Blog - David Rook Photographer
  • Mon, 23 Jul 2018 04:31:00 +0000

    Can you believe this guy was so organised?

    The future groom purchased the ring and then started to plan the proposal. He knows his future fiancé favourite flower is the sun flower. But he lives in Brisbane and there aren’t any sunflower farms in Brisbane. 

    Being an industrious guy, he phoned the local Toowoomba tourist board to find out when the sunflowers would be ready to harvest and if they knew of farmers. 

    He found a farmer named Mario and he has a farm at Green Mount. Then phoned me and that date was set. The farmer Mario was such a good guy he watered a large section of sun flowers just they would look their very best for the photos. 

    I don't know how the future managed to talk his to be fiancé into a three-hour drive to a farm just to see some sun flowers but I'm sure we all can agree he is remarkable man.

    When they pulled up and got of the car. I was there with my camera gear. She asked me if it was ok if they could look around?  I said 'sure please take as long as you want, you know you always come across random people in sunflower in sunflower field with camera gear. 

    Then in about 0.05 seconds he was on his knee the ring out his pocket. The pressure was on me this only happens once. She said yes and burst into tears. 

    They made phone calls to family to share their good news. When she told her father I almost started to cry as I started think about my daughter. I had to hold it together because I didn't know these couple personally. But I was lucky enough to be there and able to make this photo. 

    Being a photographer is the best job in the world. 

  • Thu, 21 Jun 2018 02:26:00 +0000

    Choosing your wedding venue with photos in mind.

     Choosing your wedding venue with photos in mind.

    Having your wedding photos at your wedding reception venue is an idea that should be considered when choosing a wedding reception venue. First and foremost, decide on the type of wedding you want, the reception venue will set the tone for you wedding. Will you have a casual or formal wedding? Its your wedding and it should reflect who you are as a couple.  

    Your wedding day is so hectic, and time is short, that’s why you spend so time planning your wedding. Time is so precious and time management is essential to your wedding because it’s your day. Having wedding photos is fun and an important part of your day but you want to have fun and celebrate with your friends and family. Travelling between ceremony and photo locations can take a lot of time.

    But if you choose a wedding venue that is in a beautiful location not only will take stress out of your day, but you’ll save time for the all-important partying and celebration.   

    During your wedding day is time management your time is vital. I love taking wedding and they are important, but you don’t want to spend all your day moving from one location to another location. You lose some much time in cars travelling form location to location to get the perfect photo. Don’t forget organising your wedding party in multiple cars can be like wrangling cats, especially during the excitement and fun of celebrating your wedding. I love taking sunset photos, the light is softer and flattering.  The earth turning won’t stop turning because you’re getting married and the lack of planning could see you miss this opportunity of stunning sunset photos. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you only get one chance to get the wedding photos of your dreams.

    As a wedding photographer I have my favourite wedding reception venues. I love a venue that is beautiful and has variety of places where you can have your photos. If you have booked a quality wedding venue they should also supply nibbles and drinks while you are having your wedding photos. Having your wedding photos at the reception venue will make your wedding day run a little smoother.

    If you choose your wedding venue wisely you can save time and have all the beautiful photos your wedding album can hold or hang on your wall. Ensuring you w plenty of time to party and have fun.

    Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect venue.     

    Before you make an appointment to see a wedding venue go window shopping and use Google image search creatively

    This is a tip I use to plan a wedding shoot and discover hard-to-find wedding venues. If it’s my first time covering a wedding at a new venue I enter the name of the region plus the words ‘wedding venue’ into Google e.g. ‘Toowoomba wedding venues’. Then, click on Google images tab and scroll through other weddings that have taken place in that area. This will lead you to blogs of local wedding photographer’s. They will have lots of photos of other wedding receptions at unique wedding venues you may never have discovered by doing a typical Google search.

    When you have found a wedding venue you like on Google then get a little stalker-ish.

