I am a make up artist and hair stylist, owner of the Sussex Make up Academy and bridalmakeupbyamy.co.uk I work in Film, Television, Theatre, Fashion, Photographic, Bridal plus anywhere else that will have me!
My blog is an opportunity to share my work with you. - I hope you enjoy looking.
How to choose a photographer for your wedding day - Introducing Marianne Chua
What is your background?
I’m Marianne, I’m a young (in my head) photographer who
specialises in weddings but who occasionally ganders with music photography as
well. I’m self-taught through the school of Google, so essentially I learnt
everything I know from online resources and trial and erroring during my film
photography hobby days… then one day a friend asked me to photograph their
wedding so I picked up a digital camera and haven’t stopped since! I still own
16 film cameras and will be using some of them at the weddings.
ABOUT YOUR COMPANY
Tell me a bit about your company and what you have to offer
to the wedding industry.
I’m a wedding photographer offering a fun, relaxed,
alternative documentary style of photography! I’m based in London but I
adventure all over to shoot weddings. I offer a more modern and quirky service,
I think the kind of clients that book me want someone friendly who can blend
into their day and be a part of it rather than a big obstacle. Mostly I think
they want someone human who doesn’t see this as “just another job”. I’d like to
think I deliver that, as my main motivation for being a photographer is I love
to see new things and meet new people, so I see each couple and wedding as
unique and different every time.
What has been your favourite wedding to date and why?
I don’t really have a favourite I think each of my clients
have been fun and brilliant in their own way. I guess if I had to say which
wedding stayed with me the longest was Chris and Julia’s. They were just really
inspirational people and I very much felt “I hope I’m like them in 20 year’s
time”. They were one of my older clients and were proper hippyesque rock and
roll. Chris said he’d never get married so it was especially moving that Julia
was the woman to make him change his mind. They had a Rolling Stones themed
wedding because that’s how they met (at a rolling stones gig), and they
realised for the past few decades they’d both been going to the same gigs all
over the world, it was just a fated situation I think. Their flat was decorated
in hundreds of ticket stubs and music memorabilia, so that was pretty cool in
itself. They had the perfect attitude where they didn’t give a toss for the
norms and they were both so happy just living their life the way they wanted
to, and that really resonated with me.
What do you love most about your line of work?
It honestly is all about the new experiences and new people
for me. I like that wedding photography has allowed me to camp overnight in a
field with a whole wedding party, and that next year I’ll be doing a pre-ceremony
hike with the wedding guests. It’s like every wedding I shoot, I’m seeing
people who love each other come together in so many different ways, choosing to
express themselves in a way that reflects them as a couple. The diversity in
this just highlights the beauty of love and life, and I adore being a part of
Have you had any experiences that went wrong? And how did
you handle this?
Ooh, at one of my earlier weddings, because in central
London you don’t really drive anywhere, I took the tube to the bride’s house
and then travelled with the bridal party to the ceremony venue. However I was
in a different car to the bride and got stuck in traffic and missed the bride
going up the aisle. I ran up to the church and just saw two people at the front
and thought “hold on a second, that dress looks the same as… ARRGGGHHHHH”. I
properly had a mini scream inside my head, but luckily I had a second shooter
who I’d sent to the ceremony venue beforehand, and they caught the bridal
entrance. The couple were totally fine about it, the bride even took full
responsibility as she said she forgot to give her Uncle the shortcut route, but
still the moral of the story is 1) NEVER let the bride out of your sight if
driving across central London, get in the same car as her 2) It helps to have a
What question do you get asked the most by potential
Hmm I’m not sure to be honest, my website is pretty
informative, I have an extensive FAQ section (http://www.mariannechua.com/info/#faq)
so usually when I meet clients it’s more that we have an informal chat and they
tell me about their wedding. Even if they don’t ask me questions I’ll often let
them know things like I’m insured and my contingency plans for if I got ill
etc. so they know I’m always fully prepared for all eventualities. One question
I do tend to get asked is when people find out I also am finishing my PhD in
psychology, they ask what career I want to go into and why I decided to do
wedding photography haha!
What questions in your opinion should they be asking?
I think couples should always ask any photographer they’re
considering for examples of full weddings, this is so important because
shooting indoors, outdoors, during the day, at night time are all completely
different things, and I think that distinguishes a good photographer from a bad
one, if they can only show you posed images taken in perfect weather conditions
it might suggest they’re less confident in other areas. It’s a photographer’s
job to work with all situations, and you want to know yours can do that. Also,
the pace of a real wedding is really fast, so you want to see a full wedding
example so you can see how they handle capturing all the moments, rather than
just seeing the photos from the couple shoot where they have plenty of time to
get it right.
Any behind the scenes costs that people don’t normally
For photographers, I guess I’d say check how many photos you
get and whether the price includes prints etc. Some photographers offer say 200
edited photos, but then you need to pay a premium to get more photos. It’s
horses for courses really, there’s no right or wrong to photography packages,
but it’s worth making 100% sure you know what you’re paying for.
Any money saving tips for couples when dealing with your
Well actually, I do offer a bucket list discount (which is
at the bottom of this page: http://www.mariannechua.com/info/#how-much). Essentially
I have a list of weird and wacky things I’d just be tickled to see at a
wedding, so if you happen to be having them (hey it could happen!) then I would
offer you a discount off my services, kind of like a high five and a “kudos to
you” gift for coming up with the same ridiculous ideas as me!
Why should people choose you over your competitors?
