Questions with Lisa

I asked one of the top wedding photographers in Canada to have a glance over my website. He was pretty generous with his positive feedback but said I needed to add more about myself! I had to do an interview for a NZ wedding page so I thought I’d share my responses here…

First and foremostWhom can you name as a great wedding photographer in Wellington? I’ve always loved the work of Simon Woolf – a real iconic photographer in Wellington. There are many great photography talents in the coolest little capital in the world though!   

Are you photogenic? – Not at all. I prefer to be on the other side of the lens – the only exception of course was my own special wedding day where I felt like a princess.

How did you get into wedding photography? – After taking a break from my corporate career to have children, I invested in my first DSLR and quickly grew to love portrait photography – my young children were great subjects. A friend asked me to shoot their wedding and it really all started from there.

What are the most important components of a good photo in your opinion? – Subject, composition and good light direction! You can do a lot in post production but a quality photograph should be captured in camera.

Are you fond of travelling? – Yes, when I can fit it in with all my family, sport and work demands.

What do you like most about your profession? –  The people I get to meet – so varied and every wedding is different. It’s a real honour to have the responsibility of capturing on camera one of the most important days in a couple’s lives.

What do you like least about your profession? – Very little to dislike but if I had to pick something – it’s almost always weekend work so it’s a juggle to fit in around family and my sport. I always look forward to shooting my weddings though and love ‘wedding day adrenalin’.

What will be the future of wedding photography? – Videography will continue to grow try and take market share but I think there will always be a demand for the classic still images that take pride of place in frames on walls. Technology will continue to amaze us and we will always be looking for a better lens or camera body! Bigger/smaller and better than the rest.

What is special in wedding photography? – The variety. You need to be an ‘everything’ photographer on a wedding day – macro (details), portrait (child, adult, groups), landscape, sport and even experience in night photography. You can’t control the weather and you’re always working in different venues so you need to be prepared for everything!

How do you handle criticism? – I take it personally! I take great pride in my work and I’d genuinely be upset if someone wasn’t happy with the final product. I really do put 110% into the day to ensure I can perform to the best of my ability.

Are there any trends in wedding photography? Growing trends to use modern presets in post production – particularly the darker and moodier look. I light bright, fresh and clean images so I don’t use any presets in post production and run with my own style.

What should be the criteria for a bride and a groom to choose their wedding photographer? – I’d be asking….Do they like the style of work – have a good look at portfolios. Does it fit within their budget? Do they LIKE the photographer – they’re with you all day remember! Are their deliverables reasonable? (time taken to get images back, package inclusions etc)

What things are to be avoided when shooting? – Messy rooms! I’m big on clearing the clutter. Avoid shooting anything that would bring someone’s reputation into disrepute.

What things that common people don’t usually see can a wedding photographer notice? – The details!  Sunglasses left on. Buttons not done on jackets. Crooked ties. Unsymmetrical tables/chairs/aisles/menus/cloths.  Flowers facing the wrong way. People hiding in group photos! I could go on…

What influences the value of a photo? What are its elements? – Is this a test?! The seven elements of a good photo are: Line. Shape. Form. Texture. Pattern. Colour. Space.

What person can be the symbol of the 21st century in your opinion? – Queen Elizabeth! Still ruling her empire since 1953. Good for her. Can’t think of anyone else at the moment.

Who do you want to take photos of? – Since I’m on the royal topic, how about taking photos of Prince William and his family!! I think they’d be more fun the Queen.

Do you have any professional taboos? – No!

Who would you like to shoot with? – Taylor Jackson and Jasmine Star – both Wedding Photographer Extraordinaires!

What do you worry about, and why? – Missing the first kiss. It’s so important! I also never relax until I get home from a wedding and get all the images off the cards and back them up three times.  The loss of wedding images would be catastrophic and I do all I can to avoid such events.

What is the most impressive moment in your life? – No single one – would be a combined moment of marrying my husband and creating three beautiful children.

If you were a cartoon, book or movie character, who would you be and why? Tigger from Winnie the Pooh…. because I’m full of bounce!

Who inspires you in your life and why? – My family. My husband. My parents. My children. I learn and get inspiration from all of them.

