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S3, EP31: Practical tips to get the most out of your wedding photography with Alex Motta

CategoriesWedding suppliers.Wedding tips.
31 Aug, 2023

On this episode of Project Engaged, we chat to legendary Melbourne wedding photographer Alex Motta from Motta Weddings.

Alex has been working professionally as a wedding photographer for well over a decade and has captured love stories in different parts of the world from Australia to Europe and Central America.

Alex has a wealth of knowledge and extremely useful tips for couples. We chat through how he got into wedding photography, his process in the lead up and with couples on their wedding day and some pearls of wisdom that he’s picked up along the way.

We LOVED chatting to Alex and hope you get as much out of this conversation as we did!

Check out Alex’s packages and work on the Motta Weddings website.


Full episode transcription

Eddy: Welcome back for another episode of Project Engaged. How are you?

Aleks: DJ Aleks Mac Welcome back. I’m pretty good. I’m pretty good. How are you?

Eddy: I’m good. And you’ve had a gig last night. So how are you feeling today? Little bit dusty, a little bit tired.

Aleks: I’m tired because as we were chatting about with our guests before we recorded this, I have to wind down when I get home from a gig.

Eddy: So do you mean wine?

Aleks: I mean wine down.

Eddy: Yeah, wine down.

Aleks: Wines. Posted some stories. Cause I can’t help myself. And then before I knew it was 01:00 a.m.. Yeah, up early.

Eddy: Cause this is probably the earliest we’ve recorded a podcast. So it was bright and early. Yeah, not really that early. It’s 08:00 a.m.

Aleks: It’s early when you go to bed late. But am I talking about last night?

Eddy: Well, you can. So, as all of our listeners are aware, we have a couple of cheeky little segments that we do on our show before we get into the, of course, interview. Sometimes we do flip it around and do the interview first.

Aleks: Keep you on your toes.

Eddy: Yeah, we like to keep you on your toes. So I think we’ll do it now. So let’s do our weekend roundup. I always do that. So let’s do our weekend roundup.

Aleks: I can’t remember what we did on the weekend, but, um, last night I played a corporate gig. Well, it was a conference, kind of the third night of a conference. And it was their social night, so it was a ticketed event. So everyone who was attending this conference, I think, was the intelligent transport system, something.

Eddy: Oh, yes.

Aleks: Its summit. It was for our friend Chad from Musicland. He actually threw me the gig and I played with Kenny, our beloved saxman. But the reason I wanted to talk about this, obviously not a wedding, but it’s funny. So they weren’t really expecting a dance floor. It was honestly mostly men, you know, 40 and up. I would say even fifties, sixties, few women. But they weren’t expecting a dance floor. But they wanted, you know, people to get up on the dance floor, get.

Eddy: Loose, get crunk, get loose.

Aleks: Just people to have a good time. And you know what got people in the dance floor? Yeah.

Eddy: What?

Aleks: No, no. So there was one very dedicated. I will post a reel about this. There was one lovely woman who was like, you know what? Screw it. I’m getting up and dancing. And she literally, for 2 hours, I’m not joking. Danced on her own. Well, she started.

Eddy: Robin.

Aleks: No, no. I should have, though. And there was a very fun waiter who just couldn’t help himself. And he was like, with his empty tray, he was just like joining her on the dance floor. It was very cute and very funny. No, she got up to a lot. I was playing a lot of like purple disco machine, the reflex, who do really cool edits of like disco tunes and stuff. So very kind of funky disco vibe and she was enjoying that very much. Bit housey. But then I kind of, you know, had a couple of people come on, some older women and I thought just like really need to like get a few more people. And I played some favourites, honestly, like, I played some favourites that we play at weddings. You know, like ras u turn went off a very, very cool edit of Ain’t No Mountain. Like, you know, I didn’t want it to get wedding-y, but people just love that stuff. They want to sing along. So it’s. It was very interesting for me that really having that wedding experience because you’re working with so many different people, different ages, having that wedding experience is so good for other types of gigs because you can just pluck out those tunes that, you know, people will love, you know, that were still in the vibe but really got them up and about and excited. A bit of nineties dance, etcetera. So, yeah, it was really fun. It was really fun. In the end, it was at showtime events.

Aleks: They rigged out the place like. Amazing lighting. Yeah, so it’s great. Yeah, just so that was really interesting.

Eddy: And you didn’t. You didn’t work last weekend, did you?

Aleks: I can’t remember last weekend.

Eddy: What was what I was asking you, but I was sort of telling you, which leads me to.

Aleks: No. That’s right, no. Yeah, I watched Barbie. Sorry.

Eddy: Yeah. So you went and saw Barbie.

Aleks: Yeah. Mixed reviews. Anyway, that’s.

Eddy: We’re not here to talk about.

Aleks: We’re not. But you worked.

Eddy: I did, yeah. So I was at Panama dining room two weeks in a row for Erin and James’s wedding. Um, like, I didn’t know this coming into it, but that a lot of police people and paramedics, uh, were at the wedding.

Aleks: So they like to party.

Eddy: Yeah, they do like to party. It took a little while for the dance floor to warm up. Um, but that was because there wasn’t. And we get in, funnily enough, we get into this, uh, in today’s episode, they didn’t have, uh. Did they have a first dance? They did have a first dance, but for some reason, I don’t know, the dance all just. People weren’t ready for ready for it. Yeah. So, yeah. But anyway, we got them there in the end. The funniest thing about. It’s probably one of the best speeches I’ve heard in a while, because I think it was the. The maid of honour brought along with her, unbeknownst to the couple, a life size cardboard cutout of the groom. And she did this whole speech about it and she had all these props and it was really, really, really good. And they had a videographer there, so they would have captured it all. It was, yeah, something very, very special. And then ultimately, the groom or the groom’s double ended up going on the dance or the groom doesn’t dance.

Aleks: I was gonna say it would not make sense if he was a huge dancer, so. That’s so funny. Exactly.

Eddy: And I was a bit thrown about. Did they do a first? Because he was straight off as soon as that was out of there, but.

Aleks: His cardboard cut out.

Eddy: Cut out was all night. Yeah. So he was ripping up the dance floor. Cardboard cutout.

Aleks: That is so fun. You normally see that for, you know, friends or family members who overseas and can’t make it or whatever, which is funny. I’ve done it next level. Yeah, you have.

Eddy: Yeah. So I was best man at one of my sort of older mates weddings. This is a while ago now, and I’d just gotten back from. From London, I think. Moved back from London to Melbourne and he was getting married in the Barossa Valley in South Australia. And one of my mates who I lived with in London couldn’t make it, so, yeah, we got a cardboard cut out of it, which was great because we were just taking photos. He was like, at the wedding, basically, if, you know, if you saw the photos, like, ah, that’s, you know, Ryan’s there and then his body got mutilated later on. Oh, no, the after party.

Aleks: Oh, no.

Eddy: Yeah, it was not nice. Oh, he got beheaded in the end.

Aleks: Oh, my God. Hopefully that didn’t happen to your groom.

Eddy: No. Who knows what happened with that? I’ve got to hit erin up on email just to see what. What happened to James?

Aleks: Some funny photos wouldn’t stun stubble. Just seeing him in, like, the gutter on Smith Street, he would have ended up somewhere.

Eddy: Yeah, yeah, no, it was. Yeah, look, a really, really fun one in the end. Like I said, sometimes dance floors take just a little bit longer to warm up. Yeah, it is what it is, which is totally cool. The brief was very, very much wedding favourites the week before that. It was, yeah, completely different vibe. So no two weddings are the same.

Aleks: No. And look, we do work at places other than Rupert and Banwan. Dining room and post office hotel. Just not lately. Yeah.

Eddy: It’s very much inner city for us at this stage.

Aleks: Yep.

Eddy: So that was our weekend. We do have another segment that we kind of skipped for those who are playing at home last time. So let’s have a chat about what we’ve been listening to.

Aleks: Yeah, that’s a good one.

Eddy: Okay, so what have you been listening to lately?

Aleks: I came prepared because you always catch me out with this one. I’ve been listening to jungle.

