Information :: Five Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Wedding Photographer

It can be challenging navigating the world of wedding planning - to say the least. This is especially true when you are looking for specialists in fields that are a) very often foreign to your own and b) over-saturated. At Poppy & Sage Photography, we try to make life a little easier for everyone; we would like to share some thoughts and tips on how to go about narrowing down the right photographer for you individually (we find that often one partner takes greater responsibility for aspects of planning, such as choosing a photographer) and as a couple, too, of course.

Choosing a photographer is a huge commitment. So many styles to navigate. Do you want documentary? Fine art? Edgy, bold, colourful? A great photographer will make an "average" wedding look stunning. A bad photographer will make a stunning wedding look average... or worse. More than that, though, some (definitely not all!) of the most popular wedding photographers do not necessarily have strong, well-composed, thoughtfully executed portfolios but have wonderful, easy-going personalities that make everyone feel comfortable and relaxed - an essential ingredient for the recipe of wedding photography you want to look back on for a lifetime. What if you want it all, though? Photographers who mesh well with your personalities and create images that you will treasure?

Here is a deductive process we recommend to help you to hopefully hit the jackpot:

1) Is this a business or a hobby?

One key indicator is whether the business has an ABN or not. Sometimes you will find this information on the business website and sometimes you need to ask for it. Another indicator is whether they have liablility or not. (You will find details for both our ABN and liability on our FAQ page.) Having associated paperwork (such as the above) tells you that the owner(s) is invested & takes their business more seriously than a hobby (just one piece of the puzzle but a very important one).

While on the topic of paperwork, do they offer you a written contract? Very often clients think of the contract as having a sole purpose: to protect the business. However, the contract is there to protect you, too. The business is legally bound to follow through on their end of the bargain. Do they clearly articulate the deliverables to you (minimum number of total images? Or how many images will be delivered per hour? Or turnaround for said images? Et cetera...).

2) Does this business genuinely care about our needs & wants?

How would you even know? It can be almost standard to feel like a number in business and you are as time-poor as everyone else so where do you even start? Unfortunately, a lot of it has to do with gut feelings. For example: if you feel as though you are being rushed to close the sale and things are not progressing at your own rate, this can be a key indicator that you are simply $$$ to the business. Another example: we all have insecurities we want to be able to work around and angles we prefer to be avoided. If you don't feel comfortable discussing these kinds of details with your photographer, they are probably not the best fit for you.

However, there are some tangible indicators, too. For example, how happy are they to catch up and have a chat with you? A wedding photographer should have excellent communication skills; good listening is non-negotiable. You will only be able to determine this by having a chat. If your location is outside a reasonable travel zone, are they happy to jump on skype? Make time for you over the phone? There is not much point falling in love with a photographer's work but then not really getting each other in person. We welcome whatever form of communication you prefer and we are very happy to meet in person within a 10 km radius of Brisbane CBD. We especially appreciate the opportunity as it breaks the ice. Furthermore, if you do choose to book with us, the wedding day itself will be so much more relaxed. We are another familiar and friendly face on the day. :)

Another key area to focus on is how well they get to know you and your wants and needs. We recently read through a comment thread on facebook. One bride mentioned that her photographer took ~50 detail shots of her dress and that she did not particularly care for that many. We love a good detail shot (could easily take 50 ourselves!) but we wouldn't if we knew that was low priority for the couple concerned. For example, we provide our couples with a detailed questionnaire upon initial contact. We do this to get a feel for your priorities and vision. Completing the questionnaire gives us an insight into your style and taste, too. Frequently, the questionnaire is handed back to us with unanswered questions. This is totally fine, too! If the question is asking for an answer that is not a big deal for you, that is still valid information for us. We try to tailor our product to suit both of you as closely as we possibly can.

3) Does the business interact with other related businesses or attend industry events, such as wedding fairs?

In other words, you're looking for social accountability. Is this business known to other businesses and do they seem to have some sort of rapport? The more you find a vendor sitting on the fringes of their industry, the more likely they are to be either complacent or unreliable... and sometimes both. We work with other businesses regularly; we share the information for the ones we love here.

