How to book your first wedding - Click Magazine {Education for photographers | Auckland weddings photographer}

Im so excited to share with you my new article "9 Smart Ways to Book your First Wedding as a photographer" published in Click Magazine. It such a great feeling to make an input in education for photographers and share everything I know, my heart and soul with not only Auckland weddings photographers, but all over the world.

Enjoy these photography tips and inspiration and let me know if you have any questions!

I also have such amazing news - my big educational project that I've been working on almost one year!!! goes live - "Tales of the Moment: Your Secret Formula for Picture Perfect" at Click Photo School. Check it out if you want to improve your photography, find your sweet spot! I poured all my knowledge, my heart and my soul in it!

How to book your first wedding {Auckland wedding photographer}

Quick key moments {find more tips in the Click Magazine Blog}:

1. Build a wedding photography portfolio.

2. Network with other photographers to find opportunities.

How to book your first wedding {Auckland wedding photographer}

3. Give away an engagement session to get your name out there.

4. Do a styled shoot to build your portfolio and your network.

How to book your first wedding {Auckland wedding photographer}

5. Use social media to strategically reach clients.

6. Blog often to help clients find you through SEO.

How to book your first wedding {Auckland wedding photographer}

7. Be willing to pay for advertising to reach your target market.

8. Gain exposure by submitting images for publication.

9. "My best advice to help you book your first wedding is not to put all your effort into any one channel. Use all types of promotions and keep them going. Consistency is key. As soon as you take a break from your social media, blogging and promotional efforts, you will see a drop in your bookings. Keep working until you book your first wedding and beyond! Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy all those beautiful wedding days."

Hope it helps!

How to book your first wedding {Auckland wedding photographer}

Everyday Moments - Family Time {Auckland lifestyle kids - newborn photographer}

You might know very well my wedding and couples | engagement work, but do you know that I also love to shoot different personal projects and document my everyday moments - family time with my little kids and also had sessions as a newborn - baby - maternity photographer {I totally  have only limited spaces available for these lifestyle sessions, as most of my time dedicated to my wedding clients and family ;) }

I decided to put together a gallery with my everyday moments during last few months, including our Zoo trip, holidays up North and daily routine.

Enjoy this highlights with my little ones!

It was amazing year and I also have such amazing news - my big educational project that I've been working on almost one year!!! goes live - "Tales of the Moment: Your Secret Formula for Picture Perfect" at Click Photo School. Check it out if you want to improve your photography, find your sweet spot! I poured all my knowledge, my heart and my soul in it!

Tawharanui Winter Wedding - Koru House: Christie and Jason {Auckland elopement-engagement photographer}

Im so excited to share with you this Tawharanui Winter Wedding in Koru House {near Matakana} - where Christie & Jason get married surrounded their close friends and family with two little ones, such a beautiful day with cosy atmosphere! The weather was just perfect!

It was a pleasure for me, Auckland photographer, to drive out to country side to shoot this amazing wedding at a short notice {love spontaneous adventurous couples} between winter elopement and engagement photography.

Im so excited to share with you how I shot this wedding, my husband Matt filmed me shooting, and Im so excited to share all me tips and advice to wedding photographers worldwide. Watch me capturing these beautiful, emotional and real moments in my Online Course "Tales of the Moment", get in quick, this photography workshop on a high demand and even been extended till 21 August, then materials go in the Click Store and you can learn it at your own time!

Enjoy this video slideshow and photo highlights in a gallery. {I also excited, one of these photos been featured in LooksLikeFilm, amazing community with top international photographers! Such a honour and an award!

Best of 2017 | 2018 {Auckland wedding photographers}

Its time to reflect and look back at our amazing season when winter is a half way through and say Thank you to our awesome couples for constant love and support, we treasure every moment with you and so glad you choose us to capture so special for you moments.

Enjoy this Best of 2017 | 2018 {from yours L & L - Auckland wedding photographers}. We cant even count amount of epic weddings and engagement photo shoots, publications in prestigious magazines and awards. We been included in many top lists of best wedding photographers worldwide, such a big honour and such a pleasure to make all dreams come true. Thank you our awesome couples for this experience, it is impossible without you!

Can't wait and see what 2018 | 2019 season will bring {we booked up for most popular dates, but there still some chance your date is still available, don't hesitate to contact us}.

