– Is this your full time job?
Yes. And I love it. I shoot around 75 weddings each year, which I guess is quite a lot, but to be honest I get quite bored sitting around with nothing to do, so for me that’s a good number.
– Where are you based?
I live in Bowral. Most of my weddings are in the Southern Highlands and South Coast, but I’m available for weddings throughout Australia and internationally.
– What gear do you use?
Canon 5d mark iv cameras, and Canon / Sigma prime lenses.
Sony a7iii cameras, with a selection of Sony and Zeiss prime lenses. After 8 years loyal to canon I’m LOVING shooting with Sony gear!
– What’s your vibe at a wedding? I mean, are you quiet and brooding, excited and loud, or something else?
Good question. My goal is to fit in – so, to hang out with you guys and your friends and family as if I was a friend along for the ride. If your bridal party is quiet and nervous, I’ll probably be calm and joking around, but not anything too crazy that would scare them. If your bridal party are drinking whisky at 8am and absolutely insane, that’s fine too – game on, I can match their craziness. Whatever the scenario, I try to just be me – I love to meet people, have fun. I’m a pretty relaxed person and not much phases me, so I’m generally pretty calm and relaxed during the entire wedding day. I’ll direct you and help keep things on track in terms of timing, but I won’t be a d*ck about it – by the end of the day you’ll probably have had such a great time with me that you’ll give me a big hug and we’ll most probably make plans to have a beer together in the future (I’m not saying this to brag – just that this is what generally happens as i’m leaving a wedding).
– Will you travel for our wedding?
Absolutely! As far as you like; nationally, and internationally. I shoot around 8-10 overseas weddings per year.
– What’s the best month of the year to get married?
In my opinion, there are two periods of the year that are perfect for weddings: mid-late autumn, and mid-spring. Here’s why:
– It isn’t too hot or too cold
– The sun sets nice and early, so you can take advantage of that amazing late afternoon sunlight for photos (instead of watching the sun set from inside the reception)
Don’t stress if your wedding is in mid-summer or winter; all months are beautiful.
– How much experience do you have?
Around ten years; the first two I was shooting part-time while I was a lawyer, and the most recent eight years I’ve been shooting weddings full-time.
– Do you work well with videographers?
Generally yes; I think it’s a lovely idea to have your wedding filmed – you’ll receive a wonderful keepsake that you’ll watch for many years. Before you book a videographer, PLEASE talk with me first: most videographers are wonderful, but there are a handful who have a very different style to me, and booking one of these guys can seriously disrupt how your day runs, and compromise our photo-time. I’m more than happy to explain this to you in more detail in person.
– Do you have insurance?
Yes; $20 million public liability, and all my gear is insured too. I’m also a Canon Professional Services member, meaning if my gear breaks the guys in Sydney repair it and have it back to me within 72 hours.
– How many shots do you normally take at a wedding, and what will I receive afterwards?
Every wedding is different in this regard, but I generally deliver around 800 edited, high-resolution shots from their wedding. You’ll receive these digitally via a password-protected gallery, from where you can download the high and low res versions.
– Do you add grain to images during post production (editing)?
Yes, a little bit, to each and every image I give you. Digital cameras produce images that are technically excellent but I feel lack soul and warmth. I use film-emulation presets while editing my images to try and achieve a film-like quality in the final product. Part of this process is adding a little grain, or texture, to my images. If you feel this is going to be an issue, please get in contact with me before booking.
– How long after the wedding will I receive my photos?
My turnaround time is pretty quick; currently you’ll receive your photos around 4 weeks after your wedding.
– Can I print my photos? Do I have the rights to do whatever I want with them?
You can do whatever you like with the images I give you – you can print until your heart is content without consulting me first. Each of my packages includes the high-resolution files on USB. I don’t watermark or otherwise alter my images either (I think it just looks ugly).
– When we book you, will it be you shooting our wedding or someone else?
Me. I never delegate to other photographers. You’ll deal with me the whole time, from the first email all the way to when I deliver your images and album (if you’re ordered one) after the wedding. This is of course unless you book my second shooter / wife instead of me (which you can do if i’m already booked)
– I really want you to shoot my wedding, but you haven’t shot at my venue before, and I’m worried you won’t know all the good spots
I actually get asked this quite a lot, and to be honest it baffles me. My job – my passion – is to see a new place, a location I haven’t previously visited, and see the light, the lines and cool backdrops. I generally don’t even realise I’m doing it. Often, the first time I get to shoot at a new venue, I get SUPER excited to arrive early, have a look around, plan my attack for the day – find some really great spots to shoot some amazing portraits. I get why you might be nervous if I haven’t shot at your venue, but to be honest, this is the best scenario, as you can be sure that I’ll arrive nice and early, have a really good look around and get to know the location really well. In this scenario I’m also really stoked to have new locations to add to my instagram portfolio! So – if you’d like to work with me, but I haven’t shot at your venue, seriously, don’t worry – this is a good thing 🙂
– Do you shoot with an assistant / second shooter?
I don’t use an assistant. I don’t use any complex lighting setups (just a few off-camera strobes sometimes) and certainly nothing I can’t set up on my own. I don’t need anyone to carry my bags and to be honest I’m large enough as it is; I don’t need someone else trailing me, making me stand out more than I already do 🙂
I don’t bring a second shooter by default but I’m happy to do so if you like. My wife is an awesome photographer so she can second shoot whenever required.
– Can you make us an album?
Sure can. I can show you some albums when we meet. Here’s an example of what I can make.
– We’re really awkward in front of the camera… we’re camera shy! Is that ok?
Of course 🙂 My method of shooting is very relaxed and natural. Most of the time you either won’t know I’m taking photos, or you’ll be so engrossed in your new husband/wife that everything will seem natural. I won’t pose you; I’ll direct you.
– How much coverage do we need?
I think the sweet spot is around 9 hours; this way I can shoot you both getting ready right through to part-way through the reception. I don’t feel you need coverage until the end of the reception (things can get preeeeeetty messy).
– What’s an ‘unplugged wedding’, and why should we have one?
An unplugged wedding really just refers to the ceremony, not the rest of the day, and refers to a ceremony where the couple ask / tell their guests to put their phones, cameras, ipads and all technology away for the ceremony. No photos taken by guests at all during the ceremony. I absolutely think you should have an unplugged ceremony. There are a few good reasons to do this, but the two three are:
- so your guests don’t get in my way, meaning that I won’t miss the really lovely photo opportunities that you’ve paid me to shoot
- so when you look out at your guests during the ceremony, you’ll see them sharing your wedding with you, rather than see their faces hidden behind cameras and ipads
– Tom, do you have many leather-bound books?
Yes, and my office smells of rich mahogany 🙂
– You’ll get hungry, taking all those photos at my wedding, I imagine. Want us to provide a meal for you?
How considerate of you! That would be lovely. I can camp out in another room to eat or you can put me on a table with your guests (I’m quite sociable and I love meeting new people). I’m also a vegetarian.
– My wedding is in [insert faraway land], and the only transport to and from is by plane and then camel. Are you willing to travel?
YES! I love to travel, and I am always keen to add foreign weddings to my portfolio. I’ll travel anywhere in the country, or the world, or the galaxy to photograph a wedding. Getting married on the moon? Sweet! Of course, extra fees, such as travel, accommodation, and oxygen mask may (and probably do) apply.
– We’d like to book you! What do we do now?