The eBook Has Landed! More Magic, All the Time: 20 Ways to Create Your Best Life Ever

Today is a very special day!

Right here, right now, I’m launching my first eBook More Magic, All the Time: 20 Ways to Create Your Best Life Ever out into the ether and if I could pirouette my way across your screen, I would. In fact, imagine me doing just that. That, or moonwalking. You choose. All I know is I’m excited.

I’ve been working behind the scenes on this shiny new baby of mine – getting it all jazzed up for your reading pleasure – and I’m so thrilled to be able to share it with you all because I’ve got a feeling it’s going to excite you as much as it excites me.

Want to know the best news? It’s FREE. Actually, that’s not the best news – the even better news is that when I wrote it, I pretended that you’d be paying for it.

I went for:

+ High-density.

+ (Mega) high-quality.

+ Useful, actionable, relatable and totally, utterly, completely inspiring.

Basically, the kind of stuff you love reading here, all wrapped up in one strikingly beautiful package (with added quote-y goodness).

Radiant Praise. Juicy Love.


“Want to live a life that has you leaping out of bed every day, happily basking in every moment, and excited with anticipation of what the next brilliant moment will bring? Read More Magic, All The Time. Rachel is my inspiration can opener, and her eBook did not fail to pry me open even more. In this eBook, Rachel bolsters our dreams, gently soothes us with her everything-is-going-to-be-amazing-you-just-wait tone, and leads us through simple steps for fulfilling our potential in the world. Let even a little of Rachel’s practical positivity rub off on you and you will be much better for it.”


“In my humble opinion, Rach was sent here to (among other things) be a best friend to each and every one of us.  This woman truly takes your soul and gently nurtures it with incredible, inspirational wisdom, before floating it back to your waking reality – where it’s now perfectly aligned with your big, bigger, biggest dreams. Each sentence in this warm book feels like home; it feels like hot chocolate and a salon blow wave and a crackling fire.  It will make you sigh, deeply. You’ll rapidly become your own best friend and find yourself on a crazy-woman mission to find peace and ease and beautiful stillness. Generously, Rach has gift wrapped her soulful online home, In Spaces Between, into a go-to spirit retreat for us to treasure forever. Make this whole book your manifesto – I dare you!”


“Wow. My eyes lit up when I opened More Magic, All the Time: 20 Ways to Create Your Best Life Ever. It is so deliciously gorgeous, bubbly, romantic and amazingly inspiring. After reading it cover to cover, I immediately felt clearer about my purpose on this beautiful Earth, and so much more inspired to live a more magical life. Rachel rocks it in this gorgeous testimony to all things true and wonderful about life. It is a must-have for any inspiration junkie – the design alone is enough to brighten your day, just wait until you soak up the poetic words of wisdom!”


“There are so many beautiful eBooks any one of us can access but there’s something very special that makes More Magic All The Time stand out from the crowd. It’s not that it’s beautifully written, beautifully presented and beautifully authentic – even though it is all those things. It’s because if you chose to fully commit to your loving self and put into action the inspirational prompts and suggestions within it – your life will change for the better… immeasurably. Big call I know, but as a coach and counsellor working with people every day trying to achieve just that. I stand by the fact it will – with love and conviction.”


The Details: Where Do I Get a Copy?


I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just introduced a mailing list to In Spaces Between and I’m going to be sending out monthly love letters to you all, full of my best stuff (the months are rolling around quickly these days but if needed I * may * change this to fortnightly updates, but I’ll keep you posted on that one – we’ll see how we go!).

To jump on the list and download a copy of More Magic, All the Time immediately, simply fill in the deets below (or up the top of the sidebar) and hightail it to your inbox to get your hands on your treat!

Get your copy of my eBook now... it's FREE!

“Stop waiting, now is the time to be your best. Rachel’s energy is infectious, and I’m always inspired by In Spaces Between. Her positivity is tangible and her eBook combines words to live by with practical tips to help you make your potential a reality. Stop hoping and start doing. Rachel will guide you through those first steps and help you see the magic in your every day.”


“More Magic, All The Time is like a comforting hug mixed with a dash of sparkle and a pinch of zest! I have always loved the way Rach connects with you as though you’re the only person that matters, but this eBook takes that to another level. Her warm words of wisdom speak right to your heart and encourage you to get the most out of life. If you need a little nudge to get moving on your goals and dreams, this book is for you. Soak up all of Rach’s TLC, devour the inspiring quotes and then get moving on creating a life full of gratitude, positivity and (of course) magic!”


