Samantha & Richard's wedding - Stonehurst Cedar Creek - Hunter Valley


I will forever be in awe of Sam & Rich's wedding day. They two of the kindest, down to earth and funniest people I've ever met!
Their day was beautiful beyond words, straight from a Pinterest board. But more importantly they have a beautiful relationship. Sam & Rich have experienced so much together already.  Rich is from Bristol in the UK and Sam from here in Australia. They met on Instagram, started dating in London where Sam was working at the time, and have travelled to almost 30 different countries together since. It's easy to see when they are together that they are soul mates, share a deep connection and respect for each other and love for nature, travel and adventure.

They DIY-ed so much of their beautiful day.. and organised most of it from another state!  Rich made the gorgeous tree stump ring holder, turned an old bathtub into the coolest esky ever,  the welcome sign was all their handy work and Sam's epic writing skills. Those bouquets? Put together by Sam herself.

Stonehurst Cedar Creek boasts a 550 acre property, vineyards, deer, horses, open paddocks, stone cottages and winding dirt roads set against a backdrop of  mountains. It was easy to see why Sam & Rich fell in love with it!

We started the day at the cottages at Stonehurst. Dark clouds were rolling overhead. The air felt thick with a mix of excitement, purpose and anticipation....



As Sam made her walk from the cottages  the rain started, making everything that bit more magical. Surrounded by Rich's family (who had flown from the UK to Australia for the first time!) Sam's family and their closest friends, they said their vows in a beautiful intimate ceremony in the Poplar Grove at Stonehurst. As they signed their marriage certificate, a huge rumble of thunder rolled overhead - perfect timing.





"A marriage makes two fractional lives a whole. It gives to two questioning natures a renewed reason for living. It brings a new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth, and a new mystery to life" 
- Carl Sagan





Let me set the scene.. 

Tall trees, a long timber table decorated with willow branches foraged from Stonehurst's creek bank, and the best damn pizza I've ever eaten! Seriously.. Pizza as a wedding meal! As if this day wasn't perfect already! 

Sam & Rich's guests wined and dined their way through the most delicious all you can eat woodfired pizza (and dessert pizza!), then danced the night away under  a thousand twinkling fairly lights.

P.S Brides proud of their muddy gowns at the end of the best day ever are my favourite!




The beautiful people who contributed:

Venue - Stonehurst Cedar Creek

Styling - Crab Apple Vintage

Sam's Head Piece - Crystal Eclipse Crowns

Hair &  Make-up -  Glow Hair & Makeup

Celebrant - Spark Ceremonies

Pizza -  The Pizza Guys

Florals, Signage, Ring Holder, Setup - Sam & Rich!

Sam & Rich - I will be forever grateful that we crossed paths and  you invited me into your world! Thank you for trusting me to tell your story.








Jay & Laura's story is so very special. It starts way back when they were just 11 years old, going fishing together, kicking a footy outside the basketball stadium and playing 'miniball'.  At just 15 years old they started dating, and have been inseparable ever since! 

I had the pleasure of venturing outside of the Hunter Valley and heading to Jay & Laura's hometown of Glen Innes for the first time, and what an experience. Jay and Laura had told me so much about their hometown during their engagement session and I just couldn't believe just how relaxed and friendly everyone was (and also how cold it was haha! More jumpers next time!). 
A quick trip to Woolies and it was easy to see that everyone really did know everyone! No one had their phones out, everyone said "G'day", everyone was present, people were talking to each other. It sounds silly but it was so refreshing! 

I met up with Laura and Jay the night before their wedding so they could show me around their venue and family property and we could find some locations. I was in photographer heaven - paddocks, horses, long dirt roads, and clear open country skies, what a dream.
Laura told me she had spent her entire childhood playing, exploring, herding sheep and cattle, riding horses (the list goes on) all around her parents property and the neighbouring paddocks. I kept thinking how special is this, that we are back here, and tomorrow they are starting the next chapter of their lives in a place that means so much to them.

