People would say you’ve got a pretty amazing job, Jon. Tell us how you fell into wedding photography.
Yeah I’m not gonna lie, it’s bloody incredible. My passion for photography actually started while I was travelling. I backpacked for a year through South East Asia and Latin America with a beat up, cheap camera taking photos every single day. While I was away, it didn’t really interest me to take photos of sights where you’d find hundreds of wannabe influencers waving around their selfie sticks. What I really loved, was taking photos of people living their everyday lives. I would stay in tiny villages and visit local markets just to observe people doing their thing. It was on that trip that I really developed my photojournalistic style and appreciation for capturing people’s true personalities. I now use that same creative mindset with every wedding I shoot.
You shoot in some amazing locations around Tasmania. Tell us more about how that inspires you.
With every shoot I am always looking to make the most of how incredibly spoilt we are here in Tasmania. There are bucket-loads of beautiful, untouched locations to shoot and it’s all pretty much on our doorstep. I’ve been so fortunate to shoot at iconic locations around Tassie such as Cradle Mountain and Freycinet, but what really inspires me are the lesser talked about wild settings that can be found everywhere you look. Whether it’s just a spot where ferns grow ragged or the edge of a beach with craggy cliffs, those snippets of untamed wilderness are what make our state so beautiful. Before each shoot, I spend several hours researching, scouring Google Maps and hiking to locations to find the perfect spot that has a killer setting, mint lighting but most of all – suits the personalities of the couple that I’m photographing. And the best part of it all is that I LOVE a good adventure.
You recently tied the knot yourself.. congratulations! What did you find most surprising about being on the other side of the camera?
Haha thank you so much! It really was one of the best things I’ve ever done. We ran away and did a secret elopement on top of a mountain with only a photographer, celebrant and chef. There were quite a lot of tears…on my behalf. Then when we got home we threw a massive party with all of our friends and family. It was insane! But back to your question: I think the most surprising part was how much having my photos taken didn’t phase me. Sarah and I were just focused on each other and we were so caught up in the moment that nothing else even mattered. We’d also had a fair few froffos, so that can help too!
If you had to choose a favourite moment to photograph with your clients, what would it be?
I enjoy the storytelling of getting ready, I love ripping up the dancefloor with the wedding guests, but most of all – I love the couples shoot. I say this to my clients all the time, but at a wedding it’s the only part of the day that they will spend alone with each other. Sometimes the couple won’t see each other all day, they spend the morning frantically getting ready before being rushed to the ceremony where a hoard of people are staring at them and watching their every move. When the ceremony ends they’re swamped by a sea of hugs and kisses. The crazy thing is – the couple still hasn’t even talked to each other yet! So when we go off to do the couple’s shoot, it’s the first time they actually get to be alone together. I love observing couples during their shoot because there is such a mixture of excitement, joy and feelings of holy sh!t did that just happen! There’s a real stillness about the way couple’s open up and become vulnerable when there aren’t a hundred odd people staring at them. And THAT is what I absolutely love to capture.
Have you got any tips for planning a wedding?
Something I tell every couple I meet with – get married however the heck you want. There are so many old school traditions at weddings that people do because they think that it has to be done. It’s YOUR wedding day! Whether it’s as simple as getting your couple photos taken before the ceremony so that you can spend more time partying or having a cake made out of Maccas cheeseburgers (I wish I thought of that for my wedding). The only thing you legally have to do is get a celebrant to officiate the marriage. So when you’re planning your wedding, start there and really ask yourselves “this is our day, what do we want?” Plan it so that you will have a rad AF time on a day that is about celebrating the awesome relationship that you and your partner have.
Any advice to couples looking to find a photographer?
Do your research! Referrals from friends are great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will like the style of that photographer. You don’t wear the exact same clothes or order the same food as your friend, so it’s important to do some flippin’ research. Whether it’s social media, Google or magazines – pour through photos until you find a style and photographer that you absolutely fall in love with. There are so many extraordinary artists in Tasmania that all have a unique style. If you do the research you will definitely find a photographer who speaks to your soul.