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Location Photographs- National Gallery Sculpture Gardens

Welcome back! I’ve had a few people asking me lately for location spot ideas so thought it might not be a bad place to begin showing off some of Canberra at the same time. This first spot is deffinitely an oldie but a goodie. It’s fabulous on a hot day, a windy day even a cold day! You can’t go wrong!
Welcome to the National Gallery Sculpture Gardens. They’re the green bit out the back of the gallery overlooking Lake Burley Griffin. The Gallery itself caters for both wedding ceremonies and receptions and should you want to stay in the same place all day, is a great little spot for location photographs as well!

If you can time your day correctly (have a chat to the planners at the gallery) and find out at what time the mist gardens are on. It does make the ground a little damp so this isn’t for all couples but it does make for some fun and slightly eerie photographs!
Just before we finish up, there are some other great little spots in and around the gardens. If you decide to incorporate the sculptures, please please don’t touch them. They are people’s works of art and the gallery would prefer them to last a lifetime and not have any damage done to them. There are ways to make it look like you’re interacting without touching as we did last year.
There is also a nice little foreshore spot which has the Carillion in the background. A gorgeous little noise maker on the opposite side of the lake, also happens to be one of Canberra’s landmarks.
Best thing with any location photographs is to head along to some spots yourself pre wedding and take a little camera with you. Take some snaps and when you get home see which locations you like the best on film.

Enjoy yourselves and make your photographs, all about you 🙂

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Family photographs- Who to include

Hi again!

Believe it or not, I am often amazed at the very short list of family photographs people would like on their wedding day. I’m not sure if it is from having only a few special people attending or the couples arent sure just how many people they are ‘allowed’ to have photos with.
Easiest answer for this one, it’s your day… Take as many or few as you’d like.
For those of you who would like a little direction, I’ve created a list that’s easy to copy and manipulate to suit your day.
Always remember to use family members names for the list for the photographer, it creates a more personal touch to your family photos for the day. People like to have their name called rather than Aunts and uncles from the groom’s side.
To get you started:
Bride & Groom
Bride & Groom with Brides Mum and Dad
Bride with Mum
Bride with Dad- these individual pics are great especially if you dont have a photographer beforehand
Bride with Brothers/Sisters
Bride & Groom with Mum, Dad and any siblings
Bride & Groom with Grandparents
Bride & Groom with Mum, Dad, Siblings and Bride’s side of the family- Any relatives who are there
Bride & Groom with….. This part you can shorten the list to specific Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents
Bride & Groom with Groom’s Mum and Dad
Groom with Mum
Groom with Dad
Groom with Brothers/Sisters

Bride & Groom with Mum, Dad and any siblings

Bride & Groom with Grandparents
Bride & Groom with Mum, Dad, Siblings and Groom’s side of the family- Any relatives who are there
Bride & Groom with….. This part you can shorten the list to specific Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents
This list does not have to be specific to family members only. If you have a friend who has travelled a long way to be apart of your day, it is a great time to have them in for a photograph as well.
A Group photograph of everyone at your ceremony means you will have a picture of everyone there so this is often a great idea as well.
Just remember when it comes to family pictures there are no rules. There are no rules to your day either in fact so make it personalised to the two of you and enjoy yourselves! Just make sure you have left enough time to capture everyone you’d like in your photographs!
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Basic timings

Consider a basic plan for the day to be:

Pre Ceremony:
I do try to persuade couples to accept some pre photos at the brides house before the wedding as she gets ready. That way details are all photographed, but most importantly it gives the bride a ‘warm up’ for the rest of the day and puts her at ease with the photographer.

It does sometimes help to have the extra set of hands. I’ve been everything from ironing lady, to florist delivery driver, to dresser and the list goes on.

Ceremony’s
Garden weddings ½ hour -45mins max
Church weddings 45mins- depends on if you have a full mass or not.

Family pictures:
These are always dependant on the number of guests and how many pictures you want to take but generally factor in about an hour at the most. This gives you time straight after the ceremony for congratulatory cuddles and well wishes without imposing photography straight away.

