Interview: S2 Images
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
We actually met through photography. I (Sonia) studied photography, moving from fashion to documentary over the years. Simon is self taught, but I have to admit, he has learnt a lot more within the technical side of photography than I did gaining a first class honours degree.
After meeting, we got married within 6 months of knowing each other. I know, super rushed, but when you know, you know. A week after our own wedding we photographed a friends wedding. From then, it made sense to set up S2 Images. We absolutely love working alongside each other at weddings and our business has taken over our lives.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
Meeting couples and being alongside them during such an important day. We get an insight into their lives. We aren’t just photographers, we are there to comfort them through the nerves and to make them feel at ease. What we also love is getting to deliver back a set of photographs that tell a story of their day and giving them a way to relive that day over and over.
What is your favourite part of the day?
This is such a hard thing to decide as each part of the day is so precious, so we will just mention a few parts of the day and explain why.
We love the ceremony as that is what everyone has come together for. There is the anxiety leading up to such a special moment during the morning preparation, but the relief that follows once you walk back down the aisle with your other half holding your hand.
The couple shoot is super important to us, as that is when we can get truly creative. It is a chance for the couple to get away from guests and let it sink in that they are now married. We never had a couple shoot on our own day, no image of just the two of us. So we want to create images that will move our couples, as we never really had that ourselves. We always work off the couples natural chemistry, so it’s good fun.
We can’t forget to mention the speeches, as we get to truly understand a couple through how their loved ones choose to portray them in the speeches. Be it stories of heartfelt moments or the ones that make the couple cringe.
And finally, we absolutely love capturing everyone on the dance floor, as this is when everyone lets their hair down and simply celebrate towards the end of a beautiful day.
How would you describe your style and approach?
We like to think of ourselves as creative documentary photographers, however we like to create some stunning portraits a long the way. We are very easy going and relaxed in our approach. The day is the couples day, so the day goes exactly how they want it to.
Our couples often say they didn’t notice us photographing. We like to capture moments as they happen, but we also like to be there as a bit of support. We try to be in the moment too, and hope to blend in a bit with the guests. We often form such a good relationship with our couples, that we stay friends beyond the wedding!
As there are two of us, there is no rushing around on the day. We are able to photograph both sides of the preparation in the morning, but capture crucial moments from two view points. We balance each other out. We each have individual styles, with Simon often enjoying getting creative with light and I shoot in a natural style. During the couple shoot we are able to get two different image styles in one short session.
Who, or what inspires you?
I think that we would have to say each other. We met through photography, so we are always looking to impress each other and make the other one proud. Our business is a reflection of us. We put so much love and care into what we do. We never take our job lightly.
Aside from each other, we have a good support network of other photographers around us. Seeing other photographers work definitely inspires us. You have to always approach every wedding with a mindset that you want to do better than your last.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
Find a wedding photographer who’s style you love and who you get on with. The photographer will be the vendor that spends the most time with you on your wedding day. It is a huge investment, as once the venue doors are closed and the cake has been eaten, the images are what last. You need to be able to trust who you choose and they need to have a great amount of experience. Trusting someone who is inexperienced with such a precious day can lead to disappointment. We know this from our own personal wedding journey, as we didn’t hire a professional and it’s our biggest regret. This is why we live for creating beautiful images for others.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
A wedding planner will make your life easier. If it is a big wedding with guests needing to move from one area to another, hire a toastmaster. They are fantastic at keeping things running smoothly and communicating with your guests.
If you don’t have the budget for a wedding planner / toastmaster, we recommend giving bridesmaids and groomsmen little jobs. You do not want to be having to think about little details on the day. Giving loved ones some responsibilities will hopefully ease the stress for you. We especially recommend using your ushers if you are wanting a few group shots on the day. You can even designate a member from each side of your families. Give them a list and they can be finding people whilst we are taking photographs.
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
We had the huge honour of photographing a wedding in Malaysia last summer. It was an absolutely amazing experience and will be hard to top.
Simon has said that his dream would be to photograph a wedding in Switzerland or Norway. Somewhere with breathtaking scenery, being surrounded by mountains.
I personally would love to photograph a wedding in somewhere like Kenya or Tanzania. A dream would be for guests to make a trip out of the wedding, so we can photograph the couple with their guests on safari, with them also potentially witnessing Maasai traditions. A ceremony within beautiful landscapes, followed by a huge party. Just one amazing once in a lifetime experience from start to finish.
Can you tell that we absolutely love travelling, so being able to incorporate travel experiences with weddings is a dream come true for us.
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
Going through our work at the end of the year and seeing how much we have achieved can be quite emotional for us. Whilst in the midst of wedding season, we just focus on the job ahead. We don’t quite realise how much we have done until we look back. Last year was a real accomplishment for our business and our careers. Every year we aim to do better than the last. Our couples are what keep us going. Hearing back from our couples after delivering their images is what makes everything worthwhile. We have often been in tears after receiving such beautiful words. We literally put our hearts and souls into every wedding that we do.