Daring Wanderer Photography shares her intimate photographic process and the meticulously beautiful wedding of Eve and Mike at Berkeley Fieldhouse
Your photography from Eve and Mike’s wedding stood out as such a unique experience. As a photographer how do you bring out the unique personality of each wedding?
I try not to over think anything. It’s not about being a perfectionist, it’s about capturing the moment as it unfolds. I take this approach with all aspects of photography, whether it’s at weddings, engagement sessions or while traveling on vacation.
You talked about how Eve’s design savvy ways came together beautifully to make every photographer’s dream come true. What is your process for capturing the special design elements of the wedding?
Details, details, details! These make a wedding go from wow to WOW! When a bride like Eve comes along, there are so many details that add to the decor that it’s almost handed to me on a platter. I get up close and capture all of these details that bride and groom worked so hard to create.
You speak of the investment that your photographs essentially become for your clients. How do you ensure you get the authentic story of the event?
Less is more. I don’t show up to a wedding with ridiculous amounts of lights, and tripods and cases on cases of camera lenses. I show up with a simple over-the-shoulder bag with a handful of my key lenses and 2 camera bodies. Blending in and being mobile is the biggest asset for me when trying to capture the true essence of a wedding day. It’s about the little flower girl falling asleep under the table, the bride’s father reassuringly squeezing the bride’s mothers leg and the groom trying so hard to keep his composure as his wife-to-be recites her vows to him.
You speak of “getting up-close and personal with the people, places and things that I shoot because that is the only way to capture the true essence of what is really going on.” I think it takes a very skilled photographer to get these pictures that look like they are on the inside as opposed to looking in from the outside of an event. Can you speak a little more on this?
I feel that personality is everything in this business. Looking at couples as friends rather than a business transaction is the way I get around from getting lumped in the pool of “talented but greedy” or “standoffish”. Clients become friends and by embracing this philosophy, clients, family and friends are open, sincere and honest with me. This allows me to really “see” who they really are, and capture this on film. It’s beautiful watching individuals open up to me!
I love the way you presented the venue in your story of the wedding. “The ceremony backdrop was something reminiscent of cottage life while the inside had a clean, fresh and somewhat industrial feel.” Do you feel now with the popularity of the blog story that a whole new dimension has been added as people share their story with pictures and words?
For sure! Story-telling is the new sexy term in photography. By describing in words how I felt on the day of the wedding and (sometimes) coupling it with a music (whether it’s a song from the wedding, or something I feel goes perfectly with the flow of the images) it’s a whole new viewing experience.
The lighting in the pictures is exquisite. You are working with natural light in many of the pictures. This is not always as easy as it looks. There are so many variables in achieving this seemingly natural look. What were some of your considerations for shooting Eve and Mike’s wedding.
The large windows to the indoor venue were great for bringing in natural light. I didn’t have to worry that much about exposure compensation which was great. The day was cloudy, which contrary to popular belief, was ideal! At weddings, portraits of the bride and groom (and bridal party) are usually done midday, when the sun is at, or close, to the highest point in the sky. When it’s sunny with little cloud cover, this leaves harsh shadows under the eyes and face. For this reason I love shade. Whenever possible, I try to keep couples in a nice, cool, shaded space and the Berkeley Fieldhouse was perfect for this.
It really shows through the pictures that you were on top of what was important to the couple as they move through the venue, you didn’t miss a beat. Is this experience, intuition, preparation or some combination of all three?
I would think it’s a combination of all three as well as listening to the bride and groom. It’s important to lay down the groundwork well before the wedding. Get to know the couple, what they like, don’t like, and what they value most from their wedding portraits and wedding day. Once you have a better understanding of this, it makes your day much easier. With that said, couples book photographers because they love their style. So sometimes it’s completely go-with-the-flow on a wedding day and that works too!
The pictures leading up to the ceremony are detailed and have a sweet quality to them. It reminds me of the beginning of a movie when you are just meeting the characters. What is your experience with this part of the event process?
During this part of the day, nerves are flying and things may be hectic. I want to limit any amount of stress a camera may add to this. By remaining calm, talking to the bride/groom and bridal party, and just being a friend, it helps bring things back down to ground level. Sometimes I even go out and find snacks and drinks for everyone to have so they don’t have to worry about it. While this is happening, they don’t even realize I’ve snapped about 200 photos of the process because they are distracted and focused on us having a conversation.
A photographer brings all their accumulated experiences to the wedding. You are an explorer and an adventurer. This comes through in the active fun quality of your pictures. What are some of the key experiences you have that influenced your process?
Everything from traveling the world to going down to the local pub has had some sort of influence on me. I grab every experience I have and use it to fuel my creative ideas. I’m an artist, but I’m also just experiencing life as it unfolds and sometimes the unexpected yields the greatest and truest lessons.
Thank you for sharing your lovely vision of photography Jessica and congrats to Eve and Mike on a lovely wedding!
all photography: Daring Wanderer Photography
Venue: Berkeley Fieldhouse