4) Do I LOVE the photographer's portfolio or am I just okay with it?

Only you can answer this question satisfactorily. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We all have signature shots that we gravitate toward. We all have our own unique "eye" or bias or perspective. We all have our own secret editing sauce. It is so important that you find the portfolio that resonates with you. While you are going through the process of narrowing down a photographer, pick their portfolio apart. For example, if your wedding is in the middle of the day, you want to look for images shot in full sun. Do their indoor and outdoor images differ greatly? Perhaps their outdoor images are not that great but your wedding is indoors in a cathedral and they rock those particular shots in their portfolio?! Better yet, ask to see a full wedding and decide for yourself if they capture all the moments that matter to you and your significant other.

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the moments as they unfolded at Michael & Tara's wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Golden hour. The end. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We love an enchanting outdoor wedding. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Indoors with some light through the window. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We don’t want any of your photographs from your wedding day to be ‘boring’ - including the reception ones. We will work with whatever light is available and create some magic. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the emotion at Greg & Claudine’s vow renewal. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Capturing the emotion at Greg & Claudine’s vow renewal. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Mid-afternoon light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We make no secret of our favourite time of day to shoot: golden hour - or as close to as possible. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Mid-morning light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Mid-morning light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Recetption lighting with fluorescent tubes. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In hospital, too; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Also in hospital; not usually known for the best photography-friendly lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Using trees to frame the subjects. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors under the shade of a tree in the early afternoon. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

From the same shoot as the image directly above. The rain droplets on the lens are a little more clear in this black & white version. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We worked in the rain during this shoot; we actually love rainy days as the cloud cover usually results in gorgeous soft, diffuse light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This one was taken outdoors in a fern garden. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This was taken indoors with light coming throught the front door. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Golden hour. The end. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Taken at dust… I mean, dusk! Well, a bit of both actually. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoor shoot. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We love playing with light, of course! (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

This image was taken outdoors. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Same object as shown above but photographed indoors with no natural light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

In a temple (Kerala, India). (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Late afternoon sunlight on a mostly overcast day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Having fun with chandelier lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Working with bathroom lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Indoors. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

We can honestly say that we have fun at work! (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Outdoors in afternoon sun. We love embracing colour in our processing. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Just on dusk. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Catching the last rays of sun for the day. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Dark enough for the sparklers to pop. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Indoors between 10 & 12. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

From the same shoot as above but outdoors between 10 & 12. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

That afternoon light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Yes, we mean it when we say that receptions do not have to be flat - or boring. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

One question that has popped up in client consultations is, “Can you capture the greenery outside of our reception venue from the inside?” Yes, we can. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Cathedral lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Cathedral lighting. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Working with the afternoon light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Working with the afternoon light. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

Making fairy lights dance. (Image by Poppy & Sage Photography.)

5) Does this business support a cause bigger than themselves?

People seem to be much more savvy these days when it comes to choosing a business to support. We all want to be part of something that makes a positive difference. Something that makes this world a better place to be in. The reality is this: the fact that we all need to put food on the table for our families and pay our bills is not necessarily reason enough to support a business. However, when you see a business doing their bit to not only support themselves but contribute to society as well, it is so much easier to get behind that. Find one that supports a cause you care about, too. That's our personal challenge for you! :)

When you are booking, feel free to check with us if we are supporting a local organisation at that time. We regularly run campaigns supporting local charity organisations. You will find information for them during that period. If we are supporting at the time you book, we will pass on their specific details and we will donate 10% of the total amount of money you spend on our service.

All the best for your search and may it be as smooth as possible!

Meet Wedding Celebrant, Fiona!

Happy Monday! Hope everyone has had a manageable weekend. Today you will meet Fiona, a wedding celebrant based in Brisbane. We recently did a shoot with Fiona and we really enjoyed the experience. We found her approachable and professional. It was a tedious shoot (long list of shots we were aiming for) and Fiona came in at a time when everyone was hungry and a bit scrappy. She pulled the situation together effortlessly and with a good dose of humour. We have a feeling Fiona might have seen it all and can certainly handle any situation. You will find Fiona on our recommended vendors page.

