Almost a year into the pandemic and I am sitting here writing this with a heart full of gratitude.
That sentence sounds strange. How is gratitude possible in a world where there is so much suffering? It doesn’t mean that I am oblivious or unsympathetic to what is happening right now. In fact it is quite the opposite. I often empathise too much (if there is such a thing). I have shred tears over the loss of people I may have had the honour of only meeting once. We also lost two beautiful women from our own family during 2020. But I decided that for my own sake and for my children’s, that I would choose to control the things that I can control. To let go of what I can’t and to be truly present, as none of us know what tomorrow has in store for us.
Yesterday I got up early and had a great plan for the day, but my youngest choose to take our day on a different journey by getting a bead from a toy stuck up his nose! We had to make a dash to the local gp and then onto A & E! As I sat in the waiting room with him, I thought about how lucky I am to have this service within 12 minutes of my home. I thought about how I was grateful he wasn’t in any pain and how he could breathe through the other nostril. I chose not to sit in a panicked, fearful state, thinking of all the worst case scenario’s (which I would have previously,) but instead in a calm, grateful mindset. I asked where I could get some water and a nurse went out of his way to buy me one from the canteen! I sat there thinking how lucky we were, while other patients were shouting at staff and complaining about the wait. Guess what, our patience and gratitude paid off as we were seen after about an hour (which is super fast compared to previous visits). The GP’s original plan for anesthetists etc, were all avoided when another Dr said, “lets try this first” and managed to coax my three year old to breathe out as hard as possible and dislodge the object himself! I was grateful and relieved, the two Dr’s also told me they were grateful for a good news story from their shift with very little intervention needed!
So why am I sharing all that? Well because we always have two choices. One is to panic, shout, fear, complain. Focus on all the doom and gloom and worst case scenario’s. Or we can choose to trust, to stay calm, avoid negativity and focus on what you can do in this current moment right now. What can you do that will make you feel great? Can you turn up some music and dance around your kitchen? Will you feel silly? Maybe, but will it lift your mood? DEFINITELY! Can you go for a walk? Can you take some time to sit and read a book or start a project that you have always wanted to do? Let’s use this time as an opportunity. Find things to be grateful for in your life today and I promise you, your life will change.
Your photos will be one the most important things you get to keep for memories throughout your life, they will be available for future generations and they will capture the special moments of your day forever.
We’ve had cases where we captured a photograph and it later turned out to be the last photograph of that person. It is often that moment when people realise the true value of a photograph. It then becomes absolutely priceless. This is just an example of why capturing as much of your special day as possible is important. With that said, we list a few quick tips on why this is better achieved with a team instead of a single photographer.
A team can be in multiple places at once
It is standard now to capture both bride and groom pre-ceremony and often this happens at different locations. A team can split up and cover the different events of the morning. This also applies to the most important part of the ceremony as the bride walks up the aisle or venue. One photographer can be at the front while another one can be at the back. This ensures that the reaction of both partners is captured in the photos, as well as the reaction from the guests.
Each photographer has their own personality / style that is reflected in their photos. By having multiple photographers you will get photos that vary in perspective and style while still blending the story of your day. One photographer might be more into the small details, another photographer might specialize in capturing people’s expressions throughout the day, another photographer might be really good at aerial photography. You will have more variety to choose from for your album.
An obvious advantage is that you will get more photos to choose from than if you choose a single photographer as they are covering more ground. That goes hand in hand with the fact that you will also have more special moments of the day. Multiple photographers can cover different parts of the reception simultaneously and they can capture the first dance from different locations and angles for example.
A team can also save you time throughout the day and make sure things are running smoothly and on schedule. While one photographer is shooting, another one can be fixing the poses, the dresses or arranging other details. One photographer can get to a next location ahead of the bridal party and be ready ahead of time, while another photographer finishes the previous location. There are several instances throughout the day, where the team can split up to save precious time.
