Information :: What Makes an Image Important

Narrowing down the options when choosing a wedding photographer is typically multifaceted. You want to love the photographer's work. You want a personality that "gets" you as individuals and as a couple (put simply, you want someone relatable!). You need to be able to afford them. With this is mind, some of the most important reasons for why we blog regularly (fyi: we blog once a week and this is our 128th post) are:

  • to tangibly demonstrate how passionate we are about our role as wedding photographers

  • to show who we are and what this means to you as our client

  • to share tips and ideas

Essentially, the kind of information that we are hoping will be important during your decision-making process. Today, we are sharing a little more about us & some food for thought for our clients. A recent discussion about some of our most memorable & personal images to date was the catalyst.

We work really hard on perfecting our craft. We focus a lot of attention on people skills, composition, chasing the most ideal light, depth of field... have we lost you yet? ;) We decided to strip all that back during our discussions and we challenged each other to think of our personal favourite images (rule time: we could only pick a maximum of 2 images). Of course, we both gravitated to ones that have all three of us in them. However, we currently do not share images of our daughter, Chloe, online. So we started again. Naturally, our minds drifted to favourite shots of the two of us - mostly taken during travels. With that in mind (and as the exercise was beginning to feel too easy!), we narrowed the criteria down even further: Pete had to choose two images that featured only him and I had to choose two that only featured me.

{Try this for yourself! You might surprise yourself with what you end up choosing. Actually, why don’t you stop reading now and pick out your two all-time favourites. We’ll come back to yours in a moment.}

In the end, Pete settled on one image. He felt that this one summed up everything for him:

I chose two as they are from a similar time period (same year) but during very different experiences and I find the polarity striking:

Interestingly, all three are “okay” images (definitely not terrible). However, are they perfectly composed? Was the lighting nailed? Honestly, does it even matter? All three tell a story that is important to the subject. Pete chose his representative image for a range of reasons. Skydiving was a dream come true. He was proud of himself for taking the risk. Pete experienced freedom that comes with… well, jumping out of a plane with all risks carefully calculated. I chose my graduation image as I was (and am) so proud of this achievement. It is something that was the result of hard work & dedication. I chose the one from my first time experiencing snow. This moment features in one of the top 10 days of my life to date. Experiencing snowfall was (in my case, anyway) a magical moment. I don’t usually take selfies but this was a moment I wanted to freeze forever - literally.

When you selected your two images, did you think anything along these lines, “I really like x one but I can’t possibly keep it! If I took it again, I would make sure I was a little more off-centre. If it followed the rule of thirds, I think I would be more inclined to keep it”… “Hmmm, this is a good one but the shadows on my face are too pronounced. I think I will scrap it. Shame really as it always makes me feel happy when I look at it!”… “Oooops - the highlights are blown! Forget it! …

Correct me if I am wrong but I am guessing that you chose based on how looking at those images makes you feel?

Capturing an image in such a way that the subjects feel something for the rest of time is at the heart and soul of wedding photography.

In conclusion, we wanted to take this opportunity to re-frame the importance of capturing the moments that are important to you. Yes, we will strive for perfect composition, image processing, lighting, timing, & storytelling. However, we will not compromise storytelling & capturing raw emotion at the expense of perfection. We want the resulting images to tell your story; not be representative of our “brand” per se. We want you to love your wedding photography for a lifetime.

Happy Easter!

We just want to take a moment to say Happy Easter! We hope everyone has been enjoying a safe and relaxing long weekend.

Last year we made a prediction: “This is the first year that our little Chloe (21 months) has been cognizant enough to go for an Easter egg hunt around our home. We are very proud of the choices that she is already making in the food department. She had part of one egg and then handed it back asking for "ap-pel" and "bah-nah-nah" instead. We happily took one (? two) for the McDonald Family team and finished the eggs off for her. Next year will probably be a different story. ;-)”

Yep. Our Chloe loved her Easter egg hunt this year. :D Absolutely sure no apple or banana (or any other fruit, for that matter) was consumed during the course of yesterday. Good thing Chloe is a little fruit bat nearly every other day.

We hope everyone enjoyed a memorable Easter, too, with family &/or friends.

We recently visited some friends in Mount Samson. Such a stunning part of the world and only ~45 minutes from where we live! So green and lush. It was a great reminder to slow down and make more family memories. <3

Rolling hills for days.

