This was a collaboration of some amazing and talented people that included my son (Troy) and his beloved (Kane) to celebrate the Yes vote. It was heart warming to have so many beautiful and creative people come together, in a heart beat, to support this and without hesitation.

In the brief, I gave each Vendor a small summary and allowed them to design, produce and provide what they wanted to showcase in the spirit of the shoot. This was simply a colour scheme of green, burgundy and navy with a masculine, vintage industrial feel. They aced it.

The style for the Groom & Groom shoot was for a masculine vintage/industrial vibe that would fit with the location, Stanley Park at Fullerton Cove, a historic waterfront estate – only 20 minutes from Newcastle. I gave each of the talented vendors a colour scheme of burgundy, green and navy blue and told them to create what they wanted to show, and while each of them said they initially struggled with the brief (I didn’t want to influence them, at all), what they provided to be included in the shoot was beyond my expectations.

Our inspiration was when Australia said “Yes” to the LGBTQmarriage survey, our family celebrated for our son and his partner, Kane. I’ve photographed so many weddings but only could hope that one day I would be able to see people like Troy and Kane get married, so with that in mind, the idea for the shoot was born. To honour that great day, with the help of Troy, Kane and their best friends, Kerryn & Jordann, I rallied around several vendors that I knew (and those I wanted to know) and when I approached them, they all accepted with the same resounding ‘yes’.

Kane had sent me photos of their intended “look”, so with that in mind, I decided Stanley Park would be the perfect location to complement his vision. Built in 1897, the house and grounds were amazing, with views over the water that became more magical as the afternoon light fell across it. Thankfully, Jasmin from Stanley Park had had a cancellation for our date, so it was meant to be.

I have worked with Brie from Picottee Floral Design, before. Her creativity with flowers is nothing short of amazing and her eye for detail and colour palettes have always taken my breath away, even at short notice. She’d recently gone out on her own, so I was praying she’d want to be involved and I was so grateful she agreed. Her use of the incredible orange orchids (imported from the Netherlands) was a stroke of genius, allaying her fears that the burgundy and green brief I’d given her, wouldn’t look too ‘Christmas-y’ and made the bouquets pop from the pretty green dresses of our two Bridesmaids (found on Ebay – the dresses, not the Bridesmaids).

Opulent Events from the Newcastle/Port Stephens region was my next port of call in this amazing journey. From the moment I made contact, Loretta was helpful and accommodating, helping build the vision with her creativity and incredible wedding furniture and accessories. Her selection of vintage tableware, glassware and cutlery was the perfect match, adding the masculine touch to the table decoration and complementing the floral decoration.

After working with Ashleigh from Wish Boutique Stationery, late last year, and following her work on Instagram since then, I was keen to have her included in the shoot. Like the others, she readily accepted and I believe her choice of the 1920’s ‘look’ for the invitations and menus was the perfect complement to the overall style. The navy blue stood out on whatever background we placed them on and the menus were the star of the show against the white plates and olive green linen napkins of the reception set-up.

Oxee Treex supplied the wooden luggage tags with the boys names engraved on them.
Rachel Davis from Newcastle was an effortless choice for the makeup. Rachel has had me photograph her (own) makeup range, Brave Cosmetics, many times before and I was keen to promote her natural ‘vegan’ selection, which I’ve found is becoming an important consideration for brides. Most recently, she has developed a range of lipsticks for “Love your Sister” to help raise money to fight cancer, a very worthy cause.

I have so much love for all of these people that came together to help make our vision a reality. Their time, effort and creativity has helped showcase the importance that ‘love truly is love’ and that the time has come for us to all celebrate equality.


About the author Kristen Clapham: “Although, in the early stages of my photography career I never thought I’d say this, but I just absolutely and completely LOVE weddings!  So much preparation, time, thought and energy goes into creating this amazing day and each and every one of them is so different.  It becomes an extension of the Bride and Groom’s personality and I really enjoy having a backstage pass to all the action.” For more on Kristen’s story, click here.