Posts tagged wedding
How to totally NAIL post-ceremony photos.

As wedding professionals, we get asked all the time for advice. It’s very easy for us to say the lines “just do what you like!” as people who have literally done this hundreds of times, so I feel we need to go a step further. I know that my couples trust me and so I feel totally cool to let them know if an idea is not going to work, or to suggest something else.

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This moment here - post ceremony - is one of my favourite things to shoot. People are not only totally natural, but also mostly unaware of what I'm doing that they don't put their guard back up. And I'm not talking about my couples here, but the guests. So here are my tips to you, person reading this potentially planning a wedding, or about to be a guest at a wedding, to make this whole thing the best it can be:

1) Phones and Cameras away for everyone. BE PRESENT! Photographers don't care that you're also taking a photo. We know ours is going to be great, and we're not after a monopoly on photos, that's not why we ask this. The couple want to be able to see their loved ones faces - and they've hired me to photograph those faces, not their faces behind devices.

2) Stay close to each other, especially if it's just the one photographer shooting the wedding. I love being able to get as many of these moments as I can, so not to miss key people like parents and siblings, so let people come to you - it's your day, after all.

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2) In your planning, either on your invites or wedding website or whatever, let people know that there will be times for the "official" photos later. A great celebrant will help with this (my mate Married By Josh was here for this one), encouraging people to congratulate the couple now they're married instead of fussing about who's iPhone they're going to use to get a photo for their socials. Great, REAL moments have been, and will continue to be murdered by selfish guests - don't be that guy!

3) Brides - and Grooms for that matter - feel free to hand your bouquet to someone, because it can get in the way of great hugs (and also that fucker is heavy amirite?!) There will always be plenty of photos of you with it.

4) Work with a great venue and planner like Bebe's Country Weddings who knows their stuff, so that there's space for this all to happen and there's also something for the guests to do after they've seen you.

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5) How great are dogs during ceremonies, hey! Just remember to organise someone to handle them at a pinch when you want to do all the hugs.

Those are just some ideas, hopefully they help someone. I'm really passionate about helping people make the most of their day because a) I'm a nice guy and b) it makes for better photographs, so expect more of this stuff here and on the blog.

morgs x

Anthony & Lucy. Oakridge Winery. Yarra Valley Wedding.

“We read your whole story on your website, on the front page. All the way to the bottom. It really resonated with us.”

I first got to meet Ant and Luce at one of their favourite Chapel Street haunts, over dinner and cocktails. We’d Skyped, they’d booked me, but it wasn’t until then that we got to spend some time that I realised how excited they were to have me work with them. When you make things and people resonate with them, for me that’s what keeps me coming back.

This was their day.

Shona & James. Brisbane. Queensland wedding photographer.

When half of your guests fly over from England, during the ashes, for the wedding.

When your veil is so big, before you're dressed you have to carry it around in a bag.

When you get ready in the family home and marry each other on the tennis court.

When you let the kids run wild.

When you catch a city council bus to Stokehouse.

When you dance until at least 11pm.


I met with Shona at her parents house what feels like an age ago, before the wedding. We sat in the gazebo adjacent to where her and James would eventually be having their ceremony, and she told me the plan. "We're cutting the fence down here, so people can see straight through", she explained, gesturing to the the tennis court fence. "Dad's really looking forward to making the garden look the best it ever has... I know it sounds kind of crazy but I think we can pull it off!"

It's funny, because I get asked a tonne what venues are my favourite, and there's no real right answer. It depends on what feels right for your wedding or elopement. For these guys, I can't imagine this happening any other way. Drinks on the lawn, portraits in the lounge you've known for 30 years, and Stokehouse for the reception via council bus.

As far as weddings go, this is far from spartan... but if you distill the elements down to what it's really about, it's people and family. Everything else is just a conduit for those things. 

That's my pro tip for the day.


And then we got on the bus


Married by Anthony Lewis

Shona wore Catherine Deane

With shoes by L K Bennett

James wore Hackett

Hair and Makeup by Isabis Hair

Flowers by Lesley Strong and Fig Flowers

Music: Nick Trovas

 

Jay & Lucy. Nishi Gallery & Hotel. Canberra wedding photographer.
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I'm a dad now, and things are harder to do now than they used to be. Some things. I used to do all-day weddings as standard because "that's what people want, Morgan" and I also used to speak about myself in the third person. It's weird. Anyway, we grow and adapt and change and that's great, that's the whole point, right? Right, Morgan?

Hm.

I kicked off this year with a wedding that was just... off the hook. But first, I'll take us back a couple years.

I met Jay in 2007. TEN YEARS AGO. We were at uni in different years at the same time kinda chasing the same dream. Now I'm a wedding photographer and he's a photographer with the ADF. We keep in touch mostly via Instagram, sharing a love of documentary and street photography and awesome super camera geeky goodness.

Fast forward ten years, and the wonderful Lucy Is well and truly in his life. I get a lovely text from Jay saying that they're getting married, and that they couldn't think of anyone else that they'd rather have along to photograph the wedding than me.

Now, I used to think it's crazy getting requests from other photographers. I used to think "who, me? Not *famous-photographer* person? You're kidding, right?"

