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Wedding Photographer Western Australia Jimmy Teo iZO Photography shoots a wedding at Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club, Australia

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Wedding Photographer : Jimmy Teo iZO Photography  
Couple : Bree + Ben
Wedding Photographer Western Australia
Ceremony Location : Private Residence
Reception : Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club
Wedding Date : 23rd Nov 2013

Tell us a little about yourself??

My name is Jimmy, married to a beautiful woman, Shona for 8 years now. We live in Perth, on the west coast of Australia. I’m a self-taught photographer since 2009, and have been shooting weddings since 2010.

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How do you think or would like people to describe you?

Adventurous. Always up for a challenge. Spontaneous.

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Tell us a little bit about the wedding day?

Bree and Ben had planned their day meticulously. They even went to the trouble of scouting locations for the photo shoot (A job that I usually do!). They got married in the backyard of a private residence of a relative and had their reception at Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club, which is right by the beach facing the Indian Ocean.

Ben’s younger brother Cam owns a well-kept kombi van and they used that to ferry the bridal party around, which was definitely unique!

Our photoshoot took us to small random alleyways in the residential areas of Perth, which suited the look of their wedding. We shot around rustic fences and old heritage houses. We also took some time to shoot inside the house where they had the ceremony.


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How did you get into wedding photography?

My wife already had a DSLR and was shooting events on the side, while working for another photographer. I wasn’t intending to do it full-time but was just looking for something to fill my free time. I basically “borrowed” her camera and started shooting, and learning as I went. Before I knew it I was asked to shoot a friend’s wedding and that was it. One wedding became 12 weddings, and the following year we ended up shooting 30, and now we’re fully booked every year with an average of 50+ weddings annually.

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How long have you been a wedding photographer?

4 years.

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Can you share how you've made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?

Believe in what you do, don’t follow trends blindly. Consistency is the key, and great customer service all the time.

The biggest mistake I made was shooting a wedding with sub-par equipment. I ended up having to refund the client half of everything that was paid. When your income depends on the quality of the gear you use, it had better be able to withstand the stresses of a wedding day and still deliver the stellar quality your client expects.


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What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?

With wedding photography, don’t just compare prices. Compare the quality of work from each photographer. Prices can be deceiving. A good photographer doesn’t necessarily have to charge a lot, and a bad one doesn’t necessarily mean they charge very little either.

If the photographer doesn’t have a regularly updated blog, request to see a full wedding that he/she has shot in the past. Don’t base your decision on just their portfolio images.

Seeing a full wedding they’ve shot can give you a much better picture of the quality of their work.
If the couple is looking to buy an album, request to see the album in person. There’s nothing worse than buying a product without the chance to touch and feel it. An established photographer will have samples to show you. If he/she doesn’t, be very wary as that may mean they’re just starting out i.e. inexperienced and don’t have the work to show you.


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How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?

We’ve been building our brand through Facebook a lot, but recently we’ve started branching out to other forms of social media like Google+ and Instagram. We’ve done bridal fairs in the past but are slowly pulling away from that. Most brides nowadays are quite internet savvy and that’s where we want to concentrate our efforts.

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Why do you think people hire you?

We’re a husband and wife team. I shoot and edit the images while Shona handles all the admin and customer relations. As a two person team, we pride ourselves on our customer service. Couples never have to wait days for us to get back to them, and we are able to go above and beyond what other photographers might offer, simply because we have the time. Most photographers who run businesses on their own always find themselves short of time to do everything, from editing to answering client queries. Also as a married couple, it gives us a unique insight into a typical wedding day, simply because we’ve been in the couple’s shoes. We love giving advice to couples who come to see us; we want their day to be perfect, and to avoid some of the pitfalls we encountered on our own wedding day!

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How many weddings do you average per year?

About 50 weddings a year.

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Whose wedding would you love to shoot?

n/a

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If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?

At this stage, I would love to shoot a wedding in the Swiss Alps. There’s just something magical about snow on a wedding day.

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What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?

I carry a lot of equipment for a wedding day, mostly as backups and backups for my backups.

Nikon bodies D3s, D800, D700
Nikon lenses 35mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.4G, 85mm 1.4G, 135mm 2.0, 24-70mm 2.8G, 70-200 2.8G VRII, 45mm 2.8 PC-E
Sigma lenses 35mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4
as you can see I love my primes 
Nikon speedlights SB-910, SB-800, SB-24

Film bodies
Pentax 6x7 with 105mm 2.4 SMC Takumar
Polaroid 180 Land Camera

Thinktank Airport Takeoff to keep all my equipment in. This case is highly recommended!

Thinktank Skin Set with Pro Speed Belt for keeping my lenses with me while shooting.


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What is the most challenging thing about a wedding.

Dealing with the changing light conditions throughout a wedding day. Sometimes the light can change mid-ceremony and I have, in the past, asked a bride and groom to move halfway through a ceremony so they will look better for the photos.

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Do you have an approach to a wedding?

I usually plan my timings for each wedding, but leaving it open for anything unexpected that might come up. I tend to keep an eye out for anything unusual or interesting and try to shoot that way too.

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Who or what inspires you?

Movies and other forms of art. As far as people go, I get inspired more by press photographers rather than other wedding photographers.

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Best & Worst marketing idea so far?

Best: I haven’t come across one single best marketing idea. I’m convinced there’s no such thing as a magic bullet. So far, it’s been a combination of social media posts and good old face-to-face networking.

Worst: running a competition to give away free wedding photography coverage. It attracted a whole bunch of bargain hunters!


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If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?

I honestly can’t see myself doing anything else…

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Share your favourite image of the day and why?

This has to be my favourite image of the day. We had just finished the ceremony and headed into the house to take some photos. I saw the beautiful light coming in through the windows and asked the couple to stand/sit at the foot of the staircase. It was a quiet moment where they were still taking in the fact they’re now married. I took this shot from the top of the staircase.

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Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?

We would love to travel the world and do our own personal projects, and if it was related to aid-agencies or work linked to non-profit organisations it would be even better.

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What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?

Being able to handle people. A wedding day is chaotic at the best of times; a strong assertive personality is needed so if anything unexpected comes up, the bride and groom can know to trust you because you will take charge of the situation.

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Are there any other wedding photographers whose work inspires you, can be a well know photographer or somebody you've stumbled across?

Jonas Peterson. Jeff Newsom. Ben & Erin Chrisman.

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Proudest moment so far. Photography related or otherwise?

My proudest moment was when I decided to quit my full time job and devote myself entirely to this business. It was a big decision and scary at the time, but I still consider it a defining moment that has shaped the way we approach life: going all the way and never in halves.

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