Cyclone Oma’s Exciting Cliff-hanger at Fingal Heads

Cyclone Oma was almost upon us but it was still a no-brainer that this shoot must go ahead.

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The stunningly diverse scenery at Fingal Heads was my initial inspiration to do this bridal beach photo shoot; initially captured by dramatic images taken by Jerome from Bird and Boy Photography.  Our team of creative professionals were organised and raring to go for well over a month. When the day actually came however, Mother Nature put a spanner in the works with Cyclone Oma dishing out high swells and challenging gusty winds at the location.

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No matter how in-depth we endeavoured to organise an event like this, Mother Nature changed everything in a heartbeat.  We were unable to access the rocks from the original photo image, for fear of being washed out to sea. The team was able to courageously navigate their way through bush, sand and rocks to the proposed location with everything still intact. The bridal gown seemed to attract debris from everywhere!  The wind gusts stopped us from using many of our proposed props, but we managed to find a safe area that still emphasised the wild and dramatic ocean, rock formations and surrounding environment.  The sea was so rough that white horses could be seen riding in on the waves. It was majestic. Picture perfect!

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The beautiful backdrop of contrasting crystal-clear turquoise and deep-blue waters, black chunky boulders, vertical cliff rock formations and grasslands, easily lent itself to the natural 'Boho' organic style of this elopement bridal photo shoot.  Our theme incorporated an array of soft natural blues and charcoals, brought to life with the contrasting richness in colour of the vibrant food. The men’s suits were modern, charcoal and sand, complimenting the classical ivory bespoke bridal wedding dress, which had the exciting modern twist of plunging neckline, both front and back. The layers of tulle added extra depth to the dress, mimicking the living effect of the ocean’s energy, flowing freely in the breeze.  The dress appeared to have a wonderful life and mind of its own.

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Every aspect of the environment was taken into careful consideration in this shoot.  It was the focal point in our discussions, via numerous conference calls and our closed group Facebook page.  These thoughts were then replicated in the designs, colour and styling of the dress, flowers, food and jewellery. The ambience was enhanced with a singer serenading the bridal couple, making the whole experience even more memorable.

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We steered away from the traditional style of bridal dress with classical lace detail, because I recalled that I already had the perfect lace; a beautiful wavy-patterned bead lace that closely reflected the waves of the sea.  It also gave an exquisite, naturally flowing feel to the dress. The bride’s unique tiara of natural crystals (handcrafted at Crystal Dreamz by Ali) effectively mirrored the rocky ruggedness of the scenery. It was also lovely to see Courtney, our stunning bride, being able to model with her husband for the first time.  The freshly picked flowers and softly deconstructed hairstyles (including Babies Breath on bridesmaid Tahana) and make-up on the models, blended in with the natural environment.

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Tahana's elegant navy-blue bridesmaid's dress shimmered in the light, and the vertical beading on the bodice and her jewellery with a layered boulder design, tied-in both rocks and ocean. Tahana modelled and co-designed this dress, loving it so much she decided it would be the dress for her formal. In reality, this shoot was more emotional for me, firstly because of the breathtaking environment and secondly, because Tahana (who is normally my set assistant) is my daughter and she was actually in front of the camera.  I felt a proud parent!  The whole bridal party were stunning!

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The textures and clever ombre design of the three-tiered cake from Marina, beautifully tied-in the lace and artistically portrayed the varying blue and white colours of the ocean. Once cut, the cake revealed a bright yellow, citrus colour, to contrast with the natural tones of the clothing.

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The 'cliff-hanger' of the shoot was our team being able to work miracles at Fingal Heads and achieve the desired results, despite Cyclone Oma and time restraints with available natural lighting.  Mother Nature had dealt us a strong blow and it was a race against the elements and time!  We had already made the wise decision to double the number of photographers, which turned out to be a real life-saver.  Thankfully, it did not rain. Ultimately, I felt the wind actually added movement and life to the shoot.  All-in-all, it turned out to be an emotionally charged, dramatic photo shoot, suiting the dramatic location.

Footnote: No dresses were harmed in the making of this photo shoot, and as a direct consequence of such wild and dramatic locations, I have also become an absolute ‘professional’ in bridal gown cleaning, ha-ha!

Helena x

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For further information on where to celebrate your wedding, please contact the local council in your area.

Thank you to such a creative team, for without your participation this wonderfully wild shoot would not have been possible.

PHOTOGRAPHERS
Bird and Boy Photography
Camilla Kirk Photography

VIDEOGRAPHER
Pineapple Images

DRESSES & EARRINGS
Helena Couture Designs

MENSWEAR
Black jacket Suiting

FLORALS
Lola Wild Flowers

FOOD
Conk & Co.

CAKE
Marina Machado Cakes

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And we were lucky enough to finish of this wonderfully wild shoot with a super moon. Mother nature really is a wonder to behold.