Celebrating the dreamers and the adventurers, Katrina of Katrina Cooke Photography is a lover of natural light, spontaneity and candour. Katrina’s imagery is flowing with vibrancy and passion, and lifelong friendships and love just spill from her frames.
Courting alone time and catching unfurling emotions, Katrina’s thoughtful presence will have you feeling yourselves and able to blissfully enjoy the day as it unravels. With an innate eye for details, Katrina is a dream combination with down-to-earth couples seeking effortlessly composed shots to chronicle their day.
Tips on how to get the best from your wedding photography and insights from Katrina herself below.
Introduce yourself! How long have you been shooting and how old is your business?
I’m Katrina, I live in Auckland with my husband and 5 year old son. I’ve always had an obsession with taking photos and documenting memories. For a time I had a real love for landscapes, but it wasn’t until my son was born that I really found a love for photographing people.
I was asked to shoot a friend’s wedding in 2018. Having no experience in the wedding industry I booked a workshop, hired some lenses and loved every minute of it, from there Katrina Cooke Photography was born.
It started out as part time while still working a full time job and I’m about to take the leap and go full time. I love natural lighting, real couples and the beauty of New Zealand.
Is there a specific person who has influenced your work?
My family, my husband has had my back and supported me ever since I started and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without his love and support, and my son, my little muse who now will not let me take a photo of him unless he’s pulling a face.
What is your favourite destination to travel to in New Zealand?
There are so many amazing destinations in New Zealand, I’d love to shoot a wedding in Queenstown in the snow – the mountains and giant landscapes are so epic. You also can’t beat the rugged west coast beaches in Auckland, they provide an amazing backdrop for moody shoots, have lots of variety and amazing sunsets.
How early do couples need to book you for your services?
I have a lot of couples who book at least 12 months ahead, especially in the summer months as these dates get booked up pretty quickly. I also offer an engagement session with some of my packages so it’s always good to be able to use these for wedding invites or wedding websites, so the earlier you book the better!
What is the process for booking with you? From the start to the very finish!Most couples contact me by email, but I also receive enquiries via Facebook and/or Instagram. I always try to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours. In the first instance I will confirm if I’m available and then send them some more info on the packages I offer. We’ll then arrange a time to meet for a coffee or a wine, either in person or virtually so we can get to know each other. We can then chat and I’ll be able to find out more about you, what your dreams are for the day and what sort of style and vibe you are going for.
From there, you’ll be able to confirm your photography package. A couple of these include an engagement shoot so we can throw around some ideas of where you’d like to have this and arrange a time. I send out a little welcome pack with all sorts of useful information and planning guides for the big day. An engagement shoot is a great way to get comfortable in front of the camera and get some cute photos at the same time, I totally recommend all couples do this. About a month out from the wedding I’ll send a wedding questionnaire and then help you put together a timeline for the day to make sure you allow enough time for me to capture all of those important moments.
Before the big day, I’ll do a location scout to scope out the best spots for light and views, especially if we’re going to a second location for some epic shots! This will ensure my part in your special day is seamless and stress-free. I send a sneak peek of around 5 photos within 24 hours, which means you have something to share with friends and family straight away and don’t have to wait. Who likes waiting for anything these days!?
My aim is to have your full gallery back to you within 4-6 weeks and after that I’m able to put together any albums or prints you want.
Describe your wedding style in 3 words
Timeless / Candid / Authentic
What is your favourite moment to capture on a wedding day?There are so many… The moment when the bride gets her dress on and things are starting to get real, and seeing the bridal parties and families reactions. The moment when the ceremony finishes and I get to capture pure happiness when the couple walks back down the isle together, the looks on their faces at this moment are priceless. The quiet moments with just the couple, when I capture little look, a giggle or a private kiss, it makes me feel so honoured to preserve that memory for them.
What is your advice to couples to get the most from the photography on their wedding day?
Everything is such a blur on your wedding day… I know from mine that it all goes so quickly. Most importantly, enjoy your day! Allow the day to simply be what it is, whether that means bad weather, dirt on your dress, forgetting the bracelet you wanted to wear, or events running off schedule. Wedding days always have little quirks or things that go “wrong”. If you can keep an open mind, smile and be happy throughout the day your photos will reflect that beauty and happiness. And besides, you’ll only marry this lovely person once right?!
Whenever possible, always try to have your hair and makeup done near a window, hopefully, one with access from outside. These provide beautiful diffuse light for photography, and your makeup artist will appreciate the increased illumination of natural light.
Have an “unplugged” ceremony, there’s nothing worse than guests with phones getting in the way of that perfect shot. I’m there to capture all those moments so that you and your guests only have to worry about enjoying the day.
Try to have some time just the two of you. I always try to make sure that the couple gets a few moments alone usually before going back to the reception, these often are the most relaxed and real photos of the day
Are there any exciting things coming up for you this year that you would like to share?
I’m opening up a small studio space in October to do product and some family mini sessions.
Best advice you’ve every received about being an artist, business person, or happy human?
Take time to date your business…. it’s something that really resonated with me from the Creative Master Class and I really want to put it into action. Use every opportunity as a learning opportunity – you never stop learning, no wedding or photoshoot is ever the same, if it’s the same location the light might be different or there may be a new angle to shoot from, each couple is unique and different in the way they react and interact.