If you choose a team that has both genders (husband/wife) or (man/woman) you also get a slightly different perspective to your photos. Women and men look at the wedding day from slightly different viewpoints. A female might better understand the brides concerns during pre-ceremony and try to capture those special moments and often help with details of makeup, dresses and heirlooms and so on.
A male might better blend in with the boys throughout the day and put them more at ease to capture funny and special moments. We are not implying this is always the case and that if the situation were reversed they can’t do a fantastic job for the day! We’re just saying that traditionally this set up puts everyone more at ease!
When planning a wedding on a budget it’s sometimes difficult to decide where to ‘save’.
Should it be the florist, the venue, or the photographers? Keep in mind the wedding lasts one day (in most cultures) and the venue, the music, the flowers will become a memory, but your photos will be all you have left to remember all those details and that can capture the love and joy of your special day. Not just for now, but for future generations to see also.
Wedding dress shopping is one of the most important things on a bride’s To Do List.
It can also come with a certain amount of stress if a bride is not sure where to start of what kind of dress would look best for her body shape.
This is a very simplistic, general guideline of the main body types and some choices of dresses that would best suit each particular body type.
Rectangle Body Shape
The body is well balanced at top and bottom and is fairly straight with a well defined waist.
In this case you want to enhance your arms and legs equally; add definition to both bottom and top body.
A-line dresses work well, ruffled, sleeveless, strapless and sweetheart lines all work well.
Triangle Body Shape (commonly referred to as Pear Shape)
The body has narrow shoulder and wider hips;
Especially the butt and thigh areas which are visually bigger. You want to enhance the top body to create balance.
A-line dresses also work well for this body type.
Dresses with more details at the top work well (whether it’s ruffles or V-necklines).
Avoid skin fitting tops / loose bottom dresses.
Hourglass Body Shape
The body is equally proportioned at top and bottom with a well defined waistline.
All types of dresses will look on this body shape, but anything that accentuates the waist or just a bit below the waist works the best. Body hugging dresses look good for this body type as well.
Inverted Triangle Body Shape
The body has broader shoulders than hips and is sometimes compared to an athletic body shape.
In this case you want to enhance your hips and bottom body to create balance. Keep the top of dress simple and minimal and let all the details (ruffles, layers, accents,etc) be part of the bottom.
The old trick of the deep V-necklines also helps to elongate the top body and give the illusion of narrower shoulders.
Round Body Shape (commonly referred to as Apple Shape)
You have a heavier upper body, broad shoulders, bigger bust and heavier at midriff with a minimal waistline. Since the weight concentration is above the hips, you want to highlight your legs and bottom for balance.
Deep V-necklines work well to elongate torso and give the illusion of narrower shoulders.
A-line dresses and Empire waist dresses are your best look.
Any dress with a higher sitting waist will work well. Long sleeves and ¾ sleeves also work for the top.
Avoid figure hugging dresses (like the mermaid style dresses for example).
After many years of photographing weddings, we have heard hundreds of best man speeches.
We have heard everything from one liners, to 30 minute long speeches, to hilarious speeches to embarrassing speeches and everything else in between.
Here are some quick tips on things to avoid or do, based on the thousands of guest reactions we’ve experienced over the years. Don’t make your speech very long. 5 minutes is a good average, 8 minutes gives you plenty of time to talk about memories and life stories if that is your aim, anything longer than that and you risk boring your audience.
One or two good, interesting, or funny stories should be enough.
Watch your language.
Remember there are a few generations sitting in the audience, and the generation gap (in
terms of language) has never been wider. It should be common sense to avoid curse words or other derogatory or offensive words, that although might be the norm among the guys, would offend some in the audience. Also remember that sometimes the priest / celebrant, is also part of the audience.
Don’t bury the groom – or the bride, or you might run the risk of losing that friendship forever! It’s perfectly fine to go for humour and tell funny stories about the groom, but be careful with the level of embarrassment you choose.
