Category Archives: Photography

5 Reasons Why You Should Have A Pre Wedding Shoot

PRE WEDDING SHOOT

When you start enquiring about wedding photography packages, the question of whether you want a pre wedding shoot will invariably pop up.

Even if you’ve got hundreds of photographs of you and your future spouse together, an e-session can be an important step in ensuring gorgeous, emotionally-charged photos on your wedding day.

For those who don’t feel so comfortable in front of the camera, it should be high on your agenda, as it gives you time to relax and build rapport with whoever’s behind the lens.

Still not convinced? Well here are just five reasons why you should schedule in an pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer.

BECOME MORE COMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA

Being in front of the camera can be quite daunting for some people and rather than letting their true personality shine through, they become stiff and awkward. Some of the most beautiful wedding day moments are when couples relax and really wear their emotions on their sleeves.

But if you’re feeling intimidated by the camera or nervous that you’ll be caught in unflattering poses, your photographer can’t achieve this.

A pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer allows you to find your comfort zone with the camera and see the results of being vulnerable with your emotions.

Your photographer will have an insider’s knowledge of what works (and what doesn’t), so trust in their judgement (and that they won’t post unflattering photos of you for the world to see!).

Perhaps there may be a few moments caught on camera that don’t show you or your partner’s best side. But the beauty of digital photography is that they can be erased in the click of a button, while those that show your raw emotions will last as enduring memories.

GET TO KNOW YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER

First and foremost, your pre wedding shoot is a great opportunity to really get to know your wedding photographer before your special day. Unless you’re a seasoned, professional model, having a stranger pointing a lens at you may not be the most relaxing situation and it takes time to build trust and understanding.

Spending a few hours shooting  will do just that, allowing you to better understand the working style of your photographer and for them to establish your unique personalities and how you interact with one another.

They’ll be able to determine whether you need a lot of guidance in expressing your love for one another or if just being in the presence of your future spouse creates chemistry that’s worthy of capturing!

Each couple is different and being able to read the situation and respond to it is where an experienced wedding photographer can really make a difference. A pre wedding shoot allows them to gain a much better understanding of you and how they should approach the wedding day shoot to capture the raw emotions of each and every moment.

FIND OUT WHICH PHOTOS WORK OR YOU

A pre wedding shoot with your wedding photographer allows you to see yourself in professional photos and decide what you like and what you don’t.

There might be angles or particular shots from the session that you really love and if you communicate that to your wedding photographer, they can take it on board when capturing your special day.

Perhaps there were certain poses your photographer suggested that you weren’t really sure about at the time. Looking back on the photos you’ll get a different perspective and might even discover that they are some of your favourite images from the day.

The key is to experiment, be creative and communicate with your photographer because unless you tell them what you love, they’ll never know.

TEST RUN YOUR HAIR AND MAKE UP  

If you’ve decided to have your hair and make-up professionally done for your wedding day, then a test run is common to figure out what works for you.

A pre wedding shoot is a perfect opportunity to do this as it enables you to see how it holds up under the elements and in front of the camera, particularly if it’s with the same photographer who will be shooting your wedding.

It will give you a good idea as to how your hair and make-up will last in the outdoors (and for how long), as well as how it will appear in your wedding photos. If you’re not 100% happy with it, then at least you have time to make any tweaks or alterations with your makeup artist before the big day itself.

 

RE-CONNECT WITH YOUR PARTNER AND HAVE FUN TOGETHER

The lead up to weddings can be incredibly stressful, particularly if you’re going it alone without a wedding planner. There are so many little details to organise and events to coordinate that things can get overwhelming and it’s easy to lose perspective.

A pre wedding shoot is an opportunity to take a step back, reconnect with your loved one and just have fun together. Select locations which have a special meaning for you as a couple or reflect how you like to spend your leisure time together…and then let your creativity flow! Perhaps you can bring along some props for a romantic picnic in a grassy field or head to your favourite ice cream parlour together.

Just like your wedding day, you can give your pre wedding shoot a really personal stamp…and have a lot of fun at the same time!

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer Before You Hire One

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

So you’ve just got engaged and are on the hunt for a wedding photographer (and getting started early so all the best ones don’t get booked up). But perhaps you’re not sure how to determine which one is right for you.

To help you out, we’ve drawn on our years of experience to collate the top 20 questions you should ask a prospective wedding photographer before you hire them.

1. WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AS A SOLO PHOTOGRAPHER?

It might be a no-brainer to ask about their experience as a wedding photographer. But what you really want to know is their experience as a lead shooter and ability to take charge on the day itself. Second shooting is a great way to get experience as a photographer but if you’re trusting someone to capture images that will last a lifetime, you want to know that they have the people and organisational skills to get the job done.

