I was asked recently why I became a wedding photographer. Looking back, I realise now that it all began on a perfect sunny Hawke’s Bay day when I married my best friend.
Planning a wedding in Hawkes Bay while living and working in Auckland was a bit of a pain. The thing is, we’d fallen in love with the region, and with friends and family coming from all corners of the world, it was the perfect location to give them a taste of New Zealand they’d never forget. There were many road trips and weekends spent finding the perfect venue and organising all the essential details… a celebrant, accommodation, hair and makeup, flowers, wedding cars and everything else that goes in to planning that one special day. Luckily for me, even back then Hawke’s Bay had a large selection of excellent wedding vendors to choose from, and every little detail turned out perfectly.
The one thing, apart from friends and family, that we brought with us from Auckland was our wedding photographer, Joanna Wickham. I fell in love with her images the first time I laid eyes on them. Her personality matched her gorgeous photographs and I knew I could trust her to do a great job. I had no idea what to look for or expect from a wedding photographer – I just followed my instincts because I felt a real connection. My instincts weren’t wrong.
When I first viewed our wedding photos I cried. I could not have been happier. Jo describes her style as ‘romantic reportage’ and her images not only documented a day that was gone in the blink of an eye – they captured the emotion, the laughter and the ‘real life moments’. I will treasure them forever, but more importantly to me, it’s the experience she provided that I will never forget.
On your wedding day, your photographer plays a significant role. Believe me, they’re right up there with the bridesmaids and mother-in-law, so if you want great photos – the connection you have with your photographer is so very important. Just as important as their technical skills. Jo arrived as our photographer but left as our friend. Our photo session with the bridal party was fun and relaxed and an incredibly special memory of the day in itself. I’ll never forget the gratitude I felt to Jo for the incredible images and the amazing experience she provided. It made me wonder if my own career would ever be quite that rewarding.
Inspiration comes in many forms and we don’t always see it for what it is. And when we do, whether through fear or through circumstance, we don’t always act on it. In my case it took several years, some incredible events and some inspirational women, to set me on the path I find myself on today. It took the courage to voice an audacious goal and risk the potential of failure. My wedding photographer opened my eyes to the possibilities of loving your career and following your heart. She set the precedent for the type of experience I want to give my brides. It’s my hope that my brides look back on their wedding photography experience with the same happiness as I do mine. If my clients view their photos with just an inkling of the love I have for mine, I’ll consider myself a true success. Looking back, six years later, I realise I’m more grateful than ever.
A few of my favourite wedding images. Makes me want to be a bride again!