And we all do that. We all undervalue ourselves.

But I think I knocked this one out of the park, and I'm really proud of it, and it made me cry even doing this blog post in April 3 months later. And it was long, it was a good 14 hour wedding the likes of which I hadn't worked on in a while. 

So, Jay and Lucy. These two are so wonderful. This wedding is full of style, but above all they are about family and friends and making sure these things are celebrated. That's why I loved this so much. I believe the images reflect that.

Vendor details follow this at the bottom too, and they were ALL just bloody A+++ so check them out too.

x

Married by Bianca Way

Hitched at Nishi Gallery Canberra

Danced and Made Merriment at Hotel Hotel

Lucy wore Georgia Young Couture & Sass & Bide

With shoes by Diana Ferrari

Jay wore M.J. Bale

With shoes by Aquila

Rings by Diamonds Exchange & Jewellery by Johan

Bridal head piece by Lucy Hoolihan Millinery

Hair by Hair Flair

Makeup by Kimi Sanders

Flowers and Styling by Lean Timms sourced from Jonima Flower Farm

Planned by Matthew Sykes and Juliane Strache from Hotel Hotel

Invitations by Wedding Paper Divas

Cake by: Pastry Chef Angelique from Hotel Hotel

Music by: Baker Boys Band

Mel & Don. The Elopement Collective. Gold Coast wedding photographer.

I love small.

Weddings are about humans, and in this case, it was making official the creation of a family of five of them. Mel and Don chose to elope with a dream team of vendors they handpicked with The Elopement Collective, and I was one of them - shucks! Only three other family members, myself and a celebrant, in the magical hills inland of the Gold Coast.

This is what we got up to.

Human first, wedding photographer second.

A couple of weeks away from work is enough to get me in to my ‘philosophy pants'. 2015 was such a wonderful year for me, connecting and strengthening relationships with so many wonderful people that I’ve lost count. The more time I spend in this industry, the more I carve out my own niche and the more I learn about weddings in general.

I never considered making a career out of being a “wedding photographer” because I never wanted to think of myself as a product. The last thing I wanted to make with my photography was a transaction based upon what someone told someone they needed for their wedding.

Of course, transactions are a core tenet of any business.

Increasingly, I find my best experiences in retail, service and other types of business have nothing to do with the product I’m purchasing. Discussing the finer points of Steve Smith’s batting technique with my barista, current happenings in politics with drivers (mostly Uber these days) or even just asking the woman at Telstra how her day is going and actually meaning it.

Clearly, I have a small stake I have in the cafe I frequent as I call them “my” barista. You can see the trend.

These things end up positively affecting my mood, and quite possibly theirs, without having anything to do with the product. Just the simple process of having a genuine, human connection. With my business, things get a little more muddled, but to tie this together I’d like to share some feedback I received recently from a bride:

“Morgan has the smoothest, coolest, humorous yet professional characteristics that just seem to bring a sense of calm to the day – he made people feel great, and suddenly everyone loves being photographed - which has never happened before.”

After wedding planners and celebrants, photographers are amongst the best “wedding consultants” you can talk to, because not only have we been to a lot of weddings, we see how the sausage is made. I could call 5 of my friends in the industry and we could have the raw material for a NYT Bestseller “How to Fuck Up a Wedding”.

Well, maybe a BuzzFeed top 11 list.

The most important thing for me is to keep getting feedback like the one I just shared. I would hate to just be “the guy that did the photos” next to “the person that stacked the chairs”. I know plenty of wonderful humans in a variety of professions in this industry who feel the same, and some of them I work with regularly.

So, Too Long, Don’t Read: I love being human, and it’s wonderful to be recognised as one first, and a photographer second.

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These two photos by Best Bridesmaid Ever Keyna Roberts wink emoticon

2015 a year in pictures. Morgan Roberts Photography.

What even is a "best of" list?

Whatever it is, this isn't one.

Writing a “best of” list is fraught with danger. I don’t necessarily think this is a comprehensive list of my best work this year, because I love so many photos that aren’t themselves ‘photographically wonderful’. I’ve delivered so many images this year to people, and some of their favourites would be in that same category too. Things aren’t meant to be perfect because then they’d be boring.

This is more a journal of the year, mixing in some good-times, some stuff I’m really proud of, and some stuff that I loved being there for.

To all the people who trusted me in 2015 - thank you. 

Thank you for seeing yourself in my work.

The more these interactions happen, the more it’s normalised for me and others who see the work we make together, the better all the wedding and family albums of the future will be.

Here’s to next year and the one after that too.

May the Force be with you.

morgs

Jasmin & Ross. Ballina. NSW wedding photographer.

It's weddings like this one that I'm so passionate about. It has nothing to do with styling, location, how many mountains we climbed up to get photos. I'm going to let Jasmin tell you about this day/weekend.

"We laughed all day. He laughed with us, and in the process he snagged the most remarkable and touching moments in photos. Im flabbergasted. What an amazing way to top off the most INCREDIBLE weekend of my life!!! So much love"

Weddings are about people, and that's what I photograph.