I recently went live on Facebook with an amazing wedding pro, Graham Munro from GM Photographics.

We discussed 3 things all couples should know about their photos ahead of their wedding day.

Here’s the video.  Hope you find it useful.



So welcome, everybody. We are very happy to be with you tonight. I am Meggan Brummer. I’m here with Graham Monroe. And those of you who are watching this on the replay, please leave a big R in the comment section below so that we know that you’re doing that. And those of you who are watching for the very first time who are watching live with us tonight. If you are an engaged couple, leave a Y for us in the comment section below, just so that we know. So just to briefly introduce you to Graham before we begin, Graham has been working as a photographer for many, many years now. He has literally shot 2000 weddings he has shot 10,000 family portraits is that right Graham- have I got the right numbers? Yeah, yeah, I kinda rounded it up. Yep. My god, that’s fantastic. There must be so many of your amazing pictures hanging on the walls in people’s homes. Just Incredible.

Yeh – hair used to be black, but with time it’s gone grey, It’s natural. Fantastic.

And a brief introduction to myself. So I’m Meggan Brummer. I’m a celebrant here in Sydney, Australia. And I’ve been working as a celebrant for over 10 years now. I’m also an internationally published writer I have experience as a writer for over 20 years. And I actually started off in funerals, can you believe it? But you know, that wasn’t the most fun thing in the world. I did end up switching over to weddings. And I have to say I absolutely love being part of people’s big day. It’s just been incredible. Over to you Graham, what are those amazing tips that you’re going to share with us?

Three things today, and they are ‘planning and timing’, ‘working with experienced professionals’ and ‘what to do with your photos’. So at GM photographics. We’ve done lots and lots of weddings. And a really obvious thing to say is preparation is key, you know, to any great wedding, it’s all about it’s really, it’s all about really planning everything. So on the wedding day, it’s all organised and the day runs smoothly. And then you’re present on your wedding day and you have an amazing day. I think it’s been said that a bride has to make about 400 decisions for a normal wedding. So these are all about all the suppliers she gets in and all of that. So pre-planning is the key. Don’t leave anything up to chance, tick it all off beforehand. And hopefully you won’t turn into a ‘bridezilla’ but just enjoy it and enjoy the whole process and you know, plan it out and it works well. Confirm all your suppliers a good week out from the wedding. And I would suggest that with all your suppliers, you would email them a contact number and a mobile contact number of all the other suppliers. This is especially important for the photographer to have the car buyers phone number and the videographers phone number. So have everyone connected. Not all those suppliers, they probably would have already worked together and known each other anyway, but it’s a really good little tip. Okay, so it’s all about timing on the day. So let’s pretend you’re going to be one of the fabulous Grand Pacific Group venues like Sergeant’s Mess or Gunners Barracks or Dunbar House or QVB. And you’re going to have an outside wedding ceremony there and you’ve got the beautiful and fantastic Meggan Brummer as your celebrant… sounds all good. So let’s pretend it’s a 2pm ceremony. And you’ve got to leave home at 1pm because you’ve got an hour’s travel. Now the car guys will be all over that. So you’re gonna leave home at 1pm. So let’s pretend you’ve got three to five bridesmaids, you need a good I would always say allow for my experience. Allow two hours for photography. So that means your hair and makeup needs to be ready and finished at 11am and next week we’re going to be talking with the great Simona Janek there we go there. And she’s a great hair and makeup artist and somebody who runs people on time. From all the many many years of photographing weddings, the hair and makeup to be ready on time was always a critical point. This way you get photos of the beautiful bride which is there is the one behind the only way you can get photos of the great bride is if the bride’s wedding hair and makeup finished and all of that so let’s say it’s 11am hair and makeups finished the bridesmaid dresses hanging. The bride and bridesmaids dresses are hanging the photographer arrives he can get a lovely little shot of the dresses hanging up the bride’s dress hanging up. Make sure where the photographer is going to be whether it’s a hotel room or at home, to have it clean and have all your wedding details set up already for the photographer, so he doesn’t have to run around go, where are your shoes, where’s the ring, where’s the perfume, where’s the earrings, it’s all together. And even if you’re on it, have it arranged for a nice little photoshoot, it makes it quicker and easier for the photographer. Okay, so then the photographer will say bridesmaids Get dressed. It works really well, when the bride is going into her dress and feels comfortable to be photographed. Of course, whether it’s a male or female photographer, that the bridesmaids are dressed in, in their bridesmaids outfits just works better for the shots and the mom and dad are there ready as well. And they’re dressed and they’re finished. It’s and then the bride is dressed. So that process, you know, that’s about a half an hour, that takes about half-hour, then you get some great shots of the bride, the bride full length, the bride back-on the bride side-on you can get just really work it and nail it. And just get these gorgeous shots of the bride, you spent so much time on working out what dress you’re gonna wear and dreaming about it. Now’s the time to make the best value. You know, of all that hard work you’ve done in getting that dress to have it photographed beautifully. You get lots of photos with the bride with the bridesmaids, then you get the parents of the bride and then the bride’s family and you’ve got it all happening, you’re even going to have time to have champagne. Take some more photos and relax and enjoy it. There’s nothing worse, you know why be rushing out to your ceremony just you know you’ve pre-planned it timings running well, away you go. And then you’ve taught if it’s going to jump ahead, he’s now going to get the groomsmen awaiting at the ceremony. And the bride arriving, the ceremony gets underway.

And once the ceremony is completed, and that’s your job, Meggan, they’ve already met with you. And they’ve discussed all their words, and you’ve written all their words for them. So that’s going to be fantastic. Then all the rest of the guests are going to congratulate the bride and groom. And that’s a great time to do a big group shot. And then all the family shots, if you have big families, dedicate a friend of the family to assist the photographer to pull those people together.

Yeah, I find that’s really key, isn’t it? Graham, you know, like often, at the end of the ceremony, there’s a lot of kind of messing about and time can be lost. So it’s really good to have really clear instructions. And I think often as well. If it’s for example, if it’s a sunset, and you’ve got very little time to shoot. Yeah, it’s worth for the celebrant to say something to everyone, like, “Can you just leave your congratulations till the end to the reception. Because we’ve got a very short time right now in which to shoot these to get these beautiful pictures of the whole group right”. Great. sorry to interrupt you there. Those are great tips. If you have found these tips useful do leave a Y in the comment section below and let us know. But just before on to the next tip, I just wanted to share with you all that I’ve got a free PDF of some of my favourite wedding locations in Sydney that I just want to share with you. And I’m just popping that link right now in the chatbox so that you can download that for free. This is years of experience of having weddings at different venues all over Sydney. So I have no doubt that you will find this really useful, including some of my favourite, favourite outdoor ceremony spots in Sydney. Back to you, Graham.

Yeah, and just to finish off about you know about the timing. Well, I did. Okay, so I’m moving right along. Okay, so experienced professional. That’s my second point. So an experienced professional is somebody who has been around and knows what to do and knows how to deal with problem situations. And it’s really good to have somebody who’s an experienced professional who can work in rain, hail or shine. Now I want to talk about a 4 letter swear word, which is like the elephant in the room to do with a wedding. And it begins with R and it’s called rain. Now you need to plan this, you know, for outside ceremonies, and location shooting and things like that if the weather is going to go bad. We always have at GM photographics we have lots of big white umbrellas there the golf umbrellas. So say if it was a bridal party of you know, eight, we would have four so you know each couple’s kind of partnering up and it just works really nice for photos. Of course the car guys always run umbrellas, but their umbrellas can be all different shapes and sizes. And generally if it’s raining and it’s a dark day and you’ve got a black umbrella, it gets darker underneath so a white bright one works better for light and keeps some consistency so consider that.

Sorry to interrupt, so do you suggest those white umbrellas over the see-through umbrellas look the see-through ones can work ok I’m not really aware of the see-through ones being the biggest style, I’ve just gone for the sort of the light bright. Um, you know, they know that they really you know, kind of that that that tonality that light and bright. They work. And you actually supply those to your couples do you, you bring them alone? Yeah, we’ve usually always got them in the car as a backup. So consider that generally a week out from the wedding, you know what the weather’s going to do? Wedding days, rainy days, you still get brilliant photos, so you can still really work with it. So coming back on the whole point of having a good experienced professional, they know all about lighting, they know about composition, they also know how to work with the crowd. And I mean, sometimes, with some waiting groups, you might just need to be always polite, but sometimes a little bit firmer, because and all my photographers at GM photographics, they always have a little saying up their sleeve, “the bride and groom are paying us a lot of money. They really want a lot of great photos, work with this. And we’re going to achieve that”. And you know, once or twice, we’ve ever had to use that to snap the bridal party into line and they’ve gone Great. Let’s get it because it’s all about the bride and groom. It’s basically all about the bride. And if the groom’s you’re watching tonight, you need to learn out, you know, I’m sure you figured out by now that it’s all about the bride. Happy wife – Happy Life. That’s what they say Happy wife, happy life. Certainly. So I talked about. So you need to always and meet with your photographer and have a good chat, you can always chat on zoom and chat over the phone and things like that. But you I discussed about having all your wedding day accessories laid out that applies for the groomsmen as well, if you know the photographer is going to get some shots with the groomsmen and with the bride and then allow for travel time. Many, many weddings occur on a Saturday, Saturday is the busiest time for traffic. in Sydney Saturday is just horrendous. So your car guys know what to do. And trust them for the time. It’s I often think rather than going to lots of locations, just go to a couple or one depending on your time. And then work all that out, you know beforehand.

Preferably a location really close to where you’re getting married and really close. Because I’ve seen so many I’ve seen so many couples over the years, who’ve chosen to have their ceremony in one location. And then they’ve got their photographs quite far away and the reception, you know, people need to then get in a car and travel miles and miles to s reception and maybe wait some time before it starts and has something to do in between. So you can have all those things together. Like you know, which is one of the reasons why I really love Athol Hall for example is you’ve got your ceremony on the grass, if it’s not raining, you’ve got your reception inside that beautiful big hall and you’ve got all that those gorgeous locations along the foreshore, on the sand or on those beautiful bushwalks you know, by Taronga Zoo. What a great location for all those things, you know, so keeping everything together can make such a difference

Totally agree. And I find over the years there has really been a shift to we don’t want to be away from our wedding party for that for too long. And that’s why I think you know, places you know, as you say, Athol Hall, Sergeant’s Mess, Gunners Barracks, you can get married on-site, while the guests are relaxing and having some drinks, you wander down the road, you’ve got, you know, the ocean, you’ve got the wharfs, you’ve got the sandstone buildings, and you can walk back and it’s fantastic. And you’re probably in sometimes you might even still have time to join the guests for a drink or just go into the room and refresh and then be announced. So yeah, there seems to be a lot more of a trend for that. And that works really well. And even sometimes you might find if you are travelling from the ceremony to a location or whatever, that whether the photographer might want to travel in the car, just to get a few shots at the bride and groom. That’s something to consider. So when I talk about point number three, Yeah, go ahead. Please Graham. Okay, so what are you going to do with your photos? So that’s my third point. We’re talking about wedding photos. So what are you going to do with your photos now, if you a lot happens these days where the people want all the digital files, and they don’t want an album, so they come on a USB, they might come in as a downloadable or you put them on a USB. Now anything digital, it fails, so USBs fail, so when you get a USB from your photographer, download it into your server, you can back it up on the cloud, we have our photos backed up in three different places. The file is digital, it fails, USBs over time will fail SATA hard drives, even when you have a mirrored hard drive. So always back it up. And as soon as you’ve got the USB downloaded and do something with it, print them. Is that one as well? Oh, hang on. No. So, you know, print something, print your photos, like do something with them. Instagram is here today, and it’s gone tomorrow. Yes, it’s on your phone. Yes, you might have photos downloaded on your phone, if any of you have ever lost a phone, you’ve lost all your photos, you’ve got to back everything up in the digital world and make it yours

Yes actually, you just mentioned album, I was gonna say what is the trend these days? are a lot of couples going for, you know, printing the pictures and putting them on their walls? Or they’re going for albums, and what kind of albums are they going for? Like, what is the trend these days? what’s popular?

I find, you know, from our recent experience, most brides are going you know, to get all the digital files. And that’s it. And it would be interesting, I’ve been meaning to ring them all up and say, What have you done with your photos? have you backed them up? Have you made an album? Do you want to make an album? So look, it costs more to make an album, particularly from your photographer to make them because they’re making generally high-quality albums. And there’s a lot involved in retouching, planning, laying and you know, in the design process, but you can do the albums yourself. But I would say if you have got the budget, end up something, you know, with your you know, I mean, I remember growing up as a young kid, which was many years ago, you know, my mother had a classic, a hand coloured black and white photo of herself that was framed and hanging in the house. And we also had a wedding album. So as kids, we got to enjoy that and look at that. And you know, really, you know, enjoy that. So yeah, I would always say do something with your photos, back them up and print them.

Absolutely. And I’d say do it quickly. Because you know, what I’ve noticed in my life, for example, is when whenever I have professional photographs taken I love them so much for such a short amount of time, really. And then I kind of forget about them. So it’s good if you get round to printing them really really soon. You know, like if you gave yourself a deadline, I’m going to get my pictures printed within the next three or four weeks after the wedding just get them right up on the walls as soon as possible so that they there and you can enjoy them. Because it’s one of the most significant days in your whole life. Yes, you know, you may as well do something gorgeous with those photographs that you’ve paid a lot of money for and that are absolutely stunning. So

yeah, definitely print them.

And those albums. I saw one when I came into your studio a few weeks ago, they are lovely. They’re really, they really look like you know, this professional book that you picture book that you’ve photo album that you’ve taken off the shelf in a bookstore, they look amazing, but there are all these of you at your wedding. Just incredible presentation of your pictures.

Yeah, and nowadays, with the quality of albums, you can actually do them in all different shapes and sizes. And this is like a blue-ish one. But you know, you’ve just got these great big stunning double-page shots, you know, that you get in all shapes and sizes, these days, you can get panoramic ones, you can get little square ones, you know, this.

What would have been like the minimum up to maximum price range that people could expect to pay for an album like?

Well, generally, I think we you know, like you’re starting to probably, you know, jump into, you know, good extra $2,000 when you jump into, you know, a high-quality album. And it’s not just the making of the album because they’re custom made. It’s also the design time the retouching time and things like that. And I wanted to say something else, here’s a photo of from my wedding, and of my men and the bride and definitely have one of those and have it in your bedroom. It’s you know, is you know, it’s really nice, it’s really great Juju, and you know, it’s really good for for for you know, for your sex life and you know, twice a night for 20 years. Hey, laughing

love it. Grant speaking of your gorgeous wife. There’s something that I want to share with you all today. But before we do that, I just want to thank Graham so much that’s been really useful if you found it useful leave a Y for yes in the comment section below. Let us know. Graham’s wife Simona is a professional hair and makeup artist here in Sydney, Australia and she is amazing. I’ve worked with her before and next week I’m going to be going live with her she’s going to be speaking about some really great tips for brides to be aware of around their hair and makeup, you know, including things like how do you work out what your look is for your wedding day? How do you find your ideal makeup artist? And how do you prepare for your wedding day? regards, you know, with regards to your hair and makeup. So that’s going to be happening next Wednesday, same time, eight o’clock next Wednesday. And I’m literally just popping that link in the comment section below so that you can register for that event now. Grant, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been loads of fun. And Graham, how can people what’s your Insta,

I’m @GMphotographics and my website gmphotographics.com.au. If you drop me an email, which is info@photographics.com.au I’m happy to share all my notes and the points and a whole lot of other information about how to prepare for your wedding day. So drop me an email. Flick me a DM on Insta and I can get back to you.

Brilliant. Thank you so much. And lot’s of luck to you all have a gorgeous, gorgeous evening, and we’ll see you again next week. Thanks. Thanks everyone. Bye now.

Sorry the video quality was a bit patchy.  Turned out my now defunct wifi router was on its last legs.

If you’re interested in speaking to Graham about photographing your wedding, you can contact him at https://gmphotographics.com.au/


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