We have a great team here at The Wedding Company and our staff truly are our biggest assets. Like little elves, they shadow our planners in the choreography of a wedding (which, for some of our brides, could take up to a year!). With so many events to juggle and details to oversee, their extra hands and detailed follow-up help ensure everything runs like clockwork.
Today’s post features one of our Assistant Events Coordinators. Don’t let her petite frame and sweet smile fool you: This girl’s no fledgling. From keeping clients updated on a regular basis and negotiating contracts with vendors, to cueing the wedding processional music and fetching the mother-in-law’s sister’s husband for the group photo, she diligently carries out every task with flair. Here, she tells us a little more about her role and how she got into the business.
The youngest member of the TWC family
Can you tell us a little about yourself? How did you land the role at The Wedding Company?
I am an Anthropology fresh graduate from University College London. During the seven years spent studying abroad, I evolved from someone who never appreciates unfamiliarity (and therefore crying practically every day in the first few months!) to someone who gets excited with novelty. My previous internship in the Public Relations field testified that I enjoy doing things that are somewhat different every day; eventually I decided to explore into the event/wedding planning profession. Coincidentally, I came across The Wedding Company with a working culture of “no two days are alike” and I thought, “Perfect!”
On the Day setup: a wedding favour (homemade biscotti!) for each place setting
In your opinion, an events coordinator must be (fill in the blank)?
An events coordinator must be committed. You have to be wholeheartedly dedicated to the event/wedding in order to master the role of an events coordinator. It is almost as if you are coordinating your own wedding in that you constantly try to find the best options for the couple, but having to think one step ahead so as to offer guidance during the planning process. You also have to be able to think on your feet on the day!
Lunching at Tim’s Kitchen
What is your favourite part(s) of a wedding?
My favourite part of a wedding is always the wedding ceremony, especially when the bride and groom are exchanging their marriage vows. You might wonder why that is, since the vows are often times very similar except for the names of the Bride & Groom. Yet whenever I see the groom nervously reading his vows with a shaky voice, or the eyes of the bride watering as soon as she hears “so long as we both shall live”, I always end up with gleeful tears.
Overseeing a wedding cocktail reception.. There she is!
If you could plan a wedding at any venue of your liking and anywhere in the world, what and where would it be?
I know this sounds silly but I have always imagined planning a wedding underwater; somewhere with white sandy beaches, deep blue seas and turquoise reefs. Surely there would be a great deal of challenges but I believe a scuba diving wedding experience best depict the relationship between a loving couple – romantic and breathtaking!
Putting together a mood board for a client
For a bride-to-be starting to plan her wedding, what single piece of advice would you give her?
Limit the number of guests. Whilst every bride want as many friends as possible to see how beautiful she is or how chic and elegant the décor is on this very special occasion, the more guests there are the less time she has to interact with them. Limiting the guest list also keeps your budget on track.
We received these beautiful macaroons from one of our sweetest Brides-to-be
Please share your advice with those looking to get into wedding planning.
If you are interested in wedding planning because of its sociability, think twice. Being a wedding planner is both sociable and unsociable. Yes, you get to meet a lot of new people, but at the same time you spend a large amount of time in front of the computer – often at hours when your friends are at dinner gatherings or your family is off having weekend breakaways. Wedding planning is undoubtedly fun, but just make sure you know what you’re getting into!
Interview by Roanne
Hailing from the prestigious Christian Oth Studio in New York is our latest partnering photographer, Alison Mayfield. Having trotted all over the globe (she’s now based in Phuket!) and met people from all walks of life, the Australian native has sharpened a candid, unobtrusive style that is very popular with our brides. Her vast range and skill in wedding photography promise that every poignant moment of the big day is ably captured, and every emotion beautifully preserved. See more of her work here or call The Wedding Company at +852 2869 4222 to view her portfolio. Take a look at our recent interview with Alison.
Your recently moved to Phuket, how do you like your new town? Why did you leave the Big Apple?
Phuket is so magical! I love this place! New York City is also a magical place in a different way, so much energy! But I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to relocate out here in Southeast Asia and I was so excited to see new things and be inspired by a new part of the world. There are many amazing countries to see and explore, so why not!
