On Monday we shot our last wedding for 2020, totalling ten weddings for the year and what a year it has been! While the year itself has been a topsy turvy one that's for sure, each one of our weddings this year has certainly been epic and beautiful amongst the craziness of 2020.
We started the year off without a clue how messed up our wedding season would end up. In February we shot some big weddings, with guests coming from all over the globe and now we end the year with video calls and live-streamed ceremonies being the new normal. Oh how quickly our world has changed! But we are so thankful that our couples have still been able to get married this year, celebrating their big days as we've all collectively been reminded that what's really important in life is the people you love.
As is tradition this blog post is filled with hilarious, humiliating and insightful behind the scenes snaps for your entertainment. Our favourite blog of the year where we don't take ourselves too seriously and look back on another fun-filled year of being wedding photographers! Enjoy & try not to judge us too much... 😝
First let's ease into it gently with some beautiful shots with our wedding couples this year.
At every wedding we get someone (usually in the bridal party) to take a photo of us with our bride and groom. I print the photo out and stick it on my "wall of love" in the studio. This wall of photos brings me so much joy every time I look at it.
Over the years of being wedding photographers we've picked up a few extra talents which come in handy on a wedding day. Including Matt's finesse for tying ties and attaching buttonhole flowers perfectly.
I'm a pro with wedding dress trains, re-attaching veils if they come out and re-inserting rogue hair clips.
But sometimes I employ some help.
Matt's also great at dog-sitting on engagement sessions.
He carries the bags most of the time and is often found holding all the things; from bouquets, to beers & sunglasses during family formals.
Helping me with the wedding dress in the mornings and organising cars for photos.
Matt helps keep the groom's nerves at bay before the ceremony & makes sure the groomsmen don't have anything in their pant pockets that will show up in photos.
And his help during group photos is invaluable in making sure we get them done efficiently and gracefully.
Everything Matt does makes it so much easier for me to do what I do best, take photos.
Speaking of taking photos, I'm so proud of Matt's progression as a photographer. He's always been great but this year I've really seen him hone his skills. I keep suggesting one day he could become first shooter and I'll just be his second!
Looking back at these photos I notice that I still didn't manage to correct my posture in 2020! Maybe next year...
We captured some downright terrible facial expressions of each other! It's not even a game anymore, it just happens.
Let's play a round of "Spot the photographer"...
Here Matt looks like he's trying to take over the music! But I believe someone in the carpark left their lights on.
And this wee series I'll simply title "Hey you're in my shot!"
I don't even know what is happening in this shot...
So like everyone is a photographer these days... 🤣
Speaking of being a photographer; these next few snaps are ones that I didn't even know I was taking...I'm THAT good. 🤦♀️
Okay enough goofing around - here's some proof of us doing what we're paid to do.
Also, meet our friend and video legend Cam, from We the Collective. He's a hoot to work with!
We love a couple who are up for adventure. From climbing rocks & getting wet feet at a waterfall...
Going for walks in the dark...
To frolicking in a field of barley at sunset. It's always worth it for the photo.
On the subject of adventure, Matt and I got a rooftop tent this year for our wedding anniversary present to each other. And we've used it to camp in some cool spots after a wedding day. So much more fun than a long drive home!
At one of our more recent weddings the bridal party even used our camp chairs to get comfortable in the carpark while we did portraits. There really is no limit on the range or level of service we provide.
This year instead of me just blinding Matt with my camera flash I started doing it to other willing volunteers too!
However Matt continues to be my go-to guy for light testing.
I'm so thankful for you Matt. You're my number one partner in crime, I love working with you and you make my life so much fun.
You're also very handsome. 😍
We're very grateful for all the #heidihortoncouples who have trusted us to be their wedding photographers this year (looking at these behind the scenes photos I kind of wonder why haha!), but seriously it is because of you guys that I am able to do what I love for a living. It never ceases to amaze me the incredible friendships we make and the lives we are welcomed into through this wee business of ours. A wedding is such a special occasion, a big moment in a person's life and it's always a huge honour to be a part of. Thank you.
And lastly a big shout out to our fellow vendors who we love to work alongside on wedding days.
Bring on this summer of weddings and bring on 2021! Happy New Year friends.x
Christmas is just days away which means it's that time of year again for our annual behind-the-scenes blog post. Easily my most viewed blog post of the whole year! I did think perhaps people will be sick of seeing the same ol' behind-the-scenes photos year after year but I have literally been cracking up (and grimacing) going through this year's pile - it never gets old!
We have photographed 15 wonderful weddings this year. We've been from Te Anau to the Catlins, Queenstown to Gore. 2019 was a year of new venues for us too! The Winehouse at Gibbston Valley, Kuramea Lodge in Pounawea, Glendhu Station and Criffel Station both just out of Wanaka. And some of our old favourites too! Rounding it all out with a couple of farm weddings in between (private property weddings are always so fun because as photographers we know it's often the only time us or any other photographer will get to photograph a wedding at that location which makes it very special).
This year's weddings have of course all been beautiful to photograph and so much fun to be a part of, but even better is the friendships we have made this year with our couples, bridal parties and families! This community aspect of our business continues to blow me away. (In fact when we had our house-warming recently I had a wee chuckle as there were a number of our past couples present, who have become our good friends).
So many gorgeous couples to add to our growing wall of love in the studio!
Now shall we start with a quick round of spot the photographer?
Sometimes we even dress in camouflage so we blend in...
It's always an incredible honour to be invited into each of our couples' wedding days. We might be there to do a job, but the privilege of being a part of their day never escapes us; helping in any way we can and celebrating them alongside their families and friends.
And if that sometimes means we have to do the occasional heli ride up a mountain and explore new beautiful places then we're happy to oblige!
