Jake Thomas Photography » Boutique Wedding Photography

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Home is where your family is.

That’s something I do my best to teach my kids. We are a good team, and a lot has happened over the past year for us. In October last year, we gave away or sold pretty much all our stuff and moved to a small rural town in Myanmar. We were chasing our dream of starting a business to help some of the most vulnerable and poor people in the world. Then COVID hit and the world changed. We were in Bangkok trying to renew our visa, and it became practically impossible for us to get back to our house in rural Myanmar. So we returned to Newcastle Australia. The constant moving has been challenging, but our home has remained constant.

Sometimes in life you need to pivot, to take a different track. So I have returned. Returned to what taught me the value of creativity, discipline and passion. The dream is still alive, but for now I am back, based in Newcastle and officially taking wedding bookings. Please feel free to touch base, I would love to hear about your wedding day!

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I think I could almost put a book together on the craziness of being part of a team, that puts a book together!

I really love hearing peoples stories. So I was amped to be part of the team that came together to interview a bunch of real cool Kiwis and hear their stories. There were plenty that inspired me and helped me to see things in a whole different perspective – not always in a good way.

It was one of those epic adventures, made all the better, by the fact that I was able to do it with one of my best mates Mike Hill.  We spent many hours cruising around the country meeting and photographing these Kiwis. Discussing the good and the bad of what we saw and heard. Its something that I will draw back on many times in my life!

Below are a couple of photos from this huge task. Some of my favourites that made the book and some that didn’t.

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That old saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ sure applied to Aimee and Paul’s wedding in Morrinsville. It started with hanging out with the boys at Pauls parents’ farm then zipping over to Aimee’s parents’ place. I love it when people decide to get ready at family homes. There is always so much character and it feels warm and homely. After the ceremony we headed to what fully felt like an enchanted forest for photos and before we knew it we were back at the reception eating some awesome pork belly, hearing hilarious speeches, seeing glowing lanterns and busting out some sweet moves on the d-floor to a wicked band.

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Who is not up for a Monday long lunch wedding?! Jesse and Victoria’s wedding was awesome and super fun. Sometimes I feel part of my role as a photographer is that I need to have a repertoire of jokes to get people laughing. It was just that much easier photographing a professional comedians wedding, Jesse kept everyone in stitches and I just reaped the benefits on the camera. It was also really cool to see that even though Jesse and Victoria have been together so long they were still super pumped to be getting marrried and start that new chapter of their lives.

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You know those people so cool that you want to be their best friend, well thats these guys. They are so much fun and so good to be around.

From a photographers point of view. Even better! Fun, in-love and willing to get on to cliff tops. Photographing these guys was just a pleasure and being part of their day was a blast. Their day was a mega celebration and one that I was just amped to be part of.

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Intimate backyard wedding. Whats not to love, especially when the you have your own logo! Matt and Pia’s wedding was set in the little town of Whiritoa. A place that I love myself and visit often. I love the remoteness of this place and when Matt, Pia and  I went to the beach for sunset, there was no one there but us. We had a blast, soaked up the last rays of light on Whiritoa cliff and then went back to the party.  So much fun at this wedding and seeing all the kids around and having a ball made the icing on the cake.

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Sometimes your hobby can take you to some real cool places. Heading to Cali to photograph David & Nancy’s wedding was just magic. On top of it all, the light was just pinging. The wedding was in Malibu and was different, a lot like my hair cuts. We hung out in the morning of the wedding day, went and took some shots in some sick bushland. Than David and Nancy made a grand entrance lead by some trumpet players into their wedding. The couple chilled with guests, had a mean feed and then the announcement was made for the ceremony to begin. The ceremony at dusk! Which again was just awesome and meant mega light. After the ceremony, congratulations were in order, followed by more epic food. Everyone partied hard, as you should on a wedding day. Then sadly the night ended and also did one of the coolest perks of my ‘hobby’. But all is good, because it’s now immortalised on my blog and like Facebook it didn’t happen until you post it.

