Month: November 2017

unplugged wedding

Unplugged Wedding Ceremony – Should You Consider It?

We live in a highly connected world where technology enables us to take high quality photos with an ordinary smartphone and upload them to social media in an instant, for friends and family to see. With the ability for us to record, document and broadcast all events of our daily lives now such an effortless task, it’s little wonder that many wedding ceremonies are now often plagued by guests taking pictures, recording videos and keeping an eagle on the reactions they receive (likes, comments, shares and so on), rather than the wedding itself. But is your guest’s preoccupation with their phone and other technology a good thing, or does it detract from your special day?

An Unplugged Wedding – Guaranteeing the focus is where it should be

Even older generations have embraced the age of the smartphone and the convenience of being able to share their precious moments with such ease over the internet. However, even those amongst us who enjoy the benefits of such technology may be dismayed when they discover that their wedding photos – which have been meticulously shot by a professional wedding photographer, have been tarnished by the images of their guests paying attention to their phones, tablets and cameras, rather than the ceremony.

There’s also the issue of privacy. Sometimes couples don’t wish to have photos and videos of their wedding to be published online. They desire to reserve this privilege exclusively for themselves. When the bride and groom invite guests to their wedding, they want them to bask in the wonders of their special celebration, admire the work and effort that has been committed and above all, enjoy the day as it was intended to be enjoyed.

Should smartphones be banned from your wedding?

For the sake of emergencies, it’s important that your guests are still able to bring their phones along to the ceremony with them. It’d be unreasonable to demand otherwise, particularly if guests have friends or family who are ill at the time or who are elderly and more at risk. You might however consider politely asking your guests to refrain from taking photos during the actual ceremony, for reasons explained above.

Asking your guests to keep their phones and cameras down

On the wedding invitations & program

Consider placing a simple request on your wedding invitations and wedding program for all attendees to keep their cameras, phones and tablets down while the ceremony is in progress. In the case of phones, politely ask all guests to switch them to silent mode to avoid any unwanted disruptions.

Before the wedding begins

Another good idea is to have somebody from the wedding, such as a master of ceremonies notify everyone in attendance to kindly put their devices away, explaining to them that there will be a wedding photographer on-hand who will be capturing all the special moments throughout the day.

Signs

One of the most popular ways to remind guests not to take photos during the ceremony is to simply erect a sign outside the venue. Don’t be afraid to add a little humour into the message to help allay any concerns that that your guests may feel as if you’re behaving like an overbearing dictator by asking them to put their beloved phones and cameras away.

unplugged wedding

To Do or Not to Do

The aim this blog post isn’t to persuade you to have an unplugged wedding, but to alert you to the possible side effects of allowing your guests to freely take photos during the ceremony. The decision to have an unplugged wedding or not must be made well in advance of the actual wedding date.

Some couples may find that they’re more than happy for their guests to take their own snapshots throughout the wedding, but others may realise that they haven’t considered the implications of doing so and may be concerned that smartphones and cameras may detract from the intimacy of such a special occasion.

If you’ve gone to the trouble of appointing a professional wedding photographer to capture your wedding, you’d like to be certain that they can take the most spectacular photos possible and produce a wedding album of glorious photos that you will cherish forever.

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Why You Should Employ a Professional Wedding Photographer

1) Photography is an art form that requires more than just a good camera

Anyone can use a camera to take photos with, but only a professional photographer can capture the true essence of a grand occasion such as a wedding ceremony and all the intricate moments that comprise it. Suppose you were about to have the house of your dreams built for you and your loved one, would you enlist the services of an unqualified apprentice to oversee its construction, or would you instead employ a reputable home builder who could be trusted to deliver the standard of care and craftsmanship deserving of such an important undertaking? The answer is obvious and it should be no different when it comes to deciding on a wedding photographer.