"Tell us about yourself"
My name is Fiona McIntyre and I’m a Brisbane wedding celebrant. I’ve been marrying people for 4 years now and love that I get to be part of people’s biggest life moment. When I’m not marrying, I work in my other business doing social media and website design, and try to juggle raising a 6 month old and 4 year old who both have red hair!

"Why did you choose to become a celebrant?"
It had been a dream of mine for 10 years before I finally did it. It was a thought that would constantly pop in and out of my head, so when my daughter was 5 months old, I decided in a split second it needed to be now! I enrolled in my course and performed my first ceremony 3 months later. Part of my reason was wanting to show her that you should always reach for your dreams, no matter how hard they may seem.

"Who in celebrancy inspires you?"
My fellow celebrants. We work together on the belief that we’re a community, not competition. We constantly learn from each other and that makes us better. This means I can offer my couples new ideas and approaches to ensure I deliver them the ceremony they’ve always dreamt of.

"Any misconceptions about your industry that you would like to dispel?"
People often question the price of a celebrant because they think we just turn up and deliver a 30-minute ceremony. They don’t realise the amount of work that’s gone on behind the scenes to deliver those 30 mintues. I do research, meetings, interviewing, writing, drafting, rehearsals, travel and, of course, the ceremony. On top of that, celebrants also have to attend annual professional development to ensure we stay on our game. No celebrant turns up and just wings it on the day – a lot of time and preparation has gone into making those 30 minutes spectacular.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?"
Your wedding ceremony should be all about you. People want to hear the story of how you met, fell in love and came to be standing there together. The past is so important to creating a future together. It can be fun, light hearted and engaging. The wedding ceremony sets the tone for the whole day so have fun with it. No one wants to sit through a boring ceremony!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?"
I’m passionate about working with couples to identify what makes them unique. That way, I can deliver their perfect ceremony. I take the time to get to know my couples, explain their options, and work with them to craft a personal ceremony. I also believe in making the process fun and stress-free, so guarantee lots of laughs along the way!

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?"
I invest a lot of time with my couples depending on their individual needs. I provide a ceremony planning guide to really help couples understand their options and think about what they want to include. I don’t limit numbers of meetings or phone calls because I think the ceremony is so important, couples should feel supported through the whole process. I also bring nearly 20 years experience as a professional writer, event manager and presenter so my couples are guaranteed a professional ceremony.

"What is the best advice you ever received?"
Give a man a chance to say no – if you never ask the question, you’ll never know the answer.

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?"
Each couple is so different. There are common themes among ceremonies, but being able to create a new ceremony every time, is something I truly love!

"How do you balance work and family demands?"
I thrive on being busy. Running two businesses and working part-time means my life is crazy! I’m lucky to have a really supportive husband and the ability to live on very little sleep!

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Meet Homewares, Stationery & Giftware Designer, Sophie!

You get to meet the lovely Sophie from Sophia Mulheran Designs today! We recently undertook a project with Sophie that we can't wait to share in the coming months. It was a delight to work with her and we can vouch for the wow factor her products bring. We have enjoyed getting to know the Sophia Mulheran Design brand for a couple of reasons in particular. At a business level, we enjoy supporting local businesses and you will find the Sophia. brand based here in Brisbane, Australia. On a personal level, Pete has a science degree with an environmental major & Em has honours in environmental microbiology; the Sophia. brand is passionate about sustainable and ethical business practices so this (environmentally conscious) aspect resonates with us. We recently noticed on Sophie's instagram that the team have picked up 10,479 pieces of rubbish so far this year! What an amazing effort! I am sure you would be keen to hear more of the stories behind Sophie's business so I will now hand it over to her (and you will find Sophia Mulheran Designs listed among our recommended vendors):

"Tell us about yourself” 

I’m a creative and passionate Brisbanite who is working towards the most sustainable and ethical lifestyle and business. I love drawing so to essentially be able to do it as a job (as well as creating other awesome things) is an absolute dream come true!

"Why did you choose to design homewares, stationery and giftware?” 

