Sunday, July 31, 2011

2 Minutes With Wedding Photographer | Francis Balderrama from Artworx Studio

Neophyte Photographer : Francis B.
Francis Balderrama from Artworx Studios joins the ranks of cliched expats who visit Cambodia, fall in love and stay on. We spent 2 minutes with Francis talking about Wedding Photography in Cambodia.

Enjoy the read!

How long have you been in the business of capturing the bride & groom’s moments?

Artworx Studio has been in business here in Cambodia for 3 years now. Some of the photographers in the team have been doing photography work in Cambodia for more than 5 years. Personally, I am a neophyte in this niche. I have been exposed to the creative industry for quite some time now but previously, have not really been into capturing nuptials and ceremonies. *grin*

What is your area of photography specialty? Is it more Portraitures or you prefer Actual Wedding photography?

The entire team specializes on wedding photography. A great image is a great image, whether portrait or candid moments, but here in Cambodia, portraiture is a very big thing. They (clients) want everyone and every guests to have a portrait photo captured. Most couples would request that their wedding portraits be with the famed Angkor temples as the backdrop, and that is more important to them than the actual captured moments of the ceremonies.  This is Cambodia we're talking about so it is different culture. And we at Artworx practise this : The couple’s preference should always be the priority.

Do tell us what is the creative thought process that goes through a photographer’s head when he sets about shooting his clients.

It is imperative to know the client. Know their love-story, their cultural orientation, and all will fall into its proper place. Be aware of what the client wants for an output, then imagine it, and capture it. The creative thought process shouldn’t only involve the photographer but the clients as well. Third party opinions like “The Wedding Planners” is also a lot of help. (Ed. : Thanks for the mention, Francis!)

In your opinion, what is the learning curve for you as a photographer in this country? 
Cambodia is a photographer’s playground. Wonderful culture and imagery. There are so many things to explore and so many things to learn. Practice makes perfect. I do repeatedly photograph the same subjects to hone my skills. One day, I will be a specialist in that particular subject matter *laughs*

Do you think there is a great potential for the wedding industry in Cambodia to grow?

Definitely.  And us, as industry vendors, we can say that we are experiencing the growth. It’s not quick, but we’ll definitely get there. To me personally, Cambodia and weddings will always be associated with each other.

How often do you work with other local Cambodian photographers? What are your thoughts on this?

There were several occasions that we have to work with local Khmer photographers. We had to look at things on a different paradigm. We enjoyed working with them, shared our knowledge, and the other way around, they have also imparted theirs to us. Besides, this is their country; they know their culture more than we expats do.
Before we part – can you share 5 Top Tips for the couple when choosing their Wedding Photographer?

·         Assess your needs – figure out what you want and what you need. And how much you are willing to spend.

·         Do a research – know your photographer, check out their portfolio.

·         Your wedding, your choice – Not your parents, not your friends. It’s your photo which will be taken after all. There are many photographers out there but make sure you choose the one that matches your preference.

·         Do not bargain – Photographers are artists too. On your wedding day, the photographers will give their best and not bargain with you the quality of photo they will deliver.

·         Sign a contract – Protect yourself. It’s your photos. Know your rights.
And THANK YOU so much for your time, Francis! All the best to Artworx Studio!!

Dreamy Wedding Portraitures amidst the famed Angkor temple grounds.
Photography by Artworx Studio

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Winner's Tale : Creative Couple Photography Contest

The winner of our Creative Couple Photography Contest held last year has written something as a run-up to their pre-wedding portrait session and stay at The Nam Hai with Eden Images. Here's the bride's personal take on it.

Our Hearts Are Set On The Nam Hai

Sugeetha & Kaneson's Winning Entry
Judges Comments : "Creative, Fun, Thoughtful"
As cliché as it sounds, it was truly a dream come true winning the Creative Couple’s Photo Contest organised by The Wedding Planners and Eden Images. Kaneson and I were never the ones to enter competitions, but this time around, there was something magical about the prize. The Nam Hai, from what I saw on the net, is truly a beautiful, wondrous and romantic place. I had the same feeling of awe and wonder when I was looking through the amazing pictures taken by the photographers at Eden Images (and I know that Aidan Dockery will be the photographer for our shoot there!)

It was a prize too good to let go. I wanted to win badly. Something that evokes such strong feelings and emotions was not something I could ignore. So, a plan was hatched. Out came my crafty side and with a pair of scissors in hand, I set out to show how much I ♥ the prize.  

I was so excited; I called Kaneson at work and told him he just had to get back early that day. He of course was wondering what in the world I was up to. Quickly bringing him up to date on my master plan, he promised to get back as soon as he could. Kaneson you see, is pretty well-versed already with my sometimes (ok, most of the time) insane plans and enthusiasm.  

I got my inspiration from a blog site I often visited but took the idea a notch or two up, ensuring my own take was put on it. It was a mess of paper hearts on the floor once I was done with my scissors. I stuck the hearts on the wall and when Kaneson came back home, it was all systems go!

We took pictures this way and that way and all sorts of other ways (all decent shots, ok!) and finally picked the one we both liked the best. It was such a fun thing for us to do together; we were laughing and joking all the way. (If all else fails, at least the contest enabled couples to have loads of fun creating their entries!)

Finally, we posted our photo and hoped for the best. I must say it was an exhilarating wait, checking Facebook everyday, seeing what pictures other couples were posting, wondering if ours was going to be the most creative of them all.

Our friends, family and even colleagues got into the act. They were quick to support us in this competition by clicking ‘like’ on our picture. Everyday Kaneson and I would update each other on how many ‘likes’ we received and we truly felt ♥ reading all the messages wishing us good luck.

We were at one point head to head with another couple on the number of ‘likes’. The day before the competition ended, they managed to surpass us. I felt a knot in my stomach, but still kept faith that we could win.

I was at work when the winner was announced. Access to Facebook is not permitted in my company so I had friends and family calling me and sending me text messages to let me know that Kaneson and I won the competition. I quickly called Kaneson to share the good news with him. We were both over the moon. It was such exciting news for us and the judges’ comments about our picture made the win much sweeter.

Our trip is almost here. In two month’s time, our feet will touch the soft sands of Hoi An’s beaches, experience the majestic Nam Hai and our love, captured in beautiful pictures by Eden Images.

Thank you to The Wedding Planners, The Nam Hai and Eden Images for this opportunity. We ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ you.

Ed : We love you too and CoNGraTuLations again! Have fun and let your hair down!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ring Mission

We recently had the privilege to help plan a reality show that will produce future wedding planners. The show is currently showing every Sunday at 7.00 PM on 8TV, we even got to be judges on a couple of episodes.

It was an eye opening experience to say the least, all the lights, camera and drama was really all for the show. We even got to see a different side of some of our vendors and a different side of the couple.

The show featured real wedding couples, so you got to hear how critical guests/ the couple and other vendors can be of wedding planners. Tune in to the show for more drama.