Fiander Foto is celebrating after achieving its first WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Award.
Melanie Fiander, photographer and owner, specialises in weddings and family portraits. She has been based in Bermuda since getting married in 2013.
While a lot of her photography is done in Bermuda, she also travels to do assignments overseas, such as in the Washington DC area, where she was born and raised.
She studied photography at college and university, up to Master of Fine Arts level, and has been immersed in the profession ever since.
Initially, she did documentary photography before becoming more interested in doing weddings and engagements.
“The thing I appreciate most about being a wedding photographer is being with the people on their wedding day, being in the mix of things,” she said.
Achieving success as a wedding day photographer requires a number of important ingredients, including discreet observation and anticipation.
“There is a big responsibility to capture the correct moments. You need to be calm and be able to ‘read’ people and know when it is the right moment.”
There are challenges, such as checking all the equipment is functioning at least two days before an assignment, and doing the accounting and paperwork.
She is assisted by her husband Jim West. Together they have undertaken photographic work in Bermuda and overseas, including Washington DC, Maine, and Rhode Island in the US, and recently in Italy.
But while she enjoys stepping outside Bermuda to do work in other places, Ms Fiander said of the island: “It has a unique landscape and expression. It gives a home town vibe to a wedding.”
The WeddingWire is a leading global online marketplace for the wedding and events industry. It annually recognises the top 5 per cent of professionals on the WeddingWire website who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism, based on feedback reviews from clients.
This is the first time Fiander Foto, which is based in Smith’s, has received the Couple’s Choice Award.
“It feels great to win the award. For future bride and grooms who are looking for a vendor, they see you on the website, and with an award they know you are at a certain level and they feel more secure that you are going to respond to their enquiry.”
Beyond wedding day assignments, Ms Fiander teaches photography at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — online division. She is also kept busy taking photos for other occasions, from engagements and proposals, to family portraits, maternity, and the increasingly popular trend for babymoon photography.