Wanaka Holiday ~ January 2017

Special times with my special man.

Special times with my special man.

I am feeling super lucky! This week James and I have been on a wonderful trip down south to visit family in Dunedin and go to a friends wedding in the gloriously beautiful Wanaka!

This is both James and my first time in Wanaka and I've got to say, it has lived up to the hype! I don't know if anywhere could be more stunning! 

My beautiful husband!

My beautiful husband!

Today is really the only full day we are going to be able to spend here in this amazing place but it has been so amazing I could resist sharing it with you!

After a long sleep in this morning James and I headed out to the Trout Cafe and Bar for brunch. It's not often that we get to go out for brunch together so it was such a treat! My beef baguette was to die for! Absolutely delicious! 

After our delightful meal we wandered out to the waterfront across the street. The view of the lake is stunning. Completely breathtaking. We decided we would head out from there and take a little drive to a nearby bay called Glendu Bay. We were so glad we did! It was only an 11 minute drive but it took you out far enough that it felt so private and peaceful! It was stunning and an absolute photographers dream to photograph! 

James and I spent our time snapping pictures, hunting for pretty pebbles, skimming stones and playing games. It was by far the highlight of my whole holiday. It has been full of lovely times but nothing quite compares to one on one quality time with my best friend. 

The stunning Glendu Bay! 

The stunning Glendu Bay! 

Can you believe there is snow here in the middle of Summer!?

Can you believe there is snow here in the middle of Summer!?

We drove back into Wanaka and headed to Puzzling World. That was so worth the money! The maze took us ages to complete. We had so much fun challenging each other to a race to find the next tower (I won 3 out of the 4 times). It was actually quite a good work out. There is a lot of walking involved!

James wandering around in the maze.

James wandering around in the maze.

Inside Puzzling World there are all sorts of fun and fantastic illusions. My favourites were the wonky room on a lean (I truly could hardly stay upright! It really messes with your mind!) and the room that makes you look enormous at one end and miniature at the other. 

For dinner we went out with friends to a restaurant called Alchemy. It was wonderful! I so enjoyed that special dinner and a chat. Plus the sunset right out the window was spectacular! It was such a shame I only had my phone on me to capture it. 

The sunset over Lake Wanaka was truly incredible!

The sunset over Lake Wanaka was truly incredible!

2 days is definitely not enough time for me to feel completely satisfied with Wanaka so I will certainly be planning another trip back (hopefully) in the near future.

Have you ever been to Wanaka? If you haven't, add it to your bucket list!


Letter From a Bride ~ Lydia

Hello all!


This week I’m kicking off my brand new Letter From a Bride series! This summer is full of spectacular weddings and I know I have a whole host of beautiful brides who would love to write and open and candid letter about the best and worst things about their special day. To kick us off I decided I would write about my experience planning my own wedding and being a bride. I truly loved my wedding day. No pushing required to get me to tell you all about it!


This was one of my favourite pictures from my wedding!   Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

This was one of my favourite pictures from my wedding! 

Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

I got engaged to James at the end of June right before my 21st birthday. We took almost a month to decide on a date to fit in around our families, but finally we settled on November 15th. That gave us just under 4 months to plan! I had a few ideas rattling around in my brain but at this point nothing had been decided. Obviously this caused a bit of a panic to my parents. Sorry guys!


My gals in their gorgeous green!   Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

My gals in their gorgeous green! 

Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

I was a very relaxed bride in the sense that I didn’t have any major opinions on anything. I didn’t do a lot of planning and relied pretty heavily on my mum and bridesmaids to help me get everything together. I wanted lots of input from them. Sure, this was my day, but I wanted it filled with special little bits of the people I loved the most. I told my 5 beautiful bridesmaids that I wanted a gorgeous rich green colour for their dresses but let them all pick their own individual style of dress that they knew would suit them. Comfort is super important to me and I wanted my girls to feel comfortable with the style and cut of their dress.  


Seeing as I didn’t give myself a lot of time before my wedding one of the biggest struggles I had was booking my photographer and purchasing my wedding dress. If I hadn’t been using my grandma’s house as the venue I’m sure that would have been pretty tough too. These things need to be booked or bought with enough time so they aren’t either booked out or unable to have your dress on time. But I’ve known people to have less time than I did and pull off gorgeous weddings so anything is possible!


My other favourite picture!  Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

My other favourite picture!

Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

James and I found a great photographer, Kim Wheeler to shoot our day. She was really relaxed and chill. That was exactly what we needed! She just blended in and captured everything perfectly.


My wedding dress was easy. I found my dress at the second store I went to, Wilkins Bridal. For me it was true what they say about when you find the right dress you just know! As soon as I put it on I knew it was exactly what I wanted. And it was on SALE! Perfect!


