- Tell me about your photographic ‘style’, Tom.
Ok then. This is tough, without using cliched words such as ‘photojournalistic’. Your wedding is really a big party; you prepare, get dressed, partake in some form of ceremony, have a big meal, then hit the dance floor. I photograph each wedding with a certain objective in mind – that of telling a story of that particular wedding through my photos. I love the idea that someone can open a wedding album and feel that they were in fact at that wedding, start to finish, just by looking at the photos. A bride recently told me that every time she looked at my photos from her wedding her eyes became teary and she actually felt the excitement and emotion she had felt on the day of the wedding. This is the best compliment I have ever received, and it is what I strive to achieve at every wedding I shoot. Weddings can get quite emotional, and I always have my eye out for that special moment to capture – a tear on the bride’s cheek, the look on a groom’s face when he sees his bride in her dress for the first time. So I guess you could say I’m a photographic storyteller.
- How much experience do you have?
I’ve now been a photographer in some form or other for around seven years. I’ve photographed everything from weddings and christenings to Hindu burial ceremonials in Nepal. I’ve even had the amazing opportunity of photographing Mount Everest herself.
- Where are you based, Tom?
I’m a bit of a nomad – I love to travel. My studio is in Wollongong, but I also I shoot lots of weddings in the Southern Highlands and Sydney. Most of my clients come from somewhere around these areas, but I love seeing new places and meeting new people so I’ll photograph a wedding anywhere – simple. My mobile studio (aka laptop) travels with me wherever I go.
- How many shots do you normally take at a wedding, and what will I receive afterwards?
Every wedding is different in this regard, but at the moment I’m providing my clients with around 600 edited, high-resolution shots from their wedding.
- Can I print my photos? Do I have the rights to do whatever I want with them?
You can do whatever you like with the images I give you – while legally the copyright stays with me as the photographer, you can print until your heart is content without consulting me first. Each of my packages includes the high-resolution files on USB. I don’t watermark or otherwise alter my images either (I think it just looks ugly).
- Do you shoot with an assistant / second shooter?
I don’t use an assistant. I don’t use any complex lighting setups (just a few off-camera strobes sometimes) and certainly nothing I can’t set up on my own. I don’t need anyone to carry my bags and to be honest I’m large enough as it is; I don’t need someone else trailing me, making me stand out more than I already do
I don’t bring a second shooter by default but I’m happy to do so if you like. Get in touch for more details!
- Can you make us an album?
I’d love to make you an album. I use two incredible studios to build my albums; Asuka Book from Sydney, and Jorgensen from Perth. I offer an album for every budget – from the economical to the super extravagant and super beautiful. I can show you samples from each studio.
- Will you tell us what to do at the wedding? ‘cos that can get kinda annoying.
Yes and no. My answer used to be a big ‘NO’, then I realised that most of my clients (yes, most) haven’t been in front of a wedding photographer before, and aren’t exactly sure what to ‘do’. Fair enough!
What I won’t do is spend the day dominating and being pedantic about where your hands are, the angle of your neck, how big your smile is. I’ll NEVER tell you to smile, NEVER EVER EVER. I promise. I won’t need to, because……
What I WILL do is put you and your new husband/wife in different situations/scenarios where you can’t help but laugh, smile, and melt into each other, giving me ample opportunity to take wonderful photos of you. I won’t need to tell you to smile, because you’ll already be smiling. The happiness you see in my photos is real, and those smiles are totally for real
- When will you arrive on the big day to start shooting?
Whenever you like. My preference is to cover pretty much the entire day. You wouldn’t go to the theatre to watch a play from half way through, would you? (those of you who do this – please disregard this question). Similarly, I’d prefer to start when you start and finish when you finish.
- How long will you stay at the wedding for?
As long as you want – and generally almost until the end (depending on how many hours you book me for). When at a wedding I often get the feeling that I’m part of something that is somehow alive; like the event that I’m photographing pulses and breathes and has a unique character and personality. I don’t want to leave early!.
- Tom, do you have many leather-bound books?
Yes, and my office smells of rich mahogany
- Cats or dogs?
Well I love them both but I have three cats and no dogs… so I guess there’s your answer
- What kind of music do you dig?
My tastes are pretty eclectic. My wife calls me a ‘white gangsta’. I love reggae, dub, dancehall, hip-hop and rap (RIP Biggie Smalls). I also love world music, jazz, blues, salsa, and Indian electronica.
I have somehow developed a hatred for popular tunes such as I’m sexy and I know it, Thrift Shop, any new stuff by the Black Eyed Peas, and that genre of music. I’m sorry. I hear it at every wedding. I can see how it is great to dance to though.
- You’ll get hungry, taking all those photos at my wedding, I imagine. Want us to provide a meal for you?
How considerate of you! That would be lovely. I can camp out in another room to eat or you can put me on a table with your guests (I’m quite sociable and I love meeting new people).
- My wedding is in [insert faraway land], and the only transport to and from is by plane and then camel. Are you willing to travel?
YES! I can’t stress this enough. I love to travel, and I am always keen to add foreign weddings to my portfolio. I’ll travel anywhere in the country, or the world, or the galaxy to photograph a wedding. Getting married on the moon? Sweet! Of course, extra fees, such as travel, accommodation, and oxygen mask may (and probably do) apply.
- Have you ever ridden a camel, Tom?
Actually, yes I have, in India. He was quite…. pungent. His name was Ahmed.
- Did you really go to India to shoot a wedding?
Yep. Pretty awesome hey. Oct / Nov 2011. On the list for 2012 are three weddings in Vanuatu, one in Scotland, England, and then Croatia in 2014! plus heaps of Aussie weddings.
- We’d like to book you! What do we do now?
Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can check my availability. Feel free to give me a call at any stage too.