YES! LGBTQIA+ photography giveaway

WOOHOO!! LET'S CELEBRATE

To celebrate the recent YES vote I'm offering all of my LGBTQIA+ couples the opportunity to win a Lovebirds engagement session in a location of your choice.

WHAT'S THE GO?

Together we can plan a location that suits you, anywhere within two hours travel time from Melbourne. The session will take place on the evening of Thursday December the 8th (weather permitting) so keep yourself free on this date! You will receive between 40 and 60 curated and edited high res. images on USB, along with some sneaky gift prints to get you started. You'll even have them in time for christmas :) 

HOW DO I ENTER?

It's simple.... just

1.follow @Bonavitaphotography on Instagram if you're not already

2. Like the "YES!! Let's celebrate! " post

3. share the love- tag 2 of your LGBTQIA+ mate's who would love to be in on this as well

The lucky winners will be chosen at random and will be announced Friday evening on the 1/12/17.

 

 

THE PESKY FINE PRINT

Engagement session will take place on the evening of Thursday the 8th of December 2017 at an agreed location within 2 hours travel time from Melbourne. Winner's must be available for this date. Date may change at the photographer's discretion if weather if unfavourable. This prize is not redeemable for cash. Winner's agree that images from the session can be shared on social media and for any marketing purposes by photographer. Competition runs from 8pm 19/11/17 - 8pm 1/12/17.

 

Yes.

Australian Marriage Equality

This means so very very much- for my family, for my friends, for myself. 

Today Australia voted YES. I had been holding my breath, hoping, but not just assuming that surely, surely, the vote would be yes. As queer identified myself, and fairly comfortable in myself I initially didn't think the campaign for and against would affect me very much while it was going on.  But oh it did. So much. 

Here is my story, and why one little word, yes, can mean so very very much.

My mum came out as gay when I was 10. It was the early 90s in Qld. I intrinsically felt that she was seen as 'other' and was 'different.' I remember her at the airport once with her girlfriend at the time, looking around to see if anyone was looking at her before she quickly kissed her partner goodbye. 

In my mid teens, having seen how secretive my mum was, I can recall the sinking realisation that I was gay myself. I remember wishing that I wasn't and feeling shame and disappointment in myself, and just wanted to be 'normal.' That was almost 20 years ago now. 

Today my mum cried when the yes vote came in.My friends cried. I'm still digesting it. Although I'm no longer lesbian identified I still very much align myself within the queer community. It has, until very recently been my whole identity. I remember feeling almost guilty holding the hand of a man, walking in public, knowing that no-one would look twice at us. 

And this is why the yes vote matters so much- because I still, even now, feel that people will judge me in writing this. 

A thread of self doubt and otherness lingers still from my childhood and teenage years, and sits so deeply within myself that the realisation that Australia supports my mother, my dear friends and even my own history will still take a while to fully sink in. 

Thank you to my fellow Australians, you have demonstrated that equality is now a tangible reality- because love is love, and that, in the end is what truly matters.

Michelle + Kav's traditional Poruwa ceremony

Michelle Kav. Part One. 

Michelle and Kav grew up at school together. They are best friends and share such a special bond, evident in the way Michelle's eyes light up when she looks at Kav. I was lucky enough to be invited to photograph not one but two of their ceremonies, each held one week apart. Spending the afternoon with Michelle and Kav in the Dandenong ranges was a heap of fun. We then went back to Kav's family home where they held their traditional Sri Lankan Poruwa ceremony. I was smiling from ear to ear as I finished for the evening- I had made two lovely new friends, and even better, I was going to get to spend another day with them at their second ceremony that was soon to follow.  

Wooden USB Packaging

Wooden USB Packaging

New wooden USB packaging? Yes Please!

Why should your experience end on your wedding day? I'm so excited about this new packaging! Your beautiful image files on USB now come housed in this lovely hinged keepsake box, along with some sneaky gift prints to get you started. Each box is individually hand made from European alder wood. 

And because I'm a bit of a plant buff, the Spanish Moss (which actually isn't from Spain at all, but is native to South America, go figure!)  is grown in my garden and included for you also. Here's a link on how to care for your new air plant friend. Growing Spanish Moss. 

I can't wait for you to get your hot little hands on one of these :) 

Deanne xo

 

 

Just breathe.

