By Justin Mott

Justin Mott is the founder of Mott Visuals Weddings, a boutique destination wedding photography and film business documenting weddings worldwide. Justin is also an accomplished photojournalist most notably as a frequent contributor to the New York Times.

Vietnam and Thailand Destination Wedding Photography and Films

Check out our showreel and see our newest photographers and our latest work at http:/www.mottvisualsweddings.com

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Nikki and Bryan’s Destination Wedding in HoiAn

A beautiful wedding put on by the http://www.hoianeventsweddings.com/ at the scenic Red Bridge Villa overlooking the river in Hoi An.
Nikki and Bryan, a beautiful couple from Australia were wonderful to photograph. Nikki, a stunning bride, she could be cast for a model for a bridal magazine and Bryan, a burly fully tattoo’d dude who pulled off a tux well were wonderful to work with. I could tell Bryan was hesitant to pose for shots, but he was patience with us as we rushed to beat the rain for the portrait session.
The couple was wonderful to deal with and their thoughtful friends and family gave heartwarming emotional speeches.
The party got a little crazy at the end of the night and there  may or may not have been a naked guest dancing and then in the pool, but I’ll leave out those photos and leave it to your imagination
Congrats to the lovely couple and thanks for choosing Mott Weddings to cover your big day!

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Tatu and PZ | V-day Contest 2017’s Couple

A few weeks ago I finally had the chance to shoot the free portrait session for the winners of our Valentines Contest – Tatu and PZ.
This shoot was a bit different then other shoots I have done, as they chose a daylight studio outside of D7.
As you can see in the images, there was beautiful natural light, and Tatu and PZ took a lot of effort in preparing props for each scene.
I learned during the shoot that the two have been a couple for a long time and like to do a conceptual shoot every year – so they were very comfortable with the camera, which made my work with them very smooth.. the beautiful light coming through the big glass windows of the studios was another thing that helped ensure beautiful photos.
Congrats again to the winners and I hope you enjoy the images as much as we do!

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Destination Weddings: Hoi An

This article was first featured by Vietnam Tourism Board.

For over a decade, I have been based in Vietnam shooting in and around the country, as well as tackling assignments in other far reaches of the globe. I have been fortunate to travel the world with my camera, exploring stunning locales and telling stories with my images. A greater part of my visual narrative happens to focus strictly on destination weddings, namely my role in capturing the most important day of a person’s life in their dream locations. Despite the gamut of wondrous places I’ve shot, Hoi An holds a special place in my heart.

Hoi An has it all: you can lose yourself in the memories of yesterday as you stroll down the bougainvillea draped lanes of Hoi An’s historic Ancient Town. 5-star luxury beach resorts share the beachfront with smaller, but no less charming, boutique properties, offering guests unadulterated access to the tranquil waters of Vietnam’s central coastline. On top of that, the cuisine of this region goes uncontested as the country’s best culinary example. Beaches, culture, and history… what’s there not to fall in love with?

And Hoi An is diversity at its best. This is a community where all are invited, bar none. You’ll see foreigners rub shoulders with Vietnamese and other natives with ethnic ties to Japan, China, and France who have come to adopt Hoi An as their own. It’s a location full of enchantment, which is great for the romance factor, but it also offers a sense of comfort and warmth absent in other destination wedding settings. Here are a list of six reasons why Hoi An should be taken into consideration for your upcoming nuptials.

#1: YOU’LL HAVE A MULTITUDE OF BACKDROPS FOR YOUR PORTRAIT SESSIONS

 

Palm trees, clean sand, and rocks of varying height and shape add texture to a portrait. Photo by Christian Berg
Craving some intimacy? The maze-like Ancient Town has quiet corners to shelter you from prying eyes. Photo by Christian Berg
If the canary yellow doesn’t work well with your skintone, don’t worry; there are different shades to play with. Photo by Justin Mott

The muted candy coated building of Ancient Town to the palm fringed shoreline are backdrops with an almost-cinema like caliber. It’s as if Hoi An was made for wedding photoshoots!

Photographer’s Tip

Get married along the beach but make sure you take some time to travel into town at sunset for your portrait session. I know it feels counterintuitive to have a beach wedding minus the beach shots, but trust me you will absolutely love having pictures that showcase you surrounded by the traditional culture, colors, and architecture that the Ancient Town has to offer.

#2: THE LIGHTING IS FAVORABLE EIGHT MONTHS OUT OF THE YEAR

Get married during magic hour, right after 3 p.m. when the sun isn’t too harsh. Photo by Justin Mott
Great lighting makes for great black and white shots too. Photo by Christian Berg

The typical Hoi An forecast includes warm sunshine interspersed with breezy drafts. Situated in a tropical climate, Hoi An is on average 29 degrees celsius throughout the year. Avoid September to January when the rains come in and the area is prone to flooding. But come February, the sun will be shining in no time. February to May is considered peak season in Hoi An, while the heat (and humidity) skyrockets from June to August.

#3: IT’S EASY TO CARVE OUT SOME ONE-ON-ONE TIME WITH YOUR S.O.

Rent a motorbike only if you have prior experience! Don’t want to get into an accident before the big day! Photo by Justin Mott

Reality check: weddings are normally more high-stress than we’d like them to be. In Hoi An, it’s simple to break away from the demands of such a taxing affair. Take a nice motorbike escapade throughout the neighboring countryside. If you’re worried about operating a motor vehicle, cycling is a good alternative.

#4: GET YOUR DRESS TAILORMADE

A modern take on the ao dai, the Vietnamese traditional dress, with romantic lace paneling. Photo by Aaron Joel Santos

Hoi An is synonymous with tailoring. With over 200 tailoring shops in town, you can get every dress in the bridal party custom made and with a minimum turnaround of only two days, this is perfect scenario for any last-minute guest flying in. This all works in favor for the bride if she needs some adjustments day of. Beach location without the loss of a good tailor? This should tick all the boxes on your wife-to-be’s list of non-negotiables.

