Information :: What Motivates Us

Hope this finds everyone well and happy! :)

We have recently shared a few things about us and our priorities, including this list for why we provide two shooters as part of our wedding package. However, one topic we have not discussed yet is what motivates us in this field of wedding photography. So we sat down and came up with a few primary motivators.

Therefore, please find below just some of the things that motivate us:

  • The fact that documenting your love through visual storytelling is a huge privilege!

  • The people we shoot with: both clients and fellow vendors. You are all a source of inspiration and never-ending wonderful ideas.

  • The creation of something that we want you to look back on for years to come and enjoy. This is crucial for us. We choose not to get swept up in current editing trends or genres, for example, as it is only a matter of time and that particular style will no longer be in vogue. We want our work to be as timeless as the choice you make to love each other.

  • Working with the numerous factors that come into play - in most cases - for an image to be memorable (lighting, composition, and so on). Working within these well-documented parameters to create something magical & unique is an opportunity we welcome.

  • How easy it is to get lost in the moment. It is not uncommon for us to find cuts and bruises that we didn’t realise that we had acquired during a shoot! We honestly just get lost in the moment and the combination of the distraction & the natural high kicks in.

  • We are both romantics at heart; weddings are so full of energy and love and it is hard not to get excited about that.

  • The personal challenge to create something fresh. Part of the work that goes on behind the scenes is researching whatever venue we are shooting at, for example. We do this so that we don’t overlook anything our client might want. However, we also do this to challenge ourselves to produce something we didn’t find in our research. Ultimately, we don’t want to get lost in the crowd.

  • Our beautiful city of Brisbane, Queensland! So many photogenic nooks and crannies in and around our hometown. :)

Oh, and detail shots of delicious food… but that’s more me (Em) talking here ;)

Information :: Open Day at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events

Mark your calendar!

 

You are invited:

Date: 18th May 2019

Time: 3 - 7 pm

Address: 55 Maitland Road, Burpengary East 4505

 

We will be there alongside Emunah Events and some other equally wonderful Brisbane wedding vendors.

(We were part of a photoshoot on location at Sharla Park Country Weddings & Events previously; you can see it here.)

 

You don’t want to miss it! Hopefully we will see you there :)

Shoot & Share 2019

We are thrilled to share our results from this year’s Shoot & Share Photo Contest, our first year of participation. It was a last minute decision (we only remembered to submit in the final hours before the competition closed so mad-panic-grab-at-50-almost-randomly-selected-images lesson learned: we are marking the date on our calendar next year! #parentlyf).

Here is a description of the Shoot & Share Photo Contest in their own words: “The Shoot & Share Photo Contest is the world’s only free & fair photo contest. Enter up to 50 photos in 25 categories. Anyone can enter photos, and it’s totally free! View the photos randomly and vote for your favourites. No one knows who took the photos, but everyone votes for the winners. The photos with the most votes win!”

In total, 583,150 images were entered in 25 categories. By the final round, 174,215 unique voters had participated from 144 different countries. They had spent 15,809 cumulative days casting over 90 million votes. It was quite the adventure progressing through the 12 rounds of voting!

As the final results are now available, we want to congratulate the photographers who had significantly better results than we did. They have truly inspired us. We are looking forward to putting some of that inspiration into good use - with our own spin, of course. We are looking forward to next year’s Shoot & Share Photo Contest already.

In terms of our results, feel free to check out the image below:

Results for Poppy & Sage Photography from Shoot & Share 2019: x1 Finalist, x1 Top 10%, x3 Top 20%, and x3 Top 30%.

We are grateful for both the opportunity and the votes cast for our images. I (Em) want to:

a) Recommend the competition for fellow photographers (or anyone really!). Honestly, just do it! We watched from the sidelines last year mostly driven by intimidation. If you have been considering joining in, make 2020 your year! Here are the categories so hopefully some resonate with you:

WEDDING

The Wedding Couple
The Bride
The Groom
The Wedding Party
Ceremony / Reception
Wedding Details

PORTRAIT

Birth
Newborn
Babies / Toddlers
Kids
Teens / Seniors
Families
Maternity
People Portraits
Pets / Animals
Lifestyle / Documentary