Jay & Laura's day was full of so many amazing moments that really had me pinching myself. It was easily the largest wedding I had photographed, with over 150 guests!  

The week of Laura and Jay's wedding was very eventful to say the least, and knocked their plans around quite a bit. Laura had mentioned since we had started talking about her plans that she wanted photos with her beloved horse, Secret. Secret almost passed away while giving birth the week before the wedding, but managed a full recovery before the day (she is the beautiful horse in the photos!)

Then the unthinkable happened. Laura's Dad unfortunately suffered a heart attack the week of her wedding and was transported to John Hunter Hospital. It was a truly heart breaking time for her family.  She told me how her Dad had organised over 10 minutes of fireworks to go off after their first dance, and I knew how important it was for me to stay back and capture such an important moment so they would have the photos to show her Dad.

Jay & Laura spent most of the week by her Dad's side in hospital. While they were gone, their friends and family brought their whole day to life, setting up the marquee, decorations, tables, lights, organising food and drinks,  her Aunty foraged flowers from Yamba for the bouquets (which were put together by her best friend and sister!)  
I was just so overwhelmed by the small town community spirit. Everyone came together and helped out where they could to make the day as easy as possible for Laura & Jay. Laura said herself that they didn't do any of it, they just turned up and they were so so grateful of everyone's generosity and hard work while they were gone.  

I was blown away by how much Laura & Jay just adore, support and respect each other. They are each others first love and true love. It's easy to see that the way they look at each other after all their years together that they are soul mates. They have done so much and achieved so much together, include moving from their hometown to the city to chase Jay's professional football career. I know their hearts belong back at home in Glen, where they plan to own their own property and build a house to raise a family of their own.

I love that their day was all about the things that really matter on a wedding day - their love for each other and those around them.

We were blessed with the most amazing afternoon light out on location.. which is pretty much my favourite thing ever! Jay & Laura sitting in a row boat in the middle of a dam on her parents property, while the sun set behind them and 20 or so cows watched on right beside me was a moment I will never forget! 

The day was so emotional, fun, and breathtakingly beautiful in so many ways.
I left Glen Innes with a very full heart, new friends and a greater appreciation for the simple country life.  I will be forever grateful you invited me into your world!


some kind words from Laura & Jay


"I do not even know where to begin with this amazing woman!! I can try, however words cannot describe how amazing she is. We are just so stoked with the service and our photos it has been an unreal experience! The best we have ever had or dreamed of. Not only are the photos the most amazing photos you will ever see.. She is just such an amazing person to deal with she is so open to absolutely any ideas you may have even if they are crazy like mine were. Worth every cent of the money!

She is so relaxed and natural you do not know she is there which brings out the best photos. Our community is still talking about her as well as all of our family. Everyone just cannot believe how amazing our photos are. The best investment we have ever made!! Not only that we have made a friend for life it has been months after our wedding and we still talk to Mel like we are best mates. She is not in it for the money she genuinely cares so much and wants it to be perfect for you.

She has the kindest heart. My father had a heart attack the week before our wedding.. Which was the hardest thing any little girl can every go through not having her dad there to walk her down the aisle. However, Mel found a way to add so much happiness back into my special day she was perfect always checking up to see if I was ok and comfortable. It was like she was one of my bridesmaids. My dad was still in John Hunter hospital after the wedding and Mel drove in to the hospital and gave him a photo of us looking at the fireworks which my dad had organised for my wedding night. It was just so amazing what she did and we cannot get over it. Not only does she have such an amazing heart the photos are just incredible! Literally the best we have ever seen. I was so nervous about my photography I wanted the best of the best and that is what I got!!! So so happy with them!!!! They are just truly amazing! I have received so many messages even from magazines asking can they feature my photos! They are just so amazing! HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY X 10000 RECOMMEND!!!! You will not be disappointed!! I am still kicking myself with how lucky we got having Mel as our photographer. I would recommend her to anybody!!!"


