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Dates Available Weddings 2024 2025

Monday, February 26th, 2024

As people find their way back into routine after Christmas and New Year, it isn’t now uncommon to be looking ahead to next summer. I know, we have hardly finished this one!!

Yet planning a wedding takes a bit of effort. Between cars, flowers, cakes, dresses, caterers… there are indeed a few moving parts to co-ordinate. First and foremost is your wedding date. Once that is anchored, then everything else can wrap around to suit. At the top of that list will assumably be your wedding venue (and your reception venue, if different). Their availability needs to be locked in first and foremost, as their availability is central to your wedding.

Following on these vendors, would be your ‘tier two’ wedding suppliers. Ones whose services are restricted to just one day bookings, but need an exact date that can only come after you have a venue secured. The likes of your photographer, band, cars etc. People who can only service one wedding client on any one day.

Follow this, would be your ‘tier three’ wedding suppliers. Florists, cake makers, and quite probably hair and make up. Suppliers who are not restricted to ‘one wedding, one day’, and within limits can provide their services to several customers on any one day.

So photography would be an important tier two wedding supplier. One that is best booked as soon as you have a date locked in with your wedding venue and reception.

To that end, people often ask, ‘How far in advance do I need to book?’. There is no one answer really. Rather, if you know what you want, don’t muck around. The further out you are able to line all your ducks in a row, the greater peace of mind you will have. The later you leave it, the greater the risk that one or more of your desired suppliers may not be available. That then causes other complications potentially as you try and re-juggle other combinations of dates to achieve a best fit. It may pay to note also that supplier availability isn’t always affected by another wedding booking. If left too late, then suppliers may also make plans for family birthdays, kids sports, etc. Yet with notice most suppliers will gladly work to your needs and plan around these well in advance.

So to that end, a year traditionally would be a common booking lead in. That doesn’t mean to say if you book 3 months out, you have been disorganised! Equally, if booked 2yrs out, doesn’t make you uptight!! After Covid, we all saw wedding lead ins drop remarkably here in Christchurch, as people simply didn’t have peace of mind planning too far ahead. Though I suspect that was common about NZ, and in part the world!

So if you are getting married next January, February, March or April, this is a good time right now to look ahead to get your suppliers all locked in. That is enough time to explore available dates, to find the best option that might fit all your key suppliers, and to lock something in to help start your wedding planning journey.


There is no cost, and no obligation to discuss your options with me for wedding photos. If you feel that what I do is a match, then I would be most honoured to help further.

Available New Zealand wide / South Pacific on request. Christchurch based, predominantly photographing weddings within Canterbury / South Island.

Please feel free to call me on 021 251 8203, or email here to talk about your special day.



Save the date wedding graphic.

Posted in Uncategorized

NZIPP Interview

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024
This month we were lucky enough to chat with NZIPP Accredited professional photographer and Christchurch based NZIPP Grand Master Tony Stewart from Photoshots
📸Tell us about yourself….
Tony: Well, I live on the outskirts of Christchurch,  shooting a wide range of imagery about Canterbury.
📸How did you develop an interest in Professional Photography?
Tony: From my OE some years ago really. I loved the idea of taking photos all around the place but didn’t always know how I got something looking good, or why others didn’t work out! I left a career in teaching to retrain once back in NZ.
📸What type of Photography do you do most?
Tony: A lot of commercial & events these days mid week. Though weddings are still big at weekends.
📸Your best memory as a photographer?
Tony: Not one so much, rather many that come from meeting a wide range of fascinating people and having access to some pretty neat places not otherwise available to the public.
📸Do you spend a lot of time editing your work?
Tony: Umm, yes, and no. I think there is base post production that is inevitable for all photographers. I try not to overedit. Where I can, I do try and provide hours for staff, to take care of this side of things.
📸Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?
Tony: I do love the raw documentary nature, and social commentary of Sebastião Salgado. Not quite sure this has inspired my work directly as such.
📸What type of gear do you shoot with, and which one is your favourite?
Tony: I’m a Canon user through and through. It was the first camera that I got for my 21st birthday. I then bought a flash, then a lens, then another…. you know it goes!!
📸If you could go back 10 years, what advice would you give yourself?
Tony: Well, that was the time of Quakes here in Canterbury, so a broad folio with depth across several genres kept me in business during pretty trying times. So I’d say diversification has worked for me. Unless you are wanting to be a specialist in something that especially spins your dials, or have developed a very strong niche, having options is good.
📸What do you think is your biggest accomplishment?
Tony: Definitely becoming Grand Master. That was big for me and was not a certain accomplishment by any means. It was a big commitment that was the result of consistent effort and hard work.
📸What makes the good picture stand out from the average?
Tony: Good design, intrigue, connection, spot colour, composition…
📸What is in your Camera Bag?
Tony: As I get older, my ‘go to’ kit is getting slightly lighter – haha!
In essence, my everyday bag has a Canon R6 and R5, with 5DIV back up. I pack wide, mid and tele L series lenses. I take x2 on-camera flash, various filters, intervalometer, batteries, cards, meter and colour checker. Often in conjunction with a set of pocket wizards, Manfrotto tripod, and off camera flash.
📸Do you have a Bucket List for 2024?
Tony: Yes, there is one place especially I want to photograph overseas. I won’t say here in case I jinx it, but it will take some saving and some co-ordination for just how it might work out. It is a bit remote, and not a place many get to venture!
📸What 3 words describe your photography style?
Tony: Created naturally hopefully!
📸What are your other passions?
Tony: Cooking, gardening, skiing, travelling, outdoors, hunting, craft beer, & dining out.
📸Anything else you would like to add?
Tony: I’ve since worked out photography is like perpetually opening doors. One opens, and you think you have the answer. But then there is always another one in front to discover after that! There is always something to learn and discover. I love it.
📸Why did you join NZIPP?
Tony: Support when starting out for sure. Education about how to be a photographer through various seminars and conferences. Then I think that evolved to become more about awards. Now 20yrs+, while those things remain equally valid, I would say it is now more about good people and connections.
Some folk will be familiar with the In Pursuit of Giants adventures that we’ve created. That has been such a neat experience that wouldn’t have been possible without NZIPP camaraderie. It combines a lot of things that I enjoy – taking photos, having a laugh, getting outdoors, physical challenge, exploring new places,… (over the odd beer!).
Bride and father arrive at a wedding in sports car.

