Jessica & Raef’s Chill and Laid Back Sydney Pub E-session


the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

My ultimate goal is to inspire you to do something creative and different (but still true to you!) in your weddings and engagement photo shoots and today I’m delighted to present another atypical e-session. The first time I saw it I was immediately drawn in by it’s unintentional unconventionality, the couple’s chemistry, and Jonathan David Photography‘s beautifully atmospheric photography.

Jessica and Raef aren’t your everyday lovey-dovey couple. In fact a special date night for them is best spent sharing a drink at one of Sydney’s pubs, or getting rugged up in front of the TV watching documentaries. Raef also happens to be a history buff so their first and many subsequent dates were spent in The Rocks and its surrounds with some of Sydney’s oldest alleys & buildings where around each corner, photographer Jonathan assures us, was a new story to discover. Here he is with the shoot’s back story:

We agreed to meet in The Rocks and Raef suggested we check out The Hero of Waterloo instead. This colonial-age building, established in 1843 is one of Sydney’s oldest pubs. Its age, though, is not what it is most famous for. Instead, its underground tunnel which runs from the cellars of the hotel to Sydney Harbour is what everyone comes to see. The tunnel was used for rum smuggling and the involuntary recruitment of sailors. Legend has it that young men might find himself drunk at the bar, dropped through a trap door into the cellar, dragged through the tunnel, to awake next morning at sea. The maze of stone cellars beneath still bear silent witness to its treacherous past – the cold iron bars and chains of The Hero’s punishment cells, for those unruly patrons, still hang in their place. So here is something a little bit different. An exploration of past and present. A story of love, in the midst of darkness.

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

Let’s meet the lovely couple. Here’s Jessica to tell us more about herself & Raef + how they got together:

I work as a service department coordinator for a company that caters to Australian Banks & Financial Institutions, and have done now for 7 years. I tend to dabble in a lot of different past times (until I get bored) including yoga, basketball, dressmaking, craft, etc. Even though I don’t get a lot of spare time at the moment, due to hectic wedding planning, usually when I’m not working, I’d be at the pub or hanging out with Raef and friends.

Raef is an account manager for an industrial waste company. He is an extremely keen fisherman (we share our bedroom with an incredible number of fishing rods), he lives and breathes sport, including Rugby, which he also plays. When he gets the chance, he will be out for days fishing with mates or spending time with me and friends!

Raef and I probably should have met years before we actually did – we had mutual friends and at one stage I even had a picture of his ex-girlfriend on my fridge! I had heard a lot about him, and he knew that I existed, but our paths never crossed. When we did meet for the first time, in May 2010, our conversation was about how great the single life was and how neither of us wanted marriage or children. I guess neither of us expected that when I dragged him home with me, and we exchanged numbers (which I believe, at the time, was only due to me having a dancing pole in my bedroom), that it would be the beginning of a relationship. Our first ‘official’ date was even worse – I spent half an hour on the phone with my grandmother and he thought I was not interested in being there (wonder why). But I got ‘invited along’ to a few more dinners, dates, a weekend away, and we started spending a lot more time together. He came to all of my basketball games, even though I protested it, and I went to his rugby matches (where I was known as the girl with the dancing pole). It was a really big surprise when, on our European holiday in October/November 2011, Raef presented me with a ring while sightseeing in Prague. Of course I said yes! We will be hitched on 16th March this year. Our wedding will be located in Sutton Forest, in Sydney’s Southern Highlands and we are going with a DIY vintage country theme – and I think we have taken DIY to the limit, with the dresses, flowers, centrepieces, invitations, etc. all made by us and a great team of friends.

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

Jessica’s back to tell us why the e-session reflects who they are:

To start off, Raef and I are not your typical “lovey dovey’ couple. We don’t feel the need to walk around everywhere hand in hand, and we are both quite independent people. I think at one point during the shoot, Jonathan asked us how affectionate we got in public, so Raef and I high-fived! (of course that was a joke, but that’s just the way we are in public). We also have very different interests, however, seem to be able to find things within each other’s interests that we also enjoy. I think this e-session was a perfect way of showing that – Raef has a love of history and has always loved spending time around The Rocks in Sydney, where you will find Sydney’s oldest pubs, which all have incredible stories. On the other hand, I don’t have much of an interest in that, but have always loved the vibe of The Rocks, from the markets to the architecture and, of course, the pubs! Choosing the historic “Hero of Waterloo” as a venue for our photo shoot was a no-brainer – it’s Raef’s favourite pub in The Rocks and the atmosphere is one that I also really enjoy. It is quite laid back and the perfect location for a relaxing beer or wine on a sunny afternoon – which is exactly what our e-session was all about!

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

the hero of waterloo sydney e-session

Thank you Jonathan for sharing your gorgeous photos of this refreshingly different e-session with us, and congratulations Jessica & Raef! Have fun planning your wedding! 🙂

Photographer: Jonathan David Photography
Location: The Hero of Waterloo

Image submission via Two Bright Lights

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