Navigating the world of capturing light and love from all corners of the globe. Travel fanatics Robin and Andie share tales of their full career in the photography industry. Of which, pivoted from shooting the Rolling Stones and rock ‘n’ roll scenes in Glastonbury to serene landscapes in New Zealand.
Film rolls weren’t the only thing developing in the 80’s. Their young love for photography grew simultaneously with every envelope of images eagerly opened. With over 25 years of experience between them, Robin + Andie truly have a passion for photo documentation of weddings.
Alluding to the idea of capturing genuine raw moments of love around the globe, the couple share how they adore the natural essence of newlyweds. We were lucky enough to talk careers, what to expect on your wedding day, photography secrets, travel and much more. If you’re a photographer starting out in your career or a couple scoping out a wedding photographer, this ones for you.
How did you both fall in love with photography?
Andie: I became besotted with photography from a very young age. My first photographic device was a Canon film camera which was retro blue! Getting my photos back from the chemist (yeap, I was lucky enough to grow up in the 80’s and 90’s!) was like Christmas Day! It brought me so much joy to open my packet of developed prints to find such treasure in there. I fell in love with photography because I was able to bring our fun family holidays home with me forever. My little heart used to burst with so much joy whenever someone said, “That’s a cool photo!” and it still does to this day. I love capturing and sharing good times, beautiful destinations, and laughter. There’s nothing better than that.
Robin: I fell into photography in my 20’s when I was working in the music industry in the UK. I had my own music promotion business which had some little unknown folk bands on the books like Mumford and Sons and Bastille (!!) who were just starting out and I needed great imagery to promote them. I documented their success from small pubs to large music festivals like Glastonbury and my photographs became an important part of their journey. I discovered this kind of documentary photography was also popular at weddings for ‘rock n roll’ couples who didn’t want anything too posed. Photography has given me incredible opportunities in my life, from photographing The Rolling Stones (and many other well-known rock stars) to regularly shooting runway at London Fashion Week.
What was your first camera?
Robin + Andie: We both started out using Canon, but now shoot with Fuji. We find mirrorless cameras are less obtrusive and we pride ourselves on blending into the background.
Is there an aspect of wedding photography that are consistently challenging?
Robin + Andie: The most challenging thing about weddings would probably be working with the weather. It’s not often a wedding day is absolute perfection from start to finish for photography… particularly if timings mean shooting ‘first look’ at midday when the sun delivers its harshest shadows, but we always make the most of the natural light available to us. If it’s a sh*t storm wedding day we encourage our couples to engage with the elements and embrace the wind. Some of our best work has been in trickier weather conditions like cyclones! That’s one way to get a cool flying veil shot! We often scout for great shoot locations in advance of the wedding day and will always have a plan B up our sleeve.
How have you navigated the current wedding climate and what have been your key learnings in business during this time?
Robin + Andie: We moved back to New Zealand from the UK in 2020 when 1000’s of people were dying there every day. Grateful to be home and safe we wanted to give back to our healthcare heroes in New Zealand who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic (and continue to do so!) by giving engaged nurses and vaccinators discounted wedding photography. We’ve adapted our business to show more gratitude and appreciation for how lucky we are here in New Zealand, and we’ve created connections with some super talented wedding industry professionals too. Yes, we’ve had inconveniences and Covid related postponements like everyone else, but as we say on a st*t storm wedding day… “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”.
What’s your favourite moment during a photoshoot?
Robin + Andie: Some of our favourite moments are when we get to capture our couples cracking up laughing and being silly together. It’s really sweet.
Which moments are you looking for on a wedding day?
Robin + Andie: Authentic, natural and relaxed moments. We’re also keen to capture the tears and all of the dance floor antics… like when granny stage-dives on to the dance floor!
How do you approach a large wedding with many special moments to capture? Do you have a plan of how you approach a shoot day?