It was amazing year and we also have such amazing news - our big educational project that we worked on during one year!!! goes live - "Tales of the Moment: Your Secret Formula for Picture Perfect" BY OLGA LEVIEN with Click Photo School. Check it out if you want to improve your photography, find your sweet spot!

This photo gallery even can't fit all our fantastic engagement and wedding photo shoots!

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20 Top Wedding Photographers by Hongkiat: TOP 12 Wedding Photographer Society 2017; 100 Photographers to Watch in 2018 by Click & Company; Rangefinder Contest Winner, TOP 100 photographers Shoot & Share contest wedding couple category; NZIPP Iris Awards {9 awards}, Top 60 Elopement Blogs; Lemonade & Lenses International Contest Winner, Editor's Choice 2016-2018


Engagement session on Muriwai Beach - Riverhead forest {Auckland pre-wedding photographer}

This engagement session on Muriwai Beach - Riverhead forest {Auckland} with Aishani & Janak was truly breathtaking. Couple wanted to do a pre-wedding session in New Zealand before they come back to UK after few years live in Auckland. It was a last minute call and Im so happy to be their couples photographer.

We spent amazing time walking around the forest and exploring the wild West Coast New Zealand beach with cave, rocks and stunning landscapes. Couple been so brave and adventurous and even walk in the cold water {its a winter here in NZ!}. I always love when couple brings traditions in their wedding | session so it was a great surprise to see their traditional Indian outfits - sari.

Couple shared their love story: "We met at university 10 years ago, were best friends for 3 years until Janak anonymously sent me flowers on Valentines Day. We pretty much immediately went travelling to India, Nepal & Malaysia as a brand new couple for 3 months. It was intense being with each other 24/7 right at the beginning of our relationship, but it showed us that we were a great couple... and here we are 7 years later!" 

The proposal was so amazing: "He flew me on a seaplane to the winery I really wanted to go to on Waiheke (Man O War). We had a wine tasting, then while we went for a walk on the beach and he got down on one knee! The proposal was a complete surprise as I thought the seaplane experience was a belated birthday gift."

Enjoy this video slideshow and photo gallery:

{by the way if you are interested in improving your photography, wait no longer! My online photography course is available for registration at Click Photo School, grab your seat and enjoy loads of materials: 100+ pages exclusive ebook, bonus materials, 6 shooting and 5 editing videos in Lightroom and Photoshop, culling in PhotoMechanic and introduction videos! Watch me shoot and edit this session! I'm so excited and would love to have you join!}

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Newborn photo shoot in Auckland {New Zealand family-baby-wedding photographer}

I'm so excited to share with you my recent newborn photo shoot in Auckland. I always thrilled to be invited to capture such a special for every family moments as welcoming this baby in the world. Im mostly known as a wedding photographer in New Zealand, but I as a mum of three little ones I always enjoying to document family moments.

Need to mentioned this gorgeous family are my constant clients, and we already became a good friends. I captured moments with their first born baby boy, then one year birthday party and now their second gorgeous baby. Such a honour to be a family historian! Its was a pleasure to see grandparents again {coming over from Russia to support this young family}.

Enjoy these beautiful moments in video slideshow and photo gallery:

{by the way if you are interested in improving your photography, wait no longer! My online photography course is available for registration at Click Photo School, grab your seat and enjoy loads of materials: 100+ pages exclusive ebook, bonus materials, 6 shooting and 5 editing videos in Lightroom and Photoshop, culling in PhotoMechanic and introduction videos! Watch me shoot and edit this session! I'm so excited and would love to have you join!}

Pre wedding session in New Zealand {Auckland engagement photographer} Photography Workshop

Alice & Sam come over to their pre wedding session in New Zealand , Auckland such amazing place for engagement photo shoot and Im so pleased to be chosen to be their photographer and document so special for couple moments!

Need to mentioned I know Alice from Clickin Moms photography forum, such a supportive community of amazing and talented women-photographers. I been so thrilled when she contacted me with their plans to come over to New Zealand from USA.

This moment was so amazing, we had such a blast on Karekare Falls and Piha Beach, such amazing and stunning locations. The love and connections that you can clearly see between Alice and Sam so insane. We had some exploring moments and fun as well. Its so great to introduce to someone so wild and beautiful nature and see their excitement and instant love to this country. Bring back memories!