Enjoy! (p.s’ the fist bunch of photos are from a little e-shoot I did with David and Nancy in some of that pinging light)

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Micro-moments. I love them and weddings are full of them. It is so cool to be able to look back at photos and see that perfect moment. That moment when a bride and groom glance at each other and then boom, the explosion of love. But its not only reserved for the couple. Its seen in Dad and daughter, the nervous anticipation before the ceremony, laughter between your friends as everyone prepares for ‘THE’ big ceremony. On a wedding day its everywhere, I count it an honour to be there, to do everything I can do to freeze those moments in time.

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I live in the the beautiful small country town of Waihi. Drew and Anna married at Waihi Beach and its not often I get to photograph in my ‘backyard’ so needless to say I was pumped! We travelled around to some of the cool spots of my hood, places I love and have been amped to shoot at for ages. Due to their crazy work commitments Drew and Anna had to spend the year prior to their wedding across the globe from each other. It was so special to be part of their day and photograph these two crazy in love human beings.

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Nelson Mandela said there is no passion in living small. So we have decided to go for it! We don’t have all that we want, but we believe we have everything we need. A couple of months ago we launched a campaign to get us over to Myanmar and due to some amazing circumstances, we have been able to reduce our budget. We are still a bit of a ways off but sometimes you just need to take some risk and to start paving a way forward. So on October 17, we leave Australia for Myanmar. On October 17 our life, once again, completely changes. For more of the finer details check out the link.

 

I’m not sure how long it’s been but for the past bunch of weeks, maybe months, as we ventured to the point of launching our campaign I have felt sick with nerves. Doing these sort of things are not easy. Especially when you are asking people to help you go after a dream that can mean a lot to you but be ‘a nice idea’ for some of the people around you.

To be honest, as I’ve searched my soul I realised I tried to avoid it. I’ve tried to slow things down, I looked for other options. On Wednesday the 24th we launched our campaign. We laid it on the line. That night, maybe just randomly or potentially because of the weeks of nerves I suffered an intense headache. I hit the hay and was out. I woke the next morning feeling great. A weight off my shoulders. I was surprised by the sense of relief that I felt. We are seemingly not even close to our target but at this stage, I don’t mind so much.

What has already caught my attention is peoples generosity. People I don’t know, people I haven’t spoken to in years and close friends have given. It blows my mind that people believe in us. Sometimes when you step out, it’s hard to believe in yourself. But it’s such a huge encouragement and blessing. Thank you to everyone who is behind us. It means more than you can imagine.

I’m also learning that faith takes risk. Will we hit this target? I don’t know. This whole experience is teaching me to keep moving. Keep aware. Regardless of the outcome, it will lead us closer to our goal. It is pushing us out of our comfort zone and forcing us to change. Forcing us to fully live, to give and to love.

Please click HERE if you want to check out our campaign.

 

A beautiful wedding on a family farm that has been past down through the generations. So much rich history that fitted perfectly with this wedding celebration.

 

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A couple of weeks before we touched down, I kept asking my wife to email our friends who live in India. “Ask them for tips on how to prepare for our entry” I asked her. But as I touched down I realised there was nothing that could prepare me for what I was about to experience. The moment we hit the airport, I was assaulted by the smell, the heat, the noise. It all smashed me in the face and I was hit with the reality that we signed up for a year of this.

Our friend took us straight to our small rough two bedroom apartment which is a far cry from our home back in NZ. Our NZ home with plenty of country side, a home with a view of the bush, a home where I feel comfortable and a place where I can really focus on me.

It’s only been 4 weeks but I have been completely humbled. This two bedroom apartment now feels like a palace. We are privileged to be living in this apartment and I am now smashed in the face with ‘seeing’ my selfishness and constant want to be comfortable.

This place is changing my perspective. It changes when you see kids as young your own kids begging. Kids as young your own kids trying to sell me balloons as I wait for my taxi ride. Seeing women wash their clothes in the gutter after the rain fills it with enough water to dip their clothes in. Not being able to walk on the foot paths because it is filled with families living on them. Walking past a mother lying on the cement as she waves a piece of cardboard over her newborn child , trying to keep her cool in the crazy heat.

You get humbled, you realise you have it good and gratefulness enters your heart. Things that should be important, become important.

 

 

images taken with the coolpix a

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