How to nail your wedding photo shoot – tips from a pro

Nic from Fox & Kin is renowned on the Coffs Coast, Byron Bay area and beyond for creating intimate stories with her photography. In fact she’s just been named Australasia’s Top Emerging Wedding Photographer of 2020!

She captures the smiles, the candid emotions and the beauty in a style that can only be described as personal, relaxed and totally captivating. We asked her to spill the beans on her background, photography style and tips for nailing your wedding shoot.

How long have you been a photographer?

I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a camera in my hand. I’ve never had any formal training; it’s just something that has always seemed so natural to me – a desire to freeze a moment or preserve a memory. I’ve worked in a lot of different industries, but photography has always followed me around.

I started shooting weddings in 2013 and launched Fox & Kin at the beginning of 2017 to create a brand and a business that reflected my passions – nature, equality, sustainability and love. The last couple of years it’s been full time weddings and I have loved watching my business grow and flourish in Bellingen.

Who or what got you into wedding photography?

My first paid work was in the music industry, which is where I discovered my love for documentary-style photography. Shooting live bands made me realise how much I love capturing a feeling and documenting a story rather than manufacturing a moment.

Around 7 or 8 years ago I was trying to find my feet as a portrait/newborn/family photographer, but it didn’t feel right to me. I had a few people ask if I would shoot their wedding and I was terrified at the thought of it, but also somewhat curious.

The first few weddings I photographed I was an anxious mess. I had no idea what I was doing and was totally underprepared. I think my naivety paid off though, because despite only taking one SD card and no backup camera, I pulled it off and those couples still absolutely love their photos!

Can you describe your style of photography?

The way that I shoot is very relaxed. I don’t want it to feel like a photo shoot. I get to know a couple pretty well before a wedding, so I usually just feel like another mate there on the day. I goof around and have fun with people and by building that level of trust and rapport, am able to grab little candid moments without making people feel stiff or uncomfortable.

I follow light and emotion. Throughout a wedding day I’ll either stand in a space with good light and wait for a moment to unfold in front of me, or I’ll follow the action around and try to capture whatever is happening at that moment in the best way possible. I don’t like to manufacture moments, and don’t ask people to pretend to do things, or repeat things over and over. However, I do like to experiment with portraits and unusual light and framing, and if there is time, I love to try new things and push myself creatively. So I’d say my style is 90% documentary and 10% experimental.

What do you love about wedding photography?

My favourite part about being a wedding photographer is being invited into a couple’s love story. There are not many other jobs where you have the privilege of witnessing someone’s most intimate and vulnerable moments. It’s a lot of trust to put in a person to capture these moments and I don’t take that for granted.

I love that no two relationships are the same. I love meeting couples and getting to know their quirks and inside jokes. Seeing little looks exchanged, how they interact and dote on each other. I love being able to take all those tiny bits of tenderness and tell a story.

Have you had any ‘scary’ moments on a shoot?

Generally my shoots are pretty relaxed, however there have been a few heart-stopping moments. The most recent was at Mon and James’ wedding out in Gleniffer last year. After the ceremony we jumped in the car to head out to the Promised Land to take a few portraits.

As soon as we got out of the car a huge storm swept in out of nowhere, knocking branches onto the ground around us. I quickly ushered them back into my car and we hightailed it back up the dirt road we’d taken to get there. With the crazy winds and pouring rain, I wanted to get them out of the forest and into a clearing. “Don’t worry,” I said, “we still have plenty of time before we have to be back”. 

My optimism was cut short as we came around a corner to find a massive tree had fallen and blocked the entire road. With no phone reception, we were trapped. My heart was racing as I got out in the pouring rain and ran up a nearby embankment to see if my car could make it over. I wasn’t convinced but I hopped back in the car and calmly told them it wouldn’t be a problem. 

I started accelerating up the side of the road as my wheels skidded and my car started sliding sideways into the fallen tree. I had absolutely no grip or traction. I was about to give up when suddenly the front tyres popped over the edge and my car was pulled back onto the road. We all cried out in victory and made our way to a nearby paddock as I caught my breath.

What information should wedding couples give their photographer to help their special day run smoothly?

After a couple books in with me, I send them through a custom questionnaire to gather a bunch of info from them including names, addresses, important details etc which I then use to put together a run sheet for the day. The more information they provide the better, because it means I can figure out what’s important to them and what we should be dedicating more or less time to on the day.

If there are any special details or important moments that you want photographed, make sure to let your photographer know! We’re not mind readers and, although we try to be in a million places at once, it’s not actually possible. So if you’ve got a surprise or something funny planned, make sure we’re ready to capture it! Plus put us in touch with your MC so they can get our attention before any formalities throughout the night.

What advice would you give to couples for nailing their bridal party shoot?

Don’t treat it like a photo shoot. Grab an esky, pack some snacks, jump in the car or go for a walk and hang out with your mates. I always let couples enjoy that time and catch up with their wedding party rather than ordering them around into various poses or making them do strange things like jump in the air simultaneously. Those natural, ecstatic moments of joy make for way better photos anyway than standing in a line smiling at a camera. You are buzzing with adrenaline and emotion and you should be able to bounce that energy off your friends!

But you know those weddings where the bridal party disappears for 3 hours during canapes and you wonder if they’re ever coming back? What is that about? It’s your wedding! You should be there for it!! Definitely set aside some time to hang out with your wedding party, but keep it short, and as long as you have refreshments with you, you’ll return to the party hydrated and warm bellied and ready to tear up the DF.

To see more of Nic’s amazing photo shoots or to contact her visit www.foxandkin.com or follow her on Instagram. To enquire about holding your wedding ceremony or reception at Cedar Bar & Kitchen contact us.

 

Back to the
weddings blog