Although this particular shoot covers but a few minutes of their relationship on a Private Island Fiji, the undercurrent story based on Luck and Love, and how people are drawn together through the ‘coincidences of Life’ is where we truly felt a heart connection to Tom, Chrissy and their extended family. Here’s is their take on the 5 Day get-together:
“Last month 51 of our family members descended upon Nanuku, the beautiful southern tip of Fiji’s main island. The purpose was to celebrate — this year my parents both turned 70, my brother 40, my aunty 60, three of my nephews turn 18, my sister’s mother-in-law turns 70, and my sister’s sister-in-law turns 40. Being spread all over Australia and the US, getting together for each of those individually was going to be impossible, but we wanted celebrate each and every one of those milestones — so we met in the ~middle of the Pacific Ocean and combined them all into one giant reunion celebration. We called it our Family Fijiesta: 9 birthdays in five nights.
Wherever this might have been held, it would have been special. Our family is an unusual one, a patchwork family made up of his, hers, ours, theirs, fostered, adopted and absorbed, the fusion of five+ very different families drawn together by luck and love. So when we come together it’s not simple or smooth, but it’s joyous and magical and is all held together by a powerful spirit of unconditional love and inclusion that isn’t seen so much these days.
With fifteen rowdy kids and the stunning backdrop of Nanuku Island we wanted this one-of-a-kind occasion to be captured in our memories but also on film, so we contacted our instagram crushes, Kama Catch Me. Somehow we convinced them to join us on this crazy crusade.
Our family is obsessed with taking photos all the time and on all their phones phones, and despite rapid technological advancements they’re almost always bad and never shared. While we knew it wouldn’t stop the snap addicts, we thought having dedicated photographers join us would allow the family to focus more on the present. But we couldn’t just choose any photographers, we needed folks who’d feel comfortable getting caught up in the whirlwind of the family’s shenanigans, and folks that our family would feel comfortable being themselves around. We knew Gitte and Ropate were up for it and we couldn’t think of a better way for the emotion and settings to be captured.
One thing we didn’t anticipate was how much we’d fall in love with not just the environment of Fiji, but the people. Those we met were truly the most welcoming and joyful folks we’d come across, and while we thought a 51-strong family was big enough, after 6 days we felt we just added another 50-odd Fijian family members to the crew.
Chrissy and myself also managed to slip away for 15 minutes on tiny and remote Nanuku Island for some couple time and photos, which was joyful and rejuvenating — when you’re amidst 50 family members it can be hard to find time for yourselves and your own relationship. It was short-lived but sweet.
We’ll never forget the memories we made, especially thanks to Gitte and Ropate. One day we hope to return to Fiji to celebrate new milestones and reminisce on those passed. We all wrote down our favorite memories and dreams for the future and buried them in a time capsule by the beach at Nanuku Resort, so we have good reason to return and dig up those tokens of a wonderful time in the paradise of Fiji and family.”