Hi, I'm James - I'm a New Zealand based Photographer, specializing in Destination Weddings in the South Island of New Zealand.
My objective is to capture my customers in the most beautiful way as possible.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
I have been a wedding photographer since 2012, but my passion for Destination Weddings sparked in 2017 when I discovered the beauty of the Southern Alps of New Zealand. It is incredibly beautiful, and being there is like having a lucid dream. I'm fortunate enough to have experienced many Destination Weddings in the area now, and I'm a bit like a local tour guide of the back country roads.
Tell us about one of your best experiences at work?
It has to be the helicopter rides - I don't think I'll ever get sick of these.
What equipment do you use?
I'm a solo hybrid Photo & Video shooter, and I do everything by myself without assistants using my Nikon D850 as the primary camera.
Lenses include the 14mm 2.8, 24mm Tilt Shift, 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.2, 85mm 1.4 and the 135mm f2, but I really like sticking to my 35mm.
What's your favorite part of the wedding day? Why?
My favourite part of the wedding day has to be the bridal party location shoot - in the end, it's what my couples want me for.
Any advice for Brides and Grooms?
Start taking antihistamines 2 weeks before the shoot - the pollen in Queenstown are different to what you are probably used to, so they may cause hayfever allergies. I'd rather see you smiling than sneezing :)
Bring comfortable shoes - There will be some rocky terrain to walk around on, so for safety and comfort I recommend not wearing high-heels. White dress sandals with a stable heel area will be ok.
Don't forget your jackets - It can get cold suddenly or even snow unexpectedly.
Sun screen and moisturizers - it's very dry there and the sun can burn like crazy down in Otago.. right under the hole in the Ozone layer?
Bring a dress that: has a train that flows nicely in the wind, but not heavy/too many layers/too long. The current trend is to have open backs & shoulders with laces, and a bit of a train. Avoid tube/fishtail dresses as well, since they're very difficult to move around in.
I don't recommend bringing more than 2 dresses - dress changes will eat into the time.
Groom: Get a nice haircut on the week of the shoot.
Accommodation: The CBD can get quite loud at night with all the partying tourists. Nearby areas like Frankton, Arrowtown, Kelvin Heights and Fern Hill can be significantly cheaper and quieter to stay at. I recommend looking on AirBnB.
Food: Try to avoid oily foods the week before the shoot, to avoid any break outs. Ferg Burger in Queenstown is nice, but I always seem get a big pimple on my nose the day after I have one.
Car: We can travel in one car on the photoshoot day, or you can go in your own rental car too and follow me. I recommend Ace Rentals in Queenstown for the best rates.
Any personal advice for fellow Photographers & Videographers?
Rest is very important. Get at least a day to rest before doing another wedding - I don't understand people who try to do 2~3~4 days in a row shooting weddings. The first day will be fine, and it'll get worse from there. Give your best to your clients.