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I’m a big fan of the little details when it comes to weddings and this week on Behind the Door I’m meeting someone who specializes in them, Katy from Kittyhawk. Kittyhawk have a beautiful range of items for weddings including cake toppers, wishing wells, signage and decor pieces all with modern, fresh design as a focus. Katy has a background in visual/UI design and is also a fine artist who paints landscapes and abstract pieces as well as running Kittyhawk.

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Katy tells me that like many of the people I meet, the idea came from planning her own wedding. “I was a bit disappointed to find that all the cool modern embellishments I had dreamed up for my own wedding just didn’t exist” says Katy “so Kittyhawk was partially born out of the need to fill a gap I saw in the market, but also my desire to expand out from my visual design role into creating physical products for events, and my love of all things wedding and wanting to live vicariously through other peoples happy events”.

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Katy spent a full year prior to opening creating and perfecting the range of products, and also the packaging. Lots of time was spent researching current trends, creating mood boards, experimenting with different materials and creating designs that are truly unique and not like anything else on the market. The result was a collection of modern designs that aren’t available anywhere else.

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Katy already had an existing design studio based in Annandale in Sydney and has expanded the space to include room for Kittyhawk, but the products can be shipped all over the world.  “The best part is that every piece can be completely customised” says Katy “Couples can choose an existing design and add their own text, or we can create a completely unique design to suit your theme”.

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I ask Katy for tips on upcoming wedding trends and she tells me that one of her most popular pieces are modern custom wishing wells in clear acrylic. They are so functional as well as looking great holding all those envelopes! I’m also a huge fan of gold drink stirrers and custom name place cards for adding a touch of glam to your wedding reception!

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Katy tells me that for her, running Kittyhawk is all about the love. “I love design, I live and breath it” says Katy,  “It’s my passion and now running Kittyhawk I have a wider outlet to express all the numerous colourful and creative ideas I have whirling around in my head at any one time”.

Images by Kitty Hawk 

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Ms Zigzag says: These cake toppers are so fun! I love them for every bridal celebration – engagement parties, bucks and hens day, bridal showers and of course the wedding day. 

About Amelia Waddell of Make Your Day Wedding Styling: I’m a wedding stylist and proud store owner who loves to chat weddings with everyone and anyone! I love to talk shop with other business owners (particularly over some chocolate cake!) and am the first to try and have a sticky beak behind the scenes of any event. My free time is spent ‘investigating’ new cafes, stores and events. Make Your Day Wedding Styling is my creative outlet and I love nothing more than that ten minutes just before the guests enter the wedding reception, it feels like a special sort of magic!

Images are always so full of feelings – tenderness, love, outrageous fun or stillness. And when those images also have a gentle overlay of a photographer who has a keen eye for observing people then you have Ava Me Photography. A wedding feels as if it’s over in the blink of an eye and it takes someone who is everywhere like a ninja, to capture it all – every moment in all of its raw emotion, telling the complete story of the day. It also takes someone with skill, a passion for storytelling and people to really be successful in capturing the essence of the wedding day. Here’s Joel’s story – a story of persistence in learning his craft to produce the beautiful work that is his, today.

You have an interesting business name – does it have a story?

Yes my business name is very interesting because it’s not named after me (well sort of). Having been into photography for around 10 years, it really wasn’t until my daughter Ava was born that I began to seriously hone my skills. I didn’t have a great camera at the time, so I had to master every facet of it to capture our little bundle of joy. That transformative year really started me on this journey and I thought it was only right to name the business after the inspiration behind it.

How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I’ve been photographing weddings for 3 years.

Of all the fields in photography – why choose weddings to specialise in?

Weddings are just so beautiful, amazing and dynamic. From a technical standpoint, you touch upon almost every facet of photography: product, landscapes, portraits, photojournalism, art. The challenge in mastering each part of a wedding is what drives me to continue to hone my skills. Personally, I just relish in seeing how much love and joy can flow between two people, then watching how much emotion this love generates amongst the people around them. It’s incredible to witness and such a privilege to be a part of.

Where are you based?