“I am officially juiced up on inspiration, positivity and wicked design!  If you need a pick me up, a nudge in the right direction or a heart-to-heart with a girlfriend, this eBook has you covered.  Simply download + expand!”

SUSANA FRIONI | Susana Frioni

Three Final Things:


1 // Once you tear through your copy of Make Magic, All the Time (highly recommend you print it out)I’d love to hear your thoughts so hop-skip-jump back here and leave your feedback in the comments (please!)

2 // I’d be wildly grateful for sweet Tweet-stimonials and Facebook hurrahs (or Instagram photo-evidence) if you enjoy your goodie.

You can use the buttons below or tag me @rachelmagahy (Twitter); @In Spaces Between (Facebook) or @rachelcmacdonald (Instagram). I’ll be compiling your lovely words in a future post, so many thanks in advance for spreading the word to your compadres!

3 // I love you guys. Thank you so much for inspiring me daily. Stuff like this comes from a place of inspiration… and it’s YOU GUYS that take me there.

Gratitude galore. Go get it, it’s time to make magic. x

The Best Thing You Can Do To Make More Friends, Grow Your Community & Be Generally Awesome

Blow other people’s trumpets. 

Send emails jammed with enthusiastic words of encouragement (be specific).
Retweet words of wisdom. Share, share, share. Play your part.
Leave thoughtful comments.
Be a cheerleader (pom poms optional).
Compliment strangers.
Become a magnet for new opportunities… by seeking them.
Think love. Be love.
Hold people in the highest regard.
Ask “who can I help?” – and go do it. Offer your services, add value. Go above and seriously beyond.
Walk into situations expecting the best.
Start a support group. Bring kindred spirits together to form a greater ‘whole.’
Show up, even if you don’t have to.
When people hint at their dreams, ask for more. Listen, applaud, champion.

Keep it real – always.

Marta Jagus 


The Power of One

“Do one thing at a time, and while doing it put your whole soul into it to the exclusion of all else.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

How many things are you simultaneously juggling right now?

At last check, I had six windows open on my computer. I be togglin.’ My messages are open on my phone so I won’t forget to reply to a friend (oh, hold up, I actually did forget to reply to someone earlier). I’m thinking about a blog post for next week. Should I spend today (the Australia Day public holiday) on the computer or making wedding decorations? I really need to get to the Post Office tomorrow to buy stamps for our invites. What about that e-book and blog redesign – practically, could I get them done in the first half of the year? Yes? Maybe? Who knows. Oh gosh, Dad, how long has it been since I called my Dad? The weekend – what’s on this weekend? Baby shower! A friend’s baby shower and a first birthday and I don’t have presents for either. Yikes.

Welcome to my brain. What a hoot. Sound like you too?

The truth is, a lot of us are maxing capacity right now. Our focus is off because we’re rushing/ toggling/ over-exerting/ adrenal-zapping all over the place and sadly, we’re often doing ourselves an injustice trying to do more than humanly possible in totally unrealistic carriages of time. It’s exhausting.

Here’s a proposal: 

Why don’t we get all wild and rambunctious and flip things on their head for a bit? What if, instead of doing a legion of things half-heartedly, we made the decision to hone in on one important thing every day, and committed – no matter what – to getting it done?

Revolutionary? Too simplistic? Impossibilité? Not if it’s taking you closer to achieving your long-term goals and making you happy and more fulfilled in the process.

Here’s the deal:

FOR SELF-ACTUALISATION: Define one important long-term goal and work on it for an hour every day.

Pull out your diary and have a good look at your goals. If you were told you could only choose one of them to focus for the rest of the year, which would it be?

I’ve started putting a number priority beside the tasks on my daily to-do list (1 is obviously the Most Pressing Thing and 10 is the Can Probably Wait stuff) which I’ve found to be really helpful to ensure I don’t get struck down with the dreaded Overwhelm.

Try doing this with your goals list until you identify the one goal that you’d most like to achieve in 2012 – then start chipping away at it, bit by bit. It’s as easy as that. 60 minutes a day for 365 days is equal to 21,900 minutes, or 365 hours, spent working on your exceptional goal every year.