Eddy: Ooh, jungle of touring.

Aleks: I know. And I was like, oh, don’t know if we can go. I think we’ve got a wedding on. But love jungle. I also, and I’ve mentioned this before, but when I kind of want to be chill, especially on my way to a wedding, I also listened to the Krungbin, Leon Bridges. Albert cannot get enough of crumping.

Eddy: Really.

Aleks: Yeah. But especially with the. I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s got. Yeah, it’s with Leon Bridges. They did an album together and it’s so soothing.

Eddy: Mmm. Yeah.

Aleks: So cool for, like, I was thinking, you know, like, pre ceremony vibe. Very, very nice. That’s what I mean.

Eddy: Oh, that’s awesome.

Aleks: Oh, also, a bit of Janet Jackson ran. I was like, was it in a bit of a nineties?

Eddy: Even underrated.

Aleks: Yeah, exactly what I was thinking.

Eddy: Yeah, I like a bit of Janet.

Aleks: What about you?

Eddy: Well, I’ve been listening to some pryder or Eric Prydz. Yeah. Just in preparation for hopefully securing tickets for his holo show, which we haven’t been able to do. So I’m guessing we’ll have to get on like, tixel at some point and try $5 million. No, no, no. It’s kind of more regulated now. So tixel is an offshoot brand from. I don’t know if it’s ticket tick or it’s just something that has a relationship with the big ticket providers. And there’s prices. Yeah, it’s completely legitimate. And the prices are more or less locked into what you’d pay retail anyway. Maybe there’s a little bit of a kick, which is okay. But, um.

Aleks: Yeah, so talk about the show for listeners who might not know about it, because I only found out about what it’s like when.

Eddy: Yeah, so Eric Prydz, who is. Is probably most famous for call on me, which was that. That sort of early two thousands anthem. And most people remember it from the, like, the gym eighties inspired aerobics film clip. Anyway, that’s just a small part of what he did. So he’s an extremely awesome producer DJ who does. Yeah, pretty incredible shows. And this particular show, he’s got this technology whereby it looks like things are, like, in 3d in front of you. Definitely worth. Worth a quick Google jump on the gramme and search for Eric Prydz Hollow show. And he’s bringing it to Melbourne for the first time. So, yeah, it’d be quite an experience. Yeah, the senses.

Aleks: Yeah, it’s hard to explain without actually seeing.

Eddy: He’s playing at Rod Laver arena, but, yeah, we haven’t been able to secure tickets in this three dates now and we still haven’t. We’ve been jumping on every single time. We just have not got them. So it’s been really frustrating.

Aleks: Yeah, it’s obviously, like.

Eddy: So we can.

Aleks: We’re not working. First time in.

Eddy: First time. No, it’s not his first time in Melbourne. I’ve seen him a couple of times in Melbourne.

Aleks: Okay, first I was bringing this.

Eddy: Yeah, this particular show, I say, so big and pretty annoyed.

Aleks: Anyone’s got any tickets they want to sell.

Eddy: It’s great that he’s so. You know, he’s selling out. Yeah, we’ll show. So it’s the second. I think it’s the second weekend of December.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: Like the night. 10th and 11th, maybe, or something like that. But yeah, it’s. It’s gonna be awesome. So I’m really hoping that we can. We can secure some.

Aleks: At least a Sunday one. That would be good.

Eddy: Mmm. So that’s what I’ve been listening to.

Aleks: Awesome. Awesome. Should we talk about today’s.

Eddy: Yeah, we should. So we’ve already done the interview. So typically how we roll with this is we’ll do the interview first and we’ll tag everything on.

Aleks: It’s a chat interview. You make it sound so formal.

Eddy: Yeah, no, I shouldn’t say interview.

Aleks: It’s because you think you’re a radio host. Because everyone keeps saying, oh, that Eddie’s.

Eddy: No. So we had this chat, actually. So, yeah, we chatted to Alex Motta, who is a Melbourne wedding photographer and an all around superstar. This guy, he’s extremely switched on. Very, extremely charismatic. And it’s just.

Aleks: And he’s very neat.

Eddy: One hell of a dude. Yeah, he’s a neat guy.

Aleks: He’s very neat.

Eddy: You always talk about how neat he is.

Aleks: I know, because I think during the pandemic, he, like, had a lot of reels. They were really, really good.

Eddy: Yeah.

Aleks: And everything was impeccable. Like everything just looked so impeccable. Vibes clean. And sometimes I think about how like, you have to wipe down my phone screen.

Eddy: You’re disgusting.

Aleks: You’re not needing my DJ controller. Some buttons have faded because there’s like foundation sealer my fingertips all over. It’s pretty gross.

Eddy: Yeah, it’s so gross. It’s so gross.

Aleks: That’s why I’m always like, it’s opposite of what Alex in awe of people who are really neat.

Eddy: You can be neat. Just, you know, be it.

Aleks: All right, yeah.

Eddy: Strive to be better like Alex.

Aleks: Alex Motta, not Aleks Mac. But yeah, this is a great chat if you are a couple planning a wedding or if you’re a vendor, you get a lot out of this. We certainly did. So we hope you enjoy it.

Eddy: Here we go. Welcome to Project Engaged, a podcast for fun loving couples planning their non traditional wedding.

Aleks: We’re wedding DJs Aleks and Eddy Mac from Melbourne. We run a business called One More Song, and our tagline is No More Nutbush.

Eddy: In this podcast, we’ll share our wedding experiences and chat to some of our past couples.

Aleks: We’ll also interview bold wedding suppliers who share our philosophy of your wedding being a celebration of you as a couple and one epic party.

Eddy: Let’s get into today’s episode. Today we are chatting to one of our very favourite photographers to work with. That is Mr Alex Motta. Alex has been working professionally as a photographer since 2008 and has captured love stories in different parts of the world from Australia to Europe and Central America.

Aleks: Lucky those photographers, aren’t they? He’s one of those photographers who is super talented and super fun to work with, which makes it so much more enjoyable for couples. And selfishly, us, of course. And we’re going to pull out, as always, a couple of Google review snippets. I love this one. We had a winter wedding in July and it rained for the majority of our wedding day. Alex made us all feel at ease by playing music from a speaker attached to his bag and getting us all to dance and shake off any awkwardness. He basically got hit by three cars dodging traffic in an effort to capture us, as well as getting totally soaked in the steady rain. We were super impressed with Alex’s ability to juggle the chaos and get our favourite shots.

Eddy: And here’s another one. It can feel a bit uncomfortable being in front of a camera, but Alex made it so much fun, which made the photos absolutely incredible with both his personality and energy on the day. It made the process an absolute dream, removing any potential awkwardness there’s a theme going here.

Aleks: Yep.

Eddy: The photos themselves are brilliant as well. They are such high. They are such high quality, beautiful images. And his ability to capture the tender, candid moments and the emotion in them is incredible.

Aleks: Your clients know how to write? Yeah, they do.

Eddy: All right, let’s welcome Alex.

Alex: Thanks, guys. Oh, I get claps too. I get that.

Eddy: Of course.

Aleks: Do you sit down and read your Google reviews when you’re having a bad day?

Alex: I know when I’m having a bad day. When they come through, I always read them and I try to send a little reply. Just thank them for taking the time. It’s funny, that review about nearly getting hit by a car and getting soaked. Can I add a little story today?

Eddy: Yes.

Alex: Let me get something. We’re speaking about, like, horror stories with a friend the other day. And, like, that’s my biggest fear because I’m always like, I’m a little bit erratic when I sort of shoot. I sort of get in the vibe in just a moment. I’m leaving my bag here and running here and doing this. And, like, sometimes I feel like I leave my bag somewhere, especially when I’m working in the city and I have this worst nightmare that, like, a truck’s gonna go past and just run over my camera bag. But something that. So that’s never happened. But what has happened is this was a few years ago. We were at the Fitzroy garden. I don’t know if you guys know the story, but I was walking, speaking of getting stoked, I was walking backwards as I was shooting and stepped straight into, like, the fountain there. They’ve got a fountain at the Fitzroy gardens that’s at. Yeah, just a level to the pavement. So I’m just shooting, shooting, shooting. I walk backwards. Next minute I’m just like, waist deep in water. I’ve smashed one of my cameras. It literally just, like, split open. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so quickly I was full adrenaline.