I’ve always wanted to make a positive difference to our environment and community so when I formulated the idea to turn my passions into a career, I stopped at nothing to get the business up and running. The Sophia. Brand launched in August 2017 and since then, it’s been nothing but a success. I have learnt so much and met so many beautiful and inspiring people.

"How did your interest in design and creativity start?”

I grew up on an acreage property so I was constantly building, exploring, creating and running free. This has shaped me into the person I am today and has armed me with an intense passion for the environment and everything creative.

"Who in business inspires you?”

There’s too many to count!! I’m inspired by anyone and everyone who has the courage to take the leap of faith and follow their dreams. It’s inspiring to see so many people who have made the decision to quit their day jobs and set out to do exactly what they were born to do.

"Any misconceptions about your industry that you would like to dispel?” 

Most people think that I sit down and carefully plan out every tiny detail of my designs but the truth is that I create all my designs on the spot and I never know how they are going to turn out.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?” 

I know there’s people out there who think they don’t have a creative bone in their body but the truth is that my drawings used to be messy and nothing of great quality. It was only the other day that I found a few drawings that I created not long before I launched my business. If I was still creating those dodgy designs, my business would be an absolute flop! Keep exploring different aspects and don’t forget that nearly anything can be considered art!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?” 

When it comes to weddings, I have a few unique things to offer. The first being custom-designed wedding invitations and menus to suit your flowers, style and wedding layout. I’ve also introduced wedding hire items. These include my hand-crafted copper bowls and plates, which bring a striking colour and texture to the wedding dining

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?”

I pride myself on being unique and creating things that people have never seen before. What's the point of following the trend when you can create your own?

"What is the best advice you ever received?”

I’ve received lots of awesome advice over the years but one thing I always tell myself is that if you keep going and never give up, you will succeed. Work hard, keep your head down and you’ll get there in the end!

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?” 

Who knew there was so much to learn about running a business? I thought I’d done the majority of the work when I launched the business but the truth is that there is always improvements to make. Business is a journey too!

"How do you balance work and family demands?” 

I’m definitely guilty of working for 5am until 10pm without so much as a break. I have way too many ideas that I want to follow through on so at this point in time, work never really stops for me. I might find a balance one day!

"Anything else you would like to add?” 

If you’d like to follow my sustainable and ethical business journey, feel free to check out my website and social media pages: 





Meet Custom-Cut Designers, Josh & Suzanne!

We are thrilled to introduce you to a lovely husband-wife team of custom-cut designers - Josh & Suzanne from Molossi Designs! We have worked with them on a couple of projects: here and here. They are always so pleasant to email back and forth with and they consistently bring quality, stunning pieces to the table. This is their story as told by them (and you will find them on our recommended vendor page):

"Tell us about yourself"
We are a husband and wife team with 6 children that keep us on our toes! We recently made a ‘tree’ change from the city, which has given us more freedom and time in life! Best decision we ever made… This decision has also given us more direction with the business to see it grow.

"Why did you choose custom-cut designs as your chosen field?"
The creative desire and a WOW product!

"How did your interest in custom-cut designs start?"
Originally in the papercraft industry, we purchased our first laser to allow us to create our ‘own’ product – our own chipboard line. When we tapped into the MDF and acrylic designs, the papercraft side closed down as the demand for our products in the event industry grew. Three years later, we purchased our second machine. Two years after that, our third machine. We have grown with the industry.

"Who in custom-cut designs inspires you?"
Everyone from the bride that contacts us the week before her wedding (lol it does happen – and that’s cool with us as we manage it!) to the event planner, the venues, the GROOMS (yup - grooms, too!) to the photographers that capture it all.. There is not one person that doesn’t inspire us.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?"
The key is to capture the spirit of the client and the essence in life. And outsource what you can!

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?"
We are asked this weekly – and our answer: at Molossi it is quality over quantity here!

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?"
We will work with you to create what your heart desires. We are a big believer in “you are your only limit”.

"What is the best advice you ever received?"
The Five Ups:
‘Get up, dress up, show up, keep your head up, and never give up’.