Pretty impressive when you put like that, huh?

FOR GROWTH + INSPIRATION: Read/ watch/ listen to one thing that inspires you every day.

If you can, do this first thing as there’s nothing better than starting the day listening to an inspiring podcast, watching an awesome video online or reading a thought-provoking blog post that really gets the cogs churning.

My favourite resources:

Oprah’s Lifeclass videos

+ Cheryl Richardson’s podcasts. Cheryl interviews provocative thinkers whose work is changing the world in some way in her free podcasts (search her name in iTunes to find the list) and they’re super inspiring. My favourites are the interviews with Natalie Goldberg (author of one of my favourite books on writing ‘Bird by Bird), Louise Hay and Jackie Collins.

+ Gabrielle Bernstein’s podcasts and guided meditations – also free on iTunes – and her brilliant videos.

+ TED Talks (scintillating stuff!) My faves are Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on nurturing creativity and Brene Brown’s incredible talk on vulnerability and wholeheartedness.

FOR EDUCATION + ENLIGHTENMENT: Read one chapter of a good book every day.

If you’re anything like me and order new books like ink and paper stores are about to be completely annihilated, you’re probably a touch overwhelmed by the growing stack on your nightstand. No time, too many to get through, why bother starting – and all that jazz.

It’s all about chunking. Reading one chapter a day of a book with 15 chapters will have you finishing it in just over two weeks, and I don’t know about you, but that seems pretty manageable to me. There’s something insanely satisfying about holding a finished book in your hands and displaying it proudly on your bookshelf, so if you’re a book-fiend like me, make a little time to immerse yourself in those pages. Books open doors, in your mind and in your life.

FOR HEALTH + WELLNESS: Allocate one hour of ‘you time.’

Whether it’s to exercise, cook an amazing meal bursting with nutrients, meditation time, stretching out on the yoga mat, doing a top-to-toe beauty blitz, or doing whatever else replenishes your energy stores and brings harmony to your life, commit to it. It doesn’t have to be all at once – you might break your hour into halves or quarters – but it’s so necessary. We all spend a large portion of our time meeting the needs of others and it’s so incredibly important we pay ourselves the same respect.

FOR POSITIVITY + MAGIC-MAKING: Write down one thing to be grateful for every day. 

You might have noticed in my Making Me Happy posts that (on average) I post about seven things that have really stood out for me over the prior week. That’s the equivalent of one blessing per day, and I think we can all agree, on even the darkest of days, there’s always something (no matter how tiny) that we can send the universe a little ‘thank you’ for.

I loved reading back on my gratitude lists from last year when I was pulling together my 2011 in Review post and I can’t speak highly enough about documenting your daily joy. Added up over a year, that’s a shipload of pleasure!

Additional inspiration:

+ Choose one affirmation to guide your day/ week/ month. Great examples here, here and here – and I wrote a bunch in this post too.

+ Join the lovely Chantelle Elem’s Photo-a-Day Challenge – the February challenge is just around the corner!

+ Write one paragraph in your journal every night to describe your day. Detail how you felt, what you did, who you chatted to, what steps you took towards your dreams.

+ Decide that instead of trying to catch up with all your friends every weekend – racing here, there and everywhere – you’ll commit to seeing just one of your beautiful friends and give them your full, undivided attention.

+ What are your thoughts on ‘the power of just one thing?’ Do you agree that doing less and doing it well leads to greater achievement of your dreams?

Images: Faded from the winter | Live Now 

Dreaming & Scheming: My 2012 Vision Board

I’d planned to publish my goalsetting post today but due to a few technical glitches (ahem, web host problems), I was unable to access my blog and finish it off – so tomorrow it is! Never fear, it’ll be worth the wait!

Everyone I’ve spoken to in the past week has been full of enthusiasm for 2012 which thrills me to bits, and I’ve had quite a few people ask me about vision boards and how to create one for the shiny New Year.

If you’re anything like me, you love a visual example, so I thought I’d share my newest one with you so that you have something to work off when you’re dreaming up your own board. If you’d like a step-by-step, I wrote a pretty comprehensive article on how to construct a vision board a little while back.

