Interview: Lorenzo Ali
This evening we catch up with Lorenzo Ali of Lorenzo Photography.
Hi Lorenzo, so firstly how long have you been photographing weddings and how did you get into it?
I’ve been photographing weddings for almost 10 years now but only 6 as a full time photographer. My career started in Antique photography for collectors and dealers producing images for books, catalogues and exhibitions with the help of my wife Annie, a very talented Graphic Designer. I was continually asked to do weddings so I decided to spend more of my energy in that area and now it’s the biggest proportion of my work. I really enjoy the adrenaline rush and despite the fact that it’s hard work both physically and emotionally I’m totally hooked!
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
What I like best is the highly charged atmosphere throughout the whole day. There’s an array of emotions on display and so many expressions on everyones faces that together they make a unique and intimate story of each wedding. I like to be surprised by the unpredictability and the impulsive emotional reactions which so often move me. It’s very voyeuristic but this is what makes me anxious with nervous energy every single time I cover a wedding. You tune in to those moments of interaction to anticipate them and capture them. When you get it right, it’s a fantastic buzz.
How would you describe your style and approach?
My style is continually involving and I see it broken down into two parts. The first is my composition and the emotional values contained in each image. The second is the post processing and how I treat the image in colour and B&W and again trying to use colour and tone to get a sense of the occasion across. I’m continually being influenced and learn all the time from other photographers, wedding, fashion and portrait. When it comes to my approach I get inside the heads of my clients and try and understand how they visualise their day and then interpret that through my photography. When a bride tells me that she loves the photo’s and that’s just how she remembers her wedding then I know I’ve done my job.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Start with the style of images you like and draw up a shortlist (maybe 3-4) of photographers on that basis. Meet with each photographer and get a feel for the chemistry between you. Good photographers are creative people and they will feed on the frisson you generate. Working to your budget is important but don’t kid yourself with a cheap photographer and then be forever disappointed. Expensive wedding photographers aren’t necessarily a guide to quality but a track record, recent testimonials and recommendations will give you more confidence. Make sure you also ask about their equipment, back up if something breaks and insurance.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
Don’t party too late the night before! Seriously though, have fun. It’s your day. Try not to schedule too much time posing in front of the camera. It’s boring for your guests and a good photographer will capture the important moments and uniqueness of your day in context without staging every single shot. Of course most couples still want some time for romantic shots of just the two of them, so just ensure you’ve allowed at least 30-40 mins in your timing plan to do this.
Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
There are so many best moments for me. Getting a hug from the Bride and Groom at the end of the night as recognition of how hard I’ve worked is one. Receiving an email or card from the bride telling me she cried (with joy) when she saw the wedding photo’s is another. Being called back a year or two later to take portraits of their new addition is a bonus! Recently, I received a letter from a Groom who’s mother died unexpectedly soon after their wedding. The wedding photo’s had an added poignancy as they were the last of his mother being so happy with 3 generations of the family. It was almost indescribable how much this meant so much to him and what seemed really special was the fact that she’d played a big part in choosing me as photographer for their day.
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