Location Pictures:
Depending on the number of locations you’d like to go to a minimum of an hour usually gives you enough time to cover two or three spots depending on distance. The longer you have the better and more relaxed the location pics can be!

A big step a lot of couples over see is that you will need a break between the location photographs and reception away from everyone just to be with yourselves. Ten minutes can make a huge difference to re entering into the reception to more hugs and well wishes. It can get a little overbearing sometimes for couples.
By the reception they just want to relax and enjoy the night but just remember your guests weren’t with you at the photos and are still very keen to see you some more!

Capturing Essence Photography, Dog Trap Vineyard, Yass

My favourite wedding of 2009

I’m 100% sure a photographer shouldn’t be biased as to their favourite couples each year they shoot but I can’t help it with these two. I have to say throughout the preparations, meetings and then the wedding day I have not had so much fun and pleasure from getting to know a couple.
Here are a few pics from their day:

Toni’s ring

The gorgeous bride once she was ready

Some images from Dog Trap Vineyard Yass. Absolutly stunning location and the owners are delightful! Everyone at the wedding commented on how we all couldnt have been more welcomed by them. I can’t wait to shoot another wedding there someday!

Has to be a couple of my favourties from the day. Because it was a stinking hot day and we were outside for most of it, we took the couple away from the ceremony location with all guests and got them watered and fed. Once people had cooled down we did family pics.
It wasnt until sunset that we took just the bride and groom away for some more couple photographs. Little did we know what was in store!

Choosing a wedding photographer; Canberra; Capturing Essence; Canberra; photography; Bride and groom;

Choosing your wedding photographer

Evening!
So… you’re getting married and looking for a photographer and wondering where on earth you should begin? Below I’ve put together a few pointers as to where to begin, what to keep in mind and then decisions… decisions… decisions…

Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the first things you should consider, as the best professional photographers have bookings already six months to a year in advance. Prior to searching you will need to have a date set to base your enquiries around.

At this point it isn’t a bad idea to possibly be a little flexible with your dates as, if you find a photographer you absolutely love, and they aren’t free on your Saturday, consider a Sunday perhaps. I have met with many brides personally who changed their dates to book their photographer. One changed four times until she had her photographer free to shoot her wedding.

A wedding photographer’s peak season in Canberra is generally starts in August and they work right through until April. The busiest months tend to be around October/November and then March/April. This is based on local activity for Canberra and may change depending on where you live. Saturday has always been the favourite day to get married but with more popular spots being booked people are also going for Friday and Sunday weddings.

For many too often, price ends up being the primary deciding factor, which isn’t always the best decision as you only get to do this once. Your wedding memories will be captured through the eyes, heart and talent of your wedding photographer, not through how cheap they were… Remember the saying ” you get what you pay for!”, this is often true for photographers.

Begin by asking friends and relatives for recommendations. People who’ve had positive experiences with photographers are always happy to show you their wedding photographs and give referrals. It’s equally important to find out if the bride and groom enjoyed working with the photographer. Don’t just base your decision around a recommendation- I know I know I said it was a good place to start- which it is, however you need to meet with photographers yourself as your tastes and your friends may not be the same. Are you marrying the same person, in the same dress?

When you begin looking through bridal magazines or on the internet, mark companies that you like as your favourites and send email enquiries to them to get key pieces of information from them. Your email should have the following:
*Both the couples names

*Your wedding date

*Where your ceremony and reception will be held

*An idea of how long you might like a photographer for- be open to suggestions
Ask them
*Are they are available on your wedding day?
*What packages do they offer?

*How much are their prices?

I find as a photographer, an enquiry that lets me know the clients date of marriage, how long they are thinking for photography and where the wedding will be held, is a HUGE help to me and to them as it sets up an immediate rapport between us and gives me an idea of what they have in mind.

I always find it frustrating when I get an email which has “Please send me your pricing” and nothing else is mentioned. I don’t know if I’m even going to be free on their day. As you can imagine it then becomes frustrating for the enquirer if I am already booked in their day and we’ve spent time emailing or calling to find out further information.

