Posted on September 29, 2013

At the beginning of last year, when I first started my little business, a friend of mine from my day job approached me about photographing her wedding at the end of the year.  I’ll admit that I was absolutely floored.  It’s one thing to entrust a photographer with your family portraits, but to put your faith in them to capture your most special (and un-repeatable) of days is another thing entirely.  After a great deal of deliberating & soul-searching, I decided to trust Tammy’s faith in me, and I accepted.

Tammy & Chris had been together for 10 years, and were finally tying the knot on the 21st of December 2012, otherwise known as ‘THE END OF THE WORLD’ (according to the Mayans, who were thankfully incorrect!).  I already knew this wasn’t going to be your typical wedding.  I’ve been to a lot of weddings (both as a guest & as a photographer) and this was one of the most relaxed & fun weddings I’ve ever been to – to give you an idea of how atypical it was, the bride drove herself to the ceremony in her funky little blue car.  There was no pomp, no stuffiness, no pretence – just two people, very much in love and so, so happy.  It was a true family affair, with Tammy’s son & Chris’s daughter as the bridal party and a special tribute to Tammy’s late father during the ceremony.  There was spit roast, a bush band and lots & lots of bush dancing.  And my favourite part of the ceremony?  Tammy added some surprise vows in which she (out of love for her husband-to-be!) switched allegiance to the Hawthorn Football Club, and if you’re a Melbournite, you’ll know what a big deal that is – it’s akin to converting religions, and that’s no exaggeration.  It turned out to be a fairly shrewd move on Tammy’s part, as Hawthorn won the premiership yesterday.  Well played, Tammy!

Tammy didn’t stop smiling all day – she was absolutely radiant.  And … well, I discovered later that night that I had shot the entire wedding with a Dora bandaid on my elbow!

Tammy & Chris, I feel very, very honoured to have been able to share your special day with you.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for trusting me with such an important day.  I had an absolute ball on the day, and I smiled SO much editing these, especially the reception photos.  Much love to you both. xo


The venue for the ceremony, Cloudehill Gardens was absolutely a photographer’s dream – picturesque beyond belief!


The smiles on the faces of this happy family conveys the mood of the day perfectly – pure joy. <3


I mentioned earlier how radiant Tammy was, and that she didn’t stop smiling all day – and here’s the proof!


To finish, two of my most favourite photos of the day – I’m especially partial to candid moments, and these are just filled with so much happiness.



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Posted on August 2, 2013

Late last year, not long after reconnecting with some dear friends from a previous lifetime (you can read their story here), they asked me if I would shoot their wedding.  Now I had been second-shooter for quite a number of weddings, with Karen the Magnificent (more commonly known as Karen Pfeiffer Photography) but this would be my first as the principal (well, only!) photographer.  It was to be a very small, intimate ceremony and I felt that suited me perfectly.

Now Thorun and Terry are one of those couples that just belong together.  They are connected, so very connected.  When you are with them, you can almost physically feel the bond between them.  You can just tell that it’s like a Hollywood movie – they are the only people in the room, and the rest of the world just washes away.  They are, beyond a shadow of a doubt truly, madly, deeply in love.  Head over very sensible pregnancy heels.  They are, quite simply, beautiful. And in keeping with their very low-key style, their wedding was very intimate, held in the Brisbane Registry Office, followed by some photographs in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens – with a quick stop for ice-cream on the way.

Their day was filled with so much joy, and love, and it’s so very clear how much they are loved by their families.  Two very, very special people.

Thorun & Terry, thank you from the bottom of my heart for trusting me with capturing your day.  Thinking of you always, with much love. xo



I can’t ever look at these images without grinning – the ‘Blue Steel’ on this lot is hilarious!






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Posted on June 16, 2013

Late last year, a dear friend of mine asked me to photograph him & his partner.  Actually, let me go back to the very beginning, and please do excuse me a little, as this is a bit of a personal post as well.

I first met Oddur back in 1990 (when we were both in high school) as we were both members of the Queensland Youth Orchestra.  There was a bunch of us (8 or 9) who spent time together outside of rehearsals, and it wasn’t long before we all became quite close.  We’d go to theme parks together, movies, and often have sleepovers at each other’s houses.  They were definitely some of the happiest times in my adolescence.  Because of this, I also got to know Oddur’s family well.  I am an only child, from a single-parent family, and Oddur’s family was about as far removed from mine as you could get – two parents, four kids.  Their house was so full of energy, and love, and it was such a beautiful, warm place to be.  I have such wonderful memories from there.  When I moved to Melbourne in 2003, I lost touch with Oddur, but (thanks to Facebook!) we got back in touch last year.  Unfortunately, when I got back in touch with Oddur, it was bittersweet.  His beautiful sister Thorun was expecting her first child (a son), but sadly his youngest brother, Jon, had tragically passed away the year before.  So when Oddur & I were trying to tee up a suitable time for their session, and he mentioned that they were having a family reunion, I suggested that I could take some family photos as well.

So one beautiful, sunny October afternoon, I drove down to Tamborine.  The location was perfect and the weather was incredible.  I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  I met Thorun’s fiancé, Terry, and was immediately struck by their amazing bond.  So very much in love, and so excited about their pregnancy.  They just absolutely radiated joy, and I had no doubt that their son was already & would always be loved beyond belief.  Thorun & Terry asked me to shoot their wedding the following month, and my little family also ended up spending an impromptu New Year’s Eve down at their farm.  I felt so privileged to be a part of their journey, and to see Thorun’s beautiful bump developing.  Thorun’s parents were thrilled that they were becoming grandparents.

This next paragraph is probably the most difficult one I’ve ever had to write, and I am writing this with Thorun’s blessing.  At just past 35 weeks, Thorun & Terry received the devastating news that their son had passed away in utero.  With some of the most incredible bravery & strength I’ve ever known, on the 18th of January Thorun gave birth to their precious son, Kolton Axel Jon.  Perfectly beautiful, and so very, very loved.

I felt very grateful to have heard of Heartfelt, a not-for-profit organisation in Australia that provides photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature births, or have children with serious or terminal illnesses.  It was not knowledge that I had ever wanted to pass on, but the service they provide is so vital to grieving families.  Thorun & Terry’s time with their son Kolton was so excruciatingly brief.  No parent should ever, ever have to experience losing their child.

To see a family that I adore go through two tragedies in such a short space of time is gut-wrenching.  To lose a son & brother, and then a son, grandson & nephew is unimaginable.  It’s an all too brutal reminder of just how precious life is.  Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.  Show them.  If you know anyone who has lost a child, ask them if they would like to talk about their child, because they are proud parents.  Loving parents.  They will be forever changed, but their child will be with them always.  Please don’t forget them.

Each life, no matter how brief, forever changes the world. | Anonymous

So, again with Thorun’s blessing, I am sharing some of the photos of the session.  I feel very privileged & moved to have been able to capture these memories for them, and to be able to share them with you to celebrate their beautiful son, Kolton.








 Thorun & Terry, my thoughts are with you always. xo

All images and content are copyright to Jody Bell 2011.