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8 Questions to ask your wedding photographer before hiring them

Choosing a wedding photographer may be one of the most important decisions you make before your big day. You can even say it comes a close second to choosing the right groom! Soon after the wedding, people will forget what your dress looked like, or how the cake tasted and or how good (or bad) the food and wine was, or even what was said during the speeches. But if you could capture those details in a photograph – the emotions on the people’s faces, the laughter, the tears – you could be transported back to that special day and relive it all over again.

That is why hiring the right photographer is so important! Every wedding photographer is different in their own unique style of work, so it’s a good idea to find out what makes them tick. Here’s what you should ask when you set an appointment to meet with your potential wedding photographer.

  1. Why do you love photographing weddings?

Most photographers are emotional beings who will gladly share their life story with you. Find out what gets your photographer excited, and look out for the gleam in their eyes when they tell their story. All the better if you feel an instant connection with them! As for me, I love photographing weddings because I get to be part of a momentous, historical moment in someone’s life. It’s about helping couples remember the happiness they felt on their wedding day, especially after the cake has been eaten and the decorations have been taken down. I consider it a privileged to be part of creating someone’s visual family heirloom.

  1. How do you ensure excellence is top priority?

Photographers provide a service, not just a product, and the amount of monetary investment should reflect excellence. Does the photographer appear detailed in communicating with you? Is he/she efficient in replying emails or has the courtesy to return your call when it is missed? Does your photographer ask you details about you as a couple or even your family? Showing our clients that we care is a big part of what we do. We even care about such details like whether your parents are divorced, because it helps us know how to be sensitive when taking family portraits during a wedding. A good photographer would know how to ask you these details either through a questionnaire or an arranged meet up prior to the wedding day.

  1. Do you have a contract?

Always hire a professional photographer who has a written contract, informing you of his/her promises to you and also listing the deliverables that you are receiving as a result of hiring them. It is important for your peace of mind and it protects both parties if there are any disputes along the way.

  1. Do you photograph back-to-back weddings?

Some photographers accept full day wedding shoots on Saturday and Sunday, which goes without saying, is really tiring! There are incidences where photographers drive 2-4 hours after a full day’s wedding shoot to another location, just to start again in another 2 hours! Usually, it might not affect the first couple as much, but sometimes, the photographer could be so physically tired the next day, that performance is affected. Naturally, some photographers are built with more stamina than others, and this scenario doesn’t affect them. It’s good to find out because physical exhaustion leads to mistakes and carelessness, which could end up with sub-standard photos for you.

  1. What are your backup processes?

For the non-initiated, this could be a hard one. Still, it is important you ask some of these questions. Does the photographer carry extra camera gear to your wedding? Are they using cameras with dual memory card slots so that back ups are done in camera? What about situations when your photographer falls sick and cannot shoot the wedding? If your photographer is part of a team, finding a back up photographer might be easier. How about what happens after the wedding is photographed, are there also other back ups on multiple hard drives? How long do they keep your wedding photos backed up for? We have had incidences of couples coming back to us 5 years after their wedding because they lost their wedding photos, asking if we still had copies of their photos! So it does happen.

  1. Do you edit your photos?

This is a really important question as some photographers deliver images as they are shot while some only edit a small selection and deliver the rest to you unedited. Or some would edit the entire set of images so that it looks consistent with the images on their website. It is time consuming but reflects on the photographer’s pride In their work. Knowing this will help you manage your expectations and avoid disappointment when the photos are delivered.

  1. How do you make life easier for overseas clients?

Does your photographer have the ability to accept credit card payments without any extra surcharge? Doing international bank transfers can sometimes be costly due to foreign exchange charges. Are there online galleries or album proofing softwares that enable you to view the images before it is delivered to you physically?

  1. What is your standard delivery time frame?

In today’s social media savvy generation, images need to be shared instantly. So if your wedding photos take 4-6 months to be ready, the excitement to share these photos would die quite undeniably. Acceptable delivery time frames would be 1-3 months after the wedding is photographed as most photographers usually have an editing backlog. Naturally, if your photographer is able to deliver the photos much faster, imagine your excitement at getting your photos within 2 weeks of your wedding date!

So if you’re looking for a wedding photographer, do take all these into consideration. If you find one that ticks all your requirements, you’ll know that you are in good hands. Then, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the journey to saying “I do”.

Gifts for Christmas

GiftmemoriesIf any of you are looking for a unique gift for a friend or family this Christmas, why not purchase a photography gift pack from us? It works just like a voucher purchase; you buy the gift, write a personalised message, we post the gift pack out, and your friend can claim the shoot within a year of receiving the gift!

We have 3 different packages for you to choose from – priced at RM350, RM600 and RM800. Find out more about the details of each package and purchase a gift pack online through our store.

Also, if you are buying this gift for a family with babies under the age of 1, there is the limited edition First Year Baby Milestones book that comes free with package 1 and 2. To get the free book, you need to purchase these gift packs from 3 participating stores – Kiddie Casetta in Atria, The Baby Outlet, Tropicana City Mall and Babydash online store.