Alex: I quickly got out of the water, I was soaked and checked the memory card, and that was all fine. What a great way to start, by the way.

Aleks: It’s like, yeah, maybe we’ll cut this.

Alex: Up and put our unprecedented.

Eddy: We’re just talking horror stories today, by the way. I don’t know if I told you.

Aleks: No, it’s. I mean, it’s realistic. So what happened? So your camera was smashed. Did you have a backup camera or.

Alex: Yeah, so that’s. That’s why I always shoot with two cameras. So I could have done the wedding with. With one camera. So obviously the photos were all fine. That was the most important thing. But, yeah, quickly got on the phone and called another photographer to come and shoot the ceremony with me. So this was at Panama. Panama dining room. And then quickly called my wife. I’m like, I’m way sleeping water. Can you come bring me some fresh clothes? So she came after the ceremony and, yeah, brought some fresh clothes, and no one knew what had happened except for me, like, walking into Panama, like, with just completely drenched. I was scared. I was, like, bringing a puddle of water into the venue because I ended up shooting the whole ceremony just. Just drenched, like, water in my boots and just completely soaked.

Eddy: But you got to keep calm and carry on when you’re a photographer.

Alex: And it was great. Like, that was. That was an amazing wedding. Ended up getting featured in ivory tribe as well, so.

Eddy: Oh, beautiful.

Alex: Yeah. If you look at the photos, you’d never think that a horror story like that happened, I think. Yeah, good times.

Aleks: Good times. Yeah. I think it’s important to talk about because shit happens. Oh, no. We have to put the explicit warning on this now on Apple. Yeah, sorry, apple. Sorry, kids. Hope no one’s listening with the kids in the car. But stuff happens. And I think it’s so important that couples, you know, they want their perfect day, but at the end of the day, stuff does happen. Um, yeah. You want to choose vendors that will deal with it and take your photos drenched and. Yeah, get their spouse to bring their change of clothes and have someone to call, have a network, you know, strong enough that they do have someone they can call, you know, last.

Alex: Yeah.

Aleks: To come in. And so I think it’s really important to talk about this stuff, too.

Alex: Yeah, absolutely. There’s so many nice little morals to that story, but you’re right. Like, that. That level of professionalism really does come in because it’s. It’s a live event and the show must go on, no matter, you know, what’s thrown our way, whether it’s us or anything else. So. Yeah, and I guess that comes with a bit of experience. And like you said, having that network of people that you. I mean, this is something that happens once in a million years, but, you know, anything can happen.

Eddy: It really can. You really can.

Aleks: So talk to us about how you actually got into wedding photography and what you did before that. If you want to talk about your past life.

Alex: I’ve had a lot. I’ve had a lot of little jobs here and there. Like, I’ve worked at a cocktail. I used to work at a cocktail cabaret bar, actually, as a bartender, but, yeah, heaps of little jobs, his hospitality jobs here and there and. But I’ve pretty much been doing photography ever since finishing high school. Like, I took a year off uni and, yeah, just sort of fell into it. So I’ve been doing this for, well, I reckon over 15 years now, but not always weddings. So I started with a commercial photographer who was a family friend. He knew I had a year off, so he’s like pretty much just offered me a job. So I started mainly doing all his editing. So he was doing more commercial photography. So, like big, you know, law firms, accounting firms, universities like Melbourne Victoria and what’s it called? Ambulance Victoria, I should say Melbourne police and things like that. So, yeah, like big, big sort of commercial jobs. And then from that I ended up working at a studio. So I got a little bit of experience with studio lighting and then slowly sort of fell into doing weddings. And then we went overseas. We lived in Italy in 2012 and then I worked for a wedding studio over there. So I shot a few weddings there. And then when I came back I’m like, nah, well, I’ll just, I’ll just do this full time and just focus on weddings.

Alex: Because weddings sort of encapsulates a whole different bunch of genres of photography. You’ve got, you know, photojournalism, portraiture, still life event photography, landscape photography all sort of matched into one. And working with people was probably the thing that I enjoyed the most, the photography, especially when it comes to weddings, the photography is sort of secondary. People having a good experience and making people feel comfortable enjoying themselves is such a big part of what we do. So, yeah, it was just an easy transition. Like, I’d done weddings. My first wedding I shot when I was 18, so I’d always sort of done weddings. But, yeah, I remember the celebrant saying to me, you look too young to be doing this.

Eddy: Yeah, you do.

Aleks: You look 18 now. I was saying to Ed, I was saying to Ed before this call, I’m like, I bet Alex, moisturisers, do you have like a.

Eddy: We want to talk about your moisturising regime.

Aleks: No, no. We need to talk about your skincare regime. Yeah, you’ve got one.

Alex: You know, you’re not the first person who’s asking. Nah, nah, don’t. I only moisturise when I shave. Like, that’s about it.

Eddy: So you’ve got no morning and evening routine?

Alex: No, definitely not. I think it’s just the italian sort of oily skin, just genetically naturally doing its thing.

Aleks: Yeah, you’re screwed, Ed.

Eddy: I hate to say what my Irish. My Irish skin.

Aleks: Your vampire skin. You need to moisturise. That’s. No, no.

Alex: Yeah, it’s. I could have with him. Sorry. Go, go.

Aleks: No, no, no. You’re gone. I hate. Too many thoughts.

Eddy: We’re on to a really hot topic here. So everyone wants to jump in.

Alex: Skin routine. I’ve got to say, like, it’s. I feel for people that, um, I was kind of caught up with a friend the other day, and he’s like, yeah, I need to cheque, like, the uv index just to know if I need to put sunscreen or not. And I’m like, oh, man, that’s that song. That sucks. Because whenever, yeah, the sun’s out. Like, I do the opposite. I’m like, yeah, let’s do, like, hardly ever wear sunscreen. My wife’s the worst. She’s like, she’ll use, like, olive oil and just like, what are you doing? You know, just baking yourself.

Eddy: Yeah. It’s funny that you mentioned the uv index because I’ve got a specific watch face on my, um, like, my pixel watch to tell me exactly what it is at all times. Like, oh, it’s two. I need to put some sunscreen over.

Aleks: Yeah. Alex, I don’t. This is a common conversation in our household. Like, before we leave the house, Ed will look at the watch and go, don’t worry, it’s only one. And I know exactly what he said. Anyway. Skincare. No, the reason, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and this is a massive tangent, but a lot of other women I know have develop skin like problems, you know, as they get their thirties and their forties and myself included. And, like, why? Why is that? You know, because we use so much skincare and, and that’s part, unfortunately, part of the problem is makeup. And, you know, sold this, these hectic skincare regimes. It’s basically a huge marketing ploy.

Alex: Yeah.

Aleks: Actually, the more crap you put on your face, the worse it gets and the more crap you need to put on it to solve the problem. So anyway, that’s, that’s another whole problem.

Alex: Definitely not encouraging that. But my wife’s the same. She sort of feels like, you know, you’re putting sunscreen on sunblock, but, like, what is it? You’re just putting chemicals on your face and all over your body. Yeah, but, but having said that, like, I’m not saying, I’m definitely not encouraging. Not putting sunscreen on, but, yeah, the sun. The sun here in Australia is pretty bitey. So, you know, just wearing a hat. I don’t wear, I don’t wear hats very often, but if it’s like, yeah, 40 degrees and sun full belting. Yeah, I’ll wear a hat because my face can get a little bit toasty. But, um.

Eddy: Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s about it.

Alex: That’s about it.

Eddy: I’m happy that the legionnaires hats are back in vogue now, you know, because they’re so, they’re just great.

Aleks: You know the ones.

Alex: Yeah.

Aleks: Little neck flap. Yeah. Is it a neck flap?

Eddy: They’re kind of ironically cool.

Alex: Yeah, I had one of those in primary school.

Eddy: Yeah, exactly.

Alex: Oh, great.