I was expecting to be really nervous on the actual day but when it finally rolled around I was as cool as a cucumber. The only moment I felt a bit stressed was the fact that the wedding ceremony started at 1pm and at 2 minutes to 1 the groom still hadn’t showed up! I thought he might have got cold feet on me. Fortunately no, he made it with like a minute to spare.

My beautiful ceremony location in my grandma's garden.   Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

My beautiful ceremony location in my grandma's garden. 

Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography


The weather was stunning and we got married in the magnificent gardens at my grandma’s house in my hometown of Okains Bay. We had a few mishaps throughout the ceremony but nothing we couldn’t just laugh at! The celebrant called James “Phill” which is his brothers name. We had hymns at our wedding but the hymn sheets had only been given to the bridal party. So no one knew the words. This resulted in just the bridal party singing to all the guests. Also our celebrant forgot the rings. James had to stop him and say “don’t we need rings?”. There were bugs flying around inside my veil and a little spider hung from James’s beard for the majority of the ceremony. All of these little incidents don’t really bother me. They are just little extra memories I have now that made my day unique.


A quick pic with some lovely cyclists we met at the top of the hill.  Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

A quick pic with some lovely cyclists we met at the top of the hill.

Photo by Kim Wheeler Photography

We had amazing photos taken all around the bay. We went from right down at the beach to the top of the hills. While we were at the top we met some cyclists who thought it was so funny to run into a wedding party way up there that they wanted a photo!


There is nothing I would change about my day. To me, it was perfect. It was sunny, happy and filled with love! What more could I ask for!?


Check back in soon for the next Letter From a Bride which I’ll be posting very soon! If you’re engaged and planning a wedding I recommend you give these a read. These ladies have been through it all and have a lot of great advice to give.


Are you planning your wedding? Or have you recently been married? How has it been for you?

What I Love About Being a Photographer

It was right after we got married in 2014 that I realised I wanted to be a photographer. I remember being on our luxurious honeymoon in Fiji seeing two pictures posted by our photographer on Facebook and absolutely squealing with excitement! I loved them. I loved how they captured so perfectly that special day in our lives that meant so much to us. Those pictures are so precious to me. Being able to create that exquisite elation of looking through your lovely and I knew that’s the feeling I wanted to bring to others.


These are the first two pictures we saw on Facebook while on honeymoon. We loved them!  Images by Kim Wheeler

These are the first two pictures we saw on Facebook while on honeymoon. We loved them!

Images by Kim Wheeler

When we got back from our honeymoon it was only a few short days before all of our photos were ready. I poured over them. Seriously, I must have looked at them all at least a dozen times in one day!


Your wedding photos really help to capture your day in a way your memory can’t. They record special details that would be forgotten if you didn’t have them. So much time, effort and love goes into a wedding. What a waste it would be not to record it!


Don’t think that these special moments that are worthy of investment are limited to just your wedding day. There are so many milestones in people's lives that should be celebrated and captured.


I wish I had had engagement photos taken. They capture a more relaxed and private side to a couple's love. Being engaged is such a fleeting time in your life! I wish I had captured that fluttery butterfly love we had when were right about to get married.


Family photos are so fun. How often when you go to get a shot of your family you look back later and wish you were in the picture too? Having a family photography session is such an awesome thing to do. It captures your whole family together in a stage of life that will soon be gone. Kids grow up so quickly! Don’t forget to get photos of them so that you can remember the beautiful little people they have been.


What I love about being a photographer is being the person to help capture those treasured moments. I love bringing that elated feeling to others and creating those beautiful unique images that is super meaningful to you!


Have you ever had a professional photographer take your picture? Did you love your photos? 



Hello 2017!

Hello 2017


It’s a brand new year and with it, I’m starting my brand new blog and fully launching Lydia Woods Photography to the world. I’ve been thinking, dreaming, planning and curating ideas for it for weeks but for whatever reason told myself I wasn’t allowed to start until January 1st.


Well it’s January 1st.


And to tell you the truth I feel kind of paralysed about the whole thing. I’ve been beyond excited and now that it’s here I’m kind of petrified. All that planning and dreaming and I still don’t feel ready.


Hello 2017

Mixed in with the terror of the thought of my business failing miserably for everyone I know to witness is still some crazy excitement. I know I love what I do.


I love photographing people. I love capturing moments between people that show the connection they have or creating a picture that is truly loved and will be treasured.


I love getting to know people’s stories. How they met. Where they are from and how they have gotten where they are. I love finding out what is important to them and building up a wonderful relationship with the people I’m so lucky to work with.


I love how I can show my own unique creativity to others everyday! I’m so blessed to have a job I love that allows me to be completely creative and true to myself.


So despite my beginners nerves, I am truly looking forward to this new year! I can’t wait to see what it holds.


Are you excited for 2017? What new things are you itching to get started on? Is there anything scary that you're nervous to get started on?