A Look Back At 2017 The Year of 47

This year has flown by and it’s been another whirlwind. 2017 started with about a dozen weddings on the calendar, and will finish (yes I’m still going) with the final count hitting 47. Now that’s a number even I’m surprised by. Each and every wedding this year has been amazing, and a BIG shout-out to all my brides & grooms who made this year so unforgettable and left me with some priceless memories. 
I’ve been blessed to have seen so much of the country this year, having been at weddings as far south as Currawong, as far west as Orange, and north as Fullerton Cove. There was also a little trip down to Hobart.
Not everything has been about weddings though, and in the middle of this year we welcomed Ava’s little baby brother, Jacob into the family. A host of other things, including full time work at the ABC has also kept me super busy. So without further adieu here’s how the year rolled…


Sophie & Jack – Drumderry Homestead, Sutton Forest

Barely 3 days into 2017 and I was with these two beauties at Drumderry Homestead in Sutton Forest. Still can’t get over Sophie’s vibrant and infectious joy, and a retelling of how their engagement went down, which I also was a part of. Shout out to Lu Lu Makeup for her fab work.

Trang & Ray – Loxley on Bellbird Hill, Kurrajong Hills

A story of serendipity spanning two countries, that led to true love. Trang & Ray’s wedding had its share of magical moments, including that sunset in the horse paddock and a first dance packed with incredible moves. The top moment though, the retelling of their love story from the different viewpoints of all involved during the speeches.


Ali & Nathan – Melross Estate, Kangaroo Valley

This was my very first visit to Kangaroo Valley. Those unforgettable images of Nathan in tears as Ali – looking absolutely radiant – rolled down the lawn at Melross. The sunset shoot and Nathan’s outrageous striptease routine just added to the craziness. So much awesomeness in one day.

Laura & Sam – Frogmore Creek Winery, Tasmania

Brisbane natives, Laura & Sam not only let me travel down to Hobart but I also got to bring Khuong as my wingman (and this guy was insane). Hobart gave us its best and mildest Summer day (while Sydney scorched), and Laura & Sam took it away with their beautiful wedding, set against the stunning backdrop of Frogmore Creek vineyard and the Coal River Valley.


April & Owen – Mountain Ridge Wines, Coolangatta

Champagne showers and shoeys were the order of the day as April & Owen (and their wild bridal party) celebrated with abandon at the scenic Mountain Ridge Wines.


Tiffany & Ryan – Farm in Nashdale, NSW

I met these two, for their pre-wedding consultation, at their home on the Bay of Plenty in New Zealand. Fast forward 5 months later and some 2500km  away, and we were rocking around in muscle cars and jumping onto working rail tracks on their wedding day.

Estefania & Federico – Avalon, NSW

My first back-to-back for the year actually involved zipping back from Orange to Avalon (with a pit stop to pick up a lens) to make it to Stef & Fede’s intimate affair. I met these guys and their Argentinean crew from Emi & Nico, and boy, do they know how to celebrate a wedding.

Brooke & Philip – Porters Retreat Homestead, Porters Retreat

The scenery from this one was incredible. Brooke & Philip actually got married on their parents family farm in Porters Retreat and it was amazing. Almost all the decorations were DIY and painstakingly assembled, transforming the old shearing shed into an incredible reception venue. Brooke rocked in a custom Kimberley Woodward design that actually contained lace from Kimberley’s late grandmother’s collection. Truly stirring stuff. This is the sort of wedding I could do every day.

Sarah & Croydon – Quality Hotel NOAH’s on the Beach, Newcastle

Sometimes the most unexpected events can deliver magic. At Sarah & Croydon’s, due to reasons beyond our control we ran so late overtime, that our couple shoot took place in near darkness. There were only street lamps and a faint glow in the sky providing illumination on Newcastle Beach. Cue one of my most iconic shoots of the year. Thank God for modern cameras.

Emma & Bryce – Sydney, NSW

A little wedding by the Harbour couldn’t get anymore awesome. These two were naturals in front of the camera and it really showed. 

Dimity & Scott – Collits Inn, Hartley Vale

Not every couple can lay claim to circumnavigating Australia by bike but these legends sure can. Dimity & Scott’s love of the outdoors was on full display as we wandered around a creek for their shoot in Hartley, before racing the clock to reach Sunset Rock just as the sun was setting. Cue epic Blue Mountains photos.

Rachel & Jacob – Zest, Mosman

The love between this drop-dead gorgeous couple seemed to just ooze from their images, and they were absolutely fun to hang out with. Their shoot overlooking Curl Curl Beach was breathtaking, and Sydney gave us a fine and mild winter’s day to boot. At the reception, there was not a dry eye left in the room as speech after speech relayed the journey these two had taken to their big day.

Kim & Michael – Peppers Manor House, Sutton Forest

Despite the early mild weather during the ceremony, by the time I started shooting Kim & Michael’s portraits, it was freezing and Kim huddled into Michael, creating this ripper of an image. Also, full props to a couple who have a wedding cake comprised of confectionery. That is awesome!!!

Mimosa & Ben – Villa Capri, Cabramatta

Some outrageous door games, a magician and capoeira dancers topped off this wild and marathon long Vietnamese wedding in the heart of Sydney’s west. Looking absolutely radiant and upbeat throughout, Mimo & Ben. 

Martha & Jamie – St George Motor Boat Club, San Souci

A Geek wedding with a Maori twist. This one bubbled along like a normal Greek Orthodox wedding, until Martha surprised Jamie with a special performance from a local Maori cultural club, bringing a taste of NZed to the celebration . A mix of Zorba and Hakas. Brilliant!

