One From The Weekend: Donna and Nathan Feeling On Top Of The World At Freshwater Beach, Sydney


My first taste of wedding photography came on a Friday afternoon in early 2010. A work colleague, Harry (female), was getting married to Sam (male) at Freshwater View Reserve followed by a reception at Pilu restaurant and, knowing that I was keen to get into weddings, had asked her photographer if I would be allowed to shadow him. Fortunately he agreed and hence Christmas came very early that year.

However, the day itself didn't go quite to plan. As the ceremony was in the afternoon I went to work in the morning and caught a ride at lunchtime with another colleague Sab (whose wedding, by coincidence, I would shoot a couple of years later). But despite being planners at Sydney's top media agency, our knowledge of Sydney traffic patterns on a Friday was clearly less well developed than our ability to decipher Channel 9's TV scheduling, and we arrived at Freshwater just in time to see the happy couple stroll back down the aisle. Well, sprint is probably a more accurate verb as a huge thunderstorm rolled in just as we rocked up, sending terrified guests running for their cars. With zero photos taken by this point a career in wedding photography seemed to be slipping away, but I made up for it at the reception with some killer images that Harry and Sam later printed and framed for their home.

With just one evening of experience under my belt I managed to book my first wedding later that year and four years and over a hundred weddings later things are just peachy.

So, it's finally time to introduce the lovely Donna and Nathan. Where do they fit into this story? Well their wedding last week was all kinds of awesome, but I'll particularly remember it for being part deja vu, part coincidence, and part completion of a circle. Like Harry, Donna works in media and her wedding was on a Friday with a ceremony at Freshwater View Reserve and a reception at Pilu. And one of her guests was Abby, the bride from my first wedding. Unlike Harry's wedding, however, my refined workflow meant that I arrived at the ceremony well before it started and this time the weather behaved itself, with glorious warm sunshine from morning through to sunset during location photos at nearby Freshwater Beach. During the photo session I spotted this super cool rocky peak, and as Donna and Nathan admired each other from its summit I took a moment to reflect on where I had come from and, like them, I felt on top of the world.