Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Capturing the day - Our Photography

Your memories will fade, but the photos will remain.

Our photographer was a very important decision to us. So careful attention was taken to find, just the right one. Who would capture the day, but also reflect the style and feel we were after.

A photographers style can completely change the way your photos looks.
Photo journalistic and candid shots allow the day to be told like a story.  Moments are captured when the models are not expecting them and movement, moments and emotions are more natural.
The other side is a more formal, structured and somewhat "classic" approach, which you have all seen in your parents photo albums. These are also good to have, as you can capture more individuals in the photo, everyone has their "photo face" on, and it is easy to hang on the wall.
We choose to go with a photographer who balanced both of these styles beautifully, we got so many candid real moments of the day along with the posed photos that helped to highlight our best selves.

Ross Herbert was our photographer and we couldn't be happier with what he produced. We spent a long time looking through his photos deciding what we liked, and anticipating what he might have in store for us. We were pleasantly impressed.

The weather

I know that almost every bride/groom hopes for a gloriously sunny day, with not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind; and for your friends and family will be out basking in its glow and take home warm memories of the day that was. On the other hand, the boys will be sweating in their suits, the girls may need to slather on some sunblock and everyone's getting a bit hot and bothered. The photographer will be battling the flare of the white dress, as the sun reflects off it and blocks any intricate detail that may be hiding. All the while trying to position everyone to prevent any severe cases of squinting and face shadows. 

However, if you are looking at a gloomy day, look up. The guests may have to run between shelter to avoid the rain, and you might not have the outside ceremony that you always wanted; but you'll have great photos.
Given the right photographer, he can make the rain disappear (not literally of course, but make it appear so). By choosing the right locations, posing and lighting no one will know by looking at your photos that its raining. No one is squinting, no one is sunburnt, and you can get some really dramatic scenes and reflections. Experience is a big factor here, if they can show you their previous "wet" events and how they dealt with it you can have an idea of what to expect. Better yet, make a plan for the worst with them, what ideas for locations or props (cute umbrellas) would they suggest?

When the day comes, hope for something in between, but either way some one will always be happy.

Get organised

The more you know, the more the photographer can anticipate.
A good photographer will move about, without too much notice from anyone, but any prior information is always appreciated. Knowledge of where you are entering from, where you will be standing, where everyone will be seated, who is of most importance, along with any places where they should not be.

A good photographer will see the scenes no-one else will anticipate. Capture the emotion you cannot bottle.
Preserve memories, to make them last a life-time.
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”
Karl Lagerfeld

Are you planning any little surprises? Are you releasing a pair of doves or (like us) doing a hi-5 after the first kiss (we hadn't planned on it though), keep your photographer in the loop. They may be able to give you some advice on the best place/way to do it, and get ready themselves.

1Everyone needs group photos, no matter how candid you want the rest of the day, you need to document those who were there. Now, that can be a lot of names and faces to remember. So, create a list prior to the day of all the groups and names of people you want in each photo. It will save a lot of precious time and patience on the day. Even better, allocate someone who knows a lot of the guests but won't be in a lot of the photos (ie. old family friend)

Are you really proud of your hair, flowers, dog, or DIY projects? Tell them, they will try to capture most things, but point it out if you think they may have missed something. It always pays to be sure on the day and not regret it later.



I cannot offer to much advice in this section. As we had a few family members video our day. However if you can find a videographer and photographer who have worked together before (or one can recommend the other) then you know they can work well together and produce a good over all result.

Those who have had their wedding or event professionally filmed wouldn't have it any other way. Being able to re-live all the little moments all over again many years down the track is, to some, priceless.

Here are some of my Youtube favourites - enjoy :)

Meagan and Chris  

Alli and Charles

Rachel and Chris

 Amy and Julian

If you cannot afford something professional, then at least get one of your family or friends to video the ceremony and speeches. You will never remember exactly how the words were said, where your voice cracked, or the excitement of that first kiss.

Whether you are using professionals or not, it is best that you meet up with them well in advance, to discuss what both of your expectations are, and so you can create a rapport between you and the camera. You will have them with you for a good part of the day, crying, smiling, having them position you; so you need to know you will feel comfortable and at ease with them.


  • Real life makeup shows up differently in photos - a professional will know this and adapt accordingly. If  however you decide to do your own makeup,do a trial run and photograph it in all lights first.
  • On the theme of makeup in photographs, if one of you goes professional, then I would encourage the rest of the bridal party to follow. I recently heard of a bride who did her own lovely makeup, only to have her bridesmaids who had theirs done professionally look better on film on the big day. Not ideal.
  • Nibbles and drink - having photographs taken can be a lengthy process. We found ourselves getting a bit peckish and very thirsty. Luckily the event manager from Manuels rushed us a food and drink hamper, which made us last until the reception. We couldn't have been more grateful at the time.
  •  Timing - you and your photographer may have a difference in ideas of how long the process will take.
  •  Sunset - It is important to look ahead and see what hours of the day you have to work with. The photographer will require a certain amount of daylight to get the desired shots. We had our ceremony at 4pm and finished taking photos just on sundown, you don't want to think you have more time that you actually do.
 “A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty

  • Booking - Vendors such as photographers, videographers and reception venues can (most of the time) only cater for one wedding per day. This means they are the first to get booked up. So book early, organize dates. Bakers, florists, celebrants and dress makers can accommodate more than one event per day. What are your priorities?
  • Scavenger hunt - Almost everyone has a digital camera these days, and what better time to use it than at a wedding. The professionals have it covered at the ceremony but after they leave there is an opportunity for your guests to show their skills. Create a "Photo scavenger hunt" list to go on each table - where the guests get to see a list of shots you would like (ie. a moment shared between a couple, the flower girl dancing, or a toast) "Weddingbee" has some suggestions here -
  • Step aside - if you know your guests will be gearing up to take the group shot as well. Ask your photographer beforehand if, once they have taken their shots, would they mind stepping aside to quickly let some of the guests get one or two pictures in themselves. People appreciate that sort of thing.
  • Allow your photographer to be creative. Using reflections and props makes for a more interesting and appealing photograph. In the end you will see that they know best, that's why you picked them.

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