Karen & Dan – Peppers Craigieburn, Bowral

Former housemates and proud parents, Karen & Dan tied the knot at Peppers Craigieburn, and their bridal party seemed to enjoy the proceedings a bit too much. A beautiful wedding throughout.

Christine & Mark – The Hills Lodge, Castle Hill

The Hills Lodge, a hidden gem, in the heart of Sydney was the stage for this hysterical celebration, that had some of the wildest dancing I’ve seen at a reception. Did I mention how much in love these two were? The images speak for themselves.

Mikaela & Jonathan – Kangaroo Valley Bush Retreat, Kangaroo Valley

US native Mikaela and her dad sure lit up the dance floor with their father-daughter dance in this Kangaroo Valley gem. This “second” wedding for Mikaela & Jonathan came hot off the heels of their “first” wedding in Portland, Oregon #globetrotters #worldwarriors

Chantelle & Phil – Clovelly Surf Club, Clovelly

From almost getting bowled over on a windy platform at Clovelly, to the calm serenity of the forest at Centennial Park. Chantelle & Phil’s surprise wedding at Clovelly Surf Club was filled with stunning imagery.

Eloise & Matt – Gibraltar Hotel, Bowral

When your bride rocks a vintage roaring twenties look but then starts jamming to the sounds of rap and r&b. Whats more, she has one incredible voice. Did I say they were a parents to a cute little girl.

Holly & Jason – Queens Wharf Hotel, Newcastle

A short little trip up to Newcastle, on a warm Saturday afternoon to be there as Holly & Jason tied the knot.

Katie & Lloyd – Stanley Park, Fullerton Cove

Katie & Lloyd’s engagement session was so fun and relaxed, I knew their wedding would be the same. I didn’t imagine it would be even better. Set on the antique grounds of Stanley Park, this intimate wedding couldn’t have been more beautiful and it’s definitely up there as one of my favs.


Kristen & Shane – Panorama House, Maddens Plains

Let’s be honest, cute little babies = awesome pictures. Kristen & Shane made sure they involved not only their daughter into proceedings but also their niece and nephew as well, sending the cute meter through the roof!


Bianca & Paul – Jenolan Caves

Words can’t begin to describe this one. High school sweethearts Bianca & Paul, threw me the challenge of a marriage ceremony in a cave. I’ll have to admit, this one pushed the technical limits of my cameras, but the images that I did nail were incredible. Wedding of the year? This one comes close.

Michelle & Ethan – The Retreat, Wisemans Ferry

An afternoon with these two left me in knots of laughter. Michelle & Ethan couldn’t keep a straight face throughout their photo shoot and their laughter was infectious. I also scored myself a selfie with the couple #winning.

Georgie & Tim – Waldara Farm, Edith

The rain was well and truly pelting down when I arrived at Waldara Farm to shoot Georgie & Tim’s wedding. I really feared the worst. That the rain would pause at just the right moment for us to waltz out for some couple shots, was the work of providence. These two were so photogenic they nailed it in 20 mins, with the rain resuming its relentless downpour just as quickly.

Amelia & Ben – Gracelands, Forresters Beach

A freewheeling and fun wedding on the Central Coast.

Angie & Adan – Lilyvale, Royal National Park

A humbling reminder of the rollercoaster that is life. Angie & Adan celebrated their love and also included images of their departed baby son, Harry, in a very touching tribute.

Brodie & Oliver – Crookwell, NSW

Crookwell a small rural town, about half an hour out of Goulburn was the scene for local Brodie & Taree-bred Oliver’s country wedding. 

Natalie & Joseph – Newport, NSW

In the closing week of the year, and barely a few days from Christmas, Natalie & Joseph decided to tie the knot on a picturesque deck overlooking Newport Beach. 

Thank Yous!

Brides, Grooms, Vendors…

To my bride and grooms, you guys rocked! My images are only as good as the people I’m photographing, and I’m so glad you had enough faith and trust in me to allow me to work my magic.

To each of the different vendors who contributed along the way, I might not have had the chance to chat to you all but thank you for your professional and tireless work.

To everyone else who were part of all the weddings this year: parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, bridal parties, a big thank you for welcoming me and making sure I was ok throughout the day. I’ve lost track of how much kindness and generosity I’ve experienced in my travels, and it really makes the job so much easier.


Studio Ninja

Last year, I ran Ava Me Photography by juggling a number of spreadsheets and thought it would be sufficient for 2017. When things began to get hectic in the middle of the year, I knew I needed a decent customer management system. Studio Ninja has been a godsend, not only at keeping me organised but also saving me so much time. Cheers to Studio Ninja!




Sony A9

This legendary camera has been a game changer. It’s a speed demon that doesn’t miss a beat. I could go on and on, but if you want to find out more, head over to DPReview.kristen-shane-rhododendron-gardens-panorama-house-407


RAW Digital Lab & Image Salon

In the latter half of the year, with the weddings beginning to I began working with RAW Digital Lab and Image Salon to ensure I delivered my images on time. I can’t believe I hadn’t used them earlier. I still do retouch some of my weddings, but these guys have taken up much of the load, saving me so much time and bringing their retouching expertise to all my weddings.


To My Family

Though I truly love what I do, I’ve been away from my family a lot this year. If anyone deserves the ultimate thank you, it’s my wife, who has manned the homefront and kept my two little rascals in check, all while I’ve been gallivanting to weddings, or busy in the backroom editing photos, meeting clients, taking phone calls, writing emails, or spending inordinate amounts of time updating my social media. Lots of ❤️❤️❤️

Here’s us:


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!



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Joel, your work is amazing-we couldn’t think of a better photographer to capture our special day! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Lots of love to you and your beautiful family x

Mr and Mrs Rynehart

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