Showcasing Wedding Photographers

 
by Jennifer Cram (05/06/2019)  |  Categories: | Wedding Ceremony | Wedding Planning
One of the joys of being a celebrant is seeing other wedding professionals "on the job", and working with them as a team.

You can't beat a great wedding photographer - one with a steady hand, happy personality, kind heart, and artistic eye - to capture not only the look, but also the feel of your wedding.

Recently, I took the opportunity to sit down with two of the above to delve into what lies behind the skills, what enables them to make the magic they do.

Alison of Alison Cooke Photography

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Alison Cooke Photography Photo
What do you love about being a wedding photographer?

What’s NOT to love? I love the connection I have with my couples on their wedding day. I love that we always have fun and that I capture such beautiful moments they will cherish in decades to come. I love that my couples come back to me, years later, when they have a family. Some of my couples have become lifelong clients/friends of mine and I love seeing them again and again over the years as their family grow. It’s so very special.

What aspect of your job as a wedding photographer gives you the most satisfaction?
Knowing that I’m documenting possibly THE most important day of my couples’ life at that moment in time. I’m a people-pleaser so I get huge satisfaction from making people happy. I pride myself in going above and beyond to provide beautiful imagery and I’m always thrilled when I get such wonderful feedback on my work (check out my reviews on Google). I’ve also been photographing weddings for 22 years so I know how the day runs and what needs doing. I’m not a bystander so if something needs doing I pitch in and help. Consequently, I am a master of pinning buttonholes, correctly and without the pin being seen 😉

What has being a wedding photographer taught you about life, people, and weddings?
I don’t take for granted what a privilege it is to be asked to photograph someone’s wedding. Weddings are expensive and people put a huge amount of trust and investment in me. I work hard for every couple, no matter what the budget is because there are no do-overs on a wedding day and everyone should have beautiful memories of their day.  I also know that it doesn’t matter where you get married, the type of venue, cake, flowers or dress you have. All that matters on the day is that you’re marrying your perfect person. Everything else is insignificant in the grand scheme of things. So don’t sweat the small stuff.

What are your favourite types of venues for wedding ceremonies?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one! I LOVE all weddings! From backyard, to churches to beaches to bush. I LOVE them all. But I do have a particular soft spot for open paddocks and long grass. Especially the fluffy grass! As long as it’s not snake season.

What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding? (...about their photographs, choosing a photographer etc, but also about any other aspect of the wedding which you've seen have an impact on the photographs)
Get to know your photographer. Find a photographer you really connect with. Your photographer should feel like a friend and if you find ‘the one’, your wedding photos will be even better. The ability to relax and have a laugh with your photographer will bring out the best candid photos of your day. But this also applies to all your vendors. Vendors are a huge part of the day and you want someone who is, not only professional, but helpful and friendly. Choosing the right vendor can really make a huge difference to the day.

While I know everyone has a budget, my advice would be, don’t choose a photographer based solely on price. I’ve heard so many stories from heartbroken brides and angry grooms who booked a “cheap” photographer only to have nothing to show for it. Photography is an investment and any professional photographer running a legitimate business and equipped with ALL the gear (not just one camera) won’t be cheap. Cheap, professional and quality do not go in the same sentence. Owning a pair of scissors does not make you a hairdresser. Find a photographer who is qualified, experienced and has a large portfolio of full weddings to show you. Look for an AIPP professional as you can be assured they’re running a legitimate business and have the technical ability. Ask about their equipment, insurances and backup photographers. The ability to work in rain, hail, cyclonic winds and storms and STILL capture beautiful imagery is something that is gained over years of experience and cannot be found with an amateur wedding photographer.

Embrace an ‘UNPLUGGED WEDDING’. I get so excited when I hear these words!  Because it means we won’t be dodging cameras, iPhones or the dreaded iPad during the wedding ceremony. I won’t be tripping over Uncle Bob as he tries to beat me to the shot of the bride and groom walking up the aisle. The photographer is paid to do a job so please, to the guest, ENJOY the ceremony and let the professionals do their job. Because nobody is putting that iPhone pic up on a wall. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to crack out the phones during reception shenanigans anyway.

