January 23, 2018

Kate Moss’s Wedding

While it’s not exactly a secret that Moss is accustomed to the finer things in life, the details found in Vogue’s article and in the photos’ captions really drive home the fact that the lifestyles of the rich and famous are very, very different from NewsFeed’s (and, we’re guessing, yours). Read more: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/08/11/four-things-kate-mosss-wedding-had-that-yours-probably-didnt/#ixzz1UwO62D5T

While reading the article and watching the photos I just realised one thing, YOUR wedding day is about YOU, nobody else. Kate Mosse’s wedding day was about her, and so must by your wedding day.

On your day, you are special. I read once that on her wedding day, the bride is the model and she must feel the model. And that is what you are on your special day. You are the model and the photographer must portray you as such. Just be yourself and you will have the most wonderful wedding day.

And about the guests. Off course you will not have the same guest list as Kate. Nor will you have the exact same guest list as your neighbor’s daughter. Most important is that the guests on your wedding must be the people you want to be surrounded by. Your dearest friends and family. The people for whom you care and who cares for you.

No two people are the same. Kate wore the dress that complimented her. Get the dress that compliments you. There are so many excellent dressmakers around who have not been ‘discovered’ yet. Get a good one at the fraction of the price and you are the princess of the day.

I shot many weddings to date and to me, you will always be the supermodel of the day. The one who it is all about.

“With this Ring I Thee Wed … ” – the history of the wedding ring

 

Ancient belief has it that the wedding ring originated from early Egypt. Sedges, rushes and reeds were twisted and braided into rings and bracelets. These rings, of course, did not last very long and was, over time, replaced by rings made of bone, ivory or leather. Still later it was replaced by metal rings.

First metal that was used was iron, and it symbolized the strength of a man’s love for his wife. The biggest problem with these iron rings were rust and they had to be replaced. I think this will be applicable to unfortunately so many weddings today as the initial strength of the man’s love gets rusty and ends in divorce.

The circle of the ring symbolizes eternal, never ending, love and the hole in the middle the step through the circle to a new life with your husband or wife.

Although different fingers were used in the past the Egyptians believed that the vein in the third finger on the left hand came directly from the heart. The Greeks called it “vena amoris” which means “the vein of love.”

References:

http://www.amalfi-wedding-planner.com/eng/StoriaFedi.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_ring

http://www.weddingringorigins.com/

http://www.thehistoryof.net/history-of-the-wedding-ring.html

 

The Art of Make-up Photography

Make-up photography is one of my favorite subjects.

You have the opportunity to -

- capture an artist at work,

– witness the birth of a swan, and

– intense, yet relaxed, interaction between people.

Composition is of the utmost importance to get a good make-up photo. In this photo I focussed on the eyes of both the make-up artist (Eloise) and the bride (Nanette).

By placing the eyes in strong positions you can immediately see and feel the concentration of Eloise while the eyes of Nanette actually shows her effort to obey Eloise’s every command because she knows the importance of perfect make-up.

The hand and arm in the middle bridges the distance between the two subjects and reflects their interaction. The positioning of the hand is just as important. I waited till I got a flowing movement that is in line between the two subject’s eyes, thus accentuating the invisible diagonal line between the two subject’s eyes.

Exif Data:

Camera: Nikon D2X; Lens: VR 18-200mm; Focal length: 40mm; Focus Mode: AF-S; AF-Area Mode: Single; VR: On; Aperture: F 5.6; Shutter Speed: 1/125s; Metering: Matrix; ISO: 100; Flash Used: SB-900; Flash Setting: Front Curtain i-TTL-BL with Nikon Diffusion Dome.


Weddings in the Renaissance Period

Weddings during the Renaissance Period:

I had the opportunity to visit The Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Los Angeles, CA. Watching all the merry people in their medieval clothes I wondered what a typical wedding was like back then. With a little bit of research (thank you Google!) I stumbled on a few interesting facts.

In the medieval ages, the consent of the father of the bride was more important than the consent of the wedded couple. In 596 a decree was issued that stipulated death penalty if the bride was abducted from her parent’s home. This meant that it was regarded to be abduction if the couple got married without the approval of the family (i.e. the father). The couple could face either the death penalty or exile.

