BACK TO TOP

Within your wedding images lie the personalities of you – the bride and groom, and then in another sense, the photographer. Their style and abilities to capture the fleeting moments, to relax you enough to trust the process and to genuinely express your emotions, is an art form in itself. Kerryn of Kerryn Lee Photography’s experience in all sorts of situations that may arise at an emotionally charged wedding day, is so obviously an asset that only 14 years in the business can bring, that the feeling that she has your back, while honouring your love and your day, is the real gift. All approached with a sense of humour and commitment that ensures that you will have the best images of the day. Let’s join Kerryn as she shares her story.

What or who influenced you to choose photography as your profession?

After a 3 year photography course and shooting all kinds of genres, I realised that photojournalism was the cream of the crop. I’ve always loved Sebastião Salgado’s artistic candids, often in war torn countries with hard-to-swallow subjects. His work definitely influenced my core. There’s such a stark contrast between this and the wedding work I now do, but I love the parallels. Whether someone documents the hardest, most painful scenes on the planet, or the happiest, most emotional and monumental scenes of a lifetime; I love seeing the genuine story, and then utilising the light to emphasize it. It makes me tingle. So why didn’t you do end up working for the press, I hear you say? Well, weddings are like putting your hand up for the strawberries and cream, versus the hard-to-chew, raw and acquired taste of a parsnip.

 

How long have you been a wedding photographer?

I started young, so I’m up to 14 years now!

What inspires you about photography and keeps you going – rain, hail or shine?

It’s the people. As much as I love good aesthetics and light; working with all types of people and seeing their personalities put into an image, followed by the gratitude that comes with capturing that, is just the beginning. No matter how hard it might be some days, I love the challenge of cracking shells.

 

What do you love about wedding photography in particular?

There’s two things.

Weddings are full of natural moments that are often highly emotional. And while some elements are predictable, I love seeing all the unpredictable moments and snapping them up; like the moment a swimmer realizes they’ve won a race by a millionth of a second. It’s the split seconds that count when shooting candid. I love the race of it, the quick thinking, and balancing all this with light. It’s more of a challenge than most would appreciate, but when you’ve been in the game for so many years, it becomes a real challenge to yourself as an artist, to keep stretching. It’s not a mere money making event. It’s the opportunity to better my craft and practice something that will forever need growth, much the same as a musician. Why stay at a certain level of awesome when you can keep reaching to heights unknown?

The second thing I love is the psychology of it all. Yes, the psychology. I did study this briefly and love the subject, but never thought it would come into play so much at a wedding!

So picture this… You’re at a wedding, there are bucket loads of personalities, all having an impact on each other. Emotion is high, sometimes even intense. The mother in law isn’t happy with who knows what ridiculous detail, and has to drag the couple through the mud on their day. The groom is not digging the camera or the limelight. The priest has taken on the role as army general. The kids are ready for a sleep and their parents are stressing, maybe arguing. Heck the weather is off and the bride is just upset it’s not looking like Pinterest. Then there’s the photographer, who at times, is a director of sorts. While I’m not one to intervene (and admittedly, I’m mostly introverted – not that there’s anything wrong with that!) there comes a time and a place when some outsider insight and reassurance wins the day. Being a people-person is a must; introverted or not. Reading between the lines and knowing what to say and when to say it, is where the psychology game gets real. Maybe this seems intense, but I’ve seen it happen a million times. Believe it or not; getting your psych on is a massive part of the outcome of a number of images shot at a wedding. But the real moment of truth is during the “portraits”, particularly when you have the couple by themselves. You’ve got maybe an hour to break down enough walls to get a really decent amount of images that are truthful. The ones that display what their relationship means to them and who they are. Not everyone is overtly affectionate, or romantic, or naturally humorous, so it’s a matter of reading people and their body language and making sure the images are true to them, and definitely not awkward. It’s not that hard to read people’s personalities; you just need to emphasize who they are with your camera, within the short time you have. This is something I love about shooting weddings.

How would you describe your style?

Like an ever-changing ball of fairy floss.

How do you create that style in your images?

It starts with the light and goes from there.

 

What are the qualities you look for when setting up a shot?

Getting couples to loosen up is just the beginning. I love looking for the ideal light and pairing it with genuine candids whenever possible.

Some of us don’t like being photographed. Do you have any tips you can give to bridal couples?

Know your photographer and their work. This gives you the trust to open up and be genuine in front of a camera. Relax and just focus on your partner. J

 

Are there differences in the way couples approach the photography for their wedding now (from when you started)? What do couples expect?

