Friday, May 09, 2008

Every Bride is Beautiful ...

Every Bride is Beautiful ...

Many times, during the course of my regular meeting-up with potential brides-to-be, and my wedding couples in the photo studio, they are usually excited and are concern about the outcome of the photoshoot -- whether they will look great, as if they have envisioned themselves to be, or making references to certain glossy bridal magazines' subjects, or the perfect samples and portfolios seen in my studio.

Understandably, every bride-to-be would love to look her best -- whether their portraits appearing in the luxurious leather-bound photo albums, or the big enlargement portraits on the walls or display easels, or their images transferring to a multi-media item ( like the Bridal Photo-Montage DVD ), which is going to be showcased and projected on the big screens, during the wedding banquet dinner / lunch celebrations ...

I simply smile, and said "You just need Three Talents in the Bridal Industry, and You are ready to Shine !"

What do i mean ? ...

... to be Continued ...

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Welcome ! ... to all the Unsung Heroes of Love and Romance

This excerpt was taken from a posting which i have made ( 1st May 2008 ) under the pen-name "Enchanted" in the "ClubSnap Photography Community Forum" ...

( For the link to the mentioned posting, please send me an email : )

..... Message clipped .....

" ... It's interesting to note that the makeup & hairdo styling are typical Malaysian , including the wedding gown & dresses designs ( you can cross-check with local makeup artists comments and their works ). Even the modern Taiwanese makeup styling ( which was once shun ) has move forward in leaps-and-bounds.

Same goes to the design & layout of the album pages, including the graphics elements and the etched-out portraits effect pasted over the a stock-image of seascape or landscape ( ... have you guys seen any actual bridal shoot done over actual seascape or scenery backdrop ? with good natural lightings and beautiful locales ? ) These are a quick-fixed methods of putting 'a hot sellable concept and commodity' into the world of commercialism of the Bridal photo industry -- a sad but a true fact.

I believe that these "80's styling & concept" or outdated ( some have call it ), are beginning to take center stage even in India & Indian bridal photo Album photo & concept ... ( Do a search and you'll know ).

Anyway, like all fashions, design and graphics, photo presentation trends, it needs to take cue from the leaders of the industries, and rest of the guys follow.

However, many followers are looking at the wrong directions -- taking cue from the "out-dated" Mass Market-Makers.

Having said that, it's still the Wedding and Bridal Buyers whom have a choice of the "Cheap-&-Follow-the-Rest-package" ( aka economical packages ) verses the "Premium-&-One-of-Kind-package" ( aka Designers' Labels & Branded Works Packages ).

[1] At least 70% ( majority ) of today's Bridal Service Buyers will fall into this group - "economical packages" .

[2] While the 10% ( Minority Elite ) will falls into the Premium category -- whether they have good taste or Not is not important.

[3] And the remaining 20% of these Buyers are the People who can distinguished Good Design & Works from the So-so, and willing to fork-out and budget for these privileges.

"Remember, good design and artwork is not a commodity -- and neither is a must-have -- But for those who can appreciate fine creations and the art of professionalism, will seek out those fellas that provide such premiums."

..... Message clipped .....

Welcome ! ... to all the Unsung Heroes of Love and Romance

I understand many Singaporean photographers have had visited my web-blog, and among them are professionals serving in the bridal segment.

I have been constantly sharing with the local like-minded photographers and peers ( in the forum ), on both bridal photography works, in the hope to inspire, and collectively ( being Singapore Pro Photographers ) made a significant changes and betterment to the local bridal photography trend and scene.

This is important in the era of the digital golden age ( 2000- 2010 ), as demand on fresh creativity & new concepts, technical and post-productions skill-level in area on advanced techniques, lightings, executions, editing and digital re-touching, to professional albums' layouts and designs, has reached a new height in 2008.

Once in a while, you get to encounter or have seen some "out-dated" bridal photo artworks online or at wedding shows, done by peers, and you can't help but feels that something is wrong -- either they have lag behind ( still in the usual old state of mind like in the 80's and 90's ), or we are too ahead of our times ?! ... Of course, from the commercial perspective, it's still the Wedding Buyers that decides what's-HOT-or-what's-NOT.

However, in the bridal and wedding industry, the Buyer will be doing her ( one and only ) life-time purchases of your bridal service or product, and the options will be limiting to what's her wedding budget or desired spending, and the current vendors and market offerings.

But being in and for the sake of the industry and passion, i can't help but to share my concerns and thoughts on such matters, in the interest of seeing many good men/women and talents going into this field, and help shaped a new generations of passionate Wedding Professionals, and would like to see the many of the 80's & 90's mindsets of the industry, to take a back seat.