It’s essential that you have someone who is capable of capturing remarkable photos in all lighting and weather conditions and who can create compelling shots that are both flawless and imaginative. This spontaneous creativity and sublime execution doesn’t come from the camera itself, it comes from the countless hours that a professional photographer devotes to their craft. The end result of this endless toil isn’t just a handful of quality photos for you to cherish and hold on to, but an entire album of magical photos.

2) A professional wedding photographer makes it easier for you

An experienced wedding photographer is familiar with all the intricacies of the ceremony, meaning that they understand when and where they need to be at the precise times to take the best shots. They’re unobtrusive and efficient. They’re also aware of the sequence of the events, allowing them to be perfectly positioned to capture all those wonderfully intimate photos of the newlyweds.

Unlike an ordinary photoshoot, a photographer doesn’t have the luxury of being able to have everything set up exactly as they want in order to achieve the desired shot at a wedding, they must instead be in the right place at the right moment. The photographer must adjust to the frantic schedule of the wedding ceremony, not the other way around.

3) It’s more enjoyable and less stressful for you

A wedding has both still shots that require the celebrants and guests to pose for photos and also action shots. When posing for your photos, it’s important that you are able to feel calm and relaxed, not tense and uptight. A professional wedding photographer understands this and they know how to get you feeling confident and fabulous in front of the camera, ensuring beautiful photos that capture your natural emotions, rather than your nerves. Your photos should be an enjoyable part of an exciting day and a good photographer will always help guarantee this.

4) There is always a backup plan

Hiring a professional wedding photographer will assure you of spectacular photos, but what if the unthinkable were to somehow happen? Suppose your world famous, globetrotting photographer were to suffer an accident that prevented them from making it to your wedding, or their computer were to fall victim to a cataclysmic hardware malfunction that destroyed all your photos!? A professional wedding photographer will always have a backup plan in place.

In the (unlikeliest) event that your photographer isn’t able to make it due to sickness or injury, they will have trusted colleagues to call upon to take their place. Even in this day and age where computer technology is more reliable than past generations, hardware failure is still a real risk and any professional photographer worth their salt will make multiple backups of their work onto multiple hard different media formats (hard drives, portable hard drives, high capacity USB sticks and so on).

A professional photographer would fully understand the devastating consequences that such a catastrophe would have on their reputation if something like this were to go wrong for a client and they would do everything in their power to prevent this from ever happening.

5) It’s a unique experience that will never be repeated

Whether it’s your first wedding or your twenty first wedding, this particular wedding day will never be repeated. You only have a single opportunity to get it right. When the day is done, your photos are the only tangible reminders of that momentous occasion. Photos that you will hopefully cherish for the rest of your life. Ensure that you have a set of mementos that will help you relive the joy and happiness that you felt on that day, for as long as you live by hiring a professional wedding photographer.

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Choosing a Wedding Celebrant: 4 things to look for.

Chances are that you are only going to be selecting a wedding celebrant once, which is why it is necessary that you and the celebrant, who you are asking to arrange and officiate the wedding, are on the same page when it comes to the celebrations.

To that end, following are some of the things you should look for in a wedding celebrant for your special day.

1)   Confident and Calm under Pressure

A wedding celebrant may have to speak in front of a dozen people, or a thousand, depending on the size of the wedding. Arrangements can often go awry and it can often be up to the celebrant to maintain order. This requires a wedding celebrant who is calm under pressure and reassuringly confident, in order to keep the general mood pleasant and always upbeat.

2)   Communication and Social Skills

This goes without saying – a wedding celebrant has to be the most communicative person in the event! They have to dictate the ceremony, coordinate with the photographer/videographer and manage the guests to some extent during the most important part of the wedding. More than that though, they have to make sure the ceremony flows according to the vision of the couple, whilst reassuring and navigating them through what is usually very nerve racking moment for them. This in itself requires a genuineness and ability to ad-lib as the ceremony unfolds

3)   Versatility and Uniqueness

A good wedding celebrant is one who has a creative versatility that helps them bring the ideal ceremony to life, while at the same time making it as unique and personal as possible for the marrying couple. Everyone’s personal taste is different, and ideally you would want a wedding celebrant to not only understand it, but expand on it to create a masterpiece of a wedding.