“There's a track winding back to an old fashioned shack…” <3

2018 // Year in Review

Happy New Year! We wanted to celebrate by sharing some of our favourite images from 2018. We're looking forward to comparing our posts in the coming years. (You can see 2017 here.) <3

 

Jayden & Talisha <3

Jayden & Talisha <3

Jayden & Talisha <3

Jayden & Talisha <3

Jayden & Talisha <3

Jayden & Talisha <3

 

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Christopher & Megan <3

Christopher & Megan <3

Christopher & Megan <3

Christopher & Megan <3

Christopher & Megan <3

Christopher & Megan <3

 

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Michael & Tara <3

Michael & Tara <3

Michael & Tara <3

Michael & Tara <3

Michael & Tara <3

Michael & Tara <3

 

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Thomas & Katerina <3

Thomas & Katerina <3

Thomas & Katerina <3

Thomas & Katerina <3

Thomas & Katerina <3

Thomas & Katerina <3

 

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Joe & Gemma <3

Joe & Gemma <3

Joe & Gemma <3

Joe & Gemma <3

Joe & Gemma <3

Joe & Gemma <3

 

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Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

Morgan, Demi, Katherine & Johnré <3

 

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Johnré & Samantha <3

Johnré & Samantha <3

Johnré & Samantha <3

Johnré & Samantha <3

Johnré & Samantha <3

Johnré & Samantha <3

 

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Hannah <3

Hannah <3

Hannah <3

Hannah <3

Hannah <3

Hannah <3

 

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Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

Behind the Scenes for Emunah Events <3

 

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Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

 

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Kayla <3

Kayla <3

Kayla <3

Kayla <3

Kayla <3

Kayla <3

 

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Emma & Dorrion <3

Emma & Dorrion <3

Emma & Dorrion <3

Emma & Dorrion <3

Emma & Dorrion <3

Emma & Dorrion <3

 

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Greg & Claudine <3

Greg & Claudine <3

Greg & Claudine <3

Greg & Claudine <3

Greg & Claudine <3

Greg & Claudine <3

 

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Baby Kimiko & Family <3

Baby Kimiko & Family <3

Baby Kimiko & Family <3

Baby Kimiko & Family <3

Baby Kimiko & Family <3

Baby Kimiko & Family <3

 

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Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

Emunah Events <3

 

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M&S <3

M&S <3

M&S <3

M&S <3

M&S <3

M&S <3

B&W Love

At first glance, black & white photography, or perhaps more accurately 'grayscale' as images are rarely truly black & white, can appear to be boring. Outdated or nostalgic perhaps. Or less expressive. Even forgotten. Black & white photography is synonymous with descriptors such as 'raw', 'stripped back', 'honest', & 'subtle'. In some cases, 'powerful', 'exquisite', 'iconic', & 'beautiful'. In a world full of colour, it can be challenging to fully appreciate all the variants of the colour grey (found somewhere between absolute black and absolute white).

Diane Arbus once said, “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them”. We agree with the sentiment. As post-processing is such an important element of photography, we feel that there are things nobody would see unless the images were processed in a certain style. As Georgina Green, a fellow photographer, states, "Black and white images are defined in the art sphere by their ability to convey emotion. When colour is removed from a photo, the aspects that people take for granted, such as a brick wall or a blade of grass, take on a new texture and a new presence".

We're sharing some of our recent favourite grayscale images below. Typically we deliver our full albums with some colour and some grayscale. However, feel free to let us know if you have a preference one way or another and we'll accommodate. Enjoy!

“When you photograph people in colour, you photograph their clothes. When you photograph people in black & white, you photograph their souls.”

~Ted Grant

“Black & white are the colours of photography. To me, they symbolise the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.”

~Robert Frank

“Colour is deceptive. Black & white is interpretive.”

~Elliott Erwitt

"Colour is everything; black & white is more."

~Dominic Rouse

Brisbane Wedding Photographer

Lavender & Berries Wedding Inspiration at Country Weddings Queensland, Australia

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend! We are thrilled to share one of our most recent shoots. The shoot took place at an exciting new wedding venue: Country Weddings Queensland. This stunning property is located on Maitland Road, Burpengary 4505. David & Kerri, the personalities behind it, are a delight to work with; their warmth and hospitality is memorable. Any couple that chooses to celebrate their big day at Country Weddings Queensland is in for a treat.

The entire team behind this shoot made the process seamless. Special mention, though, of the talented duo behind Emunah Events. Carissa & Serena are responsible for the 1) planning, 2) styling and 3) floristry! Thank you, once again, for all the hard work (mostly behind the scenes) that goes into a project of this size. It all came together perfectly - thanks to your determination and efforts - and matched our initial vision to a T! Emma Blakey & Dorrion Kroon made shooting a breeze; such a delightful couple. Finally, a big thank you to each of the businesses; we enjoyed working with all of you and your individual outstanding products/services! Looking forward to seeing each of you around in the near future.

