Interview with DianaM Photography - Wedding Photographer
Welcome back to our blog, Word On The Avenue. Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Diana from DianaM Photography. Diana is an Adelaide based wedding photographer who started her business in 2013.
Photo by DianaM Photography
We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to interview Diana and ask her some questions about wedding photography that will hopefully help some of our brides and grooms when it comes time to choose a wedding photographer.
So pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy...
Hi Diana! Thanks so much for chatting with us today. Our first question for you is... How long have you been doing wedding photography and how did you get into it?I have been shooting weddings since 2016. I started off with just doing nature, wildlife and portrait photography and I got asked by a friend to capture their wedding. Not having done a wedding before, I was terribly nervous but agreed to do it and after the day had finished, I knew I was hooked! I couldn’t imagine myself not capturing the love and excitement of weddings now!
How would you describe your style of photography and approach?
My wedding photography is simplistic. I don’t over pose my clients and don’t believe in set up photos. If my client asks me for these, I will do them but I like capturing moments as they happen as they are more real, romantic and offer a realistic look into my clients day and emotions. I approach photography carefully. It is so easy to take a bad photo and you really need to know how to use your camera. Someone’s wedding day only happens once and so I take my time when I capture a wedding, I think before I shoot but in saying that, you also have to be on the ball and ready to capture anything!
What’s in your camera bag?
In my camera bag, I have 2 cameras. I have a Canon 5DM3 and a Canon 5DM4. I also carry a 70-200mm lens, 2 x 24 -70mm, 1 x 100mm macro, 1 x 400mm and 1 x 500mm. I also carry a dual camera strap, 2 tripods, 12 SD Cards, approximately 30 batteries for external lighting, 5 spare batteries for 3 cameras (including my 2nd shooter), 5 external lighting devices and various props and light painting devices.
Do you shoot alone or do you have a second photographer?
I do have a second shooter and he is my wonderful partner Russell. If he is unavailable then I hire another professional photographer to second shoot for me.
What’s your favourite part of a wedding and why?
My favourite part is actually what I call the bridal shoot which is after the ceremony. I love working with just the bride and groom. They are newly married and for an hour and a half or longer, we get to create some truly romantic shots. Their love shines brighter for each other than it ever has on their wedding day and it’s a truly beautiful thing to capture.
Do you have a wedding photography horror story (that hopefully you can laugh about now)?
Thankfully I don’t have one that I can tell you about a horrible bride or groom BUT I’ll share one about what could have turned into a horror story…..
Russ and I were shooting a wedding and to capture the group shot, we sometimes go up a ladder to get extra height. We used to carry a rather large ladder and Russ would stand behind me up on the ladder whilst I directed people in front. I was doing my usual thing and directing when the next thing I heard was a huge thud and the people before me let out a huge gasp. I turned around and there was Russ lying flat on his back, holding the camera up in the air! He let out a little squeak… “I'm ok”… that could have ended very badly!
Tell us about the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer.
Best moment for me… hmmm… Let's see…. I have 2……
So the first one was when a certain Grandma got a bit excited on the dance floor at the end of the night and started to chase everyone around pretending she had bull horns and was poking everyone in the bum with her 'bull horns'… that had everyone in stitches of laughter. For at least half an hour she did this and it really was such a highlight and proved that no matter how old you are, you can still have so much fun drunk on life and not alcohol!
The second highlight for me was when I got told beforehand that the bride’s mother had cancer and they needed to do the wedding before she submitted to the horrible disease. They were able to get married and have her there. The bride was walked down the aisle by her mum, her mum signed the wedding certificate and we got some wonderful precious emotional moments on camera to be remembered forever.
It is always very special for me to be able to capture the older generation being witness to their grandchildren getting married. I’ve had brides come back to me saying “thankyou so much for ensuring you captured Grandma and Grandpa, as Grandma passed away 2 weeks later…" Very special…
Do you have an all-time favourite photo from one of your weddings?