Laura & Jay's Fine Art Album






There's just something really honest and organic about country weddings.  I love the little stories behind each piece of decor and every bunch of flowers.  Most of the guests have usually travelled from far and wide to be there, and some have usually had a big hand in the months of preparing and setting up for the day. Everyone is always so relaxed and friendly.  There's no stuffy seating plans, no chicken or steak alternate dinners, no 5 tired cakes covered in diamantes, no hummers, there's ample room for prams and toddlers, and everyone is just relaxed, and having a damn good time outside under the stars. I bloody love it, that is my thing. Big parties out in the middle of nowhere, you just can't beat it. Throw in killer country light and I'm in heaven...

Ellie and Michael's wedding day was just that.  

We started the day with Ellie, getting ready at her Nana's house. In  honour of her Nana, Ellie had made the decision to wear her wedding dress for the ceremony (which she wore in 1945!) Her Nan's best friend Kaye (who also wore her wedding dress) was there, putting the girls bouquets together.

The celebrations took place on Ellie's family's property at Yarras. The property has seen 8 generations grow up, with Ellie spending many Christmases there playing with her cousins under the jacarandas and along the same river bank which they held their ceremony. While talking to Ellie about her plans she mentioned the Jacarandas and how she had planned a November date to ensure they were in bloom. Ellie shares my love for golden hour lighting (yes!!) and we managed to combine the Jacarandas and the perfect afternoon light for possibly my favourite photo of all time..!

So much of Ellie and Michael's wedding day was made possible by the help of their family and friends. Months of clearing the property, setting up marquees, all of the food preparation and homemade cakes. Even the car was donated by a very special new friend - Ellie had spotted this blue vintage pickup truck driving around town and fell in love with it. After putting the feelers out there and asking around town, she was able to get in contact with the owner Ron a.k.a 'Rocket' about the possibility of using it on her wedding day. Coming from a small town, Rocket was all too happy to lend a hand, driving Ellie and her maids to the ceremony. You could tell he was swelling with pride as he had a huge smile on his face the whole time. Ellie called in to see Rocket after the wedding to thank him, and she found out that his wife had helped deliver her mother & Aunty, and was one of the first to hold them the day they were born. Just amazing!

Michael's Aunty officiated their ceremony, Ellie's dad made the swing  and even the succulents on their cake were from their own backyard.

Every little detail had a story

Michael & Ellie are two of the kindest people I have ever met.  I met them both for the very first time on their wedding day, although it felt like we had know each other for a lot longer. They are both so honest, giving and humble. I really love that my 'job' means I get to meet so many amazing people and be invited into their lives. Thank you so much for allowing me to tell your story, it was so so special.


Celebrant: Anne Fitzgerald (Michael's Aunty!)

Hair & Makeup: All Made Up







Jemma & Kelly's wedding day was all kinds of awesome. They both really know how to throw a super chill, super stylish party!

I first spoke to Jem over the phone when she was on the hunt for a wedding photographer. She gushed to me about how amazing the venue was that her and Kelly had booked. How it had such a relaxed vibe,  natural surroundings and it matched their vision for their day perfectly. Wonganella did not disappoint. Nestled in the Port Stephens bushland, a hidden 'jem' of a venue. A huge homestead, ample ceremony locations and a brand new decked outdoor reception area overlooking the breathtaking view of Bob's Farm.

Jem & Kelly's wedding day was them all over. Relaxed, creative, quirky, and trendy.
Kelly is an architect, and Jemma is a graphic designer, so I knew their day would be overflowing with details and homemade pieces. I spent the whole day in awe of how much Jemma & Kelly and their families had done themselves. Kelly and his groomsmen made the ceremony benches, Jemma's stepdad made their timber arbour, Kelly's sister created the 3 tiered cake, Jemma put together the bouquets, and the bridesmaids made their own hair pieces.

Jemma is the brainchild behind Elska Creative ( check them out!!) and designed and created so many of the little details - the laser cut plywood invitations, the hanger engravings, the recycled timber wedding schedule and the table decor pieces, just to name a few! I absolutely love that each and every part of their day was personal and has a unique story behind it.