On the Rising Cost of doing / sustaining a Business

Being in the industry for more than a decade, i have observed that while inflations and standard of living in Singapore, have risen steadily over that period of time ( and more so in the last 2 years of hyper-inflations in Singapore ), the bridal & wedding packages being offered in terms of dollar value has either stagnant or declined.

Nearly 15-years ago, a standard package offering by any bridal shops, was being offered for $3,888. And today you still able to get $3,888 or lower !! ... And 15-years ago ( while i am still a young fresh photographer *ahem* ) wedding day photography was offered for $500 buck for 8 rolIs of films + Prints, and today's bridal shops are churning-out similar deals in the Name of DIGITAL for $100 extra ( at $600 ) for the same numerical ! ....

Is this good news for the Wedding Buyers ?? The answer is YES and NO ... ( I'll explain and write on this later ).

It's a dangerous time, for many small trades and businesses, bridal shops and studio owners, as the cost of doing or sustaining their businesses will faced the ultimate 3 challenges ahead --
High Rentals,
High Labor and
High Materials and Productions Costs ( which is related to the Transportations / Fuel Cost, which has increased >300% over last 10 years -- we used to pumped $40 worth of petrol for a full tank ( 10-years ago ), and today, after putting-in $120 worth of petrol, we still couldn't fill-up the gas tank ! ).

The point here is that there must be and will be a shake-out in the industry.

I am forecasting, since 2006, that some well-known established bridal shops will fold-up, and new Bridal Players will be filling-in the ranks, by competing with low budget packages and "mass-market" products and works ( of low design value and using "alternative talents" ).

How many common laymen or to-be-wed couples, can tell the difference between the "Alternative Talents" to the Real McCoy of the industry ? Never. Unless they themselves are in the industry.

Closing Remarks

It will be interesting to watch for the next 2-3 years, and who will be left standing, when the dust settled -- and it's NOT about who is offering the "cheaper alternatives" and survive the great storm of 2008 / 2009 / 2010, but WHO can have the mental strength, guts, and will to see and live thru their own vision and fulfill their calling.

With that said, my well-wishes and long-live to all the "Unsung Heroes of Love and Romance" of the Bridal & Wedding Industry !

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Excuse me, We are not your "normal bridal shops" ! ...

ow ! it's been more than a year i have made some update on my wedding blog ...

This written article was inspired by 3 'not-so-potentials', in the last 3 weeks, whom have either send me an email, or met-up, and indicating their own experiences while preparing their wedding and booking bridal packages.

One of the recent story is that he has had almost purchased a bridal package from one of those bridal shops, that offered "all-in-one" packages for less than $4K, and another $1K for wedding day Photo + Video services ( sounds familiar ? )... and He has mentioned about his intention and budget, and hope that he could get a similar or 'better deal' package ( which is of course not possible, if not, we won't be in this 'cut-throat' business for long, in the first place - which i personally loathe it ). I have even wrote an article ( prior to this )talking about "good design and artwork is not a commodity -- and neither is a must-have -- But for those who can appreciate fine creations and the art of professionalism, will seek out those fellas that provide such premiums" -- that is another story, again later.

The reason that he is pausing for any sign-up with the current Bridal shop, is because his 21-year old wife-to-be, was being told to referred to a Singapore Wedding Website by her good friends. And she was immediately impressed with the wedding photos showcased on the site. He rang me up the following day to enquire about the bridal services and details ... ( more details later ).

Like nearly all to-be-wed couples in Singapore, they have visited the usual bridal shops in Tanjong Pagar area and some in the outskirts of the bridal enclave.

After each visitation, they have all the quotations and making comparisons into the details and such. Typically, they would bargains for freebies and 'comparing' quotes with the neighboring bridal shops, and asking for 'better' deals. Interestingly, most bridal shops Sales assistance will try to accommodate the request -- And you know the rest of the story.

Below is an email excerpt taken in replying to the recent mentioned story ... It's an explanation and educational piece that hope to bring across all future interested couples see our points and standing ...

----- Start of Reply Message ----- 7th May, 2008

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your email.

We are a premium Designer Boutique(s) and Independent Professional Photo Studio, in Singapore.

We are not the "normal bridal shops" -- whom engaged lesser-known or non-established designers, or fresh-face / lesser experience studio bridal photographers and assistance, or **part-time / freelance actual day photographers to serve you.
( **note: Not their full-time job or career, or their 75% income is the not derived from photography service ).

We are Boutique Owners and Designers, whom designed our own unique original creations from scratch, and crafted our dresses and gowns here locally, with premium grade materials from all over the world.

We don't do copy designs and import cheap and ready-made gowns and dresses from overseas, and then re-make to 'call' our own. We pride in our unique creations, and our signature works and designs, are a cut above the rest. We are recognized by our peers and in the bridal fashion industry, in Singapore.