Aleks: I can’t see, Alex.

Eddy: No hat, no play, you know?

Alex: Oh, my gosh. I just want to say that that’s what they used to say. Is that still a one?

Aleks: Yeah. Is that still a thing at school? You’ve got kids. Yeah.

Alex: And the cool kids would tuck in the flap inside the cup.

Eddy: Oh, cool.

Alex: Did you guys do that? And it’s like, I wasn’t cool.

Eddy: I wasn’t cool. I was a massive nerd in school.

Alex: So you extended the flap?

Eddy: I extended it. I did, actually.

Aleks: It’s okay.

Eddy: I do like Batman. So maybe.

Aleks: All right, we. Let’s get back on track. No, no, no. It’s, it’s, um. No, it’s all, it’s all skin care. Neck flaps.

Eddy: All right, so we’ve talked about how you got into photography. I’m just trying to get back on track here. How do you describe your style and the types of couples that you enjoy working with?

Alex: This is an interesting one. Well, my style, according to my website, is bright, colourful, and fun. But I feel that style definitely differs depending on each couple. Like, I think I have a mix between, I don’t sort of pigeonhole into just shooting, you know, winery weddings or just shooting really quirky, you know, city weddings. I love having that variety and just having, working with a whole range of different couples. And consequently, the style changes because you might do some, you know, city weddings and they are super bright and the aesthetic is great and, you know, super fun. And then you might have some winery weddings where it’s like black tie, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re not still really energetic and fun.

Eddy: Yeah.

Alex: So I feel like the style is very much dependent on how the couples, you know, dress and the setting, but the approach to me is always the same. So I approach every wedding the same, and the way I shoot is the same. So the product that I offer is still consistent. But I guess what differs is. Yeah, each couple bring in their own sort of flair and, you know, their surroundings and everything else. So.

Aleks: Yeah, and I mean, it’s the same with what we do. You know, the guests will determine what the vibe is like as well, what the energy is like, you know, depending on the dynamic, the mix of people, even, you know, the weather, like, it has an effect on what we do as well. There’s so many different factors. So it’s interesting that you say, yeah, you’ve got your style of working, but at the end of the day you’ve got to kind of work with what in front of you and, you know, what the lighting looks like, what the venue is like, etcetera. I just want to touch on one thing that I found interesting in the Google reviews. A couple of, quite a few clients mentioned that you work really closely with them. There’s a lot of consultation and stuff, and you advise them on their run sheet, which we also do with our couple. So it’s good to hear that you do that because sometimes we get photographers and videographers coming up to us and say, what’s going on today?

Eddy: Can I take a photo of the run sheet?

Aleks: Yeah. Or like they’ll say, what song are they doing for the. The first 1st dance? I’m like, they don’t have a first dance. They’ve literally no formalities whatsoever. And you’re like, do you want to see the run? She’s a copy of the copy of the ranch.

Eddy: I printed out a copy for you.

Aleks: Yeah, I’ve got an extra one. And look, each to their own. Right. Everyone works differently, but I was just very interested to hear that, that you work really closely and we’re big on, you know, we have our views on what makes a good party and we’re obviously biassed. We want, you know, minimal formalities or at least get them done early. Maximum dancing time. What are some of the. Your favourite kind of tips for couples and what do you prefer? Like first look? No, first look. Does it depend? What are your kind of tips for the run sheet?

Alex: Yeah, so I pretty much have the run sheet conversation as soon as I meet them, even before they’ve even booked me. Yeah. I sort of like for them to have an idea and visualise how the day will sort, sort of, of unfold. I think that’s really important because a lot of couples have been doing this. You know, it’s the first time they’re doing it. Maybe it’s the first time they’re attending a wedding, unless it’s their friend’s wedding, but they don’t really know the logistics behind how a day sort of runs and unfolds. The biggest thing is like, you know, they might have a ceremony of 05:00 in the middle of winter and it’s like, well, the sun’s setting at five, so you’re going to have no light and the venue is going to look very different during the day than it does at night. So unless you sort of flag those things and have those conversations earlier on or, you know, couples want to have a ceremony at 03:00 in the middle of summer when the sun’s setting at, you know, 830, it’s like you just don’t need to do that. So straight away, the reason why I do that is it shows that you sort of know what’s going on and you sort of help them in guiding them. Because my packages are very structured to everyone’s individual’s needs. Like, I don’t do like 8 hours, 10 hours or whatever. Like it’s if someone needs me there for 6 hours or six and a half hours or nine and a half hours, it’s exactly the time that they need. And a lot of that is based on how they’ve structured their day. So if everything’s happening at the one place, like the wedding I had last weekend, like accommodation was at the venue, ceremony, everything was at the venue. So it consequently ends up being a bit of a shorter day and everything’s there. You don’t have to go off site for photos as opposed to if, you know, in the city and you’ve got a different venue for the ceremony and reception, it ends up and, you know, locations for getting ready photos are half an hour apart just fine. You have to factor all that time in and consequently it becomes a bit of a longer day just fine. So people sort of having that conversation from the start. I think couples really appreciate it. They know that you know how to manage a day and you’re aware of times.

Alex: And I think that is the biggest success to having a relaxed day because if couples are like, oh yeah, 20 minutes for photos is fine, but then if the day’s running 20 minutes late and then the sun setting 15 minutes, it just puts a lot of pressure on me as a photographer and them as a couple. So if, you know, if canopy isn’t enjoying that time with guests is important to them, then let’s factor in that time so at least you can enjoy your time with your guests. You know, if you just had a wedding, if you just got married, I don’t want to pull you guys away from your wedding and spend an hour with photos when you just abandon your own wedding.

Aleks: Yeah.

Alex: So. But if every couple has different needs, like, if couples have, you know, value portraits a lot and they want to go to a couple of different locations, great. Some. Some people can’t think of anything worse. They’re like, no, honestly, just sneak this out for sunset. Even if it’s 15 minutes, that’s enough. And I’m like, look, you’re not going to get as many portraits. I’d usually do a little bit more, but if that’s what you want, as long as you’re happy, I’m happy. Yeah. So I think it’s about tailoring the experience based on what they want and what’s important to each couple. Like, even first look, I always ask them why they want to do it in winter. I always, almost always recommend it because we’re running low on light. Like, if, you know, the day is just shorter. But if someone wants to do a first look in summer, I’m like, you just don’t need to do that unless they want to do it. Because, no, we just want to see each other before the ceremony. It’ll just calm my nerves. No problem. That’s a great reason for doing it. But if you’re doing it to get more portraits and it’s all at the same venue, you’re just going to get nicer photos later when the sun’s a little bit softer as opposed to shooting, you know, 02:00 you know, in the afternoon and full sun, it’s just not going to work. So it’s just about having that really good communication with couples.

Alex: And to me, the more touch points I have with them, the better it is. So, yeah, so covering as much as possible on the initial chat is great. Not too much happens in between. And then a month out, I usually just confirm the run sheet. And then the week of the wedding, I always call them just to. Yeah, just to touch base and put them at ease. But, yeah, I think that’s really important, just having that, just guiding them through how the day will run. But then on the day, I think, hopefully I’m not jumping the gun. One of your questions were like, do you have a run? Do you have, like, a shot list? I definitely don’t. Of course, I ask them what’s important for them. Like, they might tell me that they’ve got, you know, guests coming in from overseas or whatnot. But in terms of how I approach the day, like, all the important shots are super obvious, you know, couple walking down the aisle and getting reactions and, you know, family is really important. Portraits, each individual, you know, wedding party member and all these little things are just things that you do at every single wedding because that’s just what’s. What’s important. Yeah, yeah. You just know you don’t need to, like, oh, make sure you get a photo of the rings. It’s like, yeah, probably get that.

Aleks: I don’t think that the. Yeah, I don’t think the types. I don’t know why we have that question. Scrap that question. But I’m just interested because I don’t think the types of couples that both of, all three of us work with would be like, okay, he’s, you know, he’s a list of photos that we want. I don’t use a list of that.

Eddy: We want you to play.

