Fashion Meets Wedding

‘Fashion Meets Wedding’ became my motto early in the 1990’s when I decided to drop large and medium format cameras and use just DSLR to shoot weddings. This is when my passion for fashion photography and brides collided, and the result has become my identity.

After many years of following what was ‘tradition’ in the field of professional wedding photography, I too had invested heavily in medium format gear and followed the principles of working within their limitations. The use of tripod, highly planned compositions, and static results while a fire was burning within me to be more flexible and react to moments rather than create them. I started using 35mm gear more and more and was able to move around, catch unprecedented (in wedding) angles, capture real expressions and real moments, and guide my couples a lot more freely and creatively. This made the bride in particular feel like a model and work with me like a model does at a fashion shoot. The results were phenomenal, and soon I dropped all my large gear and adopted only 35mm.

‘Dancing with the bride & groom’ became yet another catchphrase amongst my group to describe a typical location shoot session. To this day, my shooting style involves a lot of movement and a lot of laughter, while I work extremely fast and keep my couples entertained and having fun and not posing for the camera.

Here are some of my top tips to make your photo session fun-filled, real, and unposed.

First and foremost, get to know your couple—and the entire bridal party---by taking a little break at a nice café or bar, let them start relaxing and enjoying their celebration, then start shooting without interrupting their fun, Don’t use them and don’t ask for their attention, but instead use the light, move and position yourself accordingly, and be a fly on the wall. You will get the best moments that are happy and fun-filled.

Pay as much attention to the bridal party as the bride & groom. I like to connect with them early on and do a lot of capture with them before I concentrate on the bride & groom alone. This way, they are entertained, involved, and their job is done early on. Then they can relax and I can get on with the shoot casually and start capturing the bride & groom without having to worry about anyone in the bridal party being anxious, angry, thirsty, or impatient.

Remember that the bride is truly the star of the day. She has spent a lot of months planning every element of this day. I like to talk to her and get in her head about her vision of the day, then I make sure every detail is captured, especially her dress, shoes, accessories, and the ‘look’ she has envisaged. This is where ‘Fashion meets Wedding,’ and I get the star in her to come out and play to my camera. I encourage her to model and dance, even do a catwalk for me—all in fun and laughter. This way, I can capture the best expressions and emotions that she actually feels right there and then, and then a quick switch to the groom and bridal party, capturing their emotions and expressions watching the bride. It’s fun-filled, glamorous, and always exudes a ‘feel good’ vibe in the pictures.

Keep your gear to a minimum. I always limit my gear with me on a location shoot—maybe two camera bodies and a couple of lenses, my Lexar cards, and an assistant. That’s all.  I don't want to worry about bags, reflectors, or accessories because my shooting style is very fast and I’m always on the move. And my most important item is my memory card, so I must never run out.

I shoot between 2,000 to 4,000 images that range in variety and location on any given wedding day. Some may call this being trigger-happy but I call it giving my clients a huge variety of images that they can’t say no to, giving them lots of options for ordering many images for albums, wall prints, etc.

My style is slightly directed but never posed in stiff, contrived positions. I am extremely careful about this point. My subjects must always feel relaxed and enjoy their day by celebrating it and not posing for it.

I also want my subjects to ‘live the moment’ and experience real feelings, which they can re-live each time they look at their images. There’s nothing worse than remembering a contrived, uncomfortable position just for the sake of having an image, and not be able to relate to that image with the positive, warm feelings of an unforgettable wedding day.