Cheap Wedding Ideas Can Produce Great Weddings

Everyone dreams of a great wedding. Achieving such dreams can be costly especially when the couple is on a tight budget. However, it is possible to have a great wedding within a tight budget if you are willing to hunt for better deals and look for cheap wedding ideas. I would like to share some cheap wedding ideas than can result in great wedding.

Make your own wedding invitation cards

Designing and printing your own wedding invitation cards using the computer software can be a lot of fun. Both of you can work together designing that special wedding card. Or even better if you are creative enough, you can handwritten those cards yourself to add some nice personal touch. You can save a lot here!

Make your own flowers

Another cheap wedding idea is to make your own flower arrangements. Buy the flowers (you can always get cheap ones in Ebay) and arrange them yourself. If you can’t, just get a friend to do it for you. You can save a lot on the cost of asking a florist to make the flower arrangements for you.

Do your own catering

Doing your own catering can also help a couple on a tight budget. You may have family members or relatives who are good at cooking. Get them together and cook the best family recipe for the special event of your life.

Ask everyone to be the wedding photographer

Wedding photos taken by specialized wedding photographers are expensive these days. To stay within the budget, why not get everyone to take photos of you and the others on your wedding day. You will get some nice and unexpected shots. Or better still leave a few disposable cameras on the reception tables together with a note informing the guests to take photos and later leave the cameras on the table.

Turn the wedding cakes into desserts

Turning the wedding cakes into desserts is also another option to stay within the budget. Make arrangements for both of you to cut the cake before sitting down to eat so that the cake can be served as desserts. Planning something like is will save you money too.

These are some cheap wedding ideas that can help make your wedding a great wedding. A great wedding does not have to be expensive. You can turn a simple wedding to a great one through proper planning.

Outdoor Wedding Ideas and Plans

Marriages are said to be made in heaven, but it surely is celebrated and planned on our very own planet. In the modern times, people are gradually switching to more wild and out of box plans for their weddings. Outdoor wedding ideas are a popular wedding choice that numerous couples are coming up with. Outdoor locations if chosen properly can add the essence of romance in the air. If you are not very cautious while picking the location it is needless to say that even the most captivating arrangements can turn sour. The conventional weddings are definitely weddings too but outdoor tag somehow adds to the entire feel and look of the occasion.

When you decide upon making your wedding extraordinary, deciding upon the right location is of crucial importance. There are many venues that have been tried and tested by people in different parts of the globe while there are locations that are still virgin. A great advantage of arranging a wedding outside the four walls is that you have the most beautiful guests attending your wedding- the nature. This also reduces the need to plan up a lot of decoration for the wedding since the nature takes care of that aspect. You just need to highlight a bit with the right kind of matching decorations.

Nature, too, has numerous elements to it. You are free to choose any of them based on what you and your partner prefers the most. Some of the most frequently picked locations used for marriages comprise of beaches, gardens, cruise, lakesides, and even forests and mountains. Outdoor wedding ideas also help you to divest yourself from the ancient themes pre-decided by people and pick on a theme of your choice. You can truly visualize your wedding fantasies coming to life with everything of your choice! There are various companies that provide the service of planning and arranging a wedding in an outdoor venue of your choice.

Such services are either in the form of packages that more or less envelope every aspect of the wedding or some of them are tailor made to suit your needs precisely. A bespoke outdoor wedding can prove to be more economical since you can cut down the costs by subtracting the segments you do not want or even have them replaced. An experienced and leading brand in this field can provide you plenty of outdoor wedding ideas. You will be able to explore greater locations since expert minds will be working on making your special day very exceptional.

Such packages usually cover everything beginning from decorations, food, drinks, music, lights, to post event tasks such as cleaning up etc. outdoor wedding ideas have gained immense popularity in the recent times since there is no restriction on the area in comparison to an event inside a closed hall. It also reduces the expenditure involved in the entire event. All you need to do is have an alternate back up in the same location so that in case of a sudden downpour you can quickly shift indoors without hassles. Just hold the hands of your beloved and be ready to begin the most amazing journey of life at the most mesmerizing location!

Whimsical Wedding Photography – 7 Secrets To Help You Achieve It

Whimsical wedding photography is all about bringing the creative and slightly abstract world of imagination into the realm of reality via a creative eye. Here’s 7 things that should help a professional wedding photographer or engaged couple achieve a whimsical wedding photography shoot.

1. Movies Make Great Props – Think back to the early classic movies where people were starting to create imagery that combined their imagination with the real world. Like Marie Popins, The Wizard of Oz, or Aladdin. Use props that you’d find in these to help create an imaginary element to your images.

2. Comfort – My best photos will often happen half way through the wedding photography shoot if the couple isn’t relaxed and comfortable around me. Do what you can to meet your photographer before the wedding in a place where you can laugh a little together (engagement shoots are perfect for this). Don’t be shy about interacting with each other a little during the hours before the wedding or you’ll not be relaxed when you really want to be – in front of the camera on the wedding photography.

