Photographer of the year 2016

As a dedicated member of the AIPP (Australian Institute for Professional Photography) I am a recognised accredited photographer by trade within Australia and as such run my business in the utmost of ethical manner. This includes consistent professional development and networking with other professional photographers around Australia. Last night the South Australian Professional Photography Awards dinner was held, which is an event I’m proud to say I have attended each year since 2009, consistently winning awards for my work in a number of different genres, including wedding, landscape, science and illustrative. In 2014 I came close to becoming the SA contemporary art photographer of the year by coming second in the category.

This year I’m proud to say that I had my most successful year yet by winning the title of photographer of the year 2016 in the landscape category, while being a finalist in the science category. I managed to win a gold and 7 silver awards across my entries, which included entries into the wedding category. This shows the dedication to my craft as a photographer amounts to being consistently award winning no matter what genre of photography I partake in and it’s the level of dedication I take to each of my shoots, be they weddings, or landscape work.

Landscape photographer of the year 2016

So what does this mean when it comes to wedding photography? While yes I did not win photographer of the year in the wedding category, the portfolio of images entered in the category were all deemed to be of high professional standard. Winning landscape photographer of the year means that I have an award winning eye for the scenery surrounding your wedding. I am able to paint a picture with my camera by really putting your emotion and personal story into any backdrop you’re holding your wedding at. Utilising the skills I have as the landscape photographer of the year 2016 at your wedding means I’m producing pieces of fine art at all times while shooting your wedding. Your images will have the quality of the fine art photographs you would see in any of the best galleries as they would have been taken by one of the SA photographers of the year.

I have a separate website at https://stevenduncanart.com to showcase my work in the genres of landscape and science, so if you’d like to view my work in those genres, please feel free to have a look! 🙂

Sunday Mail featured weddings

Recently the Sunday Mail newspaper of South Australia featured not one, but two recent weddings I’ve covered in and around South Australia as an Adelaide wedding photographer. You can catch the articles in the June 26th, 2016 edition of the paper on pages 78 and 79.

Sunday Mail featured weddings

The first of these weddings is that of Gemma and Ryan’s wedding at Utopia Waterfall Gully. The Sunday Mail dedicated an entire page for the feature and published two photos from the day. However I feel they could have possibly cropped them a little better, but oh well 🙂

To paraphrase the article –

It was the handmade touches at the wedding of Ryan Morrison and Gemma Sneddon that encapsulated them as a couple. When Ryan proposed to Gemma at a fancy dinner while on holiday in melbourne, the ring box he presented her with was a handmade book. And the ring, made of aircraft grade titanium, adorned Gemma’s finger when she and Ryan exchanged their vows. At their ceremony and reception, held at Utopia at Waterfall Gully, 80 guests celebrated the future ahead for the newlyweds. Their bridal party included Justin McArthur, Shannon Ryan, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Natalie Rose, Carly Wilamowski and Wayne Bickley. Gemma made paper flowers from book pages, while her dad made custom wooden LEGO head ring boxes. They chose their own music playlists and hand-dyed fabric with text on it to make custom vests. “We wanted the wedding to feel like ‘us’,” Gemma said. They also had two cakes, one which was made of cheese, and had LEGO in the bomboniere. “It was cool watching people barter and trade for the mini figurines they wanted,” she said. The couple celebrated their honeymoon, or “mini moon”, at Victor Harbor. Gemma, 28, works in library customer service and is the daughter of Hal and Jacqui Sneddon, of Holden Hill. Ryan, 30, is a PhD student and the son of Karen Bartel, of Junee, NSW.

The second of the weddings featured in this edition of the Sunday Mail was the wedding of Wendy and Steve who held a wedding with traditional Chinese elements while being wed in the Brougham Place Uniting Church.

To paraphrase the article –

Making a promise to be there for each other through life’s highs and lows, was a wedding highlight for newlyweds Wendy Tran and Steven Goldsmith. Wendy, wearing a dress from a bridal boutique in NSW, was joined by bridesmaids Linda Duong, Anna Mai, Bernadette Chan and Priscilla Tran. Sam was joined at the altar by groomsmen Sam Solanki, Ethan Parsa, Ashley Hepworth and Adam Mai. The newlyweds and their 130 guests then continued celebrations at the Ballroom and Kozak Bar in Hindmarsh. The couple, who are both medical scientists, spent their honeymoon in New Zealand, exploring the north and south islands. Wendy, 27, is the daughter of Hong Ngoc Mai and Tai Tran, of Mansfield Park. Steven, 25, is the son of Peter and Evie Goldsmith, of Edwardstown.

