“Photography for the creative at heart” is the tagline for our talented guests today on Polka Dot Wisdom! Brisbane based photographers Feather + Stone (also known as Seth and Tenielle) crashed onto the scene with fresh, beautiful and fun photography and haven’t looked back since launching their very successful wedding photography business!
You have a lovely personal story, which you share on your website in a quirky and humorous way. Why photography and not another creative pursuit?
Thank you so much! Sometimes it’s so hard to really “get to know” people through the interwebs and we really wanted to close that gap & share the real Seth & Tenielle. We’re just so happy that anyone out there likes it.
We really fell into this business by chance. I didn’t have an interest in photography until I met Tenielle and it was Tenielle that was destined to be the photographer, she’d always been creative. She had vision but she’d lost interest in the technical side of things.
I ended up discovering the creative side of my brain when we moved to Australia. I had a few months of down time whilst I was waiting for my visa to come through so I picked up my old film camera, a “how to book” and started taking pictures of Tenielle.
We never dreamed it would turn into anything.
If you’re a creative person, at times it can be hard to focus on just one aspect of the arts. But I think eventually at some point, you’ll figure out what it is that you love & with a little courage you’ll pursue it.
You use film for a large proportion of your work – can you explain the reasons for this? What qualities does it offer, in terms of the photographs you produce?
We started out shooting film, then moved to digital & over a year ago we decided to move back to film. Don’t get me wrong, we feel that digital photography is an amazing medium to work with & still produces beautiful results. However for our approach we felt the need to make the change. Whilst shooting 100% digital we found ourselves sitting behind our computers for hours and hours on post processing.
We love the creative freedom that comes with photography, but when we were stuck behind our computers editing we felt it sapping our energy & creative juices. We knew we had to make a change.
The beautiful thing about film is that it gives us that freedom. We aim to get it right in the camera, our lab polishes it and we’re left with ethereal images, dreamy tones and colours that we absolutely adore.
It is what it is and that carries a sense of nostalgia for us. It’ll always be timeless & there’s something romantic about that.
Shooting film also keeps us sharp, we can’t cut corners nor do we try. It’s one chance, especially for weddings, and that very concept has made a huge impact on us as photographers.
It just works for us and how we see things.
How does your personal relationship shape your professional relationship? What does it bring to your work?
It’s really one and the same for us. We’ve been married 10 years now, can’t quite believe it. We are best friends and like any relationship we complement each other in strengths and weaknesses, we keep each other grounded and focused & that flows through to our work.
Your photography has a very distinctive style? Has this developed over time and do you need to tailor it to meet clients’ needs?
Tenielle and I shoot from the heart. We never shoot what we think people would want to see or what we think might be popular. I guess it comes down to our taste which is something so personal to an artist, it’s constantly changing and being refined as you grow older and experience more in life. We feel it’s key to align ourselves with client’s that understand us. It means we’ll get to do what we love which means our couples will in return get something they love.
What influences your work?
The people we photograph influence our work more than anything else. Our eyes are naturally drawn to certain compositions and lighting however the expressions and chemistry between our clients are what really shine through.
Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Your images can be very intimate, really showing glimpses into your couples’ everyday lives. How do you get to know your clients personalities?
We really believe in letting people be themselves. We don’t want to over direct when we shoot and we aim to let things play out as if we weren’t even there.
We spend so much time with them on the day, we see people at their best, their most emotional, most joyous. At the end of the day we feel like we’ve known them for years, it’s the most intense, condensed intimacy we’ve ever experienced.
So we feel it’s incredibly important to really get to know our clients beforehand as individuals, as a couple, as real people.
There’s a need to open up and understand each other and when that happens it most certainly does flow through to photos.
Traveling seems to be a big part of your lives. Do you get the opportunity to shoot destination weddings very often?
Traveling is nearly a way of life for Tenielle and I. This is mainly because I hail from the USA and all of my family still live there. I love living in Australia but I love spending time with my family so traveling is a must and every year we go back to USA.
This year we have work in UK, USA, Italy & Botswana.
Lets do some star-gazing – what is in the future for Feather and Stone as a business? (For example in five years time?)
In 5 years time I hope to be spending more time on some of Tenielle and I’s personal fine art photography projects. We also hope to see some of our personal work represented by a gallery, or two.
Are Australian brides different from American brides – or are we all really just the same – in terms of our hopes and dreams, and what we envisage for our lives?
When it comes down to it, we’re all the same. Everyone is working towards one goal. To be happy.
Each person’s way of going about it just differs a little.
Thank you for sharing your inspirations, wisdom and motivations with us, Seth and Tenielle! Check out the Feather + Stone Photography website to find out more about the feather & stonettes!
Seth & Tenielle photo by Sean Flanigan. All other photos by Feather + Stone Photography
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