Mid-Winter Escape, for a Very Special Reason

“There is time for everything.”

- Thomas A. Edison

In the middle of July we ran away from Sydney, into the tropics of North Queensland, to escape the cold, to have a quiet break, and… to get married. It’s time to share the pictures from those blissful, warm days. This trip was something we are not very used to – our holidays normally include driving around like crazy, sleeping in a different place every night, hiking, and wearing multiple layers of clothing. But all we kept ourselves busy with in Palm Cove was slow beach walks, hours at the pool, and figuring out where to eat next. And I liked it.

We woke up before sunrise every morning, and walked a couple of hundred metres to witness scenes like this:

This spot below is where our ceremony was held. Sweet memories:

Spending some quality time on the balcony, waiting for the rain to stop:

A day trip to Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge:

I am wondering if any unlucky tourist has ever been hit by one of these?

Serene and beautiful Mossman Gorge. Lush, green, and cool.

As we drove back to Palm Cove, we found a pebble beach. Which, to us, is rather exotic.

And then we visited Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. To be completely honest, I could not watch the crocodile show – I was too scared to witness people entering the tiny puddle where this enormous croc was trying to relax, but was instead teased by dead chicken for people’s amusement. So I just sat next to the friendly koala instead and waited for the show to finish. The sandy croc below was found on the beach in Palm Cove the night before. Whoever made it – respect. It was life-size and accurate.

Another day, another beautiful sunrise above Coral Sea:

The big day arrived, and it could not have been more perfect:

The official start of the honeymoon. Our view every morning, while enjoying eggs, toast, and coffee. Peppers, we love you.

 Having our breakfast underneath the most beautiful gum trees:

After ten years together, it is now official:

Spent a day on the reef, snorkelling:

I even managed to get back to one of my passions – seascapes. Nothing as magical as watching the horizon getting brighter and brighter while waiting for the three-minute exposure to finish. The results are something that never fails to mesmerize me:

The time after day ends is so very beautiful too:

Where we spent our days:

See you next time, Palm Cove. You were wonderful to us.

Sonia - August 21, 2013 - 8:51 pm

I know I’m very boring in my comments but I just have to say again that also these pictures are magical! Well done to my favourite photographer!

Mel Riddell - August 21, 2013 - 9:14 pm

This is one of the most gorgeous blog posts I’ve seen ever. I love every image, just magical. You are truly an incredible photographer and your trip looks divine! Congratulations!!! Love the photo of your hands together. Stunning. Makes me want to go back to Palm Cove so much. Love xx

Belinda - August 22, 2013 - 4:07 pm

Like Mel, I can honestly say this is one of the most beautiful blog posts I’ve ever laid witness too. I really don’t know if I can find the words Anastasia. Breathtaking! If you ever tire of wedding photography there is surely a place for you at National Geographic magazine. And if you ever want to run a photography workshop, I’d be there in a flash! Congratulations again on your wedding and may your life together be filled with many, many more magical holidays like Palm Cove xoxo

Anastasia - August 22, 2013 - 7:56 pm

Ladies, I am completely blown away by your comments. Thank you so much for your words, they mean the world to me! Hugs xxx

Cindy Habel - October 30, 2013 - 12:47 pm

Anastasia…Congratulations to you and your new husband!!! What a very special holiday, honeymoon and wedding…and every image tells the magical story. Stunning work! xo

Anastasia - October 31, 2013 - 7:06 am

Thank you so much Cindy! xxx

CV Love - November 29, 2013 - 4:10 am

First of all thanks for the sympathetic comments to my blog because fezchegar here.
Loved the pictures, I went back to 4 days trip from Australia and loved my journey I hope one day to return.
CV Love

Today you are You

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. 
There is no one alive who is Youer than You”

- Dr. Seuss

I photographed this sweet little pea on one of the last warm autumn days, when the sun was shining softly and the wind was playing with the little girl’s hair. She roamed the wide open spaces of Sydney Botanical Gardens, fearless and precious, a tiny dancer, a curious explorer of all things wonderful, all things new. And that’s how we all should live our lives – dancing and learning and being free.




Belinda - May 29, 2013 - 11:49 am

Beautiful Anastasia :) The way you captured the golden sunlight in her hair is magical.

Pick Your Own

“The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” 
- Eden Phillpotts

Every time we drive through Bilpin along Bells Line of Road, we stop at one of the roadside shops that sell local fruit and veg. And in autumn it’s all about apples. And the apple pies. But since we’ve both gone gluten free, apple pie from Bilpin is now out of the question. Which only leaves us one option – buy apples and make your own pie. Or even better – pick them yourself! Not sure why I didn’t think of this before? Year after year, we kept driving past the orchards, never stopping anywhere except for a couple of familiar fruit shops to buy apples, honey, maybe some chestnuts (I still haven’t figured out what to do with those by the way), and to grab a quick coffee. Until now.

