Shoes, Shoes, Shoes, traditional wedding and non. So often ‘the SHOES’ are a way for a bride to let her personality peak through from under the dress. ‘The SHOES’…high heeled, wedged, flat or between the toes are one of my all time favourite details of the day to shoot. Here are just a few of the collection…only a few from my fetish!

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1. They spoil our chances of getting great reportage photographs

Especially during the ceremony and other purely reportage moments during a wedding. When we look back at the guests during the ceremony, instead of seeing faces and their emotions, we see what looks like a bad advert for iPhones or iPads. The ceremony is one of the moments during a wedding when we can take great emotional portraits. Well it used to be, now we have cell phones and iPads which block our view. Some guests even climb onto the alter or stand up to get a better view. This can upset the celebrants and they can even call an end to all photography during the ceremony, thanks to these indiscreet and inconsiderate photographers.

 2. The passionate guest photographer in every shot

Even guests who have bought big cameras on their trip to china can really get in the way. Often when shooting the exchanging of rings I have the friend photographer as a background. Or Uncle Harry with his shiny bald head and his huge camera. When I complain, Uncle Harry insists “ don’t worry I got a good shot”. I usually shoot with at least one other photographer and we carefully plan strategies to make sure we are not in each other’s images. Naturally a professional or non professional photographer friend will not have any idea about these and they can often unintentionally ruin your images.

 3. They waste precious time for low quality images

There is no way your guests’ cellphones will compete with the quality of our cameras. After the ceremony we always end up with very little time and so much to do. (Couple portraits and group images) At least 10 guests will stop the couple to take photos with their cellphones in the worst light with the bad backgrounds. This can waste up to 30 minutes, which is often all I am given to do couple portraits and this is why the images from eloping couples weddings are so much better. I have more time and no distractions.

 4. They get in the way

The absolute worst problem is during the entrance and exit of the ceremony. These are already difficult shots to take, since they are fast, in movement and the light can change dramatically. People will just put themselves between the photographer and the couple without a second thought. Even if they don’t, the sea of cellphones pointing at the bride when they enter is just really the most unromantic sight.

5. Exhausting for the couple

Most couples find having their picture taken quite traumatic, but when groups and portraits have to be done over and over thanks to guests, the couples tend to have had their fill of photography by the time it’s my turn.

 6. iPhone and iPads take unflattering pictures

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. Most tell me they don’t like pictures of themselves. The reason is that most of the images they have seen of themselves, have been taken with cellphones. Taking flattering images is an art form and best left to professionals. Even worse, your guest go and post those most unflattering images all over social media.

So what can be done?

Have an unplugged wedding at least until the reception. Ask all guests not to take pictures with their devices until the reception. You could buy the negatives from your photographers and make copies for your guests. The added bonus of this is that cellphones and ipads take very unflattering pictures, in this way you can insure you don’t have any images you hate, being posted on social media for the world to see. Make sure your friends with their big cameras are not going to shoot during the ceremony.

Naturally this is not a must, they are your wedding images and it’s up to you. But after having shot hundreds and hundreds of weddings, this is my experience. It used to be much easier to shoot weddings when cellphones didn’t take images. It is such a shame to ruin your wedding pictures for such a little thing. It also means that guests can actually live the moment, instead of recording it to relive it later.

Bridal Beauty Emergency Plan Strategy Three: Exercise – part four

Tricks to help you get into exercise

1.Get an instructor or exercising partner.

This is a commitment on your part and you will be far less likely that you will skip a session if it means letting someone else down. You are also less likely to hurt yourself with an instructor and they can help you work on your weak points.

2.Consider step or dance classes

Personally I always stuck my nose up at any form of exercise class. Shying away because I thought I would be useless due to my lack of coordination. But who said the point was to be the best pupil in the class. Once I gave lessons a chance, I found that I was so busy concentrating on the steps that I broke a sweat without realising. I find distractions like people and music are most helpful in breaking through the pain barrier. I once had an aerobics teacher who picked on me non stop, on all of us actually. His intension was to make us angry because when one is angry the energy levels go way up. I often left the class wondering what his problem was. Two years down the line I consider the man a genius.