Modern life. We race around, at a frenetic pace, eyes darting from here to there. Our minds ruminate over what we have done, what we should have done, what we haven't done, what we still have to do. We are so busy, so constantly connected, so constantly on.  We are continually reminded that we need more. 

More money. More stuff. More information. A better job. A bigger house. That shiny new phone. That latest thing. Because it's new. And new is better. 

We are led to believe we are not enough just as we are. Our beautiful bodies are too big, too small, the wrong shape, the wrong colour. We should be thinner, taller, smarter, better looking, funnier, younger, older.

Just the other day I watched an ad on TV selling unlimited data for our phones. The ad featured a woman in a park,  just behind her was a child playing happily, bathed in a golden light, the type you get just before sunset. There was birdsong in the background, and a gentle backing track. The entire scene felt serene, calm, peaceful.

The woman was looking down at her phone, smiling, watching a movie, or something. I laughed at the absurdity of what was being sold to us. That we should pay money, that we work hard for, so we can not enjoy such a serene and beautiful looking scene. WTF????

But what if we just stopped. Took in a deep breath,  looked around us, opened our eyes.

And were truly present.  

Looked up and noticed the sky on fire,  smelt the salt from the ocean on the breeze, felt the rush of the wind, and sea spray brush against our cheek. What if we refused to continue just one minute longer with the absurdity of what we are led to believe will bring us happiness. 

Because we are all enough. Just as we are. We all want the same thing. The human condition craves connection. Not with stuff, but with each other. Be present in the moment. Be kind.

Just.

Breathe. 

 

 

 

Authenticity and Connection

My last few beautiful clients have said almost the exact same thing to me when I first met with them. And it has nothing to do with the work I produce. They both said, with visible relief written all over their faces; "Gee, it's refreshing to meet someone as genuine as you Deanne."

They talked about the wedding industry and their experiences so far. How they had been to a couple of big expos, how everyone was bombarding them with information, forcing flyers into their hands. Not surprisingly they both left feeling a little disheartened and very overwhelmed.

It doesn't have to be like that, I told them. Because I really do give a shit, a lot. And it got me thinking, really thinking, about why I do what I do, and just what it is that makes me, well, me, within the sometimes overwhelming, impossibly large wedding industry.

The one thing that I kept coming back to was connection.  Because here's the thing, you can't fake authenticity and acting from a genuine place. I don't have to pretend to love what I do- because I do love it, whole heartedly. It is the incredible connections I'm able to form with other humans that makes me really, really care about what and who I'm photographing so very, very much.

I want my client's to receive the most beautiful, sincere and honest imagery of their day possible. I want this for my clients because I care about them, I'm invested in them on a personal level, because although at the end of the day I am providing a service, my clients also give something back to me. 

They humble me and show me, time and time again what it is to be human. To be fully present in the moment. To be a part of something so full of love, and joy and sincerity. 

 

 

 

Karli and Damo's Country Wedding

Karli and Damo's relaxed country wedding

Karli and Damian. Best friends. This was evident from the moment I met them both. Two completely different individuals, Karli, outgoing and chatty, Damian, quieter and observant. But together they make the perfect team. 

Their Gum Gully Farm wedding was casual and relaxed. Towards the end of the evening I was taking a little breather outside, admiring the sky, (as I often do if I'm honest with you,) reflecting on the day just past and how lucky I was to have been a part of it, when the sky took on a sudden blood red hue. I raced to find Karli and Damian, motioning to the sky outside- it was on fire. I have never in my life, witnessed such a sunset.

And there we were- Karli, Damian, a couple of photographers with a couple of videographers running and weaving and ducking through mingling guests, with mouths wide open wondering just what all the fuss was all about,  across to fields to be able to attempt to capture what we were all seeing. That moment, of running with them to catch the light will always stay with me. I have never felt so alive. 

Vendor credits

Venue- Gum Gully Farm

Videography- Woolshed Imaging

Celebrant- Russ Macumber Celebrant

Second photographer- Glen Nicholls Photography

catering- Yarra Valley Catering

 

 

Leanora + James' heartfelt country wedding

Leanora + James' heartfelt country wedding

Love is a funny thing. Once you've felt it, really felt it, the notion of home becomes not a place, or a destination or a postcode, but can be found in another person. It is a love of deep knowing, of rightness, and comfort- I am home with you.