WEDDING/PORTRAIT

Engagement / Couples
That Just Happened
Emotion / Excitement
Passion Portrait
Styled Wedding / Fashion

PERSONAL / OTHER

Share Joy
Creative Projects
Phone Photography
Travel / Landscape

b) Most importantly, take a moment to acknowledge Pete. Our image that placed as a finalist was one that Pete took (this image alone was “favourited” - or shown some love - 45 times by voters) and was edited by me (I edit all of our images):

 
 

Our image that placed in the Top 10% was also one that Pete took:

 
 

I am so incredibly proud of his talent and unique eye. Just in the time I have known him (10 years!), Pete’s growth has been exponential and he teaches me. As I recently shared on instagram (check out the accompanying image Pete took here that has since placed in the Shoot & Share Photo Contest), “Photography has always been my (Em's) baby. Pete came along and, to be honest, my passion frustrated him sometimes. Understandably so. If I go to someplace I have never been before (especially overseas), I feel naked without the camera. I always rationalise the situation by stating that we may never visit x place again (we both favour new adventures as opposed to reliving fond memories). Also, I don't want to rely on my longterm memory. Photography had to either be shelved under an individual hobby category (with me being more mindful of his feelings and compromising somewhat) or Pete would jump in the photography world, too. This is some straight fire he shot recently. I am learning from him. <3“.

Lastly, two more of Pete’s shots for good measure… yep, I am loud & proud ;):

 

Thank you for sharing in our delight and we’ll be over here counting down to next year’s contest. ;)

 

~~~

 

P.S. I was going to leave this post at celebrating Pete’s outstanding work but then I realised that one of my images is the beautiful half (Samantha) of the couple that includes the handsome groom (Johnré) above so - hey, why not include it, too! They are a lovely couple that we have been truly delighted to work with.

Information :: We Welcome Everyone Equally!

We want to make something perfectly clear: at Poppy & Sage Photography, we welcome all people. From all countries. From all backgrounds. From all heritages. Our ideal client(s) comes from any one of 195 countries. Racism has no place in our business model (or life, for that matter).

We welcome everyone equally. No prejudice. No judgement.

We have updated our FAQ page with this section:

~~~

Do you welcome cultural weddings?