For even more juicy inspiration for dreamsetting, the gorgeous Jess from The Wellness Warrior has pulled together a stellar post, which I’m honoured to be a part of (I should note that my career/ blog goals are on a separate board because I ran out of room!) Head on over and check out Jess’ post and her board to get the creativity flowing. Oh and Universe? Count me in for Rich, Happy, Hot in NYC!

+ Do you have any questions about vision boards I can help you with? A friend asked me the difference between my vision board and my goals/ intentions list, and I explained that the way I do it – and feel free to do it your own way – is that I use my vision board as a visual representation of my aspirations, and it’s generally the bigger stuff I’d like to manifest (you’ll see I have a dream to own an amazing property in Byron Bay, and I’d love to write books that make the New York Times Best-Seller list – of course!), whereas my goals are more achieveable things I’d like to have crossed off within a specific timeframe.

There’s an element of impossibility with my vision board stuff but it represents where I dream of being in my life. There’s an energy attached to it, and to pull everything together, I include my words to live by for the year and hang my board and my goals/ intentions list beside each other. I find this is a really powerful way to manifest my desires -and it’s worked for me many times in the past.

+ What about you, do you have a vision board? Have you ever manifested anything on your board? Tell me all about it!

How To Overcome Overwhelm and Save Your Sanity in The Process

A theme that’s been cropping up a bit in my life lately – both personally and for the friends I’ve been speaking to – is the mire of overwhelm. Seems we’re submerged in it, drowning in a deluge of end-of-year-itis and unrealistic expectations as we recklessly push ourselves to get everything done before December 31.

The crush of overwhelm can be rapid and it usually goes a little something like this: one moment you’re on top of things – flying through your to-do list, taking on new projects with an enthusiastic “YES!”, squeezing in tasks because you’re feeling ambitious! energetic! high on achievement!… and then you take it too far. Overstimulated can very quickly veer off into the seedy backstreets of Overwrought and Overwhelmed, and it ain’t pretty.

I was there myself a few weeks ago and through a bit of soul-searching and my fair share brown paper bag breathing (well, almost), I found a few easy ways to regain a sense of calm before stress completely blindsided me, as shared below.

Inhale + exhale. Then move.


Stop for a moment. Scale back the intensity of your overwhelm by finding a quiet place – if you’re at work, jump in your car; if you’re at home, get horizontal on your bed – and once you’re there, give the following breathing exercise a go.

Visualise your overwhelm – picture it as a big, black ball or whatever works for you – and when you have it clear in your mind, slowly and deliberately breathe in. Let the breath spread across your cells and flow right down into your belly, and when you exhale, imagine your anxiety shrinking as you grow bigger in stature. Imagine yourself transcending the overwhelm until eventually it grows so small it disappears completely.

The next step is even easier (and I’ll bet you a million homemade vanilla cupcakes you’re feeling better by this point anyway). Get outside. Walk it out. Five or ten minutes of fresh air will save you hours (upon hours) of going round-in-circles as you try to be productive in a panicked state. Be kind to yourself. You have permission to breathe, release, move. It’s that effortless.

Plan ahead (it’s kinda crucial).


When you’re in overdrive – launching your new website on a ridiculous deadline, finishing up that last-minute freelance project, carelessly scattering your energy in the direction of anyone and anything that will take it – tunnel vision sets in.

“Hello, drowning here! How am I meant to find time to plan out next week when I’m presently paralysed?” you cry.

I hear you but you know why it’s important? Because you don’t want to feel this frazzled next week. Or ever.

I’ve mentioned before that I use Evernote to stay organised and it’s been a serious sanity-saver. If Evernote was a guy and I was single, it’d be ON. Try it.

To stay on top of my blog, I create Notes in the app for my Blogs to Bookmark and Making Me Happy posts each week and fill them up as I discover a wicked site or when something meaningful happens. I also flesh out juicy ideas for blog posts – bullet points/ lists a-plenty/ snappy sentences – so that when I come to actually writing the post, a big chunk is already done. Adding a couple of words to Evernote when they’re top of mind takes me less than 30 seconds, but saves me a bucketload of time in the long run.

Which brings me to my next point…

Break ambitious (overwhelming, glee-sucking) goals into manageable strides. 


Does it ALL really need to be done RIGHT. THIS. VERY. SECOND? Not always. Rarely, in fact, we just tell ourselves it does.