    When you have found a wedding venue that interests you. Its time to let your inner-social-media-stalker out. After you have done your research on google and found other weddings that have been held at your favourite venue – look at their social media accounts and look for reviews from previous weddings. Don’t be afraid to try hashtags you can tiptoe your way on Instagram. It’s a great way, to get a more personal view of a wedding venue. Look for links to wedding photographer’s blog for more photos and ideas.

    When you do go in and see a wedding venue go in prepared.

    Chances are you and your fiancé be meeting with a few different wedding venues before you decide your favourite. If you see them all in one weekend and especially if you see them all in one day they can become one big blur. I always suggest you get a little prepped before you go. My biggest tip would be to take a few selfies. Taking selfies during your viewing is fun you can share them on social media. The biggest advantage is you won’t have to trust your memory to remember all the unique and beautiful elements of each venue.

    If you don’t know where to start, ask your photographer for their advice.

    If you know where you want to get married but are struggling to find the right venue, ask your photographer they will know most if not all the local wedding venues. From their personal experience the will, be able to tell you which venue photographs the best. An experienced photographer might have a few suggestions of other venues you haven’t discovered.

    Do some extra looking and visit wedding blogs

    Wedding blogs are a tremendous source of inspiration for ideas when it comes to styling your wedding reception. 

    One of my personal favourites is the award winning Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove & Vineyard.

    Bunnyconnellen was a former Dairy farm named "Hillview" .

    At Bunnyconnellen it has always been their ambition from the beginning was to start growing their own food from garden/paddock to plate and to follow a less demanding lifestyle. This was achieved by planting an olive grove closely followed by a small parcel of wine grapes.

    Bunnyconnellen then progressed to include a Cellar Door outlet, Function Centre, and B&B.

    Bunnyconnellen is the benchmarked for quality.  They test the integrity of their products by submitting them to the rigors of the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. The Fine Food Show demands high standards of the competitors and the team at Bunnyconnellen has been rewarded with no less than 37 medals over the last several years.

    Bunnyconnellen has also been awarded a Gold medal at the Vogue Entertaining & Travel Magazine awards as well as a Silver medal in the 2013 Original World Marmalade Awards, held at Cumbria, UK.

    Which ever venue you choose please keep these final ideas in mind when you are choosing your wedding venue.

    Contact the venues first to see what dates are available.

    (dates in the spring are the most popular)

    Choose the Venuethat best reflects who you are as a couple.

    (if you love the country lifestyle, go for a country venue, its your day it should reflect who you are as a couple)

    Write your guest list before you start to look at venues.

    (If you want 300 guests and the venue can only handle 50 people you might have to rethink your venue of choice)

    Good planning also requires a good budget.

    (Have a budget and stick to it)

    Think of your guests and do they have special requirements.

    (Are any your guests elderly and have walkers or in wheel chairs?)

    Think About your photos and is the venue in a beautiful location?

    (If all they have is gravel carpark it won’t make for beautiful photos)

    Stay True to Yourselves.

    (Its your day)

  • Fri, 01 Jun 2018 11:01:00 +0000

    Is there a wedding venue in Toowoomba's C.B.D. with a country homestead feel ?

    A lot of newly engaged couples in Toowoomba love the being on the land, but your friends are city far away or in the outback and it’s hard to organise a country feel wedding but have the convenience of a city.  Toowoomba is the gateway to the Darling Downs and surrounded by famer and the rural lifestyle. Trying to find he perfect wedding venue is not an easy task. 

     It's almost impossible to find a wedding venue in Toowoomba that has the old-world charm and still be in walking distance to night life, that has excellent parking and is a incredible location for your wedding photos. You must have a venue with all these features is impossible to find. But we can’t forget important things like gorgeous set up fine food and with a wine cellar that would make any wine lover weak at the knees.