Aleks: Yeah, exactly. It’s exactly the same thing. Right. They don’t, they don’t give us. And I know there are couples like that and we’re not. The DJ’s for them who give their DJ a list of songs and the order and you must not view from this list. So just put.

Eddy: Yeah, alarm bells.

Alex: Yeah, yeah. It’s taking away from us doing what we do. And, look, every day is different. Sometimes you are really tight for time and you just got to prioritise what’s most important. Yeah. So, yeah, you sort of just shake the day that way. But, yeah, to me. To me, the most important thing is lighting because, yeah, like I sort of mentioned earlier, if you’re having a ceremony in winter and it’s later on the day, I just said, look, the venue is going to look very different during the day than it does at night. So, yeah, just have those things in mind and all of a sudden they can start visualising what they want, what they don’t want, and sort of shape the day accordingly.

Eddy: Yeah, I totally love that approach because you’re really flipping the equation and just asking the question, what’s important to you? And that straight off the bat, that starts to get them to think. And, you know, I imagine that there’s probably a few suppliers out there. I do weddings like this and this is what you should expect, etc, etc. But just flip the equation, you know, just ask the question, what’s important? What’s important to you? Yeah. And structure around that. That’s just. Yeah, I love that.

Aleks: Yeah, I think. Yeah.

Eddy: There you go.

Alex: Sorry, go.

Aleks: I was just gonna say, like, sometimes we see, and this is like a pet hate of mine, I think, ed, you feel the same, like, depending on the time of year, the couple, like, will kick off the dance floor too early and the couple will go off for sunset. Like, they do their first dance and basically go, yes, for half an hour. And I’m like, because it’s so important to have the couple on the dance floor, I cannot stress it enough, especially for that first half hour, like, because usually your photographer will hang around for half an hour, an hour of dance floor and go. Because, like, you know, how many shots of people getting drunk can you get?

Eddy: Progressively drunk?

Aleks: So that’s the most important part of the dance floor. And if the couple’s not there, the vibes just cured.

Eddy: Yeah, there’s this strange phenomenon with it’s not happening as much these days, but certainly in my past experience and obviously yours as well, Alex Mac, because we’ve got two Alex Mac, it might get confusing. Oh, I’m not allowed to get on the dance floor until the couple’s on the dance floor. Yeah, you could go whatever you want. Like, just jump on.

Aleks: We’re talking about a sit down, by the way, cocktail is a whole lot different kettle of fish because you can do this whenever the hell you want, wherever you want. But yeah, so, like, for us, it’s better to have a shorter dance floor, but have all the photos done and, you know, have a really dedicated time of like an hour and a half, 2 hours, whatever it is for dance floor and the couple’s there, they have nothing left to do. Would you agree with that? Have you seen that happen as well?

Alex: Yeah, 100%. And just, and just adding to that, because you mentioned about some couples not wanting to do a first dance. I love the first dance because it’s just formalises. It just gets everyone up on their feet. Everyone’s there, even if they’re swaying for 15 seconds. It’s just an easy transition into dance floor. If couples are adamant about not having a first dance, I say, look, it’s fine, but unless you sort of formalise that we’re dancing now, I can tell you what’s going to happen. Everyone will just go back to sort of mingling and it’s going to be really hard to get everyone up and dancing. So I always just suggest, yeah, I just say to couples, look, just say, you know, so and so, like, this is the end of the formalities. So and so would love to get you up on the dance floor. So come join them. And I always tell them exactly what you said. The couple need to be on the dance floor. Otherwise, if they’re just going back to mingling, most likely everyone else is just going back. And like you said. Yeah, so just. Just telling them things like this. So sometimes people have done. Yeah, first dancers within 15 seconds just for the excuse of getting everyone there and then transitioning into dancing. But, yeah, I love doing that at the end because, yeah, photos are done.

Alex: This is what you’re doing now, getting amongst it. If you guys scatter and don’t dance unless you’ve got a real massive party crowd, you can’t really expect all your guests to be like, up and dancing if you’re not. Yeah.

Eddy: So, no, I agree. I always play devil’s advocate when I, you know, when we’re doing our first or initial consultation with. With couples and say, no, we’re not doing a dance or we feel really awkward about doing. Is that. Look, I’m gonna play devil’s advocate here. And do you want a couple of photos of you guys in 20 years time doing that? Yeah, most of the time the answer is yes. So I sort of play that. Play that mark as well.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: But, yeah, it obviously helps us forgetting the dance. We’re going as well. But you just look at it from the point of. You probably do want a couple of photos of you guys up there.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: You know.

Aleks: Yeah, that’s it. And, you know, you end up. You might not dance together for the rest of the night. You might be off with your friends, like, separately on the dance floor. So it might be the only opportunity. We say the same thing, Alex. We always say, look, you know, even if it’s 15, 30 seconds of you guys and then your wedding party and then everyone else joins us.

Eddy: Wave everyone in.

Aleks: Yeah, wave everyone in. Doesn’t even have to be announced. Just you guys on the dance floor to kick it off. Makes a massive dance. Yeah, yeah.

Alex: I think maybe when couples think of, like, a first dance, they feel like it needs to be like this choreographed, you know, massive thing, you know, with the triumph stuff.

Eddy: Yeah, yeah.

Alex: And it’s like. It needs to be like this dirty dancing moment. It doesn’t. You guys aren’t big dancers. Just, um. Yeah, it’s just more just to get every. Get everyone up on their feet. That’s the most important thing.

Eddy: Yeah. And a lot of them just hate being the centre of attention. Uh, more so than they already are for the. Yeah. Completely understandable.

Aleks: Don’t have a wedding. No, I’m joking.

Eddy: No.

Aleks: But. But it’s, um. And also choosing, you know, a fun song that’s upbeat. Not.

Eddy: No, it doesn’t have to necessarily be like, romantic. Yeah. Super slow romantic song, but not to be like. I tell you what, one thing like, the older generation loves the slow dance, so even if you keep that song going, wave everyone in, they’re loving it. And you’re getting some great photos, like, you know, because it’s a different world back in the day, and they would have. I was having this conversation with a DJ colleague of mine, Daniel, to shout out yesterday, and he. When he played, he’s been doing deejaying for a little bit longer than I have. And they used to have sets of slow dancing at weddings.

Aleks: I reckon they still. Some weddings still do. We don’t do any slow dancing.

Alex: No.

Aleks: Like, it’s bangers central, so.

Eddy: Yes, some of the older generation expect. Expect some of the slower dances, you know.

Alex: Yes.

Aleks: Yeah. We can tell by some of the requests.

Eddy: Oh, you really can.

Aleks: Very rarely, though. I think once they get in the zone and say that it’s gonna be upbeat and fun, you know, they get into it. But I think choosing a song that has a really nice build. So it’s like the oldies will, like, like Frankie Valley, like, can’t take Mars, he’s like the perfect.

Eddy: But that’s, like, upbeat as well.

Aleks: Right, that’s what I’m saying. But it’s like, got that nice romantic feel to at the beginning if you want that, to sway together.

Eddy: It’s really good. Late nights anthem and also.

Aleks: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Alex: And you guys would know this all too well as wedding DJs. It’s, you know, you’re catering not just for, like, young 20 to 30 year olds, you’re catering for like a whole range of different ages.

Eddy: Yeah.

Alex: So, yeah, like playing a whole bunch of different stuff from different genres. We’ll sort of pull different people to the dance floor, which you guys do so well.

Eddy: Yeah, absolutely. And I always go by the tact of, you’ve really got to not to polarise, particularly the older generation early on. You’ve got to get them on your side by playing some of those classics, because if they see that you know what you’re doing in relation to music from their perspective, they’re more than happy to sort of come along on the journey with you. Even if you do get contemporary and maybe sliced. We always say, fisher on this podcast, put some fisher on later on in the night. They’re more likely, because you’ve kind of proven yourselves to them, they’re more likely to go for the ride with you.

Aleks: You’ll get into psychology. I think we should do an episode on that, Eddy.

Eddy: Psychology? Yeah, seriously, I need more coffee for that.

Aleks: It’s so true.

Alex: Anyway, I’ve earned their trust. They will now dance to whatever I put on.

