What Would They Know? Zhu Cheng of Veri Photography

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


Polka Dot Bride

There is such a feeling of love and care in these photographs. They are the work of Cheng of Veri Photography and the love is not only between the people in the images, but there is a love of creating art through his images as well. The way the light falls, the reflections, the big scenery, the happiness of the couples shining through create snapshots of moments. All so beautifully summed up when Cheng relates “My camera is the instrument to record my subconscious mind, there is a moment of a story happening in my head when the shutter button is pressed.” And he gives this extraordinary gift to you. Here is Cheng’s story.

How long have you been photographing weddings?

In 2009, I enrolled in a photography college in Melbourne while working full time. For 3 years studying, I was able to build a body of work in fashion, wedding and won some awards. I dropped out of the school in 2012 and photographed weddings full time since then, and never looked back.

Do you have a team to assist you?

I work with a gifted team of individuals just as passionate about providing couples with an artistic account of their commitment to one another.

How important to your work, is your close knit team?

I consider myself lucky to be a part of such a close-knit group in which each person brings years of experience to the table. We cover weddings nation-wide, I am often traveling interstates during busy wedding season and feel fortunate knowing them have my back.

When I started this journey six years ago, my wife Cheryl left her design job at an advertising agency to work for Veri. She utilizes her sharp skills to edit the images as well as design the albums that couples cherish.

My good friends Kamil, Vince and Zack have been photographing , filming and editing for years. Operating over two cameras on the wedding day, they capture wedding day with care and bring the same level of passion to each project.

What excites you about photographing weddings?

I am honoured to be part of the biggest day of many people’s lives, being able to witness some moments could never be repeated. I don’t want to go to each wedding and keep doing the same thing over and over again. You’ll burn out very quickly that way after a couple of wedding seasons. The couples are different, the venues are different, my clients come from different backgrounds with different stories, I want to go to their wedding to capture something unique to them, and to have some work to surprise myself too. I know that if I work hard enough, Photography God always gives.

How does a photographer’s personality influence their photographic style?

The photos truly reflect their photographer’s personalities. Whether you are a shy person, a deep thinking type, a happy go lucky kind, or having weird sense of humour, your passion, your sensitivity, your artistic taste, the visual language speaks volume in the photos you took.

Does ‘telling stories through images’ come naturally to you?

My camera is the instrument to record my subconscious mind, there is a moment of a story happening in my head when the shutter button is pressed.

How do you ensure that the emotion of the day is captured and ‘the images come alive’ through your photographs?

For professional wedding photographer, with enough weddings photographed, you should’ve developed a sense of foresight of what about to happen, either a emotional moment or funny accident, you are there and ready when they occur.

Do you find that the best shots are taken when people think you aren’t photographing them?

No I don’t think so, I think the best shots are ones when my clients look at them and think they are authentic, they were being themselves. People can be genuine and true to themselves when facing the camera, it’s photographer’s job to bring that out.

The landscape and the capturing the light, features in your photographs. Are these important to your style of photography?

I still remember a saying from my lecturer in the photography college, he said “The Form is the body, and the light is the perfume to bring that out”. It defined my style of photography till this day. The light, the landscape or the backdrop, or the props are all part of perfume to bring out the Form of my subject, which can either be an emotional expression, or a hug, or just a little waving of wedding dress train.

Any tips for brides and grooms for getting the best photographs on the wedding day?

Find a wedding photographer whose style you totally adore and trust, and then enjoy the big day as much as you can TOGETHER. The photographer will follow you like a shadow and get the job done. The reason for the word “together” is if the groom is too busy mingling with other girls in one side of the room and the bride is on the other, there isn’t much that photographer can do. 🙂

How do you get to know a couple when you first meet with them?

I get to know them by me being totally open to them first.

Do you find that each of you has to feel a connection in order for the photos to be successful?

My clients come to me because they like the style of my work. Every couple are different, they have their own personalities, even the way they get along with each other are different, but I always feel a connection with them because the trust they placed in me in the first place.

Do you offer different levels of wedding photography packages? What is your most popular package?

We offer 4 different levels of wedding photography packages. Our most popular package is the single photographer full day coverage package or the 2 photographer combo package covering both photos and video. The way we work on Collection D coverage for example, I’ll be the main photographer taking pictures all day, the second photographer will be taking photos most of the time such as bride and groom getting ready, post-ceremony location portraits, and candid shots of guests at the reception etc, however, he’ll stop and work on video/audio recording the events at Ceremony and Reception most of the time. In this way, the client will be very well covered for photos also get to keep the video/audio footage of important moments such as exchanging the vows, first kiss, first entrance, first dance, speeches etc.

Do you offer Cinematography as well as Photography on the day?

Yes we do.

What is the advantage to having both of these offered by you?

Our videographers all started as wedding photographer at first. We’ve worked together for a long time with the same principle and approach to the weddings, to ensure consistency of the style across our photo and video work.

What are your interests other than photography?

Cooking shows. 🙂 and Travels. Being a wedding photographer, I am fortune enough to be invited to many parts of Australia and work in front of some most stunning scenery of the land. I am truly grateful for that.

How do you and your team celebrate the end of the working week?

In order to give my client the best coverage, my style of work involves a lot of walking around trying to get photos from different angles. I average about 12000 walking steps on each wedding day I work. So it’s quite important to have rest as much as I can for the speedy recovery, especially if there is wedding the next day. The celebration with my team starts a couple of days later with big hearty meals when we meet and back to work again.

Thank you Cheng for sharing your story. We want to relive every moment of the wedding day and not forget a thing. Your precious memories will be yours to treasure. To find out more about Veri Photography visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Veri Photography.


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