You can work your priorities one of two ways. Either commit one (or more) full day/s to a specific task and knock it off your list without distractions or attempting to do “bits and pieces of everything” or, break your bigger tasks down into bite-size pieces and do one small part each day until the job is done.

Narrow your priorities. It seems rudimentary when it’s spelled out in black and white like that, but it’s “all or nothing” thinking that gets us in trouble in the first place. There are options, and when you slash the non-urgents off the list (or create a second list to house them) stuff gets done. And we move on to the bigger, brighter, bolder business of kicking ass.

Cut the stimulants.


Last week I noticed sugar was making me anxious. Racy heart (and not the sexy type), shorter fuse, full-on saccharine suckiness. I’m a sweet tooth from way back so I danced around the issue and blamed my feelings of overwhelm on everything but sugar, but after conducting a few “experiments” on the days I was feeling particularly busy and overloaded, I found that – without a shadow of doubt – sugar was exacerbating the problem.

Caffeine has the same muddling effect, so take heed next time you’re feeling wound-up and on edge. That “reward” or “treat” you’re giving yourself in the hope of feeling better may just be the root of your antsiness.

Compassion + connection uncomplicates things.  


Have you ever noticed how voicing something that’s been swirling around in your head actually makes sense of it? The words come tumbling out and you realise you’ve found the answer to the very thing that’s been troubling you? Just saying the words to someone who cares is often enough to knock the top off the pressure.

Who are your big believers? Your mentors, co-conspirators, the Chief Champions of You? Can you get some brainstorming happening – perhaps lay a few different perspectives on the table? Share some mental mojo?

People love to help. All you gotta do is ask.

Take a technology hiatus.

Ahh, the old social media overload. I was feeling it in a major way a week or so ago (which is unfortunate, given I write a blog, Tweet and update the ‘Book with vigour… oh and work in Digital Communications by day and therefore spend EVERY DAY AND NIGHT ONLINE). (thank you, I needed to yell a bit).

The solution? Drop offline. Yeah, you heard me. Press the off button – with gusto. Lower your laptop lid. Retrain your thumb to do useful things like gripping the handlebars of your beach cruiser or massaging your lover. Contrary to popular opinion, thumbs were not invented to refresh the Twitter timeline on your iPhone 678 times a day.

Take a digital sabbatical when you’re uninspired by the infinite supply of information being catapulted your way.

When you realise you’re spending your days obsessively checking this and that and thinking “Why am I doing this?” it’s time for a break or a clean up. Unfollow people that are filling your feed with negativity. Unsubscribe from all those e-newsletters you delete anyway. Really think about whether you need a presence on every social networking site.

+ I’d love to hear your thoughts on this universal affliction. What triggers that “completely overwhelmed” feeling for you? What do you do to nourish your (hyper-excited) spirit and reclaim some semblance of sanity when you’re in over your head?

Image: Brooke Shaden

Declaring War on The Busy Epidemic

We’re going to get down and dirty straight off the mark today with a few truth bombs about busyness.

Busyness is self-serving.


You rock up late (again) for a catch up with your best friend. You’ve cancelled the last two times so it’s a miracle you even made it this time. She’s lucky to have your attention – with everything you’ve got on your plate at the moment coffee seems like a luxury, but anyway, you’ll have to duck off early, you explain, because you’ve got a list of Very Important Things to get through before the day is out.

At this point, what do you reckon she’s thinking?

“I’d kill to be that busy! Look at her, all frazzled and frantic-like, and would you check out that to-do list. Wooooweee, that thing is full. Totes jealous!”

Not likely.

More likely:

1. The blunt version: Who cares. We’re all freaking busy.

2. The crushing version: Seems like I’m a burden on [insert your name’s] time – just another task that’s been slotted into her over-scheduled life. Time to pull away for a bit.

Eek. Pretty sure none of us want to leave our loved ones feeling like that, but there’s a chance we already have. Many times over. Like Socrates said: “Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”

Busyness is a cop-out.


Busy has become synonymous with avoidance – a culturally polite way of saying no. The use of busyness as an excuse for not getting back to someone, or reneging on a commitment, is almost an epidemic in itself but it doesn’t mean it’s any less frustrating when you’re on the receiving end.