When I first met with Leanora and James they made me believe, naively or not, that everyone has their person, that if we are lucky enough, in a sea of 7 billion souls, we can each find our way home.

Being a part of Leanora and James' wedding day, (held at James' family property in the little country town of Creswick just outside of Ballarat,) changed me a little. Through spending time with them I realised that the notion of home in another, isn't naive. Through their actions, they demonstrated that it is real. And tangible. The love I witnessed during their day is evidence of that. They are two beautiful souls, so utterly suited for each other. 

May we all, if for a lifetime, or only fleetingly, find our way home. There is no higher love.

 

location- Creswick family property

videography-  Danae from Me and My Camera. You can view Danae's wedding film of their day here 

second shooter- Glen Nicholls Photography

Heirloom Album Launch Giveaway

Heirloom Album Launch Giveaway

It's finally here! The official launch of my new Heirloom Album Collection. And I want to celebrate it with you!

WHAT'S THE HEIRLOOM ALBUM COLLECTION ABOUT?

Think Old school charm meets contemporary styling.

This beautiful album is a contemporary twist on the traditional flushmount album. It features thick,board-type pages in a smooth matte finish which lay completely flat when open. Heirloom albums come with a beautifully tactile suede-like cover in your choice of 12 colours. Customised lazer engraving completes the nostalgic feel of this exquisite album. All Heirloom Collection albums come with a bevelled cream lid and brown base display box to house your album for generations to come. 

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HOW CAN I GET ONE?

It's easy!!!! Simply book your standard day coverage before September 30 and it's all yours, INCLUDED with your photography coverage. You will receive a custom designed 20 page, 8x8 inch Heirloom Album.

WHAT IF I'VE ALREADY BOOKED OR AM A PAST CLIENT?

You're included in this too of course! Email me for a price list and you will receive 30% off the standard 10 x 10 inch Heirloom Collection Album range. 

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WHAT'S THE CATCH?

There isn't one!  Because sometimes life is good and sweet and I want to help to tell your story in the best way possible.

All you need to do is book in your standard coverage by the 30th of September. (This is the date you book by, not your actual wedding date.) If you're a past client or current client who hasn't purchased an album all you need to do is enquire about the deal by September 30. 

More album info is available here 

If you're considering booking and want to know more I recommend you read the FAQ section of my sight here.

Want to have a chat about your day? You can contact me here.

Rach + Sam. Married.

Rach + Sam. Married. Gum Gully Farm Wedding

Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, so much.

But a little voice inside my head holds myself back. I stop myself from really sharing too much of myself. I think that people want to see certain types of images, and I worry about this too much. I think too much about what images I should be sharing, rather than going with my gut and doing what feels right for me, as an artist.

For a long time I held the misconception that the images I create are somehow separate from myself. They are not. They cannot be. Connection is a two way affair. How can I possibly deny putting myself so whole heartedly into my work when connection is the very thing I strive for?

So here I am. Being honest to myself as an artist. Creating images that really reflect the connection I feel throughout the day. Because beneath the laughter, the jokes, the chaos, and all those pretty details, runs a deeper, quieter narrative, that pulls at me, and this, is what I keep coming back to, again, and again. 

 

 

 

Liz and Scott's Lancefield Country Wedding

Liz and Scott's Lancefield Country Wedding

Anyone who knows me will know that there are a few little visual quirks that I love- such as forming my compositions based solely on lines, and angles, and symmetry, (as well as awesome light!)  I'm not sure why I am so drawn to these elements but for as long as I can remember they have brought me a sense of calm and order in a world, which for better or worse is crazy, unpredictable, chaotic. 

And, as it turns out, I have found a kindred sprit in Liz, during a conversation on her wedding day, who, I might add is much more mathematically minded than myself, and this got me thinking about the connections that can be drawn between art and mathematics, art and science. In my little world, mathematics and science are just another expression of art, they are all interconnected.

And I guess this is how our relationships are too, all interconnected with each other, at times affecting those around us profoundly, and other times, so subtly that it is barely noticeable. And this is what I love about being human, how we are all connected, how we have the ability to profoundly influence and compliment each other in so many known and unknown ways. 

