Here’s the rest of our Q&A with Lisa B! If you’ve missed the first half, you could find it here.
How do you usually prepare for your work on the big day? Do you find the need to get to know your clients’ personalities?
For Hong Kong weddings, I don’t have to visit the venues because I have already shot in them dozens of times. I do like to meet the couple at least once before the wedding, but I believe having those few hours of preparation on the morning of the wedding when the bride is having her hair done allows us time to warm up to one another and for me to find their best angles before the actual ceremony. I really wouldn’t change the way I shoot according to their personalities, though; I am merely there to capture them.
I get a good night’s sleep before a wedding shoot and have lots of recharged batteries and a big breakfast — those are the only things I need to prepare! I will ask the couple for a run-down/schedule of the day and a list of the group shots they require and any particulars that would be impossible for me to know they would like, such as a close-up of Great Granny’s miniature porcelain shoes on the wedding cake!
Which parts of the wedding day do you most love to shoot?
It’s very hard to say which parts I love to shoot most! Perhaps the speeches — there is so much emotion that comes from the speeches. And the tea ceremony — my eyes completely well up when I see the bride and her mum and dad cry, and even the groom, too — it’s very emotional and I love it. The wedding ceremony itself is a great part as well but a bit more nerve-racking for me, as I am aware that I am in full view of everyone, and it’s not so easy to hide because you want to get close enough to capture close-ups of the ring exchange and the kiss, not to mention usually having to battle your way through hordes of videographers and uncles and aunts with their cameras! I love the moment when the bride walks in with her dad and the look on the groom’s face. I also love the first dance and the guests going crazy on the dance floor. I guess I love it all!
Your subjects always look so much at ease and unsuspecting in your photos. Is there a trick that you use to banish wedding jitters and to put them in their comfort zones?
I think I can figure out the subject very quickly when I am photographing them. Some people love to be photographed and tease the camera and I will let them play up to that. But with subjects that are more shy, I will wait patiently until they stop noticing me so that I could photograph more discreetly. I use really long lenses so that I am never in anyone’s face. But some people like to get close to the camera and that’s fun too. I’ll just go with the flow and do the best I can with whatever situation I am presented. Flexibility is the key word here. Even if the subject is more reserved, after a while he or she will warm up to me, and even the shyest of couples are eventually pouting and flirting with the camera… or maybe it’s because of the champagne! I think having been a fashion model for ten years and knowing what it’s like to be on the other side of a camera have helped me — I know the worst possible thing to say to a camera-shy person is, “Relax!!”
True or false: “Less is more.”
Depends on what it is. Not with wedding cakes! More is definitely better. But fewer uncles with cameras on a wedding day is definitely preferred!
Lisa also does beautiful pre-wedding shoots in Hong Kong, London and Europe. Take a look at Lisa’s portfolio on her website. For a complete viewing of her work, call The Wedding Company at +852 2869 4222. Rates start from HK$19,000.