When planning a wedding we understand it can be easy to loose track of the countless online enquiries you’ve sent out. Businesses blur into one and it all gets a little holly-cow-did-that-photographer-offer-the-all-day-coverage-or-was-it-that-one-or-maybe-it-was-that-one-oh-dear-god-I-need-a-drink!
Our Hello Vendor profiles offer creative couples and brides and grooms to-be the opportunity to meet the clever humans behind the brand. It gives you a chance to put a face to the name and allows you to gain some insight into what makes the creative souls you are hiring to shoot/design/bake/style your wedding tick. We’ve introduced you to florists, hair and makeup artists and collectors of second hand designer gowns, just to name a few, and today, here we are again, introducing you to the lovely Nina of Nina Claire Photography, take it away lady…
Tell us a little about your background? I had my own darkroom at home when I was 16. I’ve always loved photography so it was kind of odd that I ended up graduating from COFA with a major in sculpture, I guess I was just getting my fingers in lots of different pies. I spent some time directing and shooting music videos as well and I was lucky enough to be nominated for an AFI award (AACTA) for a sequence of stop frame animations I made for a feature film in 2007. Then I headed into the Australian Outback for a couple of years to work with Indigenous artists…hmm I didn’t expect this answer to be so long I guess I’ve had a lot of different experiences.
How did you get into the wedding photography game? I always say… “The reason I’m a wedding photographer is because of Ben”. I was living 550kms North West of Alice Springs when Ben walked through my door and changed my life. Being with Ben has given me so much more courage to do the things that I love in life. When we moved to Sydney together he encouraged me to open my own photography studio so Nina Claire Photography was born. I was mostly shooting band press shots and then a friend asked me to shoot their wedding and I was so inspired by the experience. I was hooked from then on.
Talk us through a typical day in the Nina Claire Photography studio? Well I can say this, it always starts with a good coffee and a croissant. A friend asked me to visualize my dream job once and I remember saying that I didn’t know exactly what it was but it involved a nice clean space where I get to play around with colour and make beautiful pictures. I remember that conversation sometimes and I realize that I’m doing it. I’m in my dream job… When I’m not in the studio I’m out and about getting to know my lovely clients. Meeting a bunch of cool people and making new friends is a pretty cool perk of the job. I love it.
Last time you cried at a wedding? Every wedding is beautiful. I surprise myself with how often a little tear appears during the ceremony. I guess I’m a romantic. But the last time I seriously choked up was at Polly + Jamies wedding. Something magic happened at that ceremony. It’s like we all got our hearts cracked open. A lot of the guests were streaming with tears… It was a real corker.
Do you have a favourite ceremony and/or reception venue to shoot at… I love the variety of all the different venues I shoot at but I have to say that afternoon light is definitely the best. It’s so soft and clean and always brings out the best skin tones. I always let my couples know what time sunset is on their wedding day so that if they want to they can duck away for a little quiet time and a few snaps.
Any advice for couples a little delirious with all the photographic options open to them these days? My advice would be to choose someone who’s style you like and who you gel with. I would say contact a few photographers and get to know them a little. Your photographer ends up spending a fair bit of time with you and your guests on your wedding day so it’s important that they “get” you. I’m so happy that I’ve made some great friends through shooting weddings.
Your fave wedding you have ever shot and why? Polly + Jamie’s wedding at the base of Mt Warning was such an incredible occasion. I loved that Polly totally abolished the cardinal rule of “don’t outdo the bride” and had over 100 bridesmaids all adorned with flower crowns. It was spectacular and there were some amazing moments. Polly is a touring photographer with bands so it’s always flattering when a talented photographer asks you to shoot for them. It was pretty special seeing her wedding song being played by some of the amazing musos she’s worked with… It was a mix of all time legends John Butler (John Butler Trio) Harry Angus (The Cat Empire) Dan and Jesse (The Valley Floor) Dan from (Ginger and the Ghost) Marshall O’Kell, Julez Parker and Holly Major… Yep it was pretty awesome! You can watch the live performance here.
What were Polly + Jamie’s reaction to the photos? They totally loved them! Polly told me later that she couldn’t stop looking at them for days after she received them. She still tells me she could just look at them over and over again. They said the pics are a perfect record of their day.