Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The BEST question I've ever been asked... and the worst question I OFTEN get asked!

As a wedding photographer, I get asked a lot of questions by bridal couples and most of them can be anticipated, such as "How long will you be there on the day?" and "How many images can I expect to receive?" These are the regular queries, the ones you have a ready answer for and that are an expected part of the booking discourse. Just occasionally, though, you get a question from left field, something really smart that makes you think, with an answer that tells the interrogator much about yourself and that leads me to the very best question I've been asked as a wedding photographer...

"What's your favourite movie?"

It's such a simple question, yet so smart because the answer can tell you so much about a person! Of course, absolutely everyone will give a different answer, but when you going to spend countless hours with an individual and you are trusting them to capture the memories of your most important day you can infer a fair bit from their answer! After all, if someone were to choose a violent slasher movie, would you really be that keen to spend the day with them?

For me, the answer was simple - it's Notting Hill, closely followed by Love Actually! Yes, there are plenty of other cinematic masterpieces I enjoy (and some others I endure), for their sheer art or storytelling, but if I want to go a happy place then give me Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts any day! I'm certainly not a soppy romantic by any stretch of the imagination - my wife will testify to that - but maybe it's because I have such fond memories of living in the same part of London or the larger-than-life English caricatures I can relate to, but there is something about the movie that makes me happy to watch it over and over again. There may be better movies out there, but few leave me feeling as warm and contented as Notting Hill does and because cinema is meant to provide entertainment and escapism it certainly succeeds for me.

As a wedding professional, I do think you have to be "in love with love" to do your job well! I'm not talking sickly sweet, besotted adoration, but more a deep appreciation of romance, hope, and commitment. You have to enjoy working closely with passionate people on what can be a stressful and emotionally charged day and you have to have a ready supply of positive energy to lift spirits if need be. This certainly isn't an industry for the dispassionate, the disillusioned or the cynical! With world news so often full of dread and gloom, weddings are a necessary glimmer of light and hope that provide us all with joy and escapism.

Notting Hill was a clearly a good answer because I got that booking, and enjoyed a fantastic day in the company of some genuinely wonderful people I still keep in touch with to this day.

So questions about weddings are great - they convince me that couples are invested in their day and want to ensure that the person who is being paid to capture their emotion is on the same wavelength as them. I love it when a couple has lots of questions, however, there is one question I always dread, and it's one that's completely irrelevant and is, quite honestly, probably the worst question you can ask any photographer and it goes like this...

"Do you use Canon or Nikon?"

Why? Why does it matter? As the great Ansell Adams once said, the most important part of any camera is the 12 inches behind it! Of course, the inference from that is that it's the knowledge in the photographer's head that is critical to the process, not the camera, which is simply a tool! Asking which camera brand is kind of like asking a pilot if he flies Boeing or Airbus, or a professional driver whether he is a Holden or a Ford man. The skills required are the exactly the same, it's just that some of the buttons and levers may be arranged in an alternate pattern and there is a different badge on the front.
I may have been using Canon professionally now for over 25 years, but that doesn't mean I couldn't capture exactly the same work with an equivalent Nikon system, or indeed an Olympus, Fuji or Sony mirrorless camera! It just means I'm not all that keen on throwing away the money I've invested in changing for changes sake! Both systems have their own merits and whilst there have been times when I have considered switching allegiance to Nikon, my patience has always been rewarded by Canon's newest innovative offering. Much more relevant than the brand of a camera these days is what software will be used to process the imagery as that can, and undoubtedly will, make much more difference to the final presented image!
If I am being 100% honest, though, there is a question that couples should really be asking about camera brands, but it isn't "Canon or Nikon?" it is "Why don't you use Leica?" but then that's a whole other story...

Friday, July 1, 2016

A sneak peek at a new collection from When Freddie Met Lilly

One of Brisbane's most succcesful bridal and formalwear designers, Vanessa Hoe, from iconic brand When Freddie Met Lilly, will be launching her new Indianna Collection at Mirra Events in The Valley on 8th September. The collection recently premiered at the Australian Bridal Fashion Week in Sydney and will be showcased on the runway alongside the Hepburnesque Collection that saw it's premier on the catwalk at New York Bridal Fashion Week.
We got a sneak peek of the new collection and here is a taster...

WMFL Indianna collection Launch - Cameron gown from Masterpieces Photography + Video on Vimeo.

Winter Portrait Special...

A hot offer for the chilly season!
With Winter having descended on Brisbane we have a winter portrait special to warm the cockles of your heart! For July and August you can book a location portrait session for just $50. The price includes your sitting fee and an online viewing album.
Get in touch or make a booking via the contact page on our website here!

Celebrating a Decade in QLD...

