Sunday, 11 December 2011

Nicole & Brendan's Lake Macquarie Wedding

Nicole & Brendan's wedding with photos on Red Beach, Newcastle


The weather cleared just in time for Nicole & Brendan's wedding at Club Macquarie and later photos on Newcastle's Red Beach.  Here are a few photos from their beautiful wedding.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Fashion - Swimwear Photo Shoot

Bikini Fashion Shoot

The weather was perfect for last weekend's bikini fashion shoot at Toowoon Bay, NSW and my two lovely models Nadine and Emma were fantastic and also enjoyed every minute of it, so much so that they were keen at my suggestion to get into the water at the end of the shoot for some more photos.

Here are a selection of photos from the shoot.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Photos of Donna and Daniel's wedding at Bamboo Buddha

Donna and Daniel


Bamboo Buddha, Holgate, Central Coast, NSW

My last blog was about the lead up to Donna and Daniel's wedding on 11 November and I wrote it just prior to heading off to Bamboo Buddha which is a beautiful venue for an outdoor garden wedding on the Central Coast. 

Donna arrived looking absolutely stunning in her ivory wedding gown and her long hair beautifully done which was perfect with her gown.  Donna wore the most amazing shoes and as you will see in the photographs, I just had to capture them.

Most of these photographs were taken at the venue, but we did find a nearby farm gate to capture one of Donna and Daniel's favourite shots.

For more of my latest wedding photographs you can visit my Facebook page - Artistique Photography by Nicolette - and I will be posting some more photographs in my next blog.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The importance of preparation in wedding photography

Today’s wedding  -  11.11.11.

At 3pm today I’m shooting the wedding of Daniel and Donna and they have chosen today’s auspicious date for their wedding – 11.11.11.  I guess there are many weddings around the world today and I was asked if I could shoot two other weddings today, but unfortunately I can only be one place at one time!

This morning I am going to talk about the key elements in my preparation for shooting a wedding.

The week before the wedding:

Last week I met with Daniel and Donna and we had a pre wedding shoot on the jetty on Lake Tuggerah in the 30 minutes prior to sunset and got some beautiful images.  After our shoot we sat down and I ran through all the details for their wedding day today.

The night before the wedding:

Last night I sat down and checked all of my kit:

  • I cleaned everything, even if it didn’t need it!
  • I charged all of my batteries, including 3 camera pack batteries and batteries for my speed lights and of course some spare batteries as well.
  • Formatted all of my memory flash cards.
  • Checked the weather forecast and worked out what to wear.  I usually wear a fishing jacket (not so glamorous I know, but very practical with all of those pockets everywhere!), long shorts.  It is not practical to wear a tight skirt when often I have to get down low or up high to capture an image, and of course sensible sandals.  High heals are no good on a sandy beach or in a grassy area.
  • Organised food and water for the afternoon.
  • Made sure my wedding umbrella is packed as this is often used as a beautiful prop by many brides.
  • Printed off my “run sheet” for the day, listing the time I want to be at the venue, bridal party names (which I memorise), ceremony time, celebrant’s name, photography venue and reception venue and time.

The morning of the wedding:

Most often weddings are in the afternoon, so I use the morning to run through everything and make sure it is all clear in my head.  This morning I have already visualised Daniel and Donna at their beautiful venue which offers many photo locations in the one spot with ponds, gazebos, verandahs, gardens and country lanes nearby with beautiful wooden fences and large trees.  Most often I have been to a venue before and checked it out for photo locations.  Some images I will see in my head in black and white, but I shoot everything in colour and then convert some images later on.

I will head to the venue and arrive there about an hour ahead of time, as I don’t want to get held up in traffic and this gives me the opportunity to have another look around, capture images of table settings, flowers and decorations and of course capture guest arrival.

Now I’m all set to have lunch, relax a little and then head off to Daniel and Donna’s wedding and capture some beautiful memories for them both, their family and friends and tonight I will be back down ad the jetty to capture (hopefully weather permitting and I think it will be!) a beautiful sunset like the photo attached.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Chantelle and Mack's Hunter Valley Wedding

A Beautiful Hunter Valley Wedding

Today I’m writing about Chantelle and Mack’s beautiful wedding at River Flats Estate in the Hunter Valley last Saturday afternoon.