Busyness is also a magnificent way of avoiding the things we don’t want to face. When you pay attention to the times you say you’re too busy, you just might find that those are the times you’re up against something that’s making you uncomfortable.

Ask yourself: what am I running from?

Busyness makes you the victim.


Have you ever noticed how we refer to busyness like it’s something beyond our control? Like we’re the victims of this external force that renders us so helpless we have no choice but to give away our power?

“I wish I wasn’t so busy,” we whine.

Let’s be honest: you don’t have to be. Re-adjust and revaluate. There’s nothing impressive about martyrdom.

Busyness is arrogant.


Get truthful for a moment? Does saying you’re “too busy” make you feel important? Even just a teensy bit?

The undertone of “I’m sooooo busy” is boastful and seeped in approval – a badge of honour to wear proudly when insecurity tells you that you need something to justify the way you’re spending your days.

+ “How was work honey?” “Busy, ridiculously busy, I’m exhaaaaaaaaaausted.” (also known as I do lots, therefore I am)

+ “Sorry I didn’t get back to you last week – I was so busy!” (also known as You weren’t a priority)

+ “Actually, I can’t make it tonight sorry, super busy, story of my life!” (also known as My life is more important than yours)

And here’s the kicker: we’re reluctant to let go of being “too busy” because our identity is so wrapped up in this busyness that we don’t know who to be without it. Ouch.

Sure-Fire Cures For Chronic Busyness


1. Busy or overwhelmed? Make the distinction. 

There’s a big difference in being busy and being completely under the pump.

When I’m passionately engaged in something, doing work that energises me, I find busy is my sweet spot. I thrive on it. If you’re anything like me, you’re always more productive when you have lots on the go, but the tasks need to be manageable and the expectations around when those tasks have to be finished need to be realistic. We all know what enough means to us and what too much feels like and that yardstick moves depending on our personality types and the kind of work we’re doing.

By definition, busy means being actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime. 

But what about feeling too busy or overwhelmed? Sucker-punched by stress? This is where things speed up, heads spin, chaos reigns supreme, desperation kicks in and we want to go foetal. We go from having lots on our to-do list to a state of being overpowered or overcome in mind or in feeling. 

Personally, I find this happens to me when too many extra demands are placed on me – sometimes through pressure I place on myself, but mostly through external circumstances. I’ve created a busy life for myself with things I like doing and that are relevant to this part of my life (my job and relationships are necessities, my blog is a passion, and my wedding is something that is making me busier temporarily) but it’s when extra things get thrown into the mix (last minute work projects with tight deadlines, late nights that keep me away from doing the aforementioned stuff) I feel stress start to claw it’s way into my life.

Which leads me to…

2. Learn what to say yes and no to.

Priorities, priorities, priorities. Evaluate whether your busyness is momentary or whether it’s something that’s impacting your happiness long-term.

Start uttering that powerful two-letter word more often. Saying no doesn’t have to be negative – it says that you value the work/ person too much to put in a less than stellar effort.

3. More often than not, busy is a choice. 

The choice to make our lives so full lies with us. There’s nothing empowering about shrugging our shoulders and moaning about being at the mercy of our to-do list/ inbox/ Twitter/ Facebook.

Worse still, this then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – we think we’re stuck in this tumultuous existence where there are never enough hours in the day to do what we need to do, and so there aren’t (being overly busy is also a wonderful way to get nothing done at all – have you noticed that?)

Hone in on what’s important by making a list of the three non-negotiable tasks you need to get done on any given day and pull back from the rest. Know your limits.

4. Be mindful of your words.

Be aware of your energy when you find the words “I’m too/so busy” rolling off your tongue. Often, just talking about how busy you are can amplify the feeling, and instead of making you look in control and able to juggle a million tasks with aplomb, it can make you sound frantic and frazzled – the complete opposite of a person in control.

Busy is an interpretation. You can choose to see it negatively, as something that depletes you, or you can tell the world you’re energised, productive and grateful to be living a life full of experience and opportunity.

Choose your words wisely and take the power back. Busy is a choice. Own it.

Parting words

When it comes to busyness, I’m certainly not immune to lamenting how much I have going on in my life and it’s something I’m working on changing for good.

