Dan O'Day » Australian Wedding Photographer

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If we go a little way back, some of you may remember Ginger and Pearl: the amazing couple I spent a few days with trying to tell the beautiful story (with my photographs) of a life they had built together. My time with them inspired thoughts for a new project. I am interested in documenting the stories and environments of elderly couples that have been together 60 years or more. This has now become a personal, ongoing project of mine and I will continue to try to tell the stories of couples that have gone the distance through this life together, no matter how turbulent.  Their achievement is something that should be celebrated. After my time with these incredible couples, I would like to make a book for the families to adore and pass down to future generations. To me, this is a labour of love, the book is my gift to the families.

Which brings me here today.

This weekend just gone, I was invited to Sydney to the announcement of the winners of the 2013 Head On, Photobook Awards. The book I made for the amazing Ginger and Pearl and their family (showcased below) was the overall WINNER of the national 2013 Head On, Momento Photobook of the year award in the Documentary / Photojournalism category – you can view the other amazing category winners and finalists here (I am still pinching myself). It needs to be known that I could not have made the book without the incredibly talented Todd Gregory (designer) who was responsible for the layout of the book and creation of the wooden box it was encased in. The box, which, was intricately made out of old fence palings that came from Ginger and Pearl’s part of the world. Also, a huge shout out to one of the most beautiful and intelligent human beings in the world, Joanne Ridolfi, who wrote the the forward for the book (also, below). I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the family of Ginger and Pearl for inviting me into their lives and allowing me to tell their story my way. Hopefully this book will serve as a fitting family keepsake.


*Sadly, the beautiful Pearl left this world only a couple of months ago now. My thoughts and condolences go to Pearls family and of course, Ginger.




forward by Joanne Ridolfi 

It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and spend all our time only worrying about immediate tasks. But when we do this we do not prioritise our own needs and the needs of those closest to us. Respecting our own, as well as our partner’s needs is what makes a relationship work. This book is a reflection of this respect and love and also is a tribute to couples that have had long and rewarding relationships. This particular story is that of Ginger and Pearl. Ginger and Pearl have been married and have lived in the same house in Canberra, Australia for over 65 years. They are a working class couple who share the same morals and values. These shared values that have been the foundation to their relationship. Nowadays, Ginger and Pearl focus on their garden and look after the birds in their aviary. They also have a growing collection of fridge magnets—souvenirs collected over the years or sent from friends and family members. Long retired, Ginger spends most his days still practicing his trade: restoring old wooden furniture. His varnish-stained hands tell stories of many a happy piece of furniture that have left his care. Pearl is nearly blind, but that does not stop her from spending her days working in the garden and feeding the kookaburras and magpies that sing sweet songs to her from the clothes-line. This collection of photographs tells the story of Ginger and Pearl and although their lives have changed over the 65 years, one thing has stayed the same – they have always made it a priority to look after each other and the ones they care about the most.


john benavente - epic friend, epic! congrats to you!!!

Cam - Beautiful work mate, you’re truely one of a kind.

Amanda - What an AMAZING album Dan! Honestly, it’s truly inspiring. Makes me wonder what the HELL I’ve been doing with myself. Certainly not reveling in the beauty that is life, that’s for sure. Love it love it love it. ox

Nick - What a magical little treasure you’ve made for these guys! Good on ya Dan!

Julia - Bravo Dan! The greatest reason for doing this art distilled in one book. I totes love it.

michelle - holy crap.

Scott Surplice - Incredible Dan! Sad to hear about Pearl. Makes this gift even more special.

Kate Robinson - So beautiful!! A simple, meaningful, beautiful piece of art that will be treasured forever! I love how your photos are so honest, and your use of light is amazing. x

Tash - Magical and breathtaking….what a beautiful story you have told…and priceless images and memories for their family to treasure…thank you for taking us on the journey into the lives of Ginger and Pearl…..So sad to hear of her passing

Will Kim - This is beautiful. Simply beautiful

Tess - aww! I love this beautiful story so much! Congrats Dan!

anthony hoang - What an amazing gift.. Love is something that should be treasured forever. Beautiful and congrats!

Kirsty Aksentiew - AMAZING on so many levels Dan

Christian Pearson - Thats magnificent Dan. Congrats and bought tears to my eyes. You’ve beautifully captured the passage and ultimately the passing of time in such a tender artistic way. Well done.

Darren Van De Wint - In the hands of the right person picture and story making is a powerful thing. You have showed that with this beautiful body of work. Congratulations not so much for winning the award which is of course great too but for actually doing it in the first place.

rowe - i adored these images when i first saw them and the book is beyond beautiful… the wooden box, the typography, the layout… the paper ~ its all AMAZING! congratulations dan!

