Affordable, creative, professional wedding photography in Sydney?

For years I have believed the title of this post was an oxymoron.  Yes in Sydney there are many creative, brilliant and very professional wedding photographers but none you would say are really cheap and affordable.  As they say “you get what you pay for”.

To be honest I believe the ‘bottom end’ or cheap or affordable wedding photography service has meant couples were often confronted with unprofessional, non creative and unreliable wedding photographers.

Today proudly I announce to Sydney that there is a real alternative in the wedding photography industry.  VFM Photographers’ is a totally new and exciting concept offering couples access to some of Sydney’s top wedding photographers for only a fraction of the cost.

It took a long time for me to establish VFM because I had one problem that I needed to solve. The problem is how does an affordable wedding photography company attract top, creative, professional and experienced photographers?

Top photographers wouldn’t want to book an affordable wedding for another company ahead of time because they know it is likely they will book a wedding for themselves and hence make more money.

Now I have come up with a solution. This solution is kind of like ‘last minute.com’ or ‘wotif.com’ for photographers. When you book your wedding with VFM your wedding date is secured no matter how long away your wedding date is. VFM will allocate one of our top class photographers from our roster two weeks before your wedding date.  This is the reason why VFM can attract professional and experienced wedding photographers.  

VFM is able to offer an affordable wedding photography service because you will not meet your wedding photographer before your wedding date but you will be guaranteed to have a very experienced, professional and creative wedding photographer (for the price of a budget and average wedding photographer).

 

VFM Photographers Mission

To offer creative wedding photographs captured by professional and experienced photographers for an affordable price.

Give every wedding couple access to beautiful and creative wedding images even if they are on a very tight budget.

 

View VFM Photographers website


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Parking concerns for St Patricks Estate Manly – the Cardinal Cerretti Chapel

 

I regularly meet with a number of wedding photographers in Sydney. For many years we have looked at each other not as competitors but colleagues and support. By sharing knowledge, ideas and sometimes techniques we believe we all benefit.

One such meeting, we were talking about the Cerretti Chapel in Manly. If you have ever been to Manly you would have seen this church; sitting high above Manly on the hill in all it’s grandeur.

Two of the photographers mentioned that they had just recently (in the last two weeks) photographed a wedding at this church and parking had been a huge issue.

Parking has always been supplied to wedding guests & suppliers across the road in the school yard. Both photographers shared that now parking wasn’t supplied and said that wedding couples were asked to pay extra for this service.

The photographers thought that as this has just been introduced (free parking had always been supplied) that perhaps the couples didn’t know or it was too late to budget for it.

For whatever reason parking wasn’t supplied and guests had no where to park. If you have ever tried parking up that end of Darley Road in Manly you will know how hard parking can be, especially with Manly hospital being right across the road.

Both photographers mentioned that out of concern that they were going to miss the ceremony, they drove into the grounds of the church but were sent away. They were told “no parking is allowed on the grounds for any quest or wedding supplier”.

I have decided not to place my own opinion on this new policy especially as I do not know if it is the school or church that has brought it in.

However I do feel it is important to let wedding couples know about the new parking policy, as like me I would have assumed free parking was provided just like all the years before.

 

St Patricks Estate in Manly

 

 


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Sydney Weddings and the Weather Considerations

 

Do you want to know something that many photographers around the world have discovered?  This phenomenon proves to me that the number one concern for most bride & grooms is the weather they will experience on their wedding day.

 

What is this truth that I write of?  On any day of the week (even within the busy wedding season) if it is raining outside then our phone will not ring.  I have even noticed that we will not receive emails from wedding couples who live in Sydney when it rains.  It is as if couples don’t want to even think about their wedding plans on a rainy day. 

 

So with that realisation shared, here is some information to consider in the planning of your wedding day in regards to the weather.

 

Tides

Having a beach wedding ceremony on the sand?  Then check when the tides are due to come in.  Sydney Tide Times 

 

Sydney Tides at Weddings

 

Light

Unless you are living in Norway during the middle of summer and can enjoy the benefits of the midnight sun, fading light will be an issue for you and your photography.  You can check the sunrise and sunset months before your wedding day and thus can book your wedding ceremony & reception based on these times.  Sydney Sunset & Sunrise Times  

 

Photographic useable light is different than sunset.  The last 10-15 min before sunset is usually very dark, however I have used this light at times for some moody, creative ‘end of the wedding day’ type photographs.

 

Sunset Photographs Sydney Weddings

 

Wind & Rain

Your best defence is to be thinking of wet weather alternatives at the time of booking your ceremony and reception.  Hoping the weather will be ok is not a plan and denial is not a strategy.  It isn’t a bad idea to start your search for photographers at the same time as ceremony & reception venues, as they can be a wealth of information on wet weather locations and strategies for bad weather.  If they don’t help with this kind of information then it will quickly help you work out the better photographers to book.

 

Once you have planned for any weather conditions, five days before your wedding you can start to check the weather forecast.  Don’t do it any earlier as you are only going to drive yourself crazy and the information is not going to be accurate (be kind to yourself). Sydney Forecast 

 

If the forecast predicts rain then contact your photographer and venues if you need to discuss those wet weather strategies.  With the rain can come a change of light and often really moody cloud cover, which I see as an opportunity to get some really creative photographs.  Having a number of large golf umbrellas on hand is a really good idea.  Black ones help with the moody shots and the all white ones (though really hard to find) are great for keeping the rain off but allowing some light through onto the face.  Be careful that the umbrellas selected does not have any company logo’s or writing on them – as they will show in your photographs.

 

Rain Wedding Photographs Sydney

 

May the sunlight warm your face, the wind be blowing gently and there be no mention of rain on your wedding day.  Have a wonderful day!


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Finding A Good Wedding Reception Venue

On Friday, I travelled north along the Northern Beaches Peninsular to photograph a wedding at Whale Beach.  The reception was at Moby’s Beach House, which is one of my favourite wedding venues.  Yes the venue has an amazing view of Whale Beach and yes the food is exceptional but the service is what I love the most about Moby’s.

 

After each wedding, many bride and grooms will often share details with me about their wedding.  What they loved, the highlights and even anything about their wedding that they were disappointed in.

 

On the drive home from photographing Friday’s wedding, I started thinking about how I have never heard any bad reports about Moby’s – only flourishing and glowing testimonies.

 

To be honest, I am not surprised.  The reason is I have long since believed that a way to tell how a wedding couple will be treated by the venue’s staff and mangers can be gadged by how the ‘hired hands’ are treated.  By ‘hired hands’ I mean the photographers, videographers, musicians and DJ etc. 

 

Moby’s staff, owners and managers have always treated me as the photographer with courtesy and respect therefore I am not surprised that they would be even more supportive and caring of their wedding couples and guests.

 

The best tip I can offer any couple in deciding which wedding reception venue to book is to ask the ‘hired hands’ on their experiences of the possible venues.  You may be surprised on what information you will find out.

 


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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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