Although there is a lot of words on this page,  you actually only need to know this —

If you want to do something at your wedding – do it.
If you do not want to do something at your wedding – don’t do it.

It’s as simple as that.  The only thing that HAS to happen to make your marriage legal in Australia, is the celebrant saying something along the lines of ‘I am duly authorised by law to solemnise marriages’ etc…  You then need to call upon two witnesses (and I’ve been one of those two witnesses, camera in hand, quite a few times, it’s pretty cool) that you take the other to be your husband or wife.  That’s it.  Seriously, that’s it!  Now breathe easy, and have the day that you want to have, in the most awesome and amazing way that you want!


The rest of this info is here so I can help out my present and future couples as best as I can.  It’s very natural for people to have a lot of questions when they are getting married, it’s not something that everyone does every day!  I hope that the info below is of some use to you, whether you chose to go ahead with my services or not.  If there is anything that you require further clarification on or that isn’t covered below please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via my contact page.  If you’d prefer to chat on the phone, give me a call anytime on 0421 461 296 –  I’m more than happy to help, with no sales pitch, I promise.

Before the wedding
On the day
After the wedding
Album FAQ’s

Before the wedding

How much do you charge for weddings?
I shoot your whole wedding day for $4200. For this, you’ll get exactly the same coverage that you see on all of my blogs here.  I don’t time my coverage, that’s confusing.  Put simply,  I’m there from when both parties are getting ready until everyone is drunk and tearing up some shapes on the dance floor.  Most couples also buy a super rad art album and prints too.  Please email me for my full price list and information about this.

I’m getting married interstate or in regional Victoria, are you happy to travel?
Yes!  I love being given the opportunity to jump on a plane or go on a road trip to capture a wedding!  Please get in touch with me for very reasonable rates for country Victoria & interstate weddings.

Do you work on your own or with a second photographer as well?
Majority of the time I do work on my own.  I personally find this keeps things the most candid and unobtrusive.  Having said that,  I like to take a lot of photos of guests on your wedding day, and if you are having a large amount of guests (150+) I would recommend hiring a second photographer to assist in covering this.  Also, if you are both getting ready a significant distance away from each other and/or the venue and it’s not logistically possible for me to cover that, a second photographer will also be required.

However, I always recommend getting ready as close to your venue as possible.  From experience, this makes a huge difference on the day, to help with keeping things as relaxed and stress free as possible – if you’re both close to your wedding venue.

Have you photographed at our venue before / will you visit location of our wedding if you haven’t been there before?
As a creative person, I love going into a wedding without having any expectations or predisposed ideas.  As every wedding & couple is unique, I find that if anything is too pre-planned for the photos, that you may miss the opportunity to create real moments, that are yours, and not someone else’s.  You also never know what the sun/weather/light is going to be doing at any time on any given day (especially in Melbourne!)  Somewhere you may have thought wouldn’t work well for photos, may have this amazing window of light at a specific moment, and vice versa.  If it would make you more comfortable to do a site visit with me before your wedding, of course I would be happy to.


Can you temporarily hold our date whilst we decide?
Unfortunately not.  Wedding dates regularly book out on average 15 – 18 months in advance for photographers and I give priority and lock in those who pay a deposit first.  Even if you have met me or emailed me, and I was available at the time, that certainly doesn’t mean that I will be forever available for your date.  The only way to be certain to book me in is to pay a deposit & sign a contract as soon as possible.

Can we meet you in person before the day?
Absolutely!  I much prefer to meet face to face prior to your wedding day.  It gives us a chance to get to know each other better, and importantly, makes sure we are the right fit for each other, as we’ll be spending a lot of time together on the day.  I have a workspace & lounge area setup at a florist shop, owned by my wife and I in Mount Evelyn, which is the perfect base to the the Yarra Valley & Dandenongs.  I’ll usually always meet couples there.  We can then chat about your day over a coffee, tea, beer, cider etc …

If you would rather do everything via skype, phone or email, that’s completely cool with me too.

Do you offer an engagement / pre wedding shoot?
Yes I do, these sessions are great because it gives both myself and you guys a chance to get to know each other a little more before the big day.  We usually take about 1 – 2 hours and the best time is to start around an hour or so before sunset.  You will get about 30 – 50 edited photos in high res, in an online gallery a couple of weeks after the shoot.

How do we go about booking you in?
Simply pay a 1/3 deposit of your chosen option via cash or EFT and I am officially yours for the day!  I also have a booking form for you to sign and fill in details.