    You have so many ideas in mind for you wedding but you want to keep it convenient for all your guests who need accommodation after a long day of celebrating your wonderful day. You will need to remember to have easy access for grandparents who might be on walkers or even wheel chairs. Couples tend to underestimate the variety of guests needs they will need to cater for when they invite a large group of peoples age can vary greatly, and you want your guests to fun and your wedding to be memorable. 

    I photographed a wedding setup for a venue that not only meets theses requirements but exceeds the expectations of any wedding couple. The  Downs Club is Toowoomba’s oldest private club for socialising and members of the business community. Established in 1889 with an award-winning wine cellar. Not only hosts corporate events but is ideally suited as wedding reception venue.

    The Downs club is a unique venue because it has so many locations for romantic photos but is best known for their silver service, gourmet food fine. But they can make 180 cocktails for up to 110 guests. The level of service is very impressive, the Downs Club is well suited for a country wedding in the city. 

    It has Victorian architecture which makes it ideal for wedding photography.

    Wedding photos ideas are:

    ·         Popping a bottle of champagne on the veranda a while overlooking the Toowoomba inner city.

    ·         Intimate photos in the extensively stocked wine cellar.

    ·         Grand entrance photos in the remarkable main entrance hall.

    ·         First dance photos in the ‘Middle Room’ which has a space for a live band.

    ·         Laughs and congratulations around the main bar.

    The Downs club is always staying on top of the latest wedding trends and can deliver and deliver a wedding reception that will be authentic to you as newly wed couple. The wedding venue will look gorgeous with your input and ideas.

    Its conveniently located in the heart of Toowoomba and is walking distance to night clubs for those who want kick on and celebrate your wedding late in to the night.  

    The staff welcoming and accommodating during the shoot and were able a real delight to work with during this photo shoot.  

  • Tue, 29 May 2018 01:46:00 +0000

    David Rook Wedding Photographer 

    What is a Wedding Timeline?  Why is it so important?


     Would you like to have a stress-free wedding? Would you like to have 100% piece of mind during your wedding day? Why is it so important to have a wedding timeline?  This is a once in a lifetime day, planning will free you, so you can have fun and celebrate your wedding with the one you love the most and have stunning photos to remember this momentous occasion.  If you get it right a wedding timeline will be your best friend during your wedding day. Wedding timelines don’t have to confusing, even if you’ve never made a timeline before. At a friend’s wedding you might not have noticed how the day was organized. You might not have noted how long each individual aspect lasts.  As a professional photographer I have been to a few weddings and a well-planned wedding is always the most fun. Here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your wedding day running smoothly. No matter if it’s in a church or outdoors, timelines take the stress out of the day. Please remember that wedding timelines are only a guide, and not set in stone. I tell all my couples, that I have never been to a wedding that runs perfectly on time. A timeline can be adjusted on the fly, if the hairdresser or the makeup artist is running late, or your guests are having fun drinks after the ceremony anything can be extended or shortened if you need to. The first dance occurs earlier because everyone has finished eating early. Knowing when your wedding starts and when it ends is essential to start planning your day. Ensuring that everything runs on time in the middle is important, but there’s always a chance to make little adjustments to fit in with the practicalities of the day.


    Starting your wedding timeline

    Your wedding will be unique, so try to avoid copying a wedding timeline from a wedding website or from the internet, it probably won’t work for your wedding day (yes, you can use my templates as a starting point). Use the sunset as a starting point most things be brought forward or moved back but the earth spinning is something no one can change. Why is planning around sunset so important? It’s the golden hour when light at its most spectacular time of day, and the sunset is the perfect time for breathtaking wedding photos. Start by writing a list of all the events that occur on your special day, these can include; hair and makeup, putting your dress on, leaving ceremony, location photos, arriving at reception, speeches, cutting the cake, first dance.  Estimate how long each of these will take if you aren’t sure, you can always ask your vendors how much time you should allow for each event. Don’t forget to allow travelling time (Google Maps is handy for this). Then you start planning your wedding day timeline.  Check out the wedding timeline template on the last page as a guide. (This is only a guide Please Do Not Copy It!)