July is a big milestone for us, for it marks the start of our 11th year in Queensland! Yes, Masterpieces has been capturing weddings for Queensland brides for over 10 years now! It's been an amazing ride, travelling far and wide across the south-east corner of the state, from Burleigh in the south to Harvey Bay in the north, and as far west as Roma. Along the way, we've shared magical days with hundreds of lovely couples and captured tens of thousands of moments for posterity.

But this is just the start, and we are looking forward to a fabulously exciting spring wedding season with some new locations and experiences to enjoy. We'd love for you to be part of our future journey so give us a call or drop us an email and we'll make a time to chat about being the storyteller of your special day.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ahead of the trends…

We've long suspected that Queensland brides are leaders when it comes to wedding trends, but now we have proof. Vogue Australia has just released a Pinterest list of the 10 biggest bridal trends for 2016 and we've seen them all before! From unconventional seating to ceremony seating in the round, and from mismatched bridesmaids to casual dining options, we have photographed weddings that incorporated all the elements listed on the list – and not just this year!

Number 1 on the list is casual dining, which we first saw in 2009 at Cassandra and Gile's wedding when they chose to have Noodles cooked on site and served in takeaway boxes! Cassandra and Giles clearly knew how to set trends because they also chose to have their ceremony "in the round" with seating arranged in a circle pattern which is the Number 3 trend on the Pinterest list.

Of course, Queenslanders know all about Number 2 on the list - alternative or unconventional seating - who hasn't been to a wedding where the seats are hay bales? And having those for your backyard wedding, Number 7 on the list, is almost a Queensland tradition, and one we first photographed in 2007, not long after we moved here.

We are proud to say we had mismatched but coordinated bridesmaid outfits at our wedding, way back in 2000, and have seen it at many weddings subsequently. Pinterest has this sensible and flattering way of keeping everyone in the bridal party happy at Number 4 on the list for trends in 2016!

We shot our first unplugged wedding back in 2012 when Kate & Brett asked for guests to avoid posting on social media until after they returned from their extended honeymoon. We always think this option, which comes in at Number 10 on the list, is always a good idea and our friends at The Wedding Alley have written a blog post about how to make it happen here

Some of the other things that make the list, like an informal running schedule, chalkboard signs, and wishing wells - now rebranded as Honeyfunds - are nothing new either and it's a bit disappointing that the fashionistas at Vogue have only managed to find one thing on Pinterest - frozen desserts - that we have yet to see at a real-life Queensland wedding, though we did see them at an industry function last year!

So congratulations Queensland brides! You are clearly the most innovative trendsetters in the bridal industry and we hope that continues to be the case so we can keep capturing exciting new ideas before they become en vogue!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's a wrap at Gowns of Elegance...

Last Saturday we were invited to capture the launch of a new range of wrap dresses by Erika Coyle at a high-tea function at Gowns of Elegance in Chermside. With the store looking spectacular, styled by Grande Moments Wedding & Events, lots of excited brides and their bridesmaids enjoyed Linda & her team's wonderful hospitality as the designer showcased her new styles and fabrics and demonstrated clever ways to wear these versatile and popular dresses...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

TBM Twilight Marketplace - Our View

What a wonderful evening on Sunday down in Milton!

We hope you enjoyed the Twilight Marketplace at The Bride's Market as much as we did!
With a perfect autumnal Brisbane evening, the delightful location, great food, and wonderful entertainment, this was definitely the highlight of the bridal shows so far this year.

We had our outdoor cinema set up so couples could kick back and relax in the comfy chairs and watch some of our favourite wedding video highlights on the big screen.

We got to speak with so many excited couples who had such exciting plans for their weddings, but it was so busy at times and we know there were some couples we didn't get the chance to speak to. Don't worry, though, you can still make a time to come and see me at the studio and browse through our sample albums a bit more leisurely.

If you didn't get along to the event you needn't worry because we've put together a short video of some of the highlights, along with some of Dave's artistic stills from the evening below...

Our view of the TBM Twilight Market from Masterpieces Photography + Video on Vimeo.

The photo-wall back-drop on our stand.

A pretty little centrepiece of antique china and glass

The party went on well into the night...

Who tasted the amazing platters from Fix?

The Yellow Bird Trio provided fabulous entertainment.

"Gilbert" from August and Lucy was a popular stop for refreshments

Sophisticated styling was evident everywhere you looked.

Friday, May 13, 2016

When is an engagement party not an engagement party?

The answer to that question is when it is a Wedding! Sarah and Peter chose to surprise the guests at their engagement party by hosting a pop-up wedding at Eatons Hill Tavern a couple of weeks ago. Whilst we were in-the-loop, many of the guests weren't and it was fabulous to be able to capture so much raw emotion as everyone celebrated. Pop-up weddings and elopements are becoming much more popular and are the biggest trend we see looking forward to 2017! Watch this space for lots more to come...