3. Confidence – Confidence in front of the camera is such a key. I’m not talking about becoming a catwalk model, but the confidence that lets you get a little creative and playful in front of the camera. You’ll get this through practice (again the engagement shoots are helpful) but also focusing on your partner rather than the photographer. Make them laugh, give them a push, smack ’em on the bum, climb stuff, pick each other up. The last person you want to be shy around is your photographer – or you’ll get boring ‘look and smile’ type photos.

4. Avoid the shopping mall – Unique or striking locations are a must have in my opinion. If you’re looking for wedding photography locations in Auckland check out my website below. Places with tunnels, cliffs, striking beaches, contrasting colours, anything that is a little out of the ordinary is a real key. I even find sneaking out for 5 minutes in the dark at the reception a great opportunity to get some creative wedding photos. There’s nothing like a starry night for a whimsical look.

5. Creative editing – Ensure your photographer has evidence of developing whimsical photos before you choose them. A lot is done in the hours and hours of editing after the wedding. The ‘almost unreal’ feel of whimsical photography is best drawn out via a slight tweak in lighting or contrast that comes in the editing suite.

6. Energy – Let’s face it, a wedding day is exhausting. So don’t burn out in front of the camera and miss your chance for whimsical creative photos when you’re looking amazing. Get yourself a good breakfast, don’t skip lunch and have someone organise a collection of snacks and energy drinks for the wedding party during the photo shoot.

7. Down Time – Tying in closely with number 6, but a little different. Whimsical photography comes through what I’d call structured and unstructured images. I’d ware any bridal party out (and myself) trying to force structured images throughout the shoot – “do this, do that, walk here, jump there”. Talk to your photographer about having some quality downtime DURING the photo shoot. 5 minutes on a rug just hanging out with your partner can create some of the most intimate whimsical photography available. It’s just a matter of choosing carefully where you have this downtime. It needs to be in a striking location and you need to be able to forget about the photographer.

Headshot Advice for Actors

Weekly I receive phone calls from actors looking for dirt cheap headshots. In most cases, dirt cheap headshots from amateur or novice photographers are exactly that… cheap and not usable to market yourself.

The truth, actors who spend the time and money to have acting coaches, active training, invest in continual growth and great headshots are the successful actors.

Here are some facts you need to know for great headshots:

1) Meet and Greet the Photographer

If a photographer is not willing to actually meet and talk with you, run away. This person generally does not care about you or your career. This photographer is more interested in lining his or her pockets by acquiring as many clients as possible. At the very least, a photographer should be willing to conduct a phone interview. There is no way a photographer is too busy to meet with a prospective client. Ask yourself – ‘How will they capture my personality if they have no idea who I am? There are THOUSANDS of actors in Los Angeles (NYC as well) and thousands more arriving every month. What separates you from these actors? A headshot of another pretty face? I don’t think so. Do casting directors hire an actor on a picture alone? No – why on earth would you?

Meeting with the photographer to confirm your compatibility is very important. This cannot be stressed enough. Take the time to meet the photographer. This allows you both to get a sense of one another.

Feeling good about your choice will go a long way in producing those headshots that will get you auditions. The rest will be up to you.

2) Does Experience Matter

This is a tough subject. There are many talented beginners out there. They usually charge a lot less than highly experienced photographers. But they lack experience, therefore they do not always deliver the best product. How can you tell if the photographer you’re looking at is as experienced and as talented as they claim? It’s simple. When you go to meet with the photographer, ask to see printed work. A quality headshot will not lie on paper. That you can be sure of. I recall a magazine I interviewed with asking for a printed portfolio. They loved my work online, but they knew that a print is 1000% truth of quality. Did I get the job, YES!

What an experienced professional can give you is consistency. Someone who takes great pictures every day. The truth is that anyone can take a few decent pictures to promote themselves. But you have to get it right time and time again to have agents, managers, and others in the film and TV community refer people to you consistently. A photographer who specializes in working with actors can help you relax and express yourself. This will translate in capturing an authentic look in your new photos.

“No. 1 headshot photographer in town”, run away from this claim. It’s just a gimmick designed to manipulate you. Plain and Simple.

3) The Headshot Factory

Headshot photography is a business and every photographer wants to make a good living. Quantity, Quantity, Quantity… Shooting as many people as a photographer can fit in a day does nobody any good. Shooting as many people as possible in a day is certainly very rewarding for the photographer. But what about you, the client? Shouldn’t the session be about you and giving you a great product? How can anyone provide a high quality product when they are rushing between clients? Simply put, they can’t. Most top photographers do not take more than two headshot appointments per day.

Ford has it right… “Quality is Job #1″. This should be the motto of every headshot photographer.

4) Post Production

The ability to instantly review pictures on the back of the camera makes it easier for anyone to shoot. But the care that goes into each step in photography has been lost by many photographers. In this world of digital technology, there is a perception that you take a picture and it’s done. But just as with film, digital files represent the original captured image with numerous steps to go.

