Destination wedding photographers | Interview by Leah S

Black Avenue Productions team was lucky enough to be able to travel to Europe for 3 weeks in April / May 2018 to complete a 12 wedding shoots marathon tour, officially starting our journey as a destination wedding photographers from Melbourne.
Founder and bridal wear designer Leah S from Leah S Design were kind enough to lend us her Daisy Dress “Just in case” we might need it, turns out the gorgeous dress has been worn by a few brides!
Here’s her blog:

Anna and Libor wedding at Prague Old Town square taken by destination wedding photographers Black Avenue Productions

Destination Wedding Photography interview with Black Avenue Productions

By Leah S:
There is nothing better then seeing my dresses photographed in amazing locations over Eastern Europe.
Recently we were lucky enough to have one of our favourite photography duo Lowina and Derek from Black Avenue Productions head over to Europe on a wedding photography escapade!
Join us for their adventure’s photographing our Leah S Designs bride Anna and Melitta. Can you believe they captured 12 weddings in two weeks!

Q: Why Europe?

Lowina @Black Avenue Productions:
It all started when we were invited to shoot Ben & Judit’s wedding in Hungary, and decided to stay for three weeks and take on more couple photo sessions while we were there. How can you say no to an extra long working holiday!

beautiful fitness bride and groom hug for their wedding photo in Belvedere Palace Vienna by destination wedding photographers from Black Avenue Productions
Nina and Manuel had their wedding photo in Belvedere Palace in Vienna

Q: What made you choose eastern Europe?

Derek @Black Avenue Productions:
Judit, the bride is originally from Hungary. She wanted to get married in the biggest church in Hungary and have something truly memorable to impress friends and family.
So we decided to stay a week in Prague and Vienna. These breath taking locations were a mecca for an art and music lover like me.

Candid moment of chapel wedding ceremony in the biggest church in Hungary by destination wedding photographers Black Avenue Productions

Stunning big church wedding basilica in Hungary real ceremony moment image by destination wedding photographers Black Avenue Productions
Ben and Judit had their church wedding at the biggest church in Hungary on 05.05.2018

Q: Can you tell us a little about the couples you photographed?

Lowina @Black Avenue Productions:
Anna & Libor got married a few days before Judit’s wedding shoot, however we couldn’t make it to their actual wedding day as we had already committed to other shoots. So they booked us for post-wedding photos instead.
It was an early 6am start, the couple wanted the Prague Old Town Square and Charles bridge locations and to get the best photos we had to get in early before the crowds.
I love pre and post wedding shoots as you get more relaxed photos with less stress for the couple.
Anna wore our Daisy wedding dress and we think she looked absolutely beautiful. She said it was very comfortable to wear.
With her natural beauty, I only put on a light touch of make up and a bit of lip balm and she was ready to go.

European bride and groom having a romantic moment in Prague Charles Bridge on their wedding day by destination wedding photographers from Australia
Anna and Libor rock up in Prague at 6am for their wedding photo shoot

The solo bride | destination wedding photographers

Derek @Black Avenue Productions:
Melitta as our My Day Trip driver and she told us she is a single mom, was twice divorced but had never worn a wedding dress. So we squeezed in her shoot and helped make her dreams come true.
She was thrilled. I believe it was fate that we happened to meet Melitta and were able to complete a spontaneous mini photo session.
Melitta drove us to a beautiful castle to have her bridal photos, her inner model came out and she had a blast!
She was so happy to be able to fit into our Leah S Designs dress and finally have the bridal photos she deserved and always wanted. She was so happy after the shoot and couldn’t wait to share a sneak peak with her 18 year old son and her best friend! Who says you need a groom to book wedding photos?
Melitta and her best friend after and they giggled for 20 minutes in the car haha looking over the photos. Although I can’t understand Hungarian, it was really cute and I could feel her excitement.

beautiful bride standing under a pink tree in a castle in Europe by destination wedding photographers from Black Avenue Productions

image of the back of a stunning bride in Leah S Design bridal dress running to a castle captured by destination wedding photographer Derek Chan and Lowina Blackman
Melitta accidentally had her bridal photo shoot that she has been dreaming of

Q: Where’s your next jet set shoot going be? Can brides book Black Avenue Productions wedding photography for their destination wedding?

Lowina @ Black Avenue Productions:
Anywhere! We are thinking of going to Japan next! It’s such a breathtaking country with a lot of amazing locations and I could also visit my husband’s Japanese family too.
Yes, we love to travel! Please book us for any destination wedding!

Lowina @ Black Avenue Productions chilling out on a sunny day in Europe

Q: What do couples do to prepare for a wedding photo shoot?

Derek @ Black Avenue Productions:
For the bride, prepare your favourite outfit – either a wedding dress or cocktail evening dress with matching accessories. Try on the complete outfit, two days before the shoot with the shoes to be sure.
For the groom, any suit will do. The groom only has one job: To admire his pretty girlfriend /wife / bride / fiancé and look handsome.

Q: When shooting couples, what are your favourite moments to capture?

