alison cosker - photographer

distance + difference

Alison Cosker4 Comments

[little disclaimer: this is an unusual post in that it is about something I've done on in my own life rather than something I've done with clients, like, you know, shooting their weddings. to return to regular programming, scroll down, or peruse the site at your leisure.]

I just spent ten days in the USA. I suppose after a big wedding season rollin' with the big kids, I felt like I needed/deserved a little break.

The last time I was in the USA (five years ago) was pretty tumultuous. My beloved granddad Ronnie had only been gone for four months. I had a part time job, no idea what I was doing, and ended up in a not-totally-unexpected breakup. The only thing I'd change about that list now is that I sure would love to still be regularly visiting Ronnie and Ella and not just Ella (bless her). I'd love a beer with him, or a cuddle, or to hold his hand or write some limericks.

Then I got home and Noah and Aaron passed away (and I just don't think that'll ever be okay), and then a steady line dearly beloved elderly folks in my family, dotted around the globe, finished their time on earth too. I ran away to England and was supposed to stay. I didn't stay. What an unsteady time; a chapter that made me mostly quiet, eventually. I lost the need to write in grand verse about how I felt (largely because my feelings were either far too intense to articulate, or they didn't exist at all). Either that, or I gained the ability to sssshhh. To be quiet and listen and watch rather than to make myself be known at the expense of two or three thousands words that might be better left unsaid. I connected with people one on one. And if I shared myself with them, it was with caution. Deliberate, or something like it.

This all feels like a transition. Different to being 19 or 22 with a constant stream of ideas and thoughts and feelings that HAVE TO GET OUT. And I don't criticise that in anyone (except maybe the woman I sat behind on my flight from San Francisco to Denver at the beginning of my trip who would not shut the hell up about her daughter's baby shower slash Diaper Genie slash gift-card- for-nursery-dresser as though her daughter was the only woman on earth who had ever had a baby) because I think it's probably on the way to something else anyway, extrapolating to understand. But for me it has been a matter of trusting my instincts. And this instinct was to watch and listen rather than to create something new on my own, or to share something that exists ONLY BECAUSE I SAY SO. That didn't feel right. And it has been that watching and listening that has become the driving force of Who I Am when I'm following love and action and quiet on someone's wedding day. Push. Push. Push. What's happening? What is really happening? Don't invent. See.

Incidentally, this is all a little more drawn out than I had planned. I'd like my pictures to speak for themselves, for the most part. But I finally ventured back to a place that once upon a time felt a lot like home. A place where I went to high school and had an experience unlike anyone in my community in Tasmania, even in my own family. I spent time with treasured friends; people who coloured my adolescence and encouraged me and made me laugh and with whom I share so many fond memories and so many jokes. The family I made for myself long before I became a grown up who has a three bedroom house or a car payment or Friday knockoff drinks or a hundred dollar haircut.

I stood in the big wide field where my high school once was. The wind still swirled the same; still grabbed the big trees by their necks and swooped down past the mountains and hit my face in the same way. But the building, where I learned so much (but also so little) of What I Know Now, is gone. Replaced by grass. The football field where I was once upon a time a Marching Pioneer: dandelions. Knocked over goal posts. A tired old score board, once sponsored by Pepsi. Graffitied bleachers. The track where we'd stand and play On Watauga or HEY in the cold fall rain, shredded. No shadow cast upon the field by a school that I guess wasn't so big after all. The whole thing was a battle ground; where teenage boys were once held up as heroes. Where kids like me got picked last in gym (except for that week we played soccer and the boys realised I was actually pretty good at soccer). And where now, time has won against the old WHS. Nature has taken over.

AND, I saw Brandi Carlile live. Twice. And I am still processing that because hot damn that girl (and her compatriots Phil and Tim Hanseroth) has some pipes and heart. They have walked me through some tough shit these past five years or so, and to see her live... Oh my. I don't think I've seen anyone who knows her way around the stage and the world in quite this way. And what else can I say but: what an incomparably special thing it is to have a dream come true (thanks Mama). 

I spent the weekend in San Francisco on my way out (a contrast), and felt pretty revved up about how I feel, about who I am, and the kinds of people who I understand because they understand me too. Good conversations and company and a lot o' smilin' and inspiration. And burritos. And sushi.

Take what I have to share. See it, I guess. If you want to. If I took a picture, it was because I was lost in a time capsule, and for whatever reason, the subjects (animate or not) felt like they were linked to something I know or something I love (or both). Or maybe just something new.

