A series of posts dedicated to the pillars of the event design world that spotlight talent and creativity. Today we jump behind the lens of one of the word's most highly sought wedding photographers; Jimmy Chan of Pixelicious. While he can't teach us the trick to capturing light, love, and emotion in a single snap, he can provide us with the unique insight that is born from having one of the most difficult, coveted and trusted roles!
Please describe your service in 3-5 sentences. Tell us about your team (or if you work alone).
Pixelicious is a wedding photographer from Montreal (Canada) offering the most exclusive and timeless photography to the modern privileged bride who deserves a signature experience without compromise. Our success is measured by our clients’ level of satisfaction above all else.
Favorite flower (to work with): Orchids and more orchids
Complete this sentence. A wedding can never have too many (much) drama.
Best describe your style:
Elegance / Emotion / Candid
What trend are you happy to see in the past?
There was a time when photographers only had access to black and white film. We moved on from B&W televisions decades ago so it's time to fully embrace vibrant colors. Removing the colors from an image doesn't make it more classic, I'm glad to see this trend go away.
What trend are you excited about?
Tolerance for LGBTQ weddings. Not only is it 2020 but some of the most memorable events involved same-sex weddings. They are incredibly emotional due to the (historical) stigma attached to them.
What (if ever) is the most thoughtful or romantic gesture/surprise a client has planned for his/her spouse?
Does crashing into Domino's Pizza after the ceremony count as being romantic? The groom even ordered a custom pizza with her favorite toppings on one side, with his on the other. (okay, we're in love with this idea and hungry)
Have you ever had to say no or steer a client away from a crazy ambition? What is the wildest or most challenging event that you have ever been a part of?
We go as far as our client's imagination allows so we never say no! We had a couple who were hardcore foodies so their engagement photos involved visiting the famous eateries in town. It was incredibly challenging not because of the long hours and amount of locations involved, but mainly because I had to eat non-stop! I swear I gained five pounds by the time we were done. (haha, the struggle is real)
Why should people hire an event planner? When shouldn’t they?
Those getting married in another city (or destination wedding) should definitely consider having a planner. Being on-site makes a huge difference and if we start adding all the costs associated with travel, we might as well hire a planner. Having said that, for 90% of the brides out there who aren't celebrities or planning anything extravagant, there's no need to bring in an event planner. What you need is to surround yourself with a team of competent, reliable wedding vendors.
Bonus question: When planning an outdoor wedding, how often do clients comment on the challenge of wearing heels in grass? Do you suggest Solemates Heel Protectors?
Glad you asked! I'm a guy and I don't wear heels, but I started noticing these transparent things that brides (and bridesmaids) attach to their heels to prevent sinking into the grass. I thought these were genius! I had no idea that I came across to the cofounder of Solemates, the maker of these marvelous protectors! Your products brighten a bride's wedding day, thank you! (Love this so much!)
Tips of the trade: please provide 3 tips or tricks for each event category:
- It goes without saying but anyone planning an outdoor wedding ceremony will require a Plan B (that involves an indoor location). Even if my clients embrace the rain as much as I do, watching the grandparents getting soaked will kill off any romance that’s left;
- Following from the tip above, the venue must be able to implement Plan B quickly if needed. Sometimes we expect rain but get away with it, sometimes we don’t. I have been to weddings where we moved inside halfway during the ceremony;
- Ask the venue for restrictions in advance! Golf courses are popular outdoor wedding venue locations but be mindful of other club members (players) that are practicing their swings on a beautiful Saturday. Chances are the coordinator will bring the newlyweds to a few designated spots for outdoor photos;
- Quality of the lighting directly affects the outcome of the pictures. Some DJ’s go crazy with all the fancy LEDs, turning the reception hall into a rave party. Dimly lit candles are more elegant and classy. Very often I ask the DJ to turn off any light deemed unnecessary during important moments such as the first dance;
- Larger hotels or venues have multiple reception halls. In other words, often we find ourselves sharing the space with other brides. It’s best to discuss with your photographer to consider having pictures taken in advance when it’s less crowded, or even a Plan C (another backup indoor location);
- If you are getting married during the off-season (ex: during the week in winter), try asking for a discount or a free upgrade! Let your guests enjoy the larger hall, it would have been empty regardless;
- Getting married at home means having limited amount of space, so decide on the number of guests allowed and stick to it;
- Have more than enough chairs and strongly consider renting a tent. Standing in the backyard under the blazing sun all day isn’t fun, a tent will be useful regardless of the weather;
- Be sure to install mobile washrooms (those plastic booths used in construction sites). Your toilet at home wasn’t designed to be continuously flushed by 100 guests. If it breaks, we are all doomed! Please don’t risk it;
- At the airport, never check-in your wedding dress and assign someone you trust (ex: Maid of honor) to carry and protect it at all times. One client had her dress stained with black liquid during transport and we spent 2 hours cleaning it, the morning of her wedding day. She was in tears when I walked into the room;
- If getting married in the caribbean islands, understand that we have no control of the weather. It often changes quickly so the best tip I can give is to embrace whatever happens. Pictures in the rain is rather lovely;
- The resort will most likely include a photographer but it really is just throwing a camera to one of their staff. This poses significant risk for the couple if anything happens to their wedding photos. Being in a different country makes it nearly impossible to have any recourse. Consider hiring a destination photographer, ideally someone local that you trust and have your best interests at heart.
Please find, follow, and friend Jimmy Chan and pixelicious below:
Social handles: https://www.instagram.com/pixeliciousphoto/
Phone: +1 844-749-3542
Full name: Jimmy Chan