Aleks: Yeah, that’s it. All right. Yes. Sorry. We digress. But it’s very, you know, it’s very interesting, and I think that Alex, like you, we have similar, you know, approaches in the way we work, so.

Eddy: Yeah, definitely.

Aleks: It’s really fascinating. Want to talk about. We’ve got. One of the questions is sort of hot tips for couples who feel awkward, but I think particularly that question is for portraits. Yeah. Could you fill my coffee up? Is that all right?

Eddy: He’s gonna go fill the coffee.

Aleks: No, we’ve just gotten back into. We’ve just gotten back into, like, a. What is that? Philtre. I like it. Cause you can have, like, six coffee.

Alex: Yeah. Drip coffee. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I like. I like a bit of a sippy coffee. Like, my coffee is just. Because I have short coffee, they just run out too quickly.

Aleks: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. So we had an espresso. Now, see, there’s a whole strategy. Now we’re onto the fruit. Okay. That’s. There’s not much left there anyway. Yes. So, awkwardness. So I think this is particularly, you know, you mentioned obviously, everyone wants their portraits, and that’s where people feel a little bit uncomfortable. Right. Because the candid moments, they’re just doing their thing, and you’re just capturing it naturally. Talk to us how you. About how you approach portraits.

Alex: So I’ve got a little bit of a different perspective on this, on how to make couples comfortable, because. Yeah, there are little tips and, you know, I guess it’s about reading body language and how they feel and how they engage with one another. But just. Just recently, in the past few months or maybe. Yeah, last few months. One big thing that I’ve noticed in making people feel comfortable is because I do sort of, like, because I do. Because I offer shorter days as well. Sometimes couples opt for, like, having me start at the ceremony or first look and skipping, getting ready photos. They think, oh, yeah, they’re not important. Me putting on a tie, who cares? Which. I get that, because getting ready photos can be a little bit hit and miss sometimes. Amazing moments can happen in that part of the day. Sometimes the boys are now, what, should we have a drink? But. But now I’m stressing to couples how important that part of the day is. Not so much for the photos that you get out of it, but for that little bit of relationship building and seeing how I work and them engaging with me. Because it’s not just the couple. It’s also their wedding party, their family, it’s that little bit of intimate time and engagement and interaction that we have. By the time I leave, you know, the boys in, let’s say, in this particular scenario, they’re like, oh, yeah, that was all right.

Alex: That wasn’t too hard. Like, it was all right. Or even the girls, like, that was fun, you know? So at least by the time, like, this ceremony comes along, you’re not starting cold. Oh, yeah. It says Alex doing his thing. By the time portrait comes, they’re just comfortable with you. We’ve already had a bit of banter, so they can just be themselves and be comfortable around me. It’s all about sort of gaining that trust. So by the time and even, like, with the wedding party, like, I sort of gauge it based on the couple. Sometimes can be good and bad. Sometimes having the wedding party there and sort of heckling the couple and getting them all revved off can be fantastic because it’s. They’re not focused on them actually having their photos taken. They’re just having a good time in the moment, you know, having a laugh. But sometimes couples go the other way and like, oh, I don’t want it to be getting photos around my friends. So then get all the stuff with the wedding party over in Dunworth and then take the couple away so they can just be them and can. They can be themselves. But just having that little bit of time and interaction at the start of the day just makes everyone feel at ease, even the parents. Like, the parents will pull me, you know, in the middle of the reception and, like, today’s been so fun, hasn’t it?

Aleks: And that.

Alex: And that never would have happened. Sorry about all the voices.

Eddy: I love the voices.

Alex: I love the voices coming out. But that never would have happened unless there was that initial engagement and interaction at the start of the day. Because if I just met them for the first time as we’re doing family photos post ceremony, there’s no connection there. It’s just like, oh, he’s just some guy just telling us what to do as opposed to, oh, that was fun. You know, we had a coffee, we had a bit of a chat in the morning, and we spoke about this and that sometimes. Yeah, like, I connect a lot with the parents or other siblings or whoever may be, and you lose that opportunity if you’re cutting that part of the day. So that’s, yeah, definitely something for couples to consider because consequently, it contributes to them feeling a lot more relaxed when it comes to time with portraits because, yeah, that trust has been established.

Eddy: Wow, I’ve never actually thought about that before.

Aleks: That’s blown my mind. It really has. And when I think back on, you know, looking at galleries, I do always feel that, like, emotion seeing those photos, you know, with the parents or the grandparents or little nieces, those intimate moments that really, once the day’s kicked off and there’s a 100, 200, whatever people around you, it’s hard to make sure that you get those moments as well. And there’s so many. So that makes sense. And like you said, you know, it’s like us saying, we’ll throw the oldies a bone early on in the dance floor. We’ll play a couple of oldies or play some stuff during background to, you know, get the parents on side. We know, you know, dad loves the Rolling Stones or whatever it is. And then you built that trust up. So by the time you get to dance floor, they’re like, oh, yeah, you know, we trust this DJ they’re gonna play some stuff that we like and we’ll get amongst it. It’s kind of similar, I think, going.

Alex: Back to you guys mentioning about, like, the psychology behind it, behind it all. It’s so interesting. I think this is the most fascinating part about this job. You’re led into people’s world and such an intimate part of who they are and the relationships that they have with each other, with the people around them. It’s so cool to watch because everyone’s so different in the way they engage with one another and the relationships they have with the people around them. And doing those getting ready photos gives me a huge insight in that, how they, how much they value their parents or grandparents or their friends, all those things. A little telltale signs that later on in the day, I know who to focus my attention on. Like, if they haven’t got the most amazing, you know, relationship with their parents, like, I’m not going to focus too much on that, but if they do, and I know how important, you know, grandparents are to them. And, like, some of the most beautiful moments from a wedding day have happened during that part of the day. Like, one that comes to mind is like the grant. So grandmother had passed away, but grandfather was still around, and she just, the bride just had such a special connection with him. And when she did, like, a first look, a reveal in her, in her dress, which I think he paid for, the grandfather paid for the wedding dress, or maybe it was the dad. But anyway, like, the grandfather, there was a huge connection there, and they did, like, a reveal with him, and it was just such a special moment to witness and then she pulled out a hanky that was like grandmother’s, and then the grandfather started crying and, like, that would have. That stuff may have happened, but I would have been completely oblivious to how special and deep that bond was unless I was there to witness it. All I would have seen is you rock up at the ceremony and his granddad that’s maybe a little bit quiet and introverted. You just would have missed such a big part of the day, essentially. So, yeah, so important, I reckon.

Eddy: Well, I tell you what, I’m going to be asking about at home photos to all of my couple friends.

Aleks: You’re. You’re brainwashing us with your intelligent, intelligent insights.

Eddy: Yeah, stop it.

Aleks: We’re not easily convinced, but I’m like, yes, definitely.

Alex: It’s only become, like a realisation, maybe in the last few months or a year, because I’ve done so many shorter days where I start at the ceremony of first look, and it’s way harder for me. Like, you just got to work harder to sort of, you know, you’ve probably met. Because I’ve met people over Zoom prior, and we have conversations leading up to it, so the more interactions I have prior, the better. I only have maybe two or three conversations before I meet them on the day, but, you know, meeting them for the first time in the flesh is usually on their wedding day. So doing that, it’s like, hey, so this is what we’re going to set up, or, you know, going straight into the ceremony, which you probably won’t have time to talk unless after the ceremony just feels a little bit cold and awkward. And then straight away you’re going into portraits and it’s like, all right, what are we doing? It’s like, you know, I’m just gonna.

Aleks: Get my tunes out for this one.

Alex: Just talk to each other and walk here. No, it’s still great. Like, you still make it work, but, um, you definitely got to work harder.

Aleks: Yeah, yeah.

Eddy: You gotta build that connection, make it feel relaxed rather than already have it.

Alex: Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.

Aleks: I’ve got a good question for you. So your tunes that you play, do you tailor those, like, when you’re walking around doing photos, because I have seen you the speaker. Do you tailor those for the couple, or do you have, like, a go to playlist? And what does it consist of?