Back in the day, I think most couples were looking for a bit more tradition and posing. Thankfully these days, couples are really appreciating the genuine and more natural looking galleries, as an entire story of the day. Genuine portraits, even when some are somewhat directed, are what become the most appreciated images in decades to come.

 

What preparations do you make to photograph a wedding? Do you do a lot of pre-planning?

In some ways, I do… Itineraries, making sure we’re all on the same page in every way, so everyone can completely relax on the day. In other ways, I drink tea on the run and chill to specially chosen music when driving.

On the wedding day, how do you remain unobtrusive, so that you are able to take the most natural shots of the couple and their guests?

I’ve got these massive goggles paired with a black latex suit and hand cut wings, that all help with looking like a fly on the wall. No one dares notice such wonder, which allows complete stealth and ‘unobtrusive’ photography.

But seriously, I just smile and try to blend in as a friend or guest who’s just having fun but keeping out of the way. A smile goes a long way.

 

Any funny stories of situations that happened while photographing?

Hmmm, not so funny to me but perhaps to the reader …

I’ve had a couple of bull ant bites at weddings. One in particular was an incredibly massive Soldier Bull Ant that had made it’s way up my pants in the middle of the portrait session (thank goodness not the ceremony), unbeknown to me at the time. It started the attack on my backside, and anyone who’s had a Soldier bull ant attacking them will know that their power and force, far outweighs the regular bull ant. I literally had to drop my gear and run. There were no toilets to be seen. I was under attack. I ran for what seemed like a lifetime and at last, the mere Men’s toilet was all I could find. The Ladies must have been somewhere at the other end of the corridor. I ran into a cubicle and dropped my pants, and there was the mother of all Soldier ants. I was covered in very large welts. I quickly got that sorted and without wanting to waste any more time away from the shoot, I stepped out, only to find a poor gentleman in shock as he stood at the urinal. I shuffled out the door. So there’s that. And then the fact that they announced this whole thing while announcing the bridal party into the reception room. Why? Why?! My moment of fame was not what I’d hoped but genuine, none the less.

 

What are some favourite destinations you have visited in the course of your work?

I loved shooting a couple of weddings in Samoa (my goodness; their food wins the award for best food ever), regional Victoria and WA.

Creatively, where, and doing what, makes you feel most inspired?

I’m most inspired when I’m in the wild, or at a live music gig. But sometimes just in the shower… that’s where I have space to think. I mean, how often do we get the chance to chill out with no devices, people, audio, visuals etc. It’s a pretty crafty little spot to dream!

 

In what ways do you regularly challenge yourself creatively with your work?

I challenge myself with every wedding; the constant focus of capturing great candids or helping to design moments during portraits that generate candids, all while finding the right light and then trying to get an artistic edge.

Beyond weddings, it’s the ever-changing exploration of music.

 

If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Palm Springs, Southern California. Hands down. Because who doesn’t love a good oasis of 1960’s/70’s architecture in the desert?

What is the best piece of advice you have received – business or otherwise?

Love doesn’t take offense. 1 Cor 13:5

When you get your head around this and what it looks like in action, it’s intense. It changes the whole game.

 

What would you tell your younger self – knowing what you know now?

Get up earlier and finish work earlier. Spend the late afternoon doing things for yourself, before you have babies!

 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spare time is rare these days. But I love making time; to play with my bub and watch him grow, to make memories with my husband. I could be working more and more, but I know this time is precious and will be gone, all too soon. I also enjoy anything competitive; allowing my true wild side to shine haha. I love drinking tea, bush walking, collecting vintage art, exploring country towns, basically the usual with a bit of random dancing on the side.

We’ve loved sharing Kerryn’s story today with you. To find out more about Kerryn Lee Photography visit the website.

Headshot by Jake Plumridge

Image by Madeline Druce

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to a colour scheme for your wedding, but today I’m visiting a business that can help with just that: Simmons Linen Hire. Having beautiful linen on your tables can really transform a room and elevate your whole wedding. This is something that owner Lara knows all too well. “It’s actually one of the most cost effective ways to style your reception space,” says Lara, “it can make a huge impact when guests enter the room and really set the tone for the day.”

Image by Madeline Druce

Image by Madeline Druce

Simmons Linen Hire have been in the Australian event industry for more than 22 years and are very well known and trusted by many wedding venues and stylists across the country. When Lara Simmons took over the family business a few years ago from her mother Di, she set about modernizing the linen business by introducing new ranges and styles that keep up with current trends and really push the boundaries of what beautiful linens can bring to an event.