Then, fortunately, came the Renaissance period and it was generally accepted that only the mutual consent of the couple was necessary to create a binding marriage.

It is also interesting to note that so many rituals as we know it today, originated from this period.

The giving of the hands symbolized the contract between the couple while the kissing of the bride and the exchange of rings symbolized the unity between the bride and the groom and became part of the betrothal ceremony.

The bridal procession also had its origin during this period. In England “the bride was led to church between two sweet boys with bride laces and rosemary tied about their silken sleeves. There was a fair bride-cup of silver gilt carried before her, wherein was a goodly branch of rosemary, gilded very fair, hung about with silken ribands of all colors. Musicians came next, then a group of maiden, some bearing great bride-cakes, others garlands of wheat finely gilded; and thus they passed into the church; and the bridegroom finely appareled, with the young men following close behind.” This procession was seen as the proper way to celebrate marriage in a public manner.

When the legality of a marriage was challenged the testimony of the people that eye-witnessed this procession was considered to be the proof of the marriage.

The Renaissance Wedding in Modern Times

The Renaissance period is regarded as the period with the most beautiful and rich traditions in European history. So why not let your wedding resemble the traditions of this wonderful age.

Find yourself a gothic church, a knight arriving on his white horse to take your hand in marriage and who will sweep you away into a new life in a victorian style coach.

Also forget about the white dress! Wedding dresses in those days were burgundy wine, deep purple and hunter green with a metallic braided ribbon running through the design. They were normally laced up the sides and/or back, had long, pleated skirts and were floor length and long-sleeved.

Herbs like rosemary, thyme and basil played an important role in the flower arrangements. This custom originated from the belief in the significance of various herbs in health and destiny. Wheat was also to be considered a symbol of fertility and played an important role during wedding ceremonies.

Flowers to be used include the gloriosa lily, ivy, red roses, amaryllis, birch twigs or holly branches and parrot tulips. All the flowers should appear rustic and natural for in those days flower shops and Styrofoam did not exist.

But please, get a modern day photographer with the necessary equipment to commemorate your Renaissance Wedding!

Credits:

 

  1. “Medieval and Renaissance Marriage: Theory and Customs” by Kirsti S. Thomas.
  2. “Having a Medieval/Renaissance Wedding: And Updating it for Modern Times” by Rachel Broderick.
  3. http://www.renaissance-weddings.net/index.htm

 

 

 

Is This What You Want for Your Wedding?

I stumbled onto the following web advertisement while browsing on the internet:

Wedding Photography (Budget) $200 first hour, $100 each additional hour. Basic editing only. $100 deposit to hold date. Semi retired photographer training up coming visual artist in the fine art of photographing that very special day. She will be assisting me. Meal must be provided for any wedding after 5 hours. All images will be provided on CD in 1 week.”

I cannot imagine that a wedding photographer who is serious about his or her work, will offer this kind of service to you as a potential bride. This is the one day that mistakes cannot be afforded as a wedding cannot be repeated. You want the best and you deserve the best.

What is meant by basic editing? Can a photographer be proud of his finished product if only so-called “basic editing” is done. I can only imagine that all the photos are batched and a ‘one size fits all’ approach is followed. The same editing is applied to the photos of your dress than to the photos of the table setting. No wonder that this photographer can give you your images on a CD after a week.

I wonder if this photographer shoots in RAW or in jpg. With only ‘basic editing’ I can imagine that it will be in jpg format. This means that no RAW corrections like camera sharpening, correcting of light balance, etc. can be made. And they are willing to give this to you.

I think that the wedding photography industry really needs some form of regulation to protect the innocent consumer.

The so called BASIC PACKAGE or BUDGET PACKAGE is to the detriment of the industry and clients. There may be exceptions where the photographer’s so called BASIC PACKAGE is of better than average quality, but you will not find that very often.

I’ve seen work on the web where I have asked myself: “How can this person call himself a Wedding Photographer?” I actually wanted to post a bad quality image with this post. But is that me? No, I can’t do that.

Audio Photo-Video’s

Make an Audio Photo-video of Your Wedding Photos:

  • Annemi’s mother watched the APV of her daughter’s wedding with tear-filled eyes.
  • “Wow! Wow! Wow! I did not expect this. I thought you’re gonna send me a slideshow of my wedding photos. This is art!” – Irene Snyman.