Now, this is a gift that will definitely be remembered through the years. STORIES_PHOTOSHOOT_PACKAGES-010 STORIES_PHOTOSHOOT_PACKAGES-011 STORIES_PHOTOSHOOT_PACKAGES-015 STORIES_PHOTOSHOOT_PACKAGES-018

A White or Red Veil

A white wedding veil is seen as a traditional norm in weddings, symbolising the purity of the bride. Interestingly, Wikipedia mentioned that the earliest reference of a veiled woman was recorded in an Assyrian text from the 13th Century BC. Now, at a Chinese wedding, a red veil is usually the norm, though nowadays, most couples prefer to opt out of it.  Red symbolizes good luck, happiness, and prosperity. If you would like to read more about it, this website talks about how the tradition dates back to the Qi period (479-502), where women farmers would wear a veil to protect their heads against the cold wind or hot sunshine.

Whatever the origin, I find veils to be so lovely, almost mysterious. Ten years ago, when I got married, I was quite an ignorant bride, and one of the biggest mistakes I made was that I didn’t try on my veil until my wedding day! It was then that I realised it was too short to cover my face (it was one of those veils that only looked good at the back of your head!). So yeah, with no alternative at hand, I lived with a white veil that stopped short next to my chin. Thank God I didn’t allow that little boo-boo to ruin my wedding day!

20160423_WEDDING_JOHN_JULIETA_0134A traditional square veil matched with the Chinese kua outfit.

A modern twist to the red Chinese veil.

Whether you decide to wear a white or red veil for your wedding day, here are some questions to ask yourself as you choose your wedding veil:

  1. Does it match your wedding gown?
    If your wedding gown has a lot of details at the back or front, you should consider a simple, sheer veil that can highlight this feature. But if your gown is a little more simple, then you can consider a veil with more embellishments. Your gown and veil shouldn’t be fighting for attention.
  2. What length of veil would you like to opt for?
    Shorter veils would suit a more informal look, whereas mid length waist level veils are suitable for most gowns. Floor length veils are good for dresses that do not have a train. If you would like a really long veil that drapes across the floor, you can partner it with classic wedding gowns or those that do have a large train. You can read more about this in this informative article here.
  3. What kind of hairstyle would you like to have?
    Would your hair be up or down during your wedding day? What kind of accessories are you planning to wear? If your hair is up, you can wear your veil above or below your bun. Pinning the veil below your bun would highlight your hair style a little more compared to wearing your veil above your bun.

Hope these tips are useful!

 

Canvas Clusters

Canvas-13I believe canvases are a great way to brighten up a home – especially if it is filled with lovely images of your family. At Stories, we have designed canvas clusters for our clients through the years. All you need to do is to tell us the dimensions of your wall in inches and we will design it for you, free of charge. Here are some tips on how to plan for a beautiful canvas wall at your home:

  1. Find a wall that is a feature in your home – meaning, the wall should be in a prominent location that is eye-catching. This could be above the couch in your living room or next to your dining table.
  2. Avoid having too much clutter at the bottom of your feature wall. If the wall is next to a cabinet that is filled with children’s toys, your eyes will be drawn to the clutter and not the images.
  3. Install spotlights that direct your attention towards the images on the wall. This is especially good for night events!
  4. When choosing images to include on the wall, think about some form of continuity – for example, are all the images taken in a nice outdoor environment but one is not? Do the images complement or distract each other? Is there a theme to the images selected? Do also include a series of candid and posed shots for best effect.
  5. Communicate with your designer if you prefer to have designs that are neat (for example, all canvases fit into a perfect square) or if you prefer a more organic design that doesn’t have to align perfectly with each other.

Canvas-10What do you think of the sample walls at our office?

Ways to personalise your wedding bands

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Rings and Bands, a concept store based in the elite neighbourhood of Valencia. Li Dong, the owner of this exclusive wedding ring fine jewellery store, shared some of her experience in the jewellery business. The rings were just exquisite – you could choose from rings made of platinum or gold, or even rhodium. You can also custom design your own rings at the store, overlooking golfers on the lawn next door.

ringsnbandsPhoto courtesy of Rings and Bands

I was also excited to hear about some interesting ways you can personalise your wedding bands, other than just engraving your name. You can sign your promise, inscribe your love story, write a personal note on the surface of the rings… and wait for this… even put your fingerprint on it!

What a great idea! Not only is it totally unique, you can even use it as a security feature if your wedding band ever got stolen! Just compare fingerprints and you’re done. :) Obviously, the band is not really able to fit your entire fingerprint, but just a small portion of it.

I was also invited to give a short talk to some of the residents at Valencia about the art of people photography. It was nice to be able to collaborate in such a manner. Do visit their concept store or check out their website to see their collection of finest engagement rings and wedding bands.

20160626-RINGSNBANDS_TALK-04 20160626-RINGSNBANDS_TALK-05 Continue Reading