Capturing the emotions of the day in an image is made even more special when that unique quality of Australian light enhances every photograph. Anthea of Anthea Auld Photographer is not only your story teller for the day, she is also quietly organised, a calming influence whenever things become overwhelming and approaches each and every wedding with the respect and dignity it deserves. Her images have a mix of indescribable joy, love, a sense of place and above all power – from the light captured in the images and the couples themselves expressing their day, their way. Anthea shares her thoughts on photography and making it all happen!
How long have you known that you wanted to be a photographer?
Ever since I was a little girl all I ever wanted was to become a photographer. From an early age I remember the anticipation of dropping off rolls of film and eagerly awaiting the results. I grew up in the hills of Perth, so began taking photos of wildlife and fauna, I still treasure some of those early images that were produced on film. I still get the same excitement of seeing my results when I shoot a wedding today.
What did it take to realize that dream?
For 3 years I studied full time whilst working, which was a difficult balance, but ensured I was extremely organised. I obtained an Advanced Diploma in Applied Science of Photography and began in the wedding industry by assisting some amazing photographers. I’m very grateful for the opportunity they provided me to hone my skills. As my confidence grew I began shooting more weddings on my own, now after many years I have the experience to deal with different challenges and situations that may arise on any given wedding day.
How long have you been in the business?
I’ve now had my photography business for 13 years. Throughout that time I’ve mostly been based in Perth, but in 2009 I moved to Tasmania for a 2 year period. The landscape on the Apple Isle provides for breathtaking scenery, and I was fortunate to see large parts of the island with weddings in some remote locations.
What are the qualities that make a successful wedding photographer?
Whilst being technically savvy is incredibly important for a wedding photographer, through my experience I’ve found emotional intelligence, personality and an ability to read situations are valuable attributes. On a day where emotions run high, your photographer needs the ability to handle sensitive situations to ensure the couple receives the most beautiful images possible, regardless of what situations have arisen throughout the day.
Why do you love photographing weddings?
Every love story is unique and this is why I love photographing weddings. I’m trusted with the responsibility of capturing all the special moments throughout the day and delivering perfect images. This is what drives me to continue to constantly evolve my style. I know these images will become heirlooms for future generations, which is extremely rewarding and satisfying.
How has your photography (style) changed since you started?
As mentioned previously, my style has definitely evolved. I offer more diversity in my coverage and through experimenting with different angles and lighting, I feel I provide unique and timeless imagery my couples are proud to display.
I’m fascinated by the way you use the sunlight, shadows and landscape in your photographs. Why are these elements important in giving your images a sense of time and place?
My inspiration is the outdoors and open spaces, I love the juxtaposition of a couple dressed up, in a natural environment. I also spend a lot of time pouring myself over interior design and architecture books in my spare time.
You say ‘I don’t just take your photographs, I amplify your vision’. What do you mean by this?
I like to find out who my clients are as a couple, what they like to do together on the weekends/ in their spare time. This ensures I’m photographing them in a location where they are comfortable and happy. The better I get to know my couple, the more I understand them and the type of coverage that will suit their day. Once this is established, I can start getting creative!
When choosing their photographer, what should a couple look for?
Firstly, you need to like their work and think, “will I still like these photos in 20 years’ time?”. Your photographer will be in your home on your most emotionally charged day you’ll ever experience, so you will need to be comfortable with them. They are there to guide you, make you smile and occasionally calm storms. You will know, soon after you first meet with them.
What keeps your passion for photography alive?
My passion at the moment comes from my awesome clients, I’ve been lucky to have the most amazing people to capture, who are genuinely lovely people. Seeing their day unfold, in their unique (way) and witnessing their joy, it’s all pretty cool.
How have weddings changed over the years? What do bridal couples place importance on now?
Now, more than ever it’s essential for digital files to be preserved properly, as long as they continue to print and display them, I think this is OK.
What is a typical wedding day routine for you?
I double check my camera gear, ensure all of my batteries are fully charged and pack my car fridge with food that I can eat in the car whilst traveling between locations. Then the most important ingredient of the day, COFFEE!
I usually start at the girl’s prep, while my second photographer starts with the boys.
How do you assist in keeping the wedding day running smoothly? Do you work hand in hand with the other vendors?
I ask my couples to fill out an extensive run sheet, which details everything I need to know on the day. This information such as, suppliers and their contact details, arrival times, addresses for locations. Once this information’s provided, I prepare my own run sheet timed to the minute, being this organised on the day ensures it’s more relaxing for everyone involved.
You donate your time and expertise to charitable projects. What is a project you are passionate about?
At the moment I have been donating time photographing “Mother Nurture Group” which is a group who gather young women together who are experiencing anxiety and depression. They don’t have a marketing budget so I have been helping them out. Another is “Breast Friends” a not for profit organisation raising money for Breast Cancer. Each year I support about 4 causes close to my heart.
How do you fit in and give time to everything in your life – your charitable projects, business, and family?
Throughout the wedding season, I try to wake up early and get a couple of hours work in before my kids wake up. My husband generally looks after the boys in the morning and ensures they’re fed, have lunches packed and gets them off to school. I made the decision 10 years ago to employ office staff to help with the business, by doing this I know my accounting etc is getting looked after, which is one less worry when running a small business. It also means I get to focus on doing what I love, chasing people around with a camera and searching for new locations.
I must say right now in the middle of wedding season, my work life balance is a little out of wack, with way too much work and very little family time. My husband is very hands on with the kids, along with my family. I’m blessed in that regard – it’s the only thing that allows me to do what I love.
What are you inspired by in your everyday life?
My inspiration is constantly evolving, I am obsessed with houses and architecture and interior design and right now the colours of the Kimberly and the remote coast line through some amazing aerial photographs I’ve been looking at. Ask me in a month and this will have changed !
What do you do to relax after a big wedding weekend?
“The Wedding Hangover” hits hard once the day is complete. Nothing relaxes me more than jumping in the bath at the end of a long day, with a glass of Riesling, possibly some chocolate, before jumping into bed and watching some Netflix. Outlander is my latest guilty pleasure…JAMIE.
Thank you Anthea for sharing your story. We love the feelings in each of these images – love, joy, serenity – feelings that will live forever more in your heart whenever you look at your album. To find out more about Anthea Auld Photographer visit the website.
Headshot by Amanda Gay.