What experience do you have?

I have been working as a photographer full-time since 2010 and started shooting weddings in 2012. In 2014 I began focusing exclusively in this area and with over 100 weddings & many happy couples i  now focus on around  20 weddings a year & include Aerial drone photography in all my packages . I was one of the first wedding drone photographers to include drone wedding photography & this year included couples with mini wedding website along with their own wedding apps as well as reception slideshows ( from photos taken just hours earlier ) 

I love what I do and I’m constantly receiving client feedback telling me how much fun they had and how happy they are with their photos!

What makes your work different to other photographers?

I love what I do, thrive on the pressure to get it right and enjoy the connection with the couples I meet. As the couples above will testify I invest time in pre-preparation treating every wedding as a unique event and endeavour to have the couples personalities reflect in the photographs I take for them. I am always looking for those special shots on the day that cannot be planned and have the experience and equipment to take advantage of these when they occur. I invest a lot of time in pre-preparation and don’t rely on Photoshop to enhance moments but I have the expertise to do this if need be.

How many images do we get?

It’s an often asked question; I don’t limit the number of images I take. On average I provide the couple with anywhere between 350 – 600 wedding photos depending on the length of their day, the number of guests and size of the bridal party, along with how many locations we go to.

After years of experience I know when I’ve got the shot, so I prefer to move on and create more variety and combinations, rather than shooting 10 images of the same thing.

Do you retouch the photos?

Yes, all images — we shoot in a dual format one is called Raw, which does allow recovery from most situations and provides greater flexibility over image modifications, but requires that every image be colour corrected and exposure adjustments made. The other is high resolution JPG image which allows us to get images to you quickly, and even share some of them with you on the night. This makes the post editing job time consuming, but ensures you have incredible images.

We spend more time again on images used in sneak peeks — galleries — slideshows and albums. This can involve everything from teeth whitening, facial smoothing, background enhancement and other special effects.

What time do you start and when do you finish?

My packages include all day wedding photography coverage. The exact start time and end time varies from couple to couple. For all weddings I like to cover the groom and bride photos, the ceremony followed by congratulations, group and family photos, location shoot and the reception up until the first dance. This way I can capture the whole wedding day and I find it just tells the best story. I have an assistant or second photographer to assist me with the ceremony and post ceremony photos.

I’m shy in front of the camera and hate being photographed –

Almost every wedding couple that I meet tell me two things:- 1) they are shy and don’t really like being photographed, and 2) they hate posing!

Firstly, we totally understand that it’s your one in a million day, and understand some people don’t like being in front of the camera. Dreading the moment where the Photographer whisks you away for your photos. However, I want your day to be full of excitement and fun. I want to add to your most memorable day by making you feel as comfortable as you can. I like to create or encourage scenarios where you are interacting with your friends and family and genuinely having fun, so you will basically forget that I’m even there! I can guide you every step of the way if you prefer. This way you can be totally comfortable doing what you’re doing and I can shoot away getting all the laughs, cries and everything in between! I’m happy for you to speak with some couples from recent weddings about how this works.

Do you do Pre-wedding engagement shoots?

Yes, I include this with every wedding I shoot (schedules permitting), it’s a great way to get comfortable with one another. I like to do this around 2 months before the day but I am flexible regarding this if couples have another need for the photos, such as invites, etc. Most couples want a naturally shot wedding and would like to have photos of the day as it unfolds. I love this too but unless you are a model or very comfortable with the camera you will need some coaching and I have found spending as much time as possible with the couple just makes this easier for you. On the day I want to blend in and be as invisible as possible.

How long does it take to get the photos?

I try and make my turn around process as fast as possible! Within 48 hours I prepare a sneak peek of the day with around 25 photos in a mobile gallery that you can share via SMS. Here is an example of how it is delivered, using sample images from recent weddings – My goal is to have your final photos returned to you within four weeks.

Timeline for Photos

In the first week after your wedding I sort your photos into a couple of categories i.e. Pre-wedding – The Ceremony and Location photos and Reception. This allows me to identify key photos that can be used in the slideshow which is set to music (typically around 40 – 50) to tell the mini story of the day. If I am sure about your music choice I finalise this and save it as an MP4 file so it can be viewed on a large screen. I upload this first to a private site and have you check and approve. Once you have done this I send it to you on a USB drive along with 20 or so A4 sample prints. I like to have this done within 10 days so they are ready for you when you return from your honeymoon. I then finalise the images and send them to you on a USB drive in a presentation box within the four weeks. This process has set new benchmarks that others try to follow. It has proven to be challenging for me, however, I am focussed on achieving this for my clients, and if not possible I will communicate with you to keep you updated if there are any delays.

Are the images watermarked?

Absolutely NOT! Watermarking all the images and then trying to sell you un-watermarked images seems totally dodgy to me. Although, some photographers do it, so watch out and make sure you check with them first before booking in.

What happens if it rains on the day?

Awesome! I love rain, some of my absolute favourite shots ever are in the rain. Although it’s totally up to you and also depends on how hard it is raining! If it is drizzling, then let’s grab the umbrellas and head out. Colours look lush, surfaces become reflective and I find that everything just comes alive!

Or alternatively we can just shoot indoors instead if it is raining too hard. After many years of shooting, there has only been once that we were unable to shoot outside. Even last November (2015) every weekend it was bucketing down but I still managed to get a break and we got the photos. Ideally we only need it not to rain in the afternoon for a couple of hours. Given this I typically don’t worry too much about rain and just check the weather a few days out, and if the forecast says that there is 100% chance of rain then I’ll call you and we’ll put together a plan B. We can shoot at your reception venue early, we can go to a café, a bar or a club, and we can use umbrellas, or we can go to some locations which are under cover, not to worry, there are always plenty of options.

What happens if you (the photographer) are sick?

That’s a good question! After many years of shooting I have been very lucky and have never pulled out of a wedding. I have been quite sick on a few occasions and did the absolute best I could on the day, as it turned out, the couples didn’t even know I was sick!

In a worst case scenario, if I’m seriously ill and cannot make it we have two options. I have my second photographer (Sonny) who has been working with me for the last three years and is more than capable to take over. Or I know heaps of very good photographers in the industry and would organise everything for you.

Please contact Mike on the contact form or call on 0413-001777 to discuss your requirements.

Belstar Photography are Central Coast wedding photography professionals.


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