#5: DEPENDABLE AND RESPECTABLE VENDORS ARE EASY TO FIND

East meets west. You can have both. Photo by Justin Mott
Come nightfall, Hoi An is always seeped in the warm glow of lanterns hanging overhead. Photo by Justin Mott

In addition to being a beautiful location, the area has a lot of affordable and top-notch vendors. Hankering for a bouquet that features the indigenous array of flora? Looking to be married under a cascade of painted silk lanterns? A full resource guide to the best wedding vendors in Hoi and the neighboring Danang City can be found here.

#6: YOU CAN GET MARRIED ON THE BEACH

All faiths can be accommodated in the “Melting Pot” city of Hoi An. Photo by Justin Mott
A rose petal covered walkway is a great substitute for the traditional carpet-lined path. And it’s biodegradable too! Photo by Christian Berg
Splish-splash! The fun never stops when you’re on a beach. Photo by Aaron Joel Santos

What’s a beach wedding without a little sand and surf? Stage your dream wedding on the beach without a flock of tourists ruining your big moment. You can decide to take your after party to the water if you’d like to as well!

To book us for your destination wedding, please visit our website: www.mottvisualsweddings.com

 


Justin Mott is the founder of Mott Visuals Weddings, a boutique destination wedding photography and film business documenting weddings worldwide. Justin is also an accomplished photojournalist most notably as a frequent contributor to the New York Times.

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What’s The Perfect Time Of Day For Your Wedding Day Portrait Session?

Pre-Wedding and wedding Photography Mott Visuals Weddings www.mottvisualsweddings.com

MAGIC HOUR

I get these questions all the time and the answer is simple, magic hour. What is magic hour or golden hour or whatever you want to call it? It’s the last hour of the day when the sun is about to set and its rays are golden and simply magical (assuming you are lucky to get a nice sunset). It also happens the first hour of the day but I don’t know too many couples that want to get up at 5am on their wedding day to take pictures.

 

Why is magic hour better than other times of the day? In addition to a setting sun providing a beautiful backdrop for your pictures it also gives your photographer more creative options to either use the beauty of the sun to light you or shooting back into the sun for lens flare or a silhouette. Lastly, when the light comes from directly above in the middle of the day the light is harsh and it also creates unflattering shadows under your eyes. The photographer can offset this with fill light or a reflector but it still won’t look natural like it does when it comes from the side during sunset.

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Cave Art Maros Indonesia

WHO DO I ASK FOR ADVICE, THE WEDDING PLANNER OR THE PHOTOGRAPHER?

If you have a wedding planner make sure they consult with the photographer. Most really good ones will do this but sometimes the planner isn’t thinking about the photography as much as they are with scheduling timeliness that work for their overall schedule.

If you booked the photographer directly put them in an email with the planner and defer to your photographer about this timing, you will be glad you did. If the wedding planners handled the photographer it’s still a good idea for all of you to be in an email together to make sure this is done right and it’s all clear for the big day. I’ve done weddings with hotel and resort event planners doing the schedule and they have the bride walking down the aisle at sunset and by the time the ceremony is over no more light is left for your portraits and that’s a big problem. Photographers can do many things but we can’t fake the sun.

If the photographer was hired by the wedding planner or does a lot of work with that planner they might not be as vocal about this as to not upset the planner because often they provide them with a pipeline of work. This shouldn’t happen but it can so make sure you take a few minutes and consult with the photographer directly and remember your images last a lifetime so listen to your photographer. He/she will know best about light and timing and what they need to get the shots you hired them to get and at the end of the day they only have getting you the best pictures in their best interest.

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HOW MUCH TIME IS ENOUGH?

I’d commit to a solid hour if you can because things run late sometimes and again along with your candid shots you’ll want some nice portraits to remember the big day. An hour is enough time for your photographer to get you a nice variety of creative shots that you’ll be happy with for a lifetime. I know you want to join the party and in due time you will but take a few members of the wedding party with you during the shoot to carry your cocktail and have fun with it.

 

ALTERNATIVE OPTION

If you simply don’t care that much about the portraits and you’d prefer to spend that time partying with your friends that’s completely understandable. What I would do in this case if you don’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony spend a little time then doing some portrait during the days and then at sunset maybe just 30 minutes. This covers you in case the ceremony runs late (it shouldn’t if you have a good planner) but it’s a nice insurance policy against pitch dark portraits and frees you up for more party time.

 

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CONCLUSION

Most wedding planners understand this but again some don’t understand the importance of beautiful light even if it is a matter of 30 minutes on the timing so when it comes planning the portrait session make sure you consult with your photographer and listen to their advice. Let your wedding planner know your plan and be strict about it. The last thing you want is dark or flash portraits because your schedule ran late and you’re left with the photographer and planner pointing fingers at each other playing the blame game. Your photographer will know exactly when and how much time he/she needs and if this is important to you make sure you make this clear and in writing to your planner.

My advice for the best overall light is to have your ceremony 2-3 hours before the sun goes down. You still get beautiful light for your vows and that leaves you with gorgeous light for the portrait session a win win.

Remember, this is only a suggestion from a photographer on how to optimize the day for the best pictures possible. Never forget it’s your big day and you should plan it and prioritize things based on what’s important to you. The planner and the photographer are there to give their input but at the end of the day they are there to serve you and make your day perfect.

 

Justin Mott is the founder of Mott Visuals Weddings, a boutique destination wedding photography and film business documenting weddings worldwide. Justin is also an accomplished photojournalist most notably as a frequent contributor to the New York Times.

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