I’m making a conscious effort to limit the use of “too busy” in my vocabulary and paying attention to when I use it and how it makes me feel, which is really insightful. There’s an emotional response when you talk about being stressed or overwhelmed – it’s like your heart starts racing a bit faster and adrenalin kicks in, which we all know isn’t a good thing! Time to let go of that story. Life is only overwhelming if we allow it to be.

+ How about you? Do you catch yourself talking about how hectic your life is, or find it hard to slow down and relax? What do you do to combat the feeling of being “too busy?”

Images: 1. Jon Horton 2. Adorable Life

The Ultimate Guide to Your Dream Wedding: Photography

To us, finding the perfect photographer for our big day has always topped our Most Important Things for Our Wedding list.

The search for “The One After You’ve Found The One” (The Two?) is one of those things that you’ll no doubt deliberate over for a while (and yes, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that it’s a little more difficult than you first anticipated, just like we did). Most brides will tell you that their wedding day passed by in a blur of big smiles, thank you’s, cheek-kissing and champagne, and I think it’s fair to assume that we all want to be left with breathtaking photos that capture the moments, the characters and details to pore over for eternity.

With that in mind, I thought I’d kick things off in the right direction by presenting a list of my favourite wedding photographers and a few handy hints that will ensure you’ll look back with pride at your wedding photos.


Good thoughts to have when looking at your wedding photos: “Holy eff, these are freakin’ amazing, artistic, brilliant, beautiful – they totally capture our personalities and the energy of the day, I LOVE THEM ALL!” etc etc.

Bad thoughts to have when looking at your wedding photos: “Eek, who is that girl, WHY are we posing like that, OMG-where-is-the-photo-of-our-kiss?, I don’t remember the sky looking like that and the grass being fluro green… nooooooo! ” Basically, if your photos look like these, burn them. Immediately.

So without any further ado, here are the photographers that blow me away with their ridiculous talent. These guys are beyond awesome and totally ahead of their game. Take a peek below and head over to their respective sites to say hello. Awe-inspiring stuff.

The Magic Makers


Jonas Peterson – Brisbane 

Why I think he’s rad: Jonas is a story-teller. His story, his exceptional talent, rouses something deep in the heart. He has an authenticity and commitment to capturing those precious ‘moments between’ – a stolen kiss, a secret smile shared between lovers, a tear in the eye or a squeeze of the hand – that has earned him a reputation (and official recognition) as one of the top photographers in the world. And rightly so.

What I really love about Jonas is his images are raw and completely void of the Barbie-face post-production favoured by many a wedding photog. And as if his talent behind the lens isn’t enough, he’s damn good writer too and gives us an insight into his life on the road on his site. Read this and this and you’ll get what I mean.

Sarah Yates – Los Angeles  

Why I love her: Sarah is not only a supremely talented photographer, she’s a lovely person to boot. I got in touch with Sarah (that’s her in the image up top) to enquire about her international rates for shooting weddings (seems I like to tease myself!) and her email response was so full of energy, enthusiasm and bubbly goodness I wanted to jump on a plane immediately and become BFF’s with this girl.

Sarah’s style encapsulates that quintessential sunny-California-summer feel with ethereal, romantic effects and a focus on the intricate details.

Simply stunning.

Sarah, move to Australia, please?!

Max Wanger – Los Angeles

Why he rocks my socks off: I discovered the breathtaking work of Max Wanger on The Lane and one of my favourite shoots ever is this AHH-mazing bridal shoot he did for the site. I also talked about him here.

Like Sarah (one of his friends), Max has the innate ability to conjure a range of emotions through his absurdly cool images. They have an almost expansive feel, like it’s up to the viewer to fill in the gaps and interpret the story their way.

I love that.

There’s certainly no one-dimensional, cardboard-posing, fake-smiling about it… Max’s shots are all about soft light, gorgeous colours, simplicity and an offbeat style that is totally endearing.

Jose Villa – California

Why he’s amazing: Jose Villa shoots images that people tend to go a little gaga over. OK, a lot gaga.

Soft, organic and spectacularly stunning, he manages to completely distill the essence of the magical weddings he shoots into each and every photo – which I’m certain is no mean feat. Lauded as a visionary of the wedding photography industry, Jose’s fine art photography is omnipresent and you can see that his almost poetic style is an inspiration for many.

Flawless, captivating, epic. I could go on, but I’ll let you take a look for yourself.