Looks I love.

I want to start a craze, a craze which will save brides every where. Do you know the very first thing every single bride says to me when she puts on her wedding dress? “I am hot”. They sweat. Make up runs. They turn pink. They can hardly move or sit. They don’t feel sexy. They feel stiff. For 90% of us, white is such an unforgiving colour and the poof meringue style dress suits few. And those pointy witch shoes have to go girls. They look like yachts. At best the good witch from oz. I want to introduce a crazy idea and wait for it girls. Take a deep breathe…

The artist in you

Often clients will say to me you are so creative, I don’t have a creative bone in my body. And I reply, with all my might, liar. Have you ever made a beautiful meal, bought a special gift, made someone laugh, danced alone to a song… the creative ideas are in there… your artist waiting to come out. The work shows who you are but you are afraid to let them out. Afraid you will be judged. It’s that little person in you who wants to play. Release the crazy happy artist in you on your wedding day and you are guaranteed the best day of your life.

Couples with small children – the advice

Look, you have already broken tradition by having a child out of wedlock. So break another for the sake of your child. Get ready early. Make sure they have their afternoon nap. No matter what. Be ready when they wake up. Cuddle and dress them. Give them a snack or bottle of milk. Then we can shoot your little family. Baby, mummy and daddy. You will all look and feel your best and the family snaps will be out the way. And just by being a little bit flexible you would have saved Baby and yourselves a lot of stress.

Mum and her posing shots

As much has you hate those posed formals, your Mum will not feel like the photographs have been taken till they are taken. So how do we get through this painlessly. Firstly let try to keep the groups limited and do big groups like ALL the cousins, instead of individual groups. Then when your Mum makes a few request, lets not hurt her feelings and waste time trying to explain reportage to her. Lets keep the second photographer focused on the reportage while we make Mummy happy. After all you would not be here if it were not for her 🙂

The runaway bride and groom …5 things to remember, so you can make the most it

1) Treasure the private moments – this is what you are here for! If it means slowing down and stopping to take it all in for 10 minutes, then do it. It’s not like you have a dinner room full of guests waiting for you!

2) Although you won’t have formal speeches to prepare, think in advance of your vows and include the special words, thoughts, poems, or even music which are personal to you both. So you don’t have the big wedding party or guest list, but emotion will still catch up with you on the day, so it pays to be a little prepared with words.

3) Create endless photo opportunities and have fun with eachother. Take the time to explore with your photographer. If you find a photographer local to the area, they will be able to guide you. Find the best little spots and views that will make all the difference to your day. A quiet walk around secret alleyways, isolated beaches, empty fields or even a glass of champagne on a lone table in a busy piazza. These are the moments that will be etched into your memories forever.

4) Pay close attention to your appearance. The details will become an important feature in your photos, and will be the things you want to look back on – shoes, flowers, cufflinks, hair, makeup, the vows. Remember …It’s the little things.

5) If you are brave, consider a “trash your dress” shoot together – in the pool, on the beach, by the flowerbeds or in rustic surroundings. Breaking all the rules in your wedding photos, will go hand in hand with your breaking all the rules Elopement!


The smoking bride and groom

I smoke but I personally try not to have photographs taken of me with a cigarette. It's quite ugly a bride and groom walking in the street with cigarettes in their hands. While one or two fun 1950's style smoking portraits can be done, I don't recommend smoking while you are having your picture taken. We can have ‘no shooting smoking breaks’ if you are a chain smoker. It’s not too difficult to go a few hours at a time without smoking.

I also recommend mini mints like tic tacs. Beware of gum especially if you are having video or mostly reportage photography. You will be horrified to know what we look like when we chew… And again smokers get red eyes, so have those drops ready.

