The beautiful sand dunes of Anna Bay, just outside of Port Stephens are truly a natural wonder. And for Reni and Sam, the setting was utter magic for their engagement session. “The decision to go with the Sand Dunes up in Port Stephens was a collaborative idea” explains Reni. “Our photographer Kate had some amazing ideas already in mind and the sound of endless sandy hills next to open ocean sounded spectacular. Especially with Sam growing up on coastal shores, surfing and the thought of the dunes having this warm open glow at sunset, it all felt so right!”

Shutter Scope Weddings behind the camera, bare feet at the ready, the couple making the most of the golden glow and stunning backdrop for their engagement photos.

Sam and Reni’s paths crossed when they both joined the same acting school in 2016, They spent the next few years together, while they studied, with classes and overseas trips cementing a bond that, as seen today, was set to never break.

Sam popping the ultimate question after a romantic dinner on the harbour. “Nothing over the top but a night I’ll never forget” remembers Reni, who was presented with Sam’s grandmother’s engagement ring.

On what they love about one another, the couple share “We love how passionate, vulnerable and strong either one of us are. We are one another’s biggest motivation, inspiration and support because of our powerhouse individuality and the deep connection we share. We know how to make each other laugh and we know when to knuckle down to get one another through any situation.”

One of Reni’s favourite stories of their life together? “Our first trip overseas was to L. A with our acting class in 2017 and the plan was for me to pick up Sam and two others and drive us all to the airport the morning of the flight… The night before, I stayed up late with two friends to celebrate and say my goodbyes before leaving. Shortly before bed, I double-checked I had everything packed.

My suitcase was ready, my carry on, it was all there to go… except my passport! So, I call Sam and ask if he has it but he says no. I make him check his place top to bottom and still nothing. I ripped apart my entire suitcase and the rest of the house frantically searching for it but couldn’t find it anywhere and I was in an absolute panic. I’ve just graduated and in a few hours I’m meant to be on a plane with Sam, with my friends flying to LA to study and travel, and now it’s all over…. I accepted this fate but still promised to drive everyone to the airport… Morning comes and I’m driving to Sam, silent with complete shock, confusion and sadness.

Almost nearing the others, Sam rings and very casually tells me he’s found my passport and that it had been in his bag the whole time! I burst into tears, in absolute disbelief and relief. This wave of emotion came over me because just in case some miracle occurred, I packed my suitcase and all my travel gear and in the last moments the situation flipped itself on the head and I was able to get on that flight and go on this 4 week trip to LA with my closest friends!”

“Kate, from Shutter Scope Weddings, was such a blessing to have photograph our engagement shots! ” raves Reni. “She is a wonderfully warm and vibrant personality who genuinely cares for not just capturing your special moments perfectly but engaging you and your partner in a way that connects you closer to the beauty in what’s to come. I would have Kate shoot at any future event because she just made our day fill with pure joy and excitement, and we are so overwhelmed with how stunning our photos turned out!”