Rachel Cutler Award Winning Photographer and Videographer

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We all know that there are many questions that couples can ask photographers that they have short listed, before they make a decision as to who will be their photographer on the very special day – their wedding day.

But I think it very interesting to find out what actually makes a photographer ‘tick’ or should I say ‘click ‘as they work silently, often unseen, creating a gift wrapped parcel of your precious memories to keep for ever.

Question: What influenced your decision to become a photographer and in your case also a videographer?
I have been a Photographer since I was 14 years old when I won my first competition photographing my little baby sister. I went on to study it in high school spending all my lunchtimes in the darkroom back in the days of 35mm film before digital even existed. I was awarded 1st place in photography at my HS in year 12. It made sense with my passion and love for photography to continue into my university studies. I completed a 3 year Bachelor degree in Media Arts majoring in Photo media and was recognised for the Golden Key association with the Sydney University. After travelling the world and pretty much every job being Photography related throughout. I moved to the Sunshine coast as I got a job as an aerial Photographer. Then in 2011 I won overall first place in the 2011 Grab Getty images national competition for capturing a natural candid moment and slowly started building my Photography business. I expanded into Video also as I had studied it at university and love a good challenge. So I set to master both these mediums. I actually started in video as a camera assist working at Weddings in Sydney back in 2000.
I have always loved working with people and being creative and as a Photographer I get to do both. You could definitely say I live and breathe Photography which is why I am often referred to as a “Lens Women”! I definitely absolutely love Night and star Long exposure photography and also specialise in capturing candid moments in people’s lives”

Question: Do you need lots of equipment to achieve the results that you want?
Most certainly you need lots of equipment. I always have 2 top of line cameras ready and a range of top lenses and 4 when it comes to video also. Videography requires that you need even more to get the best results. Sound recording equipment, tripods, slides and the list goes on. I am constantly saving to buy more equipment and upgrade my gear so it is the best it can be. Not to mention regular maintenance.
As Photographer we also need the top computer and software equipment for the best editing results and back up hard drives to ensure my clients’ photos and videos are safe.

Question: Can you tell when you meet a couple whether they are the right ‘fit’ for you in terms of working together?
Certainly, Sometimes I can even tell straight away on the phone if we click. Everyone is different and not everyone will suit every Photographer which is why it is great there is lots of us to choose between. It is important to click I think. As the Photographer and videographer are a large part of the day and if you are comfortable with them it really shows in the photos and footage.

Question: Do you have a particular style eg: formal, chic in the city, barefoot on the beach etc?
I would say as I have been a Photographer for so many years that I don’t limit myself by one style and my skills are very broad. However if I have to choose I’d say my style is natural, relaxed and candid. I like to capture real emotion in moments as they unfold.
I do love a hinterland Wedding with a stunning mountain view, combining landscape photography with portraits or silhouettes, creative night shots with stars or the moon and dramatic clouds over the ocean with a rocky outlook and also reflections.

Question: What are your favourite moments to photograph?
Night and stars/creative shots with people and landscapes. I also love natural candid real emotion moments.

Question: This might be a bit tricky, but which weddings have been your favourites and why?
My favourite Weddings have been when the Bride and Groom love photos as much as I do and they want to get all the moments they can and embrace it all. Which have been all my Weddings this year and I feel so blessed. A recent Wedding this year that comes to mind is one that was in Noosa where the couple were so stoked and loving every minute of their day. I definitely get a buzz out of capturing the best possible photos I can. We allowed for sunset time and were very organised with a timeline which is the best way. Also Weddings with minimal travel time is great so if everything is very close together and allows more time to capture more photos.
Also to mention another Wedding that was awesome with your suggestion Glenys with the “Petal cannons” which simply made for some awesome candid moments and photos.

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Question: What is ‘first look?’
A “First Look” can be a few different things in my opinion but is usually very emotional. It could be the moment when the father or the mother of the bride sees the bride all ready in your Wedding dress.
Or more recently Wedding tradition has changed and couples sometimes choose to see each other before the ceremony. It can be a great way for the couple to have a moment before the ceremony together to take it all in and calm their nerves. Some couples even have a few pre wedding photos so they can spend more time with their guests afterwards. Some couples may also choose to have a photo with just their hand touching without looking before the ceremony also.

Question: How do you make couples feel relaxed in front of the camera?
I like to get to know the couple a little bit first so we are friends first. I am a relaxed and fun person and usually I allow my couples to interact with each other as if I’m not even there. I might ask them to walk or just look at each other and be in the moment. I often stand back and I’m not right up in people’s faces. Every couple is different and it is a matter of seeing what will suit them. Some may be up for a little dancing or even try a dip kiss. I usually interact with my couples and see what works. Some may like a little more direction then others and some may be more adventurous then others. I am usually looking for the best light and letting couple do their thing focusing on natural and candid and making it fun and easy.

Question: How far in advance should couples book a wedding photographer?
I often book out a year or more in advance so if you want your first choice of Photographer I would get in as soon as you book your venue at least. I have sadly had to turn away a fair few couples lately due to being already booked for their chosen date. Once I’m booked it’s locked it.

Question: What information do you need from a couple before the wedding day?
I generally get my couples to complete a Wedding contract with details for their Wedding day. I also need them to choose the best photo/video collection that suits them. Addresses, a timeline for the day (which I can help create with regards to best time for photos etc). I might ask for a list of family photos or if there is anything specific they want so I don’t miss it.
I also ask for a list of all the vendors so if need be I might contact them before the day or at least so I know who their dream team for the day will be. I also require a Booking fee to lock in and secure the date for their Wedding.

Question: What has been your most rewarding moment as a photographer?
Well as a Photographer I feel very privileged to be up close and personal in important moments in people’s lives. I love the intimacy of it and that people allow me to do this and share these moments with them.

I love this quote to help answer the question:
“Life is not about the breaths we take, but about the moments that take our breath away.”
I love capturing these kind of moments and that is very rewarding for me as a Photographer and a Videographer.
Thank you so much Rachel for this fantastically informative interview. It has been so interesting to hear how you work, feel and connect with couples.
You can see Rachel’s sensation work when you visit her website http://immortalisingmoments.com/

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Watch out for our next Blog which also promises to be not only interesting but fun!