The Mystery Question: What question do you wish I'd asked you, and how would you have answered it?
What’s your favourite dog? Seriously, I’m dog mad. We have a Staffordshire bull terrier who is the best dog in the universe (as all dog owners will say of their own dog) and he is spoilt rotten. I love their crazy personalities and how excited he gets to go for a walk. Every day. The same route. If I’m ever feeling sad I’ll jump on Facebook or YouTube and watch dog videos. It’s the best therapy ever. So when people ask me if they can include their dogs in their wedding, family or newborn shoot I’m like…”Hell YES!!” Seriously, the more dogs the happier I am 😊

That was Alison of Alison Cooke Photography
 www.alisoncookephotography.com
Contact details:  Email: info@alisoncookephotography.com  Phone: 0418 882 778

Helen McConnell of Helen McConnell Photography

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Photograph by Helen McConnell
What do you love about being a wedding photographer?

I love capturing the amazing emotions of a couple and their families on one of the most significant days of their lives, their Wedding Day!  And I really love seeing their faces in awe of how beautiful their images are when we go through them all to choose for their wedding album.  I also love the real appreciation from the wedding couple and their parents for what we’ve done for them on the Wedding Day when we’re about to leave the Wedding and saying our goodbyes. 

What aspect of your job as a wedding photographer gives you the most satisfaction?
I love the rapport I build with my couples before, during and after their wedding.  When they come to see their images after they get back from their honey they’re so excited to see their beautiful and artistic images telling the story of their wedding and when they see their wedding album….all their “oooh’s and aaah’s” as they’re turning the pages for the very first time.  I’ve been photographing weddings for over 20 years and am always very generous with my couples because my main aim is for them to be absolutely ecstatic with the service I’ve given then and their beautiful wedding photographs.

I also love that because of the close bond we build many of my couples come back after their wedding for their maternity and newborn photography.  We’ve had quite a few couples come back 3 times for maternity and newborn photography and it warms my heart so much when I see them again and meet their latest addition to their little family.

What has being a wedding photographer taught you about life, people, and weddings?
After photographing weddings for over 15 years I’ve learned that everyone is different and everyone has different priorities for their big day.  I’ve also learned to go with the flow as sometimes unexpected things happen on the day and usually it is me to sort things out as I’ve had such extensive experience with all types of unexpected moments.  I’ve also learned that by me being relaxed and as helpful as I possibly can to my Bride and Groom, it helps them to relax and enjoy their Wedding Day and not stress the small stuff.

What are your favourite types of venues for wedding ceremonies?
My favourite venues are beautiful chapels.  So many couples these days are opting away from the big church weddings.  I do love garden weddings however I prefer chapel weddings because it’s more formal, everyone can hear the celebrant and the proceedings much better and everyone’s attention isn’t drawn away by the general public wandering past etc. 

What advice would you give to couples planning their wedding? (...about their photographs, choosing a photographer etc, but also about any other aspect of the wedding which you've seen have an impact on the photographs)
I highly recommend that couples meet their photographer in person before making a decision because they will want to ensure they feel comfortable with them because they will be spending most of the day with them.  It’s also important to do that because some photography companies hire “shooters” who they might not even meet until their Wedding Day.   I also recommend that they don’t choose their photographer on price alone as there is so much that goes into the photography of a wedding……experience, equipment, insurance coverage, personality, style and of course the quality of albums and wall art.   The saying that you only get what you pay for is definitely true for wedding photographers.  There are so many newbies now who go to photograph a wedding with one camera, have very little real experience, but have a snappy website that costs next to nothing these days.  Over the years I’ve heard of so many couples who have hired their wedding photographer on price and they have been truly disappointed…a disappointment they carry for the rest of their lives.  To help couples who are on a tight budget, we offer interest free payment plans to help them achieve the wedding album of their dreams. 

The Mystery Question: What question do you wish I'd asked you, and how would you have answered it?
If you had asked is it important to hire a professional wedding photographer….I would say definitely!  I know some people have that friend who is snapping away at everything that moves and they’ve got a pretty good camera, so think “Why not!! Let’s save some money and get them shoot our wedding!”  Over the years I’ve heard of so many stories of just this thing….getting Uncle Harry because he’s got a good camera.  The trouble is you can’t do the day again.  I also know people who have hired a professional commercial photographer for their wedding and the results were terrible.  The difference with commercial photography is you usually have plenty of time to set up shots.  With weddings the time goes very fast so you have to know what happens when and be ready for it.  So a professional photographer who specialises in Weddings is definitely the way to go.

That was Helen of Helen McConnell Photography
www.hmphotography.com.au
Contact details:  Email: Helen@hmphotography.com.au  Phone: 0402 108108