Wedding ring photography

The beginning of my day covering a wedding as a wedding photographer usually sees me at the location where the groom and his grooms men are being prepared and getting dressed in order to get the wedding ceremony. As a result I’m usually asking for the wedding ring to do a bit of wedding ring photography. Doing the wedding ring photography and other affects such as the shoes, or any jewellery like cuff links, and wearables like ties and suit jackets I like to treat as a bit of a warm up for the day for both myself and for the boys, who may not be overly comfortable with a photographer constantly taking photos of them during the day.

Wedding ring photography

The goal is really to show any details of the ring or rings while having some sort of a background that speaks to the type of person the groom is. It’s traditional at a wedding for the groom and his best man to look after the rings so I feel having something like his tie, or cuff links, even the flowers he’s wearing on the day as a background really helps portray this personal aspect of the wedding rings.

It is however coming more and more popular for the bride and her entourage to look after the rings, I’m thinking trust is the defining factor here? 🙂 When this is the case, the rings are often placed nearby flowers, or clothing such as the wedding dress. This is again to show a bit of personality behind the photograph. It’s also quite common to find them tied onto the page boy’s cushion, ready to be presented during the wedding ceremony.

This being said however, wedding rings are usually very personal items to begin with, so there is a certain charm to wedding ring photography where the background is as plain as possible. I usually try to find a nice clean hardwood surface to produce these types of photos, as the grain fades away in the natural bokeh of my lens in a very satisfying way.

Wedding ring photography, I feel is one of the important photographs I must capture on a wedding day as they signify the never ending union of the wedded couple, and as I’m there to capture all the emotion and joy on this most special of days, I figure the wedding rings should also play a major role in those memories! 🙂

Cutting your wedding guest list without feeling guilty

I’ve recently got engaged and am in the process of developing my own guest list for the wedding! As a wedding photographer I more often reap the benefits of a well culled wedding guest list well after the sweat and tears that goes into actually cutting your wedding guest list.

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, so it stands to reason that you’d like to be surrounded by friends and well wishers that you care about! Chances are however that you don’t actually want or even like a lot of the people you might be expected to invite Feeling pressure to add your second cousin twice removed whom you haven’t seen in 20 odd years since you were 5 years old is common, and it’s stress you just don’t need. So here are some tips on cutting your wedding guest list without feeling guilty about it.

Tips for cutting your wedding guest list

Consider your venue

Possibly the easiest way to justify not inviting people are the physical limitations of your venue. You can’t fit 200 people into a reception hall that only holds 80 people right? This doesn’t necessarily relate to your ceremony venue however, having less people at your reception is quite a common occurrence and can be used as a pretty compelling reason to limit invites to your reception, saying that they can come to the ceremony proper, but just cant justify them at the reception.

Don’t let your parents run the show

The source for a lot of the invites you may be pressured into may come from your parents trying to dictate who can or cant come you your own wedding. Yes they are probably helping out with the cost of the day, and you’re probably very thankful for it, but when actually cutting your wedding guest list you need to have complete control over who is invited and who isn’t. It’s your wedding day, you should be the boss. Give your parents a quota of friends they can invite, this way it’s a bit of a compromise from them inviting everyone they know and nobody at all.

Set a time limit

Haven’t spoken face to face with someone for more than, say a year? Then don’t invite them They aren’t really in your life at any meaningful level. exceptions may be for people living overseas, etc. But if all you’ve ever done with these people are like their status updates on Facebook since high school, then do you really need to shell out $100-200 for them to be at your reception?

Kids should stay home

We were just talking to the owner of Middlebrook estate for our own wedding, and she was talking about another wedding that were going to bring upwards of 30 children to their reception. This was about 1/4 of the entire guest list so they figured they’d hire carers and set them up in their own separate party. This sounded reasonable until you realise that children’s meals at wedding receptions are no cheaper, and that there is a legally mandated ratio of carers to children in this kind of scenario. While having kids at a wedding is often difficult to not have for purposes such as flower girls or page boys, bringing them to a reception is just asking them to get bored and whine about having no wifi.

Co-workers?

If you socialise with co-workers outside of work then wouldn’t you consider them to be your friends? There isn’t much expectation for co-workers who only see each other at work to invite each other to something as intimate as a wedding.

Stick to your rules

When it comes right down to it, cutting your wedding guest list to something a bit more manageable is only going to be as successful as you are at sticking to the rules you set out for yourself. Don’t feel guilty not inviting someone to your day, because it’s YOUR day! you can celebrate it however you damn well please. Sit down, write our rules and stick by them. This will make the process so much easier.