Capturing love at the altar

Every so often the Wordy Bird team comes across a person in business that we admire, someone who is forging their own path while kicking serious goals. Meet them in our profile series where they share the secrets of their success (hint: it usually involves a great idea mixed with a lot of good old-fashioned hard work).

Perth-born creative Shenae Hunter never thought she would be running a successful photography business of her own, Shenae Rose Stills and Motion, at just 20 years of age. As a university student, she saw photography as a hobby and a support base for her studies, taking stunning pictures whenever she saw the opportunity. This included the occasional newborn baby photos, family portraits, landscape imagery and wedding photography.

However, it only recently dawned on her that she could earn a living through celebrating others’ happiness. For more than a year, Shenae has attended weddings throughout the metropolitan and regional areas as a videographer, capturing the love between friends, families and couples. With the belief that the best smiles are altar smiles, Shenae began building up her business through social media and word-of-mouth.

“I currently don’t market much, but I guess the main form of marketing is when I upload highlight videos of couples for their family and friends to see and business usually comes through them. I also comment on brides’ posts on Facebook groups that are looking for videographers and sometimes use Gumtree,” she says.

“I usually schedule posts on social media to get more people engaged at times they want to engage and with content they want to engage with. This is mainly highlight videos or the first few photos soon after a wedding.”

Shenae says her passion for weddings increases the more she attends them.

“I have become quite specialised to rustic, rural weddings in natural settings. I’ve also found I connect more with laid back couples that laugh at the little things and have a cheeky flare,” she says.

Without further ado, we asked Shenae a few questions for those photography beginners out there.

What makes a good photo?

  • Focusing in on the subject and drawing the viewers eye to the subject
  • Panoramic shots work a treat for when you’re on a hike or for beach views
  • Sunlight is great when the sun is setting. But stay away from midday sun glare!

What’s the best time of day for photography?

  • My favourite time of day is the half hour before the sun sets, where the sun is dappled through all the trees and gives off an orange glow. The middle of the day makes everything look white and overexposed.

What about editing?

  • Filters can add to a photo, depending on the context. My go-to for editing is increasing the contrast a little and keeping the photo slightly overexposed to give that dreamy feel. I like to keep the natural feel and sometimes using filters can get you too excited and they become very unnatural.

What about photography apps for computers or phones?

  • Adobe offers a pretty great package for both photography and videography editing, so I use their app Lightroom. All the little things can be enhanced and the quality stays. But this is a little pricey.
  • For a cheap option, Fotor is a pretty good app in terms of learning what exposure and saturation all mean and experimenting with editing.

Brooke Hunter is a journalist and Wordy Bird writer. Follow her at @brooke_land.