I always like to check out the venue the day before the wedding, especially if I haven’t photographed a wedding there previously.  I always look for good locations for photo opportunities.  This trip, I took my husband (Rod) along and we stayed two nights in the Hunter Valley.

I visited the venue which was set in the most magnificently picturesque location with the main venue area set on the knoll of a small hill, rolling grassy areas blowing gently in the wind down to a large olive grove and then a small lake with a jetty.  The whole area had a vista of beautiful mountains surrounding the valley.  This was just a wedding photographer’s paradise – offering so many locations for photo opportunities with magnificent backdrops, all at the one venue.

Saturday morning arrived and it was clearly going to be a very hot day.  I paced myself in the morning having a relaxing coffee with my husband and then browsing around a few shops, knowing that I had a big day ahead of me.

When I arrived at River Flats Estate I went to one of the two cottages where Chantelle and her bridesmaids and flower girl were getting ready.  My first priority was to capture some beautiful photos of Chantelle’s wedding gown before she put it on and I hung on a curtain rail in the window which threw beautiful light behind the gown.  Chantelle’s gown was off the shoulder, white with silver/white sequins, a laced back to the bodice, full skirt with a train and to give the gown a lot of body, a hoop underneath it.  I then set about taking photos Chantelle’s jewellery, garter, shoes and bouquet.  I photographed Chantelle putting her dress on with the help of two bridesmaids.  Then I captured one of the bridesmaids curling the little flower girl’s hair, then pouring glasses of bubbly.  When Chantelle was ready I took photos of her looking into a mirror, sitting on the couch and with the bridesmaids.

After capturing many photographs of the Chantelle and her Bridesmaids getting ready, I went to the main house where Mack and the Bestman (Mack’s identical twin brother and I didn’t manage to get them mixed up throughout the course of the day either!), and Page Boy getting ready.

Guests watched as Chantelle was driven across the grassy paddock sitting up high in the back of a red Mercedes convertible up over to the ceremony area.  I always love to capture the Groom’s reaction / emotions when he first sees his beautiful Bride.  The ceremony was beautiful with vows written for each other and I captured one of the “must have” photos, of the Groom placing the ring on his Bride’s finger.

After the official photographs immediately after the ceremony with family and friends, I whisked the bridal party down through the grassy (only ankle/calf high!) paddock for some beautiful photographs and then it was down to the olive grove and over to the jetty on the lake for more photographs.  Once we arrived back up at the main ceremony area it was photographs under the large trees and another “must have” photograph of all the (50) guests together for a group photo.

The Reception was held in a rustic outdoor area which had a roof and clear polythene walls on three sides and was lit entirely by candlelight, giving a lovely ambience and some lovely photograph opportunities.

It was a long day in the heat, but as usual, I loved every minute of it because each wedding is unique.

I am now half way through processing the 800 photographs (I shoot approximately 100 per hour) that I am sure Chantelle and Mack will treasure.

If you are looking for an idyllic setting for a country wedding, then look no further than River Flats Estate, Broke, Hunter Valley.

Friday, 7 October 2011

The Pre Wedding Outdoor Photo Shoot

At the pre wedding meeting I discuss the pre wedding photo shoot with my couples and we usually set the date at that time.

The main purposes for my offering the pre wedding photo shoot included in my wedding photography packages are:

  • I have a chance to get to know the couple more and likewise, they get to know me more!  It is a continuation of the rapport that was developed at the pre wedding meeting.
  • I get to know the couple in front of the camera; how “touchy feely” they are, how they interact together, how relaxed they are in front of the camera.
  • To adapt the way I shoot to reflect their preferences on their wedding day.
  • To provide the couple with a CD of approximately 100 photos which they will love and then they will rave about you!

When do I arrange the pre wedding photo shoot?

