Leigh Warner, Austinvilla and Helena Couture Designs, Gold Coast Bridal

Leigh Warner Weddings – Chapter Three Of Three

What Was The Inspiration Behind This Shoot Concept?

As discussed in part one and two of the Austinvilla shoots, one shoot turned into three, and the third shoot was the finale at Austinvilla. Leigh and Matt from Leigh Warner Weddings did not disappoint and were the last to shoot, Monday 13th July from 3pm-6pm.  The models were dressed and ready to go and I had a few image inspirations, which I discussed with Leigh prior to their shoot starting. Ultimately, I left the concept up to him.  Leigh has shot many weddings at Austinvilla and I wanted him to play around with whatever he wanted to showcase: he chose lighting.

What Are Some Of The Highlights You Had During The Shoot Process?

I was unable to be on set for Leigh’s shoot, so one of the highlights for me was seeing the images and taking time to enjoy the journey the team took while creating the images.  Another highlight was having time to talk to Leigh and Matt and I might have become a little too excited when I realised it was actually Matt!  I didn’t know beforehand who Leigh was bringing to video the shoot and, when I realised it was Matt, I was over the moon!   I worked with Matt once before and have wanted to work with him again, but availability was always an issue.

What Led You To Decide On This Venue/Shoot Location?

Austinvilla Estate in the Hinterland Gold Coast, is 111-acre property that can capture everything you need for your wedding day.  Their amazing list of recommended suppliers made it easier when organising the shoot.

I originally only wanted to shoot one of my new dresses created during COVID-19 Isolation at Austinvilla Estate, but after talking to Leigh on the phone two weeks prior, I knew he was going to take the models on an adventure.  The adventure led me to choose Mimi and Eli to model, with garments that would work with the areas Leigh wanted to shoot at, one of them being at a creek with rocks and pebbles.  This particular location demanded either hiking boots or being barefoot to walk over the ruggedness, so seeing Mimi in her heels with her dress hiked up and Eli in his Tux from Black Jacket suiting, was so out of place, it was perfect!  I love shooting in locations that are more creative and adventurous than your stereo typically normal wedding shot.  I like to think outside the box and be more inspirational with the location and images, and Leigh did just that.  It’s the journey I would like the viewer to enjoy and remember.

What Was Your Favourite Detail About The Shoot Day?

Being back doing what I love, with other creative people who are also excited to be back working, and creating new friendships and memories was the most rewarding and my favourite experience.

Another favourite moment, more in relation to the overwhelming response from all the shoots, is how resilient, sharing, and caring Australians are.  In the past two years, we have survived, in chronological order, droughts, bush-fires (I believe one of the worse in history) and flooding; and now trying to survive COVID-19. 

While I was working on new sample dresses through COVID-19 isolation, I didn’t want to just do a fashion shoot of all my dresses: that would be too easy and not what I was wanting to achieve.  I wanted to do many shoots, one dress per shoot, with different vendors, showcasing not only what we can all do, but by bringing some of the vendors from South East Queensland Wedding Industry, my industry, a chance to rise up and shine once more.  I know how depressing it can get when you are unable to do what you love.  I had a vision, which I am bringing to fruition and in turn, I feel it is giving a little hope and inspiration to others, that we will all get through this together. 

Thank you to all the creative vendors I have worked with during the Austinvilla Estate shoots.  I cherish what we have created, new friendships made and comradery shown.  You all rock and have humbled me. 

Thank you, Helena xo

Related Tag: Designer Wedding Dresses

I would like to thank my team of creative industry professionals, who helped turn my dream, this shoot, into a reality…

Chapter One, Tom Judson
Chapter Two, DK & Co. Photography And Film
Chapter Three, Leigh Warner

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