Alyda - What a gift you have daniel. These images are an amazing legacy for this family that will be treasured forever.

Oh and awesome work ‘other Todd’. You’ve got the skillzzzz

Janet - I still remember seeing Ginger and Pearl for the first time almost 2 years ago… still one of my favourite “stories” and collection of work of yours Dan, love love love…

Jenae - Speechless. The book, the images are all very deserving of the praise they have received. Truly heartfelt work.

Nick - Incredible. You are a photo god!

Glenn Stephenson - A stunning document Dan O’:)

Jules - Killer as always, dude. I remember seeing this way back — still awesome and moving as ever!

Suzie - Beautiful Dan. And lovely work Todd and Jo! x

Jonathan - Beautiful Dan, what a gift. Congratulations!

Mary - Wow Dan, what a wonderful gift you have given this family.

tanya tindale - i have the hugest lump in my throat.. simply beautiful………

Bettina Kingma - Beautiful Dan, so much heart in this.

Reni - How incredibly beautiful! What a great project.

joanna brown - Be still my beating heart…
Truly beautiful in everyway. x

Robyn - This project is so phenomenally beautiful. This was how I discovered your work. I love oldies and I love what you do. Hopefully it’s now on sale and it can take pride of plac on my coffee table.

Jodie Chapman - Sheesh. Pass the tissues. In the words of Rose Dewitt Bukater, “you see people.”. (Yes, I just quoted Titanic.) Absolutely wonderful, Dan.

Seth Carnill - I’ve said it before and I will say it again Dan… this work is incredible… stunningly beautiful and so moving. I’ve haven’t yet been able to look at these images without shedding a tear or two. Congrats, not many people make me cry ;)

Libby - Ginger & Pearl stood out from the moment I saw the beautiful box, the gorgeous end pages, and their effortless, comfortable love a few year’s ago. Your win is even more amazing when you consider that in the Photojournalism & Documentary category it was up against photo books portraying war torn and disaster ravaged countries. Just goes to show that intimate, observational photography of ordinary folk is equally worthy. I imagine Pearl would be chuffed. Congrats to you and a hug for Ginger!

rich - well deserved! congratulations dan – amazing … absolutely amazing work

Claudia Rose Carter - This is so well deserved. What a beautiful story, a beautiful ethos, a beautiful album and a beautiful blog showcasing it.

Madeline Druce - Amazing work Dan! It’s so inspiring to see stories like this told. We often focus so much on the early stages of a relationship. It’s so lovely to see, years down the track, the strength of a bond continuing. Love this.

Kristyn - oh my, this makes my heart ache and smile in the best of ways.

Kathryn Jolly - Beautiful and inspirational. I think I will do this for my parents and pass it onto my kids. Great idea. You got me thinking! Wonderful photography, really enjoyed seeing this.

Jessie - Exquisite. A story so worthy of being told. Beautiful work yet again, Dan.

Caro - This is wonderful. I think everybody deserves photographic stories like this!
Congratulations Dan on winning the Documentary Book of The Year.

Scout - Fantastic, well done. Seeing these images again gave me that ‘feeling’ once more.

Happiness. Perfection. Moving.

Nikki Bezel - Words are almost impossible in this case Dan, so I’ll just keep it simple and say so, so, beautiful. Congrats with your head on win, well deserved.

Myekal Benham - This series has always rendered me a blubbering mess after viewing. Amazing work my friend. This takes it up to 11.

Rich Ware - Dan, this is amazing! One of the best books and collection of photographs I have ever seen. SO SO GOOD!!! LOVE IT!!!

Raj - I clearly remember the emotion these pictures evoked inside me when I first saw them last year. Love, love, love this book full of your magic. Such a priceless gift…you rock Dan.

Delia Farrell - Oh gosh, I teared up just looking at that. What a beautiful gift to treasure.

scott thomas - reminds me of when I once photocopied an entire software manual ;)

maz - This work is awesome and so human. It’s a gift which would be treasured by the family for generations to come.

Kama - Stunning work, huge congrats to you. Where can you buy that book? I would love to have one

Jack - Nice work on the album and I love the look of the packaging.

Heath - Yeah that’s sick, love the way you’ve shown it blog style too.

Matt Smith - At first I was like wow that packaging is the most amazing I have ever seen! Then drawn to reading the story I was like wow what a humbling and generous project/gift to this amazing couple and their family.

I have wanted to photograph the elderly for sometime starting with my incredible neighbour who at 94 year of age still speaks of his beloved wife as though she was still here with him everyday we cross paths. Love is truly what makes the world go round and this is a solid reminder.

Thanks for sharing Dan, truly incredible body of work man.

oxana - SOOO beautiful , emotional ..light and composition and characters …so much feel, so inspiring.