I noticed on your ‘about me’ page that your wife is also a wedding florist.  Do you offer a discount if we use both of your services?
Yep, if you book both us and spend a minimum of $2000 with Red Earth Flowers for bouquets & styling, plus me on my album package – you’ll receive a free 5×5 parent album.  Obviously I’m biased, but Kelly and her teams work is truly just amazing.  We get to work together on weddings all the time and it’s a really nice feeling.

Do you offer videography services?

No.  I only specialise in photography.  However, I can’t stress the importance enough of choosing a videographer & photographer who’s styles and ethics compliment each other.  You don’t want this happening. (jokes)  Check out my recommended suppliers page for plenty of awesome options.  I’ve worked with all of them a lot, we have a lot of fun and create amazing work together on a wedding day.

On the day

How long do you usually spend at each getting ready location?
In short: Guys, about 50-60 mins.  Girls, about 80 – 100 mins.

This also might seem really obvious, but if you want ‘genuine’ getting ready photos, please – DO NOT be completely ready when I arrive.  I hate faking anything for the purpose of a photo.  So if I’m with the guys for 60 minutes, and I arrive and they’re already completely ready – it kind of defeats the purpose of ‘getting ready’ photos.  Sorry if that sounds blunt, but it’s happened a little too often unfortunately. If they don’t want any getting ready photos, and just want some shots of them hanging out in their suits, having a laugh with a whisky or beer – then all good ! We’ll do that !

Also, you can get ready together.  The last 12 months or so in particular, as people move away from all these ‘traditions’ on a wedding day – I’ve seen this happen more and more, and it’s rad.  I’ll chat about this in more detail below though.

In long: Generally speaking, I will arrive at the guys getting ready first, as the girls are often working to a much more strict time frame of hair and makeup and the guys can easily work around this.  The ideal scenario is that the guys are showered and just wearing casual clothes when I arrive.  This then allows me to capture them hanging out casually and having a drink as they normally would first.  Then I would photograph them getting into their suits, doing cuff links, ties, button holes etc in a very unobtrusive and candid manner for about 40 minutes.  When everyone is dressed we might then head outside for a quick couple of the more ‘setup’ style of portraits with the groomsmen and the maybe the parents if they are around too.

Depending on the location of where the guys are, this inevitably leaves them with a little bit of downtime in their suits after I leave.  It’s never too much though,  as I’ve found most guys arrive at the ceremony location about 60 – 80 minutes early anyway.  There’s always a couple of keen as mustard aunts and uncles there that early too, that the guys can entertain, haha.   If  the guys being in their suits to early is a concern to them, we can always discuss the option of a having a second photographer of mine, cover that part of the day.  To keep the timeline as ‘normal’ as possible.

Again, having said that – that’s just what ‘normally’ happens. If the guys don’t want photos of ‘suiting up’ and opt for something else to be captured. A game of cricket, kick of the footy, swimming in the pool, etc – I’m good for that too ! I just think either way, it’s nice to be able to hang out with the dudes at the start of the day, introduce myself (and my camera) and get some cool photos to ‘begin the story’ of the day.

Michael Briggs Photography_0014

I then arrive at the girls getting ready location and I’ll often catch the tail end of the girls hair and makeup getting done and I capture a few shots of this.  But we don’t need too many photos of this though.  Therefore, I usually ask that the hair/makeup aim to be finishing up about 10 minutes after my arrival time.  The girls ideally won’t be in their dresses yet either, but will often be wearing casual clothes or dressing gowns, I can then capture the girls like this and they’re usually have a glass or two of bubbles as well.  Once the bridesmaids and bride get dressed and are decent enough behind closed doors I will then capture the candid moments of all the finishing touches being complete.  I’m a sucker for that ‘I now look like a bride/You now look like a bride!’ moment, (see pic below)  it gets me every time.

Generally, I am at the girls getting ready location for around 60 – 90 minutes or so to capture all of the above.  I also prefer to leave the girls house to head to the ceremony at least 20 minutes before they leave, to give me plenty of time to get to the ceremony before they do.

Some other things to note about getting ready shots: If you want me to photograph it, it’s a great idea to have all your accessories that you want me to photograph collected in the one place when I arrive. This includes, rings, jewellery, cologne, accessories, shoes, dress, etc ….  Some brides love these types of photos.  Others couldn’t care less.  Either is fine by me, I’m there on the day to make you happy.  If it’s important to you, I’ll get lots of these shots.  If it’s not important to you, I’d much rather witness & photograph a beautiful moment between the bride and her best friend, or her mum, or Nana etc.  That’s the real stuff.  They’re the photos that people will cherish more many years from now.  