"What surprising lessons have you learned along the way?"
Never be afraid to ask!

"What does a day in the life of Molossi look like?"
Our days consist of designing orders to cutting, perfecting and packing. We deal with some amazing vendors but my favourite part is opening messages filled with love and images of our products in use!

"Anything else you would like to add?"
The Molossi team are your go-to manufacturer, retailer and wholesaler of custom-made and personalised MDF, wooden and acrylic designs. Whilst personalised MDF wooden signs and acrylic cake toppers are just the beginning of Molossi’s product range, we are always ready to assist when a client brings a design to us; Molossi will help recreate the desired product in mind to the best of our ability, whether it be for that unique wedding/event piece, business logo or home decor, we will work with you to create what your heart desires.

Molossi is situated in New South Wales, with our warehouse located at Mandagery. Even though we are Australian-based, we do ship internationally. Please contact us at for a freight quote.

Shop with confidence at Molossi and rest assured that we will strive to do what is best by our clients. This is not a job for us - it is our passion!! If you are a registered business, you may be eligible to register for a wholesaler's account. Click HERE to register for an account.

You will find Molossi's:

Meet Event Hire & Stylists, Brodie & Dave!

We are excited to introduce an event hire & styling business based here in Brisbane, Australia. We have worked alongside the team from Click Picnic here and here. Dave & Brodie have a range of gorgeous collections featuring light and free-spirited through to vintage with a modern twist through to alluring and rich in texture and colour. Find out more about both the team and business in their own words below (and you will find them on our recommended vendor page):

"Tell us about yourselves"
We're a couple from Brisbane who work hard and have a lot of fun! When it comes to the business, I'm the boss and he's the muscle.

The lovely team from Click Picnic: Dave & Brodie

Click Picnic carefully curates all their items :)

"How did your interest in event hire begin?"
It was around the time I was planning my own baby shower. I realised how overwhelmed people get choosing items piece by piece for an event and I wanted to eliminate the confusion by offering complete hire packages for events.

"So, what is event hire?"
Yep, we get asked that all the time. We own furniture, decorative items and tableware that we hire out to our customers for their events. In a time when everyone loves to DIY their own event, our services are ideal for creating an atmosphere, filling an empty space or providing and styling a complete set-up for a celebration.

"Anything about what you do that you'd like to clear up?"
Yes! We're not just picnic hire. Our trestle tables are designed to be picnic height or formal seating height so you can offer your guests a formal sit down dinner.  
Also, we travel! We're open to events from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast and Byron Bay and we're happy to work with you to customise a package.

"Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?"
When you're planning an event, stay consistent through all areas. This doesn't mean everything has to "match" but it should flow right from your invitations through to your table decor.

"Why should couples choose you for their big day?"
We love what we do so we have a blast while we do it. You absolutely need fun people around when you're planning an event as it's no secret it can be stressful!
We provide a full set-up and pack-down service, which means you don't have to worry about running around to pick up items or drop things off when the event is done.

"How do you set yourself apart from competitors?"
Whilst we're happy to work with our clients to customise, we generally don't do item by item hire. This keeps your price down and the process really simple.

"What is the best advice you ever received?"
Trust the process. As a planner this has been such valuable advice. Not everything goes to plan but there is always a solution and sometimes the solution is better than what was originally in store.

You will find Click Picnic here:

Meet Photographers, Peter & Emily!

Meet us - Peter & Emily McDonald, the faces and personalities behind Poppy & Sage Photography! One of our goals for 2018 is to share more of our stories. Our ideas. Our priorities. Our goals. All the things that make us tick.

Our holiday faces during a recent trip to Adelaide, South Australia

Tell us about yourself:

We are Peter & Emily, better known as Pete & Em. Pete is an engineer (BEngHons1/BSc) and Em is currently a fulltime mum. Pete works in Brisbane CBD and specialises in the water industry. Em has a MAppSc (Res) and has studied at and/or worked for the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland Eye Institute, Translational Research Institute, and Red Cross Blood Service. However, our proudest achievement and greatest privilege to date is being Dad & Mum to our little girl, Chloe. (All wedding images below were taken by Lady Jayde Photography at Abbey of the Roses, Warwick.)

