HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PHOTOGRAPHING WEDDINGS?
I received my very first booking for a wedding during the summer after I finished a year-long course in photography. While studying, I knew from the start that wedding photography was what I wanted to pursue, but I had no idea how to begin getting bookings.
Lucky for me, a friend suggested my services to her brother while he and his fiancé were planning their special day. The rest has been a rollercoaster ride of learning, failing, getting up and continuing to grow my passion into the business I’m now proud to call my own. Since that very first wedding in 2009, I’ve had more than 103 bookings of my own. I’ve also assisted and been second shooter at numerous others alongside some talented industry friends.
WILL YOU TRAVEL TO SHOOT INTERNATIONAL WEDDINGS?
Yes! Traveling to new places and meeting wonderful people from across the globe is one of the highlights of my profession! Being able to participate in international adventures with happy, soon-to-be-wed couples completely make up for 26-hour flights and 8-hour layovers!
WHAT CAMERA EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
I shoot on a Canon 5D MKiii full frame camera, and the majority of my equipment is also made by Canon. Below is a comprehensive list of the contents of my camera bag. I edit all my images on an iMac computer using Adobe Lightroom for post-production.
Canon 5D MKiii & Canon 5D MKii Camera bodies; Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens; Sigma 50mm f/1.2 lens; Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro lens; Canon 24 – 70mm f/2.8 lens; Canon 70 – 200mm f/2.8 lens; 2 x Yongnuo Flashes; Reflector.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS DO YOU TAKE TO ENSURE THE SAFETY OF OUR UNEDITED IMAGES FOLLOWING A SHOOT?
All RAW files captured during a shoot are immediately transferred to my computer where they stay until they’ve been edited. I do a first backup to an external hard drive which remains connected to my computer to ensure image safety, should the computer itself crash. I then also create a second backup to a smaller external hard drive, which I keep in my handbag at all times (yes, my therapist is aware that I’m obsessive) so that should something happen in my home office, I have the undelivered images in another location.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ASSISTANT AND A SECOND SHOOTER?
All my weddings are done with the help of a professional assistant. The function of having an assistant at a wedding is not to have a second person present to take pictures, but merely to allow me to focus my whole attention on the imagery, and to leave other tasks to them. The assistant carries bags, keeps an eye on the schedule to make sure I run (as close to on time as possible. Additionally, during bridal portraits and the couple shoot, they will be handling the reflector used for lighting.
Having an assistant is one of the most necessary parts of me being able to do the job I was hired for. The peace of mind and support they give me is invaluable to making a success of your wedding day.
A second shooter is someone hired in addition to an assistant, who will be photographing on the day too. They would generally be shooting aspects that I can’t, such as guests during cocktail hour while I’m doing the couple shoot. Following a wedding, their images would go into post production with my own to allow for uniformity of editing style, and a consistent finished product.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU’RE ILL OR INCAPACITATED ON OUR WEDDING DAY?
I know this is a very real concern for many couples, and something that needs to be discussed despite it being a little morbid. The majority of my assistants are professional wedding photographers themselves. Should there ever be a time when something happens to me before or during a shoot, they will be able to take over and cover your wedding day with utmost capability.
In the event that my assistant is not a wedding photographer (but rather, is a photographer specialising in another area) then I would call on our very wide and talented group of photographers in the Cape Town area and do my best to find a suitable replacement. All of us generally keep in touch and have fantastic working relationships with one another, so in the very extreme circumstance of there being a problem, the odds are very high that someone would be able to take my place.
DO YOU HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO?
This is an easy one… Nope! I’m a natural light photographer and don’t make use of artificial lighting or sets. All my shoots are done at a location. The only form of artificial lighting I ever use is flash during events taking place after the sun has gone down. Everything else is shot in ambient light.
HOW ARE YOUR WEDDINGS PACKAGED AND DELIVERED?
Packaging is one of the pretty things that makes a photographer’s heart sing! My local weddings are delivered on a USB flashdrive in a beautiful memory box including a few prints as a gift. International clients have the option to request that their images be couriered to them in this same packaging, or otherwise via an internet transfer site called Pixiset.
Pixiset is a fantastic vehicle to allow international delivery and download without the bother of customs or high courier fees. The site’s layout is beautiful, and allows clients to view and share their complete wedding catalogue with their family and friends, who can also download the images they may want to keep.
HOW DOES BOOKING AN EIGHT OR TEN HOUR WEDDING PACKAGE DIFFER?
An 8-hour package is more than sufficient to cover all the important aspects of the day, and is very popular. However, some clients would like a little more time to be spent on details that not everyone feels are necessary. The main difference is having time to photograph both the bride’s and groom’s preparations before the ceremony, as well as to do portraits with both parties. Thereafter, it allows a longer time to photograph the guests dancing (depending on the length of the evening’s programme), and not just the couple’s first dance.