Image by Dan Brannan

Located in Victoria’s East Malvern, couples can visit the Simmons Linen Hire showroom for an appointment and view their collection to play with different colours and textures. Lara tells me that it’s not unusual for a bride to come in with an idea in mind and end up going with something completely different that she hadn’t even considered! “I love the idea of setting a table and getting an idea of how things might look before committing to other vendors like florists or furniture companies.”

Image by Lost in Love Photography

If your wedding isn’t in Victoria, Simmons Linen Hire are experts at shipping their linen Australia wide and have even done weddings in New Zealand! Lara is also available to discuss table layouts and sizes to ensure you order exactly the right amount of linen for your event. Simmons Linen Hire have also worked at so many wedding venues over the years that Lara knows many of the tables and configurations by heart!

Image by Lost in Love Photography

I asked Lara about the new styles that she is excited about and she tells me her favourite is the new botanical range which comes in three colours and is also reversible! These would be perfect at rustic, country style venues. They would also look great as napkins if you are going for a raw timber table option, but still want the luxurious touch that linen can add. Lara tells me that she is inspired by fashion, nature and anything that involves colour and detail. The team are always keeping an eye on furniture trends and coming up with ideas so that each couple’s wedding can be that bit unique.

Image by Dan Brannan

Image by Dan Brannan

 

Ms Zebra Says: Who doesn’t love a gorgeous table linen? I’m certainly a fan and I love that there’s so many options, colours and patterns to choose from now. It’s a bold, yet subtle way to make colour and pattern your friend. Thanks Amelia and Lara for the linen inspiration!

About Amelia Waddell of Moonstruck Bride: I’m a proud bridal store owner with a love of exploring creative spaces. Whether it’s an office, event space, workshop or retail store I love seeing how other wedding businesses create their own special magic! When I’m not fitting brides I love immersing myself in everything wedding, in the name of “research” of course.

Having an understanding of a bride’s psyche is just as important as having an understanding of fabrications, body types and styles. Coral of Corston Couture designs for the bride who loves romantic lace and beading with a modern edge, shapes that float and glide and above all, for the woman who loves the comfort of a soft silk lining and a style cut to suit her body. With 2 ready to wear collections a year there is always plenty of variety to choose from and along with a custom design service, Coral’s insistence on personalised service, and quality workmanship on site by her talented team means that each gown is a girl’s dream. And being stocked in both Sydney and Melbourne, means that brides from all over the country have access to her exquisite gowns. Let’s take a peek inside the world of Corston Couture.

How and why did Corston Couture come into being?

I started Corston in 1989, after realizing a degree I was doing at University was not going to produce a job I would have been happy in…and as I had always loved sewing and designing for myself, my family and friends, (and I also had no dependents, to starve if I failed) I applied for a government grant and 6 week business course to start a fashion label.

The rest is a rollercoaster ride of history that has led to this point.

 

How long have you been designing wedding gowns?

29 years this September!..(I feel like I must sound sooo old saying that….)

 re you known for a certain style or element in your gowns?

I feel like I am always changing the look of the dresses for each collection, but I do think I have a romantic, fashion forward look, often a bit sensual ( or cheeky) too.
 

How do you strive to be different and design standout gowns?

I love experimenting, which sadly means a number of dresses I start out thinking will be wonderful, really are not, however enough turn out to be stunning, that we still end up with a beautiful new collection every 6 months.

I really like to use new combinations of fabrics, I love sheer layers and the translucency that creates, as well as textures and 3D details.

 Where do you find the stunning lace and silks you use in your designs?

I try to use Australian Importers mostly for the silks and the European Laces, (I would love to say I used Australian made fabrics, but sadly all the Australian factories have been closed.)

We have also, recently, been custom designing beaded and embroidered fabrics overseas directly with a very talented beading and embroidery factory…with fantastic results!

From flower sprinkled tulle to heavy lace, what is the reason you choose the fabrics that you do? Do you have a particular bride in mind when you look for laces?

I try to keep the various body shapes in mind when designing a collection, so that there will be something for everyone…however beyond that I just have fun and be creative.

Most of my clients are confident career women who are looking for something fresh and different to what is largely available..so I figure it is my job to try fresh and creative ideas for these brides.

Your designs feature applique lace with an illusion effect – is this a trend that is here to stay?

