There’s always a feeling that we get when looking at wedding photographs as each photographer brings something different to their images. Are they moody, atmospheric and speak of an era in time, are they bright and filled with the simplicity of joy and emotions, or are they crafted to capture the smallest of details like the light reflecting off beading, or a shy smile from the flowergirl. Each style stirs emotions and feelings we can connect with. Georgia Wiggs Photography’s images are natural and seemingly simple, yet in each image there is a wealth of emotion, of couples losing themselves in the moment, of golden light and golden moments. There is a feeling of no embellishment – this is how it happened, this is genuine. And if you connect with that – then Georgia is the photographer for you. Here’s her story.
What is your background in photography?
I studied a BA of Photography at RMIT, straight out of high school- I used to shoot quite a bit of fashion and beauty work outdoors, which eventually progressed to wedding photography when I just kept getting asked by friends and families!
Why wedding photography?
Like most photographers, I started in quite a different field- but after being asked to photograph a few weddings by family and friends (and having a few minor heart attacks in the process) I ended up falling in love with weddings. What’s not to like- you’re surrounded by happy people on the greatest day of their life capturing love. Every wedding I shoot I’m constantly blown away by the fact that I get to call this my job.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Light, bright & happy. Whilst I absolutely love the magical dark moody shots it’s not generally what I produce. I try to keep the colours pretty true to life and avoid editing that will make your photos date. In terms of posing couples- I don’t like to do over the top extravagant poses that feel awkward or uncomfortable- instead I spend most of the portrait session trying to distract you from the fact your getting your photograph taken and just be in the moment with your partner, interacting as you normally do- totally in love with each other.
Do you plan your shots so that each couple has a unique ‘story’ of their wedding or are you good at spontaneity?
I don’t really go into weddings with a shot list as such- I really find it can hamper creativity and if I’m too busy trying to nail a shot of a dress hanging in the room there’s a chance that I might miss a really special moment happening before the soon to be bride and grandmother in the next room. That being said I do have a good idea of what bases to cover to ensure there are no “must have” photos that are missing.
Do you try to get to know the couple so that you can capture their unique personalities in your photography?
Absolutely! Getting to know couples and learning about how they met, what their little quirks are and favorite things about each other is pretty much the highlight of my job. It’s also incredibly important to feel comfortable and get to know your photographer as well- it’s a two way relationship and there’s a lot of trust that comes into having your photo taken. I tailor the things I do during the portrait session to each different couple rather than having the same old thing over and over again.
What advice can you give us about light – the time of the day, the type of light, night/reception lighting – that gives us the best wedding images?
Light is one of the biggest factors in how your photos will turn out- it’s absolutely make or break! (I’ve actually done a blog post on this here: http://georgiawiggsweddings.com/light-and-time-of-day/)
It’s a consideration that should be in your mind for every segment of the day:
Getting ready in the morning, make sure the accommodation you’ve booked is lovely and bright with large windows- the darker the place the more grainy and muddy the photos will be. When outside- generally you want to avoid when the sun is at it peak, all this leads to is squinting and unflattering shadows under eyes and noses- if you are getting married around this time- try to make sure that you are ideally both in the shade- or if you are in full sun make sure you’re both in full sun and not partial shadow.
The absolute best time of day for photos is when the last glimpse of sun is on the horizon, always try to give your photographer just 10 mins with you both at sunset- they’ll love you for it and you’ll love the photos even more! It’s also a beautiful opportunity to take a breather from the reception and catch up with your new wife/husband. For the reception- the more light the better generally. Think festoons, fairy lights, anything that ads atmosphere!
What are the elements you are looking for when photographing a wedding, to ensure that you take a great image?
Emotion is the number one thing. A glance, a tear or an ecstatic smile. These things are what I look for throughout the day. Light and composition are also extremely important- but if you look at a photo and it makes you feel something, to me that’s more vital than a perfectly lit photos (although we always want both!)
A lot of your shots seem casual and relaxed. How do you encourage a bride and groom to feel relaxed about having their photo taken?
