What Would They Know? Anni Payne of Milk & Honey Photography

by | Australia - New South Wales, Bride, Photography



Today we’re joined by one of the bubbliest ladies I’ve met! Anni hails from Sydney photography studio Milk & Honey Photography and joins Polka Dot Bride today to share the secrets behind her camera!

What was the catalyst for starting Milk and Honey? How did you all meet?

I had a business called ‘Moo photography’ (with cows on the business card) and I joined forces with Deb Joyce who had a business card with a bee on it (Deborah means queen bee!) when we joined together we became Milk & Honey Photography (the cows and the bees – he he get it?!!)

That was in 1999 and since then Deb has moved back to Melbourne (where we both originally were from) Matthew has taken over as partner of the business with a background in filmmaking ( and married IN to the business!!) Samantha works with us in the studio full time as studio manager, she has been with us for 5 years and is an amazing photographer. Laura freelances for us and has also been with us for five  years and George is an award-winning photojournalist who also freelances with us on weekends.

It is a great mix of a team, everyone brings a little twist of creativity to the Milk & Honey formula!!


What is your business philosophy?

To produce creative and beautiful, high quality photography, whilst creating a fun, friendly and warm experience for our clients. We are very dedicated to our clients and love our job.

How would you describe Milk and Honey’s photography style?

Relaxed, creative, fly-on-the –wall, combined with getting the essential shots for grandma and creating something unique from every wedding.

Your website is beautiful and gives an impression of fun, simplicity and professionalism.  Do you see a place for a blog on your site, that will further capture a couple’s imagination and reveal your personalities?

We are currently working on a blog which we are VERY excited about, we are hoping to launch it next month. (you will be the first to know)


What do you love about Australian brides?

The thing I love most about Australian brides (and grooms) is their individuality and bravery to do something that suits their personalities and cultures which are often so varied in this wonderful country. I love NSW couples for their imagination in finding gorgeous venues around  the state both in the city and outside. They are so lucky to have such an amazing choice.

What do you look to for inspiration? Do you have a ‘feeling’ about each bride you photograph and then plan the photo shoot accordingly?

The inspiration is often driven by the individuality of the couple and the details and little stories bursting out of the day.

A lot of your shots seem casual and relaxed. How do you encourage a bride and groom to feel relaxed about having their photo taken?

We get to know them so that they feel confident in trusting us and knowing that we will capture their beauty as it unfolds, we try to get them to FORGET about us!

milk-and-honey-photography-008What sets you apart from others?

We always work with two photographers who are fully qualified and bring a Milk & Honey flavour to everything they shoot, we are friendly, personable and  trustworthy.

How do you keep on learning?

We keep involved in the artistic community, constantly visiting galleries and being inspired by artbooks and photography seminars, etc. We challenge ourselves to enter awards and compete with each other to keep exciting work coming through the studio.

How do you keep your product fresh and different?

We are always looking to see what is out there and experimenting with various trends, however, we are also very loyal to the ‘classic’ exquisite quality, hand bound custom-made leather albums and quality printing

What wedding details do you love to shoot?

We love all details and theme-ing that we can create beautiful images from, stationery, cakes & table settings are fun


What is in the future for Milk and Honey?

We have recently moved to our boutique studio in Rozelle, we are loving our 1882 building in this pocket of the world.

We are developing strong relationships with our beautiful clients from years gone past and are now meeting their babies as we photograph their growing families, it is so lovely to be involved in this social study and to see real people in this lovely time of their lives

What is your number one tip for brides?

To ENJOY the day, once the wedding day arrives there is nothing more to be done, sit back and enjoy it happening around you (not without a lot of planning beforehand!)  Comfortable timing is essential. Meet with the ACTUAL photographer who you will be spending the day with, remember that they are the person that you spend the MOST time with on your wedding day, make sure you like them.

What are your favourite wedding photography ideas?

I love to see couples matching their personalities to their wedding day, lots of theming/detailing helps and a style of an event that matches their style. For example, fun bright crazy colours for a large, happy wedding full of dancing and celebration. Subdued/vintage colours for a more casual country styled wedding.

Do you travel anywhere in Australia to do a shoot?

We LOVE to travel! We have photographed weddings overseas as well in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Bali.

The Aussie weddings can be just as exotic though, from a hidden restaurant on the Hawkesbury (Peats Bite) to the Guillames restaurant in the heart of the city. Kangaroo Valley, the Blue Mountains and the Hunter Valley are also favourite places to photograph.

Thanks for sharing your words with us today Anni! Be sure to check out Milk & Honey Photography website to see their beautiful photographs!


  • Bonnie says:
    September 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    I have always loved Milk & Honey photog. Such a sweet name and even sweeter now I know how it came about.

  • aunty trish says:
    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Anni you will soon be doing a great wedding in Akaroa NZ~~~ and have done some in Melbourne and Mornington!!!

    Such great photography that all the family want you and am in great demand!!!

  • Irine Kay says:
    October 2, 2009 at 9:29 am

    We have been lucky enough to have had our wedding day captured by Milk and Honey’s most awarded photographer Matthew Duchesne as well as Deb Joyce. Thank you guys. We simply love our album. Love Irine.

  • Kerry says:
    October 2, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Anni and Matthew are such amazing photographers, they LISTEN to what you want and then actually GET those shots without you even noticing. They took my wedding photos and now my family portraits as well and I get so many wonderful comments from people when they see the photos in my home. and the best part is that they are so nice and fun as well.

  • Nickee says:
    October 7, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Sophisticated, fun & funky … just love Milk & Honey Photography. They are ninjas on your wedding day, it was so lovely to see the story they captured while I was oblivious & immersed in the busy-ness of the day. The combination of black & white that reveals the character & depth of expressions of people through the day to the beautifully balanced & composed colour shots that immortalise the energy & vitality of moments as they happen. I treasure my album.

  • What Would They Know? Anni Payne Of Milk & Honey Photography | Polka Dot Bride says:
    September 9, 2013 at 11:50 am

    […] Originally published on Polka Dot Bride 29th September 2009 […]



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