Yes! We absolutely do. As stated in our “About” section, we believe that all people are equal. And equally beautiful. Furthermore, we enjoy travel, especially to off-the-beaten track locations. One thing we have learned from our travels so far is that we can all learn from each other. We would love to hear your unique story and it would be our privilege to capture it!

~~~

Feel free to contact us here:

Bridal Shoot :: Crisp White & Green Inspiration at Fort Lytton, Australia

The shoot below was a fun collaboration between Emunah Events, Makeup by Hayley Gervais and the lovely model Georgia. The shoot took place at Fort Lytton National Park. Fort Lytton has enjoyed some notoriety with the filming of Unbroken (Angelina Jolie) and The Railway Man (Nicole Kidman) so we figured that it should be good enough for us. ;)

All jokes aside, this was such a fun shoot. Georgia was amazing (you can find her instagram here). We shot this mid-morning during Brisbane’s hot & humid summer and Georgia did.not.complain.once. She was a trooper. Georgia’s wonderfully bubbly, make-the-best-of-the-moment personality really shone through.

Hayley, from Makeup by Hayley Gervais, is responsible for the conception of this shoot. It was a real treat to work with Hayley. Her stunning work - both hair & makeup - enhances natural beauty; it doesn’t distract from it. You will find Makeup by Hayley Gervais listed among our preferred vendors (here). Looking forward to working together soon!

Emunah Events. Honestly. We are obsessed with Carissa & Serena’s work so any opportunity to work with them is a no-brainer. As this was a simple, crisp shoot (sometimes less really is more), we wanted classic elements that would pop. As always, Emunah Events delivered. (You will find the Emunah team listed among our preferred vendors, too.)

None of this would have been possible without the above team. Thank you to each of you for such a memorable shoot.

Information :: Wedding Ring Shot Inspiration

We recently stumbled upon a polarising discussion between photographers. The key question was this: should you, as the photographer, provide props for detail shots (such as ring boxes, ribbons, trays, stamps and so on) or is it something that the client should take the lead on? There were two camps:

One side, against photographers providing props, questioned if it could it be perceived to be intrusive in a way? Could the photographer potentially incorporate elements that are not sentimental to the couple? The photographers in this camp were arguing that photographers should use creative elements either supplied by the couple (keepsakes) or things that could be found at their wedding venue(s), such as a plant, for example. That each client’s images should not have stock standard elements that come from recycled kit. Furthermore, all the images should be cohesive (documented and authentic rather than fabricated).

However, the other side of the debate, pro photographer provision of props, suggested that the extra preparation (and investment) could demonstrate attention to detail by the photographer. Could it be categorised as going above and beyond? Thoughtful even? The photographers in this camp wanted their clients to feel looked after and with nothing left to chance. To guarantee ‘pretty’ images for their clients. To have some control over the quality of the styling. Furthermore, in some cases, styling was an essential part of the photographer’s brand and a unique selling point (especially those with a background in food or product photography, for example).

Each photographer has their own aesthetic and, like a lot of things in life, there is absolutely no right or wrong here. Furthermore, we would hope that most people could agree that there are waaaaaaaaaaay bigger issues in life. When all is said and done, it is up to the client to decide how they want their day documented - whether that is a style that incorporates a photographer’s individual styling kit or is more organic & bespoke. Personally, we love true to life and we love a good creative challenge. Ultimately, we want the images to showcase you as a couple and incorporate your style and story - whatever that is.

We looked through some of our recent shoots for ring shots, in particular. (The discussion referenced above heavily featured ring boxes as there has been a definite trend for Mrs Box ring boxes or equivalent so rings were fresh on our mind at the time of writing.) We found the diversity in our shots interesting. We have done some of these shoots alongside a stylist or two with impeccable taste (sometimes we are spoiled rotten!). We are proud of those images. We can appreciate a stunning piece of heirloom jewellery and we love to showcase it without distraction. However, we also found it interesting how much we like seeing ring shots ‘in the wild’, too. There is a sense of adventure to these. Relatability perhaps. A feeling that the ring is more than jewellery now and is an important part of the person wearing it. See what you think and feel free to discuss even the smallest details with us- as we say around here, “If it is important to you, it is important to us”. We welcome all ideas - including those that are outside of the box, so to speak. Here are 50+ of our favourites:

Update: this image placed in the Top 20% of its category in the 2019 Shoot & Share Photo Contest. It placed at 3585/18829 submissions.

Information :: Why We Provide a Second Shooter

We introduced ourselves here. We shared a little about our personalities here. We included a list of 10 random things about us here. Today we want to share 10 reasons for why we provide two shooters on your wedding day. It has been well-documented that many couples regret not spending more on photography (base assumption being that greater value would equate to higher quality). While the appropriate compensation for photography services is subjective and dependent on key factors such as experience & expertise, there is one thing for sure at Poppy & Sage Photography: we want to go above and beyond to ensure that you love your images. We want to exceed your expectation for quality. One way we strive to meet this goal is through the provision of two shooters. Why exactly? Well, here are 10 reasons:

  1. One of us is responsible for the shot list provided by the client & meeting standard composition requirements; the other typically focuses on candid photography & creative composition (everything comes back to our questionnaire, though, and the priorities that you have detailed!)

