Fraser Island off the east coast of Australia is a stunningly beautiful place; there are no words to do it justice. This image was taken during a wedding in 2006. We stayed for two days, every waking moment not spent with the client was spent taking photos of the jaw-dropping National Park surrounding our resort. The wedding ceremony took place on the western beach of the island, and as I hurried back to the resort for the reception I turned to see an amazing sunset reflected in this tiny lagoon. I had time to bang off one shot literally from the hip as I walked and hope like hell it would turn out. I think it’s safe to say it did.
The first wedding I shot on Fraser was more like a festival; a three-day event with much feasting and four-wheel driving up the beach and back again checking out photo locations with rellies in tow. It was a huge amount of fun apart from anything else, and though it was very early in my career I felt comfortable and confident. Having shot for the family before I knew the dynamics and main players; I had also spent a lot of time preparing for the day including shooting an engagement session on the island prior. This was my first wedding shooting digital so I went to town, shooting on film as I was used to but covering with digital to start getting used to the medium.
The wedding was on the beach on the eastern side of the island. Rain threatened for a lot of the day but it was mostly that; blustery spits of nothing much and some interesting cloud cover. After the ceremony we took off up the beach and spent the whole afternoon shooting. I'd just been to a photography convention in Las Vegas so was keen to try out things I'd learned and the happy couple obliged me on everything.
As the sun disappeared I wanted to try one last thing before we lost the light totally, so I sent the groom to fetch his four-wheel drive and bring it down the beach so I could use the headlights as my main light source for some photos. As he brought the vehicle around and the bride watched, I caught this moment that remains one of my personal favourite shots. Just enough light remained in the sky to outline the bride while the headlights picked up puddles of rising tide on the sand and a highlight on her bouquet.
And this is the shot I was staging and hoping for, our one perfect moment on the sand lit by car headlights and, amazingly, by the moon that came out from behind the storm clouds as if just by request for me.