TOP TEN QUESTIONS I GET ASKED THE MOST BY MY CLIENTS ( from weddings to commercial to lifestyle photography)

(Not in order)

1- From your name, we can’t discern your origins, and how do you pronounce your last name?

Many of my clients ask me this with curiosity, as they find my appearance intriguingly contrasting with my name. Half the time, they speculate that I may have a hint of Japanese or Italian ancestry due to my last name. However, I am actually of Chinese heritage, a third-generation Chinese born in Indonesia.

I grew up in Singapore and moved to Australia 20 years ago. Since 2019, I’ve been shuttling between Europe and Australia, and since 2022, our family has been based in France for three months each year—between mid-April to mid-July! Sometimes, my clients commission me exclusively for their projects in various destinations – mostly Europe.

My last name, SOEGIJONO, is pronounced SU-GI-ONO. My dad chose to give me the ancient language spelling, which I love. I speak fluent English, Indonesian, conversational Mandarin, and am currently putting in alot of effort to speak French!

2- Do you only do weddings?

Weddings represent the most luxurious offering in my repertoire, as they often entail longer-term relationships, and the stories within weddings are both sacred and precious, prompting me to allocate a significant portion of my heart to them. To protect this exclusive experience, I limit myself to 8 weddings a year, spanning France, Australia, and other destinations where the stories take me.

However, besides weddings, I also specialize in engagement shoots, multi-day pre-wedding shoots, and create commercial work niching in heartfelt and luxury brands, from bridal to lifestyle, health to beauty. Additionally, I undertake brand shoots for entrepreneurs ranging from florists to interior designers! My clients resonate with my editorial, storytelling approach to their projects.

My heart is also smitten with family shoots; as a mother, daughter, wife, and sister myself, I understand the preciousness of family bonds, allowing my heart to guide me in seeking the enchanting moments that narrate the most heartfelt stories. Apart from these private family or beauty lifestyle portraits, I host three luxury, all-inclusive back-to-back events at our home, Summerhope House, for my lifestyle clients who seek an effortless and pampered experience (complete with florals, wardrobe, and makeup!).

Lastly, since designing Summerhope House, I’ve had my photography clients approach me to design their spaces—effectively transforming me into an interior designer! With my husband, an architect, bringing the vision to life, I am grateful in the diverse avenues through which my creative spirit flourishes, feeling immensely blessed as these varied forms of creativity enrich my life beyond measure.

Lastly, I serve as an educator – mentor to dreamers, empowering creatives to find their voice and establish meaningful, successful businesses, while also inspiring dreamers to discover and craft la vie est belle in their everyday lives through mini practical design courses that we’re launching this year! My life is incredibly full, but my heart overflows with gratitude for being blessed with such meaningful work, making dreams come true for others.

3 – How long have you been doing this for?

As a photographer, since 2006; as a film photographer, since 2016; as a destination fine art photographer, since 2019; and as a designer, since 2022! As you can see, I’m constantly evolving on my journey, finding so much joy in growth!

4 – Do you shoot with film or both film and digital?

I’ve written an article about this topic that you can read here. I embrace both film and digital photography to tell stories, drawing on the strengths of each medium, however film is the main driver of my vision.

5 – How much do you charge?

I custom-tailor proposals to suit each project’s unique needs and location, as every vision may require specific resources. Feel free to contact me or request a video/call to share details about your event/project, and I’ll be honored to create a personalized proposal for your consideration. There’s absolutely no pressure during our initial meeting; my aim is to ensure that we’re a perfect fit and that I’m the right storyteller for you. My utmost wish is for you to have an exceptional experience.

6 – Do you pose? We’re not used to being in front of the camera, and my husband is camera shy!

Please do not worry! Having been in this field for so long, I’ve worked with so many people who aren’t professional models. I don’t pose; instead, I offer gentle direction and foster a safe environment for your stories to unfold and blossom. While I’m not forceful, my inherently romantic nature naturally influences my direction. My style is characterized by effortlessness, timelessness, honesty, and authenticity. We’re not here to impress anyone but to simply let your stories blossom and leave a timeless legacy.

7 – Could you walk us through your creative process?

I approach every project as a work of art, drenching it with intention and love! My creative process is driven by vision, particularly when collaborating with editorial clients for projects such as pre-weddings or commercial work. To ensure an effortless flow of both photographs and stories, I find joy in curating moodboards. Whether working with a planner, designer, or art director already engaged by the client, these visual representations serve as a guide, ensuring everyone is aligned and excited with the vision. As an example, here’s one of the five mood boards I crafted for a recent pre-wedding shoot in Paris that echoes the romantic movie ‘Midnight in Paris’ – as requested by the clients!

With my intentionality limiting the number of projects I take on, I make sure I have the capacity creatively to dream but also to be able to personally craft every frame. While I have a team assisting with basic studio work, I personally oversee the storytelling, art direction, production and add the finishing touches to every photograph during post production. Numerous clients have noticed the love evident in each frame. Your stories deserve nothing less than my whole heart!

8 – How would you describe your style?

I believe in photographs that are beyond beautiful; while aesthetically pleasing, they’re also enriched by layers of stories. Past clients, media editors, and fellow vendors have described my work as exuding luxurious vibes, yet imbued with poetry and filled with tenderness.

9 – Can you assist with creating an editorial for my launch?

Absolutely! We have the resources of a digital agency to oversee every aspect—from conceptualization to art direction, talent casting, location scouting, and even aiding with marketing campaigns post-photography. I’m grateful to be surrounded by talented creatives who collaborate to turn dreams into reality!

10 – Do you conduct workshops in France or Australia?

Currently, we’re focused on unveiling something truly special this year. Stay tuned for updates!

“Il est grand temps de rallumer les étoiles” – V.Grimaldi

April 2, 2024

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