  2. Second set of eyes = different perspective (for example, height differences; there is a foot between us!)

  3. Bride & groom are at 2 different locations? No problemo! (In the event of one photographer, it would be necessary to stack getting ready sessions = adding extra time to the day)

  4. Ability to split up timeline so one can focus on the bridal party, for example, and the other on the couple portraits (especially useful when timelines can run behind on the day or we need to meet specific criteria, such as couple portraits at golden hour)

  5. Technology can fail; nice to have built-in back-up with a second shooter as part of risk management

  6. Bigger wedding (100+) with a lot going on (getting ready, a first look, details, family portraits, and so on)? We’ve got it!

  7. Larger venue where you can’t possibly run back and forth to see from both side (or if you did, it would be pretty distracting)

  8. One can focus on the couple and the other on guest reactions (while walking down the aisle, for example)

  9. Two photographers typically shoot with different settings, such as aperture - this can make a huge difference to the overall feel of the image

  10. We have different strengths and interests - this is represented in our individual work and complementary perspectives

  11. We enjoy working together… oh, wait - that’s 11! We’ll stop. ;)

Information :: Ten Things About Us

A little while ago, we shared a few things about each of us on instagram:

Pete:
1) is half-Czech
2) moved 8 times during childhood
3) has visited 3 continents to date - 4 to go

Em:
1) played competition tennis for approx. 7 years
2) has rural roots (small town of Chinchilla, Queensland)
3) was in a tambourine ensemble... don't ask haha


It was a fun exercise (for something different). We figured that we would continue the theme a little with 5 things for each of us:

Pete:

  • Is yet to find chilli so hot that he can’t eat it

  • Will talk about the behaviour of light when you ask for best-lighting-on-the-day advice (geek alert)… but will come up with Dad jokes as prompts for posing (talk about hitting the jackpot) :D

  • Has been on 64 flights to date

  • Has held a baby crocodile

  • Makes the absolute best prosciutto and rucola pizza (and vanilla slice, while we are at it)

Em:

  • Misses the Nokia 3310; those were the simpler days

  • Has waved to the Queen

  • Mapped out Parisian adventures around sweet tooth: self-dubbed “Tour de boulangerie”

  • Bumped into Steve Irwin at Australia Zoo (he was carrying Bindi - a baby - in a duffle bag)

  • Is scared of heights but has also been skydiving (along with Pete)

From a recent wedding (image by Pete from Poppy & Sage Photography)

Milestone <3

This is our 107th blog post.

Odd number, we know.

However, it marks 2 years of hitting ‘save & publish’ on our weekly blog. We have been shooting together since 2009 (10 years - what?!) but blogging for 2 years. Our first post (here) was from Terrence & Rebecca’s 2016 wedding.

We all know that we should slow down a little more than we do so, in honour of celebrating the little milestones, cheers to us!

Topics we have covered have included:

  • Weddings

  • Creative shoots

  • Photography tips

  • Travel (both domestic & international)

  • Brisbane (local events, our recommendations & so on)

Thank you for following along with us! We have appreciated every single one of you. Looking forward to the next 107 blog posts and the growth that comes with the journey.

The Elephant in the Room :: Raw Files

"I just want access to the images from the most important day in my life! I enjoy playing around with Photoshop and Lightroom. I don't understand why it is too much to ask for the raw files. Furthermore, what if there is an image that the photographer doesn’t care for but is important to me or us?..."

This is a question that pops up from time to time. It is a really good question, too! At Poppy & Sage Photography, we do not provide raw files as part of our delivery. Here is our why:

  • This is in line with the stated terms and conditions in our contract. It is our business policy. We only ever show our best work.

  • Delivering a complete product is important to us. It is our job; it is what you, as the client, are paying us to do. The preparation (meeting, emailing & planning) is key. The shooting (time, experience & equipment) is key. The culling is key. The colour correction is key. In particular, our editing style is essential to our brand. Every aspect of the process is just as crucial to the final product as each other.

  • The raw file ultimately become detritus once the final image comes into existence. Handing over raw files is akin to a few analogies. It would be a bit like a restaurant serving a meal and including all the egg shells & vegetable scraps as part of the final presentation. A dressmaker creating your wedding gown and including all the fabric, pins and pattern. A carpenter building a deck and leaving every scrap of wood and nail behind. An artist painting a commissioned piece and including all the initial attempts, brushes and leftover paint. Or, perhaps more similarly, it is like a speechwriter drafting a script but leaving it to someone else to edit it and release the final version on behalf of the original speechwriter.

  • We totally understand the concern that we might not choose an image that means the world to you. We take a ton of images on any given wedding day. Of that ton, a good amount can be accounted for in multiples, typically with only nanoseconds between them. This is especially pertinent because we shoot together; we collate all files and choose the best. Some of the images are visual exposure tests. If we followed anyone around for a day (or someone followed us), we can absolutely guarantee unflattering images - blinking, awkward moments, and so on. We strive to give you beautiful & memorable images from your day that you will hopefully love so much that you will go and tell your family & friends. We value quality over quantity. We also work from a questionnaire that lists shots important to you. There is no way we would withhold an image that is suitable and, in particular, is from your shot list. Finally, we deliver an industry standard of 50-75 images per hour of shooting.

However, if you have any questions or would like to clarify anything, we are just a message away. Feel free to contact us anytime.