Here is the full interview in English:
Why did you become a wedding photographer?
I was working as a teacher in the UK when I joined friends to go climb Kilimanjaro back in 2000. At 5000m I showed severe signs of Acute Mountain Sickness and almost died up there. That whole experience humbled me to the core. After recovery in Kenya, I decided to take on a solo trip down to South Africa camera in hand. It was here where I started to focus on what really matters in life. I set my aim to photograph the natural beauty of people in their natural environments. Real moments and the real people were all that counted for me. I had no more time for anything fake. My focus was the people and my adventure could be told in full through quality pictures. It was so well received that I ended up doing an exhibition in Denmark a few years later. This gave me the confidence to pursue a dream and dedicate my time to become a visual story teller.
I used my unobtrusive approach to do my first wedding in Scotland back in 2003. The results were so different and natural compared to what was done at that time, that some frowned upon my early work. I knew though what was important to me and kept my focus. I continued to developed the photographic and people skills art of capturing people naturally in their natural environment. It was such hard work, but so much fun!
Looking back at more than a decade of grace, focussed learning and lots of experimenting (i.e. playing!), I am confident to say it has really paid off. I’ve had the privilege to cover weddings in amazing natural environments all the way from the Himalayas to tropical islands through to the most barren deserts. I love what I do because of the way I can engage with people and capture true beauty making it a natural choice for me in photography.
What is the most exceptional or craziest wedding photo that you have ever shot?
Many moments come to mind, but two must stand out. First I’ll tell you about the one I almost didn’t take.
I was rushing to a boulder location I scouted and planned for prior to the wedding, when I passed a few trees Normally no one will even look twice at this as an option, but on this afternoon, the mist came rolling off the sea in the last few rays of the afternoon sun, giving the place a magical feeling for what must have been a window of 2 minutes. I suddenly stopped and quickly gave the position to the couple as I changed lenses. I had to scramble to get to a spot before the moment would be gone forever. Just before the sun faded, I clicked a few shots in manual and hoped for the best. I love how the tree leads the eye into the magic of the light and love of the moment. I was reminded of Ansel Adams words: “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter”. I was just the lucky one passing by.
The second shot came in hurricane conditions. I asked the couple to stay in the car as I went to set up the scene. The wind and rain was absolutely extreme, but I thought let’s give it a go – they only get married once! I ran back to the car, got them under the umbrella, positioned them, took a burst of 8 shots in probably 4 seconds and ran back to get them safely to the car. This was the result.
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