How a Luxury Couple Portraits Experience Turned a Tall, Broad Shouldered Maori Into a Romantic Texter – Jo + Don’s Story…


Jo and Don caught in the magical experience...

Jo our gorgeous portraits designer came into the studio with her partner Don and their beautiful 3 girls in tow, because she too wanted to experience some of the magic of a Luxury Couple Portraits experience first hand.

After working with me for some 8 months, Jo has seen many happy and affectionate couples walk out with everlasting memories. And she wanted what they had.

She also wanted to be able to know and feel exactly what our clients do, seeing she’s working so closely with most of them.

So after discussing her wish with partner Don and their girls, the whole family came to the studio.

Now usually I don’t do family portraits, but in this instance I made an exception… seeing Jo is part of my wonderful team without which I couldn’t give you the magical experience you get when you book a Luxury Couple Portraits session with us.

It was Jo’s heartfelt wish to walk out with a legacy… imagery that speaks volumes about the deep love and affection between Don and her.

Jo's family walked out with lasting memories...

The girls had a ball. They discovered images can speak a thousand words

She wanted me to capture Don’s soft side. She told me earlier, “Many people find Don intimidating because he’
s so tall and broad shouldered. I guess his rugby-playing past added to the impression because you and I know rugby is a tough sport. You’ve got to be strong with a physical presence to cut it in this game.

But inside, Don is a softie. His looks betray his gentle nature and I guess it’s that soft, sensitive and beautiful nature I want you to capture Julie.”

Jo and Don were born and grew up in New Zealand. They enjoyed a beautiful multicultural upbringing with parents from Samoa, Scotland and Canada. Then Jo met Don nine years ago and fell hopelessly in love.

She said, “When I saw Don… this tall handsome Maori in all his pride I simply couldn’t take my eyes off him. It was love at first sight for me.”

Needless to say Don fell in love with Jo too and they’ve since moved to Australia and have 4 beautiful girls & a son together.

“I would never let anyone else photograph me Julie. I’m curvy and have had some issues feeling comfortable in my body. Don also feels he’s no longer in the same top shape he was in his rugby-playing days.

So for us it’s a matter of trust. You have a wonderful gift Julie. You seem to be able to seamlessly and naturally capture each couple’s best features when you photograph them and that’s exactly what I want to experience with Don. You sure know how to blend out imperfections and make everyone look like movie stars.

And I want a piece of Don when he’s away working late shifts. I spend many nights alone, with the girls tucked up in bed asleep. This gets lonely for me. So when I have a beautiful set of images of Don and I in my home it will help me,” she added.

Don + Jo feeling like movie stars on set...

Don added, “I wasn’t comfortable with Jo’s idea at first. When Jo told me of her wish to experience a romantic and unique Luxury Couple Portraits session I wasn’t keen on the idea.

Then Jo showed me some of the amazing images on Facebook and I was like whoa… these guys look like movie stars or something. I quickly learned they’re not movie stars at all. They’re people like us. So I realised if they can look awesome, sensuous, sexy and attractive, then so can I.

But truth be told I was a nervous wreck until we arrived this morning,” he added chuckling.

The 3 girls found the session very exciting. They giggled and laughed as mummy and daddy changed positions, cuddled, and gazed into each other’s eyes deeply and affectionately.

And they adored being photographed by themselves and with their parents. It was a delightful experience for the whole family. There was much laughter, happiness and joy.

It also helped the girls understand just how deep the bond between Jo and Don is.

So much so it’s brought the family even closer.

“I can’t explain what happened. I just know something truly magical happened that day.” Jo said afterwards.

The girls still talk about this experience weeks later...

Don added, “The girls still talk about that day now… and it’s been weeks since we went to the studio. As for me… well… I dare say the experience has turned me into a romantic texter.”

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“You know… ahem… I text Jo sweet nothings on the mobile phone and tell her how amazing she is all the time,” he adds sheepishly.

Meanwhile Jo nods her head with a big grin on her lips, “That’s right… my macho man has turned into a romantic softie and I’ve got you to thank for this Julie.

We’ve had the most amazing time with you. The girls loved it. We loved it and we laughed so much that day we often talk about it – even now, 2 weeks later.

So thank you from all of us Julie. You’ve changed our life. Our images have shown us what really matters in our life. We’re now much more grateful for our love, our family and what we’ve got.

We acknowledge our love every single day. The images are just out of this world. They’re now proudly displayed at our home and everyone loves them.”

Don's loved the attention from his girls...

Jo's enjoying the special "moment" with her oldest girl

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