Cool Alternative Sydney Couple’s Portrait Session

It was destination Sydney for this super cool portrait session with perfect newlywed couple Arianwen & Marcello who were a joy to photograph as they embraced some wonderfully alternative ideas, and produced what must be my best (belated) engagement shoot.

I’d been unable to make it to Australia to photograph their wedding a few years back, and had promised to compensate with a couple’s portrait session at the first opportunity. Of course I would though. What photographer wouldn’t want this pair in front of their camera? Arianwen is just as cute as a button, and Marcello, well, such a strapping and hunky example of Aussie manhood!

The couple are both great actors (more about that later) and theatrical types to the bone. They even met working at the Sydney Theatre. This means that not only are they relaxed and know how to look good in front of a camera, but were ready to improvise brilliantly with some of the quirkier ideas for posing.

We were inspired by some film styles, including the work of Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick, for some of those surreal, self-aware portraits that are among my favourite photographs of all time. But as much fun as those shots were, I didn’t want the session to be nothing but us messing about. We needed some romance and intimacy that would say something genuine of this loving couple’s relationship. Fortunately it seems actors have no problem forgetting all about the camera when they want to, and I had the natural and relaxed photos I wanted.

I knew the amazing natural light in Australia can be harsh, but would look great over Sydney’s old town, The Rocks, as evening turned to sunset. So we had some time to spend in Paddington’s incredible subterranean Reservoir Gardens and nearby streets before parking up by the iconic Lord Nelson Hotel for a bit of old town Sydney back street action, finished off with an only slightly ironic tourist view over Harbour Bridge.

You might recognise Arianwen from her role as Olivia Bligh in long running Australian drama A Place To Call Home, where she is, of course, nothing less than outstanding.  It’s been showing on BBC2 here in Scotland, and I believe you can also download the box set on Sky.  So check it out.  And take a look at Arianwen’s IMDb page here.  You can also follow her on Instagram or Facebook.

Marcello Fabrizi is no less a powerhouse of burning creativity, whether he’s narrating a Lion taking down a gazelle on Animal Planet, directing films, or working on his amazing animated series I’ve had a sneak preview of, and love – hilarious! But he’ll always be most fondly thought of to me as DJ Kev, heartbreakingly brought to life in the episode of Home & Away where I first saw him. Follow him on Instagram here.

So much love for these people and the photographs from this session, so I hope you enjoy…

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Urban Factory Couple Portraits

An abandoned factory adds an amazing urban feel that suits this couple’s portrait photo session perfectly.

You’ve got to love the urban chic style just dripping off Sophie & Dragan, so I knew as soon as I started thinking about their couple’s photography session that I would need an alternative setting to my recent obsession with the seasonal colour changes of the great outdoors.  I’ve got my colleague and wedding photographer extraordinaire Lena Larsson to thank for coming up with this urban factory location.

At first we were disappointed to see the space had been refurbished with the newly painted walls and smooth floors you can see in the first photograph of the couple as silhouettes against those magnificent windows, but then we discovered the space next door retained all the grungy, faded charm that I was looking for to compliment the couple’s unique style.

Initially the place put me in mind of the kind of secluded spot a youthful Kevin Bacon would head to do some angry dancing in a scene from Footloose, but the photographer in me quickly saw the potential from the huge windows throwing that soft natural light onto the shabby, faded and peeling paint along with a hundred other textures. There is such depth to the pictures because of the scale, light, and contrast between the couple and the setting.

I love Dragan’s unique style which is all his own, but you can at least enjoy something of Sophie’s look through her makeup work at Bare Solutions, where we first met.

I’d like to thank this loving couple for allowing me to capture and show their relationship in such an intimate fashion. You can really feel the love in some of these photographs where it’s like the camera isn’t even there.

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