Also, you know all those photos you see on Pinterest or those amazing wedding blogs?  Think of the locations you see in those getting ready photos…  The rooms are always nice and big, naturally bright, clean, tidy, without mess all over the bed and the house.  If you can, also try and take that into account when choosing where you will be getting ready and when preparing the areas. (see below location info also)

It’s also worth considering who actually really needs to be there during your getting ready photos.  Preparation time can inevitably be stressful, and this can be easily be made even more stressful when you are surrounded by lots of (well meaning) people.  It’s always quietly appreciated if you keep the crowds to a minimum and allow the hair/makeup, photographer/videographer to do the best work they can.

Location, Location, Location:  I don’t work to strict travel or time restrictions, so I honestly don’t really mind where you get ready, prior to your wedding.  But speaking from experience, if you are looking to keep things as relaxed and stress free as possible on your wedding day, the closer you are to your venue, the better it is for every party involved.  If you check out a website like AirBnb – you will find some absolutely amazing places, that will look beautiful in photos, and make for super convenient and chilled, pre-wedding preparations.  Unless you are 100% adamant that ‘I must get ready at this house, which is a 90 minute drive from my ceremony venue in peak hour’.  I would highly recommend investing the extra couple of hundred dollars to be at a location close to your wedding venue.  In the past, I’ve seen what I thought would be the most chilled out brides in the world, become stressed out messes on their wedding day, because of the distance they have to travel to their ceremony location.

Do you take family photos?
Most definitely!  They just aren’t usually seen on my Facebook page or blog posts for obvious reasons.

There’s a couple of options of here.  If everyone is civil, comfortable around each other, no awkward dynamics etc – I’ve got a method in my head for these family photos that works 99% of the time.  I’ve photographed over 200+ weddings where this works – so you don’t need to worry about a list.

 I typically only include immediate family at this time, which I call – parents, siblings, (their partners and children, if applicable) and grandparents.  From experience, as soon as you involve aunties, uncles and cousins at this time – the family photos can quickly become chaos.  And remember I’m always there for a decent amount of your reception – so I can get any of those shots later in day.

However, if there is some awkward dynamics, family members not wanting to be near others etc.  Which is OK !  It does happen –

If  you could make a list of the specific combinations of family photos you want taken, that can help make things run a lot smoother, and saves me putting my foot in it too.  I also ask if you could delegate one or two ‘loud’ family or bridal party members who know a majority of the people in the photos to assist me in ’rounding up the troops’ – this can also save a lot of time.  You don’t need to give me that list prior, but please just make sure one of those people has it on hand on the day.

To work out how long these might take; assign around 1 – 2 minutes for each small combination and 3+ minutes for larger groups.  This is dependant on the fact that we can actually find everyone too.  On average about 5 to 10 different combinations taking about 10 – 15 minutes is ‘normal’.

Depending on the day, logisitics, weather etc – will depend when we do these photos.  But most of the time, it’s nice to get these family formals done with as soon as possible – so it’s usually straight after the ‘post ceremony congratulations’.

From past experience, the family photos are often the part of the day that can get a little hectic & blow out valuable daylight hours for couple portraits very quickly -Aunts & Uncles (always well meaning) can get pretty excited with their iPad photos around this time!

Chloe & Carl-263

Can we give you a list or examples of specific photos we want taken?
Apart from the actual family photos, it’s not really required.  As I capture the day organically in my own creative style, I wouldn’t want staring at a big list of photos to detract from that.  That being said,  if there was a specific shot, person or location you wanted used, please certainly let me know!

Location Photos

How long do we need for the ‘location/portrait’ photos?  (the time that’s usually between the ceremony and reception)
This is probably the most common question out of all and there is no right or wrong answer here.  I have photographed weddings where the couple hasn’t wanted any of these photos whatsoever.  But there has been other weddings where the couple has wanted over 3 hours for these photos!

I’m completely cool with either option,  and will always work with what suits each couple best.  Admittedly, in my honest opinion, 3 hours is a touch excessive and that only happened once or twice when I first started doing this.

In all seriousness, your wedding is your own unique day and the importance placed on these particular location photos varies for every couple, as it should.

I’ll chat more about this below, but these days, about 8 of my couples out of 10, actually do these photos before the ceremony.  And whether these photos are done before, or after the ceremony – I let people know, 45 – 60 minutes is a rad amount of time for this session.

If you don’t do a first look, about 45-60 minutes after the ceremony, family photos and post ceremony congratulations/hugs/kisses is usually always more than enough time for these photos.  That’s if everything is at the same venue, if we are travelling between locations for ceremony and reception or driving somewhere for location photos, obviously, more than 45 minutes is going to be required.

