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What Would They Know? Andrew and Madison Maher of Attic Designs

by | Photography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

Attic Designs

If you’re a little shy in front of the camera, Madison and Andrew of Attic Designs are all about allaying your fears, helping you to relax and enjoy the process. They aim to take the best possible shots of you on your wedding day, to capture the love and the small moments, the big moments and the beauty of the day. The memories that are embedded in each image will take you back to your wedding day whenever you look at them. The way the light plays across the image, where you were standing – you will be reminded of all of it. And that’s really special.

Please tell us about starting Attic Designs Photography.

Andrew: I really should start at the beginning. Madison and I met the traditional way – at the local discotheque. I tell everyone that it was my dance moves that got us both talking, Madison says that it was my smile. We started dating and I very quickly found out she was really big on photography. I had completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts and could see the talent that she had. We began photographing together on the weekends. Our weekends quickly filled up and we decided to take it further and make this full time. That was 4 years ago. In that time, we managed to find time to get married. And have just ticked over our first wedding anniversary.

Madison: You could stay that I’m street smart and Andrew is school smart. It gives us two very different perspectives on the wedding day. Going into business together was a real no brainer. I get to work with my husband and it’s the best thing. Nothing better than spending a day photographing with him and producing amazing images for our very lovely couples.

Attic Designs 1

Where are you based and what areas of Australia do you cover?

Madison: We are based in Sunny Mildura! Our photography coverage is Melbourne, Adelaide, Bendigo, Mildura and all the amazing towns in-between. Mildura is great for us because we are centrally located to those cities and because we have friends and family in those locations, we don’t charge a travel fee. Yep that’s right.

How would you describe your photography style?

Andrew: I actually haven’t stopped to think about that. In two words I would say ‘Vintage Pop’.

Madison: We love the whole rustic/vintage/bespoke look and feel. Then working with light to create unique images for our couples.

Do you tend to pose your couples/bridal party or do you let the day unfold naturally?

Madison: I’ll take this one! Because there are two of us on the wedding day. We can allow the day to unfold naturally and capture it from two different perspectives. We are watching and waiting for the moments to happen. During the creative session after the ceremony, we go for a combination of natural and posed. Always waiting for quick moments when our couples forget that we are watching J

Attic Designs 2

Your shots of sun through the leaves of trees framing the subject have special appeal. Is this a ‘signature’ of your style?

Andrew: We love playing with natural light and letting it flare across our lens. You could say that it is a signature of our photography style.

Madison: Nothing better than using natural light to highlight our couples and make them look amazing.

What are the qualities you look for when setting up a shot?

Andrew: Lighting is a big part of what we look for but not the only thing. We love to use the environment around us to frame the shot.

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Some of us don’t like being photographed. Do you have any tips you can give to bridal couples?

Madison: We completely understand. Not all of us are completely comfortable in front of the camera. The best tip I can give is to simply let go! Let go of your doubts. We all at times can take a bad photo – it happens! Trust that your photographer wants you to look amazing. Forget you are being photographed and focus on your friends & family. And those beautiful natural photos will come!

Are there differences in the way couples approach the photography for their wedding now (from when you started)? What do couples expect?

Andrew: There is a bigger focus now on natural images of our couples. Staging photos is a thing of the past. We are now ready and waiting for the first time you see your makeup or when your dad sees you in your dress. Those are the images that you will cherish 10 years down the track, not the events that the photographer staged.

What preparations do you make to photograph a wedding? Do you do a lot of pre-planning?

Madison: We are big believers in pre-planning. We are there at your venues the day before your big day. Being there at the right time of day is a big plus. Gives us an idea of the lighting situations. We love to explore and find photography spots off the beaten track. Take photos on our phones and discuss our ideas with each other.

On the wedding day, how do you remain unobtrusive, so that you are able to take the most natural shots of the couple and their guests?

Andrew: One way is that we dress like their guests. We don’t have a uniform. We look like we should be there. Another way is to have two photographers. That way we can work the crowd and if one of us can’t get the shot, the other will be in the right position to.

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What do you love about wedding photography?

Andrew: I really enjoy working with couples. And come on, it’s a celebration, I get to hang out with couples on one of the best days of their lives. All the emotions on the day are great subject material and the locations we get to use are first class – And I get to work with my very beautiful wife.

Madison: Nothing better than seeing our couples marry their soulmate. The excitement and anticipation of the day. I really enjoy the challenge of wedding photography, natural moments are always happening and I challenge myself at every wedding to capture them all.

Do you offer packages at different levels?

Andrew: We certainly do. Our photography packages differ with the amount of photography coverage you desire on your day. Every package comes with both Madison and myself (we always work together). We have two different perspectives of your wedding day and work so well together that we finish each other’s….

