Ash & Geoff || A Hamilton Island Wedding Film
I’m always so honoured to be asked to shoot a destination wedding, so when Ash and Geoff asked if I would capture their big day up on Hamilton Island, how could I say no. It’s an absolute paradise up there and the Whitsundays has always been on my bucket list. The calendar was open so I said, let’s do this.
My approach to a destination wedding is a little different to a standard wedding. When a couple have chosen to travel to a specific place to get married, it’s obvious the destination is of some importance and significance. For this reason I allow a couple of days before the wedding to get there, scout and take some time to capture establishing shots. Destination weddings are not just about the wedding day itself, they are about the entire experience. Allowing this extra time thoroughly enhances the story of the film and enables us to capture other events that are happening throughout the course of their stay.
I’m also a time-lapse photographer so I love incorporating my time-lapse work in my films. These extra days allowed me to capture stunning sunrise and sunset sequences that you’ll no doubt notice in the film.
We arrived on the island and spent a couple of hours in the afternoon with Ash and Geoff. I like to sit down and have a casual chat with my couples to see what makes them tick and why they love their partner so much. It helps me to really understand them, gives me a great insight into their relationship and helps me shoot more relevant content throughout my stay. A good film is all about story. The more story you can flesh out, the better the film will be. We pride ourselves on stunning cinematography, but no matter how good your camera work is, if you have no story, you have no film.
We travelled around the island as the sun was going down, stopping at locations and capturing some great moments between Ash and Geoff. Geoff had booked a surprise trip to Hamilton Island the year before and it was then that he proposed to Ash. The island became their special place, their place of significance, so it was only fitting that they have their wedding there.
Ash and Geoff had booked us an apartment with Tom Carty, the musician, and a very talented one at that. They assured me that we would get along and boy were they right. Tom is an absolute legend! We hit it off straight away and within the first half hour it was like we’d known each other for years. We grabbed dinner at the pub and spent the night telling stories back and forth, laughing uncontrollably and jamming out (well Tom did, I listened) as Tom practiced his songs for the wedding.
I woke at 4am the next morning to capture sunrise. I loaded the golf cart with gear and drove to a high vantage point I had scouted the day before. There were clouds on the horizon and also heading south east across my composition but it made for some great movement in the scene and the sun eventually showed itself from behind the clouds and created some stunning rays of light. I spent the rest of that day establishing the island, backing up media, capturing Ash and Geoff’s pre wedding drinks with their guests and an awesome sunset time-lapse from the pool area of The Yacht Club Villas.
Saturday 24th October 2015, wedding day. We rise and hit the bakery for coffee and breakfast then head back to the apartment to get ready and prepare gear. We then head off to the Yacht Club Villas where Ash and Geoff are staying to capture prep. The boys enjoy a dip in the pool before suiting up while the girls hangout, exchange gifts, drink champagne and their hair and makeup came to life. It’s such a fun, emotional morning and everyone is excited and in good spirits.
Before long it’s time to head to the ceremony to setup, capture establishing shots and await the arrival of Geoff, their guests and soon to follow, the beautiful bride.
The ceremony is perched high up on One Tree Hill, a location that possesses 270-degree views of the surrounding islands. It’s absolutely spectacular. The dress code is smart suits and beautiful dresses and it’s obvious everyone has adhered. What a good looking bunch of people.
Ash arrives looking nothing short of stunning. Geoff waits anxiously at the end of the aisle to greet his soon to be wife and the ceremony goes off without a hitch. Beautifully personalised vows are exchanged along with the rings and a first kiss, which at this point seems to take place on top of the world. A truly magical moment.
We spend the afternoon with Ash and Geoff and their gorgeous bridal party as they celebrate with beer and champagne and we capture priceless moments. This is shortly followed by sunset drinks at the Yacht Club along with an intimate shoot as the sun goes down.
I had met with a friend of Ash and Geoff’s at the pub on our first night on the island to which we got talking about weddings, including theirs, which they’d had in Bali the year before. I explained the importance of a good MC and how they can make or break a wedding reception. He responded with silence, an unusual look on his face followed by a laugh as he proceeded to tell me that he was the MC! We all shared a laugh as he told us that he’d done this many times before, including the best man’s (Michael) wedding the year before. I knew from then that Ash and Geoff were in good hands and this was proven at the reception as Karl (MC) along with Ash’s brother, Matt, conducted a fun, relaxed and professional evening.
There was such an incredible vibe in the air, the food was exquisite, drinks flowed all night and Ash and Geoff surprised all their guests with a display you’ll witness in the film. Dancing followed with another amazing set from Tom Carty who tore the roof off with his high energy acoustic set and dashing creative mash-up medleys. It was the perfect end to a perfect day. A day I will never forget.
Thanks so much for having us guys. It was a privilege and an honour.
Lots of love,