A wedding is a big, awesome party where you should be spending as much time as you can celebrating with each other, your family, your friends etc.  It should never become a photoshoot, where you just so happen to be getting married!

My personal preference, if everything is all at the same venue,  is to take photos with all of the bridal party for about 10-15 minutes, then let them go back to the party (they’ll usually always want to anyway).  I’ll then go for a walk with just the newlyweds for about 30-45 minutes after that.  I find that lets the couple have what is usually their first time alone as husband and wife and that’s where I can capture some beautiful, honest & real moments.  This applies whether you do your portraits before or after the ceremony.

I’m more than happy to sit down with you and share ideas, advice and suggestions around this time.  But always remember, there is no right or wrong whatsoever.  It is 100% what the two of you want to do!

What is a first look?

If you are concerned about time – either not having enough of it, or leaving your guests waiting, missing out on your own party etc – another option to consider is to do a ‘first look’.

This is where you both see each other and do majority of these ‘location/portrait’ photos before the ceremony.  Most people’s first reaction is to baulk at this idea when they first hear about it, as many of us are almost ‘pre-programmed’ to believe that this is against some kind of religion or tradition.

However, this is becoming a much more common option in Australia (it has been in America for some time) these days as more and more couples move away from the ‘traditional’ flow of a wedding day.  The last 12 months of weddings I’ve photographed, I can comfortably (and happily!) say that about 8 couples of mine out of 10 end up choosing to go down this path.  The most common thing I hear people say when planning a wedding is this – ‘We just want to have a relaxed, chilled out, comfortable day with the emphasis on the celebration.  But we also want awesome couple portraits’.  So to me that’s a no brainer, the easiest way hands down to achieve that exact description, is to do a first look!

On a personal note, I very strongly believe that there are so many more positives than negatives in doing a ‘first look’.  So much so, that my wife Kelly and I, did this at our wedding in November 2014 and it was the best decision we could have made.  5 positives (of many more) in doing this that actually have nothing at all to do with photography are –

  • You get to spend more time with each other (and alone time) on the day
  • You get to spend more time with your family and friends on the day.  As soon as the ceremony is done, it’s party time!  The location photos have already been done.  ‘First look couples’ usually always just join their guests for canapés straight after the ceremony, and the couple, bridal party and guests always really love that.
  • It will take away a lot of the ‘nervousness’ before the ceremony and you get to truly relax, enjoy it and be more present in the moment.  Check out my celebrant mate, Josh Withers blog – First Look Photos:  The Express Train to Calm Town.   It’s awesome.
  • The first time you see each other as bride and groom, is your moment.  It’s a private moment that belongs to the two of you forever.  No one else.
  • I kind of already said this, but…  It makes your wedding day go longer!  Who wouldn’t what that?!

The day is so surreal, such a blur and completely flies by – I can tell you from experience being on the other side of the camera at my own wedding.  I’m so glad that we extended the day with each other as long as we could.

When you have a first look, you still absolutely get the chance to make a moment of the first time you see each as bride and groom for the first time, just a more private moment, see Jon & Sophie as an example below.  I’ve photographed dozens & dozens of first looks and I can also assure you, that it still also takes nothing away from the special moment where you see each other in the ‘aisle’ for the first time.

First Look Wedding Photos Australia_0002

Where do we do the first look, will our guests see us before the ceremony too?
Most of the time, the first look is done at the same venue where your wedding will be.  For example is your ceremony is at 5:00pm, we would do the first look photos from 3:30 – 4:20/4:30pm.   Therefore, the girls usually don’t want to be seen by the guests, so they will go and ‘hide’ and freshen up in a bridal suite or the likes somewhere, before the ceremony begins.  The dudes will then greet the guests as they start arriving.

Also, the bridal party photos are usually always done during this first look time too.  If the couple wants to, sometimes the bridal party witness the actual first look moment, either behind me out of the shot, or from a distance.  Sometimes the couple prefer to do it in private, and we can collect the bridal party a bit later during this time.

Remember there is no rules with this, the above is just ‘normally’ what is done with a first look.  You can both get ready together, you can both greet the guests together at the start of the ceremony, you can both walk down the aisle together etc … 🙂

Again, this is 100% my opinion, and I would never force it upon anyone, it’s more just food for thought.  But in hindsight, looking back at my own wedding, one of the only things I would have done differently, would be to actually spend the whole day together with my wife.  (I just think, it’s your wedding day!  One of the most important days together as a couple, of your life, so why are you avoiding each other!)  I sincerely wish we did, it would have been amazing to spend the morning having breakfast & lunch together, hanging out with each other and our bridal parties.   Saying to each other ‘this is our wedding day, this is so damn exciting’!  To then separate for an hour or so, and still have ‘that’ moment when you see each other dressed up as bride and groom for the first time, prior to all the ‘formalities’ would be so awesome.  I’ve photographed many days like this now with couples and it makes for such a beautiful, fun and relaxed day.

