In the ‘getting to know you’ process of the first meeting, Kit of Kit Haselden Photography makes sure that you know exactly what you will receive when you book him. His images also reflect that ‘upfront’ philosophy – natural looking, candid, with minimal set-up of poses – using the available light to create the most beautiful shots. Looking at your images in years to come, you’d be able to feel the day – the emotions, the buttoning of your gown, the warmth of the sun, or the coolness of the night, the stolen moments, those cute kids stealing the limelight – and I dare you not to get a lump in your throat. Now that’s great photography!
How long have you been in the business and shooting weddings?
I have been in business for almost 10 years. My first 3 years was working as photographic retoucher. I used to retouch wedding albums and this lead onto commercial retouching, then eventually I ended up behind the camera. I shot my first wedding 7 years ago. My first wedding client was my cousin’s beach wedding, and it was a nice way to break the ice. I kinda threw myself in the deep end. Within 3 years I was doing weddings full time and over the last 2 years I have toned it down a little so I can give more time and attention to each, which is the way I prefer to shoot.
How would you describe your personal style?
I would describe it as creative, charismatic, fun, engaging, sensitive and professional.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Natural, intimate, creative, journalistic, personalised.
Your images look natural and as if they have been processed minimally? Is this a signature of your style?
Yes this is definitely one part of it. When I’m shooting I’m focusing on capturing the subject’s expressions as natural as possible. I’m looking for the emotional connection they have with others in the room. e.g when a father sees her daughter for the first time in her dress. So I stay out of the way as much as possible so I don’t interfere with the natural expression of these priceless moments. When needed I give a few directions to set the stage so things can flow smoothly, and after that the moment just naturally evolves.
My images look natural because there is never any flash. I use natural light 99% of the time.
Even though my images look natural every photo has been processed (in Adobe Lightroom) – tweaked with minor enhancements such as cropping, exposure & colour balance. Taking the photo is only half the fun! With beautiful natural light and the right camera angles there isn’t much need for retouching (in Photoshop).
Other than your photography services what else can you provide?
My services are simple and flexible and it’s all put out there in my first meeting with couples.
I recently teamed up with an awesome wedding cinematographer. We share the same studio in Richmond. Chris is a great friend and experienced movie maker! So together we offer a comprehensive photo and video package with many flexible options.
How many weddings do you shoot a year?
15-20 weddings per year. I’m enjoying keeping it this number. Keeping it to this many weddings per year allows me to really connect and spend the time with each couple, keeps the process more personalised and allows me to focus on and enjoy the process a lot more. 90% of my weddings every year are referrals and this is fantastic for me to know my clients are so happy they keep referring me on.
Does this enable you to keep the freshness in your work by tackling other projects?
Yes of course. I am taking photos 4-5 days a week for commercial clients. My wedding clients often become commercial clients and I have become good friends with many over the years.
Do you travel all over Australia and overseas to photograph weddings?
I mostly service Melbourne and country Victoria. I travel to NZ two times per year to cover weddings, and have covered weddings in London and Ibiza. I would welcome the opportunity to travel anywhere.
How do you go about scouting for wedding shoot locations in a place you don’t know well?
I find the day goes much smoother if I visit the locations before the day of the wedding, and I will usually do this if the location is unfamiliar. Having pre planned the locations I can then concentrate on the smaller details of the shoot such as body position and expression.
First I find out what the client likes about a certain location then I simply go for a drive. I take a quick walk about the location with my camera. I often sit down and get a feel for the environment, and start planning the shoot. It’s also a great excuse to get out of the office!
How do you ensure that your shots are the most natural in terms of lighting and composition?
My experience and passion for photography over the years has led to a keen interest in the dynamics of light and the way a photographer can shape, mold and use it to create so many different moods, textures and expressions of the one image.
Indoors it’s all about the windows. There’s nothing more beautiful than a human face looking through a window when the light is managed well. It’s all about positioning and the way the light bounces off different surfaces. With fresh make-up and having just put on her dress – the bride just looks amazing!
Outdoors, I often guide the Bridal Party through a location and give some basic instructions, then just let them go for it. I listen and observe how they interact with each other and then I may give some more instructions to improve the composition. I like to think my guidance is gentle but practical and creating the style the couple asked for.
Photographers seem to see moments that us ordinary mortals do not. Is it this ability that delivers the most unexpected special shots – the ones ‘less ordinary’?
Yes absolutely! It’s an ancient prophecy been kept secret for thousands of years. No – just kidding! I put this down to practise! Photographers just get good at anticipating special moments, reactions, or the way a person walks into the room and heads turn. We get fast at reading body language and knowing where to be at the right time right place. Second to this is we know our equipment like it’s an extension to our body. Seriously! I can operate my cameras really without thinking. Scary, but true. Thirdly having the best technology helps! Having the latest camera sensors and 1.2 aperture lenses means no flash even in the darkest room – to capture those intimate moments or conversations.
These 3 factors all contribute to getting those magic shots on a consistent basis and they largely define what makes a professional photographer.
What advice can you give to a bridal couple to get the most out of their photography with you on the day?
Before a couple books me for their wedding I invite them into my studio for a relaxed chat about their wedding day. I ask them exactly what they are looking for from a photographer. This is a great opportunity for them to ask me as many questions as they like and for me to describe my style and approach. From this I suggest a running schedule which everyone finds really useful. This schedule really gives them a head start as often they are in their beginning stages of planning.
This initial meeting along with a few phone and email conversation really prepares my wedding couples for the big day. The pre-wedding meeting gives my wedding couples the confidence and trust of my service to deliver their photography and video needs.
What is it about photography that you particularly enjoy?
The emotion and energy of the day.
Getting to know my wedding couples personally and having a genuine interest in who they are.
Capturing natural and emotive images on camera.
Being creative, setting up fun interesting photos.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Life is pretty busy at the moment. Working 6 days a week. I got married in January 2015 and we have a 2 ½ year old little boy called Hunter. He is pretty full on so when I’m not kicking a ball around with him I’m relaxing watching a good tv series/movie; reading a book; gym; and weekends away in Red Hill (Country Victoria)
A favourite breakfast spot is……
Thank you Kit for sharing your story. To find out more about Kit Haselden Photography visit the website.
All images by Kit Haselden Photography.