Time alone together – part one

It’s really important to set aside time to take pictures of you two alone as a couple. So many couple allocate a small amount of time to this task on their wedding day. What always happens is that things run a bit late and this times get cut because it’s the only dynamic feature of the day. Meaning the food can’t wait or it is spoilt . So when you allocate twenty minutes to take pictures together rest assured that you will have no more than ten minutes to do so. Between getting to a place which has great light and trying to cajole pictures out of clients this often means the pictures are compromised.

For this reason often the eloping clients pictures are so much better because I have a lot of time. But by being on time, allocating at least an hour to these images and being co-operative you insure your pictures will be great.






Capturing Romance without being cheesy – part two

Every couple is different and some need very little posing. But for example a bride with a huge nose cannot expect not to be posed AND have no profile pictures. It makes me smile when brides request no posing AND no profile pictures.

By showing me pictures before your wedding of what you like, you make it much easier for me to make you happy. It also helps you to clarify, for yourself what you like in terms of images, posing and style. So many brides say they want reportage but when I ask them which weddings they like most on my website they prefer the ones where there is lots of posing.

 






Capturing Romance without being cheesy – part one

My instructions to a couple when we begin their portraits is to try and ignore us. The more you are focusing on the feelings between the two of you the better the pictures will be. Sure there are couples who freeze like rabbits staring into headlights and those I have to help along. I find a little liquor helps, especially the boys.

I also find a few laughs and giggles work. Once again we can see how important it is that you really like and get on with your photographer. Nothing worse that not sharing the sense of humour of your photographer and cringing every time they open their mouths.







Having Fun …

Another element which is absolutely essential when creating sensational wedding images is fun. If you feel like you are being tortured you will look like you are being tortured. Happy ugly people having fun are a lot more beautiful than miserable ugly people hating every minute of it. I know this sounds quite rude but I just want to make a  point. So many perfectly gorgeous brides say I hate having my picture taken. So many things I don’t like about myself. Now I am really going to get hardcore.

“GET OVER IT ALREADY”. You are young, healthy, in love and able to afford a wedding. So you are not Kate Moss. Unfortunately you will only realise how gorgeous you are today when you really get old and ugly. And then you will

wish you had not wasted so much time on nonsense and had more fun.







The engagement shoot

A couple we shot late October in Positano chose to do engagement pictures before the wedding ceremony . They wore clothes instead of the wedding dress and suit and we played around Positano for about two hours. At first I thought it was a silly  idea, untill afterwards I considered how much nicer it is to have normal clothed portraits on your walls at home. They are both creatives from New York, so it was fun and easy to get into that creative zone.

The advantages of doing an engagement shoot, even on a separate day to your wedding are many. Firstly it gives you a chance to get comfortable with your photographer. It also helps your photographer get to know you and your face. At which angles you look best and what you like. You also get to understand the creative process and get a feel of what it is like to be “shot”. Better not leave too many surprises for your wedding day.






Creativity – the special zone

Creativity is such a mysterious and sacred thing. A little like a butterfly if you try to hold or control it, you will most likely damage or destroy it. Only when you sit calmly, will it come and rest quietly on your shoulder. Creativity is the act of play. Children are so good at creativity because they are not usually victims of worry and high expectations. They live in the moment. Not thinking how things should be but rather rejoicing in how things are. The number one ingredient is learning to live in the present. Spending your time in your past or future completely ruins the creative process. You need to be present to be creative.


A feeling of complicity and mutual respect between all participants is also essential when embarking on a creative journey. Without trust you are going no where. For example sometimes creativity requires being silly or having the freedom to cry. Creativity is so self revealing, intimate, free, risky and down right scary. How on earth could one even imagine taking part if you do not trust all the people involved. Often it is much easier to shoot artists and creatives because they understand the process and know they have to let me in. Creatives would have already decided if I

would be the kind of person they could “play” with. Because creativity is the act of play. All the most interesting pictures come from people willing the play. And have fun doing so.




Reportage Revealed

(I know I am harping on a bit here but I need to get this point across load and clear.)

Candid or reportage wedding photography is what every bride thinks she want for her wedding photography. Ninety nine percent of all couples, especially the men tell me they do not want to be posed. But after years of shooting weddings it’s my job to point out that they may not know all the facts.