It's also important to go for a teeth spring clean before your big day. You will take years off your appearance instantly. Be careful not to over bleach teeth since you will look like I have been over zealous with the touching up.


Your bridezilla exorcism

These will seem like ridiculous exercises but my darling Bridezilla’s I know the syndrome and I guarantee you I can save you from yourself if you are diligent about your exercises. No matter what just remember on the day, I have got your back and I am on your side.

Exercise one

A childlike but not childish attitude

Children are amazing they live in the present. They delight in small blessings and often don’t notice unimportant details. They live with their hearts and skip. This is a great side to a child’s character. Rather than the childish… me me me me! Watch children, play with children. They will teach you the art of fun. Fun and laughter and a sense of humour will make you delicious to be around and fun makes fun…. the most beautiful brides I know are fun and joyful.

For more helpful advice on how to tame the bridezilla in you.


Exercise two

I am just not a fun or joyous person

Fake it till you make it. Start practising.

Exercise three

Live in the present, not the future or the past. Above all stay out of your head, it’s a bad neighbourhood. Doing something creative is a great way to go into that peaceful now zone.

Exercise four

Practise letting go with a visualisation. Imagine your resentment or worries as balloons…. imagine letting them go and watch them float away.

For more helpful advice on how to tame the bridezilla in you.


Exercise five

Still can’t let go or tame the wild horses that run wild in your head? Make a worry jar, write your worries on pieces of paper and pop them in the jar. The jar is your average mailing service to the universe, things you don’t know what to do about put them in your jar. Hand it over and forget it. It’s in the jar.

Exercise six

Repeat this mantra 100 times each time you brush your teeth, yes 100 times… everyday:

Things which are not perfect can be beautiful. The unexpected can be a blessing in disguise

For more helpful advice on how to tame the bridezilla in you.


Exercise seven

Every time you think of anything negative make sure you think of just one thing positive, it’s only fair

Exercise eight

The quality of the service you receive is largely related to the relationship with your service provider. For example your photographer will take much nicer pictures of someone who is not trying to control and direct him or her. We are all the same – we try harder for people we like. Being kind and thoughtful will cost you nothing but will gain you everything. Start cultivating happy fun relationships with your service providers. You don’t have to be bosom buddies but a little humanity and kindness really does turn on the lights. Want your wedding planner to do back flips for you and run the ship with a whip… be sincere to her, notice her work and effort and she will become your slave. In exchange for a few gentle words you will get service money can’t buy.


Exercise nine

Try stress busters like exercise, yoga, breathing exercisers, meditation and playing with children (actually playing with children is good for just about any ailment)

Exercise ten

Write your vows and read them every time you get wrapped up in the details and it isn’t going your way. You will remember the real reason for this day.

Informal Formals – Keeping Mum happy.

There is no way around it: If you don’t want to upset your parents, you will have to take some group photos. Guests hate doing them, but the truth is that even couples who swear they don’t want any group photographs are always sorry they didn’t do a few. After all—you don’t necessarily have to put them in your album!

There are ways of easing the pain of group photography. First, don’t request too many as this takes time and guests get frustrated with the wait. We also recommend nominating a bossy helper who knows everyone, and arm him or her with the (short) list of guests to be included. We also HIGHLY recommend that group photographs are done in daylight since this will make the people in them look much more attractive.

Clients often want group images to be taken in front of a panoramic view. We don’t recommend this since it means that you will see neither the people nor the view properly. However, with groups of three or less some exceptions can successfully be made. We prefer good lighting and a setting that enhances the arrangement of the group. If you want a photograph of all the guests, depending on how big the group is, stairs may be required.
It is very important to set aside enough time to do group photographs. The more groups you require, the more time we will need. Careful planning is required before your wedding. It is also useful to do the possible group images before the ceremony—for example, the bride with her family, or the groom with his family. This takes some pressure off the schedule after the ceremony.