Having said all that, I’m still all for traditions.  But just make sure, that you are doing something on your wedding day for the two of you, and that’s it.  Not for anyone else, and not for any traditions, but that it’s what you actually want to do, and you will have the most amazing day!

What is the best time of day for the location photos?
The best time to avoid is when the sun is at it’s highest in the sky between 11 – 3.  You will have problems with harsh light, shadows & people squinting etc.   The ‘magic hour’ (1 hour before sunset) is the greatest time of the day for wedding photography in my opinion.  Click here to check out sunset times in Melbourne.  We certainly don’t have to plan all of your location photos around this time, that’s no always possible.  But often during the reception, if the couple wants to, I’ll head outside with just them for 10 or 15 minutes to capture some beautiful sunset photos.  As always, we can always play that time by ear.  If we’re in Melbourne/Victoria – the weather can do anything!  Sometimes we don’t even get a sunset.  But if we do, I’d much prefer to take photos for 10 minutes in amazing sunset light, than 60 minutes in the middle of the day in summer.

It’s inevitable that meals/speeches etc can sometimes occur during this sunset time also.  I’ll discuss with you, and give you a heads up, closer to your date – the sunset time on your particular day.  And the possibility that we may leave the reception for 10 minutes during this time, so we can try our best to work meals / speeches times around this.   Trust me, you’ll remember and appreciate your sunset photos for a lot longer than worrying about if your speeches ran slightly late, or if your entree was a little bit cold 🙂

What happens if it rains on our wedding day?
That’s no problems at all!  As long as you are willing to get out the umbrellas and have a bit of fun, we will still get magic photos.  I would much rather take photos in the pouring rain as opposed to a blaring harsh midday sun.  Cloud and rain can create much more epic and cinematic backdrops as well.

Also, don’t stress.  Most of my weddings are in Melbourne/Victoria, not Far North Queensland.  I’m not saying it won’t happen, but it’s pretty rare that we get a day here that rains torrentially for the entire day.  Even if it does rain on your wedding day.  There is usually always going to be windows of time where we an sneak outside for few quick portraits without getting drenched.


Both of us / one of us don’t really like posing in front of the camera, will that be a problem?
Not at all, does anyone like posing?!   This is a very common statement to hear as most people aren’t naturally professional models or used to having a camera pointed at them for hours.   I like to capture all the smiles, laughs, happy tears etc of your day in the most candid and honest way possible.  They are all the best bits anyway.

When it comes time for the portrait session, I believe that there should be enough direction given so that you don’t feel lost in what you are doing.  But at the same time, enough space given, to allow you to relax and be yourselves.  I am most interested in capturing the two of you as honest and as raw as possible.  It is my number one priority when photographing a wedding, that when you look back on your wedding photos, you should remember yourselves, and how you felt on your day – not what someone was telling you do the whole time.  Therefore, your wedding photos will always be timeless, when you look back at them for the first time, or on your 50th anniversary.

The Ceremony

I hear lots of people talking about an unplugged ceremony, what is this?
The short long – it’s asking your guests not to take any photos during the ceremony.

I’m not going to be one ‘those photographers’ and strictly enforce this on all of my couples.  And I’m not going to publicly post (the many) specific ceremony photos of mine that have been ruined as a result of guests cameras & phones.  I find that insulting to past couples from those weddings, when photographers do that.

If you want your guests to take photos during ceremony, by all means, let them take photos!  I’m never going to stop them or ask them to move.  But let me say this…

Many of the weddings I photograph, are non-religious ceremonies, in gardens, wineries etc … They usually go for about 15 -20 minutes on average.  So, an unplugged ceremony isn’t about us wedding photographers being righteous, or arrogant.  But it’s more about a couple saying to their very closest friends and family – “Hey guys, this 15 minutes is really really damn important to us, it’s probably one of the most important things we’ve done in our lives to date.  So for the next 15 minutes, can we pretty please just have your undivided attention to enjoy, and be involved in this special moment with us, and not be distracted by which Instragram filter you are going to use.”

One of my good celebrant friends Josh, goes into this in more detail, and nails it, in this blog here.  Please check it out if you’re still up in the air.

When I arrived at Gab & Paul’s wedding in November 2015, I had no idea they were having an unplugged ceremony, but I saw this sign below.  And I smiled, a lot.  Then photographed it.

