Interview with Franklin Balzan Photography
How long have you been photographing weddings for and how did you get into it?
I have been in the professional wedding photography industry for the last 7 years now. I have always enjoyed photography, in particular the street photography genre. I soon realised that I have a natural urge to photograph people and it struck me that I could actually do this as a profession and perform an activity which satisfied my love for the arts, creativity and spontaneity.
Since then I have been hooked! I think I am very inquisitive by nature and this has enabled me to quickly link with people and get entangled in their story. I have infact recently also written a self reflective post on this subject, on how I consider my life choices to aid my photography.
I consider myself a spiritual person and this has had an effect on my way of looking at things. I always try to look at everyday and mundane things in a new, fresh manner – through the eyes of a child.
Also having studied as a mechanical engineer I have always been fascinated by design and aesthetics. I find that this background has helped me to strive for perfection and preciseness.
What do you particularly like about photographing weddings?
I particularly like the vibes and the emotions of the wedding day. Everyone is so excited and at his best! While a wedding day is indeed a huge responsibility, I feel at ease as the photographer for the day.
Despite the work to be done, I find the trick is that I enjoy myself during a wedding and I make it a point that I am enjoying myself. When I am enjoying the wedding I manage to give my utmost and therefore I obtain better results.
At the end of the wedding, I love relooking at the beautiful images which can be considered as art and will forever stay in the memory of the couple. This together with the fact that I love networking, meeting new people and making new friends makes weddings the perfect place for me to be.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Each different part of the wedding day is special and unique and has its unique traits. I would be lying however if I say I do not have my preferences for certain moments of the day.
I really love to photograph the getting ready part, as it allows me to be creative as people are so busy preparing that their awareness of me in the room is usually low. I can therefore work creatively, keeping a low key and at my pace.
I love the moments after the wedding ceremony, when the bride and groom are available to take some beautiful images. At the end of the day these are the few moments when we can be creative and try to use the best locations, light and geometries available!
I also particularly always wait for the dancefloor moments, where people get a bit crazy and there are good vibes all around!
So as you can see it is difficult to say which is my favourite part of the day, as all the different parts of the wedding day are so beautiful and particular!
How would you describe your style and approach?
I strive to achieve a timeless and elegant style throughout all of my images. I am however highly flexible and am always looking to include spontaneous and natural images which capture the moment as lived by the couple.
My posed work, speaks of romance, intimacy and connection but is also influenced by my love for street photography. I therefore always try to include people (apart from the couple) in the images I take.
Who, or what inspires you?
I am inspired by the master artists like Caravaggio who used the technique of the chiaroscuro so well. Like painting, wedding photography is very subject to the use of light and contrasts. I consider my camera and lenses to be like my brushes.
I have also to give credit to well recognized international photographers which have been an inspiration for me and helped me to always strive to improve myself and to be my best. Their training and tips have been so influential to not only increase my confidence but also ensure that I can see the right things at the right time.
What advice would you give to couples looking for a wedding photographer?
I believe that the first thing that a couple should do is look at the photographer’s portfolio of work taking note of this style, compositions and colours. I find it extremely important that couples believe in my work and are therefore at ease to let me work in my own way of doing things. Secondly, after loving the style, they should also check for reviews and testimonials of past couples.
This would enable them to have an idea of the experience the photographer offers. Potentially, they should also check that the photographer is well recognized in the industry through awards and recognitions.
Couples need to also remember that the human connection is very important for the coverage of a successful wedding story and for the necessary creativity to take place.
As a Malta wedding photographer I always ensure that my clients get to talk with me before they proceed with a booking. For me my clients are special and deserve a personal understanding… that is why I consider it so important to talk to them before a booking.
What tips would you share with couples to help their day go more smoothly?
The most important thing is that the couple are enjoying the day! I think this is the most crucial aspect. When people are enjoying themselves, they are in the right and best mood for images.
I like it most when people are unaware and everything flows naturally without too many external interventions. It is always important to prepare, however I suggest couples to go with the flow of their day and while having a good plan, be flexible and enjoy the wedding day – which after all is your special day.
Do leave time for some intimate moments as a couple and try to reduce the greeting to the bare minimum. On the other hand, I always advise to have appropriate time for dancing and celebration!
If there was one place in the world you would love to capture a wedding where would it be and why?
I would travel to any place in the world to capture weddings! Since I love Italy so much, I think that a destination wedding in Venice would be my favourite place to shoot.
I have visited Venice three times till now and I always discover some new location or place. It is a place full of mystery, history and architecture… a photographer’s dream!
Finally… Whats the best moment you’ve had as a wedding photographer?
It is difficult to identify a best moment, as this career has brought with it quite a number of beautiful moments. In general the best moments are the moments after the wedding!
Yes, I mean after all the crazy work during a wedding I am always so looking forward to getting to my workstation and starting editing the images.
Another warm feeling that I love to get is when I read feedback from my clients explaining how much they loved the photography experience and how special my work has been to them.
I remember some 3 or 4 years ago I received an email from the uncle of the bride who had an elopement session with me, explaining that the grandfather of the bride was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he was so happy to be able to share the beautiful images I had shot with the couple and show them to him. That was quite a touching moment for me.
One other awesome moment was when a Chinese couple actually brought me some gifts all the way from China when we met here in Malta… these small gestures of appreciation make this work so worthwhile and special.
Another more funny moment happened on the dance floor earlier this year, when I was acting a bit weird to get those special dance shots. Some guests came over me to see the images as they thought I was drunk as I was moving the camera while taking the images!! I was totally sober and laughed when they were amazed at the images produced.