A love and an infectious enthusiasm for photography shines through Madeleine Chiller Photography’s work. There is a comfortable connection between Madeleine and her brides and grooms without which none of the these shots would be possible. There is always so much raw emotion on your wedding day, that being able to relax and above all trust your photographer is the essence of beautiful photography. Today we share Madeleine’s story with you – and check out the great deal she’s offering further into the story – what a beauty!
How long have you been a professional photographer?
Since 2007 and I have loved every minute of it!
What brought you to this point in your business life?
I think I am a very motivated and passionate person when it comes to my business; it is my baby! I love what I do, and my clients are able to feel that when they meet with me. Knowing how excited I am about every project makes people comfortable letting me share in their experience.
Has someone been a major influence in your photography life?
I have had a number of amazing influences when I look back on my career. Of all of them, I have to say the biggest was my Studio Arts teacher, Mrs P, from High School. She was an amazing photographer herself, so I was able to learn so much from her.
She taught me to see things in different ways in order to tell a story and to capture emotion. She also gave me the confidence to take my skills to the next level. She critiqued my first few professional shoots, for which I was so grateful.
It has been so valuable to have someone to learn from and continually grow from. She has definitely been a big influence on me and a mentor throughout my business so far.
Why wedding photography – what is it that you particularly like about shooting weddings?
I love the atmosphere of a wedding. The happiness is infectious and I always strive to capture this in the images I create.
What qualities does a wedding photographer have to have?
It’s important to have great people skills and be able to work in a fast paced environment. A wedding photographer should also be happy to work atypical work hours and be willing to suggest quick changes to ensure the day runs perfectly.
What is the quality that best describes your photographs?
My work is very natural and candid. They reflect the true character of my clients.
How does the landscape and the Australian light influence your photography?
We live in such a gorgeous world, but to think about Australia itself we are spoilt for choice. From our gorgeous country plains to the serene beaches… you name it, the landscapes of this country are top tier.
The soft and romantic sunsets create the perfect lighting for those intimate sunset shoots, which are my favorite times to shoot on a wedding day.
How do you ensure that the personalities of the bridal couple and their guests shine in the images?
Once I have confirmed a booking, I ask my clients to complete some small questionnaires. I then meet with them a few times before the big day, be that in person or via Skype.
I feel like my clients and I become good friends, which is what I aim for. This way, couples feel comfortable in front of me and in front of the camera!
We mull over every idea and discuss what they are trying to reflect in their photographs. From there, I get a very good idea of what the expectations and needs for my clients are.
This is yet another part of my job that I love! No couple is the same and no wedding is the same; each shoot is raw and full of new stories to capture.
What details are important to you (to capture)?
The celebration itself. For every wedding – no matter how big or how small – the most important aspect is the celebration amongst family and friends. Capturing the joy that shines through in their facial expressions is so important to me.
Are you a photographer who likes to give direction to the couple and their guests – or do you like the day to unfold naturally?
I guide my clients rather than direct. I always work with my clients to ensure the timeline and ideas on the day are the best possible option. In regards to the images, I aim to capture the natural moments: a giggle, a look of love, and those unrepeatable moments throughout the day that makes my work beautiful.
What tips can you offer (from getting ready shots to the reception) to the bridal couple so that you can portray them in the best possible way?
- For preparation shots, make sure the space has optimal natural light and an open, uncluttered space.
- Make sure you discuss the timings of the day with your photographer. My job is to not only capture the day, but to ensure the plans also allow for us to do this as smoothly as possible! Your photographer will be able to suggest what will work best for you.
- Be you and remember to enjoy it; those gorgeous, candid moments are a reflection of you!
Are you more than a photographer at a wedding?
When it comes to being a part of someone’s special day, you name it and I have done it! I’ve stepped into the shoes of a wedding planner (supplying tips and supplier recommendations), a flower pinner, and I can’t count how many dresses I have zipped and pinned up!
I still giggle when parents or groomsmen look at me blankly as they receive their flowers and button holes. Of course I am always happy to help!
Once I shot a wedding at a winery and the bride’s dress ended up fairly dirty. So picture me less than 10 minutes before the reception bathing her dress in soda water – a great trick for everyone!
How far ahead should we plan to book you?
My couples generally book anywhere between 12 to 18 months in advance. Some are less than this, but I recommend booking sooner, rather than later, to avoid disappointment.
Do you travel nationally or internationally?
I certainly do. At the moment I am offering free flights throughout Australia for all packages that include a gorgeous Fine Art Book. I also have a great special for destination weddings; I’m offering for clients to only pay for travel expenses.
Get in touch with me for more details. I would love to hear from you! These offers are only available for 2016 and 2017 weddings.
What would you tell your younger self – knowing what you know now?
If I could speak to myself when I was just starting out, I would say, “Maddie, listen to the people around you. Take their advice and move forward with it.”
Starting a photography business is a little scary and a little lonely! While I always loved what I was doing, I was so scared to take the next step. Once I had a few more clients up my sleeve, I finally did and have never looked back!
A few other tips would be to meet as many people in the field as possible. Share the love! Only in the last few years have I made a conscious effort to meet other photographers. I must say the growth and knowledge I have gained from this has been so rewarding!
What are your interests outside of photography?
Scuba diving, food and wine J
Oh, and Pana Chocolate… that is definitely the way to my heart!
Where do you like to travel for a short break?
Anywhere with a beach! I love my scuba diving, so I must say I have had some great trips doing this. Being completely immersed in another world is so special to me and has been my outlet to unwind.
A favourite thing to do in Melbourne is…..
Dinner and cocktails with my friends!
Thank you Madeleine for sharing your story. Stunning shots making the most of the natural light! To find out more about Madeleine Chiller Photography visit the website.
All images and headshot Madeleine Chiller Photography