Living in the digital era I don’t think there is any better way than an Audio Photo-video to show off your wedding photos to your family and friends.

You can play it on your PC, Mac, iPad, TV and even cellphone. The Audio Photo-video is not too long (10 – 12 minutes) and will hold the attention of your audience. It gives them an overview of the best photos taken on your wedding day – normally from getting dressed, right through to the reception.

Make an Audio Photo-video of Your Wedding Photos

Any Audio Photo-video we release has to be perfect quality. The planning, organizing of the photos and using the appropriate transitions are some of the essential ingredients.

I think that, after watching the following Audio Photo-video’s as well, you will agree that this must be an essential and non-negotiable part of your wedding memories.

Wedding Dress Photography

 

Wedding Dress Photography:

This was quite interesting. I Googled ‘Wedding Dress Photography’ and couldn’t find a single article or blog entry on wedding dress photography. Nowhere is there any advice to be found for the bride-to-be on what to look for regarding the dress when she is looking at a photographer’s wedding portfolio. Neither is there any advice to the photographer on how to successfully photograph wedding dresses.

Everybody is climbing on the ‘trash the dress’ bandwagon but nobody is paying any attention to dress photography on the wedding day.

The wedding dress is normally one of the single most expensive items in the wedding budget. Hours and hours of research goes into finding the right dress with the finest detail that will compliment the bride. After that some more hours will be spent in finding the right designer followed by hours of fitting and worrying about on the edge deadlines and final adjustments.

Then comes the Big Day and the princess will be out there in her fairytale dress embroidered with the finest detail overwhelming the groom and the guests with her radiant beauty and the dress, oh, the dress is complimenting her finest detail and features.

The photographer is snapping away, the bride is posing and everybody is so excited about the end result – the album.

And then comes the pictures.

What do you see – a white dress with no detail whatsoever on most of the images. No sign of the detail that complimented the beautiful princess on her wedding day. Just white blobs. And then these photographers will remind you on their website and in their brochures that, after the wedding, only the photos are left to remind you of this wonderful day – and you cannot even appreciate the detail on that single, sometimes most expensive, item that you cherished so much.

A good photographer who knows how to handle exposure will show the detail on the dress – image after image after image. Non-negotiable.

I also find that some photographers will give you all the detail on your dress but then the background and surroundings is either over- or under-exposed. You are part of the surroundings and that is part of your wedding day. Therefore it is also important that not only the dress, but also the background, must be correctly exposed.

He or she will not only give you the detail on the dress.

And that is why it is so important, and I cannot stress that enough, to look at complete weddings when you meet up with a photographer and not just his or her best work. Ask them to show you one or two complete wedding albums. Only after you have seen that and you are happy with what you have seen, can you know for sure that this photographer knows what he is doing and will not let you down.

 

Do NOT Steal Your Client’s Wife!

I came across this post recently where photographer Clayton Bennett allegedly ‘stole’ his former client’s wife. Furthermore, according to the article, he outraged newlyweds with his poor photo and film coverage. I personally think he should have paid more attention to the quality of his photography than to the wives of his clients.

Bennet, the photographer, has previously been taken to court by disgruntled customers who were unhappy with their pictures and video.

Do we really want these type of photographers in the industry? How can this be regulated. Maybe one should consider using only photographers associated with a professional body.

You can read more about this ‘photographer?’ here

Make-up Scene

Make-up For The Perfect Wedding Day:

Every bride-to-be knows that make-up plays a vital part on the perfect wedding day.  But I’ve found that, even so, they quickly forget that every wink, blush, smile and kiss is permanently recorded, either digitally or on film.

Yes, all you beautiful brides-to-be out there – make-up is not just a vital part, it is THE vital part of your perfect day!  Your bridal make-up has to be picture perfect, needs to be picture perfect!  Now you will never hear me even indicate that a bride might need to cover some imperfections, so let me put it differently:  you need to highlight your best features and your beauty!  The problem with highlighting your best features is that it should always appear natural, subtle and, most important, just plain pretty.