Our Bridal & Wedding Day Photographers are among the best and well-known in the industry for their works and talents. They have outstanding records and their service is appreciated by married couples both in Singapore and Overseas.

The difference in pricing from the "normal bridal shops" and the "Independent Designers+Photo Studios" package is typically about 150% premium or more, which is relatively cheap by world standards.

For example, the basic entry-level package from the "normal bridal shops" is at $3,288, and you can expect a 150% premium from the "Independent Designer+Photo Studios" entry-level package which is around $4,988. ( 2007 / 08 ).

If you fancy a better package with offerings like custom-made gowns / dresses, including design & layout pages' photo albums, with creative photos and outstanding imagery, then the premium-level packages are for you.

For mid and top-level packages, the "normal bridal shops" will be quoting you from $4,000 ~ $5,000 ( maximum ), and you are expected to spend a premium of $6,000 ~ $7,500 for the "Independent Designers+Photo Studios". ( 2007 / 08 ).

In the same vein, Wedding Day photography ( a.k.a actual day photography ) services from the "normal bridal shops", are typically priced about $600 ~ $800, basic offering like 300 photos + 600 digital shots + Photo-CD for wedding day ceremonial and banquet events. ( Some have bundled it into their bridal package offering, with T & C stated ).

If you are interested in great wedding photography, unforgettable experiences and high-level of service professionalism, you should engaged a specialist or full-time professional, whom typically should be quoting you 150% premium over the lesser counter-parts -- for example, $900 to $1,200, for the higher quantity outputs / deliverables. And for subjectivity issue like quality, you must get to see their hard-copies portfolios to make your own judgment and call.

Being a veteran or top-notch specialists or professionals, the rate isexpected to be at least 200% premium, over the part-timers and full-time freelancers, and a few professionals are even able to value-add like details consultation, wedding planning, and even co-ordination. Usually their professional rate or fee and package is at $2,500 ( 2007 / 08 ) and more.

Some specialist and professionals do offer other wedding products like photo-books and photo journals albums, at different designs and creativity level. And depending on finishing, product's pricing ranged from $1,200 to $5,000 ( or more ). Other related products like 'Wedding Day Photo Highlights' is also popular among the young getting-married couples.

In Brief :
-------------> For couples budgeting between $6,500 to $15,000 upfront for Bridal & Services + Bridal / Wedding Photography packages, should go straight and consider the Premium "Independent Designer+Photo Studios" offerings. ( 2007 / 08 ).[ The keyword here is around $6,500 or more / 150% Premuim or more and Exclusivity ]

> For budgets around or less than $5,000, and looking for Bridal & Services + Bridal / Wedding Photography the all-in-one "normal bridal shops" will be recommended for your requirement. ( 2007 / 08 ).
[ The keyword here is around $5,000 and less / Cheap and economical ]

Caution :
> There are many young couples who have originally budgeted for $3,000 - $5,000, and go for the no-frills economical, all-in-one package offered by the so-called "normal bridal shops", but ended up paying 2 times or more ( $6,000 - $10,000 or more ).

> These are typically in the unforeseen areas for topping-up in the extras like photos, customized items like gowns and dresses, makeup add-ons, flowers, transportation, and other unexpected, desired and necessary items, which may not initially communicated during the sale and decision-making process.

> Advise is that you got to stick to the budget, and resist the temptation of the extras, and spend the remaining of your budget on the rest of other good vendors, for comparable quality service and works.

----- End of Reply Message ----- 7th May, 2008

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wedding Solemnisation of Scott & Wendy

Congratulation to Wendy & Scott on their recent Wedding Solemnisation in Singapore - 20th Feb, 2007.

The wedding was memorable not just because it was held on the 3rd day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, but one which was emotionally touching and beautiful ...

It was noted that even the Wedding Emcee ( who has about 10-years experience in helping out in many countless weddings ), mentioned that it was his first time in a wedding, he had been moved to tears ...

The 5-hour long preparation, solemnisation and celebration events ended well with many warm well-wishes from families' guests, relatives and close friends, and many coming from different part of the globe

Online AlbumLinks >>
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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Congratulations to Kiat & Merlin ! ... Wedding 2nd December 2006

Wedding of Kiat & Merlin, Singapore

Congratulations to Kiat & Merlin, on their upcoming wedding in 2nd December ...

I have just completed their album artworks, and making ready for the next phase of the workflow - printing and productions.

It's interesting to note that the timeline for whole preparation and photo-shoot schedule was rather tight, and they have actually postpone their original wedding date from 18 Nov to the 2nd Dec. Well, it was a small wedding (lunch reception) event and celebration, and everything is settled and ready to go.