4)   A Moving and Engaging Personality

Wedding celebrants need to have a personality that not only enhances the magical, joyous aura surrounding the altar, but it makes the entire ceremony an auspicious one. Choice and delivery of words, tone of voice and unfaltering confidence are all important equally.

More than anything, though, it is important to hire a wedding celebrant who understands your specific vision. It is after all, your day, and such a day is best celebrated your way!

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How to Build a Successful Wedding Photography Business

For professional wedding photographers seeking to establish a profitable enterprise, one of the biggest challenges they face is migrating to a full time schedule. Relying on photography to be your primary source of income can be frightening when you’re just beginning to ply your trade. So what are some of the essential things that photographers must do in order to give themselves the best chance of creating a prosperous new wedding photography business?

1) Build Lasting Friendships

It’s crucial that you develop lasting friendships with as many industry colleagues as you can. This doesn’t necessarily have to involve high pressure liaisons with a great number of people at a single event, it may simply mean asking a local wedding supplier to join you for lunch somewhere. Beyond this, look to spread your wings in the online realm; get a beautiful website to showcase your glorious work, use social media and online forums in your local area to promote your services and engage with prospective clients.

2) Dare to Be Successful

Succeeding in business requires – among other things, a great deal of courage. You must not only remain staunchly committed to participating in those oh-so-necessary networking events, but also to evolving your artistic flair and business acumen. Agree to offer friends or family a complimentary photoshoot to help you hone your skills. A positive experience for them (and great photos!) will do wonders for your confidence and your fledgling business.

Contact a magazine (online or traditional print) and request them to consider publishing your work. You can even look to get in touch with the owner of a successful blog and have your work featured; having your work published online can be a great boon for your business, especially if you have a website set up where visitors can have a more comprehensive look at your work and services.

3) Seek Excellence in Everything You Do

Whether it’s your website, personal attire, attitude towards clients or the work that you produce, aim for the highest standards of excellence in everything you do. Each of these tangible qualities plays an important role in determining how your clients perceive you and your business.

4) Ignore The Phrase ‘Shameless Self Promotion’

When your business is in the process of finding its feet, you need every shred of (positive) publicity you can get your hands on. Ignore any feelings of pretention you may feel and look to market your business through every means available; your website, your meet and greets, your social media interactions, online and printed publications and through whichever other avenue you feel is appropriate to generate brand awareness. This goes back to step 2; ‘Dare to Be Successful’.

5) Keep Evolving Your Craft

No matter how many years of experience you have, photography is a skill that can never truly be ‘mastered’. There’s always room for improvement. Thanks to the internet, there’s an abundance of knowledge and inspiration just waiting to be discovered. As wonderful as the internet is however, there’s no greater way to hone your craft and advance your skillset than to sign up for a workshop. Not only do workshops enable you to learn new techniques and enhance your raw technical ability, they also provide an ideal environment for you to mingle with fellow photographers and potentially establish new business contacts, as well. So you can consider workshops to be a kind of unofficial business networking event, too.

6) Dive in and Have Fun!

When you see wedding photographers that appear to have everything you desire to have; a thriving business, exceptional quality work, widespread acclaim and overwhelmingly positive reviews from clients, understand that this didn’t just happen overnight. Success doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a gruelling amount of work, a great deal of personal sacrifice and an ability to learn from the numerous mistakes you are likely to make when you are just starting out.

If you find yourself in a position where you feel that the stresses and demands of running your own business are simply too much to bear, just try to imagine how satisfying it will be when you too have your very own lucrative little business.

7) Down to Business

When operating a business, you must ensure that the following are taken care of:

Equipment Insurance – this helps to cover you in the event that your photography equipment is stolen (whether onsite or offsite), accidentally damaged and more.