Enjoy these highlights in video slideshow and photo gallery!

{by the way, if you a photographer and seeking the ways to bring more connection and soul to your photographs, check out my photography workshop with Click Photo School. You can see how I shoot this session, all my tips and tricks - hips of shooting videos, culling and editing videos, and 100+ pages exclusive Ebook plus hips of BONUSES!}

The Secret Revealed: Tales of the Moment - Education for Photographers {Online course | Photography Workshop}

I'm so excited to announce: The Secret Revealed!

Registration is officially OPEN for a project I been working for a year now - "Tales of the Moment: Your Secret Formula for Picture Perfect" with Click Photo School. It's a perfect education for modern photographers working in any genres. This online course include 100+ PDF, two bonus PDFs, 6 shooting videos, 5 editing videos, custom Lightroom presets + my heart and soul!

Learn more at photography workshop registration page.

I would love to have you join! All materials are downloadable and yours to keep. If you snag it in now, before it goes in the store it's not only $10 OFF, but you also get the opportunity to ask me any questions during almost two weeks!

What's Included:

- 100+ pages exclusive Ebook;

- 5 Editing Videos {Lightroom, Photoshop and PhotoMechnic} couples, maternity, newborn, self-portraits;

- 6 Shooting Videos {3 couples & 1 lifestyle newborn | family & personal everyday moments & REAL wedding shot}; 

- 2 BONUS Ebooks:

"In the Moment: a Guide to Couple's Storytelling"

"In the Moment: a Guide to Everyday Family Storytelling"

- 4 of my custom Lightroom Presets and more.

What will you learn?

// SEEING AND USING LIGHT {How Olga uses all types of light to create her images}

// COMPOSITION {How to incorporate different elements of design for stronger composition}

// VISUALIZATION {How to use visualization in your everyday photography to create compelling images}

// STORYTELLING {How to see and shoot through the moment, creating authentic & emotive images}

// CREATING EMOTIVE IMAGES {How to effectively communicate and direct your subjects to create images with heart}

// POST PROCESSING {How Olga finishes her images post-processing using vision and mood}

// PSYCHOLOGY {How to use psychology to create better images}

// FINDING YOUR SWEET SPOT {How to find direction in your photographic journey, refine your style, and stay true to yourself}

Get your copy and learn more at Click Photo Schoolhttps://www.clickinmoms.com/cmu/tales-of-the-moment/

Join me on this adventure!

photography workshop | education for photographers | online course

Magmod - a life changer | Photography products {Auckland wedding photographer}

I happy to share with you a recent publication in Click Magazine, where 21 pros {including me, Auckland wedding photographer} sharing their favourite photography products that became a game changer for them.

For me the answer was simple - Magmod Kit and Sphere. Its such amazing tools that allows you to master the artificial light  and control it {on or off camera flash}, get soft and beautiful light. There is no more fair of reception or dark spots {outside and inside indoors}. 
Have a look at this publication and enjoy all these amazing photography products, maybe you can find something new for yourself!

Contact me with any questions!

Tips on wedding planning for our awesome couples {Auckland - New Zealand weddings photographers}

It's time to reflect last season and create some tips on wedding planning for our awesome couples {as we shot so many Auckland, New Zealand weddings and as photographers can see what can help you to make your wedding day go flawless!}. Let the adventure begin:

pre-wedding photography New Zealand {Auckland engagement photographer}

Before the wedding day:

  1. Delegate tasks. {ask your parents, bridesmaids, and even groom!!! to help you with different tasks, it can make your wedding planning less stressful. You know they would love it! You can find their secret talents and passions {organise flowers, dance teacher, invitations etc.}
  2. Be well prepared for the wedding day and be ready to go with the flow {expect the unexpected!}. Get water, snacks - you will be starving after the ceremony!!! Prepare gifts for your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and letters for each other {its a nice touch and allow us to capture more emotional moments}
  3. Think about your timeline - allow yourself to have time to breathe and not rush into every event of the day. Consider to do a first look with Dad {it is such a particular moment when dad sees you for the first time in the wedding dress}.
  4. Let's go for an adventure on your pre-wedding | engagement photo shoot {we recommmend to schedule it at least 2-3 months before your wedding, earlier is better!}. You can choose a different to your wedding venue location {beach, waterfall, city landscape, lake, river, farm, lifestyle at home or cafe | library etc.}
  5. Plan a photography coverage: start getting ready at least 1-1.5 hour before leaving for the ceremony and finish time 0.5-1 hour after your first dance. First, things can run late and second, it helps to add to the story some moments before the ceremony - backstage and let you get used to the cameras and after the first dance - fun and party spirit with guests dancing - to tell a complete story of your wedding day. Note, we no need to have 2-3 hours for dancing photos as often same people are dancing and equal people are not dancing! :) You can extend your coverage if you feel you want to capture some special events {boys play golf or shooting at morning, girls do something special together, or there sparkles exit, many traditional dances at the reception, etc.
  6. Send us a complete questionnaire one month before your wedding. Create a family groups list. We recommend to limit it by up to 10 groupings as each group take 3 minutes and big groups up to 10 minutes each. Make sure you have a shepherd - the person who quick will gather the family together.
  7. Check the weather day before the wedding and get clear umbrellas for bride and groom or full wedding party {just in case}, you can get them in 1-2-3 dollars shops.
  8. Get plenty of sleep and rest before the wedding day to look your best!
elopement photography New Zealand {top wedding photographer in Auckland }

Wedding Day

  1. It's time to relax and go with the flow. No matter how the weather looks like, or if something goes wrong {celebrant lost in the middle of nowhere, the band is few hours late, or caterers taking their time. You will be fine! Just enjoy this time of your life!
  2. It's not a photo shoot; it's your wedding day! We need you to feel relaxed and allow yourself to go with the flow. Its the happiest day of your life {you will have sparkles in your eyes, and we will capture it}.
  3. Try to spend time with important for you people. Firstly, they appreciate it, second, we can get special for your family and friends photos of natural, candid moments where you are talking with them.Take your time to take congratulations and hugs right after the ceremony. No need to jump into family formals photos right away. Enjoy this time! It will give us the opportunity to capture more natural and candid moments!
  4. Don't forget to eat and drink. We found if you drink enough water on the wedding day you feel much better next morning!
  5. Try to have some time away from the bridal party during our photo shoot. You no need any audience for such intimate photos of two of you along.
  6. We can also sneak out of reception during the epic sunset {weather permitted}, you can plan around 20 min for it, while guests are eating or enjoying their conversations. There also a chance of nighttime creative photos with flash if wedding coverage allows.
  7. We will come to you 10-15 min before our finish time to check if there any more photo requests, to not miss anything significant for you.
  8. Relax, enjoy the party and dance away! We will make sure to document these moments!
best documentary fine art wedding photography | Auckland elopement photographers

After the wedding day

  1. Sneak peek with your wedding highlights will be ready in 2-3 days after your wedding.
  2. Enjoy your honeymoon, time of your life.
  3. The link will be sent to beautiful online gallery 8-10 weeks after your wedding. You can share it with your friends and family {in New Zealand and overseas}.
  4. The package will come your way a few weeks after online gallery went life: USB with artistic retouched high and low-resolution images and hand-picked 6x4" prints on fine art paper. I love this real touch!
  5. We will start working on your custom album design. Choose your favourites in an online gallery or let us decide on the final look. Its so good to hold something real in your hands, treasured memories for years to come!
  6. We appreciate all your kind words to your friends and family as well as testimonial | reviews on Social Media, our Website and Google. We so in love with our awesome couples!
  7. Don't want to say good buy? We too! We are offering a limited number of maternity | birth| lifestyle newborn | family sessions during our off wedding season time. Let's catch up again for other unique moments!
  8. Thank you for sharing such special moments with us!

LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!

Remember, we will be there for you!

Click Magazine feature {Auckland New Zealand photographer}

Did you look at the last issue of Click Magazine {an international print magazine for the modern photographer}? You can find there two features: breathtaking image with Megan & Chris pre-wedding photo session in Auckland, New Zealand and some words in Wise Up rubric where Im answering on one of the questions about second photographers.

Here is a fast sneak peek, enjoy the publication if you signed up for this beautiful and inspiring magazine for photographers and everyone loving to see beauty and harmony in moments!