Alex: Oh, hang on, let me bring it up. So I do. I do have. I do have a go to playlist, and it’s usually like, you know, some older sort of. I just want stuff that people know and people that can sing along to, depending on their age. I don’t want stuff that’s too modern that might sort of philtre people. I just want it to be like an all round, you know, feel good vibes. So I’ve got, like, you know, Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, just. Yeah, that sort of genre, if that makes sense.

Aleks: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eddy: I love that stuff. Yep.

Alex: But I do have a secondary playlist for, like, when I sneak him out for golden hour. And that’s a little bit more sort of chilled indie sort of vibes, like, yeah. Angus and Julia Stone, ziggy albert. Like that sort of style where it’s a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more intimate, a bit slower, a bit more acoustic y, just to set a different sort of vibe while the other stuff’s a little bit more high energy, sing along, dance along sort of tunes.

Eddy: You sound like a DJ right now. Have you ever thought of jumping over to the dark side?

Alex: No. I know. I do love it. Having, like, little house parties and get together. Like, I think music sets is a huge thing in setting the mood and vibe. Like, even going into getting ready photos and it’s dead silent. I’m like, oh, this is awkward. Put some music on it just to set the mood. It’s so important. And that’s why I value what you guys do so much, because you guys get it and you know how to read the crowd, and you’ve got good taste in music, and people appreciate that. And that’s why it sort of amounts to the success that you guys have had. That’s why you saw sought after.

Aleks: Thank you. Thank you for that. Give me that $50 later.

Eddy: Yeah.

Aleks: 50. What, you can’t get anything for 50.

Eddy: Try 150 least.

Aleks: Honestly, like, you go grocery shop. I was talking to Ed about this other day. You go grocery shopping for, like, one meal, it’s like $70. I may as well go out.

Alex: Yeah, it’s insane.

Aleks: Oh, man. Well, I think. Look, I think we’ve covered a lot of stuff, but I think it’s been. Yeah. So fascinating. I’ve got. Do you have any other tips for. I mean, you’ve mentioned so much juicy stuff for couples to think about. Is there anything in terms of, like, right at the beginning of the process when they’re choosing their venue, is there anything in terms of styling? Like, is there any other kind of tip you want to offer?

Alex: So maybe, I guess it’s different between, like, tips on the day, do you mean, or sort of anything? Anything. I’ll go with tips on the day. There’s so many little things. And maybe this is because I’m a little bit OCD and a little bit of a perfectionist. There are so many little things that you can do on the day to sort of maximise your photos. And there are little things. Yeah. Like even just having, like, you know, your house neat and tidy by the time I come to do getting ready photos or even choosing a place that’s going to have lots of light and is aesthetically pleasing. Like, each little section of the day, there’s always little tips. Like, ceremony is a huge one because it is a live event and there’s very little control that I can have. Celebrants play a big part in coordinating, making things happen in a way that’s really aesthetically pleasing and also easy for me to document. Like, you know, something as simple as having the couple, if they’ve got an arbour in the middle of the arbour, because they’re going to move. I’ve got some great celebrants that I work with, and they’re literally during the ceremony, like, are they standing in the right position, Alex, do you need it? And it just makes such a difference. Not that you want to interrupt the ceremony, that’s not the point, but just making them aware of where they need to stand. Another one is, you know, when the couples, when, you know, the people are coming down the aisle, slow down, just stop in the middle of the aisle, let that moment sink, so at least you can flick between two, both partners and get their reactions when the ring bearer comes. Obviously they’ve chosen that person for a reason. What happens 99% of the time is they’ll just stand up, face the couple, and they’ve got their back to everyone and you can’t get a decent photo of them. So I always say, go behind the couple, like, sort of where the celebrant stands so at least I can see the three of you together and I can get some nice photos of that moment.

Alex: Like, I was designing an album just yesterday, and literally one of the spreads is just that moment because it was captured well. While 99% of galleries that I deliver, if they don’t execute that moment by giving that person a bit of direction, I barely use those shots in the final gallery because it’s just a photo of their back instead of them, you know, being there, you know, exchanging a bit of a glance, you see their reaction. They’ve got a bit of a smile on their face as they’re handing over the rings. Maybe they’ll exchange a bit of a hug. That’s all captured because they’re standing in the right position. Yeah, yeah. So many, so many little things. Not having phone, you know, asking guests not to have phones during the ceremony, because I love seeing other people’s reactions. So it’s not just the couple. So maybe mum and dad, like, I’ve had, you know, parents tear up or big belly laughs. And if people are holding a phone, it just looks like they’re so disconnected and so disinterested and, you know, everyone’s different. Some people are like, well, that’s the day. Yeah, that’s the day. But I love seeing people, you know, just like, putting their hands to their mouth or, you know, wiping tears because they’re engaged in what’s happening. They’re not focused on just getting that little bit on their, you know, little video on their phone that they can share later. You pay professionals to do that, like, rely, rely on them.

Eddy: Yeah.

Alex: So heaps of little things, even speeches, like ask the photographer video, where’s the best place to sort of stand for this? Like, where’s the best life?

Eddy: Yep, yep.

Alex: Just being guided by people’s professionalism.

Eddy: It’s actually a good call re speeches, because obviously we’re, you know, most of the time, we’re. Well, most of. Let me just rewind. We’re not always at the ceremony, but we’re always around when speeches occur later on in the piece. And that’s my first thing, you know, if they come up to us and it’s like, oh, where should, where should we stand? I’m like, gosh, you’re a photographer.

Alex: Yeah, yeah. Because sometimes they’re positioned in the corner of the room and, you know, if you photograph them, then they just look like they’re just standing in a room. They’re standing a little bit closer to, you know, everyone. You just get so much nice photos that have perspective, all of a sudden you can get reactions, people in the foreground background, and it just adds so much more to the storytelling element as opposed to, like, here’s a photo of the person who spoke up against the blank wall.

Aleks: And this is, this is going off on a tangent, but speaking of this. So this is also where your MC. We always bang on about the importance of the MC, but the, you know, we’ve seen this happen. The MC picks up the mic, the photographer and videographer off eating or whatever.

Eddy: Yeah, those get rogue. And you see the photographs, like, run a room.

Aleks: Not only are you not present, you have no say in where speeches are happening because, you know, the MC is disorganised. So, like you said, all these little pieces come together and have a huge impact on your photos, which you’re paying good money for. Like, it’s an investment that you have chosen to make. It’s something that is obviously a priority. So why wouldn’t you do everything that you can to make it, you know, get the most out of it? So, yeah, things like that, which seem small, but actually massive, massive impact. Like you said, you don’t want a random person standing in the corner talking to themselves. Ridiculous.

Alex: Yeah, exactly. It’s so funny. Everyone says the same thing. Like, when I ask couples, like, what’s important to you when it comes to, you know, photos, they’re like, everyone says, we just want candid, natural photos. Like, yeah, of course you’re going to get that if you’ve got someone good that can bring that out of you. But funny enough, the people that get the best photos are the people that have this attitude. They’re like, Alex, what do you want us to do? Like, let. I want to be guided by your professionalism. That doesn’t mean micromanage every single moment at all. At all. But if you can make a photo, you know, a ten as opposed to an eight, simply because of standing in the right place or just slowing something down, it’s so worth it. It’s so worth it. Like, even first dance, like, if I’m like, is this choreographed or is this just like a bit of a sway? Bit of it. And it approaches the way I shoot that differently, or I’m like, hey, guys, stand in the middle of the room or don’t sway towards this corner. Like, where they’re standing is going to give me more space, which consequently amounts to having a better photograph of what’s happening. So all these little things, but pick couples attitude, that’s like, I want the best photos. Tell me how to go about that. And it all comes down to ultimately trust, guidance, communication.

Alex: All of a sudden, the photography part, you literally taking a good photo such a small part of the day, because most people, if the place is aesthetically pleasing, they can take a decent photo. But it’s getting those interactions and knowing where to stand and all those little bits and pieces that just simply comes with experience 100%.