Business Insurance – this helps to protect you in the event of physical damage to your premises, due to fire, flooding or such and also helps to safeguard you in the event that a client (or even one of your employees) suffers an injury while onsite.

Note – If you search online, you’ll discover that there are a number of insurance companies that provide comprehensive insurance coverage tailored exclusively for professional photographers. This is something you may wish to look into.

Client contracts – always have a contract drawn up for every client you do business with, which clearly stipulates what is and what is not included in the service.

Business Taxes – ensure that your business is legally registered and that all taxes owing, are payed on time. Seek professional assistance from an accountant if you are uncertain about your business’ tax responsibilities.

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Do’s and Don’ts to planning a successful wedding

Wedding planning is big deal and effectively, as well as efficiently planning a wedding has become somewhat of an art form! This is because of the myriad possibilities of failure that come with planning a wedding. There’s a lot to consider but get a head start with a few of our do’s and don’ts to help plan and execute your wedding successfully.

 

Don’t: Feel like you have to stick to traditional wedding customs or current trends.

If you start to become overwhelmed trying to fit in all the traditions and details of a typical wedding, remember that this is your wedding, your special day and no one else’s. At the end of the day, you can and should do whatever makes you happy. If you do deviate from the norm it instantly becomes so much more personal to you both and unique for your guests. Inject you and your fiancé’s personalities into every element of your big day and own your wedding.

Do: Go unplugged for your ceremony.

Encouraging your guests to put down their devices can be a sensitive dance but if communicated in the correct way your guests should be able to respect your request. Their are plenty of signs you can print or purchase or have your celebrant say something before the ceremony commences. On such a special day you want your guests to be fully present at your ceremony so go unplugged.

Don’t: Hire a friend or family member as your wedding photographer

As much as it will save you money or make you feel comfortable having a friend take your photos you should really hire a professional photographer for such a special occasion. Professionals are bound by a legal contract so they are guaranteed to show up and cover everything they need to on your day, where as a friend can tend to be a bit casual because they don’t have that ‘professional’ relationship with you.

Pro’s have also seen the worst and are prepared for it. They have backup cameras, batteries, lights, etc and have spent hundreds of hours honing their craft specifically doing weddings. At the end of the day you will only have your memories and your photos, so take our word for it and hire a quality, professional wedding photographer.

Do: Stick to your budget

Budgets are created for a reason. I know it’s a special day and you can get swept up in the moment, but it’s no excuse to blow all your savings. Sit down with your fiancee and decide what is important to you. Decide where you can put some extra money into or where you have to compromise. You don’t want the added financial stress of going over your budget so plan well, prioritise whats important and stick to it.

Don’t: Don’t put all of your big moments back-to-back

You want to spread your big moments out so your guests don’t experience all those exciting moments at once.  You want to keep the energy up. Sprinkle the dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss and other moments out so the night is full of excitement right until the end

Do: Visit your guests during your reception

It is a great display of appreciation and respect when the bride and groom spend a few moments visiting their guests at each table.

Don’t: Include registry information on your invites.

Your invitation lets your guests know how much you appreciate them and want them to share your wedding day with you. There should not be any mention of an expectation for a gift. Keep the focus on your guests rather than the gifts and spread the registry details through word of mouth. Tell your wedding party, parents and close friends where you are registered, and let them fill guests in.

Don’t: Pick a spot that’s extremely far away from your reception.

Keeping your ceremony close to or around your reception venue will simplify your planning and cut down on logistics. You will likely have less time for your bridal photos as you will have to factor in travel. By booking a ceremony venue that’s nearby to your reception you’ll have more time for things like photos and mingling with your guests at cocktail hour.

If you’re set on your ceremony venue or have already booked somewhere far from the reception, consider providing transportation for your wedding guests. It’s the courteous thing to do. Book a bus and you can supply some drinks and snacks to entertain them during the ride.