April 24, 2018

How Important is the Groom to the Photographer?

The wedding day is one of the most important days in a girl’s life and most of the attention and glamour is drawn to the bride. Her beautiful dress, the extravagant limousine, a lace embroidered veil, colourful flowers and the harmony of music playing as her shining knight waits to stand by her side …. all contribute to her fairy-tale story.

Dressed in his black tuxedo, he patiently awaits his bride-to-be without bringing attention to himself.

To us, as photographers, the Groom is just as important as the Bride.  When capturing the wedding, one of our photographers is dedicated to the Groom to the same extend than to the Bride.


So many times you will find that there is only a photographer with the Bride. Much too often little or nothing is dedicated to the groom ….

From the time he starts to get dressed, up until the stage they get together as a couple, we will pay attention to his moments of getting ready up to the final hour where he is awaiting his bride.

Just some interesting facts on why a husband is called a groom. Have you ever wondered where this word originates from? Back in the old days in old English guma meant a male servant, young man or lad.

Bride comes from the Old English word bryd. Together both words formed Brydgum (Bridegroom), which was referred to a suitor looking for a wife.

Eventually people began substituting the more familiar “groom” for the by-now obsolete “guma,” and “brydguma” became “bridegroom.”

This post is dedicated to the groom ….







“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.”







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.

Ever Wondered Why do We Throw Confetti at a Wedding?

The most joyous moment on a wedding surely is when the newlywed couple comes out of the church to be greeted by a colourful spread of shredded paper. This is an absolute highlight at any wedding!

Ever wondered where did this unusual custom originate?

Most of us do not know the reason behind this tradition. There is actually quite a deep reason to why people throw confetti to welcome the newlyweds.

The word “confetti” originated from the Italian word “confectionary”. When the Italians use the word “confetti,” they actually refer to sweets such as candied fruit or sugared almonds, which are usually handed out during special celebrations. Most Americans know these shreds of paper as confetti.

The Italians used to refer to paper confetti as “coriandoli”. During the war, sugar and paper were in short demand and they started using coated coriander seeds in stead.

The throwing of confetti to the couple is a very old custom and this has been done from ancient days. This tradition is to “bless” the couple so that they can be as fruitful as the grain thrown upon them.

Today confetti, flower petals or even herbs are used.  A recent innovation at weddings is to use natural petal or herb confetti as it is completely biodegradeable.

Whenever you throw confetti again, remember you are actually blessing the couple.


Information obtained from: http://www.stumblerz.com/why-do-we-throw-confetti-at-a-wedding/


Don’t forget the Detail…

The detail photos are so often neglected during the wedding ceremony while this is the only means for the couple to nurture their memories afterwards.

The bride normally arrives at the ceremony after the guests have entered the reception hall.  At that stage she is so overwhelmed by everything that she doesn’t have the time to pay any attention to the detail that were so meticulously prepared and arranged.

We normally find that both the bride and groom are so impressed with the detail photos afterwards because they never noticed it on the wedding day.

It is therefore important for the couple to insist on seeing the photographer’s detail photos to ensure that he pays attention to, and that he knows how to capture it.

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!



  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.

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


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.