If you are interested in your photography development have a look what Im offering at my lifestyle site www.olgalevien.com: there wide range of mentoring | tutoring from online session, video website review and portfolio feedback, plus photography business development and Q&A sessions. I happy to share everything I know as an open book!

 Click Magazine

Click Magazine

 Click Magazine

Click Magazine

Contact me with any questions!

ClickinWalk 2017 - Muriwai beach Auckland {New Zealand lifestyle photographer}

Im second year in a row took part in international ClickinWalk and helped to organised it in Auckland, New Zealand. We been doing it in Wynyard Quarter last year, check Clickinwalk 2016.

This time we decided to make it more challenging and head over to Muriwai beach {Auckland, New Zealand} for shooting more landscape photography just before the sunset {funny enough we still tend to put people in the shot, to make a point of interest :) hard to give up what we use to}. It was a great opportunity to enjoy surroundings, breath in and try some technics as double exposure, camera painting with slow shutter speed, freelensing and more. We also talk about photogprahy, how to became a ClcikPro photogpraher and even thought about organising CM camp in New Zealand. Fingers crossed!

It was amazing walking, talking and evening at Riverhead Tavern with amazing women-photogprahers, ClickinMoms. Look forward to next year and more challenges and inspiration to try something new on another walk and talk.

Enjoy these highlights in unusual for me genre, but its make life more interesting! :) Highly recommend to everyone to change the routine and try something new and unexpected!

Contact me with any questions!

Click - What to expect when second shooting - for photographers {Auckland wedding photographer}

Excited to share with you: my tips and advice for photographers just been published at Click "What to expect when second shooting at a wedding" {by Levien & Lens photography - Auckland and Destination wedding photographers}.

I know exactly how its feels when you just starting out with shooting weddings or wanting to step up into new role. I discuss in this article for Click following questions:

  • What do you need to know about the second shooting role?
  • How long should you be a second shooter?
  • How do you start shooting weddings as the main photographer?

and much more.

Head over and let me know if you have any questions! Im happy to help and answer any questions you have.

Im really excited for your photography journey in amazing world of photographing weddings!

First look with dad {Auckland-Waikato-Bay of Plenty wedding photographer}

Its not a secret first look with groom became more and more popular lately {the moment when groom see the bride for a first time before the ceremony}. Im as wedding photographer capturing a lot of these beautiful moments on weddings all around New Zealand {mostly Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty areas} and overseas. 

But for traditional couples who prefer to see each other when bride walking down the aisle, there a great alternative and such a special moment: first look for bride and her dad. Its such a treasured moments and memories. I always exited to see happy tears and lots of emotions around {even if Im a photographer and observer I still can get teary as well :)

If you looking for tips to organise this moment, here they are:

1. Keep dad away from bride's getting ready location for some time {so he don't had a chance to see his daughter-bride accidentally before the curtail moment}.

2. Let dad take the best position turning back to the bride's location {can be great to set this scene at the getting ready place or just next to it where plenty of space for photographer to walk and shoot around the moment and bride have space to walk towards her dad}.

3. Let dad wait for a few minutes {its can make the anticipation and emotions even sharper and photographer had a chance to let know the bride her dad is ready and she can start walking and grab his attention when she close}.

4. Make sure mum + bridesmaids {or other family members} can observe the scene nearby. Its really special moment for them as well. Quit often then family members hug each other, cry or laughing.

5. Turn around! To make this moment happen Bride can call her dad, touch the shoulder or close his eyes when she comes closer {all depends from personalities and what feels right to do at this moment}. Make sure its not too early, but just next to the dad.

6. Let moment happening unfold {bride, dad, family and bridesmaids just enjoying the moment and photographer capturing all the emotions, moments and details from far and close.

Illustrating this moments I just want to showcase these amazing emotional event with first look {bride and her dad} from my two recent weddings {second wedding gallery not even ready yet, but these moments with dad was so treasured and emotional}.

Enjoy it!

Kara and her dad {wedding highlights in the Blog}

Ilinke and her dad {final gallery in progress :)}

and Juliette with her dad {this capture won NZIPP Iris Award in Wedding Classic category}

I just this morning been catching up with Juliette after in cafe and it was so nice to chat about her and Jonny and her amazing family. {one year after their wedding gone so fast! time just flying!}

first look with dad - Castaways {Auckland wedding photographers}

Contact me with any questions!