Remember that the groom is not well known to one part of the audience, you don’t want to leave them with the wrong impression of the groom. Try to stay clear of making jokes about the bride – it’s just safer for your own health!!
Another common sense point is, please don’t bring up the Ex in your speech!
Surprisingly, we’ve heard it a few times and it usually doesn’t end well.
This is the couple’s special day, it should be about them and some things are just better off in the past where they belong.
Even if you’re happy things didn’t work out with the ex and can make great jokes about it, we advise you to resist the temptation.
Don’t just read your speech because you’re nervous or just want to get through it quickly.
And whatever you do, don’t copy your speech from the Internet!
Doing all these things doesn’t show much appreciation or thought for the bridal couple and your relationship with them.
It’s understandable and normal that you might be feeling nervous, but if you just take a few deep breaths and just be yourself, it will show.
You don’t need to race through the speech, you can read it at your own pace by taking tiny breaks and looking around the audience and the bridal couple.
Eye contact and even adding your own humour in between sentences goes a long way. And if you want to break the ice, you can always start by being honest and funny and saying something like “I’m absolutely an awesome best man, but not exactly great at speeches…”
Keep the best for last.
If you want your speech to be memorable and make an impression, keep something amazing
for the end. Whether you end with a joke for laughter, or whether you end with a poem for tears, just make the ending special and make eye contact with the bridal couple as you do it. And if you want to make it extra special, toast not only the bridal couple but also their parents. This will touch their hearts and show that your thoughtfulness.
And last, and probably the most important advice we can give is, don’t drink too much alcohol before giving your speech!!!
We’re sure you can see the wisdom in that…
“When you have a ‘solution thinking mindset’ and choose to focus 80% of your thoughts / words on solutions – you will not only be heading more speedily to long-term success, but you will immediately feel better in the moment.” Karen Salmansohn
For those of you who don’t know who Karen is, she is the best-selling author of Be Happy Dammit, among many other books. I thought her quote was appropriate for the theme of this short blog: solutions and mindset.
By now everyone has a story to tell about the state of the world and their own experience within it. Within our own diversity as human beings everyone has approached it in different ways; some people have chosen to dwell in misery and continue to hold on tight to the drama that is splashed all over the media, others have accepted the facts and started looking towards the future and finding options and solutions.
I personally have chosen to surround myself with positive things, people and situations. I’m not ignoring the situation and hiding under a blanket. I am simply looking for the silver lining in the positives in my life instead of dwelling on the negatives, or on what’s broken. In reality we’re all facing similar things, but it is our mindset that makes all the difference.
Let’s make this article more specific to the thousands of brides who had to cancel their weddings. Or did they? I’ve been following brides from around the world, who find themselves in the same situation, and was pleasantly surprised to see how some of them handled the situation and came up with different solutions for their story.
Of course these ideas will not work for everyone, based on several circumstances, but it is just to give you a glimpse of possibilities; where couples chose not to dwell on what IS, but chose to get excited about what WILL BE.
For some couples keeping the original date of their wedding was important, and they didn’t mind giving up the reception part. I’ve seen couples who held a wedding celebration with just themselves (bride and groom) and the celebrant in their own backyard that was beautifully decorated. They had a beautiful cake, toast and flowers. They chose to hold a reception and renew their vows on their 1st wedding anniversary.
I’ve seen couples getting married in the church, only themselves and the parents were present (and distanced appropriately as per the rules in place at the moment). They chose to say their vows now and hold the celebration next year.
I’ve seen couples getting married in the Registrar’s office, or City Hall, depending on what country you live in. Only the couple and witnesses were present, at appropriate distances of course. They chose not to do the church wedding and hold a celebration next year for their anniversary.
I’ve seen couples get their family and friends together to get enough chairs to hold a wedding / small reception on a farm, out in the open, where everyone could sit a bit further away from each other. They chose to have only family present in order to be able to hold the wedding. Everyone chipped in with flowers, chairs, decorations…definitely a tale for their story book.
