Posts Tagged ‘jiaren lau photography’


These two are simply the cutest couple EVER! Immensely fun, relaxed, and beautifully photogenic. I’ve got 31 photos in this post because I couldn’t narrow them down. They were just so easy to shoot. I’ll introduce them then let my photos do the rest of the talking.


Meet Maggie. She’s originally from China but settled down in Australia a number of years ago.


This is Gavin. He’s from Australia and the family have lived most of their life in Toowoomba. The chose the University of Southern Queensland Japanese Gardens as the venue for their wedding as it reflects Toowoomba as a cultural mixing pot. It was a beautiful day for a wedding so even though it was the middle of winter, the weather was as best as we could have ever hoped for so we were very blessed from that point of view.


The day started early for the not-stressed-at-all-bride as she had her hair done early in the morning at StudioGlow in Medici with enough time to head back home for a rest before we met up with her again to get her make-up done.


After that, we headed over to the bride and grooms house taking photos of the gown, suits, as well as some other important accessories.




Fastforwarding >>> I got some beautiful portraits of the bride before I jumped off into my car and zoomed off to the venue. At this point we were already behind schedule…

Not late though.

Precisely fashionably late.

When I got to the venue I knew I wouldn’t have more than a couple of minutes before they were to arrive even though I instructed the driver to go SLOOOOOOW.


True enough, she arrived not long after I briefed Brandon on the situation. Brandon was my assistant for the day who wanted to get some experience in shooting weddings.He did a fantastic job!


Here’s Maggie being escorted by her father who flew in from China together with her mum. Her presence was like a breath of fresh air and you could see the Gavin light up as she prepared to walk down the aisle.


As you can see it really was a beautiful day. Small ceremony and surrounded by loved ones with the exception of the many visitors to the Gardens who sat down and quietly spectated the ceremony.


This is the wedding celebrant, Bronwen Rolfe. She had only recently received her license and this was her first wedding ceremony so she was pretty nervous/anxious too. She did a great job though and I’m sure the bride and groom were very appreciative of her efforts.


The exchange of vows were so beautifully heartwarming that it put a tear in almost everyone’s eyes. Gavin started it first and then it just spread like wildfire from there.


As the couple swapped rings the moment that everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived. The celebrant, Bronwen Rolfe, announced the couple husband and wife. You know the line:


As I was shooting the kiss, I couldn’t help but notice Gavin’s parents’ faces fill with emotions so I quickly recomposed my shot and snapped away. That’s how you tell a good photographer from a great photographer. A great photographer keeps both eyes open while shooting so he/she can scan the area around frame to watch out for distractions or better compositions (shameless self-praise, haha!)





Perhaps this is a good time to mention that Gavin is the first of their kids to tie the knot so I couldn’t imagine the emotions they were feeling at this point in time…and YES, these DO look good in B&W!



After the signing of the register, they poured champagne, mingled with the guests, threw the bouquet, and took the family portraits. I could go on and never end finish writing this post or I could FASTFORWARD>>> once again to the part I love most – the portrait session! This is where I really get in my zone and let my creativity run wild!




This is like my trademark shot. I love the reflection! Nobody else I know shoots this angle yet and I loooove the results!



Wow, I wasn’t kidding when I said “portrait” session, eh? I never noticed before…I’m sure I do have some shots in landscape orientation but I guess all my personal faves just happened to be in portrait. Anyway, next was the dinner reception. They came in from the back entrance and were greeted by the guests.


You can see Gavin’s super happy sister, Natalie, as they made their entrance into the room.


The dinner reception was held at Veraisons and it was very cozy. The top half of the room was painted black which my flashes did NOT like but I made do.


The food was great as well as the service. Rebecca, the owner’s wife looked after us Andrew himself had a skiing injury and was not able to serve us that night. Get well soon, Andrew!


There was a  touching speech by Gavin’s father to which everyone raised their glasses. I raised my glass too…my glass lens that is!

While everyone was mingling, I managed to steal the newlyweds for a couple of moments and get some fun impromptu shots so I thought I’d share:




Thats about it. I hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed making them.