Gab & Paul Sign-001

To recap, if you want your guests to take photos during ceremony, by all means, let them take photos!  It’s your wedding!  And looking at it from a completely different angle, having people take photos on iPhones, iPads etc throughout your wedding & ceremony can actually add a really interesting element to my photography.  It also adds an instant ‘date stamp’ to the photos.  Imagine showing kids your wedding album in 50 years and there is a photo of someone taking a photo on an iPad!  Imagine how interested and funny they are going to think that is – “Wow!  What is that thing all the aunties are taking photos on?!”…  “Oh, that’s just what everyone did back in 2016 for some reason…”

The Celebrant

If you’re reading this, and haven’t booked a celebrant yet.  PLEASE do not underestimate how important a good celebrant is to your wedding.  The wedding ceremony should be the main event at your wedding, it’s the reason why is everyone is there! You’re not inviting your guests to the reception and making a side note saying – “if you’re available two hours earlier, we’re doing this shitty thing in the park”.  I’ve seen some fantastic ceremonies in my time, and unfortunately some not so fantastic ones – forgotten couples names, broken PA systems, inappropriate jokes & all kinds of weird and awkward things! … Check out my suppliers page for a bunch of rad ones.  Nothing weird or awkward there.  I promise.


There is a lot of traditions that people partake in during a wedding a ceremony.  And sometimes, they mean nothing to the couple, it’s just because they think ‘isn’t that what we have to do at a wedding??’  If you chose a good celebrant, they’ll go over this stuff in more detail with you.  But I encourage all my couples to think about traditions, and question them.  Not to intentionally be different, or annoying.  But to make sure that their wedding day, is a unique celebration of the two of them, that’s the most important part.  I link to celebrant Josh Withers a lot, but his unique blogs on weddings are amazing.  Such as the ‘controversial’ line in this blog“Walk down the aisle together, or at least both have an entry. The idea of a groom being at the end of the aisle waiting for his bride is lovely, but echoes years of sexist woman-gifting.”  (it makes more sense when you read the whole thing)


Spending more time with your guests?  Yes please!
Whether you go down the path of having a first look or not, I’m a MASSIVE advocate of enabling couples to spend as much time with their guests as possible.  I’m of the school of thought, that if you don’t want to see, or spend time with your guests, why didn’t you just elope?

If we do a first look -Brilliant.  The ceremony is done and you get to hang out with your guests straight away.  We’ll fit in the family portraits sometime during canapés too. But there’s no huge rush for that if you’ve done a first look and it keeps this time super relaxed.  If you have live music, you also get to hear and enjoy the killer live band/musician that you spent money on. Woo!

If you don’t do a first look – no stress at all either.  I understand it’s not for everyone.  We’ll usually try get the family formals done straight away.  If the venue and timing is cool with it, I then like to let the couple and bridal party chill out for 5 and 10 minutes and have a beer/wine/bite to eat before we go off for photos.  If we can do this, I honestly believe it makes a big difference in keeping things relaxed for these shots.  I’ll then do the couple/bridal party photos, and I’ll try my very best to keep this relaxed and fun.  That 30 – 45 minutes we’re doing these photos, should absolutely be one of the best parts of the day!  Not one of the worst!  I’ll also often try to get everyone back to the canapés before the reception time.  This doesn’t always happen, as timings can often blow out, but please know, it’s what I’m usually aiming for.

The Reception

Reception Entrances …
Like a lot of this page, it’s totally my opinion – but I personally find ‘reception entrances’ to be a little strange.  And they can be a fair bit of a time killer too.

A lot of venues still push this ‘reception introduction’ – so most couples think it’s something that they just ‘have’ to do.  But at my own wedding, I was of the opinion – “that if there is someone who is in this room who doesn’t know I am, that I have to be introduced to, then we have a problem here”.  So we just walked in casually with our guests from canapés to reception.

The reason I say it’s a time killer, is this;  Let’s say your reception starts at 6:30pm.  The venue organiser will then push to have the bridal party and couple back in the ‘bridal suite’ by about 6:20pm, whilst they usher all the guests inside.  I’ve been to a lot of weddings, I can tell you this always takes longer than expected.  Let’s say they’ll be seated by about 6:40.  You then get introduced after the MC’s opening spiel.  By the time you and the bridal party are seated, that’s going to be closer to 6:50.  You’ve then just blitzed, on average, about 30 minutes of precious reception time away from your guests on your wedding day, for the sake of an introduction.

Don’t do an introduction and just meander in casually with your guests, and you then take this 30 minutes back into your own hands.

