Ready - Set - Go

Its been quite a break for me from weddings and this blog but things are all about to change. My wedding season usually runs from Easter to November so I'm about to hit the starting line for 2015. Of course my summer break has hardly been a break at all with lots of commercial and architecture shoots to keep me busy and a wonderful recharge trip to Japan in the new year. So as usual at this time I start to look through past images and plan my year ahead.

Here is a small sample with more to come soon...

Weddings on Magnetic Island QLD 2014

Well its that time of year again when the mercury starts to push my comfort zone and I get to pack away my wedding shoes for a couple of months. So time to take stock, reflect on the year that was and make plans for new and exciting changes ahead. Below is a collection of my favorite images from some of the weddings that I had the pleasure an honour to photograph on Magnetic Island in 2014. 
Sadly though my home away from home namely Lotus House on the beach at Horseshoe Bay has stopped taking bookings for wedding receptions - all fingers crossed that this situation will change in the near future.
And a massive thank you, thank you, thank you to all the couples that I met along the way.

Alessha + Chris
Bettina + Dan
Callie + Neil
Erin + Dan
Emma + Tom
Kiana + Christian
Teressa + Chris

Big thanks also to the crew from Magnetic Island Weddings
and Jacquie from Peppers Blue on Blue.

Emma & Tom Wedding on Magnetic Island

New fusion video of Emma & Tom on Magnetic Island Nth Queensland. One of the many wet weddings I've had to deal with this year. Fortunately Peppers Blue on Blue provided plenty of shelter from the rain.

Names Names Names

What's in a name?

Well actually quite a lot - I recently had an altercation with a bricklayer in my street about problems with parking while they were working next door. I already new him by name and reputation but this was the first time he had met me and so I introduced myself. For the rest of the conversation he referred to me by name. Did it make a difference? - you bet it did.

And it was a significant difference...

I felt that I was no longer a grumbling resident but a person with a reasonable complaint that was subsequently resolved. I had empathy to his situation and felt that he had some regard for me as a person.

So every year I try to add something new to my wedding work and my mission for the rest of this year is to learn and remember the names of all in the wedding party. Previously I thought it was all too hard. When being introduced to the bridesmaids it has been a case of in one ear out the other. My mind has been full of other things - lighting, composition, exposure, where's the dress, what are we doing etc etc - its just too hard to remember all these names - WRONG ANDY!!!

For my last two weddings I have made a conscious decision to try this out. I make a game of it and come up with "memory aids" so

Kia = Kia the car

Mika = my old dog Miko

Damian = ex pro surfer Damian Hardman

Sam = Old friend from Melbourne Sam Larwill...

And guess what - it works. No longer am I saying "can the tall dude stand next to the blond" Its now "hey Curtis can you stand next to Perry and pass the flowers to Gemma". Its not just better ITS WAY BETTER. It builds rapport, makes directing the group easier and its just a whole lot more professional.

I recently spoke to marriage celebrant Bernadette Smith about this. She also runs and performs at the Stage Door Restaurant on Magnetic Island. I saw the show a couple of years ago and was amazed when half way through the night she was onstage and referred to each table by name, what they were celebrating, where they were from etc. To say I was impressed is an understatement. To Bernadette it's a way of building rapport with her customers/audience. People take it as a compliment and feel like they are genuinely part of the show and more than just bums on seats.

Politicians, sales people and marketeers all know the value of "working the room" and when they are introduced to someone new they have an uncanny ability to remember that name.

The extraordinary thing about the mind is that I now have the names of my last two bridal parties hard wired into my memory so yes - Sheena, Amanda, Nicole, Tristan, Jason, Daniel, Mika, Kia, Aidre, Emma, Tom, Scott, Sam and Damian - I remember you all. And when I bump into you in the street instead of "I remember you from that wedding" it will be "Hey Sheena hows it going? Have you seen Nicole lately"

Now that is simply a whole lot better than "hey you".