Post production is not the same as retouching. With film, an experienced photo printer would go into the darkroom and make the best possible print from a negative. The printer would adjust the brightness, contrast, and sharpness of the image, to include dodging and burning areas of the picture. This is also necessary with digital “negatives”, this is referred to as image processing. Image processing is necessary to make adjustments to the overall picture. Retouching on the other hand, is eliminating stray hairs and blemishes on the skin. When a photographer starts with a great file up front, then post processing is used to fine-tune color, contrast and skin tone.

You should not work with a photographer who is not willing to post produce and retouch their work.

Amazing headshots start with a quality image from the get go, not quantity.

Searching for a great headshot photographer can be a lot of work and should be valued with the same importance you place on your career.

Amazing quality headshots will pay you back many times over.

Photographing Grumpy Kids – The Solution

I recently ran a couple of baby & toddler portrait photography sessions back to back and had a great morning photographing some gorgeous kids. But one of them was really grumpy and didn’t want a bar of the whole thing.

How did we deal with it? Every parent wants a smiley happy shot of their kids with bright eyes resonating happiness and joy with few parents happy to sit back and let the mood of the moment shine though. It was an interesting session with the first gorgeous wee girl one of those perfect models born for the camera and happy to be the star of the moment. Our more subdued candidate came a little later and certainly wasn’t in the mood to be in front of the camera. However – this little man had a more serious demeanor and just didn’t fit the standardised smiley face we tend to see in a lot of kids portraits. So we all relaxed and just got him engaged in activity on the studio floor with his wee brother…. but still no smiles. What we ended up getting was my personal favorite shot of the day…. a poignant photograph of a perfect face with incredible clarity and a unique moment in time. It reminded me of why we are there in the first place as photographers – to record moments in time and try to represent more than just mimicry of other images we may have seen or been asked to create. So to answer the question I posed at the beginning of the article?

  1. Relax Mum & Dad Make sure Mum and Dad are as relaxed as their tension will only add to the problem of grumpy kids. Remind them that this is completely normal and won’t ruin the time you have with them. We all know in extreme cases its best to draw the line and re-book sometimes and its by no means the end of the world. Everyone has their off days.
  2. Smile You can’t expect your subjects to have fun if you aren’t – You will often be a total stranger to some of these little fellas so you will need to establish some trust boundaries and a comfort zone.
  3. Get Involved Studio lighting and equipment can sometimes be scary to these little ones so for the older kids, getting them behind the camera to take a few test shots for you is often a great way for them to comprehend whats going to happen and why everyone is there in the first place.
  4. Wait Take the pressure off yourself and just be prepared to wait for that shot…. you know… the one that makes it all worth while and the shot that you would personally hang on your wall.
  5. Go with the flow Time to get unconventional – I tend to rig the lighting in the studio to give me as much coverage as possible so when these little ones go mobile, you’ve got the capacity to simply follow them on their journey around the studio. We’ve managed to get some great candid shots this way as they engage with various elements and people onsite.

If you’ve photographed kids for any length of time I’m sure you can relate to the above – however if you’re just starting out – don’t despair if your first few shoots don’t go according to. With a relaxed attitude and practice, you’ll be shooting like a pro in no time.

Celebrate Your Wedding in Auckland

With so many different places around New Zealand to choose from, couples can find all types of dream wedding locations and great places to get married. Planning your wedding in Auckland is quite popular as you have access to a wide range of services including: florists, limousine companies, photographers, marriage celebrants or coordinators, catering companies and cake designers through to a huge selection of accommodation establishments.

You will also be within close access to some of New Zealand’s most frequented holiday spots located North of Auckland where the weather is warm, the beaches golden and the atmosphere perfect for honeymooners. Waiheke Island, a short 30 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, is another ideal spot where you can wave goodbye to your wedding guests at the end of the night and head toward the tropical paradise of Waiheke Island to relax and enjoy time with your partner.

When you consider having your wedding in Auckland, you need to plan carefully to ensure that you get everything taken care of. Many couples choose to have their ceremony somewhere different to the reception. This is common in Auckland as there are some magnificent inner city, seaside and park locations popular for celebrating weddings.

A few spots worth checking out include:

– Skycity
This inner city landmark has over 12 venues to select from with unbeatable views over the city and harbour.

– Hotel Function Rooms
There are dozens of hotel function and conference rooms available that offer specialised wedding packages with a range of room styles, menu options and the added bonus of guests being able to book rooms at the location as the reception.

– Public Parks
There are many spectacular courtyards and sunny garden open spaces available around Auckland city.

– Beaches
Auckland is the place to be if you are interested in a beach wedding. You can find over 50 beaches in and around Auckland, leaving you no shortage of options!

– Wineries
Auckland is home to many premier winery estates. If you are looking for privacy and elegance you should definitely take a look around the various local Auckland wineries.

No matter where you decide to celebrate your wedding in Auckland you can easily arrange for minivan or bus transportation from your accommodation / reception venue to the ceremony and back. This saves guests having to find their own way, particularly those not familiar with Auckland city.

Your wedding is your big day and although the planning can be quite intensive, you won’t be disappointed in deciding to have Auckland as your location.