Katherine & Damien
When Katherine and Damien, with beach loving souls and hearts, were deciding on a setting for their engagement shoot, they decided on something completely different to their norm. The docks and industrial setting set the scene for a shoot by photographer Gez Xavier Mansfield Photography that captivated the best of the sinking sun and rough and tumble surrounds.
The couple met online before it was even “the done thing”, the bride-to-be explaining “We actually met quite unconventionally for the time that was 2010, we met online. There were no apps or fancy swipe right features. I still had a $20 Nokia brick and a cruddy hand me down laptop. It was just a sheer fluke that my flat mate (now matron of honour!) and I were fumbling around on a basic online dating website and stumbled across this hunky guy with a friendly smile. We cut right to the chase and I met him for a drink after work one night in Surry Hills. I didn’t think much of him at first but agreed to a second date which I turned up to immediately after the gym. It was only half way through the date – after hearing him speak so highly of his mum and sisters – that I realised I was on to a winner and after sprucing myself up in the ladies gave him the attention he deserved and the rest is history!”
it was the industrial back streets of the photographer’s home town that set the scene for this shoot, “We drove up from Sydney to Gez’s neck of the woods – Newcastle. He took us to a number of groovy little back streets as well as to the harbour and around some beautiful historic buildings. He has such a great eye for what will work between us as a couple and the environment” Katherine remembers.
It’s all about humour for these two. “Damo would say that he loves my sense of humour (that’s code for ‘I laugh at his dad jokes’) and the way we seem to be in synchronicity with each other. ” says Katherine when asked about what she loves about her future husband. “He’s my favourite human on the planet. He’s thoughtful and caring and makes me feel incredibly content and happy.”
“Damo and I live by the beach; we got engaged by the beach; and will be married by the beach. It weirdly felt right to pick an engagement shoot location that was different to our natural environment. And I loved the locations Gez took us to – the setting was a brilliant juxtaposition against our engagement outfits and ourselves in general.”
Damien proposed by the sea in a very carefully planned event. Katherine remembering “Damo put on a huge proposal extravaganza! There was a dress rehearsal and everything. He’d organised a full day of activity for me – from breakfast with my girlfriends, to a surprise drop in from our parents to lunch with his mates – before arranging for everyone to gather together by Queenscliff Beach in the afternoon with a huge ‘Will u marry me?’ sign he’d spray painted. He dropped to a knee on the sand and presented a ring he’d designed and we celebrated with our friends and family. Was really special.”
It’s the story of the third date that I love the most, one of those stories every couple has that is perfect for those “remember when” evenings. Katherine recalling “In the last seven years we’ve certainly had our fair share of comical moments. In fact, our third date (after finally deciding I liked Damo on our second date) is one worth mentioning. In the week leading up to said date, I really stepped it up at gym and somehow managed to injure myself. I developed what we now affectionately refer to as ‘big arms’ where my entire upper body swelled up like the Michelin man. It was pretty unsightly and even required a couple of visits to the doctor and a day off work. Reluctantly, I called Damo to cancel my date and to his credit, he convinced me to still meet with him and even offered to cook me dinner so we didn’t have to go out in public. He did a great job to hide his horror when I turned up at his front door the following night! And I got a fourth date so it can’t have been so bad.”