    Shot with Kat Cherry 

    Things to think about which will help your wedding run Smoothly!

    Will the bride and bridesmaids be getting ready at a hotel with or a B&B? Allow travel time if your ceremony and reception in separate locations.  If they are separate, write it into your wedding timeline so you can avoid rushing through your day. Will you transport your guest by bus or will they be driving themselves to the ceremony and reception? Having a bus for your guests can make travel quicker and easy to organize, it can even make the day run smoothly.  Ask your celebrant how long will your ceremony be.  Will you have a cocktail hour in between ceremony and reception? Will you have a receiving a wine after the reception or after the ceremony, or even not receiving a wine at all. Who will make the speeches and how long will they go for?  After the first dance will there be a parent’s dance?  Does your reception venue have a curfew, what time will it close?  What time will the bride and groom leave?  Remember it’s your timeline, if you must end the party at a predetermined time, when will that be? How much time is vendors booked in for? Is there an after-party?


    A Summer Wedding Day With a 4pm Start time

    Summer is so can be so hot so a 4pm ceremony time is best to avoid the heat, 10pm reception end (this timeline works well when the ceremony and reception in the same place). 

    ➢ 10:00am - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready. 
    ➢ 11.00am - Photographer arrives bride & bridesmaid getting ready photos. 
    ➢ 1.00pm - Groom and groomsman getting ready photos. 
    ➢ 2.30pm -  Final bride getting ready. 
    ➢ 2.45pm  -  Groom & Groomsman leave. 
    ➢ 3.00pm  -  Bride leaves. 
    ➢ 3:30pm  -  Guests begin to arrive. 
    ➢ 4:00pm -  Ceremony starts. 
    ➢ 4:35pm  -  Ceremony ends. 
    ➢ 4.45pm  -  You look beautiful & congratulations photos. 
    ➢ 5.00pm  -  Formal and family photos start. 
    ➢ 5.30pm  -  Location photos. 
    ➢ 5:45pm  -  Drinks service starts for guests. 
    ➢ 6:20pm  -  Nibbles served for guests. 
    ➢ 6.43pm  -  Sunset. 
    ➢ 7:00pm  -  Bride & Groom arrive. 
    ➢ 7.05pm  -  MC welcomes the guests and does housekeeping. 
    ➢ 7.10pm  -  Meals start being served. 
    ➢ 7:45pm -  Speeches start. 
    ➢ 8.15pm  -  Cutting of the cake. 
    ➢ 8:30pm  -  First dance. 
    ➢ 8.35pm  -  General dancing music starts. 
    ➢ 10:30pm  -  Last call. 
    ➢ 10:55pm  -   Music off. 
    ➢ 11:00pm  -  Guests depart. 

    Shot with Kat Cherry


    Separate Ceremony and Reception Location

    You can’t always have the luxury of having the ceremony and reception in the same location. So, you have a gap in between the ceremony and reception.  Some churches won’t schedule ceremonies at a certain time of day, or sometimes, you simply can’t schedule a back to back ceremony and reception venue due to other bookings.  Having a gap in your day is very common and not difficult to organize around. No matter which part of Australia you live in its hot sometimes even in winter. You must think about is your comfort and the comfort of your guests. Always have water handy (having it on ice is best) it will be good for the wedding party and will make your guests feel welcomed.  Ensure guests feel welcomed by having the venue serve drinks and food. The gap between ceremony and reception can easily be two hours, don’t let reach three hours it’s your wedding and a not photo shoot, remember to have fun too. Two hours gives people enough time to say hello to each other chat and have a drink or two.  So elderly guests may decide to go back to their hotel room to change or maybe even have a quick nap.  Can one-hour gap be too short? Yes, it is you need to allow time to travel and quality photography takes time. 