Madison: Sandwiches! Haha!

Do you have a favourite destination overseas?

Madison: Two countries we love (but haven’t yet photographed in) are New Zealand and Canada. Epic backdrops and amazing landscapes. What more can we say. Actually I could say more – book us and we’ll fly there ourselves (wink wink).

Attic Designs 4

What do you love about living in Mildura? What is special about this town?

Andrew: Other than the fact that we both grew up in this great town. There is always something happening. There is such a diverse collection of locations to use in our photography. Mildura has the great Murray river, woodlands, deserts, wheat and canola fields, alleyways, old buildings and amazing gardens (Hello Margot – Ampelon Gardens). We have a great community of photographers that I would like to shout out to also (See you guys at the photographers’ Xmas party).

What do you like to do in your free time?

Madison: We love planning for our next yearly adventure overseas. Working out the fine details and finding unique places to visit. Also Netflix and Chill. Haha!

Thank you Madison and Andrew for sharing your story. What gorgeous images! To find out more about Attic Designs visit the website.

Headshot and all images from Attic Designs.

Samantha Wynne 20th Anniversary …. Real Bride, Lana

by | Fashion Wisdom, Wisdom


Ms Chinoiserie


Celebrating her 20th anniversary in 2016 as a couture wedding designer, today we feature another one of Samantha Wynne’s ‘Real Brides’, Lana, from 2012.  Looking back, we can see changes in gown design, colour themes, music, flowers and more.

Name of Bride: Lana Gallagher

Age at time of wedding: 31

Year Married: 2012

Location of Wedding: Greek Orthodox Church of Evangelismos, West Perth and reception at Mosmans Restaurant


Colour Theme: Latte, cream and hyacinth blue



Cake Flavour: Traditional fruit cake with fondant icing and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing

Party Favours: Miniature bottles of Frangelico and whiskey, with sugared almonds

Food: Canapes followed by three course sit down meal

First Dance Song: ‘All Night Long’ by Lionel Ritchie

Veil: Samantha Wynne

Shoes: Kate Spade New York

Bridesmaids’ dresses: Watters


Honeymoon: Koh Samui and Singapore

Hairstyle: Vintage style updo

24_1Images by Gareth David Photography

“I was looking for something simple in design, fitted with a sleeve and in guipure lace, a fabric much-loved by my late grandmother”, says Lana. “I think I knew deep down that I would need a made to measure gown. Samantha’s designs are so much more than your typical strapless gowns and ball skirt silhouettes.Samantha has a whole range of designs, knowing that ‘the dress’ can come in so many different styles for different brides. Samantha listened to what I was after and didn’t then try to persuade me to choose an off the rack gown; she drew me a sketch, complete with veil and sourced a number of beautiful lace fabrics; we never looked back.”

“Strapless gowns were very popular when I was getting married, along with mermaid shapes, blush and champagne tones and no veil. If I could get married again, I would ask Samantha to make my dress again – a ‘new original’! Perhaps a calf-length dress in a 1940’s style with cloche hat and gloves to match. Now I’m getting ideas!”


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Vendor’s Favourites – Truffle Pig Catering & Events

by | Vendor's Favourite, Wisdom


Trufflepig Catering & Events
Find me on Ms Polka Dot's Directory


1. I am so in love with the gorgeous details Anna Campbell adds to her vintage styled wedding dresses…my current obsession is this ‘Sierra’ dress!  Beautiful! Image via Anna Campbell

2. I stumbled across this image a couple of weeks ago of these gorgeous summer rolls by caterers Pearl Drop London, and can’t stop looking at them – definitely providing inspiration for the Trufflepig menu for this Spring/ Summer! Image via Rose Lloyd

3. We love using Salumi Australia’s handmade artisan products as part of our grazing tables, especially the spicy spreadable salami ‘nduja’ – it’s absolutely delicious! Image via Trufflepig Catering & Events

4. Harrow & Eton make the most amazingly delicious, extraordinary savoury and sweet pies and tarts – so much so we use them for our events at Trufflepig.  I mean who doesn’t love hand made puff pastry?  Respect! Image via Marnie Hawson

5. I love Willow and Fox’s styling! A beautiful mix of vintage and modern design – especially their use of gorgeous cut flowers which add such warmth and colour. Image via The White Tree


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Miss Chinoiserie Says: Oh, I’m in love with all your favourites too – how beautiful are the flowers and those delicious pies – yum!

About Trufflepig Catering & Events: We love delicious flavours and big, rustic platters of food shared amongst friends and family.We love sumptuous, elegant canapes served amidst sparkling conversation and wine. We love imagination and attention to detail too!

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