It’s really about getting to know the couple and having a bit of fun with them during the shoot! Perhaps even popping on some of their favorite tunes- letting them know that the hard part is done now and this is the unwind time- not just another section of the day that might be a little bit stressful. We often play a few silly games- just try to relax, keep it light happy and have a blast! I often get the comment “Oh wow- that was a lot more fun than we thought it’d be!” which is what I like to aim for J
How do ensure that you’re in the right spot at the right time (and not miss anything important)?
This just comes down to experience- knowing where to stand during the entrance so that I can get good photos of the bride coming down the aisle and her partner reacting- also being able to get both partners saying their vows and their reactions but still being back in the center for the first kiss. I also like to have a good chat with the celebrant/priest before the ceremony to check if there’s any little extra touches that I need to be aware of. Occasionally for certain venues or bigger weddings I do work with a second photographer which does add a lot more flexibility and ensure nothing at all is missed.
What are some brilliant ideas you’ve seen at weddings?
I’m a bit of a sucker for a DIY private property wedding, with food trucks, alfresco dining and no real end time in sight.
What funny situations have you had to endure (and that you can laugh about afterwards) during a wedding day?
One wedding (you guys actually featured this one here: https://www.polkadotbride.com/2018/02/mornington-peninsula-farm-wedding/) we were looking at blue skies, when very suddenly noticed there was a MAMMOTH thunderstorm rolling in. The call was made to actually push the ceremony forward 30 mins, and lucky we did. Immediately after the ceremony when I was up on a fairly tall ladder the heavens opened up and it absolutely BUCKETED down on us. Whilst not ideal at the time it certainly made for some memorable photos and moments.
There is something special about each and every wedding – how do you ensure that this aspect comes out in your images?
Getting to know the couple and what’s important to them, plus documenting all of the little touches that they’ve chosen to include in their day.
What is your best piece of advice you can give to bridal couples?
Honestly, you do ‘you’.
In terms of a wedding there’s really only a sentence or two plus the signing of a document that NEEDS to be done- the rest is absolutely up to you. Feel like cutting a cake is a bit odd? Don’t do it. You want to give a speech even though traditionally the bride doesn’t? Go for it! Want to get married at the local go-kart ring because it’s how you met? DO it (and please please book me- I want to see that). Make it a celebration of the two of you, who you are and what you enjoy doing together- don’t get too caught up in what you feel like a wedding needs to be.
One of the most enjoyable weddings I’ve ever attended was for a really sweet couple that had been together for about 11 years. They’d never actually attended a wedding before so just decided to do their own thing. They hired out an awesome air bnb out in the country- invited 30 of their closest friends and fam and just had a great time.
What is your favourite part of the wedding journey – from getting to know the couple to presenting them with the finished images?
Probably when I’m doing a final look over the images and sitting there with a stupid grin on my face remembering all the little elements of the day. My hope is that if I’m feeling it when looking through the images hopefully my couples are too! A close second would be when we get to go out for 10 mins at sunset and they’re truly relaxed, having a great chat and lovely time together.
What (or who) do you look to for inspiration?
I actually don’t look at too many other photographer’s works, a wise person told me that “comparison is the thief of joy”. That being said there are so many people out there doing amazing work.
I get inspiration from the scenes around me, or the way people interact with each other at the time. I rarely go into a wedding thinking “Oh I really want to recreate this thing I’ve seen”- it’s a bit more of an organic approach.
How does your career in this creative field impact your life? Do you see and do other things from an artistic point of view?
I find that since I spend my days looking at images of people at their happiest- toothy grins showing a bit of gum, little expressions of tenderness- I actually carry that into real life as well. I often find myself smiling about how a cute couple in the street are talking to each other or enjoying the way my friends look when they’re laughing so hard they can’t stop. It’s a nice side effect. I also like to fill my house with pictures, art and plants. It doesn’t feel like home otherwise.
What is your favourite place right now for a holiday?
Philippines! There’s so much to explore and do over there. I’ve been back over 7 times and fall more and more in love every time. I tend to do a bit of scuba diving and the marine life over there is just spectacular!
Thank you Georgia for sharing your story. Feeling comfortable in front of the camera to get the best shots can escape the best of us leaving us feeling nervous, but with Georgia, having a laugh, getting creative and relaxing, produces the wonderful shots that you’ll love. To find out more about Georgia Wiggs Photography visit the website.
Headshot by Georgia Wiggs Photography