I’ve seen many couples who just accepted the current situation as a fact and made a decision to postpone their wedding until next year because for them it’s still important to have the wedding as originally planned with all their loved ones present. But what I have seen is a lot of them getting excited about the chance to ‘revise’. Many of them now have a chance to review and change any part they were not completely happy with, like the venue. Others have decided to make their wedding next year ‘bigger and better’ to make up for the delay.
Some couples chose to do a celebration of the original date of their wedding, whether it’s just a toast in the garden, or a movie and pizza night and do a video to send to their family and guests with the invite for the new date next year. Some couples have done some really cool photo / video montage of their story to send out as the new ‘wedding invitation’ for next year.
Not all these ideas work for everybody as everybody’s situation is different and so is the mindset. This is just something small to give all our brides a burst of positivity and some excitement about what WILL BE. Fall in love with your wedding plans again, it is not so much about WHEN you will get married, but more about WHAT do you want that day to represent? You have a chance to review what is really important for you, who do you really want to share it with, what can you do to make it extra special?
We will be bringing you some trends from around the world soon to help you feel that excitement once again…
Since we shot our last wedding on the 14th March 2020, I, (like many others) have been dealing with a rollercoaster of emotions.
I have learnt so much from the last month and feel that I have really grown as a human being (and not just physically with all the extra food I’m snacking on!).
We have been chatting to lots of brides and one mentioned that I had changed her perspective from “heartbroken” to “excited again”.
Just think about that for a moment, from “heartbroken” to “excited” completely opposite emotions.
I then went onto have a business call with a group of business owners and I mentioned in conversation, how I had switched someone’s perspective and it made everyone stop. It was almost a mic drop moment. They felt that my words had potentially changed that woman’s life in a great way and I hadn’t thought of it. They asked how the rest of her day would have continued with her fiancee? Her family? Her friends? To go from upset and heartbreak to being excited again just by reading a heartfelt message that I had sent to her. How would her next phone call go? Instead of tears it would be “but we can do that now instead, we have more time to save for this etc….!”
For me its all about perspective, it is about seeing things from a different point of view. Life has always been that way for me. I studied “To kill a mockingbird” in school and recently again during this lockdown with my 8 year old. I explained to him a quote that has stuck with me ever since. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.. until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.
I think by nature we often become so focused on our own problems that we don’t see others. Not because we are selfish, or careless but because it doesn’t necessarily affect us.
I have noticed online in various wedding groups and heard lots and lots of couples using words like “devastated”…. “heartbroken” …..“torn”. I began to feel that I was missing something, or maybe they were (un-intentionally of course!). Those words are associated with grief and death, which I could relate to the virus. But I wouldn’t associate them with rescheduling a wedding.
Why? Well, we aren’t talking about cancelling a wedding which is associated with loss and grief when a relationship dissolves. We are talking about postponing. Simply moving the celebration to a later date. This is a chance to breathe. We are always so busy with life and planning a wedding is even more hectic than the everyday stress. Now you have an opportunity to literally just breathe! Have fun together, go for walks (within 2k!), learn more about each other than you ever knew before.
This unprecedented time is like an intense pre marriage course! You are with your spouse 24/7. This time will help you to adjust, to give each other space, even if you can’t physically! You will learn to share jobs at home that you never had to do before. You will learn how to come up with solutions to keep each other sane! 🙂
If you are already parents, you will have a whole other range of challenges and learning opportunities thrown into the mix! 🙂 All the parents reading this are currently saying “HELL YEAH!” 🙂
This time together is incredible. This pause is giving you the opportunity to focus on what you REALLY WANT, without all of the daily distractions and pressures that are normally happening while trying to plan a wedding. You can give it your complete attention now, or very little if you choose to take a break from the planning! Both are perfectly ok, you choose what works for you!