    Here’s a sample of a wedding timeline with a two-hour gap between the ceremony and reception:

    ➢ 10:00am - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready.
                        • Travel time 30mins Back to hotel room or house.  
    ➢ 11.00am - Photographer arrives Bride & bridesmaid getting ready photos. 
    ➢ 1.00pm  -  Groom and groomsman getting ready photos. ➢ 2.30pm  -  Final bride getting ready. ➢ 2.45pm  -  Groom & Groomsman leave. 
                       • Travel time 30mins to ceremony. 
    ➢ 3.00pm  -  Bride leaves. 
                       • Travel time 30mins to ceremony. 
    ➢ 3:30pm  -  Guests begin to arrive. 
    ➢ 4:00pm  -  Ceremony starts. 
    ➢ 4:35pm  -  Ceremony ends. 
    ➢ 4.45pm  - You look beautiful & congratulations photos. 
    ➢ 5.00pm  -  Formal and family photos start. 
                       • Travel time 30mins to location. 
    ➢ 5.30pm  -  Location photos. 
                       • Travel time 30mins to reception. 
    ➢ 5:45pm  - Drinks service starts for guests. 
    ➢ 6:20pm  -  Nibbles served for guests. 
    ➢ 6.43pm  -  Sunset. 
    ➢ 7:00pm  -  Bride & Groom arrive. 
    ➢ 7.05pm  -  MC welcomes the guests and does housekeeping. 
    ➢ 7.10pm  -  Meals start being served. 
    ➢ 7:45pm  -  Speeches start. 
    ➢ 8.15pm  -  Cutting of the cake. 
    ➢ 8:30pm  -  First dance. 
    ➢ 8.35pm  - General dancing music starts. 
    ➢ 10:30pm  -  Last call. 
    ➢ 10:55pm  -  Music off. 
    ➢ 11:00pm  -  Guests depart

    Here’s a sample of a wedding timeline with a two-hour gap between the ceremony and reception:

    ➢ 9:00am   - Hair and Makeup/Getting ready. 
    ➢ 11:00am - 1:00pm  - Vendors arrive for ceremony setup.  
    ➢ 12:00pm   - Wedding party and family photos start. 
    ➢ 1:30pm - Doors open/Guests begin to arrive/Pre-ceremony music starts. 
    ➢ 2:00pm   - Ceremony invite time. 
    ➢ 2:15pm   - Ceremony starts. 
    ➢ 3:00pm   - Ceremony ends. 
    ➢ 3:00pm   - Vendors start to arrive for reception set up. 
    ➢ 3:30pm   - Guests gone from ceremony site. 
    ➢ 4:00pm   - Ceremony site cleaned up/vendors depart. 
    ➢ 5:00pm   - Reception invite time. 
    ➢ 5:00pm   - Cocktail hour starts. 
    ➢ 5:30pm   - All guests onsite. 
    ➢ 6:30pm   - Move guests into dinner. 
    ➢ 6:45pm   - Buffet opens/Dinner served. 
    ➢ 7:00pm   - All guests have food. 
    ➢ 7:15pm   - Toasts. 
    ➢ 8:00pm   - First dance. 
    ➢ 8:05pm   - General dancing music starts. 
    ➢ 8:05pm   - Second set of pre-sunset portraits. 
    ➢ 8:26pm   - Sunset. 
    ➢ 8:45pm   - Dessert.  
    ➢ 9:45pm   - Last call. 
    ➢ 9:55pm   - Music off. 
    ➢ 10:00pm   - Guests depart. 
    ➢ 11:00pm   - Breakdown done, all staff departs.

  • Wed, 02 May 2018 04:18:00 +0000

    Do We Really Need Engagement Photos?

     Don’t miss out on a once and lifetime opportunity.

    You have been asked to share your life with your best friend, and you said “YES”. So now its official your engaged and here are the important reasons why should have engagement photos. Like most people you likely have never had your photo taken by a professional photographer.