Why did you choose to become photographers?:

(Emily) For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to photography. As soon as I could afford a camera, I made it a priority. It certainly wasn't a very good one but it allowed me to express myself and grow. As I saved up more, I purchased a better camera and continued to stretch myself. I dabbled with photoshop and lightroom. I played around with vignettes and mattes and saturated colours. As I experimented, my editing style matured and I discovered that simple and true-to-reality meets the timeless brief I wanted to achieve. Friends started asking us to capture their events and moments. Poppy & Sage Photography grew organically from these humble beginnings. In some ways, I guess you could say that we fell into the business. In other ways, we have been systematically (but unwittingly) taking steps in this direction over many years.

(Peter) Because I love my wifey.

How did your interest in photography start?:

(Emily) My father is an Art/English high school teacher. I grew up surrounded by literature and art (and National Geographic magazines). One of my passions is travel. My first overseas trip was to Fiji in 2009. I hardly put my camera down for the two weeks I was there. I didn't want to miss a single opportunity to record my travel memories. From there, I undertook more adventures both at home and overseas. Each trip has reinforced how much I enjoy being behind the camera recording the moments that I never want to forget. My interest evolved into a passion. I wanted to be able to provide clients with something tangible so that those fleeting moments become unforgettable memories for them, too.

First overseas adventure (Fiji, 2009)

Wild Horses (Fiji, 2009)

Off the beaten track (Fiji, 2009)

Still Em's favourite image from the trip (Fiji, 2009)

(Peter) My wifey.

Pete on the hunt for food so spicy he could not eat it... he is still looking (Bengaluru, India, in 2014)

Who inspires you in photography?:

(Emily) I adore the raw connection and emotion Twyla Jones captures. For me, Twyla nails the essence of portrait photography. I admire Colby and Jess' ability to intersect stunning landscape with bold portraits. Their resulting work is incredibly dreamy and full of gorgeous colour and adventure!

(Peter) My wifey.

Any misconceptions you would like to clear up?:

(Emily) There is a common assumption that if you have a camera, you can take pictures for free (or close to). It's just a camera, right? There are many associated costs with photography. Camera bodies. Different lenses for different purposes (macro, portrait, landscape, to name a few). Travel expenses. Continuing education. Legal paperwork. Software licences. Website host. Website build. Memory cards. Hard drives. Flashes. Batteries. Computer. Insurance. Registration. Marketing. Advertising. Accounting. Tax. And, of course, time. Planning. Emailing. Culling. Emailing. Editing. Emailing. (And this list is not even extensive!)

(Peter) You can pay for wedding photography cheaply. Any person can use money to purchase good equipment, claim to be a remarkable photographer, and just rock up on the day and take photos. Such people may even boast that their work is so good that it doesn't need editing. If you were preparing to drive through the arid inland of Australia where fuel stations and mechanics are few and far between and even to places where most telco companies don't get reception and any mechanical issue with your car could be certain death, would you let your car be serviced by someone down the road who thinks that they can do the job? Or would you get your car serviced with someone who specialises in equipping and servicing your vehicle for Australian outback conditions? Exactly.

Any tips you would be happy to share?:

(Emily) We actually love to help out with your shoot wardrobe. This is not an inconvenience for us at all. We know what colours shoot well. We know what patterns clash. We don't want to take over (it's not about us, after all) - we just enjoy helping to direct or be a sounding board for ideas. Feel free to message us with concepts or pictures. We have also set up a pinterest board with some suggestions (here).

(Peter) We recommend two photographers for your big day. While it is true to a degree that you can get the job done with one photographer, you can cover so much more territory on the day with two. You also have the ability to capture the unfolding moments from different angles. Different perspectives. Different heights even (6' 5"!). I liken it to composing a nature documentary. If you just send one person with a camoflage tent and a telephoto lens to get all the material you need for a series, you will be there for months - perhaps even several seasons. However, if you send a team with the appropriate equipment, you will be able to capture all of the spring, new cub material you need within a much shorter period of time and you won't risk missing those unrepeatable moments.