Turn the coin around.  That is 100% my opinion.  If you want to do an introduction, because you have a special song to play, or you want that rockstar moment because it’s your wedding day, then by all means.  DO IT!  It’s your wedding day!  Or skip the introductions for the whole bridal party, and just have an intro for the two of you. Make sure you just do what makes you happy 🙂

Can you stay until the end of the reception?
I have two hours included in my contract and pricing as I have found this is usually always enough time to get all the ‘formalities’ such as the first dance, speeches, cake cut etc (that’s if you chose to do all those things) – I’ll then spend a bit of time tearing up some shapes on the dance floor with everyone (see below), if they are up and about.  From experience, it’s about the 2 hour mark that the drinks are well and truly flowing and guests start to get a little lose.  There is dozens of people with their own cameras out by this stage capturing the night themselves anyway.  If formalities run a bit over two hours, I’m not going to be sitting there tapping my watch, I’ll stick around as I’m not super strict with that time.  However, if you want me there to the end, or you pre-empt some formalities to be significantly past the two hour mark, I am happy to talk about the cost involved with that.

If you are staying for the reception, do we need to cater for you?
It’s industry standard for me to be fed at the reception and I really do appreciate a meal and quick sit down.  I’m usually seated with other suppliers that attend the reception such as DJ, band, video guy etc.

This is also pretty important – and I love venues that get it (some just don’t unfortunately)  But I also sincerely appreciate it when I’m fed at the same time as the bridal party.  The only time of the day I don’t take photos is during meals; taking photos when people are eating?  That’s weird, haha.

So if I can be fed at the start, not 30 minutes after the bridal party, it makes sure I’m fed and watered and ready to photograph any events that occur whilst you guys are done, but the last people might still be eating.  This could be your first dance, speeches, kick arse sunset photos etc …  There’s nothing more annoying then being fed a significant amount of time after every guest, (which I’m not photographing)  then by the time I get my main meal and have one bite, the next formality is announced and I’ve got to get back up to photograph that.  My food is then taken away when I’m gone.  (this still happens about 2 weddings out of 10, argh!)

In summary, feed me at the same time as the bridal party – you’ll have a happy photographer, and you’ll also get a heap more photos, because I’m not just sitting around waiting for a meal at this time.  Because as soon as you guys are up and about after your meals, so am I 🙂

I’ve played guitar and in bands ever since I was 12 years old.  I still do.   Music is so important to me.  As cheesy as it sounds, I honestly believe that it’s the soundtrack to your life.  I think some people really underestimate the importance of music to a celebration.  Again, I honestly believe that the right (or wrong) music can sometimes, make or break the vibe of a wedding reception. I don’t think the feeling and vibe a live band or artist brings, can quite be replicated with an iPod playing pre-recorded songs.  Please check out my friends on my recommended suppliers page for a bunch of different amazing artists.  A good DJ who can read a crowd is also going to be a gizillion times better than an iPod too 🙂

After the wedding

In what format will I receive the images?
Your images will be uploaded to a beautiful, user friendly online gallery for you and your family to view and download and share your images as you please.  Your images will also be posted to you in high resolution, non watermarked JPEG files on a custom wooden USB stick.  If you are getting an album, it will be received a few weeks after the album proofing is complete.

Will you supply every single photo you take?
I do not supply unedited ‘RAW’ photos of every photo taken during the day.  To me, the actual sorting and editing process is just as much a part of the job as the actual wedding shoot itself, which all makes for the final product in my own unique style that you will receive. The discarded photos are not usually worth keeping anyway; test shots, people blinking etc… Whilst I have complete confidence in the quality of my images taken straight off the camera; would you ask your waiter for raw chicken at a restaurant?

How many photos will we receive?
You will receive a minimum of 400 edited photos, but sometimes up to 900 or so.  This amount varies depending on each unique day, the amount of time actually covered, the weather, what was happening on the day, amount of guests, how good your friends are at dancing etc etc …

How long will it be before we see any of our photos?
I will always send you a couple of edited ‘teaser’/’preview’ photos the next day after your wedding so you’ve got something to view and share straight away.  On average, the rest of the edited photos will be supplied in an online gallery around 4 weeks after your wedding date.  This depends on the time year also, if you are getting married in peak wedding season (March/November) – they may be longer.  If you are getting married in July or August, probably a fair bit quicker.

What do you do to the photos when you edit them?
My editing process is reasonably light and not over the top like many photographers I have seen.  I don’t like that vibe of heavily re-touched images that change the way people or the day actually looked.  Colours are corrected and adjusted to maintain a consistent feel throughout all of your photos taken during the day.  Some images I might intentionally under (or occasionally over) expose in camera, because I know what kind of feel & detail this can give me in post production (see below) All your images are treated individually and given a bit of that extra ‘pop’ using Lightroom.