Publication :: Becoming One

We hope everyone had a great weekend. :) We have some exciting news: we are published in Becoming One! You will find plenty of inspiration and fantastic vendors in the magazine. You can find the publication here (pages 172-187). Our feature was from this shoot: Pantone's "Parisian Pâtisserie" Palette Wedding Inspiration at Mirra in Brisbane, Australia. So proud of the teamwork that went into that shoot! Hope everyone has an enjoyable week. :)

Vow Renewal: G+C <3

Greg & Claudine renewed their vows at beautiful Newstead Park, Brisbane. When we had coffee with them initially to make sure we would both be a good fit, we were struck by how family-oriented they were. Nearly everything came back to family. They were renewing their vows as family had been unable to make their overseas wedding. They wanted the focus of the images to include candid family moments. On the day, we offered to over-deliver on time but they were concerned that they would keep family from going out and celebrating together. A truly special and lovely couple. We wish them many adventurous holidays around the world on their motorbike. The location was beautifully styled by Beach & Garden Ceremonies and we worked alongside Simply Special Events on videography. Here are just a handful of highlights from the day. <3

The way Greg looks at Claudine <3

Claudine looking like a queen <3

Elephant in the Room :: Pinterest

tl;dr: The best outcome is borne out of compromise.

Expectation vs Reality

Ah, Pinterest - in short, it's both a blessing and a curse.

When we were in the position of the client, we printed off the images we found that resonated with us and provided them to our wedding photographer. We get it. Totally. When it comes to weddings, there are so many different styles and concepts out there. Pinterest really gave me (Emily), in particular, some much-needed clarity during the planning process. Not even sure how brides figured it all out before Pinterest, to be honest!

We (Poppy & Sage Photography) have set some boards up to (hopefully) make life easier for our clients:

We are on your side, of course. However, like most things in life, Pinterest is not simply black and white for us. ;)

Tammie Joske (a photographer) states: "Photography is one part art, one part science, one part math, and that extra something else we can never put our finger on - usually we call it a 'good eye', or natural talent". We agree. You need all four components for a truly outstanding image. When you are busy focusing on replicating an image produced by someone else, there has to be compromise somewhere along the line. In addition to the above-mentioned components, there are usually environmental variables to account for, too: lighting, colours, natural elements*, to name a few. If everyone is okay with that, we can work with any situation.

[*For example, the image sourced from Pinterest might have a lot of movement in it from wind. We may need to bring along a leaf blower to replicate this situation. ;)]

I (Emily) worked at a small pharmacy on the Sunshine Coast for several years. One of the pharmacists I worked with was equally left- & right-brained (we'll call her Anna). To keep both sides stimulated, she worked as a pharmacist some days of the week and a hairdresser on other days. Hairdressing clients would come to Anna with cutouts from magazines or from hair colour boxes with the request to make their hair the same colour. Anna would ask the client a couple of questions to gauge what was motivating that particular colour choice (especially if she thought that the colour might not suit them best and she needed to find a diplomatic way to suggest a slight variation). One day, she mentioned that she had noticed an interesting phenomenon. Anna said that it very often became apparent that the client was more attracted to the image of the person rather than the hair colour per se. She found that stripping the situation back and addressing the colour alone was, in some cases, quite challenging. Sometimes the client genuinely seemed to think that they would look more like the model if their hair colour was similar.

This is just one aspect of how the concept of expectation vs reality can play out.

Some would say that this grey situation can stifle creativity and limit the creation of unique content. We would not disagree.

In addition, spending time replicating images has the potential to disrupt (to one degree or another) the organic flow of the day.

HOWEVER, a lot is dependent on the situation for us. We will explain where we are coming from.

If we are doing a personal project for our portfolio, we'll go out with a model and experiment... explore our creative realm... take risks... push boundaries; that is our personal creative release.

If we are shooting an event for a client, we are respectful of your wishes - including inspiration derived from Pinterest. No questions. No judgement. It is not our day.

Ultimately, you are hiring us to capture your story your way. One big aspect of our business model is to work closely with our clients. In fact, one reason for why we provide two photographers for weddings is so that one can be responsible for ensuring that we meet the brief given to us by the client. We print off communication from our couple (including Pinterest suggestions and the questionnaire) and that shooter has the responsibility of keeping the brief on track.

In addition, we love that Pinterest means that we see less matchy denim pants and white shirts, peeking awkwardly around trees, terrible studio backdrops that are Awkward Family Photo-worthy, and so on. Pinterest definitely has a place in the wedding photography world. On a personal note, my travel board is bursting at the seams and I am okay with that. ;)

Final Thoughts

Feel free to bring your lists from Pinterest to us. We will happily work through them.

