Wedding Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

07 548 1004 | 021378261

Are you actually based in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand?

Yes - I live & work in Tauranga - & have done for the past 6 years prior to that I lived in Taupo


How long have you been a professional photographer?

I had to think about this one, but it's been over 5 years doing weddings, prior to that I did wild life.


What's your style at "Bay of Plenty Weddings" when you're photographing weddings?

I'm very much an interactive photographer - talking to the guests, finding out who's who etc. - I find that I get better photographs that way. I have been told that my entertaining manner encourages those who dislike having photos taken feel at ease.


What sort of photographs do you take?

My style is to take casual, informal shots capturing the story of the day - and to that extent, most couples just let me get on with it - leaving them to enjoy their day! The requirement for group shots varies - I always like to do one of the whole group - plus any others that are wanted (tip: make a list so you don't have to make it up on the day!). It's usually best to get them done with as much expediency as possible. The volunteered (or otherwise!) assistance of a brother, usher or best man always helps to speed up the proceedings, otherwise you may find your guests heading for the bar!


Where have you photographed weddings?

Most of the major venues in Tauranga, Mount Maunganui plus Rarotonga, Auckland, Waihi, Ohope, Whakatane, Kati Kati, Taupo, Waiheke Island, Reperoa, Warkworth, Napier and even one on White Island shot on a volcano!




How many collections are there to choose from?

At "Bay of Plenty Weddings" there are 3 collections to choose from - Black Diamond, Red Diamond, and Blue Diamond.

Check our Collections page to view the full details of each collection.


Do you photograph many couples who have been married before?

Yes - I'd say at least 50% of my weddings are "2nd timers". I guess the nature of the New Zealand venues lend themselves towards the smaller, more personal weddings which are typical of couples getting married for the second time.


What time do you arrive?

For all the collections I arrive at the bride's location about an hour prior to her departure for the ceremony, so that I can get those final moments of preparation.


Do you take many photographs during the service?

Of course...I always take photographs during the proceedings; the ceremony is paramount since this is the part of your day where your faces and the faces of your friends and family will show many emotions. Working with my wife, as the celebrant, it is always an advantage since I know when she is going to move, where she is going to stand and she is happy for me to tell her ...politely of course "get out of the way!!! Since Jackie will have written the ceremony with you, I will know the sequence and the timing of emotive words. However I am always conscious that although the ceremony is important, I will endeavour not to get in the way of your audience, consequently many of the ceremonial shots are taken from inconspicuous areas in an effort not to block any ones view.

In Church weddings, the amount of photographs taken can be quite restricted - it's down to the discretion of the Vicar (they vary considerably in their attitude to photography). I suggest that YOU bring the matter to the attention of your Vicar if it's particularly important to you to have photographs taken in the church.


How much time should I allow for photos?

As a rule of thumb I suggest the following time frame:

  • Pre-shots of bride's preparation: 1 hour
  • Ceremony: 45 minutes
  • Kissin' and a-huggin' after the ceremony: 30 minutes
  • Group shots: 45 minutes
  • Portraits: 1 ½ - 2 hours

(I always suggest we leave the venue and go off-site, even if it is just in a quiet locality within the area, if we are going to a an alternative setting take into consideration travelling time there and back)

So I always reckon on 4 hours from the moment the bride walks down the aisle to the couple arriving at the reception.



And if it rains?

All the better!! Honestly don't freak out, some things even I don't have control over, however I am always prepared with umbrellas ( In various colours of course). So rather than try hiding the wet conditions I will use them to our advantage and make it fun. Over the years I have sussed out some alternative locations with weather conditions in mind. Nevertheless if the weather was horrendous I would do what I could on the day, and at a later date of your choosing I would take you back out (and the wedding party if they were still around) and do some additional shots at no expense to you (assuming you live in the Bay of Plenty region).

So if it does rain on your wedding day what can you do about it? Here's a few of our tips for Bride and Grooms along with some of the things that we do to make the most of a wet day:

  1. Bring a brolly – Even during periods of good weather we assume it could turn at any time and so we take gear to weddings that will help us with wet weather. Rain umbrellas and lighting gear for interior group shots often don't get used but its reassuring knowing that we have them with us. For Bride and Grooms renting or buying a white umbrella for your wedding day is definitely one of the most prudent purchases you can make.
  2. Be Flexible – A Summer wedding doesn't guarantee you good weather but one thing it does guarantee you more of is daylight and that in itself gives you a better chance of having some photographs outside because it rarely rains solidly all day and our full day coverage ensures that we are there with you to take advantage of breaks in the rain to grab photos outside.Locations that are sheltered can really enhance the shots , I have a number of spots that can make spectacular scenes.
  3. Accept that your wedding dress will get dirty – Whether it's a wet or dry day if you have a full length wedding dress that trails on the floor it's going to get grubby at the bottom no matter what you do. On a wet wedding day it's going to get a little bit wet as well as dirty but if you accept this at the start of the day and don't fret about it or let it restrict you then you will enjoy the day more and get photos that show this enjoyment.
  4. Use the inside areas – Many venues have great interior areas that can get overlooked for photos if the weather outside is good so wet wedding days are a great excuse to make the most of these areas for some different photos.
  5. Have fun with brollies – We are always happy to shoot outside in the rain so if we get a Bride and Groom who are happy to join us outside it's a good opportunity to have fun with brollies which are a great accessory for photographs.
  6. Have some spare shoes on hand – If you have a full length gown then the shoes won't show in the photos so if the grounds wet and soft underfoot consider having some alternative shoes or even wellies to walk around in when outside.


What exactly is "Rock the Frock"?

This option is an additional shooting at a later date and is free of charge in the Satin and Silk collections.

Some call it "Trash the dress". A Rock the Frock photo shoot can simply be a way to get those artsy shots you simply couldn't squeeze into your wedding day schedule. Or, it can be the beginning of something totally audacious – paintball, jumping in the waves, mud-stomping, whatever appeals to you – to create a disk of stunning photos that celebrate how beautiful you feel while wearing your gown.

I believe I am unique in the way that I provide these inspired and artistic shots. I can provide some props for this entertaining day; we have a leopard skin Chaise Lounge to take to a location that is accessible and a vintage grocery bike that has been adapted to seat the bride on the front!


"Bay of Plenty Weddings" mention free engagement portraits, what's that all about?

If you book the satin or silk collections I will do some portraits, free of charge, for your engagement invitations (once again this is for those who live in the Bay of Plenty region).


Do you have a 2nd photographer?

Quite often, if working in the Bay of Plenty area, I bring a photographic student with me, it all depends on who is available at the time but it does mean that he/she can go and take the photos of "the boys" as they get ready. We do not charge for this, however it does mean we cannot guarantee this service. However if you would like me to organise a paid 2nd camera this would be an additional cost.


Do the collections include an album?

No - to accommodate the small & medium sized weddings typical of New Zealand, and at the request of many clients who just want a CD & professional quality prints, the collections do not offer an album as standard. With such a large choice of albums now available both in shops and on-line, many couples prefer to choose their own to suit their particular style & taste. I can arrange for a album of course,just let me know.


What is a "Bay of Plenty Weddings" Photo Book?

An A4 hardback cover featuring a large portrait of you both on the front cover, & pages printed both sides on glossy photo-paper containing a selection of the images from your wedding day. Photo Books are the modern, contemporary way of displaying your wedding photographs & due to there reasonable cost our clients tend to buy more than 1 to give as gifts to parents.


So what do I get?

EVERY PACKAGE Includes THREE CD/DVD's containing ALL the high resolution images from your wedding. You received the Master copy, which contains the "good, the bad and the ugly", these are the originals which we ask you to store safely in case you should ever lose your photos.

The second CD/DVD are the photos that have been professionally edited, retouched and supplied with unlimited reproduction rights for personal use, so that you can print your own photos out at home or get your own prints done.

The bonus, and what I think gets viewed more than anything else is a DVD that plays on your TV and/or computer with the highlights of your day, put to the music you chose for your day and with special effects added. We give you 3 copies of the digital photo story, so that you may give both sets of parents a copy. Additional copies can be ordered for $20.


Why do I want a CD?

Having a CD containing all your wedding photographs (supplied with unlimited reproduction rights for personal use) gives you choice and flexibility without having to always go back to the photographer every time you want additional prints You can view the images on your own computer as well as printing out any of your photos on your home printer (however, I wouldn't recommend printing many out like this - it's expensive & time consuming). A much better way is to take your CD to a photo shop or use an on-line photo company (a professional one will always give better results) where you can print out all or a selection of your photos. You can also use the images to produce an additional photo book, Canvass Wrap Prints, Digital Photo Frame as well as producing more prints for your own album. Also, if distant friends & relatives want any copies of the photos, it's so easy to just e-mail them a copy of the photo they want and let them print it out themselves!


"All the photographs taken" - what does this mean?

All the photographs taken means after editing at my discretion & removing all the duplicates etc.


Do you retouch any of our images?

I certainly do! Part of the process of digital photography is editing (sorting) and enhancing the images - which is a very time consuming but essential procedure. Enhancing is the process of optimising the images on the computer (using image editing software - usually PhotoShop, light room and Corel), and as I said above - it is VERY time consuming indeed! It is used to crop, brighten / darken, add contrast, increase the colour and generally get the very best out of each photograph so your prints are as good as possible.