You have to take your venue into consideration (more about foundation with sunscreen later), as well as the time of your wedding.  You’ll have to adjust your makeup for morning, afternoon and evening and absolutely for indoor or outdoor lighting.  I know there are so many details to take into consideration when planning the perfect wedding.  There’s the princess dress, the romantic song and the endless-tier cake – but please never forget the most important detail – the perfect face!

Quick Wedding Makeup Tips

  • We all know a picture is worth a thousand words.  So the advice I give my brides is to start with a picture.  (Or as many pictures as you want).  Get those bridal magazines, a great cup of tea (nothing wrong with a glass of chardonnay), and pick the pictures that capture the look of your dream bridal face!  Collate them together for reference when you meet-up with your make-up artist.
  • Use a professional! I know some brides want to, or have to do it themselves, but I would urge you to cut three tiers from that ultimate wedding cake and spend it on a make-up artist!  You will never let an amateur take your pictures (I mean, you are reading this on my site) – so please make that booking, and make sure that you have a free makeover weeks before the wedding to measure the success!
  • Ok, now I will speak about “foundation”.  One: make sure it is a lightweight (did I mention lightweight) foundation.  The heavier foundations look absolutely obvious and deflect your beauty.  Also – don’t forget the sunscreen.  Not all foundations contain sunscreen, so depending on your venue and time of wedding – make sure the sunscreen is there for the outside photography.  The last thing you want is a sun-burnt face on your honeymoon.
  • Eye makeup:  I don’t have that much to say but this: WATERPROOF.  There are so many new looks: “smoky”, “nude” and “clean” are the ones that I come across the most, but none of that means anything if it streaks or smears!  Tears of joy are always present (and yes, sometimes just plain tears… so be warned!). Tears can also smear the rest of your make-up. So the buzz-word there will also be WATERPROOF.
  • As for your lipstick – My advise against bold or dark colors.  I can always strengthen the tone afterwards, but an overpowering mouth distracts from the perfect face.  Soft and delicate colors should do the trick! Balance is the word.
  • Avoid glitter. I may look fabulous when you look at it, but the moment it gets light of any nature it starts to fulfill its purpose – glitter – and that can be very distracting on your photos.
  • Lastly (and most importantly): Blush, blush, blush. Shape and shadow your face with blush, even if it’s not what you do normally. Blush will define your features without pomp and attention, and ensures that you have a healthy glow throughout the day.

After all is said and done – My dream for your wedding is that our photos should surpass your dreams.  Wedding pictures are shared and passed on through generations.  You’ve all seen those pictures of friends and family that become the center of all jokes.  You don’t want to be that couple!  Your goal is to have timeless beauty in every picture.  So even if you never wear makeup, it is still important to use a little on your wedding day.

A Scene From The Wedding

Background:

Irene grew up in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.  She wanted her wedding pictures to be taken on the beach. When they took me to the beach the day before their wedding, I asked them about people on the beach the following day, a Saturday. Their reply was that I should not worry as the main beach is a couple of kilometers away and it will be deserted.

Arriving the next day was a different story. The beach was crowded and I could not take any pictures there! Off to a deserted railroad station we went and got some stunning couple and entourage photos there.

I promised them that, if they were back on the beach early the next morning, all dressed up, hair done and a redo of the make-up, I would take some pictures. While I was waiting for them on the beach, the rain was pouring down. As they arrived, the rain stopped, and we could do the shoot. The moment we were done it started raining again!

The Setup

Beautiful clouds just after the rain, a beach with some artifacts, a stunning dress and, of course, a beautiful couple!  What more can one asks for.

The Shoot

We took several stunning pictures on the beach, including this one. For the photographers out there, here is the Metadata:

  • Lens: Nikkor VR 18 – 200mm.
  • Focal Length: 36mm.
  • AF-Area Mode: Dynamic.
  • VR: On.
  • Aperture: F5.6.
  • Shutter Speed: 1/600s.
  • Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority.
  • Exposure: -1/3.
  • Metering: Matrix.
  • ISO: 100.
  • Flash: SB900, TTL-BL, Exposure Comp.: 0.
  • Image Data: Color Mode II (Adobe RGB), Captured with low contrast and contrast dramatically increased in pp.