Melbourne East Elevation Wedding – Sophie & Lochlan.

Sophie and Lochlan got in touch really last minute.
Their wedding day was two days before I flew off for another wedding in Japan.

They’d been back from London for almost two years now.
And as we talked about our backgrounds during our first meeting we slowly realised we were in the same architecture course ten years ago.
Yet we’d never met.

Perhaps we were all busy.
Perhaps we were all shy.

Sophie and Lochlan were definitely one of the most camera-shy couple I’d ever encountered.

And that’s actually not a bad thing.
They just didn’t want to be the centre of attention.

I’m sharing this because it reminded me when I first started out.
When I knew (close to) nothing about portraits and ‘rules’, and just documented everything I saw.

It’s a simple day – drinks in the city then off to a warehouse for the party.
Friends and family from near and far gather together to celebrate two people being together.
Having a good time.

And it felt good going back to basics.

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San - Quietly stunning. You captured the moment so beautifully Harvey.

Bankers Club Kuala Lumpur Wedding – Huey & Darius.

If you’re feeling frustrated that your photos do not look like the American or European rockstar photographers’ work, here’s what I learned:

The location makes a big difference.

The sun path is different.
The luminance is different.
Shooting at Hobart during 5pm is different from shooting at Milan during 5pm.
The tungsten and florescent lights behaves differently too.

Last September I went to Malaysia to shoot the wedding between Darius and Huey Meng, an old college friend.
KL was going through a severe case of haze fever.
Imagine a massive diffuser in the sky, screwing up everything you’re used to.

What I’m trying to say is, wedding photography is interesting because it is so easy and difficult at the same time.
The first five years you try to make your work process as consistent as possible.
You curse when the lighting is different and you try your best to match everything to the process you are familiar with.

And then you realised, everything looks the same.
So you start to think, what’s wrong with things being different anyway?

I joked to Huey Meng and Darius that we should put on masks because, you know, haze.
” Can. We’ll wear it if you bring it, ” they said.

What I’m trying to say is, interesting things happen whenever I joke.

Rockstar photographers say to be a successful photographer, you need passion, creativity, a strong backbone, a flexible mindset, thick skin, unique point of view, batch edit, presets, persistence, social media engineering, to work for free, not to work for free, Canon, Nikon, Fuji, a ‘voice’, no, a ‘style’, actually just use film, are you still reading this good pay me two thousand dollars.

What I’m trying to say is, having a sense of humour and good clients work for me.

The sun may shine differently in other countries, but other photographers don’t necessarily have what you have either.

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The Deck at Circa Wedding – Echelle & Pete.

Echelle’s brother, Chris, is my brother-in-law.
Last year, on the morning of her wedding day, Chris called to say he couldn’t make it.
Because my sister’s water broke.

It was a day mixed with joy, anticipation, anxiety and a hint of confusion.

Where’s the bride’s brother? 
Oh his wife’s in labour. Ask the photographer.
Why? 
Oh he’s the brother of the wife.
The bride’s brother’s wife’s brother is the photographer? 
Yea.

Didn’t stop the bride and groom from rocking the robot though.

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Oohsaka.

Osaka city view from Shin Osaka Station

So you meet a stranger in a foreign land.
A cashier, an Uber driver, the guy who makes your coffee, maybe.
You tell them you’re a photographer and you’re here to shoot a wedding.
Their mouths go wide open.
You have the best job in the world, they say.

But people who shoot weddings overseas, executives who fly in and out in business classes know this:
At some point, you feel like a ghost.

You have no connection to this place.
There is zero chance of you bumping into someone you know.
The magazines, the ads, the free brochures, they don’t speak to you.
Sometimes, you’re just taking the really long way from one conference room to another.

We get to travel, yes.
But we’re mostly on business.
It gets lonely.

Destination wedding photographers won’t admit to this.
But deep down, we all know.
All the time and freedom to do whatever I want, yet I just want to be home with my family.

Melbourne Family Portrait – Heide.

I decided to share my most recent shoot.
Express! Instead of my usual slow burn.
I literally just emailed the gallery to the family minutes ago.

I remember when I last shot the girls I shared their photo on my Facebook page with  ‘dolls’ as the caption.
Two years later they’re now big dolls with bigger vocabularies.

As we were shooting last week, mum and dad kept asking the girls to behave and smile nicely.
But as I was limiting myself to pick 25 shots to share on this post, I couldn’t stop but clicking on the ones with silly faces.

Usually when I’m shooting I sweat on the technical side of things.
But at the back of my mind, I’m also imagining what the family would want on their wall.
Sometimes I also imagine what the kids will think ten years down the road.
What their kids will think another twenty down.
Maybe they’ll feel embarrassed. Bittersweet nostalgia?
Maybe happy. Or melancholy.

I just hope they will feel something.

Tell me I’m not the only one.

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