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Wedding Day Tips and Tricks

Wedding Day tips and tricks to get you through your special day.

– From a photographer who sees them all!

As a wedding photographer I have learnt so much about weddings that I wish I had known when I got married! Some of it is pretty self explanatory, some of it is stuff most people only realise on the day that they have to ask someone else how it works.

I hope that some of this will help you to be organised and relaxed on your wedding day!

• If it’s in your budget hire a planner or stylist. You may have had fun making all your DIY stuff but on the day you and your bridal party will all be busy getting ready and it’s very hard to delegate from your makeup chair. You have spent so much time planning and making things that you want it to be perfect and you don’t want to be stressing that everything hasn’t been done right. Hiring a professional even for a few hours of setup will help your day run as smoothly as possible.
If you can’t afford a professional, then delegate to friends and family well ahead of time and make sure everyone knows their jobs.
Beach Wedding

• As a photographer I recommend doing an Engagement shoot with your photographer. Of all of the vendors that you hire for your wedding day, the photographer is the one you will spend the most time with. You need to make sure you enjoy their company and feel comfortable with them, especially if you want happy, natural photographs.

• Consider your timing. Be sure to include travel time in your calculations. This is especially important when choosing your photography locations as it can really eat into your valuable time and timing is everything! If you can’t have your ceremony until later in the day consider having a ‘first look’. This is where you and your husband/wife to be see each other before the ceremony and get some photos of the two of you. It’s a personal decision of course but can be really lovely and special getting those jitters out beforehand.

• Delegate one of your bridal party to gather up all of the things you want photos of such as your shoes, jewellery, dress, perfume, suit jackets, cufflinks etc. This will mean the photographer doesn’t have to go riffling through your bags and closets.
brides perfume

• Give your photographer a list of family photos and delegate someone from your bridal party to help round everyone up. It’s so sad when you miss those family photos you really wanted but either the photographer doesn’t know, or can’t find who you need.

• Hydrate and get plenty of sleep. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, and the excitement leading up to your wedding, but there’s only so much your makeup artist and photographer can do about tired skin and bloodshot eyes!

• Cake it on! I know a lot of brides don’t like heavy make up and feel that it looks so noticeable, but it’s better to have a nice matte finish than be shiny before you even get to the ceremony. Especially if you are having an outside ceremony and in the heat. Speak to your makeup artist and find out if they use products for and/or have experience in tv makeup as that is a good indication that they know what works. Your photographer can retouch those shiny, sweaty spots but you will probably have others taking photos of you as well and using flash makes it even worse!

• Use waterproof mascara. You do not want it to run!
makeup kit

• If your going to get a fake tan, make sure you get it 2-3 days before the big day to give it time to settle in and look more natural. Be sure to exfoliate and get a trial done to find a good shade for you. No one like to look like an oompa loompa!

• Prepare for any weather. Have a backup plan and have gumboots or thongs for your bridesmaids if you’re going to be in a paddock or climbing rocks.
wedding in the rain

• Some good posing tips. Lean forward, chin out and down and put your weight on one leg. A slight S shape in your body is always flattering.

• Buttonholes and corsages go on the left side. This is because it’s closest to your heart and most people are right side dominant and come in from the right for a hug.

• Girls – move your engagement ring to your other hand, so your hand is free of rings when he puts it on you. You can then move it over once your married.

• Pack an esky of drinks and snacks for your photo shoot. If you have hired a car they may provide some drinks, but there’s a good chance the butterflies have prevented you eating much in the morning and you’ll need to have a bite to eat.
Engagement ring
• If you have any questions or need to find a supplier ask your vendors. Chances  are we have a few people we can recommend. It’s also nice to provide your  vendors with a list of your other suppliers as it helps on the day and we also like to  thank each other for making your day special.

• Lastly relax and enjoy your day! Remember it’s your day, not anyone else’s and  it’s going to perfect even if things go wrong!

I hope you have found this information helpful.
Please feel free to share!

By |June 12th, 2015|weddings|

Photographing Newborns Without a Studio

When it comes to shooting Newborns, you can pretty much set up anywhere as the ‘studio’ only needs to be quite small.

I make a point of offering to shoot my clients babies in their own home, as being a mother myself I understand just how hard it can be getting out of the house in those first few weeks! Especially when everyone wants to visit and see the gorgeous new baby! Then there is also the matter of whether mum is able to drive after giving birth.

I usually set up at least a couple of different set-ups which can be easily adjusted to get a few different looks in without upsetting baby too much.

Before you start there are a couple of things that will help you keep bubs asleep and cosy, which is what you need when working with a newborn. The main reason for this, is if you’ve ever tried to photograph a newborn, you will notice their arms and legs go everywhere and they make all sorts of strange and wonderful expressions with their mouths. Although this can be cute, it’s very hard to get the adorable shots we’re after! Firstly make sure the room is really warm. I usually work in about 28-30 degrees celcius. This can get uncomfortable for the adults in the room, but baby will be nice and cosy. You can always use a under blanket heating pad, and I also find if you’re using an oil heater in the room, you can pop a blanket over it for a minute to put over the baby once you have them positioned to make sure they settle. Secondly the use of white noise will help them settle as well. You may need to feed baby several times throughout the shoot to keep them sleeping. Having a bottle and/or dummy on hand can be helpful as breastfeeding and then repositioning the baby means you need to essentially start all over again. I always allow about 4 hours for a newborn shoot as you never know how it’s going to work out. Even if you are the baby whisperer!

I have a couple of adorable canvas backdrops perfect for babies, that consist of a vintage wallpaper and floorboards all printed on one piece of canvas. I have a couple of different skirting boards that I then clip to where the designs join and ‘viola’, an instant backdrop! These are great as they are very portable and can be setup anywhere where you can find some wall space. I use masking tape to keep it all secure as the tape won’t peel off paint or varnish. You can also use a backdrop stand but I find they sit better when secured to the wall.

photographing newborns bowl-setup


photographing newborns in a suitcase

newborn in a suitcase


The second setup I have ready to go is a draped fabric over a beanbag. I’m always on the lookout for beautiful textured fabrics that will work well. I will layer them up for a quick changeover, and use other wraps and fabrics to position the baby exactly where I want them. Finding the right fabrics and beanbags can be quite hard. The beanbag needs to be really firm, so that they don’t sink into it too much. You also need to take into account that a naked baby will probably pee, poop or spew all over everything, so make sure they can be easily washed. I recently found an outdoor square beanbag which is perfect for this.

photographing newborns beanbag setupnewborn in a beanienewborn in a pixie hat

I always have a black backdrop handy in case we need to set up something for the whole family. It also comes in handy if you want to get some shots of mum or dad holding the baby and you only want to see their arms.

positioning newborn in dad's arms newborn in dad's arms

Here dad has black sleeves but his shirt was white, so we picked up the backdrop from the floor and clipped it to his shoulders.

Depending on the location you may not need a backdrop. Here we just used the curtain in the family home.

family with newborn dad kissing newborn

These family shots have been photographed using a softbox, but when photographing newborns, it’s always best to try and use natural light where possible. If you are in a room where it’s not possible to use natural light, or it’s just not the right time of day, you can reflect a studio light off a wall or a reflector for a similar effect.

umbrella reflected to imitate natural light

These are just a few tips I have learnt along the way. I hope you find them helpful in photographing your newborns.

If you want to book a newborn session with me just fill in the contact form below.

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By |May 6th, 2015|portraits|