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Celebrating Click Pro {New Zealand lifestyle wedding and family photographer} photography mentorship

Im so excited to share with you news about my little or big achievement. My lifestyle wedding and family photography portfolio set with 150 images was just accepted for Click Pro.

"Click Pro is a modern network of highly skilled professional photographers and independent artists. Membership to Click Pro is application based, and invitation is extended on the basis of an applicant’s portfolio evaluation.

The evaluation scale is broken into seven categories with six levels per category. Each level has a number/name explained in more detail below.

The rubric categories are:

1 — Exposure Triangle
2 — Color and White Balance
3 — Use of Light
4 — Composition and Posing
5 — Processing Cohesion and Polish
6 — Technical (focus, DOF, etc)
7 — Creativity, Expression and Intention".

As photographer and mum Im so happy to took part in this project and be in amazing community of wonderful women-photographers | artists ClickinMoms, offering support, photography education and much more.

Im over two years in this amazing community and its a big achievement to reach Click Pro Status, but at the same moment its a lot of responsibility, Im happy to help everyone in their photography journey, share everything what I know, teach | mentoring and help with personal and professional development. 

I also exciting to share my work in Daily Project.

Its exciting journey and its only beginning!

Click Pro Member Badge
Click Pro Daily Project_- contributor Badge

Queenstown wedding photography workshop - Two Mann {Destination weddings photographer}

If you been wonder why its been so quiet lately in my Blog and Social Media, the answer is simple - I been away on destination wedding photography workshop in Queenstown {NZ} by best weddings photographers in the world - Two Mann studio. It was amazing time in a great company (with small group of top wedding photographers from New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada}. Im not will tell you all names, but some of them Im sure you know as James Day, Isaac from Perspectives, Zahn from Perry Trotter photography etc.

Its amazing how important for us to learn, progress and study, this process never stops! Its been  full on time with learning some tips and tricks about capturing the perfect emotional moments on the wedding day {thats what we aim for}. Im so excited to put in practice all this knowledge, look forward to my next wedding on the weekend!

{Other highlight from the travel - my husband who my second shooter as well arrived to Queenstown just for 24 hours to celebrate our 5 years anniversary and fly with me over to Milford Sound and back. It was a shaky flight, but it was worth it all with beautiful views on snowy Southern Alps and sea line, such a great landscapes. What a great memories!}

Contact me with any questions!

Bokeh online.com international publication - interview with photographer {New Zealand destination wedding photographers}

Im so excited to share with you amazing news: interview with me {your New Zealand destination wedding photographer} just been published in international magazine Bokeh Online.

Its such a great honour to be interviewed, tell about my photography journey, what had influence on me and my wedding photography, how I progressed and grow.

I loved how editors chose the name for this article: "Believe in Yourself" and is means word to me.

You can have a look at publication online and Im happy to share with you a couple of pages with my interview. Its unbelievable!

Thank you so much for sharing my story and photos!

Bokeh online magazine - Levien & Lens photography interview
interview with wedding photographer - Levien & Lens photography

Contact me with any questions!

First Look - Bride and Groom pre-ceremony photo session {Auckland NZ wedding photographer}

You know a lot of couples prefer to not spend much time away from the guests between ceremony and reception as they want to have a quality time with friends and family. First Look is a great solution for have pre-ceremony photo session right after getting ready moments and save the time in between of important for newly weds events. As an Auckland wedding photographer I captured a lot of traditional weddings when bride and groom prefer to see each other at the ceremony site when bride walking down the aisle and groom waiting to meet her. I understand this special tradition and meaning behind it.

But if you not mind to see each other before the ceremony First Look can be a great option for make your timeline special and flawless. You still get those special emotions as groom will be waiting for you turning back to you {he usually wait for quit a long time, so all emotions became really intense and ready to explored with happy laugh or tears at moment when bride gently touch groom's shoulder or close his eyes, or maybe even give a little kiss - whatever feels more natural to your couple}.

Its amazing moments to captured, so much mystery, intrigue, waiting moments, expectations and then happy positive emotions with smiles and tears in the eyes. Im as photographer and romantic person in love in this tradition {so popular in USA, Canada and Europe}.

Right after the first look we can do a family shots (if they are around}, bridal party and bride and groom intimate session and then with no pressure move to ceremony and reception. 

