Jewish Weddings {Published}

Turning Pro Magazine has published some of our Jewish Wedding photography images. The feature article is regarding finding a niche and how this can help your photography business. We are now shooting quite a few Jewish weddings and will be doing one in South Africa in December this year. To see examples of our Jewish Weddings please go to JEWISH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY

Jewish Wedding Photographer Published in Turning Pro Magazine
This is the cover of the issue in which we have been featured. You can pick up your copy of Turning Pro Magazine at WH Smith.
Turning Pro Magazine, Segerius Bruce Photography published

It was simply too expensive for Chanelle
Segerius-Bruce to study photography after
high school, back in South Africa, so she did
graphic design instead. When she moved to
the UK 11 years ago, she bought herself
a Pentax M-ZM and embarked on a journey
which would see her become an international
wedding photographer.

“I enrolled with Westminster Adult Education
and worked towards a B-Tech in photography
twice a week after work, getting my hands dirty
in the darkroom. It was a great foundation and I
am so glad that I started with f ilm,” says
Chanelle, who cut her teeth digitally with a
Canon EOS 20D and began shooting for friends’
model portfolios. “I entered those images into a
national photography magazine’s Portrait
Photographer of the Year competition and won it
twice in a row,” says Chanelle, who by then had
built up the conf idence to move forward with her
photography.

Attending a day’s seminar with
US destination weddings photographer David
Beckstead, at the Society of Wedding and
Portrait Photographers (SWPP) convention was
a turning point. “He is an inspirational speaker
and I walked out of there seeing the light.”

Her move into Jewish weddings happened by
chance when a prospective bride got in touch
about her wedding, which happened to be a
Jewish one. “She was after something creative
and different to what most of the photographers
in that market offered,” says Chanelle. The bride
refer red her to a friend and before long she had
bookings for two Jewish weddings. “I decided to
see if I could second-shoot a wedding with an
established Jewish wedding photographer.
Using my network, through online forums and
Twitter, I found somebody who was happy to
have me along as a second shooter for a day,”
says Chanelle, who took the chance to
familiarise herself with the Jewish traditions
she would be capturing at her bookings.

Compared to a standard church ceremony,
Jewish weddings are extremely complex. It’s not
just a matter of differentiating between Reform,
Conservative and Orthodox Jewish weddings,
there is also a huge range of traditions and
customs that couples incor porate into their
wedding days, all with several variations.
“Some traditions may be adhered to on the day –
for example at very religious Jewish receptions
the men and woman dance separately – and some
may not, depending on the family. Most of what
we do on a wedding day is reacting to the action
in front of us. Keep alert and watch out for
things,” says Chanelle, who thinks it’s perfectly
feasible for photographers to specialise in
complex traditions which are not their own, as
long as they are prepared to do a signif icant
amount of research and second-shoot f irst. “I still
do second-shooting for photographers whose
work I admire and it is a fantastic experience to
see how other people work,” she says.
Chanelle conf irms that the Jewish wedding
market is as competitive as most others.
Having Jewish weddings in the portfolio gallery
on the website and blog is invaluable to Chanelle,
who photographs weddings with husband Craig,
both in the UK and abroad. “Once couples book
to meet us we have a leather sample album
containing a Jewish wedding. You have to be able
to show people the kind of wedding they can
imagine themselves in,” she adds. While Chanelle
thinks the f irst draw to booking is their creative
documentary-style photography, she sees
the sample albums as a big aid in getting work.

“Due to our creative style, we do a lot of
pre-wedding shoots, as well as next-day shoots,
which allows for relaxed and creative images of
the bride and groom without inter rupting the
actual wedding day too much,” says Chanelle.
Utilising the internet has been key in the
couple’s success. “I blog all of the weddings,
engagement sessions and post-wedding shoots,
as well as portraits, baby shoots and any model
portfolios,” says Chanelle. She and Craig add
a personal element by blogging about their travels
and Craig reviews gear too. Facebook is another
place where they share their work. “This happens
organically as I put pretty much everything on
there. Friends and I are avid users of Facebook,
especially with a lot of South Africans having
moved away from their home country and
spreading across the world.” The couple also
make the most of Twitter to connect with other
photographers and wedding industry insiders,
including wedding planners. They don’t currently
need to advertise at all.

“Although I love creating beautiful portraits of
the couples, I still believe the real moment is the
most amazing thing,” says Chanelle, a member of
the Wedding Photojournalist Association. As well
as shooting between 25 and 35 weddings a year,
Chanelle does high-end retouching and has
worked freelance for the past three years, most
notably for fashion photographer Mario Testino.
Of course, Chanelle and Craig don’t limit
themselves to Jewish weddings, although they are
a speciality. “We have shot a wide selection of
weddings, including Hindu, Tamil, Muslim,
Samoan, Italian, Church of England, Catholic,
Humanist and register off ice, and we love all of
them. It’s nice to see a variety of traditions.”
– Turning Pro Magazine

1 Comment

  1. Jennifer P on October 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I’m entering my 2nd year in the pro-photography business & am discovering new stuff constantly, such as this posting – thanks for this blog. Jenn



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