Reportage is great but it’s not flattering. Often what wins a wedding reportage photography competition is not an image that a bride would put in her album. One fact I am sure of is that all couples want to look good in their wedding album. If they admit it or not. What they all have in common is they do not want to look silly. Due to the torture inflicted on clients by 80’s wedding photographers, posing has become synonymous with the word silly.

So let’s see what brides really want. The want to capture all the special moments while always looking their best. If you only request reportage photography, although the picture will be natural and emotional, in many you will not look you best.

 






Real hardcore reportage

Nearly all brides say I want reportage images with as much discretion possible. Then they hand me a list of thirty groups they want taken. I bamboozle them into having a few portraits and they end up being their favourite images. Reportage is great, I love it but it’s not enough. Did you know real reportage does not include details, landscapes or portraits? Couples often spent very little time together on their wedding day, so it becomes almost impossible to take good portraits of the two of you without a little direction.

And be honest, we all want to look good on our wedding day. To look your best you need to do a little… dare I say it again… posing? See previous blogs for more on posing.

 


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Lighting the dance floor

There is nothing that improves dancing pictures more than disco lights, other than alcohol that is. The more lights and colours the better the pictures will be. Smoke machines, remember those, make for great atmosphere and even better pictures. One of my all time favourite after parties had one of those thoroughly terrific eighties disco dance floors. Mirror balls and ultra-violet lights all help with that party vibe. Basically the more lights and colours, the better the pictures and ultimately the party

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Creating a fabulous after party

Most venues in Italy have rather strict cut off times. This can be very disappointing around twelve when the party is just getting into swing. The solution is a fabulous after party. These generally work for slightly bigger weddings of fifty or more people. During the course of the evening you generally loose the old folks and the parents of young children. So if the party is too small it can end up being a bit sad.

 




Ideas for confetti

Everybody who sees this photograph asks me how the confetti was done. It was done with a cannon, which shot a cloud of confetti into the air. However such devices can be expensive. Personally I like anything that is bio degradable and not too hard. The Italians have a nasty habit of throwing almond sweets, money and rice. All apparently good for fertility.

Personally I prefer petals, rice paper shapes, bubbles and streamers. A super cute idea, especially if your colours are pink and purple, is to over dry bougainvillea flowers. You place the in a very low oven for several hours. They look gorgeous, light on the budget and don’t litter.





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Coming back down to reality to ensure a beautiful wedding







I have seen it many times, a bride’s wedding ruined because the reality just can’t match her fantasies. When a bride says to me, “ I  just want everything to be perfect”. Just? Well I can promise you one thing about each and every wedding, it’s never ever absolutely perfect.

Just all depends on your attitude. If you build up this huge expectation in your head it’s very unlikely reality has a chance to match your expectations. If you start to notice what is not the way you imagined it would be, everything will seem to be going wrong. But if you focus on the many things that are right, all the people who have contributed to your day and realise just how lucky you are, you will be filled with gratitude and gratitude breeds joy.

 

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Some more frequently asked questions – part 04

How long after, the wedding, will it be before we see our pictures?

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This is dependant on both the type of package you choose, and also yourselves. For the digital packages (in which you just receive all of your photos on DVD), these are turned around in usually within a week. If you choose to have an album with your package, you will be first given all of your proofs (small images of all the photos), usually also within a week, and from there you are able to choose the photos that you want to include in your album. The album is then carefully put together in studio here, and will be ready 3 months from the day that we receive your choices.

Will our pictures be posted on your website? What else will you

be able to do with our pictures after the wedding?

Your pictures that you choose to include in your album (should you choose an album), will be posted on our website, which you can login and access with a personal password.



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Some more frequently asked questions – part 03

Do you have insurance to cover the cost of re-taking photos in case anything goes wrong?

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No –

no photographer in Italy will provide you with this type of Insurance. Due to many insurance scams, particularly in South Italy, this kind of insurance is rarely offered or ridiculously expensive. We have a legally binding contract, which upholds us to all of our promises.



Some more frequently asked questions – part 02

What time of day is best for the photos? We have the church booked at 4pm and then the reception drinks will probably commence about 6pm?

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Will we agree a set of “must have” formal photos?