(For interest, 95% of the pictures were taken with my Fuji x100s which made for a very covert and present experience, different to luggin' the big rig around. I almost didn't even need to take that, but oh well).

jake + lizzie

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I met Jake and Lizzie through mutual friends. In fact, once upon a time, many (many, many) moons ago, I played clarinet in the concert band at Queechy High with Lizzie's biggest brother Dale. Lizzie was probably not even in kinder then. Fast forward, and she's a drop dead gorgeous bride, married to the lovely Jake (whose aunty I went to uni with, way back when I was a pre-service teacher). We have lots of connections. But boooooy, do they have a connection.

Jake and Lizzie (or Lizzie and Jake: debated ongoing) got engaged a while ago and when I found that out, I was like a puppy with toy. I HAD TO TAKE THEIR PICTURES. So we did a little pre-wedding shoot before they jetted off to Sydney to get hitched. Fast forward three weeks and they humoured me and my good mate (and partner in creative crime) Rich, and got dressed up in their wedding digs again and joined us in the Hollybank Forest, about twenty minutes from where we all live. 

It was a lovely lovely collaboration; Richie's wife (and my best pal) Amelia did Lizzie's hair and makeup. Richie and I had popped up to a local wholesale florist (Outside Flowers) and picked ourselves up some natives (omg billy buttons forever) and we fashioned a boutonniere for Jake and a beautiful crown for Lizzie. I'm rambling now. But I had SO much fun. Perfect light. Perfect couple (who make so many adorable and hilarious and loving and sincere and ridiculous faces at each other), gorgeous clothes. A dream. AND, what's more: Richie filmed it. See that HERE.

ella + lucas

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Ella and Lucas suuuure know how to throw a party. Their wedding at Sandridge Estate earlier this month was truly one the most heartfelt and lovely and hilarious weddings I've been to. I enjoyed the reception so much that half of the shots I took on their wedding day were taken at the reception. That never happens! What a fun party. Thank you Ella and Lucas. (it was also the first wedding I've been to that had prawn crackers! How good are prawn crackers?!)

Hair: Jess Stitz
Makeup: Layla Warsing, Luscious Beauty
Flowers: Patreena's Flower Studio
Dress: Timeless Elegance
Celebrant: Allie House
Venue: Sandridge Estate
Tunes: Doctors Rocksters
Foods: Ish Catering

john + lenore

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John and Lenore pulled off one of the most seriously classy weddings I've ever seen. They're such a beautiful couple, their kids are super cute (and ridiculously well behaved), and the day was celebrated with a great bunch of people. Shene (extraordinarily run by Myf and her family team) is just crackerjack, and the Town Hall is so fancy (with incredible flair by the gang at Event Avenue). What a day! Thank you John and Lenore, you excellent babes.

Hair: Roberta Dzelalija, Some Hallucination Hair
Make up: Rosa Marshall, Simply Flawless
Bus: Red Decker Company
Cars: The Untouchables
Flowers: Lisa Kingston Flowers
Ceremony venue: Shene Estate
Celebrant: Maxine Lowry 
Reception venue:  Hobart Town Hall
Event and Styling: Event Avenue 
Music: The Baker Boys
Food: Nick Cummins, Urban Bounty
Cake: Daci & Daci 

marian + ria

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I met Marian (and then Ria) nearly four years ago when we were both reppin' Kina Grannis really hard. I walked up to them in the line at Kina's show at the Sydney Opera House and they were holdin' hands and clearly just mega mega smitten with one another. Who'd have known that four years later, I'd be sneaking around after them at their wedding. They are a really special couple and I feel really privileged to have toddled up to Sydney to attend and shoot their wedding. (I cried all day).

I was also feeling pretty lucky to work along side the magnificently clever and charming Brooke and Bree from Light Noise Films. They put together such a whirlwind-y and gorgeous film from Ria and Marian's special day.

marnie + phil

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Marnie and Phil got married at Meander Dam and then onto the Tasmanian Conservatory of Food and Wine at Parramatta Creek. It was a blast and we were gifted with pretty excellent light in the evening. They are such a sweet couple who are clearly pretty smitten with one another. Thanks Marnie and Phil! 

jess + kyle + kiddies

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We trekked to the Central Highlands for this and I'm so glad we did. This is a gorgeous little family and they love each other to bits. They also look like they're straight out of a Country Road catalogue, so... I was happy.

sam + leah

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I knew when I shot Sam and Leah's engagement photos last year that their wedding would be easy. Of course, standing up all day is not easy, but they love each other to bits and they're really damn attractive. What's not to love? Thank you Sam and Leah for letting me capture your day. (Thank you also for choosing a venue that has the boys and girls getting ready super close together!) (thus the blendedness of the story before the ceremony). 

venue: Grindelwald and Tamar Valley Resort

make up: Amanda Jackson

hair: Bliss

dress: Wendy Makin, purchased at Weddings In One

celebrant: Peta Callahan

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