Some photographers charge less than you - how come?

Good point! Firstly, you don't get any digital photo stories or photo books Secondly, they won't be edited - and more importantly - they won't be enhanced (as above). This means your photographs aren't properly finished. I cannot emphasize enough that taking the photographs on the day is "the easy part"- it is the subsequent computer work which makes all the difference (and takes all the time!).


How many photos am I likely to get with each "Bay of Plenty Weddings" collection?

It's difficult to give an exact number - the figures below are meant as a guide - and in fact are usually exceeded. However, due to unforeseen circumstances (especially the weather) this number may occasionally be reduced.

  • Blue Diamond collection: 120-250+ Images
  • Red Diamond collection: 500+ Images
  • Black Diamond collection: 700+ Images


Other photographer's collections offer us more images.

True! When photographing a wedding it's easy to "click away" and take hundreds of photographs - many photographers do - it sounds good to offer hundreds of images. However, it's not the quantity that's important. It's down to the skill of the photographer to take photographs that are focused and meaningful, rather than the "if I take enough I'm bound to get it" approach. Also, as I mentioned above, editing & enhancing the images takes a VERY long time. Photographers offering many hundreds of images are almost certainly not carrying out this essential computer work needed to produce the very best quality prints.


Can I have any photographs in black & white?

Yes - although all the photographs are taken in colour, they can also be produced in black & white, or what many couples like are a few in B&W but with some colour popping through.
Quite often I will choose a few appropriate images from your wedding photos and supply them in black & white, or even Sepia - just to add that extra something!


Can I buy extra photo books from you?

Yes – however, we make absolutely no money on the photo books so I am happy to give you the URL link so that you may edit or order as many as you wish!


Do you only photograph weddings in Bay Of Plenty, or do you travel further afield?


Being called "Bay of Plenty wedding photographer" you can guess that many of my weddings are in the Bay! However, I'm more than happy to travel to further venues (eg. Rotorua, Taupo, Coromandel, Hamilton)
I will also travel overseas; the all inclusive cost for Pacific weddings work out from $3600NZD (or $3000 USD) that includes the photography collections, my flights and accommodation for 3 days, a day prior to spend on location and meet with you, the day of the wedding and the day following for some "rock the frock" shots.
My wife also works in the travel industry and will always find the most cost effective prices for me to travel to your location whether it is the South Pacific or in the middle of Paris!

Weddings further afield i.e., Hawaii, Tahiti, mainland USA, and Europe etc POA (dependent on airfares and accommodation) however, a complete collections (including my travel costs) for a UK wedding works out to approximately £3500 all inclusive


Do "Bay of Plenty Weddings" charge mileage if the wedding is outside of the Bay of Plenty Wedding area?

It depends where exactly; and of course which collections you select; if, for example, it is Auckland (2.5 hour drive) I would charge petrol only approximately $150NZD and for Hawke's Bay (4 hours drive) $250, Wellington (7 hour drive) $450, but for the following areas I would not charge any petrol: Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.


Are "Bay of Plenty Weddings" happy photographing Civil Ceremonies?



I read that "Bay of Plenty Weddings" teach us to do our first dance?

Jackie and I both do "Ceroc" and although we are not professionals we have been learning for quite a few years, and assuming you live in the area we are more than happy to teach you a few moves that will make you look spectacular for your first dance (this is a free service) is always a nice surprise when the audience is just expecting the old two step shuffle!


Do you visit the venues before the wedding day?

If it's a venue I haven't photographed at before, I will usually pay a visit before the wedding day to familiarise myself. All the Tauranga/Mount Maunganui and Taupo venues I know quite well by now, so it's not usually necessary


Do we meet before the wedding day?

Assuming you live in the Bay of Plenty region, I will meet up with you at the time of your enquiry so that you can get to know me and look at my portfolio. However, if you live overseas or live too far out of our region I will meet you the day prior.



We like Uncle Bob. We really do. He's a great guy and everyone loves being around him. He tells great jokes and can even do a few magic tricks at parties. He's the guy we all look forward to seeing at birthday parties.

Uncle Bob rocks.


But what do you say if he offers to photograph your wedding?


It sounds pretty good. He has a really expensive camera, and he says that he won't even charge you. It will be his wedding present!


Awesome. It sounds too good to be true! And it's totally understandable to consider it. After all, who wouldn't like to shave a few thousand dollars off their wedding budget?

