Elope From Sweden to Get Married In Sydney?

Meet Johan and Frida who on the weekend got married in the Sydney Botanic Gardens and had their photographs taken around the Sydney Opera House.

Johan and Frida only had five people attend their wedding serivce; themselves, the Minister, two witnesses the Minister brought along and me (the photographer).  You see Johan and Frida eloped to Sydney to get married, all the way from Sweden.

Sydney must be a ‘Go To Destination’ for weddings lately because VFM Photographers have been photographing many couples who have eloped to Sydney from Sweden, Norway, Japan and China.

On behalf of all of us here at VFM Photographers, I wish to congratulate Johan and Frida and wish them the very best for their future together.

Here are a couple of my favourite images (thank you Johan and Frida for allowing me to share them).

Family Members Behaving Badly at Weddings

I can still recall many years ago, one of my very first weddings as a photographer.  The bride and groom were excited to have me photograph their wedding however they neglected to share that the bride’s mother was not.


Actually it wasn’t until their wedding day that the couple revelled their fears to me.  Apparently the bride’s mother wanted her brother (keen amateur photographer) to photograph the wedding and not a stranger.


Talk about feeling unwanted!  From the moment I arrived, there was no doubt in my mind the mother was unhappy with my presence.  Figuring it was too late to problem solve this with the happy couple, I decided to do my best to avoid any confrontation with the mother.


With five minutes before the bride was due to arrive at the church, I walked outside to find a good vantage spot from where I would photograph the cars as they drove down the road.  In finding my spot I crouched down ready for the cars arrival.  Not long had I squatted did I feel a hard thump on the back of my head.  I span around quickly to find the mother standing behind me yelling “move away, I want to take a photograph from this spot”.


Nursing my head with one hand while holding my camera in the other, I responded relatively calmly “Mrs Robinson that is assault and if you do that again I will have no other option than to call the police after this wedding is over”.


I don’t remember ever hearing or seeing the bride’s mother for the rest of the wedding and the bride and groom never mentioned the incident to me after the wedding.  I assumed the mother realised she was being a bit neurotic and thought it best not to mention the incident to anyone so not to increase the already strained relationship she had with her daughter.


Weddings bring out the very best and the absolute worst behaviour in people.  I think after 17 years of being a wedding photographer, that family are the worst offenders in regards to bad behaviour.


I will write a lot more about dealing with problem family members (and sometimes friends) in future posts.


For now I think you may enjoy a little lighter side of this topic.  This video captures a family celebrating a wedding in Russia.


Enjoy with the knowledge your family is not this bad





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A Winter Wedding in Sydney?

Leaving the city for the country to get married!

Winter is now upon us, which means summer’s harsh light has been replaced with the softest light of the year!!  I believe we are lucky in Sydney, Australia to have so much sunlight in winter.  Just think of poor Norway being cold and dark the whole time in winter.

Softer light in winter is one reason why I would recommend anyone to think about having their wedding in winter (in Sydney and most of Australia).  Softer light is merciful & kind, making it a fantastic light source for wedding photography.

Another reason to consider hosting your wedding in winter is the possible financial savings.  Many suppliers (including myself) offer large discounts for ‘off peak’ weddings.  ‘Off peak’ being weddings held in the winter months and or held Monday through to Thursday.  Friday weddings held outside of winter is still considered by many suppliers to be peak period, as there are so many weddings held on Fridays.

I don’t know……… maybe it is the romantic in me but I love winter weddings.  I remember a winter wedding held on the Southern Highlands (about 2 hours south of Sydney) in the country area.  Picture the guests gathering around the glow of log fires in this gorgeous restored homestead.  Large double glazed windows keeping the warmth in while show casing the roving hills and country side beyond.

Sure this may not be everyone’s dream wedding but if nothing else it is worth considering.

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Caring for your Unframed Photographs

A little ‘add on’ from my post, ‘what to think about when comparing wedding photographers’.   https://weddingplanningtips.wordpress.com/2008/05/14/what-to-think-about-when-comparing-wedding-photographers/


You have received your photographs back from your wedding photographer or you have been given photographs that your friends took on your wedding day – what now??


Of course you would like to protect and care for the professional photographs but I would encourage you to also consider the future well being of all your wedding photographs (even the ones Auntie Bessie lovingly captured).  Often it isn’t until many years later, when viewing damaged, wedding photographs that people regret they didn’t take better care of them.


Here are the golden rules of care for all your treasured wedding photographs……………


Avoid touching the photograph on the image side. Instead hold and pick photographs from the side edges.


Direct sunlight, high humidity, UV light, cleaning products will damage your photographs.


If you have chosen to frame your photographs yourself:


Select a glass that will give the highest protection against UV light. 


Select matting that is acid free (make sure it is not just acid buffed i.e. there is still acid in the inner core). I always use pure ‘rag cotton matting’.  Do not put a photograph straight onto the glass as in years to come you will find that the photograph will have stuck to the glass.


Avoid hanging your frame on a wall that direct sunlight hits. 


Try to hang on an internal wall if possible instead of an external wall.  An internal wall has fewer changes in temperature.


Avoid areas of raising damp or high humidity when hanging your frame.


If you have chosen to place your photographs in an album yourself:


Unfortunately for couples that apart from ‘dry mounting’ albums, (albums that you stick or mount the photographs to the page without matting) most professional albums can only be purchased through a professional photographer.  The reason for this, is album companies don’t want to sell ‘one off albums’ as it takes them a while to teach the buyer to assemble the albums, ready images for the albums and how to place the album order.  Album companies know that once a photographer is up to speed with their process that they will continually order from them, while a wedding couple will most likely only order once.


There are some great dry mount albums out there that are 100% acid free (check out ‘corban & blair’ albums). Be careful as some tapes used for securing photographs to albums will actually harm your photographs so check before using.  Read the album manufacture’s notes before purchasing the album and purchasing the tape.  When attaching your photographs to an album, use a small amount of tape (i.e. do not secure the whole photograph to the page).  This will allow the photograph to contract and expand with temperature changes.


If however you were wanting a more professional album (like a matted, digital or library bound album) then I would strongly suggest you select a photographer that offers these types of albums (please read my notes on what to think about when comparing wedding photographers, as this post has more information about this).


One last thought on albums, if you have your digital negatives then your options just got wider with the new world of ‘coffee table’ albums.  Many of these coffee table album manufactures offer web based software that you can design your own album online and the company will print your album for you (but this a whole other blog topic for another day).


Hoping you enjoy your photographs forever.


Sarhn McArthur

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Plan for Time Out!

Relaxing After the Wedding Ceremony

Today’s weddings are less formal than they have ever been. Though, it is often the case that ‘relaxed’ weddings take just as much planning as formal ones.

No one wishes to experience stress on their wedding day so here is a tip to think about. Organise a basket of refreshments (wine, water & nibbles etc.) to be served to you as soon as you arrive at your photographic location.

Just imagine relaxing while you sip your glass of wine and enjoy the company of your closet friends (i.e. the bridal party). It may only be ten minutes you allocate for this, but in my experience it can be a wonderful de-stressor and a great opportunity for candid photography.

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