Lets chat about the wedding of Rebecca and Arron at Berkeley Fieldhouse. On your post about the wedding you add in the track by Ben Howard, “I Forgot Where We Were”. How did you choose this song to accompany the post?
I thought this song was beautiful. It just sounded so lovely when looking through their images.
Ben Howard’s music has been described as quietly epic. A parallel can be drawn here with your photographs that can be seen as epic and timeless. Can this be attributed your experience (and your ability) to be quietly in each moment at the wedding?
I have been photographing weddings for less than 2 years professionally and I find myself constantly learning new tricks to capture beautiful and timeless images but I think my biggest asset would be patience. Quietly waiting and observing guests as they interact at a wedding, partially or fully hidden behind pillars or walls. The best way to witness beautiful moments is to surround yourself by it. At every wedding I try my best to blend in with the guests. I don’t want to be noticed. The moment someone focuses on me and my camera the moment is lost forever. I want guests to feel comfortable around me, as though I am just another invited guest.
The manner in which you photograph the decor at the Berkeley Fieldhouse wedding is like curated pieces of art at a show. This is excellent in that couples truly do curate their wedding and make a special effort to have pieces that are uniquely beautiful. It is only fitting to have such beautiful representations of this effort in the form of photographs. Can you comment on this?
Almost every couple that inquires with me has their own unique and creative style. The things couples value and enjoy most are neatly and beautiful woven into their wedding day. I’ve always seen it as a very important aspect of a wedding and have taken it upon myself to make sure I capture these elements: they help shape and tell the story of their wedding day.
Some of the photographs have a quality of being a film still. This effect really captures the essence of the day of the “in-between” moments that are a huge part of the day. I love the pictures of the guests moving between the spaces, its as if you are a guest as well casually glancing in a direction. They are almost fundamental pictures in a way as they provide the couple the opportunity to go back and experience aspects of their wedding again. What is your approach in taking these guest photos? Is it something you do as part of your process to “look” for these opportunities?
Quietly observing interactions, both big and small, is often where you’ll witness beautiful exchanges between guests. I am often looking for these seemingly intangible moments. My favourite book growing up was The Perks of Being a Wall Flower by Stephen Chbosky. I often imagine myself as Charlie, a shy yet observant adolescent quietly sitting back and learning the ways of the world. By treating each wedding as a new life experience, I find inspiration in moments that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Would you say the beautiful pictures of Rebecca and Aaron you shot around the Berkeley Fieldhouse would be classified as “first-look” pictures? When do you like to take pictures of the couple during the day and what do you think of the “first-look” as a genre of pictures?
I am a firm believer in the first look. Wedding days are when couples are surrounded by every single person that has impacted or shaped them into the people they are. They are the most important people in their lives, all in one room. There is only so much time couples get to laugh and cry and dance with these individuals and because of that I often suggest a first look. In addition, a wedding is a celebration of your love for one another, yet you spend half the day getting ready, away from each other. Sometimes I like to remind couples that they are marrying each other because they love them, everything about them, all the time. Sometimes less effort should be put into transforming your face and body into something you are not on a regular basis so that you can spend more time with the person you love on your wedding day.
Rebecca & Aaron were also firm believers in keeping things simple and natural. They too wanted to spend more time with each other on their wedding day and opted for a first look. We explored around the Berkeley and even ventured into some neighbouring alleyways. This felt natural and unforced. They were able to spend an hour together and following the ceremony and quick family portraits, they enjoyed cocktail hour with all of their guests.
The overhead shot of Rebecca and Aaron in the Berkeley Fieldhouse courtyard captures a completely new set of expressions on their faces. It is lovely. Were you surprised by this picture?
Not at all. Nothing felt forced with Rebecca and Aaron. I never try to over pose couples, or ask them to do things that feel unnatural. I had asked them to just go stand in the middle of the court yard and then look at the camera. When they looked at the camera, it was as though I was seeing into them. I loved the expressions both their faces held. It’s slightly captivating.
The photographs during the wedding reception in the Berkeley Fieldhouse are beautiful. How would you describe the technique you used where part of the picture is in soft focus. You have achieved an uncluttered elegance to this portion of the wedding in the pictures. What were your ideas on this?
I had recently picked up a piece of magnified glass off of a scientific website and decided I wanted to play around with it. With lots of beautiful ambient lighting in the large space, I was about to use the magnified glass to bounce light into my lens and create a unique set of images as guests listened to speeches and talked among themselves. I was still quietly observing, only this time I held a funky piece of glass up to my lens. It may have looked strange, but I’m happy with how the images turned out.
What is your favourite picture of this wedding?
I can never really pinpoint one image that I prefer over others. I find that all the images together tell a much stronger story than just one image alone. However there are times when I manage to capture so many different emotions in a single image. The image of Rebecca and Aaron hugging for the first time after seeing each other in the courtyard is an example of this. This image is very powerful and is one of my favourite images from this year.
You spoke about being in sync with the couple and really understanding their aesthetic and personalities. This really comes through in the pictures of Rebecca and Aaron that you shot throughout the venue. Can you discuss how this worked out so well?
My philosophy when documenting weddings has always been to capturing how the wedding felt. Each wedding is unique, from the lighting to the decor. When couples inquire with me and ask about shot lists and recreating images from other photographers I have to explain that the images they see from other weddings were created with a unique set of circumstances. The time of day and where the sun is in the sky, the amount of cloud cover and the location of the wedding itself all play a role in how the images turn out. Being creatives themselves, Rebecca and Aaron trusted their vendors to do what they do best. They did not provide me with an extensive list of “must-have” images, instead they trusted that I would capture their wedding as I saw it. We really could not have been a more perfect match.
Photographer: Daring Wanderer Photography
Venue: Berkeley fieldhouse
Catering: Berkeley Catering