Auckland

Anoukoun + Emma Lao wedding

I arrived at Anoukoun's parents house on a most beautiful hot sunny morning. There were guests arriving and decorations being completed and food being displayed and Emma, the bride, getting ready right next to all the activity giving instructions and trying to remain calm. She retreated to a bedroom for the final getting-ready phase while Anoukoun (Arnie), the groom, hung out with all the arriving guests. Then the most amazing Lao ceremony ritual ensued. 

 The men (and anyone else who wanted to) made their way to the top of the driveway. The groom and his attendant held a lovely parasol umbrella, a bouquet of flowers and candles which were lit, and the convoy made their way down the driveway towards the house amongst hollering and whooping, laughing and cheering! Then when the procession reached the front steps leading to the house, Arnie had his feet washed by his little sister, then they were stopped by relatives who made them all drink whiskey before granting them permission to enter (in between more friendly cheering and laughing). Once finally inside EVERYONE squeeezed into the lounge (spilling out onto the deck) where the traditional ceremony would take place. Emma was led from her room into the ceremony to sit next to Arnie. And the ceremony began. There was chanting, candle-lighting, rice throwing, egg eating, string money gift tying and more whiskey. It was awesome. And after all that there was delicious food, more whiskey shots, and speeches. I managed to sneak the bride and groom away from all the guests for five minutes to get some photos of them on their own. In the driveway. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed the day!

McCormack family

These are the best kind of photos. When mum says "I just want random photos of us mucking around". When we get to do my favourite things - playing on mum and dad's bed and then going to the beach for a run and chase. When miss three year old Eva proudly shows me how she can hold her little sister and when she shows me her room and tells me all her toys names and when she entertains us all with a puppet show and miss three month old Annamaria watches her big sis with wide eyes. Then Eva squeezes little Annamaria too hard one time and needs to give her a kiss so it's all ok again. When Annamaria talks and talks in her baby coos and giggles at daddy's tickles and clutches at her mum's fingers. When her thumb sucking includes the cutest little chub fingers over the nose I've ever seen. This is happiness. This is real. This is love.

Jackson

Baby three Jackson missed out on newborn photos, but I finally caught up with him and his family on a cold and foggy morning at the PumpHouse in Takapuna. We didn't realise, but it was the first day of the PumpHouse Markets, so we couldn't make use of the cool old building like we had planned. There were birds and trees and the pier and bubbles, and that made for lots of cool photos anyway.