Some couples also considering to do first look and intimate session between ceremony and reception as they want to do pictures in different location and change atmosphere. Its still save the time between ceremony and reception. 

Usually bride and groom session can take between one and two hours {depends on location), so sometimes guests waiting for couple been back to reception after few hours {including family formals and bridal party shoot}; with first look option with time go down to 30 min - 1 hours {depends on amount of extra images required by couple}.

So as we mentioned first look worth to consider if you want to:

1. save the time between ceremony and reception;

2. not make guests wait for a long time; 

first look {Auckland wedding photographer}

3. get interesting experience with non-traditional wedding timeline;

4. make the best out of such emotional moments along with bride and groom {and their close family, without all ceremony guests}

5. get all intimate photos done before the ceremony and move it out of the way.

Consider:

1. First look not suit traditional couples who prefer to see each other on the ceremony site.

2. Sometimes time before the ceremony not best for pictures as light not so soft as at late afternoon {but if its scheduled at morning you can still get beautiful photographs; and also good photographer can take pictures even at noon bright sunny weather}.

3. you can always entertain the guest with  games on the grass, cocktail hour, snacks and positive things. Most of the time they are enjoying each others compony and happily laughing {if you have a second photographer on site he can capture these happy moments what you are missing being on location bride & groom photo session}.

first look {Auckland wedding photographers}
first look - bride and groom pre-ceremony photo session {New Zealand wedding photographer}

4. obviously first look will be an intimate moment so all guests can't see bride's and groom's first reaction when they seen each other after getting ready.

So its your call what traditions closer to your couple and what can perfectly fit in your wedding day timeline. Its great to know all options and consider some other ways of wedding planning!

first look - bride and groom pre-ceremony photo shoot {Auckland NZ wedding photographers}

For photographers I would suggest to have a second shooter / assistant who can capture the moments from different angles and with different focal length for give a gallery variety. {thank you Matt and Fengjin for assistance on Langham Hotel wedding!}

Also note: you can make a similar idea first look with bride's dad. Its unforgettable memories!

Less words more images! Have a look at firsts look from our recent wedding in Langham Hotel with Basma and Mohamad. Such amazing and emotional moments! Love is all around :)

Enjoy it and contact me with any questions!

What its takes to be a Second Photographer for weddings {New Zealand wedding photographers} Photography Tips

Few people recently asked me about second photographer-shooter opportunities in my New Zealand wedding photography business. Also they asked about what Im expecting from second shooter, what areas to learn, practice, improve etc. So I decided to put together all thoughts and tips to help others :) Im always happy to help!

I have my husband shooting with me and all what I need from him - keep his eyes open for moments to happen, anything what catching his eyes, what I can't see when Im shooting in different spot, wedding location. I think its not so easy to find right second shooter (for example, some people great with shooting details, another one - moments, someone can be good with posing, capture emotions, be creative, so you really need to have a little bit of everything in your work, not miss any important for bride and groom moments. So you really need to look through second shooter's portfolio and see what his best sides and if its fits your style. You also need the person who can be creative around and capture some stuff with really interesting angle or perspective. Most of my galleries 80-90 % my shots and around 10-20% second shooter ones {time to time its can varies depends on amount of events, light, creativity). Also factor a personality, you need fell comfortable with this person and same bride and groom - its your brand and your face - so its really important your second shooter been a great people person, who make everyone feel relaxed and also watching you and helping you every time when you need even without asking. I even not mentioning the ability not be on the way, not jump in your frame and not shoot over your shoulder, ha-ha!

how to be a good second shooter - photographer {New Zealand wedding photographers}

So we looked to second photographer question from main photographer perspective. If we sum its all up for second shooters, here some tips:

1. Capture moments, emotions, peoples in situation {guests laughing, parents crying, kids playing around, old people talking etc.). You can practice this ability by doing lifestyle photography, shoot on the streets, your kids, events etc. I been practicing constantly with capturing my family everyday moments in 365 Project and its helps a lot as you learn to capture fast changes situation.

2. Try to be creative, shoot from different angles and perspectives, think outside the box. Main shooter busy with organising the process and taking everything under control. You have a chance walk around, se situations, details, things happening.