Aleks: Could not agree more. Could not agree more. Yeah, such a good t. I’ve got to speak to you about this ceremony stuff later because I was just thinking, when you talk about the ring bearers, I’ve got my first ceremony in October, and the couple have a pair. A pair have five year old twins, and they’re going to be the ring bearers. I’m like, oh, it’s really important to get super cute. Yeah. To get that moment right. So I loved your tips for ceremony. Very good. So I’ll be hitting you up, my friend. Hope you don’t mind.

Alex: Yeah, sounds good, sounds good.

Aleks: Ed, you want to do the honours of your favourite question?

Eddy: Oh, yes. Okay, so this is the final question and. Sorry if we’re going to sort of hit you with it. Actually, no, we did write it down, which is good. So no excuse.

Aleks: Everyone’s always like, oh, that’s a tough one. We’re like, we sent this to you.

Eddy: What song will get you Alex Motta onto the dance floor?

Alex: Look, this might surprise you, but I am a bit partial to a bit of Johnny Farnham, so as soon as I hear you’re the voice.

Eddy: Yes, I’m joking. I just like to be on board for everything that’s so. I did not expect that at all. But obviously you’re joking. But, like, I love your reaction.

Alex: You’re like, I think if I said Nutbush, it would have been way too obvious. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Eddy: I would have been like, think of another pub classic.

Alex: No, no, serious answer. It’s so hard because there’s so many songs that you love, but there’s a difference between sort of like you may be eating or doing something and hearing a song. It’s like, ah, you kind of got to drop everything and just run to the dance floor. Cause it’s your song.

Eddy: Yes.

Alex: Something that’s gonna get you up on your feet. So this is a tricky one. I think, like a bit of a classic banger is probably shooting star by bag raiders. As you hear that, you gotta get onto it.

Aleks: That is my favourite song of all time, by the way. Did you know that?

Alex: Yeah, probably same here. And also probably block party banquet. Like, just want to just get on there and sing along and just jump around.

Eddy: Yeah. I feel like you like. Like an indie kid from way back. I’m getting that. I’m getting that vibe.

Aleks: Did you. Did you rock a side part in when you. In 2008, did you have like a side part, did you. A bit of an emo fringe going on?

Alex: I wasn’t too bad. Like, I was. I was a little skater kid, but didn’t. Didn’t sway as much as the emo vibes. But you should see photos of my wife because we. My wife and I’ve known each other since we were 16. So this photos of her with, like, short black hair with red through it and wearing like a Ramon’s hoodie. And that’s amazing and very, very different to me being like a little private school kid with like, you know, a jump across around his shoulders and, but.

Eddy: You’d rock that look. Yeah.

Aleks: That makes more sense. Yeah, that makes more sense.

Alex: But our styles have certainly changed from then, so we’re very mature now.

Eddy: Everything comes back around, though, fashion wise, so you never know.

Aleks: Yeah, we always changed someone who went to see evanescence last night, but she.

Eddy: Looks, she kind of can tell that she was that child, my inikoth child.

Aleks: So happy. I was like, what a blast from the past. Alex, it has been an absolute joy. You have woken us up at 08:00 a.m. It’s been, yeah, it’s been so insightful. So good, so good. We’ve learned lots. We have learned lots. Which I don’t know why I sound so surprised that so conceited of me.

Eddy: Like, oh, yeah, we’re always learning. Like, that’s the thing. We think we may know most of of it, but no challenge.

Aleks: You’ve them challenged some of our perspectives, which I like.

Eddy: Yeah.

Aleks: Yes.

Alex: Thank you. It’s been, it’s been an awesome chat and, yeah, I love working with you guys. You both, but such a vibe and bring, bring the energy and, yeah, it’s, I love looking at a run sheet and just seeing your name swap up and like, we’re in for a good night.

Eddy: Right back at you.

Aleks: Yeah, right back at you. So how can people get in touch? You were like, don’t dm me kind of person.

Alex: Not at all. I reply to every single Dm, no matter how random you may be. I’ve had Mums Dm me and like, thanks so much for coming. There’s a voice here. Nah, nah. So, yeah, if you give me a Dm, I’ll 100% reply to you. So, yeah, so socials is just motta weddings. M o t t a weddings.

Eddy: And your, what’s your website address?

Aleks: Address? Okay, hold me.

Eddy: What’s your website address?

Alex: HTTP.

Eddy: Is it secure though with the s? HTTP, HTTPs.

Alex: Just mottaweddings.com.

Eddy: Perfect.

Alex: Which I’m rebranding at the moment, actually.

Eddy: So that’s exciting.

Alex: In a month’s time, it’ll look very, very different to what it does now.

Eddy: How good, how’s that all going? Are you pulling your hair out or you’re having fun?

Alex: It’s funny that you say that because it is a bit of a stressful process because you sort of want to nail it, but it is hard for your designer to sort of get inside your head. We’re definitely getting there. And, yeah, I think it does reflect where I’m at because a lot of the weddings that I’ve got on there since 2019, 2020, and I feel like, yeah, my styles not changed a great deal, but, yeah, just that obviously weddings change and what’s trending is different. So, yeah, I feel like literally every single piece of content on there is going to be completely new. So all the wedding galleries are new. Like, every single image has been replaced. So it’s just more current with the stuff that I’m shooting now, which is like 50% city weddings and 50% winery weddings, like Yarra Valley and wanting to peninsula, so.

Eddy: Well, that’s very exciting.

Alex: Yeah, I’m excited.

Eddy: Very looking forward to seeing that one.

Aleks: Yeah, yeah. I bet you’ll be relieved once it’s all done.

Alex: No, no, it’s a lot of work.

Aleks: I don’t want to think about the next one we have to do. Let’s not think about that. No, we’re still fine. We still don’t play the Nutbush, so, yeah, it’s not gonna change. Thanks so much, Alex. Thanks for taking the time to chat to us. Have a wonderful day. We hope to see you at a wedding soon.

Eddy: Whoo.

Alex: Pleasure. Pleasure, guys. Have a great day.

Eddy: Oh, that was so good.

Aleks: Oh, my God. So good.

Eddy: So good. What a wealth of knowledge.

Aleks: He’s so switched on. And, yeah, I actually, like, genuinely mean, I had learned a lot, and, yeah.

Eddy: I had absolutely no idea of the importance of getting photos of at home, getting ready vibes that really leads into the rest of the day and just how relaxed couples and their close family and friends will be as well.

Aleks: I think that’s a huge part of it. Is the photographer actually being able to interact with the most important people on your big day? Like, yeah, yeah. Blew my mind. Amazing stuff. Amazing.

Eddy: What a you. Would you classified as, like, a wedding hack? Like, yeah, yeah.

Aleks: Hack, hack. Hate that word.

Eddy: Wanted to say that I saw tip. No, it is a hot tip, and it’s very, very smart. And he does an absolutely stellar job. So much fun at weddings as well. You know, he mentioned that he sort of gets amongst it and, you know, has a bit of a boogie, etc. Himself, but, yeah, he, um. He’s fantastic.

Aleks: Yep.

Eddy: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Well, that is it for this week’s potty. We will do one or two more episodes for this season.

Aleks: Got a couple, real couple coming up.

Eddy: We’re gonna have a bit of a break. I’ve got a very, very, very busy October. I don’t think it was as busy as mon, actually.

Aleks: Okay. No, we’ve had this debate before, but I think we’ve got 16 weddings between us.

Eddy: Yeah, but we will. We’ll be back with a vengeance.

Aleks: Yeah.

Eddy: For more amazing conversations, incredible suppliers and couples, etcetera. Yeah. But no, great episode. It’s probably one of my favourites thus far in the season.

Aleks: I agree. Couldn’t agree more.

Eddy: Alrighty.

Aleks: Alright, that’s it.

Eddy: Thank you so much. If you’re enjoying this, please throw a five star review up on our apple. I was gonna say Google then, but it’s very much Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcast from. Thank you so much and we’ll chat to you again soon. Safe.

Eddy: You can also follow us on Instagram, @projectengaged and @onemoresongdjs.

Aleks: We’ll see you next time. And until then, have fun out there.

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