“I hate the Russos so much, they’re all such nice people and they’re all so damn attractive…” I said to my wife Kristen. She hasn’t even met them but from what I tell her and the photographs she has seen, she knows they are both of these things. It’s not often I’m jealous but sharing in a celebration like this brings up so many positive emotions for me which is obviously nice, but challenging at the same time as I don’t have access to it whenever I want because of where all of my family is.
Alana is Karl’s cousin (of Rachel and Karl’s wedding fame a few months back). Now they’re a big family but there obviously was something pretty special flowing in the Italian waters where this family came from 60 years ago… And Brett’s South African heritage brought some pretty special genes to the table as well. There’s something about both of these people and their families that makes you feel safe, comforted and part of something special.
It’s always nice going back and photographing for a family you’ve worked for before, you’re not *just* the photographer any more, not that I was treated like that the first time around either. But you know what I mean… People spent so much time talking to me at Alana and Brett’s wedding that I felt like I wasn’t doing my job properly. But I think part of being a really good wedding photographer is to fit in and be comfortable with the people you’re around. I’m surprisingly shy a lot of the time but when you’re around people like these ones, it doesn’t even feel like an effort to get involved. I had the best man helping me carry my gear around, random guests chatting to me about Queensland and my career as a scientist and I even had a little dance at one point. And yet again, people wanted to take photos of me because they wanted a record of me being there. Now THAT is something that makes me feel pretty awesome.
Alana and Brett are intelligent, warm, kind and easy to be around. No wonder they married each other.
I think one of the most important things to do as a photographer is to constantly challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Monotony is our enemy and it’s essential that we find something to break this monotony up. I had heard about these “night walks” that other photographers had been doing for years, but for some reason, I never went. I think I was too scared and felt like all of my failures as a photographer would become very evident. But last night, something was different. I took my trusty 5D Mk3 and 35mm f/1.4L, cranked it up to ISO20000 and shot B&W, just to try and replicate the old masters of the streets. These images are nearly straight out of camera which is also something that scares the hell out of me. But it was liberating and the challenge was something that reminded me how important the challenge itself is.
But something became very clear to me as I walked through the cold streets of our city. I need people in my images. I genuinely have a lot of difficulty creating images which don’t have a face or a body in them and maybe this is why I do what I do. There are nearly 7 billion of us on this tiny blip in the universe and each of us has a path we’ve taken in our lives to get where we have. I guess I always hope my images convey a fleeting instant of these peoples’ lives and everyone else, for a moment, can consider that each and every one of us is a complex creature that deserves attention, understanding and love.
The great people over at Vintage Life magazine decided they wanted to feature Eleanor and Richard’s beautiful vintage wedding in Colbinabbin! I must admit, it’s quite lovely seeing your work in print.
The magazine is available in WH Smiths, independent newsagents, Sainsbury’s, Easons and lots of vintage stores throughout the UK. If you’re outside of Great Britain, you can always buy a copy online. I’m obviously not suggesting you buy this magazine for these photos, but if you’re into your vintage vibe, there’s plenty of pretty cool stuff in there.