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Yes – about a month before your wedding, I will send you a ‘about you and your wedding form’. Here we go over all of the things you want included or don’t want included, important family and friend group photos. Also if you have any self-conscious aspects that you don’t particularly like photographed, we address it all.



Some more frequently asked questions – part 01

If we hire you will you personally take the photos on the day? Is it just you or do you have an assistant?

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It depends which photographer you book. You can choose to book me, Gianni or Francesco, and then that person will be the photographer to show up on the day. Dependent on the package you choose, each photographer is nearly always provided also with a trained and shooting assistant (only the mini packages are 1 photographer only)


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Recipe for a perfect wedding album

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60 reportage photos
10 group or formal portraits
1 collage of landscape images (6 or 12 images in the collage)
10 individual portraits of bride and groom (5 each)
1 or 2 collages of details images
15 couple portraits

Leave a little room for the unexpected. For a truly sensational album make sure your photographer is “hot” and will let you participate in the creation of your album.



With or without my glasses

This is a question I am regularly asked. The answer really depends on many factors. Clearly the first being if you can see without them. If you are completely blind without your glasses, then clearly you have to wear them or consider contacts.

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Girls with big noses may want to keep them on since it can break the line of the nose. Girls I never realised had big noses, took off their glasses on their wedding day and well there it was.

I always try to take a few without glasses since glasses reflect light and the flash. This can make it hard to see the eyes, which are generally the focal point of a portrait.


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Having your teeth whitened




If you drink loads of tea and coffee or smoke, whitening you teeth is a very good idea. Just remember that for two days after the cleaning, your teeth (ironically) are very susceptible to staining, especially from coffee and red wine. SO I recommend doing it at least one week before your wedding. Whitened teeth can also be too white, a week’s space will give them a chance to look a little more natural.

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Ideas on ways to save without anyone noticing

1.Choosing the right flowers.

Orchids may be beautiful but since most are imported they are buy propecia 5mg online uk very expensive. By choosing flowers that are in season and indigenous, you will save heaps.

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2.Don’t buy bridal shoes

Like photography, anything labelled “Bridal”, it instantly get much more expensive. Choosing silver or glittery evening sandals can save you quite a bit.

3.booking flights months ahead of time

If you book your flights months ahead of the actual date you want to travel, you can end up paying more for taxes than the actual flight especially when flying in Europe



4.have a destination wedding

They are great weeder, meaning you won’t have to invite half the people you would usually have to. Depending where you live it can be much cheaper too.

5.don’t waste money on nonsense

Seems simple enough but let me give you an example. Those disposable cameras take terrible pictures and are expensive. I often see brides who buy a selection of headpieces but to use only one. Let’s face it, us girls are good at focusing on the details and in doing so loose site of what kinds of investments will actually be worth something one day.




6. Don’t have sixteen bridesmaids

Traditionally it’s the bride who has to fit the bill for bridesmaids’ dresses. SO logically having four or five really makes things expensive. And if you shop for them at a nice shop like Monsoon you are likely to pay a lot less than you would at a Bridal boutique.

7. Don’t get married from end of May till mid September

Everything is more expensive during this time. Flights, hotels, and venues all increase price wise during peak season. You are far more likely to get discounts from service providers if you marry out of high season. Good photographers can sell Saturdays during those months four times over, it’s therefore unlikely they would offer you any kind of discount.


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Tips to ensure a bride’s comfort on her wedding day

1.The white umbrella

If you don’t buy a white umbrella, I promise you will need one. I am not a superstitious person but every time I bring an umbrella to a wedding it never rains. When I have forgotten, we have ended up being stuck with the most hideous umbrella’s imaginable.

2.Make sure you have something gorgeous to put on if it gets cold.

I could not count the times I have been to a wedding and the bride has the shakes from being cold. Often the passing of the stress of the preparations causes a strange kind of exhaustion and strangely this makes my lovely ladies in white feel the cold all the more. The English and Irish brides seem to suffer.

3.A pair of scissors

I promise you, you will need a pair of scissors on your wedding day. Just as you are running late, you will realise you urgently need a pair.

4.Eat

This may seem very obvious but some many brides feel sick or faint because they are too nervous to eat before the action begins. I highly recommend bananas; they give good energy and vitamins (some of which a good in combating anxiety).