2. HAVE YOU PHOTOGRAPHED AT MY VENUE BEFORE?

It might not be a deal breaker but it’s always nice to know that a photographer is familiar with your venue and knows all those secret little spots for couple portraits. They’ll have an understanding of logistical issues, such as getting there and parking, and have probably built up a rapport with the staff and the venue’s wedding coordinator.

3. HAVE YOU PHOTOGRAPHED A SIMILAR CULTURE/FAITH WEDDING AS MINE?

If you’re having a cultural or religious wedding, finding a photographer with experience is a good idea. It will give you peace of mind that they’ll understand what’s going on and be in the right place at the right time to capture all the moments. They’ll already be familiar with the traditions and customs and won’t step on any toes throughout the day.

4. COULD YOU SHOW US FULL WEDDING GALLERY SIMILAR TO OUR TYPE OF WEDDING? 

To get an idea of the images you might come away with, ask to see an entire album from a couple’s wedding day in a similar style to your own. A photographer will always share their best work online but you also want to see the types (and amount of) images that don’t make the website cut.

5. HOW DO YOU APPROACH A WEDDING…WHAT’S YOUR VISION?

This isn’t always the easiest question for a photographer to answer but if they’re confident in their approach, they’ll have one ready. You might want to be more specific by asking them how they handle certain situations or what their overall philosophy is as a wedding photographer.

6. DO YOU HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE, A BUSINESS LICENSE AND BACKUP EQUIPMENT?

While it’s easy to fall in love with a photographer’s work, you want to know that if things do go wrong, they’re covered and/or have a backup plan. You want the peace of mind that their business operations are legal and that they’ve thought far enough ahead that they can respond to even the worst case scenarios.

7. CAN YOU GIVE US AN OVERALL IDEA OF WHAT YOUR CLIENT EXPERIENCE IS LIKE?

When you hire a wedding photographer, their job isn’t just to show up on your special day, turn on the camera and snap away. Quality photography means planning and preparation…weeks (if not months) before the wedding day. So ask what you can expect from them after you sign the contract and pay the deposit, all the way through to receiving your images and beyond.

8. HOW BIG IS YOUR TEAM AND WHO WILL YOU USE AS YOUR ASSISTANT? 

You might find this kind of information on the photographer’s website but it’s a good idea to clarify it during your meeting…and make sure you’re actually talking to the photographer who will shoot your wedding. If you’re paying for a second shooter, make sure it’s someone with relevant experience and not just a friend of a friend who’s trying to get their foot in the door.

9. IS YOUR PRICING SET IN STONE?

It’s always worth asking if there’s any “wiggle room”, particularly if you’re having a wedding during the off-season or on a weekday. But it’s important to respect the photographer’s pricing and don’t change your budget or requested inclusions during the meeting. Most photographers are willing to be flexible to work out a price that’s reasonable for both parties but it’s important to establish that you can afford the photographer before having a meeting.

10. HOW CAN WE BOOK? 

If you’re ready to commit, check how much of a deposit is required to secure the booking and when the remaining balance is due. There should always be a contract with the essential info, terms and conditions included so there are no surprises and both parties are comfortable with the agreement.

11. WHAT INFO DO YOU NEED FROM US TO ENSURE YOU CAPTURE EVERYTHING THAT IS IMPORTANT?

A photographer should have a game plan for shooting your wedding, whether that be a questionnaire they ask you to fill out or a final meeting where you’ll go over all the important details. Always check what information they need from you to do their job and establish how they will utilise that to capture all the images you want.

12. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU’RE SICK ON OUR WEDDING DAY?

Unfortunately, sometimes situations arise that are out of our hands. So does your photographer have a back-up plan if they can’t capture your wedding and how will you be compensated. It’s a worst-case scenario but something your photographer should have considered. Do they have a network of trusted colleagues that could step in and how will they minimise any inconveniences and emotional hardship on your end.

13. WHAT DO YOU AND YOUR TEAM WEAR ON THE WEDDING DAY?

If you’re having a black tie event or a themed dress code, you don’t want your photography team turning up in something really inappropriate. So just check what their usual attire is and make any suggestions if you’d like them to blend in with your chosen theme.

14. HOW DO WE KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO SHOW UP TO OUR WEDDING AND BE PROFESSIONAL? 

These are questions you might not feel comfortable asking outright and will probably be addressed by reading online reviews from past couples. But if at any time during your meetings you’re having doubts about their trustworthiness, don’t be afraid to ask if they’ve ever turned up late or missed a wedding for any myriad of reasons.