No….. there are way too many memorable photos to mention. Every wedding is different both physically and emotionally. I will mention that the best photos I get are when the bridal party and guests understand that a wedding is a FUN event and is not to be taken so seriously. I’ve seen bridesmaids flashing their underwear, pretending to take a footy mark off the back of a groomsmen, the bride and groom taking out a fishing rod and going fishing midway through their bridal shoot, the bride and groom swapping shoes and the groom trying to dance in stilettos, family members pulling pranks on the bride and groom on the dance floor, whole entire wedding parties and guests dropping their pants and showing us all kinds of underwear whilst ‘Eagle Rock’ plays…. it’s hilarious and it certainly makes for some memorable moments!
How does the time of year affect wedding photos?
The weather used to be so predictable but you really can’t say that now. Weddings are still seasonal and I will always say that wedding season is between August and April usually. In winter, a lot of my clients think that the rain will hinder their day and the photos will turn out crap BUT I will say that as a photographer, I LOVE rain and I LOVE overcast days. It creates this wonderful light that just has this lovely subdued cast over everything. There is no harsh light, shadows or blowouts on a white dress. We have captured some spectacular rain shots and dark moody cloud shots. It’s really helping nature collide with your wedding photos and that in itself can create some lovely different photos.
So I will end it with this… it does not matter what time of year you get married as your wedding photographer should be able to capture your day in any weather conditions.
.... Maybe except for torrential rain and if it’s outside…. (I don’t want to look like a drowned rat and neither do my clients) but don’t be put off from having a winter wedding!
What are your top 3 “must have” shots?
1. The bride and groom together… showing their love for each other naturally and not forcibly. I love it when the groom makes the bride laugh and her face just relaxes and the laughter lines come out and her true beauty is released.
2. A big group shot including everyone. It’s important to see who was there on the day, who bothered to show up, the people who travelled from interstate or overseas, the grandparents who might kick the bucket soon, the family dog who got dressed up in a bowtie or tutu to join the party, the proud parents and the cute kids… all get captured in a well formed and executed group shot.
3. A fun bridal party shot. A wedding is not a serious and sad event but a happy and fun event and so I ask the bridal party to remember why they were chosen by the bride to be involved in this special day and to just relax, have some fun and kick their adult responsible shoes off and make a memorable photo. Everyone has fun doing this and it eases the stresses of conforming to the timeline for the day or the tasks at hand for 5 minutes. The photos always turn out great!
Can couples request a list of specific shots they would like on the day?
They sure can and I welcome it. As much as I want the bride and groom to trust me to deliver a set of professional photos, I always welcome new ideas and a guideline to how they want their day captured. They know their family and friends best, they know what photos they want up on their wall already. I think that it’s important to listen to your clients, respect their wishes and wants and guide them also in what you can personally achieve as a photographer. I do draw the line at submerging myself in leech infested waters to capture a lake shot… you get the picture…. although I will climb a tree if I have to and have laid down on all kinds of surfaces to get better angles!
What is your process post-wedding day?
I always deliver photos to my clients a day or 2 after their wedding whilst it’s still fresh in all of our minds. There is nothing quite like announcing you're now married with a professional photo of you both looking your best and loved up! It’s also great publicity for me and it’s great to see the reactions on all platforms of social media. I then spend from 4 - 12 weeks editing photos and that all depends on if it’s wedding season, or if i have had a wedding on each weekend before that for a month. So naturally, the editing I have to do is quite a lot.
I don’t subcontract my editing out to anyone like some photographers do, no matter how busy I am, because my clients hire me for me. I create and finish my own art and don’t trust it in anyone else’s hands. I drip feed my clients photos as I edit to keep them interested and keep them up to date with my progress and then I create a password-protected gallery of their finished images so they can pick which ones they want to print and include in their album. Once they have picked them, I get them printed, get the album made and do final handover. I will always meet up with my clients to do final handover unless they are interstate or overseas. It’s great seeing their faces light up when they view their album or see what goodies I have put in their handover box.
What packages do you offer?
