I’ve been meaning to make a page like this for ages; it previously felt a little too clichéd and patronising when I first started wedding photography, but now I’m more mature and confident with my approach I think it’s important you understand how I work and my style/approach towards wedding photography and what gets me going.
What’s your style?
Sometimes photographers define themselves as documentary and reportage, fine art, creative or natural light. Personally, I find it really difficult to pigeonhole myself into a particular style or genre; that’s not to say I have anything against photographers who do label themselves, far from it, but for me, there are elements of each one of those tags that could apply to my work, i guess if i had to label my style in a few words it would be documentary wedding photographer. I see my photography as an artistic collaboration between myself and my couples, and a relationship that means far more than just being a wedding photographer. I was fortunate enough to shadow one of the world’s best documentary wedding photographers when I lived in the UK. This has without a doubt been the best platform from which to grow and develop a natural approach, as opposed to staging and orchestrating the whole day with manufactured images – “just pretend to do this…ok, now stop there and pretend to do your makeup”, no thanks. You would be amazed at the number of people who market themselves as “natural candid wedding photography” but then dominate or orchestrate the whole day to their own interpretation.
Constantly and creatively documenting;
From the second I step out of my car on the morning of a wedding, right through to the moment I get back in at the end of the night, I don’t stop. Perhaps I’ll sit down to rest my feet but even then I’ll be looking at my images. I’ll constantly be looking for angles that best capture and frame moments and gestures, the seen and the unseen. I continually push myself to find the next image and I’m always hunting those moments; the in-between moments, the ordinary interactions between people, the little things that happen before or after the obvious, the people around you, the people in the background, and the people at the front. While one eye is looking through the viewfinder the other is looking out to the left, around the room to see what else is going on.
The No-Posing Portraits!!
So I suppose this is the bit that separates me from being a standard wedding photographer? I don’t really pose people! I’m a big fan of natural light and that will always drive my portraits. I might go so far as to suggest where a couple should stand, but I’m a big believer in not orchestrating the wedding day. I want my images to reflect the couples, their personalities and the people around them. Telling someone where to position his or her arm, or how to stand feels like a complete contradiction to me and more often you end up with lifeless, statuesque images that might look nice on the surface but have no soul at all. It’s a big trend at the moment; awkward lifeless posing with a hand finely tuned on the bride’s face, both looking away or down into the empty abyss, hands around the neck? “Is he choking her”??? I’ve even heard stories of some wedding photographers using music on a boom box and then almost encouraging the bride to cry by remembering loved ones so they can get that one photo of a tear. I mean…why? How contrived. The portrait side of the day is a quiet moment away, going for a walk and reflecting. Some couples laugh and joke and others just cherish a little peace and quiet, but either way, it’s super relaxed and I certainly won’t be making you cry. Couple portraits usually take place over two windows, no more than fifteen minutes long, who needs longer? I don’t know why there is a current trend to have bridal party photos all afternoon for two hours until it’s dark then sit outside the room so the guests don’t see you before you perform the bridal party entrance. It’s crazy, you miss the whole afternoon with your friends and family.
The Family Photos;
From day one, I’ve always shot weddings in the way I’d like mine to be shot, and the family photos are important, but I don’t want to spend 45 minutes stood in the same spot whilst a conveyer belt of people pass through the frame. It’s just boring, plain and simple and your guests will hate standing around. If you want twenty different configurations of posed family photographs, then you might be better booking someone else! That said, if you want some quick pictures with your folks and siblings, nan and grandad, and the bridal party, then I think we’ll be ok! You’ll also be pleased to hear that I shoot them in a more relaxed way; I won’t be shouting at people, ordering them to get in line, and if you want to put your hands in your pockets or wear your sunglasses, then rock and roll! If you’re looking for a wedding photogpaher in Byon bay, NSW or Gold Coast who doesnt charge the earth and lets you relax on your wedding day then you have come to the right place.
So that’s it, I’m there to capture and document the day, naturally and discreetly. I want my images to feel honest and genuine, not staged or heavily stylised. I want my couples to have complete trust in me to do an awesome job and it all starts by being honest about what I offer. I don’t want to pretend to care about your love story, or if we’re a good match, or how you met, it’s all marketing nonsense. I want to keep it real and honest and be transparent about the service I offer and the passion I have for capturing beautiful, natural images of your wedding. If you want the same from your wedding photographer, then we’re going to get along just fine.