15. HOW STRICT ARE YOU ON YOUR HOUR AND WHAT’S YOUR POLICY/RATE FOR OVERTIME?

Once you’ve established how many hours of photography you want, check with your photographer what will happen if things are running a bit late and you still have moments you want captured. Will they be packing up their camera until you pay them the additional hour or are they flexible enough that 30 minutes overtime is reasonable? It’s always a good idea to establish this beforehand to avoid any awkward situations or the risk of receiving a bill for the additional coverage when you should be enjoying your honeymoon.

16. WHEN WILL OUR PHOTOS BE READY AND HOW MANY WILL WE RECEIVE? 

Hopefully, the time frame for the delivery of photos will be outlined in your contract so there are no surprises or misunderstandings. But if you’re not sure (or your photographer is giving you a vague deadline), clarify this and get it in writing. Also, check what will happen if the deadline is not met and any compensation that they will offer, such as free prints or an upgraded album. 

You also want to ask roughly how many photos you will receive, which will usually depend on your photography coverage and the overall wedding day schedule. If you’re ordering an album, double check on the delivery time of this as well and the process of picking out your preferred shots!

17. HOW WILL WE BE ABLE TO VIEW, SHARE AND DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES?

In this digital age, it’s important to understand exactly what you’ll be getting from your photographer and how you can access your photos. Will they be released via an online gallery that’s password protected where you can view, share and download them? Or perhaps they’ll be on a USB drive. Make sure it’s outlined in the contract so there are no surprises.

18. DO WE OWN THE COPYRIGHT OF OUR WEDDING PHOTOS 

In most cases, both you and your photographer will share the copyright to your photos so you can print them and use them as you wish. But it’s important to check that this is outlined in the contract…and understand that your photographer will also be able to use them to better their business by sharing them on their website and social media posts.

19. WHAT KIND OF RETOUCHING WILL YOU DO TO OUR WEDDING PHOTOS?

Always check if the photographer will retouch the images before sharing them with you and what level of retouching they will do. This can range from colour correcting, cropping and fixing the white balance to removing wrinkles and taking out distracting items in the background. Editing is a time-consuming process and while some photographers will do it themselves, others will outsource the job to editing professionals. While most photographers will include some level of retouching in their quoted prices, additional retouching may be extra.

20. WILL YOU BACK UP OUR WEDDING IMAGES? 

This is an important one because all that money you spend on a wedding photographer is going to be completely wasted if there’s a technical failure and your images are lost. So check if they will back-up your wedding images and for how long this back-up will be available (which should be outlined in the contract). This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t back-up the photos yourself as soon as you download them, either to your own computer or external hard drives.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY

10 Steps To Finding A Great Wedding Photographer

THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

While your wedding day may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, your photographs will be an enduring memory for years to come…so you want to get them right! Finding a great wedding photographer is not just a matter of seeing a portfolio you like and booking on sight, but requires careful research and deliberation to find someone whose style, personality and budget fit your own. 

So to help you out, we’ve put together ten steps to help you find a great wedding photographer that is perfect for you.

DECIDE ON A PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE

The first step in narrowing down the perfect wedding photographer to capture your special day is deciding on the style you prefer. Perhaps you want those classic portraits in traditional poses, or maybe you want something more documentary which captures the raw emotions and spontaneous moments of your wedding day. Some photographers have a more creative, artistic style than others and there are some who even shoot using film if you want a really vintage edge. 

Having a basic idea of the style of photography which resonates with you is an important stepping stone in finding a great wedding photographer to make it happen.

SET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUDGET

When it comes down to it, you’re probably going to have a set budget to work within for your wedding photography and it’s important to establish this from the outset. There might be some room to move, but falling in love with a photographer’s style only to discover that they are thousands of dollars outside of your budget will only lead to disappointment…or debt!

When setting your wedding photography budget, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford and how important photography is to you on your special day.

GOOGLE SEARCH AND READ REVIEWS

Depending on where you live, a quick google search will probably come up with hundreds of wedding photographers in your area and you can literally lose hours perusing what’s on offer. Online reviews from recent newlyweds are a great place to start for recommendations and from there you can check out the photographer’s website and online portfolio. 

When reading reviews, take into consideration the professionalism with which the photographer worked and if they delivered what they said they would. You should also check out their other social media accounts to see what previous clients have said about their personal experience.

GATHER PRICING AND PACKAGES INFO 

Once you’ve decided on photographers whose work you like and have good online reviews, it’s important to get an indication of price before you get carried away. If their rates are not indicated online, then send them an email to request a quote.