One final thought is buried in this adage:

Don't give the client the images they want. Give them the images they need.

Elephant in the Room :: Wedding Tax

tl;dr: Things are rarely as black & white as they might appear.

Wedding vs Event

When talking about organising weddings, one often hears two words bandied about: wedding tax. When we were busy planning our own wedding, we had well-meaning people give us advice along these lines: "Call up x business and say that you are enquiring about an event. Call back a few days later regarding the same date but state that it is for a wedding this time. You can bet there will be a significant difference even if you mention that the same number of people will be involved. It's the wedding tax".

At the time we thought this was a great suggestion. We did not have time to implement the process ourselves but the concept sounded plausible, for sure. However, since starting our own business in the wedding industry, this additional cost concept has popped up again but from a different angle.

Personal Experience

We own a photography business. Here are just some of our personal expenses: Camera bodies. Different lenses for different purposes (macro, portrait, landscape, to name a few). Travel. Continuing education. Legal paperwork. Software licences. Website host. Website build. Memory cards. Hard drives. Flashes. Batteries. Computer. Insurance. Registration. Marketing. Advertising. Accounting. Tax. Liability. And, of course, time.

Time for: Planning. Emailing. Culling. More emailing. Editing. Emailing (again). Oh, and sick days and limited holidays (necessary for health, contentment and the opportunity to work to the best of one's ability) also need to be factored in there somewhere.

All of these costs need to be accounted for. Moreover, the higher your costs, the more you need to charge the customer for your services. The more you charge the customer, the less competitive your pricing becomes. Adding an additional cost on top of the cost to run your business reduces your business' perceived value. We have a cost-of-doing-business spreadsheet and I can assure you that there is no column for "wedding tax".

So why can wedding services cost so much? The short answer is that different businesses work from different models depending on individual market drivers. We will explain.

We have an amazing business mentor in Las Vegas: Josh Line from Josh Line Photography (professional headshots). One of the first things Josh recommended that we do was to read "Oversubscribed" by Daniel Priestley. Daniel lists four main drivers of market imbalance: innovation (these businesses secure for themselves a niche position in the market), relationships (these businesses invest time in their clients and really get to know them), convenience (these businesses focus on producing the most frictionless solution to client needs), and price (these businesses create an imbalance in the market based on price). You will find these applicable to most, if not all, industries (wedding-related or not). The specific individual driver for each business you approach during the planning process will influence the price you are quoted - more than any arbitrary and ambiguous additional cost in the form of a wedding tax.

Furthermore, we recently read an article entitled The Wedding Tax Is Totally Real Except When It Isn’t. In it, the author (Rachel Sugar) interviewed a high-end planner who works in New York state. He explained the reality of his job like this: “If I ask a corporate client what kind of chair they want, I show them one or two options, and they say yes. If I talk to a bride and groom about what kind of chair they want, it’s a 25-email exchange. Your mom has a chair she liked sitting in at the last wedding she went to; your dad has an issue with pillows and seats; your groom wants long, rectangular tables; and you want round tables. I price so I can stay sane.”

Real Life Example

Lovely Anna, owner of Raw Cotton in Swan Valley, Western Australia, sums up how most of us feel in the bespoke small business industry: "When buying from a hand maker, you're buying more than just an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentation. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of Pure Joy. You aren't just buying at thing. You are buying a piece of heart. Part of a soul. A moment of someone's life. Most importantly, you are buying the artist more time to do something they are passionate about. So thank you for supporting me". (Check out Anna's instagram @rawcottoncollection.)

Final Thoughts

Our advice is to find products and services you love and/or people you value and want to support. We all have a story so find one that resonates with you and your priorities and get behind that small business. Even if you are someone who would score much the same as your cat on an empathy quiz, we are sure that you can appreciate why Rolex charges the amount it does as compared to Quartz. If you're on the market for a Holden, you won't go to a Lambourghini dealership and ask them to match Holden's price.

Work out your wedding budget and set your upper limit. Be realistic. Source your three quotes and get to know each of the businesses at the same time, if possible: you might find you're not ultimately drawn to the lowest price. Perhaps you don't feel like a number with one and they allocate more than enough time to get to know you. Perhaps another one is a standout based on product or service alone. Perhaps another one is hard to beat for price. Or another one offers the most convenience at an already stressful time in life. Figure out where your priorities lie; perhaps you want a unique venue or designer dress or stunning cake? Whatever it is that adds to your story as a couple, find the product and/or service that meets your criteria and support the hardworking people making it all happen. We want to wish you a smooth, fuss-free (wedding tax-less) journey of wedding planning!

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 info@molossi.com.au 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: