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What Would They Know? Nerida McMurray of Nerida McMurray Photography

by | Photography Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride

 Nerida McMurray

 Nerida of Nerida McMurray Photography brings a classic, yet fresh and natural style to her photography. Timeless, clear images capturing those very special wedding day moments that are full of the energy of the day – tender, emotional, funny and every emotion between. Nerida clearly loves her profession and this is shown in they way she relates to her bridal couples and in the quality of her work. So without further ado, here’s Nerida’s story……

Where and how did you learn your craft?
I started photography in high school and enjoyed it so much I was encouraged by my art teacher to study it further at University.
Although I was a Sydney girl, VCA (Victorian College of the Arts) has such a great reputation at the time I decided to relocate and study in Melbourne for 3 years, and completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Photography.
However, I think l am always learning and trying new things so I wouldn’t say I learnt it all at school or university.  What VCA did teach me was a unique way of ‘seeing’  – rather than being a technical based school, it was ideas based.


Has anything in particular influenced your photographic style?
Over the years all sorts of things have influenced my photographic style.  It might be a photographic artist that inspires me, or what is happening in my life at the time, pop culture or just what I’m fancying!  When it comes to wedding photography specifically I do stay away from trends and stick to a classic and timeless style of post production and a romantic, intimate and candid representation of the day.

Do you have a mentor, or someone you admire who has guided your work?
I have a great network of colleagues that I spend time discussing photography and the industry with, but not a mentor specifically.  I do take influence from some international photographers if I see something I like – I’m always striving to be better at what I do with each job.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Go with your gut feeling – with art, business and life.


Are you known for a particular style of photography?
I often ask clients when they are in my office what appealed about my work and the first words are always ‘we loved the natural, romantic feel of your work’.  Clients that come to me are often attracted to the ‘look’ of my photos, the clean fresh colours and the way I use light on the day.

Do you most like to shoot a wedding when you have been given complete creative freedom or do you plan your shoots meticulously?
I do prefer not to be micro managed by a client on the day – sticking to a list is very creatively blocking.  However we do understand the need for specific photos such as family photos etc, and these always happen.  We understand there are certain shots that will be wanted by the parents as well as the couple.  I have often shot a specific location many many times and the photos from each couple look very different – albeit still in my style.  The wind and light were different on the day, the size of the bridal parties, the mood of the couple etc which all mean a different outcome.
I do spend time with the couple planning the day and the schedule – but on the day we try and be relaxed about our plans and go with the flow – everyone is more relaxed this way.


Do you like to keep your images natural or do you like the added challenge of post production work?
Although our images look natural, there is still post production required to get them all looking perfect.  I am a bit ‘old school’ and learnt my craft on film – we were always taught that if you need to do too much post production to a photo it wasn’t much chop in the first place.  Getting it right in camera is the best start.  I’m all about moments and feelings and I think although sometimes post can enhance it – you have to have it there to start with.  Sometimes a really emotional photo is more powerful in black & white than colour for instance, because all the colour is taken out there is nothing else to focus on but light and emotion.


What does a working day look like for you?
It’s different every single day ! One of the reasons it’s great to be me :-)  I’m either shooting, designing albums, meeting with clients, post production, marketing, social media – but I do outsource the things I don’t like about running a small business, like my accounts :-)

Photographers are by nature ‘visual’ people, I think. How has this influenced you in your everyday life?
If someone is trying to explain a concept to me it’s better if they can draw me a picture :-)

I love my home town of Sydney because……
It’s got everything you can want, beautiful cityscape, lots of gardens and trees, a harbour lifestyle, beaches and it’s a stones throw away from so many other fabulous weekend getaway escapes – but most of all I love it because my family is here.


My favourite place to eat and hang out with friends is……
How can I choose just one !  We love entertaining and now we have a daughter and our friends have kids it has changed the way we hang out with friends.  They come to our place a lot as I love to cook.  But Matt and I still love our date nights at 10 William St, long girly lunches are usually at the Beresford, and birthday dinners at Ventuno.

My dream destination (in Australia or outside Australia) is……..
I can’t just pick one again !  If I hadn’t already lived in NYC for 4 years I would say … New York …. but I really want to visit the Maldives and I’ve never been so that would be my relaxing beach holiday of choice at Huvafen Fushi.  For a cultural and eating experience, the Amalfi Coast has always been a dream.  Lastly ‘a year in Provence’ would be amazing.

Thank you Nerida for sharing your story – and do let me know if you spend your ‘year in Provence’ – the Polka Dot team may just stow away in your suitcase!! To find out more about Nerida and her work please visit her website.

All images courtesy of Nerida at Nerida McMurray Photography

Polka Dot Office June 2013

by | The Polka Dot Office, Wisdom


Polka Dot Bride


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So the lovely Heather is a little obsessed with crafting lately. Here's some evidence of the world's largest fake flower collection, as owned by Heather.

Are All Wedding Bands The Same?

by | Entertainment Wisdom, Wisdom


Ivory Junction

Are all wedding bands the same? No!!

A good band (or DJ) can make or break your wedding. After all the effort and money invested in creating the day of your dreams it is important to keep the effort up when choosing the group who will largely be in control of the atmosphere at your wedding. Here are my tips for sorting through the wedding bands you see and choosing the right one for you!

1. Firstly, see your band play! Most good groups will have videos on their website as a starting point…. however, you really should attend a showcase. A band showcase is where the group will play a range of music and possible line-ups so you get a ‘feel’ for the group. There really is a big difference between musicians and even the same musician in a different group can be entirely different. Each group has its own unique feel and you will only know if it suits you if you see them live!

2. Secondly, make sure you compare apples to apples when looking at prices. One big difference is whether the group uses backing tracks rather than playing all the music themselves. It is an entirely personal choice whether you like backing tracks, but comparing a group who uses them to one that doesn’t is comparing two entirely different products.

3. One final tip, if you have chosen professionals, trust them! Remember, their job is to entertain! Our musicians perform hundreds of weddings a year and what we have found is that when a couple ‘micro manage’ the song selection it can quite often have a bad impact on the final outcome. Why? You can’t always predict who will be on your dance floor, if the band is limited to playing a song that is on your list, it can distract from playing what is working with who is on your dance floor!! Often, listing the five styles/songs you love and five you hate is a much better way of letting a band know what style you are going for!!!

I hope this has helped!

Ms Gingham says: Great tips here!

About Ivory Junction: Ivory Junction. The name is born from the main philosophies of our band. Ivory referring to that unmistakable sounding upright Piano at gran’s house, that for one reason or another, sounds more graceful and musical than the latest and fanciest electronic keyboard on the market.

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