How do you define success? How do you measure it? – Richard Branson says it’s Happiness. I tend to agree. Measuring it…knowing that you are happy within despite the ups and downs, always content with knowing that you’ve always given your best.

Would you rather be liked or respected? Respected.  You usually have to work harder for that. 

What is the biggest mistake you have ever made at work? – I can’t think of any – that’s a good thing right?!

When you’re going to travel, what do you take with you and why? – Easy. A camera. I have an addiction to capturing what my eyes see. You never know the future value of a photograph of a particular moment could be.  Emotional value, not financial value I might add!

Is there anything among your gadgets that you wish you hadn’t bought? Why? – A battery grip – added too much extra weight to my camera to shoot a full day.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures? – I try and take time to continue to improve my craft. I invest in specialty courses – in person and online. I’m also always looking at other photographers work for inspiration.

Whose work has influenced you most as a wedding photographer? – In recent times it would Taylor Jackson and also Jasmine Star.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos? – All the answers and what to do in every lighting situation! Knowledge takes time and patience though. You’ve just got to put the hours in.

What do you want to say with your photographs? – I want my photographs to say what people feel. I want people to feel the emotion that’s captured in that fleeting moment.

What motivates you to continue taking pictures? – Encouragement from my friends, family and clients. I am internally driven to continually work on my craft. It’s my competitive nature coming out in me. I don’t necessarily have to be the best just yet… but I’d want to be fairly high up on that ladder.

Should your parents have been more or less strict? – They got the balance just right. I reckon I was a pretty good kid, perhaps a little noisy. 

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently? – No regrets. No changes. Keep moving forward positively in what we’re doing in this thing called life.

What about life on other planets? – You’re getting off track here. If there is life out there, I’m sure they’re having a good time.

Who are your heroes? – Everyday people, fighting extraordinary challenges in their lives. Some people just get dealt some bad cards. They’re heroes in my eyes.

Who do you have no respect for? – Anyone who causes harm to any living thing.

What do you do in your spare time? – What’s that?! I love raising my children with my husband, walking our dogs, looking after/training/competing our horses.

What’s the side of you that the public never sees? – Me with no clothes on?!! What you see is what you get with me.

When are you completely satisfied with your work? – When my clients expectations have been exceeded. 

Do you believe in the traditional roles for men and women? – Nope. Equality rules these days. I do love the tradition of roles on wedding days though…

Do you make friends easily? – I’m pretty social so I’d tick the yes box for that.

Where would you like to live? – On a farm in Wellington, New Zealand. Tick again!!

What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever agreed to do? – Hmmmm… can’t think of anything yet.

Is there life after marriage? – Sure! It’s just a different kind of life after you get married. You’re part of an official team now – til death do you part!! Getting heavy now…

Do you have a favourite joke? Tell us. – What do you call a fly without wings. A walk.

Do you like dogs or cats? – No, I LOVE dogs and cats. Always have to have dogs and cats in my lives. They are my indoor fur children. The outdoor fur children are the horses!

Who or what do you hate? – Eggs. Can’t stand the smell of them!

Do you take nothing but wedding photos? – No, I also do portrait photography (newborn, children, family etc), plus through winter I photograph school and kindergartens.

The best thing in life is: – LOVE!! Love makes the world go round. And cheese, chocolate and champagne.

The most annoying thing in life is: – Bills. Why can’t everything be free.

Is there anything around you that you would like to change? – Yes. The pink carpet in my house. It’s the only thing I don’t like! Need to shoot a few more weddings to pay for that though.

What would you like to change in yourself? – I probably need to be less bossy and more patient. Those negative traits have got me through some challenging moments though so perhaps I wouldn’t change them after all.

What would you like to alter in the world? – Hatred towards others who are different. Poverty. Inequality. The inability to fix people who are unwell.

Can you give a few tips for wedding photographers who are just starting out? – Pick up the camera and practice, practice, practice.

If aliens come to the Earth and you are the first person they meet, what will you tell them? – Hi! I’m Lisa. Welcome to our world. Don’t scare me.

If you are called to shoot a movie, what genre will it be?  – Biographical drama. I’m all about capturing real life.

Tomorrow I will go and do...- some good in the world hopefully!

Ok… that’s 59 questions and I like nice even numbers so go ahead and ask me the 60th question in the comments below!..

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