What are 3 words that describe your style?
Romantic, intimate and timeless!
What about your work as a wedding photographer do you love most?
That’s a tough one as there is so much that I love about shooting weddings! Being with people on such an important day of their lives, I get such a deep insight to who they are, as individuals and a couple, and I really enjoy expressing that through my photographs. Every wedding is so different as people are, and that is always exciting for me.
How do you parlay your extensive travel experience and expertise in sports and fashion photography into wedding photography?
The sports photography trained me to react to moments quickly, which is so important for weddings! The one-off moments happen constantly all day and I need to be fast to catch these moments. The experience that comes with working with one of the top fashion photographers in the world is endless, but in regards to weddings, it’s especially important to see how to make people look their best. Everybody has a good angle! I constantly gain inspiration from fashion magazines, as I strive to shoot my bridal portraits in this way.
How does the energy of destination weddings differ from those held closer to home?
The energy of destination weddings is a little different. I find it more relaxed as the guests are all on holiday and usually the couple has been on holiday already for a week or so! It feels a little more festive in that respect.
Both places, close to home or destination, always have the energy of celebration and happiness that comes from a group of people that maybe haven’t seen each other (and altogether!) in a long time. It really is special!
With such an international clientele, how do you know what each couple is looking for?
Every couple is different, especially coming from different countries. From the early stages of the wedding, I am in contact with the bride and groom about their specific needs and wants for the day, and how best we can achieve them. The one thing that remains the same with all of my clients is their love for “the new school” wedding photography. That means photography that mixes in the romance, beauty, photojournalism, documentary, landscapes, timeless images all into one, without the forced uncomfortable posing that comes with the old-style art of wedding photography.
We love your black-and-white wedding shots. When do you prefer black-and-white over colour?
I love the digital era! Thanks to the advent of amazing digital cameras, I can choose during post-production which images I would like to change to black-and-white. I feel that there is a certain timeless beauty to black-and-white photography. Images that might have a busy background or beautiful light streaming through a window are enhanced in black-and-white, but then there are some scenes which scream color, such as turquoise water against the beach, or the bright colors of city lights!
Do you have a favourite wedding photo that you had taken yourself?
Yes, my favorite shot so far is one of my brides walking her dog before heading off to the wedding. It actually won first place in a highly regarded photography industry competition in the U.S., and was chosen to appear on the cover of PDN magazine. The best part about the image is the moment was not set up or staged — it just happened and I captured it. I am forever looking around at weddings and I never stop shooting! I love challenging myself to capture every moment the best I can!
Interview by Roanne
Here’s the rest of our Q&A with Lisa B! If you’ve missed the first half, you could find it here.
How do you usually prepare for your work on the big day? Do you find the need to get to know your clients’ personalities?
For Hong Kong weddings, I don’t have to visit the venues because I have already shot in them dozens of times. I do like to meet the couple at least once before the wedding, but I believe having those few hours of preparation on the morning of the wedding when the bride is having her hair done allows us time to warm up to one another and for me to find their best angles before the actual ceremony. I really wouldn’t change the way I shoot according to their personalities, though; I am merely there to capture them.
I get a good night’s sleep before a wedding shoot and have lots of recharged batteries and a big breakfast — those are the only things I need to prepare! I will ask the couple for a run-down/schedule of the day and a list of the group shots they require and any particulars that would be impossible for me to know they would like, such as a close-up of Great Granny’s miniature porcelain shoes on the wedding cake!
Which parts of the wedding day do you most love to shoot?
It’s very hard to say which parts I love to shoot most! Perhaps the speeches — there is so much emotion that comes from the speeches. And the tea ceremony — my eyes completely well up when I see the bride and her mum and dad cry, and even the groom, too — it’s very emotional and I love it. The wedding ceremony itself is a great part as well but a bit more nerve-racking for me, as I am aware that I am in full view of everyone, and it’s not so easy to hide because you want to get close enough to capture close-ups of the ring exchange and the kiss, not to mention usually having to battle your way through hordes of videographers and uncles and aunts with their cameras! I love the moment when the bride walks in with her dad and the look on the groom’s face. I also love the first dance and the guests going crazy on the dance floor. I guess I love it all!