Posted in Uncategorized

What if…??

Thursday, December 14th, 2023

It is with a certain degree of lethargy that I write, currently self isolating on day four with Covid. Oh no!! It is really just a few few days in bed now with ‘the flu’. I look back two years in time, and we had a much different fear, with such an unknown about just what harm a serious pandemic might inflict.

So I expect tomorrow I will be a lot brighter, as I was today, and by the weekend hopefully back to semi normal. Though it does bring into question, what if someone was sick for my wedding and I was relying on them to play a special role. That could be key family and friends, or it could be suppliers – much like my myself.  It does cause some reflection about just what to do if your best man, or maid of honour was unable to participate in your wedding. Or parents, or celebrant,… the list goes on.

While it would never be ideal swapping wedding photographers, membership of a professional photographic body such as NZIPP does offer the opportunity for collegial support to members.  A huge advantage for bridal clients, is that there is an active community supporting many of us here in Canterbury Westand (our NZIPP ‘district’). As at the end of the day most photographers are essentially running independent, sole trader wedding businesses.

Should a photographer be seriously incapacitated, and not be able to confidently deliver what they are expected by way of wedding photos, a call would go out to other regional members of a similar standing. The regional (or even national) NZIPP co-ordinator, would ask for other wedding photographers who might be in a position to help. With a check of who might be available, they would work on the best solution and get back to you, the wedding client. Usually, it would be expected that the ‘old’ photographer would pay the person helping, and the ‘new’ person helping out would honour what has already been planned by way of coverage, times, price etc.

Sometimes the members offering to help may in fact be portrait photographers, or even commercial photographers. While that doesn’t sound ideal, surprisingly, many cherish the chance for a new adventure. Matched with someone with equal experience in photography, the results will likely surprise you.

Of course, you would under no expectation to accept any offer. The choice would always be yours. The main thing is, there is an opportunity there to help where needed, to save you the stress of sorting alone.

That is a critical, non tangible benefit of belonging to such an awesome network of colleagues. A huge advantage when meeting people at conferences, sitting next to other passionate photographers at awards, sharing craftmanship at creative photo workshops. It is about people, it is about connection, and it’s the ability to help each other.

Rest assured, I am not expecting to be hit by a bus any time soon, so for all intents and purposes, I’ll be there for you! I don’t have a wedding this weekend, so this Covid thing wont be putting the dampners on anything too soon!

Posted in Uncategorized

Is it Time to Regulate Wedding Photography?

Monday, October 30th, 2023

It’s been sad to see read lately, about two separate media stories where CHCH wedding photographers have caused some major grief to their bridal clients. It is tragic on many levels, not least of which to wedding couples who have trusted their suppliers implicitly, and have been let down. But also for the photographers (whose circumstances I am simply not aware of) have also gotten themselves into some pretty hot water, and must surely be stressed.

Without knowing the particular ins and outs, it would seem reading the two articles, that better communication, and better business systems would go a long way in helping photographers honour their commitments.


It could be a timely reflection to recognise that in an unregulated market, there is no restriction on who can pitch for business as a photographer, and claim to be a professional. Sadly there is no minimum standard required for skills, training, equipment, business practise, minimum competency, ethics,… etc.

If the supplier – client relationship falls over, the consequences can be devastating, fraught with all manner of emotions. It’s not like buying a kettle, where if it breaks, you take back to the shop, and it is dealt with simply and quickly.

It is certainly very hard for wedding couples to identify just who may be best able to help them on their special day. While it doesn’t guarantee a perfect result, choosing an NZIPP (New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography) accredited photographer does go a long way in assisting prospective couples.

NZIPP members sign a code of ethics to which they agree to abide. Accredited members have their wedding work appraised and evaluated as being of a competent standard. Members have available all manner of workshops, forums, awards, conference and professional development opportunities to grow as photographers. They benefit from collegial support in times of sickness or ‘issues’, where as a community they enjoy the support of others who can step in during times of crisis. The Institute will also act as facilitator in the unlikely event of unresolved complaints.

To that end, it is never nice reading about other’s conflict. For those of us passionate about the industry, we all hope these two situations can be resolved amicably. Though without some degree of industry regulation, I fear this will not be the last time we hear from couples upset that they feel let down.


Oct 28th Chris Lynch media

Chris Lynch media story about wedding photographer.



Front page of the CHCH Press, Oct 7th 2023

CHCH Press front page, 7th Oct 2023 about wedding photographer not delivering.

CHCH Press front page, 7th Oct 2023 about wedding photographer not delivering.

Posted in Uncategorized