  Uncle Bob: Professional:
  • Takes wonderful pictures of flowers and his kids at the playground.
  • Brings his camera on holiday
  • Took a community college photography workshop about 5 years ago.
  • Favourite camera setting is "Auto."
  • Enjoys discussing the comparative merits of various cameras on internet message boards.
  • Doesn't see the need to spend $1000 for an external flash because his camera has a pop-up flash.
  • Averages 3,000 to 10,000 images every week.
  • Knows how to shoot in all situations: dark caves, sunny beaches, large churches, in the rain, and in the snow.
  • Can quickly adjust camera settings blindfolded.
  • Adept at using ambient light, bounced flash, fill flash, and off-camera lighting.
  • Understands the principles of photojournalism, portrait photography, creative posing, and composition.
  • Is up to date on modern wedding photography styles and techniques.
  • Belongs to professional photographic organisations like the Royal photographic society
  • Lives, breathes, and sleeps wedding photography.
  • Has attended a few family weddings.
  • Loves dancing to "We Are Family."
  • Tends to takes snapshots only of friends and family that he knows
  • If the wedding pictures don't turn out, oh well.
  • Shoots 30 to 50 (or more) weddings per year.
  • Can show you multiple examples of wedding galleries from past clients.
  • Has enough experience to help your whole wedding day run smoothly.
  • Has dealt with a myriad of wedding scenarios including churches, backyards, castles, ballrooms, beaches, and parks.
  • Has shot small weddings, large weddings, traditional, modern, unconventional, offbeat, and everything in between.
  • Knows the flow of a wedding day and can anticipate where to be, what to capture, and can adjust to the unexpected.
  • Can provide valuable advice on your timetable and recommend family group shots.
  • Realizes future livelihood relies on delivering high quality images.
  • Often at times will have a "REALLY FASH CAMERA", but hasn't fully explored (or understood) all of its features.
  • Has one or two consumer grade zoom lenses.
  • Might have a flash, but always uses it pointed straight ahead, set to Auto of course.
  • Has shot a couple of hundred images with it.
  • Has invested $10′s of thousands of dollars in multiple pro camera bodies, an extensive collections of lenses, flashes, battery packs and other peripheral equipment.
  • Has shot hundreds of thousands of images and knows the equipment inside and out.
  • Refreshes all equipment on an ongoing basis. Has all equipment cleaned, adjusted, and calibrated on an annual basis.
  • Cell phone camera.
  • Could borrow a point-and-shoot from another guest in a pinch.
  • Carries at LEAST one complete pro-level backup kit (camera/lenses/flash) in case of equipment failure.
  • Most pros carry 3 complete systems because THEY KNOW THAT S***T HAPPENS!
  • Uploads the images to his Facebook account.
  • Some of them are crooked or not exposed properly.
  • Burns the images to a CD.
  • Has invested thousands of dollars in high end computers and image editing software.
  • Through years of experience has mastered the end-to-end workflow including capturing, downloading, culling, editing, uploading, burning and album creation.
  • Attended workshops on perfecting the image, removing blemishes, adjusting exposure, enhancing colors and contrast, and final presentation.
  • Dedicated to creating heirloom quality images for your family to enjoy for generations.
  • consultation?
  • Provides a consultation which outlines all relevant facts on the services and products provided, and at what cost to the client.
  • A good consultation will help to reduce any misunderstandings between what the client thinks is included (8 hours, prints, album, etc.), and what the photographer promises to provide.
  • Gets his prints from The Warehouse.
  • Unlikely to provide a book.
  • Has access to the highest quality professional photo labs. They also offer more options for print finishes and surfaces.


I could get a guest to take some photos - why should I pay you?

Good point! Of course, some couples do get a guest to photograph their wedding, and I'd be lying if I said they were all disasters. However I have spoken to & heard of quite a few couples who, having gone down this route, wished they hadn't! The reason for this is not primarily that the quality of the pictures is awful (although I'd like to suppose that the quality of mine were better of course!), but if you're a guest asked to "take a few photos" you have a conflict of interest. A "guest is a guest" and is invited to your wedding to do "guest stuff". A professional photographer attends just as that - a professional photographer. My sole purpose is to take photographs - that's it, nothing else, just photos! Also, a professional photographer has the acquired ability to interact with people to get the best shots, as well as detailed knowledge of the local venues.


Andrew and Suzanne

When do I pay?

To secure a booking we will require a non-refundable deposit of $500 ($800 for South Pacific weddings) Balance of payment is made IN FULL one week prior to your wedding. Pencilled bookings will be held for 10 days until the deposit is received. Then prices are subject to change.


Will Jackie work alone as a celebrant, if we don't need you as a photographer?

Yes- needless to say, working as a team is preferable as both know each other's idiosyncrasies, we both know how we perform, therefore she will operate with me and will even help out organising the group photos.


What do I do next?

Give me a call on (+64) 7 548 1004, (if within NZ 07 548 1004 or 021378261) or e-mail me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.