How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I photographed my first wedding in 2004 as a gift to the couple, and instantly fell in love with creating beautiful wedding imagery.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Each wedding has a life of its own! I love the adrenalin, the craziness that is weddings. Wedding photographers don’t only photograph a wedding, they document the start of a new family, a new story.
How would you describe your style and approach?
My style is mostly photojournalistic, mixed with editorial and artistic photography. I document all those little in between moments, the looks, the tears, the smiles. In essence I am a visual story teller. I am thrilled when couples who book me tell me that they are doing so because they can ‘read’ the story of a wedding in my photographs – even if I only post twenty in a sneak peek on social media or on my blog. On the wedding day I fade into the background. I capture what I observe and don’t interrupt the flow of events. I am a little bit of an introvert and camera shy myself, so my approach gets the best images out of even the most camera shy couples. I love seeing their story come to life in my images.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
The most important thing couples should realise is that your photographer is not just a service provider that will be handing you a bunch of snaps approximately 8 weeks after the wedding. Your wedding images is a creative collaboration between you and your wedding photographer. Therefore it’s important that you and your wedding photographer speaks the same visual language.
What do I mean by visual language? Every person, even those who regard themselves as totally left-brained has their own visual language. Before you even start requesting quotes from wedding photographers, make sure that you are certain what visual language you, as a couple, are speaking. Is your visual language soft, muted and casual? Or bright, bold and structured? Find out by going through as many wedding images on Pinterest and on the internet as possible, and then compiling a board with all the images that really resonates with you. This board will serve as a ‘dictionary’ of your visual language and when you start browsing through photographers you will be able to find a photographer who speaks your visual language much easier. If you like a photographer’s work, forward the board to them when you first make contact. This is a great way for both you and the photographer to determine if you are a great fit and will ensure that you will love your wedding photographs until you are old and grey!
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Spend time on creating a realistic timeline that is detailed enough to inform every person involved in the wedding what they should be doing and when. Make sure they get it and understand it. Then forget about it and enjoy every second of your wedding!! Happy, relaxed couples make the best images!!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
The best moment of every wedding for me is seeing the look on the bride and groom’s faces the moment they see each other for the first time. That look of complete adoration and love they give each other, and the knowledge that I have the honour of capturing that moment for them, is just the absolute best!
A big thanks to Erna for chatting with us, you can see more of her work and get in touch here.