I'm not even going to explain what's happening in that golf cart photo...
This year we've employed quite a few wedding dress fluffers and veil holders.
But Matt's still the best at fixing ties and boutonnieres.
And I'm still pretty good at on-location veil re-attachments. That is my concentration face...
This is Matt's concentration face.
Us standing around yarning - we do love a good yarn!
I've started this annoying prank on Matt where at a wedding reception (during down time of course) I'll take an up-close photo of him when he's not expecting it and blind him with my flash! He doesn't find it particularly funny...
Some evidence of us doing the actual job we're paid for...just in case you were losing faith in our professionalism.
Sometimes I am truly amazed by my photographic talent.
This little series shall be titled "When bridal party members think they can use our cameras"...
Actually these two aren't bad - they're nicely focused.
How many hairstyles can a girl have in one year?!
I bet this next photo has got you thinking; Wow Heidi you've grown taller!
The classic 'photo bomb' series. It's a timeless game, but I'm not sure Hamish & Morgan were that impressed...
Matt pretending to be a ghost on the dancefloor:
Even after 6 years of shooting weddings together, Matt is still my favourite lighting test subject.
Meanwhile year after year I continue to take out the top spot for worst facial expressions!
Lucky one of us is smokin' hot. Yeow! He can even rock fur.
Two photographers means two different perspectives captured on your wedding day. Nailed it.
Cakes! So many delicious cakes!
A few drinks too. Even my trusty stepladder got in on the action!
I won't lie, working with your spouse isn't always easy. Here Matt is trying to hitch a ride after I told him he could walk back to town because he hadn't turned off the rain for me.
Just kidding guys! In fact Matt is the secret to my success (not that it's a secret anymore, I think anyone watching him work on a wedding day knows he's awesome) and I couldn't imagine doing this job without him!
Team work makes the dream work friends.
My very favourite behind the scenes photo from 2019:
Thank you to all our 2019 #heidihortoncouples for having us as your wedding photographers! You are the reason we get to have this awesome business. It means so much to us that you trust us with documenting your special days (although looking at these photos I wonder why you trust us haha!).
A shoutout also to all the families and bridal parties who welcome us with such warmth, to the incredible fellow businesses we work alongside, to the epic venues we get to shoot at, to our friends and family for the on-going support and for dog-sitting our precious Henry while we're away shooting. We are grateful. Thank you.
Have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and we will see you in 2020! xx
I've had an afternoon filled with laugh-out-loud moments as I compiled this year's behind the scenes blog post! I'd completely forgotten some of these hilarious, fun moments from each of the 17 weddings we've shot this year. As much as I cringe looking at a few of these shots, I also cherish that we were a part of these awesome weddings & that we have these photos to remind us of wonderful memories made.
While I do go on about how much I love my job, it doesn't mean wedding days aren't still long days of hard work. I found compiling this blog post this year really re-freshing & re-energizing. It's been a full-on, crazy year and sometimes there's nothing better for the soul than to sit back, reflect on happy memories & have a few good laughs.
And now without further a-do, let's crack into the most popular blog post of the year...We've shot in new venues this year - from autumn garden goodness to summer stunners in the mid 30 degrees heat!
From the iconic Wanaka Tree to the Borland Saddle!
Helicopter charters to back country roads.
And I wouldn't be doing any of this without my number 1 partner in crime and all-time favourite lighting test model...
He's so good - he'll even stand out in the pouring rain for me.
Channelling his blue steel look here. Roaw!
Sometimes I'll be his lighting test model too...
And on occasion I'll even smile...
I think it is important to note that no cakes were harmed in the making of these photos.
I swear it's all just to get our camera settings right. We've even had a videographer help us!
In all seriousness though we do actually do some work on a wedding day. Besides taking the photographs we also do our bit to make sure everything looks just right, to help ensure the day runs to schedule and everything else in between that creates our signature Heidi Horton Photography experience.
Have you noticed I've had more hairstyles than I've had different outfits this year?!
From straight to curly. All shades of red, then back to natural. And that undercut. My poor 2019 couples are probably thinking what version of Heidi will we get next year!?!
Anyway back to Matt...here's a wee series I call "How do I work this thing again?!"
And this is Matt's annual series for "Photos of the back of Heidi's head"...
At each wedding we get someone in the bridal party to take a photo of us with our bride and groom. It's always entertaining (and sometimes a little nerve-wracking) watching someone with our cameras. Here's a few "behind-the-scenes" snapshots from our budding photographers...
Whatever Matt is saying here, Shanaye & Oscar don't like it...
Oh nah, it's all good.
While we're on the subject of questionable facial expressions...
But surely for once the annual award of who can take the worst photo... goes to me with this stunner of Matt right?!
There's always at least one photo of me standing up on something to get the shot...
This year Matt decided to start copying me!
The annual 'bare foot' photo...
But usually we try to blend in to the crowd as much as we can...
Unless we're giving directions in which case we need everyone's attention.
And here's how many people it takes to get the flower girls & pageboys' to look at the camera!
Matt with his favourite celebrant...Sharyn you are lucky I love ya! 😜
While Matt doesn't shoot at engagement sessions he is useful at holding the bags, dogs, babies, beers etc. And he also needs to get a new t-shirt!
We enjoy capturing two perspectives of all the moments.
Although this blog post is evidence that our facial expressions may not always be on point, we have a lot of fun working together.
And with our fellow wedding vendors too!
Above all we love getting to know our awesome couples, having the honour of being their photographers and sharing in all the fun & joy of their incredible days!
Lastly, thank you to Matt, without whom none of these shenanigans would be possible! Love you to the moon & back babe. x