Also, expect roughly 20-30% of your wedding photos to be delivered in black and white.  Copies of every image in both colour and black and white are not supplied.

Can you photoshop this, or that?
For the large majority of my photos, I don’t actually even use photoshop.  If there is something that would naturally dissipate with time, such a pimple or blemish, of course I can remove that in the closer up photos if you like.  However, in regards to removing weight, wrinkles etc etc, I applaud you to read this absolutely beautiful blog called –  I Cannot Make You Beautiful by an American photographer, Anne Simone.  The title sounds harsh at first – but it’s really beautiful reading.  I’ve actually directed a couple of brides to it in the past, who have then changed their mind about wanting things photoshopped 🙂

Album/Print Questions

Why should I invest in an album?
It’s a wonderful feeling to sit together with your friends or family over a coffee and enjoy looking at your wedding photos, in beautiful, timeless print. It’s a feeling that can’t be replicated, turning the pages of something that you can touch and feel with your hands.

Viewing the images on a screen only will never quite do photos the same justice as print does.

I have my own wedding photos printed in one of the very same fine art albums that I supply to my couples. When I first received it, my wife and I took it over to my grandparents to show them. After we finished viewing our album, I asked my Nana if she still had any of her own wedding photos around. 65 years on from their wedding day, she still knew the exact place in the house where their album was. We then sat down together and slowly turned the pages, listening to my grandparents reminisce about that very day.

Their album only had a dozen photos in it. But they were 12 of the most beautiful wedding photos I’d ever seen.
My albums are hand made right here in Australia, using the finest quality museum grade matte paper, so they are made to last generations, as they should be. Your album cost includes a one on one revision with myself and will not go to print until you are 100% satisfied with the layout.

I realise the albums are a substantial investment and it’s easy to say ‘we’ll get one later on’, however, from personal experience I know this rarely happens. Life gets busy, time runs out, and soon enough years have passed and your wedding photos are still sitting on a USB somewhere. I highly recommend purchasing an album up front. I offer an incentive discount of 20% off the album price to prepurchase this way upon booking.

I can assure you that you won’t regret it. It’s like seeing your photos for the first time all over again. Album Cost is $1650 up front. ($1980 if purchased post wedding)

Here’s what you receive …
• 10X10 Fine Art Album.
• The First 25 Spreads (50 pages)
• Your choice of:
– cloth or basic leather cover. (premium leather $150 extra)
– Over 80 different colours.
– your names debossed/foiled on the cover

How many pages are in the album?
The albums I supply are 10X10 (square) and includes the first 25 spreads.  (50 pages)  You can build this album up to 45 spreads (90 pages) if you wish.  The cost is $77 per extra spread.

How many photos will fit in the album?
To maintain a simple and beautiful look, giving maximum emphasis on every each image without looking cluttered, I recommend selecting no more than 80 images for 25 spreads.  Some spreads may include only 1 image, some will include many more depending on the individual images chosen & the design.

What is fine art printing?
The fine art prints I supply are printed on 100% cotton, acid free, museum grade matte paper with a subtle water colour texture.  They are printed on high end machines with a much larger colour gamut than your typical large format printer.  These prints will not turn yellow, fade or crack over time and are designed to look just as good in many many years as the day they were printed.  This can all sound a bit ‘wanky’ but when you physically see the prints or albums for yourself you will notice a substantial difference between this style compared to other standard prints you may be used to seeing.

Can I be involved in the design process?
Certainly!  Via the online gallery of your wedding, you have the option to ‘heart’ the images which you would like to add to your album.  I recommend no more than 100 images for a 30 spread album.   I can then see which images you have selected and they will then be designed into an album layout. You can then view the layout outline, where you leave comments & feedback until you are happy with the design.  My album fee includes 3 lots of design changes, with additional changes at a $100 fee after that.  Once you are happy with the completed design, you can then chose the colour & material of your album cover and it is then sent off to be printed.   I have dozens of album cover swatches for you at my workspace that you can check out.   Typical turnaround time is about 3 weeks from this point.


If you’ve actually got this far.  Thank you oh so much!

I completely understand that a fair bit of the above is a little opinionated at times.  But I promise it’s all in the name of maximising your photography, and more importantly, your celebration!  But please remember, it’s your wedding and you need to make it a unique celebration of the two of you.  Not what I tell you do to.  Or what your venue tells you .  Or your parents.

Make it your day and I promise you’ll be happy.  And as long as you are happy and it’s what you want.  I’m happy.

If you have any other questions that are not covered above, please don’t hesitate to call or email me, I’m always more than happy to help!