I'm starting my New Years resolution early and hopping back into regular blog posts. As with all resolutions, this may not stick, but a photographer in this online world of SEO, backlinking and limited time of couples trying to book the best has to try right?!
So what better way to get back into it than by saying i'm pretty chuffed to be named one of Canberra's top 10 Wedding Photographers of 2019 by the Wedding Diaries!
You can and see for yourself here. But here are a couple of screenshots for proof.
Since my first wedding in 2014 I can say wholeheartedly that it is one of my favourite things to capture.
Plus now is a great time to let you know that I recently got married and it was seriously the best thing ever. It makes me really appreciate all my wonderful brides and grooms to be and get extra excited for their day.
I have a few, perhaps controversial, takeaways that made my day the best (and I hope everyone has the kind of day I got!)
1. Don't scrimp on your photographer and videographer (if you're going to have one)
Seriously, I promise I'm not just saying that because I want you to hire me. I want you to pick the best person for you. Go get a coffee with them and see if you click. Because the reality is whoever you pick is going to be hanging around all day, and if you don't feel comfortable with them, it's going to show in the photos.
Do your research, go on some coffee dates with a few photographers (or just one you've stalked for ages and found out they have your date free) and invest in them, because the day will go by so fast, you'll want all those amazing photos to remember your wedding day by!
2. Pick a date then book vendors
I have to say, choosing a date was really hard! I had a few things I had to work around (peak wedding season, and already booked in weddings) but kept a couple options open when I went to book in my vendors. The most important things to lock in early is your venue, celebrant and photographer. Coming a close second are your make up and hair stylist, cake maker and florist. Ideally having a couple options and getting in contact early is key.
Figure out what things are most important to you and budget them accordingly. Also don't leave your dress or suit till last. Depending on if you're getting it custom made or even off the rack, alterations take time and you don't want to leave the perfect fit to the last minute.
3. Only invite the people you want to be there
I realise this is a bit controversial and obviously there are lots of factors that go into this decision, but for my husband (it still feels weird to say that) and I, we decided that we would base our guest list on two things - have we seen them in the last year? Will we see them in the next year?. There is of course some wiggle room for this, but ultimately you want the people there that you love hanging out with. It was pretty awesome looking out into the sea of friends and family during our ceremony and only seeing smiling, happy faces. We also wanted our reception to feel like a big (fancy) house party where people moved around and mingled. Which was helped by a buffet style dinner and loose seating throughout the house. I didn't feel obliged to go and talk to anyone because I wanted to say hi to everyone!
Just remember, uncle bob may be offended that he didn't get an invite, but he'd only get in the way of your awesome photographer with his ipad... and do you really want that?
4. Organise, outsource and stress less
Planning our wedding was the most organised i'd ever been (and let's be honest, probably ever will be). Be prepared to take some time to do research, send off emails, take some phone calls and meet up with vendors. Please don't ghost people you've contacted. A simple "Thank you for your time. Just letting you know we've gone with someone else." is wonderful and saves ignoring follow up emails from them/ time from that vendor to get in touch.
Don't be afraid to ask friends and family to help. They can only say no, but usually its a very enthusiastic yes. Outsourcing little things for others to do means that you can focus on the bigger picture and not have to worry so much. Writing things down is also very helpful and finding a basic checklist on the internet is really great in seeing what you may have forgotten.
You shouldn't feel stressed on your wedding day, so do all the hard yards in the months leading up, book everything in early and outsource on the actual day so you can enjoy it. Remember, your vendors are your friends! Don't be afraid to ask them for things. Usually they can pass on the message to the correct people and get whatever you need sorted.
I'm currently building a preferred vendors page but if you want to know some of the people I love and trust then shoot me an email and i'll happily send you through my list!
Finally, i'm pretty excited and honoured to be listed as one of Canberra's top 10 wedding photographers. I hope you found a little gem of information in my ramblings and if you're in the market for a photographer, love a good coffee and like what you see on my website, then get in touch. I'm excited to hear all about your wedding plans.
Hi my name is Alex, and no, the photo above is not my new photo. Although it is a lovely memory of a lifetime ago when people gave me point and shoots to take a photo instead of their iPhones (point and shoots are much easier to carry in my opinion).
I've been a professional photographer for 5 years now and in all that time have never thought to get a professional portrait done for myself. I convinced myself I didn't need one. If you've ever read Seven Riddles from the Town with Two Barbers it goes a little something like this :
You've just arrived in a new town, seeking your fortune, and you need a haircut. In this town, there are two barbers. The first barber has a neat, dapper haircut, and his shop is immaculately clean. The second barber's haircut is grotesque, and his shop is filthy—giant tumbleweeds of hair drift across the floor, and the scissors are caked in layers of rust. Which barber do you want to cut your hair?
Answer: You cleverly deduce that the first, well-groomed barber couldn't possibly cut his own hair; therefore, he must get his hair cut by the second barber. And, though the second barbershop is filthy, it's because the second barber has so many customers that there's simply no time to clean. Thus, you correctly decide to patronise the second barbershop.
But then I realised, if I have to tell someone a riddle about why I don't have a portrait, then maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Plus I would like to think i'm presented more like the first barber. I definitely shower every day.
SO. I put on my big girl pants, talked to my wonderful friend Stacey from Stacey Brown Photography, organised a headshot session and then crossed all my fingers that my face wouldn't break out and my hair would cooperate on the day.
I thought about getting my hair and make up done, but to be honest, that isn't really me. If I was going to do this and put my face onto ALL the social media platforms (why are there so many?!) I wanted to be authentic.
Our session came around and I was nervous! Being in front of the lens was pretty uncomfortable. Like, what do you do with your hands?! Although I know the tricks, when you're in the spotlight, it all kind of fades into the background.
I really love photographing my clients, and have a whole new level of respect for anyone who puts themselves in front of my lens. Wow!
My commitment to you as your photographer is this:
I will always ease you into a session.
I will make really bad dad jokes.
I will listen to your concerns and work through them with you.
I will give you guidance on clothing, hair and make up or anything you feel unsure about.
I will talk to you constantly throughout the session and guide you through simple posing so you're never standing there thinking "do I look okay?!"
And doing this, together we'll create images that you absolutely love.
Because you know what, through the nervous laughter and awkward claw hands, Stacey saw through all of it and captured me.
And to tell you the truth, I am so incredibly in love with the photos I am trying to find more places to show them off!
So are you ready?