Any normal person would freak out with the amount of preparation that goes into each wedding. The friendly guys over at Black Avenue Productions however, are not normal! Lowina & Derek have put together the complete package when it comes to wedding photography.
Some of their more recent work stood out to me, when they photographed a couple of weddings we were lucky enough to play a small part in.
So it made sense to have a chat with Lowina, and discover her thoughts when it comes photographing bridal parties, in particular the groom and groomsmen.
Her team recently shot both Sam & Justin's Wedding along with Rachel & Simon's Wedding. Each wedding had it's own unique look. Sam wore the Arcadia Maroon Blazer to complete his split blazer/chino style, while Simon and his best men opted for the Cortes Suit.
How did you get into wedding photography, how many weddings have you shot?
Lowina: I was a fashion designer when I got married 10 years ago. At the time I wasn't very happy with the photographer we had chosen, and instantly regretted not hiring a videographer. I felt this way for years, up until I met Derek five years ago. At that time he was a civil engineer professor.
Derek wasn't enjoying his job, and his real passion was photography. He had been shooting friend's weddings as a hobby for years. We later attended a 5 day wedding photography boot camp, by a famous American wedding photographer Sal Cinotta. From there we both got inspired. Derek loves photography and editing; and I worked well understanding what the bride wanted. Together we started Black Avenue Productions, and aim to provide the best service. To date we've shot over 100 weddings.
A lot more people are opting for less traditional weddings. How does this affect your shooting style and the final photos?
Lowina: We actually love a quirky wedding, any new idea excites me. I spend time getting to know the couple prior to their wedding day, and plan the wedding day flow with them. This ensures that they get the best wedding photos/videos that is unique to their love story.
You photograph a lot of weddings. When it comes to the groom and groomsmen outfits, what tips can you share to get the perfect photos.
Lowina: The first thing that jumps out in my mind, is that the suit should be perfectly tailored to your body. Spend the time, to go to a physical store and get it professionally tailored. Even the small details like pant length, can haunt you in photos. It’s a small cost to pay to achieve the perfect wedding photos.
Unlike the bride’s wedding gown that will only be worn once, the groom can wear his suit over and over again. Make sure the suit jacket has a inside pocket to put your phone in. Nothing drives me crazy like seeing a phone or wallet through the pant pockets. To the point where I'll take your phone away. :P
We’ve definitely noticed a shift in our wedding business away from the traditional black suit. Couples are now experimenting with different colours, and even a split blazer/chino look. How do these photograph, and what considerations need to be made?
Lowina: New colours/textures/styles are fantastic in photos! Especially when the accessories have been coordinated with either the wedding colour scheme or the bridesmaid dress colour. Together these details introduce a uniformity that makes the bridal party look complete.
Guests will traditionally wear darker suits, along with the receptions workers. The groom's attire should set you apart from the groomsmen too. At the end of the day, it is a wedding not a funeral. Be bold and wear bright colours if you want to!
Are there any special points that are often overlooked when it comes to the groomsmen outfits?
Lowina: As I mentioned earlier, all eyes are on the bride and groom. Therefore it’s essential that the groom is looking sharp and stands out. When deciding on your wedding suit, matte fabrics tend to photographer better as they absorb the light, rather than reflect it. Your suit will appear richer in colour and will look fabulous in photos.
Weddings are a big day for everyone involved. In what ways have you seen that the groomsmen help take some pressure off the groom?
Lowina: Yes! Apart from looking sharp and being awesome, the groomsmen can help share the groom’s work load.
Whether it's offering to pickup the rings or sorting out the groomsmen outfits, these little responsibilities end up being a big help. Even just making sure everything's ironed, and organising the groom for the "getting ready" photos. Organise the whisky glasses, wedding gifts; it all helps the groom enjoy his day a little more.
Wedding photography has become its own unique art form. How does a bride and groom choose the right wedding photographer for them?
Lowina: Great question. Back when I was planning my wedding, I chose my photographer based on the portfolio I saw on their website, how many awards they had won, and the budget / package items they offered. I ended up choosing the most expensive, award winning photographer. Not realising that they’d be the one shadowing me the entire day. We didn't gel well, and it showed in the photos. I was a tad grumpy. I also regretted not hiring a videographer. Therefore it became a top priority when we started Black Avenue Production's to become the photographer's that are as excited and passionate about wedding photography as you are. The one's who would chase the best lighting, and are excited to see you get married. I also think it's best to pick a company that provide both photography and videography together. The advantage of having two camera people who work together provide significant synergies. We offer 2x Photographers + 2x Videographers to cover all angles and ensure that we capture all the beautiful moments from your special day.