Education is incredibly important and our craft is one where we never stop learning. I recently joined a number of other professional photographers at a 'Creative, Business & Wedding Workshop' given by Wellington based wedding photographer, Jason Naylor and the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photographers (NZIPP).
While I do not shoot weddings full time, I do enjoy working as a second shooter for other photographers, so it was another excellent opportunity to upskill from one of the best in the country.
Weddings are all about people and portraiture is my 'go-to' genre so I knew it would be valuable for me. Jason took us through the entire process of how he handles a wedding - from communication with the bride and groom; preparing for the wedding and scouting locations - if the bride hasn't already told him what she wants; camera equipment he uses (which is minimal); positions and angles to shoot from within the Church or other venues, through to posing the couple/bridal party; workig with the light and finally through an editing workflow.
Not every photographer can share their knowledge but Jason was probably 'the' best I've heard in sharing his craft and knowledge, being patient enough to tolerate all the questions and explain how and what he does, and often why.
Of course we had a 'stand-in' couple to play the bride and groom - Zoe and Junior - who have actually been married just four years. A beautiful couple who were naturals in front of not just one, but nearly 30 cameras, who exuded as much love on our day as they probably did four years ago. And to top it off, we learned as they departed, they are the parents of two sets of twins!! Amazing. Check out 'Blessed in Doubles' and read about their amazing family.
Being able to photograph them throughout the workshop was fabulous and I think I was able to capture the mood and feel between the bridge and groom.
I'm looking forward to second shooting a few more weddings this coming season.
When you choose to Christen your baby it can be a very emotional time - will your baby be good; will your baby scream through the service; choosing Godparents and much more?
These days too when a baby is Christened your baby is not alone, but usually Christened among any number of other babies, of all ages and ethnicity.
While photographing a Christening service would be nice, in reality, because of the constraints of time and numbers it is much easier to do some follow-up photographs after the event.
As was the case recently when young Arie - who lives in Hong Kong - but was home for a family holiday and his Christening.
So his Mum, his aunt and young cousin Jasper popped into the studio for a very quick session so the family could have some keepsakes of Arie in his beautiful antique Christening gown.
And we managed to persuade camera shy Jasper to jump in for some cuddles and photographs with Arie too.
Don't forget the importance of recording your special family celebrations and occasions.
Stand in line in any mall where Santa waits to meet the little ones and you can bet there’ll be more than one child screaming.
This melt down is nothing more than stranger anxiety – which all kids go through at some stage in their life.
But Santa is not only a stranger, he’s dressed up in a big red suit, with a long white, curly beard and speaks in a deep voice – no wonder the kids are scared to death of him.
Some parents will queue for up to an hour, but as soon as they approach Santa to put their little one on his lap – often this is the moment of truth for them, as they are so frightened and have no time to get comfortable with this new found human being!
So what’s a Mum to do in a situation like this?
Experts say you can try to gently coax your child towards Santa and ask if they want to sit on his lap and speak to him.
But if that proves a no-go, then the next best thing is to introduce them to Santa via picture books and other static displays in shop windows.
Recently I took my granddaughter to meet Santa at St Luke’s Shopping Centre. We’d talked about him all morning. We even stood in line and she seemed happy as she looked at him and the other kids sitting on his knee.
But once it was our turn to sit beside him, she didn’t want a bar of him, and she clung to me like a magnet.
So back home in the studio I remembered our own ‘little’ household Santa who was much more her size.
And we met him in the safety and comfort that she was used to. Being able to gave into his eyes, touch his beard, he was someone she could relate to and talk to.
She even showed him what she wanted for Christmas!!
Just goes to show a ‘live’ Santa experience is not the ‘be-all and end-all’ to enjoy a magical Christmas.
There’s always next year to try again.