Vendor Interview: Perspectives Photo + Cinema
By Lydia Martin

10 June 2015

Perspectives Photo + Cinema produces some of Auckland's most cutting-edge and modern wedding images. We asked Amber De Reus about how they work their magic.

Was wedding photography always your career plan?

No! In fact, growing up you could always pick my photos when the roll of film got developed – they were the blurry ones with a finger across the front and the heads chopped off.

I was a new entrant teacher for the first years of my working life before my love of photography took over. People wrangling is a skill set that comes in handy in both professions though!

What makes your work unique?

We have a strong focus on good light, interesting compositions and putting a spin on the everyday to create something visually stunning.

We’re self professed light geeks so we’re able to make the most of pretty much anything that gets thrown our way!

I strongly believe that there is no such thing as un-photogenic people – just bad photography! We tell all our couples this, but it’s the moment when they see themselves in our photos and see how beautiful they look that gets me! Other than that, I love the creative challenge of coming up with something amazing under the pressure of a wedding day!

What would be your ideal couple to work with?

The cool thing about photographing so many weddings is that you get to meet so many cool people – and I genuinely love working with them all! The ones who really get the most of us as photographers are the ones who are as excited about the photography as we are (well, maybe not quite as excited as we are – but close!) and are just a bit adventurous. The ones who will kick their shoes off and run through the long grass, or clamber up on the rocks to get to the perfect spot. Couples who aren’t afraid to just be themselves and enjoy their wedding day – hiccups and all!

What’s your favourite Auckland wedding venue?

I love going to new venues! I think it’s a bit of a myth that it’s a good idea to choose a photographer who has photographed many weddings at the same venue – there is definitely some advantages, but a great photographer will make sure they familiarize themselves with your venue ahead of time, and will be able to see your venue with fresh eyes.

Even when we have photographed at a venue many times, it’s always our creative challenge to come up with something completely unique and special for each couple.

What advice would you give couples to ensure they get the best wedding photos?

Invest in a professional and trust them! While it’s important to discuss the style and feel of the photos you love ahead of time, the more flexibility you give your photographer, the more they will be able to respond to the parts that make your wedding special and unique.

What are your most important considerations in capturing great wedding photography? Timelines are something that can make or break the mood of your wedding day. The more padding time you can factor in to your day, the less stressed you will be when something inevitably runs late – and if you’re feeling stressed – you’ll look stressed!

I’ve also learnt that good light trumps interesting background every time, so don’t be surprised if your photographer leads you somewhere random on the wedding day. If they’re jumping up and down and squealing about the pretty light – you’re pretty much guaranteed something amazing!

How do you prepare for each wedding?

From a technical point of view – we always make sure we have backups of our backups ready to go.

From a creative point of view, location scouting is a huge part of the preparations that go into each wedding. We head out the week of the wedding and drive down back roads, walk down tracks, and stick our heads inside interesting buildings until we have found something amazing! We take the ideas our couples love, and find locations that will suit them perfectly.

What is a typical wedding day for you?

We always photograph both the bride and the groom getting ready – not only does it mean you get to document this time of your day, but it also gives you and your bridal party a chance to warm up around the cameras. By the time we’ve hung out with the guys for an hour or so in the morning, they realize the photography won’t be that scary after all, and they’re able to be more relaxed when it comes to the photoshoot.

Most of our couples prefer to keep the bridal party photos after the ceremony when the light is at it’s best, but there are definitely some advantages to pre-ceremony photos (and that’s a whole other topic!) We are lucky that most of the time we get to stay for the entire reception, so we get to document the tears and laughter of the speeches and the party on the dancefloor.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to capture an amazing image?

The craziest things never feel that crazy at the time… it’s only when you look back that you realize that it may have been a bit extreme – it’s hard to keep perspective when you’ve got the perfect shot in your sights!

We often climb trees or rock faces to get a cool angle, and it’s only when we’ve finished taking the shot that I think “Now... how do I get down from here!”

We also tend to go through more gear than anyone else I know – which I suspect is a direct byproduct of bringing our lights onto the beach, or lying in puddles to get the perfect rain reflection.

What would be one of your career highlights?

Photographing a wedding couple on top of the Remarkables, while hanging out of a helicopter is definitely one of my favourite photography moments!

We’ve also started to get more involved with photography education, and have felt very honoured to speak at the national NZIPP conference last year. We’ve been running some lighting workshops this winter for other professional wedding photographers – it feels a bit surreal sometimes, but it’s been an incredible opportunity and we love getting to meet new faces in the industry.