For me instead of focusing on the fact that I don’t know when we will get to shoot a wedding again. (Just to clarify this is our livelihood. Like many other suppliers, to potentially loose all our weddings this year is not something we can brush off lightly). I am looking at all the opportunities this last month has given me and I am incredibly grateful for that.
Instead of feeling sad every time I get an email with someone changing their wedding date, I am feeling happy that they are now stress free. They can now look forward to their wedding instead of being scared on the lead up to it.
Every morning I start with a coffee and my notebook and list 10 things that I am grateful for. This may sound completely crazy, (or pointless) I know, I thought so too when I was first asked to try it! But what have you got to loose? Try it and see how it makes you feel, how it switches your PERSPECTIVE on things.
How you start to realise how incredibly lucky you really are! You have your health and you are safe. In the world we are living in right now that is worth celebrating.
So lets switch our perspective and see how it makes you feel.
Instead of stressing over how I am going to make ends meet, I am grateful for the amazing amount of focused quality time with my children. I am learning about them, watching them grow, teaching them daily life skills as well as the home schooling! I have got to know them both better which seems crazy, but we now have much more time to sit and talk. It isn’t rushed or interrupted by me looking at the screen editing/emailing/designing while agreeing and nodding to them. (I know, great parenting! As I said at the beginning I have learnt a lot!).
I have also learnt how much I genuinely love my career and I can’t wait to return to telling people’s stories. I really miss it!
I miss creating, but now I am capturing my own story and my children’s story, for their futures.
Today I am grateful for the gorgeous sunrise and another opportunity to work in my garden. I am grateful for my family and friends health, my morning coffee, my husband, as we are continuing to work great as a team keeping everyone upbeat. The roof over our heads, the chats I will have with friends, the books I now have time to read, the memories I am getting the opportunity to create.
I am grateful for you, if you took the time to read the longest post I have ever written! I hope it helps!
Booking a photographer is a pretty big deal! You don’t want to spend your day with just anyone. This is the one supplier that you will spend time with before the wedding (planning, prepping, having a pre shoot etc). You may spend up to 12 hours with your photographer on your wedding day (depending on your choice of coverage). They will also be one of the only suppliers that you are in contact with after the wedding as the album design process begins. So it is really important to make sure that you feel a good connection and that you can work together well.
So here is a little insight and 5 things you probably don’t know about me.
1: Coffee addict
I enjoy my morning brew so much that I get up at 5am to sit and enjoy it in complete peace lol. I also find I’m incredibly productive at that time so coffee in hand I can take over the world lol.
2: I am a workaholic.
I love what I do so I think about work related things constantly! Working with my husband Dave, I often burst into conversation about an idea for a shot (often over breakfast when he has only just taken his first sip of coffee and has to tone down my enthusiasm), at least until he has woken up properly! 🙂 I am the complete dreamer he is the realist 🙂 It works pretty well to bring me back to earth when needed!!!!
I was actually working in the recent picture of me here, on the balcony of our holiday apartment at 5am before everyone woke! Can you also spot the coffee! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Because I have so many ideas, (the crazy artist in me!) I have learnt to always carry a notebook so I can scribble them down. It saves getting back to the office and not having a clue what that amazing brainwave was!!! 🙂 Anyone else super forgetful?
3: I am a super proud mother.
I always wanted to be a mum and our oldest arrived in an incredibly dramatic way (not the way I had imagined!) and it was quite traumatic but that’s a whole other story!
Now he is still dramatic lol but he literally makes every single day so much fun. He fills our home with laughter, mess and noise (his younger brother helps with that too!) but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
We were blessed with our second son two years ago. He had a much calmer entrance to the world (2 paracetamols and the job was done lol) and he is generally pretty laid back. He adores his big brother and is like his shadow copying everything he does. They literally make my heart smile and I realize how lucky I am every single day to have them in my life.
4: I love the sea
I was born in the city but the sea is my happy place, I love the sound of the waves, the smell of the seaweed, the vastness of nothing but sea ahead. I love to walk by the sea, play with the boys there and I feel refreshed and renewed by the sea air!