Special credit goes out to my good friend, Brandon, who agreed to be my second shooter. He assisted me in everything from covering shots that I couldn’t get, helping me out with holding my light stands, and shooting the couple’s genuine expressions while they were preoccupied with me directing and posing them. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to include his shots here but credit given where credit is due, I will definitely be putting up another blog post with the prequel to this wedding ceremony as well as to showcase some of his shots.

A big thank you again to Gavin and Maggie who put their trust in me to capture their most special day. They were very accommodating, very hospitable, and their entire family and friends were very easy to work with. It was an honour to be your weddding photographer and I do hope that you thoroughly enjoy the results.

God bless.






You know once in a while you do a photoshoot that you really really REALLY liked?

I mean like you go back to review the shots and even think to yourself, “Dang, I’m good!”

Something that made you proud to showcase not one, not two, but really almost every shot that you took…so much so that just weeding out which shots NOT to be included on the DVD was the hardest task?

This was one of those times.

Meet my subjects.


Lena, from Germany.


Nina, from  Germany.


Hao Chu, from Vietnam. AKA Heidi.


I was told that it was Lena and Nina’s birthday present for Heidi. I found out later that it was actually Nina AND Heidi’s birthday. I’m sure they enjoyed their present. These photos are all over their facebook profiles now. I’ve even got compliments from friends just walking around the uni. Anyway, if they’re happy – I’m happy.


The theme of the photoshoot was “Fairytale”. I did a bit of research of how cartoonists draw fairytale pictures like Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, etc. Okay, actually it was a single picture with all of the above in it with some other “princesses” of which I cannot remember the names. Here is my rendition:



Too posed? I like it.

I should find the cartoon that I was looking at and insert it here…in retrospect I should’ve moved this shot to someplace else. I took the shot here because I liked the backlight on the trees. See that golden, greenish colour….I liked that and was trying to get it blurred enough to become some really nice rounded bokeh. After going through the troubles of posing the shot it would’ve been too troublesome to shift everything to somewhere else. Also, we were loosing light so we had to move.

This next shot was probably one of my faves…not this one exactly, but all the ones taken here I really liked.



“Who wants to be that tree?!”

By the way, it was around this time and the individual shots (the ones where I introduced the subjects) that my Speedlight fell down again. Yup. AGAIN! “Friggin, stupid *#!@#$!!!” Everytime I do a shoot a Speedlight falls. It doesn’t matter how secure I make it it’ll still drop! I even put my SB-600 (the more expensive of the two) on the tripod which is heavier = sturdier. I was taking a shot of one of the girls and was backing up slowly. I backed into the tripod and it slammed into the ground – diffuser first. (I also dropped my SB-600 when I was taking Rick and Michelle’s Wedding) Last time I broke my umbrella, this time I broke the shot shoe feet on the plastic wireless flash receiver – Thanks goodness! I’ve yet to glue it back but I’ll do it before Wednesday (26th May 2010) because I have another photoshoot then.

This next series is AWESOME. Kudos to Steph for thinking of this shot. We literally stopped them as they were walking away to the next spot and got these shots. I got them to swing their heads as I was counting down the shot and got some great hair action!




These were all taken in the Japanese Gardens at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba QLD, but theres not much to show for it, huh? So, I’m gonna throw in this shot just so I compliments the title:


By now everyone was getting tired as it was cold, and sunset had just passed. We set up our last shots for the day and went home. We wanted a shot of them dipping their feet in the water but there just wasn’t enough time.



Total duration of Photoshoot: 120 minutes.


Oh yes. 9 stops!

“Whats that mean?”

It means that it has an attenuation factor of 400!


…it means it only lets 0.5% of light through it!!!

still nothing?!?!?!

…it means that a picture that you normally take at a shutter speed of 1/400 now needs 1 second to expose correctly!!!

***hears birds squaking noises***

…it means that you can take a 15 second shot in the middle of the day! Thats about as practical as I can explain it. I guess its good that this is a photoblog because a picture says a 1000 words, right?