Robin + Andie: Our plan is to always go with the flow and capture the day as it unfolds naturally. Our style is relaxed, and unobtrusive. We can’t stand cringey, forced poses and our clients wouldn’t like that either. We’re all about capturing the genuine connection that couples in love already have. There’s no need to set up awkward face stroking! Haha.
What has been your favourite wedding to date?
Robin + Andie: In all honesty, we have the coolest couples, so we’ve photographed lots of incredible weddings all around the world. Sometimes it’s simply the people who make a wedding amazing… like the ‘cuffs and bants’ with the boys while they’re getting ready or working with vendors who are all on the same page to help make it the best day for our couple. We’ve photographed unbelievable destination weddings from Italy to the Greek Islands, but our absolute favourites have all been in the South Island. New Zealand has some of the most outstanding venues we’ve ever seen and the wedding industry here is world class.
How long do you spend editing images from a wedding day and do you have any advice for new photographers navigating the editing process?
Robin + Andie: We spend up to 4 weeks editing our images with great care and creativity although we do share a few sneak peeks with our newly-weds the day after the wedding as we’re just as keen to see the photos! In terms of editing style and technique… we don’t use pre-sets or filters that can make photographs look like someone spilt a cup of tea all over them. We prefer to focus on bringing out the natural light and shadows we’ve captured in camera. We do have our own colour palette which gives our photographs a unique style and we also include lots of black and whites! We’d recommend that new photographer’s study alongside other qualified photographers. Andie did her post grad at The British Academy of Photography in London which was so valuable. Don’t take short cuts, invest in yourself, and step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. Learn the rules of photography first so that you can experiment and break them later 😉
Aside from weddings what subjects and style of photography do you feel most creative in?
Robin: Aside from weddings, I feel most creative when photographing epic New Zealand landscapes, fashion, and music. I love candid’s and capturing those unmissable rock star moments.
Andie: My background is in luxury travel PR, and I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph some of the best 5-star hotels in the world. From the King of Morocco’s Hotel – Royal Mansour in Marrakech to Gstaad Palace in Switzerland. I’m always on the hunt for cool new destinations. I love to inspire people to visit the places I’ve been to through my photography. My destination photography has been published in lots of international high-end glossies from Condé Nast Traveller to Tatler. There’s nothing more creatively rewarding than seeing your work in print!
What does the future hold for each of you?
Robin + Andie: Well, we’re also engaged to be married so we’d better organise our own wedding at some stage! We’re looking forward to finishing the renovation on our olive grove cottage in Akaroa and we have a super fun, family wedding to photograph in the Whitsundays later this year (when Andie’s gorgeous cousin Chris marries his true love, Dan!) Exciting times are ahead!
How early do couples need to book for your services?
Robin + Andie: We’d recommend booking at least a year in advance to avoid disappointment, although always check your date with us as we can have last minute availability for the odd weekend or mid-week wedding. Did you know it’s really good luck to get married on a Wednesday?!! We try not to take on too many weddings each year so that we can give each celebration the dedication that it deserves.
What is your advice to couples on how they could store, preserve, or display their wedding albums? Do you have a favourite print company, or do you prefer digital storage?
Robin + Andie: We deliver our wedding photographs via an online downloadable gallery. We don’t put a time limit on hosting the images for our couples so that they can always have access to them and the freedom to create a printed album at any time. Our couples will often design a bespoke wedding album with us for their 1st wedding anniversary as it’s the perfect paper gift! We love to support local, so our wedding albums are with Queensbury in Auckland and our print partners are Trig Point who are literally down the road from us on Banks Peninsula. They have the best fine art paper and do an exceptional job.
And finally, do you have any advice to couples who may feel nervous about being in front of the camera?
Robin + Andie: We totally get it, but if you actually like your photographer and they’re an experienced pro then you should have a great time and a bit of a laugh. We gift our wedding clients a free engagement shoot as we find it’s a great way to get to know our couples in advance of the big day. Then when we turn up on your wedding day we’re not just some randoms with cameras. We’re mates.