ceremony, the guests get up and form an honour guard, a sort of “tunnel”, holding up various items that reflect the couple’s hobbies and interests. The couple then walk through into their new shared life.

“I find it hilarious (and endearing) that Liv’s worst nightmares often revolve around scenarios of inefficiency or disorganisation. She’ll wake up with a look of panic only to laugh that her nightmare involved someone doing something inefficiently where she couldn’t intervene.” – Dean

As you scroll, keep an eye out for the cupcakes and see if you can read the sign. It says “Who”ll find the chünig? Dean & Livia got engaged on January 6th – Three Kings’ Day in Switzerland. On this day, we share “Three Kings’ Cake” – whoever finds the plastic king wins a crown and is King/Queen for the day! Good luck!

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Throwing Shade: A photographer’s guide to lighting on your wedding day

Throwing Shade:

A photographer’s guide to lighting on your wedding day

The simplest way to summarise photography is the ability to capture light and, just as importantly, the lack of light. “Available light” is a term that photographers use regularly to describe the sources of light presented to them in any given setting.

Knowing all of the different strategies to make the most of available light is one of the many skills a wedding photographer needs to have, but there are still a number of ways brides and grooms can practically plan their available light to make their photos look exquisite.

Prep Photos:

When it comes to photos indoors, the number one thing to remember is “the more light the better”. It’s far easier for your photographer to reduce the available light than create light out of nowhere.

When selecting the location you’re getting ready, try selecting somewhere with lots of windows and white walls. I recommend booking a house on Airbnb. Not only will your photographer thank you for good lighting, but your hair and makeup artists will love you too!

Whilst mirrors are also an effective and creative way of bouncing light around a room, try to avoid mirror overkill as this may impact your photographer’s ability to be discreet.

Ceremony Light (outdoors)

Outdoor Wedding Light

My strongest recommendation is that you position the entire ceremony so that the sun is directly behind where you are standing, or directly behind where the guests are seated. See the guide below.

There is an excellent app you should use called Sun Surveyor. This app uses your exact location to determine where the sun will be on any date, so you can hold up your camera and see the “sun” on any given day at any given time. How good is technology?!

**Avoid Dappled Light**

Dappled light is the spotty, uneven light that is created when the sun shines through a tree. For photographers, this kind of light makes it extremely difficult to expose for faces.


Ceremony Light (indoors)

Indoor Wedding Ceremony Lighting

The same rule from the prep photos applies here: the more light the better. Specifically, the goal for anything indoors is to try and light it as much and as evenly as possible. That means that having one side of the room brighter than the other side should be avoided.

Strategies for increasing the available light inside include:

  • Find an indoor space with plenty of natural light. Windows, windows and more windows!
  • Open as many curtains and blinds as possible
  • Hanging extra fairy lights (Larger, festoon lights will emit more light)
  • Replace existing light bulbs with brighter bulbs
  • White light is always more flattering than warm/yellow light.

Pro Tip

Try to avoid getting married right in front of a window or open door. This might seem counterintuitive considering what I was saying about the sun for an outdoor ceremony. But our goal is to get as much of the room evenly lit.

Portrait Session

Your photographer will guide you and ensure that you’re being lit in the most creative, flattering and expressive ways. The beauty of light is there is no end to the ways it can be used to evoke emotion and tell stories.

High-key and low-key lighting are two of my favourite things to explore when taking portraits, but I usually spend most of my time using soft, natural light and backlight. Many photographers will also include artificial light in their arsenal, so be sure to do your research to find which style speaks to you and your fiancé.


Yep, that’s right. Now let me hear you say it with me: the more light the better!

Usually, by this point in your wedding day, the sun has gone down and we are dealing with purely artificial light. Most photographers will pull out a speed light flash, which bounces off the roof to evenly light the room. Flat ceilings work better for distributing light evenly than a slanted, or vaulted ceiling.

Indoor Wedding Reception Lighting

Dance Floor

Okay folks, are you ready to break the rules? It’s time to turn the lights off!! Well, not all of them. But let’s be honest – dance floors are way more fun the dark. No one wants to see you cranking out the Propellor after you’ve had a few drinks. Or do they…?

I’d suggest having 3 or 4 “party lights” that stay on but turn everything else off. If you’ve hired a quality band or DJ they should be all over it. But if you prefer to sort it out yourself, you can pick up super cheap stage lights online at Wish or eBay.


That’s it from me folks. Don’t be afraid to speak with your photographer about ways you can support them in achieving beautiful photos. From my experience, the couples who are open to advice on lighting and sunset timing are the ones who end up with the best photos.

Jane & Isaac’s Backyard Wedding

It was a backyard wedding like no other for Sydney-based couple Jane & Isaac. There was a tangible sense of intimacy and affection that was shared amongst the limited guests in this Newtown home. It was mighty special getting to be a part of the day all about Jane & Isaac’s love; their love for each other, their love for the environment, good food and doggos. I watched as they made each other laugh with simple facial gestures, and celebrated as they professed a deep commitment to their marriage.

Yes, COVID-19 changed their plans, but not in the way you might have thought. Rather than postponing anything, their time in lockdown made them realise how much faster they wanted to seal the deal and start celebrating the rest of their lives together.

These two best friends were a dream to work with, and I am grateful for their trust in me to be present and capture the magic of the day.

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