3. Stay away from main photographer's frame, not shoot over the shoulder :) 

4. Try to help with any duties from holding the light, carry bag, bringing glass of water to anything else what been asked beforehand {I'm not saying you always should do it, but just try to make main photographer life easier :). 

what need to do second photographer {International wedding photographer}

5. You can talk through the timeline and photographer's and couple's expectation beforehand, any important list of shots what they required and other information what you should know to prepare yourself to the wedding.

6. Prepare your equipment (charge the batteries, have plenty of cards, backup camera, different angle lenses). Often you need to shoot with different type on lens in the same spot and also have variety with main shooter (for example main shooter shooting with 85 mm you can use 35 mm or 24 mm; and opposite - main photographer at 200 mm, you will use 35, 50 mm etc for give different look and capture environment).

7. Synchronise the time in cameras before make any shots (its will really help in post processing so pictures will be flawless in the gallery). Of course main photographer can change time capture in all your shots in Lightroom but it will take his time to work out these details and spend more time on editing images.

8. Contract - its really important to understand the conditions of this job and especially moments as how you hang images to main photographer, do you have the rights to use images for your portfolio (and if so can you do it right away or need to wait for 3-6 months as contract conditions). When you going to be paid (beforehand or after pass the images). Its really important as I met a lot of situations when wedding photographers had conflicts between each others about not been paid, or second shooter been using images without the permission and couple etc. Please talk and look through all these details for not be upset after work done.

what its takes to be a second photographer {Auckland wedding photographers}

9. Dress proper (maybe its sounds strange but you represent main photographer brand and style so better to find out what to dress, as you doing a wedding shoot where everyone around will be dress appropriate. I even heard on one of the wedding how groom been joking about photographer that its underdressed person in the room, hope you not will be this person}, but of course clothes need be comfortable so you can lay on the ground, climb up if you need etc. Of course some weddings more casual (as rustic farm, outdoor, beach weddings), but we still need dress smart (black and grey colours always works!).

10. Be a people person - its all about positive experience for couple, not just amazing photographs, and this first point sometimes much more important then second, as its how people remember you. Talk, jock, help peoples, be reasonable and sensitive with empathy and ability to understand situation and emotions.

11. Think ahead, pre-view the moment happening (couple go back to the aisle, entering reception, bride's mum ready to cry etc.) and be ready to find the right spot to capture it without disturbing the moment. Keep your eyes open and learn from your mistake, its a big learning curve and after each wedding we analysing and looking forward what we can improve. You can always check with main shooter if he have any recommendations, but Im sure you know yourself what you can be proud of and what did you missed :)

Good luck with this exciting position! Its great to have fun on second shooting and also take your own main weddings (funny enough I started not traditional way and right jump into shooting my own wedding with right attitude and confidence, but I also did a few weddings as second shooter so know exactly how its feels). Its great to team up with other photographers and be in the great community and be ready to help each other as you never know when you may need some help. There a lot of local Facebook groups for wedding photographers, we also trying to catch up as often as we can. 

Here just one of the pics what I took as second photographer shooting wedding caremony in Ataahua garden venue, Tauranga, New Zealand.

second photographer for weddings - photography tips {New Zealand wedding photographers}

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Positive Friday - Inspiration {Auckland wedding photographer}

Hi everyone! Today is a positive Friday {at least for me :) ) and its time to share with you some inspirational moments. I met a lot of awesome people while been shooting weddings around Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and pretty much all New Zealand! As a photographer and artist I feel really emotional when people sharing with me their feelings. Its understandable when we had a great experience together.

But this time I received absolutely unexpected message which made my day. This little act of inspiration was really important and come at right time as you often questioning yourself and what you are doing.

This message was sent through my website wedding inquiries and come from Angie. Hope she not mind me to share her simple words. She said: "I just wanted to say... your photography is completely gorgeous. You are incredible!"

Thats just amazing that someone look at my work and stop by to say some words of encouragement. Im really appreciate these kind words and its make me think Im on the right track ;) Its amazing sign of kindness that someone took time to contact just to say positive words.

I hope we will be saying more and more positive words to each other more often and try to help, and support. Who knows maybe person next to you really needs these words of encouragement and its a perfect timing, at least its make them feel better and maybe smile :)

Thanks again Angie! You truly made my day and motivate to think about things.

 Beautiful Maria, dance photo shoot

Beautiful Maria, dance photo shoot

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