Joanne Dunn

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #10

10. Good attitude

There is nothing uglier than a controlling, grumpy, sulky, spoilt brat of a bride who has forgotten the reason she is there in the first place. If you are relaxed and having a ball, you will see it in the pictures. You will radiate love if you concentrate on those feelings. Tension, stress and irritation all show up in photography. No one is gorgeous in these states of mind. Having a little trust in the people you have chosen to create you dream, will go a long way to improving your enjoyment on the day. And if you have fun, so will everybody else, and of course my job will be easy. Does it really matter that the ponies are a different pink? So many brides tell me, “it all has to be just perfect, I am a detail person.”

Well while those brides are checking up on the wedding planner (who is doing the 100th wedding) she is missing the best light and the party. You’ve got to let go! This is such a common syndrome among brides and I often work hard in the preparation to loosen them up. For their sakes and of course my own, I want the best pictures possible. So if you are a control freak, promise yourself (and me) that for just one day you are going to let go and enjoy. Or else what is the point of the party.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #9

9. Hair Up or Down

Many brides, especially Italian brides choose to have their hair down, loose and flowing. But it not something I recommend, unless your ears are big and stick out like mine. The reason being that by the time everybody is done hugging and grabbing you, it’s all going to go flop and look stringy and messy. Basically, anything but pretty. I love simple buns (very high to low) and I have developed a fetish for plaits and retro styles. Just have a peep at what Prada and McQueen have been suggesting. And unless you want to be cheeky, ironic and a little pulp forget ringlets. Yes, especially for your bridesmaids if you ever want them to talk to you again.

Have to say that I love love love hats. Feathered, netted, big or small, Philip Tracey rocks my boat . One of his master pieces can turn a damsel into a diva.

Be seriously careful when considering glitter sprays and gel. And horror of horrors the silver foil some Italian hairdressers like to sprinkle in trusting brides hair. NO no no!

Lastly don’t do anything really drastic colour or cut wise just before your wedding. You may end up hating your wedding pictures just because you thought you could look like the model in the photo if you had her hair. Be realistic and remember to work with what you have.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #8

8. Eye drops.

We all know those nasty burny eye drops are no good for your eyes but for just one day in your life keep some handy. Often brides have blood shot eyes from exhaustion, stress and of course tears. Making them white, realistically can be difficult. So with just a little pain on your part, your eyes can sparkle for the day. Hey no one said it would be easy.

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7. The security of Touching up

Now I don’t recommend completely changing the way you look. But I see no reason why brides should not enjoy the advantages supermodels have enjoyed for years. Just take a look at some of these before and after images to get an idea of what I mean.

So if you choose me to be your photographer, I recommend that you discuss with me any complexes or insecurities you have. The touching-up I do to your wedding photos is subtle, so you can’t recognise the changes unless you compare them to the original image. If you want me to do anything above or beyond this, e.g. removing the bump on the bridge of your nose, you need to let me know!

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #6

6. Shoes, shoes, shoes… glorious shoes

Practise walking in the shoes you plan to wear on your wedding day. Especially if you are getting married in a little European village, otherwise you may find you’ll resort to being bare foot on your wedding day. Wear your shoes while you do housework, you can wrap them in cling film to avoid damage. Besides, you do realise very few people will actually see your shoes (yeah sorry about that) but they will notice how you are walking and whether you are still dancing at the end of the night. Though you would be quite entitled to kick off your shoes by the end of the night.

I have a terrible shoe fetish. I salivate and the mere sight of a pair of peep toe pumps so I understand your desire for the sexist shoes possible. But some sexy shoes can make a girl look very “unsexy” if they are going to put her in immense pain on her wedding day.

Consider having handy, a pair of comfortable shoes. (Sorry these won’t fit in my camera bag, but bridesmaids can come in extra handy here.) This way, if you want to walk around a city, up a steep hill or dance the night away at the reception, you have the option to do so in comfort and without risking falling over!

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #5

5. To tan or not to tan

“Why are models so pale?” is a question I often get asked. The answer is simple, if you are pale and you fake tan.. your skin tone will be uneven, you will get blotchy, wrinkly and it just won’t look good.