Ok, right off the top I’m going to admit that that first pic isn’t Queen Mary Falls. Its actually Brown Falls but I have a very good explanation for that. Also, if you’ve been following my blog for some time then you’ll know that this isn’t the first time I’ve been here. I blogged about it and you can read all about it by clicking HERE.

This time however was a little different. Instead of a measly eight this time we had over 30 people join!!! Thats 6 vehicles  full! I was supposed to be leading everyone (because I was the most familiar with the location) but I was so  eager to try out the filter that soon wound up right at the end of the line. No worries.

First stop: Queen Mary Falls.


A quick hike from the picnic spot opposite the Caravan Park and we were at the viewing platform. We’ve had heavy rain for the past 3 weeks or so so the fall was intense. Here’s the kicker. The best view is from below. Unfortunately, a boulder had fallen and it had been deemed too risky to allow people to go down so I wasn’t able to get a picture from there. After a good amount of picture taking we headed back to the picnic spot via an alternate route which had a collection of streams which were too beautiful not to photograph.


This stream might look peaceful but that horizon where the water stops is the Queen Mary Falls drop! In the picture of Queen Mary Falls, this stream leads to the edge of the section closest to the camera!

Turn a good 180 degrees and you’re greeted with this:


OK, heres the problem with the ND400 filter. Technically, its the same as having really dark sunglasses. REALLY  dark sunglasses. REALLY REALLY DARK SUNGLASSES. (sorry, caps lock turrets acting up gain) So dark that its almost impossible to see through…this is where the limitations kick in. In order to utilise the filter successfully you’re supposed to

1) compose you photo

2) put the filter on

3) take the shot

4) remove filter

5) repeat step 1.

Being myself I got tired of this after about the first shot… so I just left it on and made an educated guess as to the best probable angle. Granted these won’t be the best shots…in all honesty, I’m quite dissapointed with the overall results…but when I want to go on a proper photo  outing, I’ll be going in a small group so I can take my time to compose and adjust.



Here are some of the people that came along.

After we got back to the picnic spot we had lunch before heading off to see the birds. My friend, Min, in all his wisdom bought enough bird seeds to feed a small country to pass out rather than letting us buy them from the shop for $1/bag.


The birds will land on your hand/shoulders/head for you to feed them. Its great fun and everyone enjoyed it. I’ve posted some of the shots from the past visit which you can view by clicking HERE. I’ve been assigned to post the ones from this trip on the ANS Facebook page so I’m not going to bother having duplicates here.


After the novelty wore off we headed up to Carrs Lookout, a nice little spot with a gorgeous view. Here is where the filter really shone! You can blur water with a small aperture. You can blur water in broad daylight with a Cokin P filter. But only with something like an 9-stop ND400 filter can you actually blur clouds!


This following picture was taken with the ND400 filter + Tiffen 0.6 soft Graduated ND + Sigma 10-20mm at the wide end. Exposure time: 30 seconds in the middle of the day. Screw all the photoshop vignettes out there this is what real vignetting looks like:


Beautiful day, nice breeze, green grass and a heard of cows lazing under a tree in the distance.


After this we headed off to an unofficial border between Queensland and New South Wales before heading down to Brown Falls. We skipped Daggs falls because we were behind schedule.

This is Brown Falls:


This next shot literally caused me hours of grief. You see I wanted to get close into the rocks and shoot the fall from below. The wind blew all this water vapour into the lens. I had to clean the filter, put it back on the lens, take the shot, and get out of there with the filter all dirty again. I didn’t know this before but Hoya HMC filters are a pain to clean! I mean I spent hours trying to get all the crap off but there are still streak marks on it. I feel like sending it back and getting the non-coated B+W version.

…all for this lousy pic so I’m obligated to post it.


You can still see the vapour screwing up the top part of the picture. All in all a good day. Still need a dedicated day just for shooting but was fun none-the-less. Some guys had a dip in the fall, most didn’t. We headed back to the Toowoomba after an exhausting day and most of them didn’t go to church the next day.




Here is a photo of the entire group that joined.


I you came here looking for the photos of people that joined, follow this link to the gallery: Facebook Gallery