Jemma and Kelly really hold a special place in my heart. After their engagement session (you can see it here) I knew we just clicked. We didn't stop talking and laughing and I wanted to know more about them. I am now lucky enough to call them my friends!

Relaxed (I know I've used that word a few times, but it really was) and fun vibe, super friendly guests that really made me feel so welcome, everyone having a damn good time, food to die for, listening to the epic voice of  Tim Rossington outside on a warm summer afternoon under a killer pink sunset. The kind of wedding I'd love to shoot every weekend.

Some of the brilliant folk that brought this day to life!

Venue: Wonganella Estate

Catering: Amanda Douglas Catering

Music: Tim Rossington

Celebrant: Beautiful Memories Marriage Celebrant

Decor and Invitations: Elska Creative

Hair & Makeup: Makeup By Bonnie Lee

Wedding Dress: Blanche Bridal


Jemma & Kelly were kind enough to leave these words for me!


"HOLY BALONEY! Mel is one of a kind!

Her photos are amazing... as anyone could see looking through her photos... but it is who she is as a person which is the real decider!
Mel, my husband and I have hit it off from day one. She is personable, relaxed, funny, energetic, thorough, attentive, silly, happy, curious, smart and full of great ideas!
She makes you feel so comfortable, makes you laugh and brings out the true personalities and relationships with a click of a button!
She was and still is the talk of the town from our wedding. She has captured the true essence of every being at our wedding... and I haven't even seen all the photos yet!!
Not only is she a big fan of photography... she would give you a whirl on her love for Harry Potter as well.





I'm sitting here thinking about what an amazing ride this year has been.

Thousands of kilometres travelled (often with a baby in tow!) A rebrand, over 15,000 images delivered, and hundreds of new friends made.
I've travelled to home towns, seen the most tender, emotional, gut wrenching moments and shed a tear or two. I've seen epic dance floors, dogs walked down the aisle, the most scrumptious homemade cakes, arbours made by handy Dads,  and the community spirit of small towns.

I’ve climbed over fences, ran through paddocks (dodging horse manure) explored pine forests, and been chased by a bull. I have been invited to tell the most special stories for people I can now call my friends.

What an incredibly humbling, exciting, scary, life changing year. At the risk of sounding cliche, I really do pinch myself every time I am driving home from a wedding, that these amazing people have trusted me to tell the story of  one of the biggest days of their life. 

Thank you - all of you - for not just treating me like a vendor or supplier, or like a working stranger with a camera.  My couples have made me feel like part of their family, offering food, drinks, a place to sleep, to stay back and to party on with them into the night. I never expect this, but I think it is a true reflection of how big their hearts are and how beautiful they are. I am so incredibly grateful. 

I've put together a few of my favourite images. Not necessarily the big epic shots - more so the moments I have fond memories of.  Moments and images that made me swoon, laugh, cry, swallow a lump in my throat, and just memories I will never forget.


Some kind words from my beautiful friends


"Mel was our photographer for our wedding recently and she is just amazing. So talented, professional and just a warm, lovely person. She made everyone feel so relaxed and comfortable and always made sure we were happy with what she was doing. I would highly recommend her to anyone. Thank you so much Mel."

- Kalinda & Brock


"HOLY BALONEY! Mel is one of a kind!

Her photos are amazing... as anyone could see looking through her photos... but it is who she is as a person which is the real decider!Mel, my husband and I have hit it off from day one. She is personable, relaxed, funny, energetic, thorough, attentive, silly, happy, curious, smart and full of great ideas!

She makes you feel so comfortable, makes you laugh and brings out the true personalities and relationships with a click of a button!She was and still is the talk of the town from our wedding. She has captured the true essence of every being at our wedding... and I haven't even seen all the photos yet!!