As we were walking up and down the hill through the orchard, buckets in hand, as we were picking the ripe, beautiful apples off the branches and biting into crunchy goodness, I thought – it’s so easy to be happy. All these little things  hardly cost anything but make our hearts swell. Like a heavy, juicy apple, warm under the autumn sun, just hanging off a branch, almost ready to fall on soft grass.

And since it’s the last day of the month, there is a self-portrait among these images. Nothing fancy, just a snap of my happy face, surrounded by apple tree leaves.

Abundance is all around us.

Mel Riddell - April 30, 2013 - 8:27 pm

What a beautiful post, I love these photos! xx

Belinda - May 1, 2013 - 12:43 pm

Inspiring and heart-warming as always Anastasia. Thanks for reminding us of the beauty of the world around us xxx

Jay Down Under - May 1, 2013 - 12:49 pm

It is a wonderful idea for an autumn gateaway, thanks for the nice photos.
For the chestnuts, you can boil them in water or grill them. If you grill them, you should make a small cut on the chestnut skin so they don’t explode. Enjoy.

Cindy Habel - June 27, 2013 - 6:09 pm

What a sweet story and very happy pictures! Love this Anastasia…and great photography as usual xo

[…] you. You changed our plans for that day – instead of the trip to Hunter Valley, we went apple picking in Bilpin instead. And continued to the beautiful Mount Wilson, where leaves were golden, and the rain was […]

Celebrating the Love

“We were given: Two hands to hold. Two legs to walk. Two eyes to see. Two ears to listen. But why only one heart? Because the other was given to someone else. For us to find”

– Anonymous

It was a middle of summer. They said the day would be hot, very hot. But instead, as if by magic, the temperatures stayed comfortably warm, and then the afternoon clouds rolled right before the ceremony began. As the bride and groom linked their hands at the altar, the rain started hammering the roof of the church, making everything new, washing away the old, celebrating families joining together.

And later, after Maria and Jun were pronounced husband and wife, after the hugs and kisses and happy tears were shared with the family and friends, everything around got basked in the most sublime, soft, golden light.

Every moment of the day was filled with love. And laughter. And beautiful energy.

My absolute favourite photographs from the day are the ones of just the two of them, right after the sunset, outside, away from everything, where the soft pastel colours of summer evening became the perfect backdrop for the tenderness and sweet emotion, and the connection Maria and Jun have.


I would like to say a very big thank you to Andrea who joined me on the day as a second photographer.


Reception Venue – The Grange Marquee

Videography – Indulge in Style

Make-up – Make Up Mode

Golden Hour in the Field of Dreams

“To love beauty is to see light.”
- Victor Hugo

As I type these words, the rays of setting sun are finding their way through the strands of blinds on my floor-to-ceiling window, drawing long golden lines across everything in the room. This is the time of transition and change, light into darkness. Another day is coming to an end, bringing calmness and satisfaction of the day well lived, and a promise of well-earned rest.

But until the sun dips way below the horizon line, I feel restless, fidgety, and not able to focus on anything that is going on around me. Except for the light. I can only focus on the light. Everything else is a distraction from the glory that is unfolding in front of my eyes. I just sit and watch how the light colours everything in our living room yellow, then orange, then soft pink, or how the sun peeks from behind the clouds and sends the rays streaming down to the ground, creating the most spectacular display, or how pretty the back-lit tall grass looks on the hill in front of our windows. To me the whole world simply stops during those thirty minutes. Which is ironic, as it is one of those times of the day when you do feel the Earth spinning, rolling the day over, carrying us into tomorrow.

When I have my camera in hand during the golden hour, I shoot like crazy. It’s the most precious light of the day, and I live for it. If I am to photograph your wedding, I will make sure we sneak outside of your reception venue and photograph just the two of you in that luminous golden haze – it’s pure magic.

That light makes me believe in my dreams.

Golden Hour, Sunset, field, wide open spaceGolden Hour, Sunset, field, wide open space

Julia Down Under - March 26, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Beautiful text ! This moment of the day is even more delightful in Australia, light is very special Down Under. Very different to Europe.

Do you have any photography tips to capture the beauty of this golden light?

Anastasia - March 26, 2013 - 10:42 pm

Thanks Julia x Shooting in your camera’s manual mode helps a lot when taking portraits in light like this so the face is exposed correctly, plus the very best light for it is half an hour before sunset!

Monica - May 16, 2013 - 1:26 pm

Lovely photos! Loved it! :)
Where is this location? I’m dying to know!

[…] did not yet know, but you were with us already.  I was taking my monthly self-portrait, which, as it turned out, was the last one for the year – I had no energy to keep up with […]

[…] did not yet know, but you were with us already.  I was taking my monthly self-portrait, which, as it turned out, was the last one for the year – I had no energy to keep up with […]