As standard, I offer a 2.5 hr, a 6 hr and a 12+ hr package. That’s just an easy way for my clients to pick what might suit them best but all my packages are customisable and can be changed fully. Nothing is ever set in concrete.
Do you offer prints?
I always include prints in my packages as I still believe in the power of the printed photo. Digital versions of photos are so fragile. They can be deleted, they can be misplaced, the USB can stop working, your computer might fail. But with a photo, once you print it out, it is there forever (unless your house burns down or you have a terrible 2 year old that rips them up)….
When i deliver my finished packages for my clients, I include prints so they have something they can display and hang on their wall straight away. I can also do customised signature prints like canvas, acrylic, wooden, ripped paper, boxed prints. So many options to choose from! I use local printers and also make sure the pro labs I use have 'archival' ink so the print lasts for at least 60+ years, of course if stored and hung correctly.
Do you offer engagement sessions?
I sure do! These are a great way for my potential clients to see how I work, how bossy I am, whether we gel as a collaborative team and if they like they way I trick them into naturally posing for my camera :)
I do have these as paid sessions but if you book me for a 12+ hour wedding day, then you get this session for free.
Do you support same sex weddings?
YES and this is a BIG FAT YES!!!!!! Russ and I believe in equality so much and that love is love. We welcome ANY couple (anyone over the age of 18) to come to us and feel free to discuss their love for one another and not feel judged or scared to be who they are meant to be. Unfortunately we have had clients book us and then drop us as wedding photographers because of these beliefs but we stand strong in welcoming everyone. We believe in freedom of choice and LOVE!
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
1. Meet up with your photographer before you book them. They are going to be the ones who are going to shadow you for the entire day and you need to feel comfortable around them and for them to see some pretty intimate moments. If you feel they might be a bit of a weirdo in these moments… then you need to look at other options….
2. Ask to see a full wedding day and not just their “signature” photos which have been heavily edited… you need to ensure they are capable of capturing everything and being professional in all forms of lighting and situations.
3. Make sure they are insured, they are a registered small business, they have an ABN, they are paying taxes like everyone else and are operating within the law. Nothing worse than hiring someone who runs off with your photos and there is no paper trail to hunt them down. Any professional photographer will have all these systems in place.
4. Make sure you LOVE the way they take their photos and their style before you book them. Don’t try and make them change their style to suit you. Photography is an art form and we are all painters with our own brush and have our own way of painting your wedding. Your wedding day is a blank canvas until we capture it so you need to make sure that you love the way they do that as we can’t paint over a photo…
5. Make sure you understand all the terms and conditions that come with that photographer. Any legitimate and professional photographer will have a contract in place that you need to sign. Be aware of what is included and not included within that contract before you sign.
6. Make it a FUN process and ask if you can do an engagement shoot or test shoot before your day to see if what they really promote about themselves is true and you can build that relationship with them.
If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would love to shoot a wedding in the Land of OZ…. or Charlie’s Chocolate Factory…. I would totally be eating whilst working but…. just think of all the colour and bubbles and the yellow brick road….
On a serious note…. I would love to capture my first overseas wedding in either New Zealand or Canada in their beautiful landscapes… think tops of mountains, snow drifts, sun washed valleys of greenery, vast rainforests.
Well, thank you so much Diana for sitting down with us today to talk weddings and wedding photography. You really know your stuff and we are privileged to have been able to collaborate with you.
YOU can book Diana from DianaM Photography to capture your big day. Those beautiful candid photos that she talked about could be hanging on your wall for many years to come.
Thanks to our collaboration, Diana is extending a discount on her wedding photography services to all of you.
- Upon booking a full 12+ hr package, you will receive $100 discount and 2 x 8x12 metallic prints included.
- Upon booking a 6 hr package, you will receive $50 discount and 1 x 8x12 metallic print included.
So, brides and grooms of Adelaide, all you need to do is chat to Diana via the links below, quote the code word “Bear” and receive your savings.
Just think... that extra money can now go towards that over water bungalow in the Maldives.... 🤙🏼
Thanks for reading, darlings.
Photo by DianaM Photography