It’s important to take into consideration that costs will differ depending on how many hours you would like to book them for, if there will be a second shooter supporting the lead photographer and any additional events you would like captured (such as an engagement session). But if you request a quote for their standard “shooting fee” and packages, as well as the type of album you think you’ll want, that will be a good starting point for comparison. 

HAVE A CONSULTATION

While many couples do book photographers online without having ever met in person, it’s a good idea to schedule a meeting to get to know their personality and learn a little more about their work. Meet them at their studio so you can have a relaxed get together to chat about your wedding plans and what you envision for the photos of your special day. If you can’t do it physically, then at least try and have a Skype or Facetime conversation.

At this stage, it’s also important that you ask exactly who will be shooting your wedding as some studios have multiple photographers working for them. While you might love the style of one particular photographer, another might not be quite what you’re looking for. So make sure you know who will be turning up when you’re getting ready on your special day.

REVIEW FULL WEDDING GALLERIES AND ALBUMS 

When meeting in person, it’s also a good idea to ask to see a full gallery from a wedding to get a well-rounded idea of what you might come away with. An online portfolio is often a highlights gallery, showcasing the best work the photographer has to offer. But it’s important to see the whole spectrum of what the photographer captures throughout the day to be sure that you’re heading along the right track. 

Also, consider the setting you have chosen for your wedding and ask to see similar examples. If you’re having a sunset ceremony on the beach, then ask to see a wedding album that the photographer has shot in this setting. If you’re having a glamorous ballroom reception, then make sure they have the ability to capture the dramatic lighting and ambiance of the space. 

You should also look critically to make sure the photographer captures those special moments that make a wedding day so special. Are they there for those split-second exchanges between the bride and groom, do the images translate the energy and celebration of the dance floor and is there emotion in the facial expressions? If you want a candid, documentary style, you need proof that your photographer can deliver it.

DECIDE IF YOUR PERSONALITIES ‘CLICK’

Remember that your wedding photographer is going to be with you throughout your wedding day, from having your hair and makeup done to intimate nighttime portraits at the end of the evening. So you want them to share your wedding photography vision, be comfortable in their presence and wholeheartedly trust in their expertise. 

Somebody that is assertive in grabbing those candid moments, but won’t be intrusive or get in the way of you and your wedding guests. They should be someone that presents in a respectful manner and can offer guidance and suggestions without being intimidating. It might sound like a lot to ask, but there are plenty of wedding photographers out there who tick all the right boxes, so it’s just a matter of finding one whose personality “clicks” with yours.

SELECT A PACKAGE THAT ONLY INCLUDES WHAT YOU TRULY WANT 

So you’ve found a photographer whose style you love, whose rates are within your ballpark and whose personality you can engage with. Now it’s time to nut out the details as to which of their packages you want and sign the contract. If you have the funds available, consider hiring a second shooter because it will mean twice as much coverage and will ensure all of those spontaneous, candid moments aren’t missed. 

It’s also at this moment you can decide whether you want to do an engagement shoot (which is a great way to become better acquainted with your photographer and feel more comfortable in front of the camera), as well as if you want any other events documented. If you’re having a destination wedding, then you might want to do a portrait or “trash the dress” session the day after. Or perhaps you’re having a multicultural wedding with traditional elements in the days leading up.

If you’re at all concerned you might run over time, it’s usually better to select a longer coverage from the outset as the overtime hourly fee is often at a higher rate. It will also mean one less thing to get stressed about on your wedding day if things are falling behind schedule.

DETERMINE POST-WEDDING DELIVERABLE TIMELINE

When selecting your package, check with your wedding photographer how long it will take to get proofs back and how many images you should expect. Keep in mind that uploading and processing large raw files takes time, so don’t be surprised if they indicate that it will be more than a month. 

It’s also a good idea to check if the photographer will retain the rights to the images and where they may be posted, as well as what rights you have to print and use the images on social media (ie. do they need to be watermarked?). Establishing all of these things up front will save you from any surprises after the wedding and make sure both you and your photographer are on the same page.

SOAK UP YOUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE 

If you’ve done your research and put in the time and effort to find a great wedding photographer, then your wedding day photographic experience should be an unforgettable one. It’s not every day that you get to be photographed by a professional looking so radiant and glamorous, so make the most of it!

Then all you have to do is wait in anticipation to see the finished results and a professional wedding album that will be an enduring and beautiful memory of your special day.

“An amazing experience – thank you Kraig, Chris and the team!

You definitely created the experience we wanted and made everything so easy from set up, picking the layout to tunes. Nothing was too difficult. On the day the dance floor was always packed – we (and all of the wedding party) had an amazing time – I think the pictures prove!

Thank you for being part of our special day!”

IAN & FELICITY