Not only is she a big fan of photography... she would give you a whirl on her love for Harry Potter as well. I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY X SQUARED X A MILLION CHOOSE MEL FOR YOU PRECIOUS DAY.... YOU DON'T GET MANY SPECIAL HUMANS LIKE HER! xx"

- Jemma & Kelly


"Words aren't enough to even begin to describe how amazingly talented Mel is. Our engagement photos & wedding photos are breathtaking, and every single person who has had the pleasure of seeing them has been gobsmacked. The difference between a good photographer and an amazing photographer isn't just the photos, it's the experience, the communication, how they make you feel on your wedding day, the finishes, the final delivery product and every one of these Mel absolutely ticks the boxes for. HIGHLY recommended!! You made our wedding complete, will never be able to thank you enough"

- Elly & Mark






You know that feeling when you find your soul mate and you just.. click? There's a spark.
You can't stop talking, you want to know all about them and how their life has brought them to this moment? Well I kinda feel like Sam & Rich are my client soul mates... if that is even a thing?

I truly felt as though I was hanging out with old friends. We didn't stop talking, the whole trip up to the Watagans and back. Munching on Starburst, laughing about the heat, the bumpy road, how crazy big wombats are, and Rich's fascination with Australian birds and stories of their travels. They both share a love for nature and it seemed pretty perfect to make the trip together to the Watagans for their session. 

Sam & Rich have a pretty interesting story.. A real modern day love story...they met on Instagram.
Sam is originally from Newcastle and Rich is from the U.K. Rich took a huge leap of faith and met up with Sam in London where she was working at the time, and they've been inseparable - travelling to almost 30 different countries together since, and now relocating back to Australia to get married. Rich described it perfectly during their session when I asked what it was about Sam that made him know she was the one.. He said he had found the female version of himself. That she is his best friend. 

It was the kind of afternoon you wish you could have every weekend - you know you've got the best clients ever when you finish the session with a Maccas run!
I am pretty damn pumped for their wedding next year!







Bec & Lachlan, I adore you! I knew from the moment I met you both that this day was going to be special. The day was relaxed, chill, authentic, all about everyone having a good time. It was an honour to be there to capture your day for you!

This was the first time I've had the opportunity to shoot at Peterson Champagne House (and hopefully not the last). The first thing that stuck out to me was the gorgeous cherry blossoms and I knew I had to include them somehow - and they matched so perfectly with Bec's flowers by Miss Adam's!

Bec & Lachlan's vows were so perfect and heartfelt. I have only known them for a short time but the love they have for each other really just radiates out of them.

We kicked off the bridal portraits and made a beeline for the golden sun setting behind the vines. The first day of daylight savings, Bec & Lachlan's hour of bridal portraits were timed perfectly an hour before sunset (yippee!!)

Lachlan is a musician, so it was only appropriate for the day to include some amazing live music! A band of Lachlan's mates played as Bec walked down the aisle and during the ceremony. The reception band really blew me away. There is simply nothing that compares to the vibe and atmosphere of a live band! I was gobsmacked to find out that the band was a bunch of musicians that hadn't played together before, combined with a carefully curated set list all planned and organised by Lachlan. It was unreal!

Here's a few of my favourite shots from the day.. 



Check out those cufflinks!


 I think we all spent a good 10 minutes swooning over Bec's gown!



Venue: Peterson Champagne House

Celebrant: Ceremonies By Catherine

Hair & make-up: CHIC ARTISTRY

Stationery: Wish Boutique Stationary

Cake: Michelle-Marie's Kitchen

Gown: Rue De Seine

Florals:  Miss Adam's Florist



"I just wanted to reach out and thank you again for the wonderful experience you gave us at our wedding. Neither Lach or I are super comfortable in front of the camera and you not only made it pain-free, but one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole day. Taking the time to be together during such a busy, hectic day means so much to both of us and I think you can see that reflected in the photos. We look disgustingly in love"







A few weeks ago, I met with Jemma and Kelly at Morpeth for their engagement session!
We started the afternoon at the Commercial Hotel, where we chatted about their wedding plans for later this year.
Jemma is a Graphic Designer, and Kelly an architect - so this wedding is seriously going to be a match made in design heaven!
It was so lovely listening to Jemma & Kelly talk about how so many special touches for the day are being handmade by their families.  That's what it's all about!