Lowina @ Black Avenue Productions:
It’s all about the love. To see genuine love between the couples is something I’ll never get bored of.
I love every moment to be honest, to create a love story for a crazy in love couple via visuals is very rewarding.
I love working with brides who have new ideas and creativity and know what they want. Sometimes I get more excited than the couple!
One time we got hired to shoot a surprise marriage proposal on the top of the Grampians lookout in Victoria at sunrise! It was so romantic and we all cried.

Wedding photo at hilltop on Grampians Victoria Melbourne featuring bride groom facing the camera
boyfriend surprise his girlfriend with an engagement ring on hand and propose by the balconies at Reeds look out in Australia hill cliff
candid moment of boyfriend propose to girlfriend captured by Melbourne wedding photographers Black Avenue Productions 2017
happy girlfriend accepting her engagement ring during a surprise marriage proposal moment captured by Black Avenue Productions in a stunning hilltop view sunrise
newly engaged couple showing off her engagement ring right after a surprise proposal at The Grampians national park in Australia
bride groom kissing in front of stunning sunset view on The Grampians hilltop
proposal photography showing behind the scenes image of female wedding photographer Lowina Blackman shooting candid moment of a surprise proposal at the Grampians Australia 2017 Summer
amazing award winning photo of stunning bride in her lace wedding gown standing on mountain top at Reeds look out at The Grampians captured by Black Avenue Productions

Q: Can you organise hair, make up and styling for a shoot?

Lowina @ Black Avenue Productions:
Yes, we have a team of makeup artists, one of our favourites is Eileen Yan Zagoršćak, she always has an 100% happy-customer rating. All our clients book her for their big day too.

makeup artist Eileen Yan Z and destination wedding photographer Lowina Blackman behind the scene applying makeup to Melbourne bride for wedding shoot by Black Avenue Productions
Makeup artist Eileen Yan Z and Lowina putting final touches on Melbourne bride to be

Q: What niche would you call your photography style?

Derek @ Black Avenue Productions:
Natural, candid, moody like a film. We like to ask our couple to chill out and relax as we capture their natural love for each other.
Being originally from Hong Kong and Taiwan, we know many Asian photography styles are often too heavily photoshopped, and very posy and stiff.
We don’t like that at all, we don’t like awkward posing or asking couple to “smile”, our couples smile because they want to and can’t help it.

lesbian couple having wedding photo in Vienna capture by destination wedding photographers from Black Avenue Productions in rock and roll style
Verena and Tanja having their wedding photo in a beautiful palace in Vienna from our destination wedding tour

Q What made you both want to become photographers?

Dr Derek Chan –
I always liked photography and travelling. I have been freelancing for years as a hobby and couldn’t stop buying expensive cameras.
While finishing my PHD in civil engineering and working as a professor/researcher for Monash University, I met Lowina. She is a dreamer and doesn’t follow “standard life rules” like many other girls I know.
I was inspired to get out of my comfort zone and start a wedding photography company, to follow my I felt was my true calling!

Melbourne wedding photographer Dr Derek Chan in front of his camera while in his destination wedding photography tour in Europe 2018
Dr Derek Chan finally got in front of the camera

Mrs Lowina Blackman | Melbourne wedding photographer

After graduating in Fashion Design in England, I got a job in Hong Kong as a fashion designer. Soon after I met my future husband Philsy (Philip) at Hong Kong Fashion Week. He was working at a Fashion trade magazine as an editorial coordinator and photographer. I felt so in love and I quit my job and rock band in Hong Kong / Shanghai, and moved to Melbourne for the power of love.
While planning our wedding in 2010 I knew that photography was very important to me to get right. A photograph is all you will have to remember the special moments after the wedding.
So for our wedding, we purposely cut down the guest list size, I designed my own dress, delayed the honeymoon, and spent 50% of the entire wedding budget just to hire an award-winning photography company.
Sadly, while the photos were great, we didn’t connect very well with the photographer. It was a stressful wedding shoot and it showed on the photos.
We couldn’t afford to upgrade to a videography package so we asked a friend to shoot video for us. Long story short, they didn’t get any footage that really captured the moment and it was a big let down.
This experience is one of the biggest regrets in my life and I told other friends getting married about what to avoid.

Two years ago Derek and I got talking about the possibility of setting-up a wedding-photography company. The ideas and passion poured out of both of us, we both felt really excited about the opportunity to do something we loved and we both couldn’t sleep that night.
We knew then that this was our destiny: to listen to couples, connect with them, give them a smooth, relaxed, happy wedding day and capture all the natural moments in beautiful photos and videos for them to cherish for years to come.
Sounds cheesy, but its true!

award winning female wedding photographer in Melbourne Lowina Blackman from Black Avenue Productions walking down the street in Europe during her destination wedding photography tour 2018
Lowina trying to act cool, phone is not even on lol

Q Do you do videography also?

Yes! We have a team of passionate wedding videographers, usually our Black Avenue Productions squad are a team of four. This ensures every moment is captured, from multiple angles!


Have question about how to plan your photo shoot by destination wedding photographers?
Please email us on blackavenueproductions@gmail.com
Happy to travel with you!