When you talk 'Margaret River Weddings', there's a few names that immediately spring to mind . . . and Blakeney Photography is one them. They are a stalwart of weddings and have a reputation that spans the across the Nullarbor. They have been hired by celebrities, sports stars and dignitaries, although you'll never hear Ros or Stephen boast or 'drop names' - they are true professionals who treasure the privacy of ALL their clients.
It's why we were so excited to be able to sit with them and ask them a few questions about how they view the Wedding Industry in our glorious Southwest. Here's what they had to say. Enjoy!
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Name of your business and number of staff that work for you?
Stephen Blakeney Photography, Stephen and Ros Blakeney
Date you started the business?
How long have you been in business?
Over 20 years
What was the core of your business when you started?
Started as photography business and still is!
Where do you service in the Region?
We photograph weddings anywhere . . . as long as the couple have a favourite place we will go there with them. Our favourite places are the bush, farms, old buildings and the beach, as there is always something interesting to incorporate into a shot to tell a story for the couple.
When looking at the wedding industry as a whole, where do you think the Southwest sits?
Weddings in the Southwest, have their own special feel to them that is unique . . . nowhere else has the same amazing feel to it. The sense of space, freedom, the light, fresh air and amazing views without built up coast covered in awful hotels or high rise buildings . . . it has something different and unique in the whole world.
We have fantastic suppliers who would give anyone, anywhere a run for their money! Yes, I think more collaboration would be good and getting together with other suppliers when we can work with is important. It builds trust in them and their services. Recommending other locals to our clients is a big part of our planning process with them. We know that Southwest suppliers are extremely conscientious. The quality of their products and work is second-to-none.
Unfortunately trends in the wedding industry are not really what a wedding should be about.. we have seen some really awful trends over the years and are glad to be part of a wedding that feels real. That is truly about love and family and not about how much money it cost.
Being part of a celebration where you se so many happy faces and people wanting to be part of the day is an amazing thing.
What is your all-time favourite month for weddings, year in and year out?
March/April.. hands down and no doubt... beautiful weather... beautiful golden light for photos.. no flies.. vineyards and beach are amazing at that time of the year.
What do you love about the wedding scene in the Southwest?
We love meeting new people in love.. working with other Southwest suppliers.. being part of a fantastic industry that celebrates love and family every day!
Who do you admire or aspire to emulate, that is a leader in your field of weddings?
We don’t really follow too many people in our field. Sometimes looking at others stunts your own creativity. Each wedding and couple are so different that we try to make their day special in our own way.
In your experience in this whole industry, what do you think is the most underrated element of a wedding celebration?
Of course we feel that the photography is very often not really appreciated as it could be. Once the wedding is over then all the effort that went into making a perfect day is lost if not recorded well with amazing photos. Memories can fade very quickly if not captured by a real professional.
If you got married in the next 12 months, what would be your number one priority/expense?
Definitely the best photographer we could afford. As I said before.. the cake gets eaten.. the flowers die.. the dress and suit can become tight and never will be worn again.. but that amazing photo of Pop or Nana, the record of special moments on the day and the people you share it with go on forever.
Is there ‘something’ that you see in some couples, that makes you think that they’ll be a couple to ‘make it’?
Yes, but it’s the ones you didn’t think would make it who get in touch years later and are soooo happily married with great kids and a lovely life that catch us out.
What is your all-time favourite location for a wedding in the whole Southwest?
Too many to choose there are some beautiful places but they all have their own thing that appeals to each couple differently.
What does marriage mean to you?
Marriage is being together with my best friend and enjoying life with him.. (Ros)
What is the best piece of marriage advice you have ever heard or been given personally?
It’s an oldie but a good one... don’t go to bed angry.. making up is a lot of fun!
Five things that you carry with you on every job, big or small?
* CAMERAS and equipment of course..
* water bottle...
* snacks (it’s a long day!) ...
* emergency kit for repairs to brides and their bridal party...
+ heaps more!
Oh and wear good comfortable shoes.. you will be on your feet a long time!!!!
What’s one trick/secret (you would be prepared to share) that people in your industry/field covet, that everyone should actually know?
Learning to make couples comfortable in front of the camera...
In your opinion, as couples plan their wedding day, they should consider which month or season to have their wedding? And why?
Definitely late Summer and AUTUMN... weather is not hot.. the country side is lovely.. no flies.. golden light... vineyards start to change colour..