Well I think more importantly people need to choose a
photographer that’s right for them and a good fit for the wedding. I wouldn’t
uniformly say I deserve to be chosen over my competitors because some couples
will be better suited to me and my services, but other couples might be better
suited to someone else. If I feel like I’m not the right person to provide what
the couple is looking for, I’ll happily refer them onto one of my peers,
because at the end of the day the couple have this one time to get married and
I’d hate the idea of them having regrets or not loving their photographic
memories of it. To me, that’s not worth it for the sake of securing a booking,
I’d rather respect how important that day is to that couple. What I offer is a
fun, personable relaxed service, with expressive and quirky documentary style
photography, so if people are looking for that then that’s pretty awesome, but
if not, that’s also cool.
ABOUT WEDDING SUPPLIERS IN GENERAL
What is your advice to future brides which will help them to
make their decision when deciding which supplier to use?
Try and meet the supplier if you can, not only do you want a
good product/service, you also want to feel happy and comfortable with the
person. I’ve heard stories of people not meeting their supplier, booking based
on seeing that the website looked good, but on the day finding out that they
felt a bit uncomfortable with the person which hampered the atmosphere for them
Which products / services would you advise brides to look at
saving their money on?
I would say save money on what is the least important for
you, I couldn’t specify a service because what is top priority or bottom of the
list will probably be different for each couple.
Which products/services is it extremely important for brides
not to be cutting costs?
Again, I think what is important to the couple is entirely
dependent on the couple themselves. I think as suppliers we always feel that
our service is THE most important, but realistically some couples might not
value X, Y or Z, and we should respect that. What I will say is that if you
really value having your memories recorded, then obviously invest well in a
photographer or videographer. Once the dress has been worn and the cake eaten,
the photographs/video footage are the longest lasting product you’ll be buying
from your wedding, so it doesn’t hurt to take the due care in choosing the
Why are so many people offering such a wide range of prices?
I think it’s good that people are offering a wide range of
prices, because it means that there’s something for every couple with every
budget. The suppliers will probably vary in experience, quality, what they
offer etc. or their prices could also be dependent on the area they serve as
they will probably be pricing themselves in comparison to the local market.
That’s not to say that cheaper is worse and pricier is better because I’ve seen
the reverse of that in both directions. It’s really worth focusing on the
service or product first, seeing whether it’s what you want and that you’re
happy with it before worrying about whether it’s cheap or expensive, because
the price isn’t always a reliable indicator of what it’s worth.
Any other advice that you feel your knowledge of working as
a wedding supplier will help brides? (Words of wisdom)
Always remember that at the end of the day it’s about you
and your partner getting married, nothing else truly matters. I see a lot of
pre-wedding stress related to the decorations, the guest politics etc. etc. but
really don’t stress, because on the day nothing else will matter.
One of the weddings I shot, the groom was nearly 2 hours
late because they had lost the wedding rings. He was driving between all the
houses trying to find it, and it was very stressful part of the day. In the end
they had to give up the search and borrow some rings and he was so worried
about it all… but when he was standing at the front and he first saw the bride,
he just broke into the most genuine and beautiful smile and I could see that
instantly for those two, nothing else mattered and all panic and stress was
Any further information you would like to share? My contact details!!!
This is Joanne
Joanne got married on April 1st at Boship Lions Farm Hotel
Yep, you heard that right - April 1st, April fools day! I think this is my first ever April fools day wedding in the 13 years that I have had my bridal hair and make-up business.
There was no foolery at this beautiful wedding. Joanne looked amazing and it was a joy to be a part of her wedding day with her gorgeous family.
Those of you who know me, know that I LOVE a good wedding shoe and Joanne's are absolutely no exception. Just look how amazing these shoes are. I want a pair for every day wear!
I carried out a trial for both Joanne and her mum a couple of months before the wedding. Both ladies are natural beauty's who don't wear a lot of make-up so were slightly anxious but my trial put them at ease, knowing that I had taken time to listen to how they would like to look for the wedding day and achieving their perfect look. I love making people feel great about how they look and in return thi…
It was great to team up with photographer Emma Jane Lewis, Models Markie Pearl and Wiktoria Salajczyk and Stylist Zoe Van Spyk of We are Water Vintage once more to create these images.
Emma had an illustrator on board, Sneha Kalraand and I had no idea what the final images would look like until they were printed in Elegant Magazine and I got my first few peeks.
The Spec of this shoot was based around 'Colour Pop' with the colour palette and styling based around bright colours, bold lines, lots of pink and light blue. Eyebrows to play a part in the colour pop and to really show. Also to think about the option of using wigs. Styling to be similar - colour pop and retro.
I love the final images and feel that the illustration adds a whole new dimension to the finished photos. I decided to share both illustrated and non side by side for you to form your own opinion as to which you prefer and will explain how I achieved the hair and make-up further down.
I don't ever really get to share photos of brides at their wedding trial stage 1. because we want to keep the look under wraps and keep it as a surprise for the wedding day itself and 2. because the bride always loos so much more stunning in the complete look with dress, flowers and jewellery on so I don't tend to find it useful to share 'trial' photos.
Now, every wedding hair and make-up artist works differently so this post is simply to share the way that I approach wedding trials and what I have found works best for the bride.
1. Each bride and wedding is unique - I always want to listen to what it is that you want for your wedding day and will discuss looks in person but it is always helpful for you to have some kind of mood board to share with me.
2. It is always helpful to see your dress and the bridesmaids dress plus to discuss what flowers and type of wedding that you are having.
3. It is important for me to find out whether you are a neat symmetrical girl, or…