    Engagement photos are a great service you and fiancé can take fall advantage of before your marriage. As couple you might feel engagement photos aren’t necessary or just a waste of time. But there are countless benefits to having engagement photos when you use this opportunity to having beautiful engagement photos and here are the reasons why.

    It’s the ideal way to get to know me as your photographer.

    When you chose me to be your wedding professional photographer, and after our first meeting we will set a date for your engagement session.

    It's easier take them early in the wedding planning stage rather than later. In the later stages of planning your wedding you’ll be stressed and be in full-on wedding planning mode. Having me to take your engagement photographs before your wedding, you will be more relaxed and confident because you will realise that having your photo taken is a lot of fun. Your new-found camera confidence will make a massive difference to your wedding and the outcome of your photos.

    I will spend an hour or two getting to know you as a twosome during your engagement session. I take the time to listen to the both of you. All through our time together, I will discover what makes you feel comfortable, how you relate to each other. I will be learning as much as I can about you as a couple. I'll take note of how you interact with each other, your individual personalities and even some of your quirks. The time together will help me to get know who you are and capture those special moments on the wedding day that are unique to just the two of you. Throughout your engagement session, you will be having fun while being photographed as a couple.

    This time of your life is so busy it can be an opportunity to reconnect.

    Try to have your engagement photos taken at a location that means something to the two of you as a couple.

    This could be the place where you spend time together like a favourite camping spot or the café where you had your first coffee together, or it could be somewhere you both like to hang out or where you share your hobbies. Activities that reflect who you are as a couple. Think about your hometowns, the University where you met, a favourite restaurant or bar, a movie theatre or even your own home. Choose a spot and where your images will mean more to you than if your photographer took you to the park. You will feel more relaxed in an environment you have been to before. It could be the very location where you got engaged.

    If you’re thinking of proposing, plan in advance and I can be there and photograph your actual proposal and capture that very special that once in a life time moment.

    You'll get to see how good you look when you are professionally photographed.

    This is a big tip. The best part of seeing engagement pics before saying "I do" is we can discover your best angles and how to use the light. Knowing ahead of time with what you don't feel comfortable with, and you can let me know the shots you love. Remember, communication is key to getting photos you will love.

    Pro Tip: Try to have your hair and makeup with the hairdresser and makeup artist that you have booked for your wedding and you can use it as a trial done on the same day as your engagement session. If you have a trail, you get to see how it looks in photos and can make changes with your makeup artist. When you look great you will feel fabulous and the self-assurance will show in your photos.

    Once you see your engagement images you'll have more confidence in yourselves and me as a photographer. On wedding day you’ll be excited about them you can relax because you’ll know ‘I’ve got this’ and your wedding photos will be stunning. When the time comes to tie the knot, instead of dreading having your photo been taken, you will be fully self-confident because you have prepared, and you'll look forward to having your pictures taken.

    Couples are always surprised how easy to pose in photos. It’s not rocket science, but some of the most fun you’ll have on your special day.  

    You'll have great photos to use for engagement party invitations.  

    After your engagement images have been delivered, the list of things you can do with them is endless. They can be given as Christmas cards or birthday presents or just say thank your gifts to family (your parents, and especially your grandparents, would love a copy). You can also order an album to make a pigeon pair with your wedding album. Your engagement photos will be just as special to you as your wedding photos.

    Your engagement photographs make great wall art that you can hang in your home. Of course, you can post them all over social media where you can share the pictures that capture just how much you love each other with your friends, family and the rest of the world. Wedding program covers are also ideal for your engagement shots.

    Whatever you choose to do with your engagement photos, or which setting you chose, when we go out to do your photos we will, get creative and have lots of fun. The benefits are almost endless.

    I have a network of vendors, if you have any questions or if I can recommend a vendor, anything I can do to make your wedding a huge success I am always happy to help you focus on the real reason you're getting married —spending the rest of your life with your best friend.

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