So –n o fake tan! It may seem a good idea to have a nice tan on your wedding day, but using fake tan leaves your skin looking streaky and orange, even when applied by a professional. Not to mention the risk you run of having your fake tan rub-off and stain your beautiful white wedding gown…

If you can’t resist, use sun beds a week before and make it just a blush. Italian girls really tend to over tan themselves and can look a little leathery in pictures. But I repeat, stay away from fake tan. The paler you are, the more yellow you will become. Your hands will look like you smoke funny stuff in pipes and your feet will always look dirty.

However if you are already quite dark and want to add a little gold, I love the Dior shimmering self tan on dark skins.

Now I know a whole bunch of you will ignore my advice and give me loads to touch up. But PLEASE do not get sunburnt before your wedding (especially bikini straps if you are wearing a strapless dress). You will be uncomfortable and look ridiculous.

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4. Taking care of yourself

Look after yourself in the days leading up to the wedding. Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. In particular, ensure that you do not stay up late the night before your wedding. Resting both physically and mentally in the days leading up to your wedding will make a big difference to your appearance and particularly your complexion. Taking “Rescue remedy” can also be a great way to calm your nerves before the ceremony.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #3

3. Posing

Now I know this is a swear word in the wedding world, but if you want to look nearly as good as the girls in magazines, you’ve got to do a little posing. This is usually a very embarrassing concept for most brides, who have often never even had their picture taken professionally. While one is finding the perfect pose, one wastes a little time and often we have to go through one or two that don’t work and make you feel silly.

But, I find plain, classic wedding photographs dull. So whilst I love reportage, I also like making you look gorgeous, so think that something must be said for half an hours worth of funky flattering posing.

So we want posed pictures but we find posing embarrassing. Why? Probably because the first time we ever try it is in front of a complete stranger on our wedding day. So here’s a little tip. I often ask brides who are very good in front of the camera “where did you learn to do that?” they nearly always reply. “I have been practising for years in front of the mirror”

Still not convinced. Let me help you out here. I have big ears and I hate them. But I know when I am having my picture taken, to turn my head a little to the side, so you only see one ear. This way you can hardly see how my ears stick out. If you shoot me head on… well that is a whole other story….

Right I feel you are with me now. The thing to do is to go through some mags and collect a whole bunch of poses you adore. Practise, practise, practise… even as a couple. You will save a whole lot of time on the day and you will naturally look amazing.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #2

2. Posture

Stand up straight and you instantly loose 5kgs. I find the sexiest posture is a little left of the one suggested in finishing school. I prefer the stripper approach… bum out (therefore legs extended upwards), boobs out, lower back gently arched, shoulders dropped back and down. Your head should float up from the base of your neck.

This takes a little practise and no doubt not possible the whole day, but during important moments (portraits) try and ‘extend thy self’. Nothing worse than a slouching bride, and few things are as embarrassing as your wedding photographer telling you to tuck your tummy in.

10 Top Tricks to help you look your absolute best on your wedding day! #1


Okay, so you don’t want to hear it, but there is no product or service in the whole world which will make you look and feel better. Even if you have never exercised before in your whole life, just 40 minutes, three times a week, a few months before your wedding will change everything. Exercise is a fantastic out for stress. So firstly, you will be less likely to turn into a horrid and stressed bridezilla. Then as an added bonus you will look a whole lot better. Less bloated, tighter, harder, smoother and your skin will glow. Forget drastic diets, they make you tired, irritable, saggy, yellow faced and quite unlovable. Eat! Eat! Eat! And include lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. It gives you all the energy and stamina that you need. Especially on the big day! Eat something decent (and if possible before hair and make up).

On the morning of your big day, do a light work out. The ideal is gym because there is nothing like weights to tighten muscles instantly. But anything will do, even a brisk walk or swim in the sea. You will relieve stress, freshen the mind and be a blushing bride with rosy cheeks.