Vaughn Tan, the wedding gown designer, did a good job for her bridal dresses and apparels .. Fantastic and beautiful creations i must say, he even co-ordinated the makeup & hairdos designs and idea inputs ... Oh, yes not forgetting specially choosen matching bouquet, complimenting the whole looks and concept.

I will be doing Kiat & Merlin's Wedding day photography coverage, and watch this space for the Celebration Photos in January/Feburary 2007 !

Will be sharing more of such Pre-Wedding bridal works ( of 2006 ) in the next few weeks ... or you guys could drop me an email, too.

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It has been a hectic months from September to November, as Singaporean marriage couples are either getting ROM-ed, Wed or having their Pre-wedding Bridal photos taken, during this peak wedding season. And as expected, just like last year, the December period will be buzzing with matrimony activities, and wedding cars will be seen in high frequencies, zipping around island Singapore's residential streets and highways ...

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The wedding and bridal Projection and outlook is very positive in December 2007 - another Bumper year ! :)

For the first time in 10 years ( for i have finally make it a point and promise ), i am able to take a breather on Christmas day !! Because in the past, i was either taking wedding day assignments or engaging in wedding clients' appointments, and missing out enjoying the day off with family. Although i had to rejected many couples whom are trying to make a booking on the 25th Dec, but i've got to make my stand :(

Wishing You guys a happy Christmas and a good year ahead ... Cheers!

Monday, June 12, 2006

06 06 06 ROM Solemnization at Amara Hotel - Daniel & Lilian

Congratulations to Lilian & Daniel on their ROM day - 6th June 2006 !

It was a special day 06.06.06 that many couples get to tie-the-knots, as mentioned on the news, which as many as 311 registration for marriage (ROM) couples are reported to have had filed at the registry for the papers and solemnisation -- a historical record ( per single day ) for the Marriages Registrar, in Singapore.

Lilian & Daniel had their solemnization done at the Amara Hotel, Singapore. Mr David Loh was the JP ( Justice-of-peace ), whom conducted the ceremony and signings. About 30 guests, including families members, friends and colleagues are joined witness to the heart-warming event.

Two beautiful ex-brides, Corina and Yen Li ( my former wedding clients ) were there to celebrate the wedding solemnisation, too.

I am honoured in documenting and capturing the beautiful blissful moments, in pictures memories that will be cherished for the years to come.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Amy & Charles ! - 25th June 2006

Happy Wedding Anniversary to Amy & Charles ! - 25th June 2006

Well, i know is a bit early in June ( 1st June ), but would like to thanks the wonderful couples for their kindness and support, and commissioning myself as their wedding photographer for their perfect wedding celebration and banquet dinner, held a year ago, at the ( RSYC ) Singapore Yacht Club - 25th June, 2005 ( and their customary Chinese wedding was on the 26th June ) ...

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Looking for a perfect or fairy-tale Wedding Banquet Venues in Singapore ?

For to-be-wed couples interested in having their wedding celebration or Solemnisation ( ROM ) at Raffles Marina Singapore, or pre-wedding bridal photo-shoot at the Ponggol Marina Singapore, and would like to view photos of such events at these mentioned venues, please send me an e-mail at , i'll forward you some online photo links for your previews and it might help you in some decision-makings ...

©2005-2006 Nick Goh Photography

The 2006 Outlook - Wedding and Bridal Photography Services in Singapore

Having been in the Wedding Photography business in Singapore for the last decade, and as a working veteran wedding photographer, since 1991, i believed that the local (Singapore) wedding photography market has finally come to a matured state, and is ready for the next phase of change, in the next 5 years.

The common observation by many peers is as follows:
[1] many new faces ( digital wedding photographers ) in the last 3 years
[2] many old Birds ( veterans film / digital photographers ) have faded or semi-retired in the last 3 years.

My personal forecast in the next 3-4 years:
[1] There will be at least 5 times in Numbers of Wedding photographers in 2010, as compared to today's estimated 6,000 wedding photographers ( 90% *part-timers and 10% **full-timers ).
*Note: Part-timers refers to Photographers offering services as sideline jobs, they have their day jobs.
**Note: Full-timers refers to Working or Career Professionals whom are specialist in Weddings and bridal portraits, or Commercial or Event photographers doing weddings for diversification of their portfolios or incomes.

[2] There will be even a wider "Pricing Gap", between the premium and the entry level, as of the last few years. Currently, there's a pricing "vacuum" in the middle-upper range of the wedding day photography market. This "vacuum" has not not been filled, but it can be understood , once One analyzed the data and the market trend and offerings.
So what or how much is this so-called middle-upper bracket or range of the wedding photography market ? ... [ To be Continue ... ]

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©2005-2006 Nick Goh Photography