There are times in your life that you can scarcely believe your circumstances. Sometimes it’s as a result of hard work, sometimes it comes from natural talent, but for me, it was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time.
The first wedding I ever photographed was a little over 5 years ago. The groom, Callum, was the bassist in a touring band from Melbourne who I just so happened to photograph at a small venue in Sydney. He contacted me asking whether I’d be keen to photograph his wedding to which I nervously agreed. Things went well and 5 years later, the guitarist in Callum’s band is getting married and looking for a photographer. The universe, in its strange ways put us together and I was going to be coming back to Melbourne to photograph Rachel and Karl.
I don’t know where to start with Rachel and Karl. These two people are honestly two of the most amazing people I’ve ever met (and I can see why they are the way they are). Their families are both exceptionally wonderful, they took me in and treated me like I was one of their own. I was instantly welcome and able to be involved in everything. I arrived to Boyd Baker House a day early to the hustle and bustle of the entire family getting together and setting things up which is just the way I think things ought to be. In my mind, the history of weddings are not necessarily about finding a nice venue and serving tasty food, it was about bringing families, and to a larger extent, the community together. People would help each other out with whatever was needed and we’re lucky in the Westen World that we can have a lot of the hard work taken care of, but part of me, perhaps the Sri Lankan bit, wishes things were a little more different at times.
For me, this was the ultimate in personalised weddings; nothing generic, nothing stock, nothing without meaning. Rachel’s mum had grown nearly 120 plants from seedlings which were gifts for the guests. The suits the boys were wearing were custom made with Karl’s own breastplate design. Rachel learned and wrote a speech in Italian to speak to Karl and his very large Italian family. The drinks available included Apple Cider made by Callum using the apples grown on Karl’s uncle’s family orchard. Like I said, this was something that was very special to everyone involved. The connectedness that a wedding like this can bring, in my eyes, is the exact meaning of what a wedding should be about. I was invited to this day as a photographer, but I was part of it, I was involved and it was a wonderful experience.
It was a long day for me, nearly 18 hours from the moment I left my hotel to the moment my head hit the pillow, but this is what I love doing. This, is what feels like home. Rachel and Karl are people who deserved to have their love celebrated, the world needs more like them.