While walking down the main street of Morpeth, we stopped into Campbell's Store, only to discover an exhibition dedicated to Harry Potter. Jemma called out to me, to come and have a look.
We were both speechless. . . . . It only seemed appropriate that we all get sorted by the Sorting Hat. 

In the lead up to Kelly being sorted, he was convincing us that he would definitely be a Gryffindor, because he has red hair. . . the Sorting Hat had other ideas.



After that was settled, we continued on our way down the main street and onto the lucerne paddocks for some frolicking in the afternoon light!


I had the best time with Jemma and Kelly and I am so excited for their wedding later this year. It will be an absolute blast!

Jemma & Kelly's kind words:

"We just wanted to thank you so much for the day. Kelly and I had so much fun and it has definitely been a highlight of our relationship. It was so nice to capture what we have by someone we really feel comfortable with. You were awesome! I can't wait for our day knowing you will be there to capture it all for us, I have so much love for what you do and so excited to see all the photos!"






I'll be honest, this time last week I was freaking out.

I was on my way to the James Day DAYLIGHT LEARN workshop, at the Montrose Berry Farm, in the Southern Highlands.

I was thinking all sorts of crazy things. What if I am terrible? What if I secretly know nothing and everyone will laugh at me? It kinda felt like I was going back to school again! Surely I am not the only one that feels like this when they completely step out of their comfort zone.

I had previously seen many photos of Montrose Berry Farm, but I could not believe how insanely stunning it is in person! It's like a backdrop from a movie. I don't know many other venues close to home with that cozy yet grand feel. Truly stunning!

All of my fears and my ridiculous scenarios about me forgetting how to operate a camera completely disappeared once I walked in. James greeted me with a big handshake and a warm hug. I admire James' humility and kindness. Here were all these people, coming to see him and listen to him for a weekend and he just felt like your funny and extremely talented older brother. 

It was such a buzz chatting to other wedding photographers from around Australia. Hearing their stories, and talking about photography and dreams; I felt at home, I was totally in my element.

This workshop pushed me. Which I love! I am pretty stubborn and I can get stuck in my ways, but once I try something new, I'm set! I feel like I am itching to get started on so many new things and at the risk of sounding cliche, I think I have found myself and my direction.
I feel like this workshop has not only has given me the skills and knowledge to take my vision to the next level, but I feel like I have a new perspective on life itself. Don't be a 'I'm going to do that' person, actually do it! It is the best thing you'll ever do. I'm ready to take on anything and everything. 

A huge shoutout and thank you and super warm hug to all the models and suppliers who came along to the workshop to help out and stand out in freezing temperatures (while still managing to look amazing!) Without you it wouldn't have been possible!

Julia, Cath and Jack - Thank you for your ongoing support, advice and guidance.

James - your ideas, your perspective and your passion are so inspirational. I cannot possibly thank you enough for investing your time and resources into all of us.
You can read all about our day here on James' site: Daylight Learn Recap

And I cannot write this and not mention the food. Holy Moly! I am a food person, food is 100% the way to my heart. Michael Gray from Como Kitchen is some kind of epic food wizard, single handedly whipping up feast after feast to keep us going. We were all constantly in awe of his creations. It was like "if you could have one meal for the rest of your life what would you choose" material.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from the workshop!

Enjoy! (and watch this space!)

Mel x

Venue -       Montrose Berry Farm

Hair -          Suzanne Henderson

Make-up -   Simone Lee Brennan

Flowers -    Francis Floristry




It was so lovely spending the afternoon with Jay & Laura! They are getting married in October this year, and travelled up to the Hunter Valley from Wollongong for their session. 

Jay & Laura's story is so special. Jay is a professional footballer, and they've moved away from their country hometown to the city to chase his footy dreams, with the goal of returning home in the future. Their faces lit up when they talked of home - the open fields and breathtaking sunsets (I can't wait to see it!) and I was stoked when they said to me that the location I had found for their session reminded them of home.

A lovely laid-back couple and perfect golden light, my favourite!