Why should couples choose you for their big day?:

(Emily) We get that your wedding day cannot be replayed in real life ever again. That unique magic cannot be recreated. We only get one chance to get it right. We want to deliver a product that you will want to look over in a nursing home one day. One that tells the story of your day. The story that makes you as a couple valued and important.

(Peter) Poppy & Sage Photography sets itself apart by ensuring that each client we take on board experiences what working with a photographer should feel like and receives a premium product to look back on for the rest of your lives. How does Poppy & Sage Photography ensure that this promise is delivered? We cap the number of wedding clients we take on each year. This is really important to us and we believe it is reflected in the quality of our work. We have more time to plan everything with you. We have more time to learn about your priorities. We have more time to get the resulting product tailored to suit you.

How do you set yourself apart?:

(Emily) We limit the total number of weddings we shoot per year. We cap it at 30. You cannot pay us more to be number 31. Even if it's our dream wedding in a dream location with a dream couple. Why? We want to ensure that every couple we work with has our time and full attention. Guaranteed. We value old-fashioned service and quality. We want to be available in the lead-up to get to know both of you and the things that are important to you as a couple and your story. We want to hear the details. We will actually stop and listen. We are happy to meet up for chai latte or coffee. If you prefer text messages or emails or skype, we certainly accommodate. The last thing we want you to feel like is an inconvenience. Working with Poppy & Sage Photography is a bespoke experience tailored to suit you as no two couples are the same.

(Peter) Your longterm memories will be, to a large degree, determined by the quality or otherwise of the images. When we were on the market for a wedding photographer, the tedious process of searching for the right fit made it clear to us that it's a very mixed bag. You really do get what you pay for; if you want white balance inconsistency, dutch angles and soft focus, you can easily find someone to do the job. The stronger the portfolio, the exponentially harder the photographer was to find - or from our experience, anyway. We were (and still are) thrilled with our wedding album. If you are looking for quality and consistency and a photojournalistic approach, we are here to deliver. We would love to share the same satisfaction and enjoyment we get from our own wedding album with you and your loved ones.

You will find our instagram here: You can book us through admin (at) or SMS/call on 0424263106.

Meet Bridal Designer, Vanessa!

Happy New Year! We are going to welcome the new year in by introducing outstanding local vendors. We can't wait to share their stories with you. Today you will meet Vanessa, a Brisbane bridal designer. Vanessa has provided dresses for our couples previously and we have found her to be a dream to work with (just like her luxurious, stylish and bespoke gowns!). She is surprisingly down-to-earth and very relatable despite an impressive resume that includes New York Fashion Week and Australian Bridal Fashion Week. We have a little toddler and Vanessa wasted no time sharing funny stories from her parenting journey... ask her about caffeinated babyccinos. Here is Vanessa's story.

Image supplied by Vanessa Hoe

Tell us about yourself: My name is Vanessa Hoe and I am the designer of When Freddie met Lilly. I love travelling, music, crafts and family - which are just some of the things that inspire me.

Why did you choose Bridal?: I started my career in suiting and eventually started adding the women's wear to my store range. Much more fun and creative!

Who in Bridal inspires you?: Definitely Vera Wang. She's the best of the best.

Any misconceptions about your industry that you would like to dispel?: Well, especially in the bespoke side of things - it's a very special process which not many people understand as they have usually only shopped off the rack before. My bespoke designing allows the bride so much more individuality and her gown is made only for her. All in her measurements, her favourite lace, whatever shape and style she chooses. Hence the price tag can usually be a little more than the $1.5K most girls can justify spending. Nothing is mass made or produced so it is very time consuming and creative. Well worth putting a little extra aside in the budget for something so perfect for your vision and personality!

Do you have any tips for those of us who aren't experts?: It's best to have some sort of idea of what you would like in your Bridal gown before coming along to a bespoke appointment. This way we can focus down on the detail without becoming too overwhelmed! It is meant to be a fun and unforgettable experience after all.

