Jake Thomas Photography » Boutique Wedding Photography

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Big wins require big risks.

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.


Laying it on the line.

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.


The Truth Project.

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.


I'm Back - almost!

You probably haven’t been following my journey, but a while back our family decided that we would take a year off. Come live in India and volunteer for a organisation that gets women out of the sex industry, gives them work and empowers them to establish a life outside of slavery. We have only been here 5 months and already my mind is exploding. We have 6 months to go and so much more to learn and see.

But I write this because for almost the past two years I haven’t been taking any bookings. But now the enquiries are steadily coming in for when we will be back in NZ and Oz. So I now will be taking bookings from July 2017 onwards!

I will be doing things a little differently this time. Taking on a limited amount of weddings and focusing on the more photo journoulistic side of photography.  So if your planning your wedding from July 2017 onwards, like what you see, then flick me an email and we can chat some more.













First Impressions

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



When you have crazy friends who aren’t satisfied with the status quo and continually want to make this world a better place, it can tend to rub off on you. So in less than two weeks myself, my beautiful wife and our 3 amazing children are off on a crazy adventure. The month of June we will be in the USA and then off to South Asia for hopefully about a year. We will be volunteering for some charity organisations. I don’t expect to change the world but we are aiming to help and do what we can. The trip will be hectic and I hope it brings about some change for the better in my own and family’s life. So the images and stories are about to change on here and I also will try to keep you in the loop of our little adventure.


NZ Photographer of the Year - Finalist

There is always a lot of controversy that surrounds photography awards. I probably think its because art/photography is subjective. And everyone has their opinion. So even to enter awards has its own controversy. At the end of the day I don’t really mind what people think, I enter the awards because I love the process. The way it makes me look at my own work and ask myself how can I get better, how can I produce epic art!? So when its time for the images to be judged, I was not too fussed on it all, but it’s always nice to win or to do well. This year at Iris (the NZ national photography awards) I was very fortunate to have been a finalist in the Wedding Classic category (Classic refers to the fact that you are not allowed to ‘photoshop images’ basically only using darkroom techniques). What was even more of a shock was that I was also a finalist to be Photographer of the Year. So over the 1100 images entered I was in the top three highest scorers. All in all, I don’t place a whole lot of importance on awards, but it feels good to do well.


Aimee & Paul, Morrinsville Waikato.

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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NZ Creative Wedding Photographer of the Year 2014

Slow-mo, back-lit fist pumps. Recently, I was blown away to be named NZ Creative Wedding Photographer of the Year. It was such an honour! I realise that winning awards like this can’t be won without having some very good people in your life. I have a SUPER wife and some extremely good quality friends that would take to long to name. I also want to thank the couples that let me photograph them and then let me run with my crazy ideas. I feel like I get to do my hobby for a living and winning an award like this is just the icing on the cake!

Awrad Image blog


Auckland Wedding Photographer - Jesse & Victoria Mulligan

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.