Our ‘Real Weddings’ section is another opportunity for couples to find inspiration and find their wedding photographer. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you live in, if you’re inspired by what you see then you should get in touch with the wedding photographer. You should never forget a wedding photographer loves to travel and all our wedding photographers are passionate about what they do.
A French Polynesia Wedding
Photographer: SV Photograph
Couple: Dalia &Giedrius
Ceremony Location: Private beach in Moorea
Reception Location: Private beach in Moorea
Wedding Date: 7th March 2016
Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m working with my husband as a photographer here in Moorea, a little island in front of Tahiti. We also work in all French Polynesian islands like Bora Bora and in New Zealand where we lived for 2 years (1 year on each island). We do destination and local weddings. Destination wedding are usually only with the couple – no guests, no family. We are the only link they have before they arrived so we feel very privileged and honoured!
How do you think or would like people to describe you?
I don’t know, depends of people I guess but our couples definitely love to keep in touch with us so I suppose it’s a pretty good reflection on us! We love to have fun with our couples, we are not complicated people and love to treat them like friends. For us this is why our work is so interesting!
Tell us a little bit about the wedding day…
This wedding was very special and will always be very special to me. The bride, Dalia, is from Vilnius in Lithuania. She contacted me after seeing the photo one of our brides (black and white photo, back of my bride in Pareos with hands up and Polynesian dancers all around her) she absolutely fell in love with that. She didn’t want to get married in a sad place and she needs sun, but she didn’t know nothing about French Polynesia! I helped her to realize this trip on the other side of the planet and to get married like this bride she saw. It was amazing to meet her in real life after months chatting and organizing the most private and perfect Polynesian wedding! Unfortunately I have the “dengue” during the wedding (mosquitoes bad fiever and disease) so I still regret it: hospital wanted to keep me the night just before the wedding. I jump with my 40 degrees and told the doctor – no way! Dalia crossed the planet to get married here, I’m her witness + her Photographer, no way you keep me away! I slept for 2 days after the wedding but I did it thanks to my husband and my awesome couple…
How did you get into wedding photography?
After two years in New Zealand (and the rest in France and others French islands), we decided to stay on the Pacific and we choose Moorea. It’s on that island we discovered weddings. It was immediately something we love – a perfect mix between our fashion shoots and “reportage” with lot of emotion and passion.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
More than two years now full time. I have taken photos since I was 12 years old but nope, I will not say my age!
Can you share how you’ve made your wedding photography business a success? Any mistakes you made along the way?
Our business is not old enough to reply to that. What we can say for now is you really need to have faith and passion for photography cause it’s definilty not an easy job in this competitive and digital world. We are in a very small island, not a lot of weddings and business, and we need to fight with people who are not professional and who propose crazy rates. Unfortunately some people don’t realize the importance of having a professional and to choose carefully. There are no rules, it’s a jungle. But we keep the faith as we work hard every day for 14hrs, and keep thinking it will be better and better. A least we do what we love and together, meeting great people! I don’t regret anything!
What do you think a bride or groom should be looking for and not looking for in terms of wedding photography packages?
They should privileged the touch of the photographer + the contact they have with him!
Photographers will be here from the getting ready to the end with the party, he will be here for the most private moment, he will be a member of family for the day and will stay someone special, so feelings need to come in that relationship and trust.
How do you advertise yourself and what for you has really worked?
Our couples find us thanks to our website and our social media. Our shoots are features in great magazines but people don’t usually come from that, it’s usually more direct from our website and more and more from word of mouth.
Why do you think people hire you?
They said they feel something when they look our photos, they said there are special – they love see smiles, big laugh, natural, authenticity but also the beauty we catch on the wild landscapes or on our model. They love our black and white touch. It’s perhaps also because we have a crazy French accent and the strange way we talk. We prefer to have less weddings but know every couple. It’s not a factory job!
How many weddings do you average per year?
Around 30 from 2 to 250 people + some “trash the dress” and honeymoon shoots.
Whose wedding would you love to shoot?
We would love to shoot traditional weddings from other cultures in some new places. We are working on that very hard.
If you were asked to shoot a destination wedding, where would you hope it would be?
There are so many place I wish to go. We are very interested by South America specially Peru, Bolivia and Chili.
What equipment do you have for a typical wedding day?
5D MK III, several lenses (50mm, 90mm, 24-70mm) flashes, soft box, (different sizes) rain protection for camera (welcome to tropical islands!)
What is the most challenging thing about a wedding?
To have no iPad and camera on the photo! Seriously bride, groom if you read that tell to your guests you’ve hired a photographer so they don’t need to be worried about your souvenirs! It’s very frustrating to have an iPad face more than the real smile of mum or best friend…The world is becoming crazy with social media but don’t let it ruin your photos!
Who or what inspires you?
I really like the work of many photographers like Franck Boutonnet for his touch, style (photo and the person), Ann Peters – for her sensitive about landscapes like us and wild, and beauty, putting her couple on the middle of beautiful spots, Emile Kuliyev for his madness about lenses and stuff he does with them. and many others who are not the famous one but with really good eyes and sensitive.
Best & Worst marketing idea so far?
The drone. I’m pretty old school but for me it’s not photo to putting a go pro on a little plane and ‘click click click ‘hopefully there is something good on it….that’s definitely pity I think personally, but many photographers I know think it’s a good idea for their business. Maybe with a real camera on it but a photographer should never NEVER use a go pro!
Best idea : Don’t follow the crowd.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
Probably working in caring environment.
Do you have any goals for the future photography related or otherwise?
Take more destination weddings in different places we never been to before and keep meeting amazing people.
What do you think is key to being a successful wedding photographer?
Understand and communicate with the bride and groom, stay honest to yourself and do your job with the same passion you had the first day!
Proudest moment so far, photography related or otherwise?
Probably when a big photographer asked us if we were available for their clients. That’s an amazing trust and that make us feel pride for our work! And also after that wedding (and other one) when Dalia told me she believed she was not pretty until that day she saw the photos. We love when our bride and groom recognize they are gorgeous and we are proud to be part of that!
Wedding Photographer French Polynesia- SV Photograph