Photographers are a creative bunch of people. Photographers create with images, and just as an artist creates a whole painting with brushstrokes, all the images from the wedding day create that painting. Jacques Van As and Vicki Fletcher of Snowflake Creations love to capture the details, without anyone realising they are photographing them, creating surprises that capture the essence of the wedding day. The light, the shadows, the tender gestures – all create your painting. And just like any great painting, it is the emotions that it captures, that remain with you forever.
Why include the word Snowflake in your business name?
Every couple is different, and your wedding day should be a reflection of who you are as individuals and as a couple. We believe that your wedding photography should reflect this, capturing who you are on the happiest day of your life. Snowflakes are uniquely beautiful, and so too should be your memories captured.
You’ve both travelled a lot. What has this bought to your photography?
We both love travelling and capturing life and beautiful landscapes wherever we can. Jacques grew up in South Africa and landed in Sydney via London, we’ve both travelled through Asia and Europe quite extensively, so we’ve been lucky enough to capture some spectacular sights. Travelling has really taught us to look up and take in the details that surround us, which definitely comes into our wedding photography, capturing the finer details in the day. Documenting things as they happen too, on the road and in a wedding you rarely get a second chance at that perfect moment. Landscapes are also a big part of both travel and wedding photography for us – we love the great outdoors.
Where are you based?
We’re based in Sydney, but regularly travel around NSW and further afield to photograph too. We’ll go wherever you ask us, whether it’s down the road or halfway around the world in Scotland!
How do you describe your photographic style?
We shoot in a relaxed, natural style, going with the flow and capturing moments as they happen. We like to capture energy, emotion and we love good light!
Do you both have a similar style of photography?
We do. Jacques came into photography from an audiovisual background, so he is very technical, and his experimenting with big ideas always ends with a successful shot. Vicki photographs more on her intuition and ideas. Our different aspects combined with a shared vision bring our relaxed, light-filled style together nicely.
What do you find most satisfying about ‘creating’ with images? Is it the process or the end result?
We both love being out in the fresh air photographing, especially when there’s a lively, animated and in-love couple to focus on. We always give each other a little high-five at the end of the night for doing a good job! While sitting at our desk editing all day can drive us a little nutty and in desperate need for a good run, seeing the end result in our photos is such a wonderful feeling too. But I think the best part is that we get to do it together!
You do lots of photography in other areas, but what is it about wedding photography that you enjoy?
We get to spend a whole day doing what we love, while sharing the happiest day of a couple’s life – does ‘work’ really get any better than that? We don’t think so!
Do you let the wedding day unfold naturally or do you direct to get the shots you want?
We like to step back and let the day unfold naturally, and we capture the moments as they happen. We find that couples and families are always more relaxed when they’re focusing on each other and enjoying the day rather than our lenses, so we like to blend in sort of like another friend or family member there to help. We always ask couples to let us know if they have any specific photos they want and we step in and direct when necessary. That’s another reason it’s good to have two of us, one can organise while the other quickly snaps so no one gets bored waiting around!
How do you ensure you get the ‘hero’ shots – is it being able to anticipate, or experience, that enables you to be in the right place, at the right time?
We always work as a team, which means we have a pretty good chance of capturing those special moments when they happen – if one of us gets caught with moving guests on one side of the room, the other usually captures it beautifully. I guess you could say we act a little bit like paparazzi, because we tend to shoot without people even realising we’re there. This is really what allows us to get some of our best shots, because the couple is totally oblivious to the lens. We keep an eye on little details and people all throughout the day too, so often couples will receive their photos and see things they didn’t even realise had happened on the day!
As most of us are not used to having cameras around all day, how should a couple prepare themselves to be photographed on the wedding day?
The one thing I (Vicki) always say to a bride when I arrive is ‘Try to forget I’m even here. Enjoy this time as it goes all too quickly. If I need something, I’ll ask.’ I then do my best to document exactly as the day unfolds. Jacques has a similar approach and becomes one of the boys, and the groomsmen always relax with him, making for some really natural shots.
Do you have any advice for the bridal couple on their wedding day?
It can be difficult to let go, as you want everything to go just as you imagined it to be. The one thing we would say is that it really is so important to relax and enjoy the day as it unfolds, as it doesn’t happen twice. You want to remember a happy day, not an anxious one. When we finish our shoot between the ceremony and reception we normally tell the bride and groom to grab a drink and go and enjoy a few minutes together on their own and just take in the magic.
What is your favourite part of the wedding day:
Vicki – When the bride puts on her dress!
Jacques – Watching the reaction of the groom when he sees the bride for the first time and definitely the dancing towards the end of the night.
What are the big questions the bridal couple should ask their photographer?
How do they usually work?
Does the photographer let the day happen naturally or do they dictate shots when they want them?
Are they willing and able to direct a large crowd of people for a group or family shots if needed?
If you have specific shots in mind are they willing and able to take them?
What is their policy on paparazzi wedding guests?
Do they prefer you to ask guests to keep their phones away?
What are your dreams for Snowflake Creations?
Well, like every photographer, we really want to improve and grow as much as we can in this industry. We’d love to photograph more weddings internationally but also in more locations throughout Australia. We just love travelling and discovering new places, and getting to capture them is so wonderful. We want to keep creating unique memories for every couple we photograph and form lasting relationships with our clients.
How do you unwind from a busy work weekend?
One of our favourite things to do when we’re not photographing is to get out on the water and go fishing. It’s a kind of meditation really because there’s no point worrying about what you have to do when you’re on a boat in the middle of a lake. We have recently begun the pursuit of learning the dark art of film photography. In the name photography and understanding every angle we have purchased some old vintage cameras and play around with these and develop our own images from scratch. It’s a very therapeutic process.
Thank you Vicki and Jacques for sharing your story. To find out more about Snowflake Creations visit the website.
All images by Snowflake Creations