I’m based in Sydney and most of my weddings are around Sydney, but I do travel across the east coast of Australia for weddings.

How would you describe your photography style?

Candid. Photojournalistic. Vivid.

How long did it take you to develop your style of photography that we see today?

Generally, my style has continued to evolve over time but I think in the last year things have come together with how I shoot and edit. So I’d say my style has taken about 2 years to develop.

As photography style evolves, is wedding photography going in a particular direction that you can see?

I’m really terrible with predicting trends. Obviously drones are up and around nowadays though I don’t have one yet. I do think as technology progresses you’ll get a convergence of video and photography. The candid and photojournalistic part of wedding photography will continue and the amount of images a couple receives of those in-between moments, whether it be between themselves, their bridal party or guests, will only increase.

How do you keep on learning and keep your photography style fresh?

Instagram is a great place for me to find inspiration, and I follow a number of awesome wedding photographers. I also have a few Pinterest boards with all sorts of pinned images. Ultimately, nothing beats catching up with fellow photographers whether it be online or in workshops to learn new and exciting ways of doing things.

Do you offer packages of different levels?

I offer 3 levels of packages based on hours of coverage: Dream – 6 hours, Romance – 9 hours, Impression – 12 hours

What do all your packages include?

All my packages provide the same level of retouching and an online gallery to host the images. My base Dream package provides just the coverage, whilst my Romance package includes the coverage plus an engagement shoot. My top package, Impression includes all this and the images on a USB thumb drive in a custom presentation box.

What are some optional extras that the bridal couple can opt for?

The engagement shoot is an optional extra if not part of a package. As I shoot solo, you can also get a second photographer as an option. There are also options for a USB thumb drive in a presentation box, or a deluxe presentation box that includes a mini album. Lastly, I offer a range of trendy AsukaBook wedding albums.

What do you enjoy about photographing weddings (and the day itself)?

I really enjoy seeing the love and passion between two people unfold over an emotional day. It’s an incredible experience, you know listening to them, their friends and family retell their epic love story. I’ve definitely fought back tears at times, and there’ll be some first dances where I just drop my camera for a brief moment just to take it all in. Those are the moments that make this all worth it.

When looking at your photography – it seems very focused on the people at the little moments of the day. Is this what interests you most when photographing a wedding?

I think this comes from being a dad to two young children. My camera just follows them and their faces, and this tendency has continued into my wedding photography, where I usually stick close to the main stars of the show. Though don’t get me wrong, I really do love a good landscape or nature shot when one presents itself.

Photographers are by nature ‘visual’ people, I think. How has this influenced you in your everyday life?

It’s funny in that everywhere I look and go, I’m always unconsciously framing things, looking at angles and lighting. It even happens at home.

If you could photograph anyone – who would it be?

My kids. I don’t do it enough.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Be patient and stay the course.

What is your most treasured item?

My son’s hospital name tag, it sits in my camera bag.

What is your favourite place?

My bed. No joking. Paris is one of my favourite cities in the world. When I went there over 10 years ago, I remember going absolutely nuts with my camera at the architecture and beauty of the city. I’ve visited many incredible places since then but I’ll never forget that first glimpse of the Paris Opera building emerging from the metro, it was an awakening of sorts and the reason I still look back on it fondly.

Thank you Joel for sharing your story. The beauty of photography is painting the picture of your day and all the emotions that you felt will be with you as pore over your album.

Headshot courtesy of Ava Me Photography.

It’s very important to find some private time to spend with your new husband on your wedding day.
It’s wonderful to stand together and enjoy this special moment in your life. Ten minutes on this day will give you a lifetime memory to share together.

Image by Dan Blumenthal from Blumenthal Photography

My husband and I walked away from our congregation on our wedding day and took this time together. It was lovely to stop for a minute and view our family and friends enjoying the reception and to take in what this day meant to us.

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About the author Lisa Gowing: Her collection of exquisite high fashion designs in layered silks and exclusive French and Italian laces immediately changed the face of bridal design in Australia. Trained in the intricacies of Couture dressmaking from a retiring industry expert, Lisa uses only the original Couture techniques mainly forgotten in today’s fashion.