For a Winter wedding I like to arrange the photo shoot in Autumn and for a Summer wedding, for the photo shoot to be in Spring.  I like to arrange the photo shoot 1 – 2 months from the wedding date if possible.  Usually by this time, the bride and groom have all plans confirmed and after our photo shoot we can then run through the wedding day again.

Where is the pre wedding shoot located?

Sometimes a couple will want their photo shoot to be at their wedding venue.  Most often they choose somewhere else, whether it is a park, gardens, beach.  Some suggestions I make to my Central Coast couples are:
Mt Penang Gardens.
Japanese Gardens (Regional Art Gallery) at East Gosford.
Long Jetty, using the jetty and the adjacent park area.
Local beaches.

What time of day and how long does it take?

I prefer to shoot in the two hours before sunset to take advantage of the beautiful soft light at this time of day.  Sometimes I have early morning shoots soon after sunrise, but this often isn’t first choice as it means the couple getting up really early and me too!  Usually the photo shoot will take 1 – 2 hours.

What to wear and types of poses?

I advise my couples that the photo shoot is relaxed and fun and they may like to come along in smart casual clothes or, they may like to be dressed up as though they were heading out to dinner for the evening.

I always carry a travel rug, my beautiful white wedding umbrella and a magazine as these can make good props.

I try to encourage a variety of poses and list a small variety here:
- Couple looking at each other.
- Kissing.
- Each on their own, but looking towards their partner.
- Standing in embrace under umbrella.
- Sitting / lying on picnic rug, maybe reading a magazine.
- Sitting / leaning on park benches / steps.

My next blog will cover more about photography poses and styles.

Tips for the Bride and Groom

Always be supportive of your partner – you don’t want any disagreements just before you head out to your photo shoot, as this will reflect in your photos!

Listen to your photographer, I will give direction to you in your posing.  I will listen to my couples and always ask if there is any particular photo they would like and once I got the answer “yes, I would like to be up the tree looking down at my fiance”. 

It is all fun!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Wedding Photography: Wedding Photography - The Pre Wedding Meeting

Wedding Photography: Wedding Photography - The Pre Wedding Meeting: This morning I met Geoff and Lauren at the Bay Cafe and over a cup of coffee we spent nearly an our going over their exciting plans for thei...

Wedding Photography - The Pre Wedding Meeting

This morning I met Geoff and Lauren at the Bay Cafe and over a cup of coffee we spent nearly an our going over their exciting plans for their summer beach wedding.

Geoff and Lauren also had an opportunity to view my wedding portfolio (on my new iPad!) and see my style of photography which is natural and candid. 

At our meeting we went through the whole day, I found out what is important to Geoff and Lauren, (they mentioned another "must have" photo which is with an old school friend who is making a special trip from the UK for their wedding), this lets me know the type of wedding they are planning and the coverage they require. 

Lauren has chosen to have coverage from her home while she is getting ready, and I will arrive at  her home at least an hour before I leave for the ceremony at the beach (which will be 15-20 minutes before Lauren leaves, so I can capture Geoff waiting to see his beautiful bride).  I always love it when I get to photograph the bride getting ready and take photographs of the bridal gown hanging on the hanger near a window, in a doorway and then the bride getting dressed and those beautiful mirror shots, the bridesmaids, and the bride's parents.

Weddings are very personal events and it is important that the bride and groom have rapport with you and that they feel totally relaxed.  For this reason I feel it is important to have a pre wedding photo session, or you may want to call it an engagement photo session, as it gives the bride and groom a further opportunity to get to know you and for me to get to know the bride and groom.  I have booked Geoff and Lauren to have their pre wedding photo session late in January which is a month before their wedding date.  I will leave the pre wedding photo session there, as it is the title of my next blog!

My style is relaxed and unobtrusive, professional and this flows through in my work, creating natural beautiful images and wedding photography to me is about fun, happiness and the emotions of the day. It is not about high pressure, taking over etc.  Who wants to give stress to a bride and groom on their wedding day.  If the photographer is relaxed the bride and groom will be also.

Chat again soon about the pre wedding photo shoot.