Make appointments with the photographers to view their work and discuss your requirements. These meetings should include both the bride and the groom. Make sure you are prepared and write down all your questions before you meet and take notes during the meetings. This is totally normal and helps you to remember meetings later on.

There are many questions that you can ask your wedding photographer. Most professional photographers will have answered most of these questions during your initial enquiries or during the meeting with them, but if not feel free to ask:

How long they been in the ‘wedding’ photography business?
What is their philosophy to photographing weddings?
How they will make your wedding photographs unique and personal to you?
Will they be shooting your pictures personally?…if not, ask to see the work of the actual wedding photographer and meet with them before the day
Who owns the copyright to your images?
Do they have a backup if something happens to equipment/them for your day?
Are there any extra fees such as travel?
What is their overtime fee?
Will they use film or digital?
Who will you be dealing with after the wedding?
How will you be shown the pictures for selection after the wedding? (Electronically / proofs / contact sheets / online gallery/ DVD etc.).
How can it be simplified so that friends and family can order re-prints directly?
How long until the selection prints are available?
What is the cost for duplicate prints, albums, folios, enlargements, thank you cards, etc.? Are the proofs for sale?
What is their payment policy?

When you’ve narrowed down your list to one or two wedding photographers ask them if its possible to see a complete photo coverage of a recent wedding (a package similar to that of what you would like to book them for helps) to give you a much better indication as to what you can expect, rather than a collection of their best shots from different weddings.

Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a wedding photographer is the photos they take! Be critical when viewing their work: do you like the photos?

There’s a lot to consider, but trust your instincts and tune in to what you like and whether the photos you are seeing match up well! If they don’t, you might be best to look elsewhere. The great thing about wedding photography is there are numerous suppliers to choose from, so you are bound to find someone who matches your style and takes the kind of shots you’ll end up loving.

Finally, your wedding photographer will be an integral part of one of the most important day of your life, (sometimes even getting you a glass of water or helping you with your dress) so make sure you choose someone that has a relaxed and friendly personality and most of all, you feel comfortable with.

Once you find a professional wedding photographer you like, you should sit down with them and plan your day in terms of the photography and the photos that you would like from it.

It pays to have a plan because the day and the photography will be much more relaxed and memorable if you space things out and allow enough time to get everything done.

Consider a basic plan for the day to be:

Pre Ceremony:
I do try to persuade couples to accept some pre photos at the brides house before the wedding as she gets ready. That way details are all photographed, but most importantly it gives the bride a ‘warm up’ for the rest of the day and puts her at ease with the photographer.

It does sometimes help to have the extra set of hands. I’ve been everything from ironing lady, to florist delivery driver, to dresser and the list goes on.

Ceremony’s
Garden weddings ½ hour -45mins max
Church weddings 45mins- depends on if you have a full mass or not.

Family pictures:
These are always dependant on the number of guests and how many pictures you want to take but generally factor in about an hour at the most. This gives you time straight after the ceremony for congratulatory cuddles and well wishes without imposing photography straight away.

Location Pictures:
Depending on the number of locations you’d like to go to a minimum of an hour usually gives you enough time to cover two or three spots depending on distance. The longer you have the better and more relaxed the location pics can be!

A big step a lot of couples over see is that you will need a break between the location photographs and reception away from everyone just to be with yourselves. Ten minutes can make a huge difference to re entering into the reception to more hugs and well wishes. It can get a little overbearing sometimes for couples. By the reception they just want to relax and enjoy the night but just remember your guests weren’t with you at the photos and are still very keen to see you some more!

My final points for selecting a photographer are:

Just LOVE your photographer before you book them.

See their work

Make sure your budget for photographs is reasonable from about $1800 upwards is usually the base mark.

Read over your packages and choose one that suits you the best.

Talk with your photographer and ask them questions. You haven’t don’t this before and they have. It does pay to ask their opinion and hear their suggestions.

Relax! Enjoy the planning stage because if you find people who are easy to work with now, your wedding day will run so smoothly and they all will be there just for you two.