You could see this in Liz and Scott, two strong, independent, beautiful people, who grew up on opposite sides of the globe, coming together, complimenting each other, merging two families- And it was such a pleasure being let into their lives for a day. 

My friend Glen photographed alongside me during this wedding, his images are interspersed throughout.

second shooter- Glen Nicholls 

reception venue- Glen Erin at Lancefield

locations- Lancefield, Glen Erin at Lancefield, Sunnyside Cottage

videography Native Weddings

Alex + Henry's Bayside Brighton wedding

Alex + Henry's Bayside Brighton wedding

Alex and Henry. I don't know where to even begin with these two beautiful souls. When I work so closely with a couple all day I get a pretty good sense about what makes them them, pretty quickly, if that makes sense? The morning started with a huge smile on my face with the knowledge that these two were going to be heaps of fun.

The entire day was one giant big celebration- just as you would want it to be, but, beneath all the fun and you could sense a deep bond between Alex and Henry, based on respect, and trust, and immeasurable love for each other. And it is the thought of this beautiful bond shared that has stayed with me long after their wedding day ended. 

Same sex engagement photography Melbourne

Charmaine + Tracy

These two beautiful girls flew in from Singapore for their engagement photo session, which took place in the Dandenong Ranges. I think living where we live, it's common to take for granted the natural beauty that surrounds us here in Melbourne. Photography so often gives me the opportunity to see things around me mindfully, with fresh eyes, as if seeing it for the first time. And it makes me love what I do even more. 

Melissa + Eddie's Lyrebird Falls Wedding

Melissa + Eddie's Lyrebird Falls Wedding 

Melissa and Eddie held their wedding at the gorgeous Lyrebird Falls, in the Dandenong Ranges. It was such a pleasure being able to spend the day with these two and their beautiful little daughter- who is the embodiment of what love is all about. 

2016. Year in Review

2016. Year in Review

2016. What a year.  The last days of 2015 rolled lazily into the first days of 2016. (You know that time of year? Those lovely few lazy days where you lose all concept of what day of the week it is?)

2016 lay endlessly before me. A blank slate. Yet to be written. Filled with endless possibilities, adventures, challenges, stories, yet to unfold. But most of all, what lay before me was hope. Hope for growth, both personally and professionally, hope for those I love around me, hope, for all the beautiful stories I had yet to encounter. 

And this for me is what it's all about. Hope, for the endless possibilities of what the year ahead could hold for me. I found myself out of my comfort zone, pushing myself on so many levels. Always challenging my practice, asking myself, what else? What more is there? How can I push myself just that little bit more? 

To all my beautiful clients, it was a privilege and a pleasure being let into your lives to tell the story of your wedding day. You make me love what I do, and that, is an honour.

To my family and friends, your endless support this year is so deeply appreciated. 

To everyone that I know, and to those that I don't, this coming year, in 2017 push yourself, just go for it, get out of your comfort zone, be uncomfortable, it's ok- because this is where all the good stuff happens! 

Daniel + Gaetano. Same sex portraits

I always like to push myself. It's what makes me feel alive. In my practice I'm always asking what can I do differently, better, instead of, as well as... 

I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and really shoot in a way in which I just really let myself go. Less thinking, more emotion. 

This little photo shoot has been a decent few months in the making. When I first stumbled across Cape Schank I knew instantly that I wanted to photograph there, to bring to life a little idea that was coming to light inside me.  And with the help of two very beautiful souls, Daniel and Gaetano, I was able to do what I set out to. 

Less thinking, more emotion.  Outside of my comfort zone- because that is where all the good stuff always happens. 

 

 

Bridge + Cam's Witchmouth Estate Wedding

Bridge + Cam's Witchmouth Estate Wedding

Brige and Cam. Two completely awesome humans. But let me backtrack a little. I first met Bridge a few years ago when I was lucky enough to photograph Bridge's sister's wedding day. It was such an honour when she contacted me to photograph her own wedding. On the day I was greeted with familiar faces- Bridge's beautiful family, and I got to know Cam's family too. But there was one little extra person I hadn't met yet- Bridge and Cam's beautiful little daughter, who is truly the embodiment of what love is. It was such a pleasure spending the day with these guys and their little family.