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Professional photographers in Perth | A Moment in Focus Photography


Harold Vernon Durant – 93 years, served as a Commando with the 2/5th Commando Squadron during WWII serving in PNG and Borneo.

I had the privilege of photographing Harold for The Reflections Project, which looks at honoring our World War II Veterans through the lens. This project is one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever undertaken in Australia. Members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography aim to commemorate our unsung heroes of World War II in print, and will gift the collection to the Australian War Memorial archives. The collection will provide a compelling pictorial record of returned servicemen and women living in Australia, reinforcing the ANZAC tradition, “We will remember them”.

There was nothing more inspiring than listening to the Harold’s recollections of events, far too many to mention. Nonetheless the one that I keep on remembering was Harold’s 21st birthday, where he and Snowy Henderson, another member of the 5th, were sent to disarm a sniper with a fixed machine gun on one of the main ridges in New Guinea along the Black Cat track. Harold recalls how it poured with rain the entire night and that they were pleased that the trees were large enough to hide behind, since the sniper continued to pepper the trees around them all night long. They managed to capture the position wet and tired in the early hours the next morning.

“Not many of us can say that we have experienced a 21st birthday in these sort of conditions”.

Harold also recalls when he and a few of his regiment were undergoing prewar training in the Victorian mountains by the Wilson’s Promontory – Harold was saying that they were always hungry and looking for extra food, as they never seemed to get enough. They had heard that one of the local pubs had a chook house behind the pub, and it wasn’t long after that Harold and some of his buddies broke in and stole two chooks to cook up and eat.

As the story goes, 60 years after the war Harold and his buddies were having a reunion at the local golf club in Foster in the North of Wilson’s Promontory Victoria. and Harold won the local raffle of two chooks. So they all decided to return to the Old Pub where they had stolen the chooks and handover the prize to the proprietor. Harold said that created quite a stir, however the proprietor went on to cook them up and served it to them. They had a wonderful party that night, while making headlines in the local papers that the WW II veteran’s returned the stolen Chooks 60 years later.

Harold returned to Perth, Western Australia after the war, taking up a professional cycling career where he went on to managing the sport for many years, to owning a Petrol service station and finally retiring the day before he turned 60. Harold reminisces that he has had a very lucky life, marrying Lynnette in his early 60’s after his first wife passed on. Lynnette being some twenty plus years younger than Harold, and as you can see she is still keeps him on his toes with a twinkle in his eyes.

It certainly was a pleasure to sit and listen to Harold’s recollections, knowing if not captured now in time they will fade, of times long gone where fears and hardship were the norm, but where comradeship and a sense of duty to their fellow man won out and carried it onward without question.

Nowadays in life and good times we sometimes tend to take for granted the sacrifices and efforts of these once brave unsung young men and woman, some of those who still stand proudly before us.

But we now know ………“We will remember them”.



If you know any WWII veterans that haven’t registered yet, help them to register at

The Reflections Project:

Honouring our World War II Veterans project is one of the most ambitious photographic projects ever undertaken in Australia. Members of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography aim to commemorate our unsung heroes of World War II in print, and will gift the collection to the Australian War Memorial archives. The collection will provide a compelling pictorial record of returned servicemen and women living in Australia, reinforcing the ANZAC tradition, “We will remember them”.

Special Thanks to Lynnette Durant for her assisting in registering Harold with the AIPP Veterans, and especially to Rebekah Wilson for managing all the AIPP WA photographers involved.


An early start was had by all on 1st November 2014. The weather report looked fantastic especially after the previous weekend was fully rained out. And what a day it was!

Our first call was with Peter and his Best men who were getting ready – a lot of fun was had with the Groom and his identical twin brother, David. (This is the third set of twins I have photographed getting married. Maybe that’s an album in the making for some quiet winter weekend.)

The other two groomsmen certainly added to the special moment, not only did they share in Peter’s joy but they had us all in fits of laughter with their clever one liners and constant joking around. Brilliant moments were captured as we took our time getting warm moments with Peter, while he reflected on his new life ahead with his future wife, Marianna.

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Next stop was Marianna’s sister’s home, to catch up with Marianna and her bridesmaids, who were all in various stages of dress and make up. This gave us time to get shots of the flowers, and the elusive flower girls moments before we cornered Marianna while her sister Rose assisted with the finishing touches.

Some amazing images were created with Marianna in her dress, a stunning design from Fara Almani, revealing elegant lace and delicate beadwork, a long train and matching veil which, we photographers love to play with.

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The formal ceremony was held in Perth City at Mercedes College, in a quaint little church, called the Chapel of Immaculate Conception. This exquisite building is nearly 100 years old, with interiors displaying timberwork and pews in pristine condition. A stunning place in all its finery. That’s where we found Peter and his best men all waiting patiently, as guests sat down eagerly awaiting the brides arrival.

Flower girls received their last briefing in preparation for the brides arrival, the little page boy Bailey looked on with amazement, with so much happening.

And the bride arrives,

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Peter and Marianna prepare for their final walk down the aisle, as Mr & Mrs Bennett



We took the opportunity to photograph the entire group of guests outside in the blistering sun, before we spent time taking the traditional family and close friends group photographs and finally bridal party. Three venues were selected, firstly we stopped under the narrows bridge to get one or two amazing shots, then the famous blue boat house and finally UWA and its stunning buildings and arches. It is here that we get creative, producing something new and unique.

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This last image is one of my favourites, just before we packed up to head back to the reception at Frasers in Kings Park. The light was behind Peter and Marianna, and we were able to get several stunning images.

The Reception at Frasers was fantastic, the food and wine uninhibited as was the dancing as we danced the night away.

Thank you Peter and Marianna for a wonderful fun filled day, your wedding day will be remembered by many, and we are honoured to have captured your day. may your love for one another continue to grow




Luckily Julie’s parents’ home wasn’t too far from where Simon and his groom’s men were getting ready, which makes for a more relaxed trip, not having to try beat the clock to get to the next venue on time. This is where careful planning needs to be taken into account and certainly makes for a more relaxed photographer…!

On arrival we find the house is abuzz with activity, and we understand that, the girls always have to outdo the boys, hair and makeup, state of the art fashion with all the accessories that’s always needed. Yes the boys are a walk in the park in comparison. With the Bride we like to spend a bit more time with her, get all the detail, rings, hair pieces, flowers, jewellery etc. with the full attention of her bridesmaids doing all the finessing and fussing, let’s face it that’s what they are there for..!

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We like to set the bride up in the best light and allow the action to sort of just take place, as it does, only on occasions will we assist in setting something more creative up. Preferably it’s those natural interactions that help tell the story, especially when we introduce the parents into the images, it’s those special moment’s that will be kept and treasured for a lifetime.

Julie and her family are a very close knit family and it was easy to see the love and care that they had for each other, this is the moments in life that once are captured are irreplaceable.

Besides the parents, getting some great images of Julie with her bridesmaid, maid of honour and the little page boy. They always full of fun and lots of interaction, I believe it’s this light hearted banter and finessing that helps calm everyone down, mind you it was Julie Bridesmaid, an Irish lass that had the whole family in fits of laughter all the time, and it was really hard to get some serous looking images.

As you can imagine we left the brides home a bit later than we normally would have, but we walked away with some amazing photos.

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Packing our gear quickly we headed out to the Wedding Venue being held out doors in the Garden at Matilda Bay Restaurant, where we are going to find the Groom and is best men all waiting patently for the arrival of the bride.