Your subjects always look so much at ease and unsuspecting in your photos. Is there a trick that you use to banish wedding jitters and to put them in their comfort zones?
I think I can figure out the subject very quickly when I am photographing them. Some people love to be photographed and tease the camera and I will let them play up to that. But with subjects that are more shy, I will wait patiently until they stop noticing me so that I could photograph more discreetly. I use really long lenses so that I am never in anyone’s face. But some people like to get close to the camera and that’s fun too. I’ll just go with the flow and do the best I can with whatever situation I am presented. Flexibility is the key word here. Even if the subject is more reserved, after a while he or she will warm up to me, and even the shyest of couples are eventually pouting and flirting with the camera… or maybe it’s because of the champagne! I think having been a fashion model for ten years and knowing what it’s like to be on the other side of a camera have helped me — I know the worst possible thing to say to a camera-shy person is, “Relax!!”
True or false: “Less is more.”
Depends on what it is. Not with wedding cakes! More is definitely better. But fewer uncles with cameras on a wedding day is definitely preferred!
Lisa also does beautiful pre-wedding shoots in Hong Kong, London and Europe. Take a look at Lisa’s portfolio on her website. For a complete viewing of her work, call The Wedding Company at +852 2869 4222. Rates start from HK$19,000.
Lisa B, a talented wedding photographer who splits her time between London and Hong Kong, has a knack for snapping photos that draws you in. From documenting that anxious smile and beaming look to capturing the mood and beauty of the wedding, you’ll notice that Lisa’s amazing eye for detail is unmatched. She delivers photos that are not only timeless but stay true to their subjects. We were lucky enough to catch up with Lisa and to ask her a few questions about her work.
We love your work and want to know what makes you tick as a successful wedding photographer. Can you tell us how you got into wedding photography?
I got into this business by accident! A really good friend of mine, Charlotte, was putting together one of her first photo shoots for her bridal showroom, and because I had just started with photography, she asked me to do her promotional photos. The images were displayed around her shop and after receiving a lot of comments about them from brides, Charlotte kindly passed on my details, and the rest is history!
I love to see the moments I captured when I am editing the photos — if they make me smile or if I recall the moment from simply looking at the images, then I imagine how happy the couple would feel when they see them too. Knowing that these pictures will be there forever for the newlyweds to relive their special day and to pass onto their family and children and their children’s children is really meaningful for me. I want to capture a moment that is very special and intimate. I love to capture humor too — if I find myself laughing at an image or being able to tell the story within one frame, then I feel I have done a great job.
What are 3 words that describe your style?
Discreet, candid and real.
Can you walk us through a typical day on the job?
If the couple has booked my services for the whole day then I will arrive when the bride is getting her hair and make up done, during which I will follow the bride discreetly, taking photos of all the small, precious moments, such as putting on the veil, her mum fastening her jewelry, or slipping into her wedding shoes. I try not to disturb the flow of the day. I don’t like my photos too posed and if I were the bride I would be annoyed if the photographer relentlessly asks me to pose and hold a position. It is not a TV commercial, and I don’t believe that the most special day in your life should be treated like one.
There are times when group shots are necessary but they don’t take very long. I will simply follow the day’s schedule and focus on the best moments throughout the celebration. Hopefully I will be given a few breaks to recharge myself!
Do you usually look for the composition then wait for the moment? Or is the process more instinctive for you?
I can kind of tell what is going to happen and when, so I will quickly position myself for the best composition and wait for the right moment to press that shutter. Sometimes the composition is not always perfect due to obstacles getting in the way and my not having enough time to move. Other times, capturing the moment is more important and I will work on the depth of field to get rid of obstructions, or later work on the cropping during post-production. But it all happens so quickly that I guess it’s just instinctive. Years of practice help too!
Check back soon for the second half of our Q&A. Lisa also does beautiful pre-wedding shoots in Hong Kong, London and Europe. You can also contact The Wedding Company at +852 2869 4222 for a viewing of her portfolio or for any questions!
Interview by Roanne