I grew up in a Maori household with aunties and uncles that I’d never
met before often coming to stay for long periods of time. We’d have
people in the kitchen preparing enough food to feed an army for
weeks, and our lounge room floor would be converted into a communal
bedroom with mattresses covering the floor space.
My siblings and I (and all our cuzzies) would fall asleep to the sound of clinking glasses, roaring laughter, and the sound of my dad jamming out on the guitar while belting his lungs to renditions of Sam Cook & The Drifters.
We never had much ourselves, but our door was ALWAYS open to people who were doing it tougher than us. These moments shaped the person I am today and are the reason for my deeply caring, nurturing nature. Although these circumstances often came from dire situations, they taught me the importance and gravity of connection. Connection is at the heart of everything I do. It’s in my blood.
You, me, in this crazy world we live in, we’re one and the same. Through the ups and the downs, lost in a field of daydreams and nostalgic flashbacks, it’s these heartfelt connections that keep us pressing on towards betterment.
So if you’re searching for more than just pretty photos and are looking for an experience that makes you feel good in your soul bones - photos that embrace your raw feelings, photos that honour your journey - then I’d love to connect and share space with you.
I’m so grateful for you and already dying to hear YOUR story.
We are all seekers of connection. But that deep, honest, connection – you know? Not the superficial kind. Connection with your lover; connection with your family; and connection with a land or place. When you nuzzle into that familiar space in your partners chest, and the rest of the world just falls away. When you look around the table at those beautiful souls you share your life with, and your heart feels so full. Or when you walk out on Country and feel the earth between your toes, and you know that you’re home. These are the connections that define us, and these are the connections that I feel so honoured to capture.
For me, I always think back to my own Elopement day. My husband and I standing on a clifftop, and staring in to each others eyes. Surrounded by our closest loved ones, I remember time standing still as I looked over my shoulder and watched a single tear fall from my father-in-laws face. It was in that moment that I realised the power of an intimate ceremony that allows people to feel completely vulnerable and held in the moment. It was in the absence of all of that wedding-day-fluff that I found the true connection that I was looking for. And that’s what I want for you, too! For me to be able to retell your story with the reverence and heart that it deserves.
Raw, honest, and real.
ME AND MY HUSBAND
image by Janneke Storm
Being Māori and growing up in Australia, I know what it’s like if you feel somewhat disconnected from your culture. Longing to honour all parts of your heritage, but never truly knowing or feeling where you fit in. “Not enough” to fit in with your maternal ancestry, and “too much of the opposite” to feel at home in your paternal ancestry. Perhaps you don’t know your language, your songs, your customs, further chipping away at those feelings of inadequacy.
During my ever-growing journey of discovering who I truly am and what my connection to my culture looks like for ME as an individual - I’ve come to understand just how prevalent this feeling of “not good enough” is for many people from all different backgrounds and walks of life.
So, I’m here to remind you that you ARE enough. You are worthy of celebrating your culture, your heritage (if you feel called to) regardless of how disconnected you may feel. Your tūpuna (ancestors) are waiting for you to call on them, so they can rise up and join you in your journey. You are exactly where you are meant to be, your ancestors made it so.
Allow that fire inside to reawaken. If there’s any way I can support you on this journey, please reach out to me.
...it was 1000000% worth it and we’d do it all over again! It’s incredibly fulfilling and empowering when you stick to your guns and create an authentic experience that makes you feel good in your soul bones!
When my husband and I started talking about getting married, we knew we wanted something more than the traditional experience. We wanted something intimate, something intentional, and something that would be meaningful for both of us. So, we eloped. We spent a week on the East Coast of Tasmania with our parents and my brothers, sipping local Tassie red and just enjoying each other’s company. It was surreal and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.
Allowing you to be fully present on the day you commit your lives to one another, away from distractions, you can let truly down your guard and embrace the love and warmth surrounding you. You know your connection is something else and the sacred words you’ll exchange will be forever emblazoned in your memory. It sets the most beautiful, uplifting tone for the rest of your journey together.
This is why I do what I do and I’m already so hyped to help you plan your own elopement! Making sure it is a true reflection of who you are as a couple, holding space for your honest love.
I recognise that I live, work, and travel on land that was forcibly taken from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia, and that sovereignty was never ceded. No matter where you are getting married in Australia, you are marrying on Aboriginal Land.
As an act of "giving back" to our First Nation peoples — and as part of the Pay the Rent initiative — a percentage of each package booked with me is donated to charities that directly help and heal vulnerable Indigenous communities throughout Australia. Every print in the Print Store that was taken on Australian land will see 10% of the profits donated to these charities also.
My mission in doing this, is to help impact the lives and amplify the voices of our First Nations peoples that continue to feel the effects of colonisation in their every day lived experience.
Pay the Rent
The Healing Foundation