Luke is just one of those perennially 'up' kinda guys - always brimming with energy and enthusiasm whenever our paths cross. But the best part about working beside him is how inspiring and talented he is as a wedding photographer and businessman. From the outside at least, he seems to do a stellar job of balancing his family life with his ever-growing business interests, which include yearly trips to the Maldives for work (yeah, right..!)
I caught up with Luke in his Colonel Light Gardens studio for a chat about his process and why couples really need a wedding photographer who is always 3 steps ahead.
How long have you been in the photography game for?
“I’ve been a wedding photographer here in Adelaide for more than 10 years now and in that time have seen the industry evolve and develop into an exciting place. We are super lucky to have so many brilliant venues on offer, with stunning scenery and settings for photography close by.”
And what kinds of photography do you specialise in?
“The studio is largely a wedding photography studio. We (Dave Pascoe and I) do a little bit of commercial work with food and lifestyle photography, but ultimately our wedding clients are our main focus (pardon the pun).”
When should a couple book their photographer?
“Couples should book their photographer as soon as they know they know who they want capturing their day. Too many times we’ve seen couples getting married in 12 months who enquire with us and miss out because they’ve hesitated too long.”
What should couples be looking for in a wedding photographer?
“Someone whose work they love and who they can see themselves happily spending their wedding day with. No one spends as much time with the bride and groom on the wedding day as their photographer. I can’t think of anything worse for them than having a photographer they really don’t like!”
“Then it’s important to look at their level of experience; how long have they been working as a wedding photographer, are they an AIPP (professional industry body) member? Ask about backup plans and look at their contract to make sure you know where you stand if something happens should they break a leg etc. Also, make sure to look across more than just one wedding in their portfolio. Blog posts are a great indicator but [you can be] guaranteed that the photographer has used only their best work. So do what you can to visit the photographer’s studio to view proof albums of entire wedding collections.”
What kinds of new or emerging trends have you noticed recently?
“I don’t take too much notice of emerging trends, to be honest. Every now and then I see something online via social media, but I don’t get too involved. I would advise couples to make sure that your photographer knows how to edit your photographs properly and maybe to avoid the vintage/Instagram look across your entire collection, because once it’s applied you can’t do much to change it and you may not like it 5 years from now.”
What’s your opinion on guests using phones and tablets during the ceremony?
“Like everything, there is a time and a place and the ceremony (in my opinion) isn’t the best time. It’s easy to get excited and want to take pictures throughout the wedding day but don’t forget to sit back and soak it up through your own eyes as much as you can, not through the back of a phone or iPad. And maybe look behind you before holding [your phone or iPad] out in the aisle or above your head, as you may well end up across the photographer’s frame which the bride may not want in her wedding pictures. :) Other than that, I encourage guests to get involved and take pictures, just maybe not during the ceremony.”
If you could dispel the most common misunderstanding about your profession, what would it be?
“The most common misunderstanding is that we get paid thousands of dollars for one day’s work and we charge too much. Obviously not everyone thinks this way, but a good professional wedding photographer, whose full time employment is working as a wedding photographer, puts weeks of work into a wedding. Then there are all of the additional tasks required to keep a business running.”
“I’d also suggest from my experience, that it’s not a good idea to get a mate to capture your day, unless they truly are a professional wedding photographer. It’s just too risky and [potentially] awkward – imagine you really aren’t happy with the results; how would you tell them this?”
If you could educate your couples so they have realistic expectations and the tools to help you to do your job better what would you want them to know?
“Allow your photographer the time they suggest for the work they need to do. Different photographers have different processes and they should be communicating with you a few months before your wedding day to ensure that they do the best job possible for you. This means having a chat about your planned schedule and the light available at certain times of day.”
What’s your best advice for brides and grooms-to-be?
“I would recommend that couples meet with 3 photographers and get an understanding of how they operate before making any decisions. A great photographer should be able to anticipate what’s going to happen and always be a few steps ahead of the action. And when you do make a decision, don’t make it based on price alone. Invest wisely, your photographer only gets one shot at it. It can’t be repeated.”
Luke Simon Photography