5: I love quotes
I even have a tattoo of one and it includes reference to the sea!!! 🙂
So that’s enough about me! Want to join me for a coffee to chat about you? 🙂
This week I was asked if as a “Scorpio” I am a private person, my reply was, “maybe, sometimes”. The person asking me laughed and said well even your reply is somewhat private. I was unaware how private I actually am until I started to think about it! 🙂 It also made me realise that there is an awful lot that goes on (in all of our lives) that many others are not even aware of. So for the day that is in it, I want to make public what I am extremely thankful for….
I am thankful for my family. Life would not be the same without them. Our two boys have brought us the most amazing happiness and I will always feel extremely blessed that they made it into our lives and this world.
I am thankful for my mum who puts up with all of our chaos even though I am now 35 LOL.
I am thankful for my friends. The one’s who probably don’t even realise how much I love and respect them, but I know and that’s all that matters 🙂
Hugs, but they have to be more than 20 seconds long! There is scientific research to show the health benefits.
Our (work in progress) home. It is full of love, provides warmth, shelter and a place for the kids to play. As we face into the cold weather (and as homelessness is a topic that fires us up as a family), I am thankful that we are able to have these “basics”.
The smell of coffee brewing, it is a simple thing but it makes me feel good!
My career. I work hard and long unsociable hours, but it is at something that I enjoy. I am lucky to have the opportunity to do that. I couldn’t be in a 9 to 5, I would go completely insane!!!
Being able to work with my husband (even though sometimes I want to strangle him LOL!). But we make a great team and we keep each other on our toes with our competitive natures!
My health and the wake up calls it gives me when I need to slow down! (I do listen (most of the time!) I promise!).
Random acts of kindness. They are the best!
A heartfelt thank you note. If someone takes the time to write, it really brightens my day!
I am thankful for LOVE, for without it what would there be? I wouldn’t have a family, a career, or a story to tell! 🙂
From birthday’s to friends’ weddings, we’ve all been in front of camera at some point or another and if you’ve recently looked at a photo with disdain then this post’s for you.
If you know that you’re going to have a lens pointed in your direction in the near future, below are six simple ways to get better results.
Get to Know Your Face.
This applies to professional photoshoots as well as every day photos. Take time getting to know your face, how to smile naturally and which side or angle of your face you like better.
Easy on the makeup.
While an evening out is a different story when it comes to makeup, if you’re having headshots, family or maternity photos taken, go easy on the makeup. You want some basic coverage but don’t overdo it. You should also only stick to accentuating one part of your face so choose either your eyes or lips but not both.
Facing the camera.
Your photographer will help you when it comes to posing for photos but in general you shouldn’t be facing the camera head on. Positioning your body at an angle always makes for better photos.
Controlling your chin.
Photos where your neck is elongated and your chin is pushed slightly forward will lift your face and give it a more angular look. You might want to practice this beforehand in order to get used to it.
Pick your outfit carefully.
Put some thought into what you’ll wear to your shoot. Pair bold designs and patterns with solid colors to avoid too much distraction. You should also pay attention to the fit and shape of your outfit. Make sure it compliments you and that you feel comfortable.
This is something that your professional photographer will be an expert at but the right lighting can mean the difference between that wow factor and disappointment. Avoid standing directly under a light as this will create weird shadows on your face. This is something we will help you out with because we are experts so take our advice when we suggest a specific time for photos. If shooting outdoors, the best light will be 15-20 minues before & after sunset. Unless it’s an overcast day, we will always try to get you in full shade so that the lighting isn’t dappled or causing weird shadows on your face.
As much as the above tips will help you during your professional photoshoot, always remember to have fun and relax as this will do wonders for your photos.
Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.
1. Avoid trends.While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.
2. Be realistic. It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the photo.
3. Size matters. There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa’s farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn’t detract from it.
4. Make it meaningful. If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family.
5. Use what you have. Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing. Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.