Hair and Make-Up: Glamour Concept
I’d like to begin today’s post with a quote by Carolyn Birmingham,
“A smile starts on the lips, a grin spreads to the eyes, a chuckle comes from the belly; but a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows and bubbles all around”.
Vicky is always smiling. Not just any ordinary sort of smile, but the contagious kind that melts you on the inside and makes you wonder what her secret is. So where do we go to purchase a bottle-of-pure-no-frills-happiness?
Let me show you…Meet Dennis. He’s truly one of a kind. It’s no wonder that V & D are so right for each other. They’re invincible. I could hardly contain myself on many occasions during their wedding day…needless to say, it’s hard to keep a straight face when Dennis is around.
Giggles and sore stomachs (from laughing) aside…when it comes down to business, there is a caring and very romantic side of Dennis. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard, then cried so hard and laughed again…all in the space of one day…Without further ado, here is Part I of Dennis & Vicky’s wedding day (Their wedding was held over two days in Brisbane), also stay tuned for their wedding cinematic highlight reel which is now in production! We covered both the bridal preparation and the groom preparation in the morning to start the day (a major benefit of having two professional photographers to cover your day). Then D & V had a traditional Asian tea ceremony at both their respective houses.
The Great Hall at Brisbane Grammar School is a prestigious wedding venue reserved only for past students (“Old Boys”), and the day before the wedding we attended V & D’s rehearsal and stumbled across a piece of history. The Honour boards commemorate academic achievements as well as honour the names of those who have served in wars. It’s adorned with stain glass windows featuring Queen Victoria and her knights.
These are fantail doves, apparently they don’t fly and are trained to walk around the grass…and then they even walk back into their cage afterwards! Just in case you’re wondering, the doves that V & D released from the cage, flew safely back to their home in Samford.
Until next time…Good night world!
Chaddy & Oli
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
I’m sitting in front of my computer in my newly renovated studio. It’s painted bright yellow and black, just like the matching cushions and the rugs on the floor. It’s loud. Because I’ve never wanted anything plain. As soon as I buy something…I’ll customise it. I even bought an engraving machine just so that I could engrave my name onto anything I could find… My camera suitcases, bags and pelicans are all customised. One way or another I’ve found a way to make it mine. And then whilst going through my collection in a moment of reminiscing… I stumbled across an old camera… the shutter curtain got replaced..took more than 250K shots on it, and it finally retired from overuse (it has since been resurrected with a new curtain and a full IR hot mirror conversion)… And for a few brief moments of silence…I am suddenly began reflecting on my journey through my photography career. It’s been a never-ending learning curve. I’m forever going somewhere…. Where to? Who knows. Wherever the journey takes me. And I’ve often been asked…why wedding photography? It is a big deal to me…for someone to trust me with possibly the most intimate day of their lives. I’m one that lives for the challenge.
Weddings are live events. And in some sense you could say there is a typical formula for a wedding day…the bride gets ready in the morning with her bridal party, whilst the groomsmen drink beer…There is most likely a civil ceremony and then there is an exchange of rings and later on a cake cutting, a first dance and so on….Whilst a wedding could include any of these traditions, it’s simply not possible to predict the chemistry and that organic interaction between two people in love. And in order to capture that moment, to bring out that raw emotion in people, you need to make them feel like they can trust you. Too often, a mediocre photographer concentrates too much on the technical aspect of shooting a wedding, they’re paid to press the shutter, perhaps they would pose the couple and ask them to smile like a scarecrow for a few shots. They will probably stare at their watch a few times during the day, arrive after the make-up is done and ask the bride to pose for a preparation shot. They will also probably charge you extra to stay for a mock cake-cutting, and ask you to pretend to do your first dance…pack up, then call it quits for the day. They got the shots…nothing extraordinary, but the job is done. You’ll probably forget their name in a few years time and end up with a photo album that gathers dust in your book-shelf.
For me, it’s much more than that. It’s about living the moment through their eyes. It’s about seeing things others wouldn’t. You can learn so much from someone in just one day. And it’s not from talking to them. It’s from the little things people do subconsciously. From what magnets they put on the fridge, to how they fold a piece of paper. People close to me would tell you that I have a knack for picking up the smallest detail. I might wear thick glasses, but my shape recognition and attention to detail is most likely better than yours. It’s also about getting to know you in the shortest time possible, and capturing two people together in their natural element. For most people, it takes some time to loosen up; to show your true colours, which is why I don’t believe in putting a time limit on my coverage hours. And after the wedding, I’m not just your wedding photographer. I’m Oliver…someone who you’ll hopefully give a big bear hug to when we bump into each other on the streets…or on your call list when you have your first baby.
This is what I love. And this is why I do it.
We met Hemal through a friend’s birthday party, and he said that he loved my work…so somehow along the way ended up doing his Engagement photos. We chose Roma Street parklands because of its versatility. I’ve been there countless times to photograph weddings, engagements, portraits..you name it! And every time, I try to work with the location and the people so that its shot in a refreshing and non-typical way. This is why I decided for Hemal & Madusha, I would shoot in the afternoon using a few different lenses that I don’t usually bring to weddings or engagement….read the rest of this post and you’ll see why. One of the lenses I brought to shoot…is a lens that I’m going to pass down as my family heirloom…because it is THAT extraordinary….
I want to talk abit about the Canon 200mm F1.8L ….it’s a legacy lens….it’s the largest aperature 200mm ever produced, and it’s the last of the lead giants. We all know that…the stuff that kills you…is the most beautiful in craft. They had to stop making this lens because of environmental issues. So it’s like an endangered species. When someone around the world smashes one….there is one less lens living in this world. It’s a collector’s item now, in a few years it will be museum worthy. Mine is a mint copy. Hope I don’t drop it *TOUCH WOOD*, since they don’t repair these anymore, no more spare parts available….and the stuff available in the 2nd hand market…is usually not well looked after. So if you happen to find one online, it’s my advise to check it properly and make sure that the seller has a good return policy. It’s very likely that the lens probably has broken parts (which can’t be repaired) or that it’s not working properly.
It was originally designed in 1988, and tested by pros at the 1988 seoul olympics for capturing indoor sports without flash…so using it for portraiture, the working distance is in tens of metres…so you need a megaphone or a big voice like me! And it’s one of the only few lenses that will appreciate in price..or at least keep it’s value. The optics have been designed to give excellent background blur. Try it with the maximum aperture to give ultra shallow depth of field. It’s a monster weighing in at 3kgs, need to go to gym to do shoot free handed…the way it presents the imagery is different in style as to 50mm 1.2L and 85mm, and more similar to 135mm F2L. The 85mm F1.2L is very buttery and the subject melts into the background….In comparison, the 200mm 1.8L the subject is tack sharp, and the background is a big blur behind, and the subject pops out.
We update the blog more frequently than the website and I’ve been asked about beach locations for photos after the ceremony alot today, so I thought I’d share with you a few quick photos of Gabriella & David taken at The Spit in Gold Coast. Gabriella took off her shoes and went barefoot along the sand, and David changed into a dress shirt and pants because they wanted their photos to look very organic and natural (and didn’t want to run around the sand in a suit of course). There are yachts parked in the harbour and the cityscape in the backdrop as well as foliage along the sandbanks. I would definitely recommend it as a place to go after the ceremony if you are on the Gold Coast, especially seeing as it’s only 5km away from Surfers Paradise. That’s all for today, I’m off for a nanna-nap because we’ve got another huge day at the Qld Bride’s expo tomorrow. You’re all more than welcome to come visit us!