Wedding at Sir Thomas Moore Church Margaret River

This photo was taken at a wedding at Sir Thomas Moore Church Margaret River. I chose this one purely because the bride and groom had not seen this happen on their wedding day. They were not far away but of course they had a lot going on.

I am asked from time to time by my clients if I have eyes in the back of my head. I capture lots of little interactions between wedding guests that the bride and groom have not noticed on their wedding day. So when my clients come to the studio to see their photos for the first time, I find that there is a lot of spontaneous laughter and comments like “wow look at uncle Peter there!”….”I’ve never seen her so happy”….”oh that’s so cute”.

The wedding day is unreal, so many people come out of their shell and live the moment. I love that. I really love photographing it too. Throughout my twenty years of photographing weddings I have repeatedly had comments about how often I am on the move to get a different angle or react to a moment about to unfold. The great thing now is that I have photographed so many weddings that I can see things coming before they happen. I even have time to get the best composition, exposure and light before I grab that split second moment when five guests suddenly erupt into laughter.

This photo was taken outside Sir Thomas Moore Church in Margaret River. It is one of those wonderful times when family can not contain their excitement for a new super cute addition to the family. This baby knows how to work a crowd and this is one of many photos that recored this time. First one person noticed the little baby smiling away and then more and more people came to see and share the moment. A few metres away the bride and groom are relaxing chatting to guests and collecting themselves after a very pressured start to the day.

My style of photography is about collecting lots of small stories like this one and putting them together. Whilst the bride and groom are certainly the main characters of the day, my clients love how I do not focus solely on them alone. Giving them time to chill is important and offering them memories like this one to enjoy and re live.



Wedding Photography at Clairault Streicker Wines in Margaret River

Wedding Photography at Clairault Streicker Wines

Clairault Streicker Wines  is located just off Caves Road in the beautiful Margaret River wine region. I photographed Steve & Marianna’s wedding there recently. As it was a first wedding for me there I popped in to take a look at locations for photos.

Bride and groom holding hands walking across a field of grass towards a lake at Clairault Streicker Wines

Fuelled by an amazing coffee that the lovely Katie made me on arrival, I was really excited to take a look around. We jumped in her car and headed up past the endless rows of gorgeous grape vines to the original cellar door which is an old timber weather board style property. Amazingly, this building was moved by hand at least five hundred metres up hill to it’s current site. The workers somehow found a way to roll it up the hill, what! That’s crazy.

Wedding couple at Clairault Streicker Wines

The rows of vines fade off into the distance, the lines create it’s own pretty, natural perspective and the soft green colour washes out in the sun. Originally I was a landscape photographer from England, so to say I was a tad excited by what I was seeing would not be doing my feelings any justice at all. Lets get to the wedding day already!! I want to start photographing now. Katie then showed me the beautiful cork trees.

Groom with his groomsmen in a cork tree at Wedding couple at Clairault Streicker Wines

The cork trees are perfect for my style of photography, if there is an opportunity to create a group shot with different levels and spontaneity I will. The texture of the bark is really cool and the light filtering through the trees can be really nice if you choose the right angle to shoot from.

natural photo of bride with bridesmaids laughing at Clairault Streicker Wines in Margaret River

This area was nice and easy to get to by car and would be a five to ten minute walk from the cellar door. Once there, everything is nice and close by. The lovely cork tree, row upon row of grape vines and a cute old weatherboard cottage. This takes the stress out of a bridal shoot. Not jumping in and out of cars rushing here and there. Just hanging out with close friends and family and enjoying the moment.

The photo below is showing some funny banter going on between Steve and Marianna and the bridal party. I love to be around the bridal party photographing moments like this. It’s them being themselves which is fantastic.

bride and groom opening bottle of champagne in Margaret River vineyard at Clairault Streicker Wines

The rows of grapevines are wonderful for nice small group shots, it’s cosy and a bit of fun. Framed by the lovely soft greens this is perfect for a formal wedding photo or like the one below something more chilled. I always shoot both but I do lean more towards the fun style myself.

bride cuddled up to her bridesmaids laughing in a vineyard at Clairault Streicker Wines

Photographing through the grapevines is a really nice way of framing it with blurred leaves. At this time the sun was still quite high up and as we needed to photograph at this particular time I had to make the best out of what the light was offering. Finding the right angle to position the bride and groom so the light is nice and soft is the most important part. Prior to selecting this spot I had been running around checking the best row to use for lighting. Steve and Marianna were having a great time with their friends and I did not call them over until I had everything set and ready.

bride and groom laughing in a row of grapevines at Clairault Streicker Wines in Margaret River

The weatherboard cottage is really cute and full of character, again with a great understanding of light you can achieve a wide range of lovely effects to mix it up. Below is a really lovely moment again with Steve and Marianna enjoying themselves.

wedding photo at cute old weather board cottage at Clairault Streicker Wines in Margaret River

So three or four different scenes in one short drive, having the car there was great as all the food and drink was 10 metres from where we were shooting. Now the interesting thing is we did not get to all of the locations at Clairault Streicker Wines. Other ones on the shortlist were a lake with a jetty, there is also some beautiful natural forest with old established banksia trees and gum trees.

The location below is on the driveway into Clairault Streicker Wines. I noticed it because of the amazing light falling on it at the time we arrived on the wedding day. The venue loved these shots and they are using them for their promotional material.

Wedding Photography at Clairault Streicker Wines

 

John Rice Photographer at Clairault Streicker Wines in Margaret River photographing bride and groom walking toward beautiful lake

 

Amazing beautiful light as bride and groom walk through landscape looking at one another

So as you can see one of the skills of a wedding photographer is having the eye to see something amazing and direct pictures spontaneously without any preparation. I have found that over years of doing this style of photography I have become really good at this.

Amazing landscape scenery, huge trees, long grass, lakes and all easy to get to. Clairault Streicker Wines is a perfect venue to have your wedding. I will update this blog soon with pics of the reception space and table decor shots.

 



Winter Wedding at Voyager Estate

Winter Wedding at Voyager Estate

Well, Elizabeth and Russell sure know how to celebrate a wedding in winter. It all started with a gorgeous and snuggly lunchtime ceremony inside Voyager Estate by the fire. The ceremony was a special and intimate celebration involving close family and friends and boasting Elizabeths mother as the celebrant. As you will see the story unfold in the photos below you will see a gorgeous, warm and welcoming winter wedding. That is a lot of w’s.

The colour in the leaves and trees at Voyager Estate at this time of the year are fantastic. With a few dark moody clouds thrown in for good measure, what a glorious day for taking photographs.

A special thanks for having me as part of your day Elizabeth and Russell.

 

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Photos like this mean so much to me

This is Melanie looking amazing in her wedding dress at Caves House in Yallingup. She is getting ready in a beautiful room upstairs, the balcony overlooks the wonderful terraced gardens where she will be married. Guests are arriving and her fiancé Michael is greeting friends and family in the gardens below.

At this point I think it is fair to say that a lot of wedding photographers would be shooting portraits of the bride, lots of portraits of the bride. My clients want some really nice portraits of them but not tons, they know that I can see more to the story of their wedding day than just them, them and more them. They do not want to experience photo fatigue as they are preparing for one of the most important, exciting and nerve racking moments in their lives.

Twenty years of photographing weddings does not always make you a better photographer than someone that has been shooting weddings for three years. What I do believe is that with that twenty years of experience comes an understanding of what is important to you as a person and what you choose to look for and photograph. For me family is the thing, it’s it! Our relationships with family, our connections and history together is so interesting and important. Add to that the fact that life is never mapped out quite as we think, that the people that we plan on being around forever are not always so. This makes these key moments in life even more important to be present at and to let yourself enjoy.

This is what I am looking for during every second of a wedding and if I see it I will shoot it there and then or wait for the context to deliver a more fitting moment. Within in five minutes of arriving to photograph Melanie getting ready I was aware that her parents were completely present and connected with what was happening that morning. They were also bursting at the seems with pride. Dad was dressed and ready and Mum just could not stop smiling with excitement. I hung around pretending to take photos of Melanie and caught this gorgeous shot. I love the pride on their faces, that’s a long journey right there, my eldest daughter is sixteen and I can feel where they are in this moment. A disbelief that they are there already, it has all gone so quick but there little girl is now a beautiful young woman about to go on an amazing journey.

This is what I get from this photo and why I wanted to share it with you. I would love to know your comments about it.

Brides parents sharing a proud moment



Destination Wedding, Katanning, WA

Ok so am I being a tad cheeky when I say destination wedding? I did not have to get on an airplane that is true but I did drive three and half hours though beautiful forests and farm country to get there. I had the window down, listening to Xavier Rudd watching beautiful scene after beautiful scene pass me by and occasionally I had a coffee in hand.

Here is a little sneak peak from Paul and Jasmins’ awesome wedding which was on their family farm dating back to 1892. Paul is an environmental scientist and it was really cool to find out that the Blackwood River starts on their property. I remember him telling me when we first met about how he and his family had applied for a grant and they had planted 3000 trees, shrubs and grasses all local native species to the area.

It’s nice to know there are good news stories out there concerning the environment and it’s something that my my wife Shannon and I are considering on our property in Margaret River as we develop our interpretation of a Permaculture Farm.

I chose this pic because it reminds me of how excited I was when Jasmin told me she had a ute and thought it could be good for a photo somehow. Instantly this photo popped into my head and I excitedly requested it be driven to the top of a hill where Paul and Jasmin could jump on the back. I loved the dark moody sky, so dramatic but the tricky part was lining up the light band of cloud to Paul and Jasmins heads to create a silhouette.

Bride and groom standing on ute on their farm in Kattaning, WA

Bride and groom standing on ute on their farm in Kattaning, WA

 

 



How valuable are these moments captured at Flutes Winery

Imagine if the people in these photographs were your aunt, sister or grandmother at your wedding. Consider that they might not always be this happy and emotional in their day to day life. How much enjoyment would you get from re visiting these split second moments when people you know just let their guard down because they are there for you and they love you so much that they feel like this. Fantastic.

 

 

 

 



My style and what I really care about at weddings

It has taken me many years to evaluate and know what really matters to me when I am asked to record and document a wedding. I find it hard to put into words because every potential sentence has a cliche or two lurking and I hate the thought of sounding like a sales brochure.

Discovering your style can take a long time.  When you have found your passion and what you love to do, you have to be brave enough to just be that person.

I have photographed weddings for twenty years now and only in the last five years has my photography matched what I am 100% passionate about. Prior to that, I was like many photographers around now, photographing what I thought I should to play it safe. I was covering all the bases whilst my work and satisfaction suffered.

There came a point where I realised that unless I was true to myself I was always going to be one of the many photographers out there. I would never have a defining style and I would not have clients that must have me for their wedding.

In being genuine to myself and my clients I have found many positives. My clients tell me how great I am (heh that is nice) I get beautiful posts and reviews thanking me. I need to keep the tissue boxes stocked at my studio because my work connects with people. My photographs mean so much to them that during their wedding premiere slideshow my clients get emotional. I have amazing wedding venues asking to recommend me and wanting to use my photographs for their advertising. Magazines ask to publish my work. Most importantly though is that I am photographing what I am passionate about. I am attracting fantastic clients that I love to hang out with. Their weddings are awesome, they are really cool unique weddings with a story to be told.

So what is my style, what is my passion. I love people and the connections they have to their best mates and family. If you put this into the context of “a wedding” there is a lot of emotion that comes from these connections. I absolutely love to capture emotions, happy or sad, when people are dropping their guard and revealing their genuine emotions for another person or just so  happy and excited that they look like they will burst. I know how to record emotions very well and I can build a beautiful collection of “photographs with a story” very quickly.

I do not interrupt an occasion that is wonderful and spontaneous to try to re create it in a contrived way. I move around all the time, I never stop but my clients often say they never saw me. They are often amazed at how much I have captured, things that they did not get to see or do not remember happening. Photographs that have captured their mother so happy and laughing that no one ever has managed to get. Imagine how good that makes me feel to hear that.

I also love to see beautiful light within a scene and I will direct my clients within that to create a photograph that would look amazing as an art piece on their living room wall. Landscape photography has been a passion since studying the great artists and the rules of composition for my photography degree. I bring this background into my wedding work to create compositions and light that are unique to me. I can say that with conviction because I have not looked at another wedding photographers work for five years or more. I get my influences from art and other areas of photography.

Lastly, have you ever heard the classic album bashing comment from a friend or relative, “don’t bother getting an album because it will just sit in the cupboard”? Well if your wedding photographs were just not you, posed and awkward then I would say fair enough lets get that out of sight and in the cupboard. I have heard people say they are embarrassed about their wedding photographs and they can not bare to look at them. My photography is about giving you photographs that bring your day back to you, every feeling, every laugh and tear. Imagine owning an album that could bring your wedding day back to you whenever you wanted to view it.

This is what Sarah and many of my clients have recently said about my work…

This weekend will be a year since our wedding day and still not a week goes past where I don’t look at our amazing photos. You captured everything and brings back such wonderful emotions. No words could ever thank you enough. You are a true artist, we are so lucky.

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Thankyou so much John! I’ve just had a quick whip through the gallery you sent through and the photos are fantastic. So, so happy and looking through them brought the day back, so much laughter and tears looking through them smile emoticon

Thanks again for the amazing job. The photos are great but you were also fantastic on the day, made us all feel at ease and you really just fit right in!

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Jarrad and I chose Ricey as our wedding photographer for his candid photo-journalistic style and he didn’t disappoint. The photos tell the story of our day just as it happened. I had quite a few guests come up to me throughout the night and say “that photographer is so sneaky… I didn’t even realize he was taking photos of us!” and I thought to myself- perfect! He’s doing his job! Ricey was relaxed and professional and we couldn’t be happier with the photos.

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Thankyou so much for our beautiful photos John. We are unbelievably happy with them. We love how you have captured the story of our wedding day with such natural photos that really show the emotion n special moments. You are amazing at what you do. We will continue you to recommend you to others. Thanks again Sheriden n Chris xo

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10 months ago
We are absolutely delighted with our wedding photos. John really understood our ideas and answered any of our questions promptly. John made us feel so comfortable, the whole experience was fun and enjoyable. He captured so many beautiful moments and emotions of our amazing day, from candid shots of guests, to beautiful beach shots. We will be able to look back at this perfect collection of photos and be transported back to that moment. Thankyou so much.Justine and Warren Duff

 

 

 



5 easy ways to organise your family photos at your wedding so no one is left out

I was chatting to a lady yesterday who was married nine years ago. She was telling me that on her wedding day,  her photographer had forgotten to take a photograph with her immediate family. She had one with Mum and Dad and one with her extended family but not one with her thee sisters. Ouch! I was organising a family portrait shoot for her and she explained how her family and sisters in particular have never let her live that down. It is a common story and to be honest when you think about what must be running through a bride and grooms head on their wedding day there is no surprise at all that things can get missed if not planned out well.

Here are 5 easy ways that will make sure that everything runs smoothly for your family groups at your wedding.

  1. I advise my clients to prepare a list of family photos for their wedding. Start from the extended family on each side and then work down. That way if there are any family that need to rush off they can be included. Then you can work down to immediate family with partners, immediate family and so on. I have a list that works great. Then we simply add extras to that list which makes it easy for my clients.
  2. Think of any family member or friend that you would like a single portrait with.
  3. What about a bunch of uni mates or work mates that you would like a photograph with.
  4. Family photographs can be fun and light hearted as well. I like to create a more personalised experience for my clients and this involves talking to them and suggesting ideas that would show some of their unique personality.
  5. Once you have a list, you need to give it to someone that can organise people really well, someone that knows your family and friends and will have no problem organising people. This way each group is ready to go so that time is not wasted with your photographer calling out names to come into shot.

5 easy ways to organise your family photographs at your wedding in the south west



Winner!

When I was studying for my photography degree in England I had this amazing lecturer, a really lovely old guy called Bill. We used to love handing out some banter to one another about our work etc. I would spend day after day in the darkroom excitedly developing and then wet printing my black and white prints. It was the best fun. When I was really happy with something I had developed I would put a wet print in a tray and take it up to Bill to show him, when he liked the work, he would simply say, “winner!” and smile.

photograph of bride and groom in the vineyards of Voyager Estate in Margaret River in the South West



Hilarious groomsmen photographs at Voyager Estate

I love to have fun at weddings and I think that creating a fun experience for my clients gives them the opportunity to really enjoy the experience. To do this I will play games with the bridal party or the bride and groom. They are really simple ideas that work so well. When I photograph a wedding like this it is like I am simply recording people having fun. I invite them into a cool game to play, they react in a spontaneous way and I photograph that.

If you look at these two photographs you can see how the groomsmen have reacted to Tim’s spontaneous hip dance move, some look in shock, one hasn’t even had time to react and one is pointing in amazement. This is brilliant, imagine how much fun this was and imagine how much enjoyment Prue and Tim will have from viewing their photographs in years to come.

A few weeks after their wedding I was chatting to Prue and she said that the bridal shoot and the food at Voyager were the two stand out parts of her wedding day. She said everyone had so much fun with the photos. That is what I love about weddings they are so happy and fun.

Hilarious wedding photograph of groomsmen at Voyager Estate in Margaret River in The South West

groomsmen funny photograph at Voyager Estate in Margaret River in the South West