Homegrown Heroes


The wonderful photographers below are just a small sampling of Australian talent that I’ve stumbled across in my travels. Click through to their respective sites, dig around, fall in love, book them to shoot your special day! I’m sure you’ll adore them as much as I do.

Marissa Fleming, The Simple Things Studio – Sydney


Justin Ealand, Bushturkey Studio – Byron Bay


Christine Pobke, Pobke Photography – Canberra


Hailey & Andrew, You Can’t Be Serious – Brisbane


Dan O’Day – Sydney


So, there’s the inspiration and now for the nitty-gritty – how do you actually go about choosing a wedding photographer who will perfectly capture your day? Below are some of my tips and I’d like to open this up for discussion in the comments. If you’re a photographer, a bride-to-be or a happily married, I’d love to hear your advice!

1. It’s about personal preference


Any photographer worth considering for your wedding will have a website or online presence, so start your research by trawling around the web to see what style of photos you like. Check out the directory sections of wedding websites, get a feel for the “look” that will effortlessly reflect the vibe of your wedding. Are you into dreamy, washed out effects, sharp and crisp photos or something a little moodier and a bit more raw? Fashion-y shots or natural shots? The great thing is, it’s totally up to you! Define the parameters of what you’re willing to spend on the right photographer and start making a list of options, locally – and if no-one tickles your fancy – from interstate or overseas. Most photographers are willing to travel, so get emailing and ask the question.

Then, once you’ve had a bit of back and forth communication and you think you’ve found The One Two…

2. It’s about connection


The relationship between a photographer and the bride and groom (and wedding party as a whole) is an intimate one. As a couple, you’ve entrusted this person to capture all the moments that make up your wedding and it’s important that you connect prior to the big day. That human connection will undoubtedly affect the final photographic outcome of your photos and I really believe getting to know each other face-to-face is invaluable. Set up a coffee date, pop into their studio for a chat, Skype if you’re in different states/ countries. Like any good relationship, the getting to know each other part is essential.

3. It’s about style


When you’re meeting with your photographer, bring with you a range of ideas of the style you’re after (photography-wise) and the theme or feel for your wedding. Create a moodboard, be descriptive when you’re talking about how your perfect day looks in your head. Talk about colours, details, your venue, whether you’re thinking of doing a “first look” (where the bride and groom share a special moment and see each other before walking down the aisle) or whether you’re planning on doing the cutting of the cake or not.

Share your plans and if anything dramatically changes, be sure to update your photographer so that they can plan accordingly. The most important thing is that you work as a team – there needs to be a level of trust there so that you’re willing to take their advice on what will look good and what probably won’t work. If the love isn’t there, or you’re feeling like things aren’t quite right, make a decision to move on and choose a new photographer. Weddings are a once in a lifetime event and you want it to be picture-perfect.

4. It’s about other little things


Will there be a second shooter?* What are the options regarding packages? What are your travel fees? Will you provide digital files and how much do albums cost? These are all questions you need to speak to your photographer about. Find out if he or she has a cancellation policy and what the process is after the wedding, as you can bet once those grainy shots of you at the end of the night start with bloodshot eyes (haha!) start popping up on Facebook, you’ll be desperately wanting your professional photos back to remind you that you did look pretty damn incredible on the day!

* Just a note on having two photographers on the day – when there is more than one photographer, generally one will be taking the “set up” shots of the people, while the other will be taking the more spontaneous, party shots and little details. There’s definitely considerable benefits in having a team there on the day, but in saying that, a professional photographer will be more than capable of managing it alone if that’s the way you want to go.

Final Thoughts


These are the things I’ve taken into consideration while searching for a wedding photographer:

1. Every bride wants to look their best on their wedding day and I can assure you I’m no different. I want that to be important to my photographer too and I want them to work with my fiance and I on finding the most flattering angles for our shots. I also want their retouching skills to be top-notch but not overdone (never overdone). I want to look like me, just… better.

2. I want someone who I’ve connected with (as mentioned above) and that we feel 100% comfortable with on the day.

3. Creative skill is important, and in this case, I’m after quality AND quantity. I want shots of the details and the decor as well as the spontaneous moments where we’re laughing and having fun. Call me greedy, but I want to remember it all.

+ So, over to you guys now – do you have any tips to share on choosing a wedding photographer? If you’re already married, were you happy with how your photos turned out?