I think it is a trend that will be here for awhile at least…not sure about indefinitely,

It certainly helps achieve the “floating lace” and” tattoo lace” look that is so popular currently, but trends are changing faster and faster in the bridal industry now…when I started, a style might last for 5 to even 10 years….now even a stunning design will only last 2 years on average before something newer takes over in popularity.

I’m loving the lace you use that has a 3D effect. What is it that inspires you about this lace and how do you use it in your designs to full effect?

I always have been a bit obsessed with any 3D fabric…or fabrication, so the delicate 3D work that is available now is right up my alley!

I love using it either to float all by itself on the skin, or as a 3D accent for some other flatter fabric or lace…

It is brilliant for making a bust look fuller, hips look smaller, waists look tinier, shoulders wider… just by the positioning and concentration of its placement….it just has endless possibilities!

Is beading a popular option that today’s brides often ask for?

It is becoming so popular, especially the light twinkly beading…however, I might say I have noticed a contrary trend of very plain but dramatically designed dresses (this started just before Meghan Markle wore her stunningly simple dress, but I also do feel she has given fire to the trend).

How many ready to wear collections do you design per year?

We design two Ready to Wear collections per year…one we release in Spring, the other in Autumn.

Do you offer a bespoke couture option for brides wanting a custom designed gown?

Corston Couture was built on Custom designing exclusively…it was only about 3 years ago that we designed our first RTW Collection.

We still offer a bespoke service, we also offer a customizing service of the RTW dresses too (that ends up being more affordable usually, than the entirely bespoke gowns).

When designing gowns, what are the considerations that are forefront in your mind?

To try new ideas out, and attempt to create something that is different and fresh.

What are today’s brides asking for in terms of design?

Comfort is a big concern for our clients, as well as looking for something that is a bit unusual, and certainly something they will feel like a million dollars wearing!

What inspiration do you draw on when designing your gowns and how do you keep your work fresh?

I seem to get ideas from so many places…from Art Exhibitions, Opera or Ballet costumes, nature – flowers and sand and stone…then sometimes just from an exquisite piece of fabric, there certainly is not rhyme or rhythm to my design process!

What do you see in the future for wedding gown design?

I really don’t see much changing in regards to how important this dress is to a bride, I also don’t see weddings ever disappearing, as some would suggest they will at some stage….however, I think dresses already are being inspired more and more by Hollywood and the European catwalks, as opposed to tradition, and I feel this will continue. We may even go back to pre-Victorian times and see brides wearing colour more commonly.

We see the occasional bride wear pops of colour in lace or a gown lining – but the predominant colour is still shades of white. Why do you think that white has remained a timeless colour for the bridal gown?

I think it is a little bit to do with tradition, (no one else will wear white to your wedding unless you ask them to, or they are being rude), but white also reflects light beautifully, that light is reflected up onto the face and adds to the “Glow” a bride always has on her wedding day. It also makes the wearer of a white, especially sparkly white, dress the complete center of attention…very few brides don’t want that!

What sizes do you design your gowns for?

Our sample gowns are mostly size 10, however this next collection we are working on 3 dresses that will be 14 to 16.

If we are talking about our custom and RTW dress sizes…we will make those in any size for clients.

Are you able to advise on styles that are the most flattering for particular body shapes?

Absolutely!!!…after almost 3 decades designing literally thousands of dresses for all body shapes, I can certainly give my 2 cents worth of advice on a shape that would suit even the most difficult body shape to dress.

Are you asked to advise on bridesmaid gown styles, accessories or shoes when a bride chooses one of your gowns?

All the time!…I think the designer of a bride’s gown by default is chosen because the bride feels comfortable giving this person control of making them look their absolute best on the biggest day of her life…so it only follows that if they are unsure about decisions to do with the wedding, the designer will be the person they rely on to help with advice and suggestions.

How do you relax away from the bridal gown and wedding world?

Currently there is not a lot of relaxing (actually, truthfully there never has been I suppose).

However we recently adopted a very energetic gorgeous Dog, and he and I go out for a walk first thing in the morning and last thing at night (and quite often for a short breath of fresh air at lunch time)….I might say this has done wonders for my sanity and stress levels, When I am with him, there is no where else to be, but wandering between parks checking up on what all the other local doggies have been doing!

I also love reading, gardening, cooking, riding horses and playing the piano, when I get the chance.

Thank you Coral for sharing your story. We’re loving the 3D effects in the lace, but then we also love the beading, the flattering tailoring – well, we love it all! To find out more about Corston Couture visit the website.

Headshot courtesy of Corston Couture.