Why should couples choose you for their big day?: When Freddie met Lilly can look after the whole Bridal party with our personalised service and private studio. You won't have to go anywhere else! We also run a promotion - buy your Bridal Gown with us and receive 20% off your Bridesmaid gowns.

You will find Vanessa's instagram here: You can call 0408 079 707 or book via email ( or online at

Meet Makeup Artist, Gabrielle!

We are going to close this year out and welcome the new year in by introducing outstanding local vendors. We can't wait to share their stories with you. Today you will meet Gabrielle, a Brisbane makeup artist. We have worked together previously and we have found Gabrielle to go above and beyond. We have found it easy to brainstorm ideas and looks with Gabrielle and, most importantly, she executes the final product flawlessly. It helps that she has a sweet personality and relatable nature, too! Here is her story.

Tell us about yourself: My name is Gabrielle Garner and I am a small town gal from the south coast of NSW. I recently moved to Brisbane originally for university but took a more creative path to do my Diploma in Screen and Media Specialised Makeup Services, which is definitely something I have always been interested in.

Why did you choose to become a makeup artist?: It kind of came to me one night that I wasn’t happy with my current study at university and I no longer had any interest in what I was doing. I have always loved makeup and my friends and family always told me that I should look into beauty/makeup, and so I did! It was a very last minute decision. I was looking on the internet and I came across the Australian Institute of Creative Design in Fortitude Valley. They had the perfect course for me. I signed up straight away and commenced study within a few weeks!

How did your interest in makeup artistry start?: I remember my first spark of interest within the makeup/beauty industry was at a very young age. I think I was about 12 at the time and I was in Sydney with my family. I remember seeing an advertisement somewhere about an open day for Ella Bache College and I was insistent that I would go. It was an amazing experience and that was definitely the pinnacle point for me in realising my interest was in the makeup and beauty industry. From there on I learnt a lot of tips for and tricks of makeup and beauty from watching a lot a Youtube videos and following makeup Youtubers. Each year I developed my skills further and I would occasionally practise on my friends and family. At this point in my life I was still a teenager and only saw makeup as a hobby.

Who inspires you in makeup artistry?: I would definitely say my first makeup trainer I ever had which was Samara Nilsson, owner of Boss Beauty Business in Brisbane. It inspires me to watch her build her own beauty empire and her personality is contagious. She is such a talented makeup artist and boss lady and I’m so glad I have had the pleasure of meeting her and working with her. Another makeup artist that inspires me is Penny Antuar, who is also a local Brisbane gal. Her skill set is amazing and her makeup is always flawless. She is such a creative force and is so versatile when working with different complexions.

Any misconceptions you would like to clear up?: I think people don’t always realise how much skill and knowledge goes into being a makeup artist. It’s not just a matter of putting makeup on someone’s face and making them look pretty. It requires knowledge about anatomy and physiology of the skin, product ingredients and their chemical makeup, and how they react to the skin. It’s about knowing the colour wheel. It is also about making someone FEEL good, not just look good. Applying makeup is an art form and I think that is something that people overlook.

Any tips you would be happy to share?: If you are just a beginner and wanting to know a bit more about makeup, I would definitely recommend just watching a couple of YouTube videos - that’s where I started! Plus there are always workshops that you can attend to get some one on one advice and training on makeup. I will be a part of the Boss Beauty Business team who is running these types of workshops starting February next year. If you’re looking to learn some more, you should definitely come along!

Why should couples choose you for their big day?: My main aim in my work is to make you feel and look beautiful. Providing that service for someone on their special day is so rewarding for me. I want to take the stress away from worrying about how they will look on the day and let them trust me 100%. I will deliver the result of feeling and looking their most beautiful on their special day.

How do you set yourself apart?: I believe being a makeup artist comes in two parts: skill and personality. I am confident with my skill set so I try to focus more on creating a comfortable environment for my clients and making them feel special. Asking your client questions about themselves and their interests is so important as it is a way of getting on their level and finding things that you can both relate to. Creating a relationship with your clients is so important as it can assist in them coming back to you time and time again for the services you provide!

You will find Gabrielle's instagram here: You can book her through or SMS/call on 0477076122.