Sam from August and Vines imagery evokes curated moments that tell a story. Every moment is craftfully captured so couples can revisit to relive those priceless memories forever. Focusing on a moment-based approach every laugh, smile and applause is photographed so those precious memories can be relived for years to come.
We speak to Sam about her process and how her love for photography came to fruition….
How did you fall into photography?
It seems like a cliche, but I was always fascinated by photos as a kid. My family had lots of old photos going back to my great, great grandparents on both sides and I loved looking through them and hearing about the family history and stories they triggered. My parents also always took photos of our holidays and important moments, so I guess it was
ingrained in me from a young age the ability of an image to evoke memories. From then on, photography was with me. I studied photography at school and uni, and after working in other fields, I made the plunge to take my photography full time. I fell into Wedding Photography after a commercial photography client begged me to capture their wedding
and I loved it so much that I never looked back.
Any favourite destinations or venues to shoot at?
Always love getting to head down to beautiful Queenstown Lakes, or to Waiheke where I’ve spent so much time over the years. I’ve got many favourite venues for many different reasons, but it’s always a thrill to shoot somewhere new!
Any advice for couples that are nervous in front of the lens?
Just focus on each other! Trust your photographer, let go and enjoy yourselves.
Describe your style of shooting in three words?
Elegant, natural, timeless
What is your most popular package?
It seems to vary each season but last year everyone booked full days. Generally I’m there from getting ready to the dance floor.
How early do couples need to book for your services?
A year in advance is a good sweet spot to hopefully secure your date, though it’s creeping up to 18 months now.
Your favourite moment to capture?
First looks are definitely fav moments. Whether it be with family, friends or each other, they tug on the heart strings and provide moments to capture that everyone connects to.
Is there an aspect of wedding photography that you find consistently challenging?
I think the very nature of wedding photography is challenging, but in a really good way. With my commercial photography, especially studio work, I can almost always control thevariables (like lighting and timing) to exactly suit the clients’ and my needs. But with weddings it’s much more fluid and sometimes unpredictable so you have to be ready to react to all situations, including people’s emotions to achieve the results you want. I’m constantly challenging myself at weddings to be more creative in those short time frames and that’s really enjoyable. I don’t ever want to just tick the boxes.
What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you emotional? Makes you laugh?
I have a soft spot for shared moments with grandparents, and now, especially with my Dad passing last year, father daughter moments have me in tears! There’s always a lot of laughter, so probably the question could be what doesn’t make me laugh! Kids at weddings, pets at weddings, speeches, chats with your relatives, rings getting stuck,
confetti bombs, silliness during your couple session and dance floor shenanigans are all good reasons to have a giggle.
What’s your favourite moment during a photoshoot? Which moments are you looking for on a wedding day?
I keep an eye out for those special candid encounters that the couple aren’t around for, because I know they will love seeing them for the first time later. My favourite moment during a photoshoot is always when the couple suddenly totally forget that I’m there and just live for their loved-up time together. So spoilt that we get a front row seat to witnessing moments like that and capturing them for the couple to always remember!
Do you do destination weddings or do you more target the local ones?
Both. Last season saw me from one end of NZ to the other, and I love heading overseas too. I’m really lucky though that Wairarapa, Wellington and Kapiti are my locals!
What are a few pieces of advice you like to offer couples to get the most from the photography on their wedding day?
Firstly, try not to think about poses, or shots and how you think you “should” look or what you should do, just be yourselves, focus on each other and leave the rest to your photographer. Second, have your planning/schedule meeting earlier rather than later so you can get advice on location, time of the day and more all upfront. And last but by no means least, avoid scheduling the entire day like a photoshoot. Allow space for the day to naturally unfold. If you’re living in the moment, those beautiful candid photo opportunities present themselves. Oh, and one more for later… get your photos printed!
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