Look closely and you’ll see that each photographer has a subtly different style, even though they each photograph the story of your day. Magnus of Magnus Agren Photography has a love of nature – the vastness of a mountain backdrop, the detail of a field of yellow daisies, the craggy rocks at the seaside. Setting you in amongst this magnificence, he highlights the importance of your relationship as part of the world we all live in. Just as nature is ever changing and a world to be explored, your wedding day is just the start of your new adventure together.
Where are you based?
Southern Highlands NSW.
What keeps you inspired as a photographer?
Living in the highlands, we really are spoilt with four distinct seasons, so I feel inspired constantly by nature. I love that no two couples are the same, and being able to bounce off their energy celebrating the most exciting day of their lives is contagious. And the more adventurous the better!
How would you describe your photographic style?
Relaxed, “not in your face.” I love encouraging the couples to embrace whatever their day brings, with their adventurous spirit to go off the beaten track to get amazing shots, and add to memories of the day!
What do you enjoy about wedding photography?
Not only do I get to capture couples’ wedding day, but I get to hang out with them too, through the pre wedding nerves, to the elation of the “I now pronounce you husband and wife” to the adventure of the location shoot, and then the fun and hilarity of the reception and its shenanigans. I arrive as the photographer, and leave with new friends.
How does your background inform your style of photography?
Initially starting as a landscape photographer I feel naturally drawn to nature and love capturing the beautiful locations couples have chosen to celebrate their day. I also love the adventure that the location shoot can bring, and here in Australia we are spoilt for choice with coastland, bushland, farmland and cityscapes all at our fingertips.
The landscape and light seem to be an important part of your photography. Is this ‘sense of place’ an important part of the story you are telling?
You say “the story you are telling” but it is the couple’s story that they tell to me, I am merely documenting it and facilitating the telling of THEIR story. The couples choose the venue and where they decide to celebrate reflects their personality, style, and character.
A lot of your photographs seem quite ‘textural”. Is this an important element of your photo compositions?
Absolutely! I love putting the soft delicate wedding dress and prettied up people against something that’s quite the opposite. If brides are happy with me taking them into mud and dirt then that’s where we’ll go!
How do you get the best shots – with lots of direction or just letting day unfold naturally?
Letting it unfold without a doubt! I don’t want to be forcing moments to happen, I want couples to enjoy their day as they want. You’re not going to get their personality if you’re telling them what to do the whole day, that’ll just be what you’re forcing on them. It’s the moments when they don’t know I’m taking a shot that I find the most special. One of my favourite moments is after they have signed the marriage certificate and their witnesses are signing and they have their first moment together as husband and wife, it’s the secret smiles to each other then that I find beautiful.
How do you ensure that the personality of the couple shines through the images?
I think the previous question helps with that heaps! Letting the day unfold lets the couples relax and be themselves and I just get to encourage them on that path and we run that same path together. I also find it helpful to encourage them with things they would like to do no matter what. Like if a couple have a vision for how their day was planned to be, then I encourage them to go for it rain, hail or shine! Wet weather should never dampen the day, some of my favourite shots are when its pouring!
Do you travel all over Australia and overseas to photograph weddings?
I absolutely do! The more random the place the better. I love doing real outback country weddings or just authentic relaxed non city ones.
How do you go about scouting for wedding shoot locations in a place you don’t know well? How much time do you need to prepare?
This is part of what I like to do. I love places that I haven’t been and having to think on my feet. Even some places that you do scout, the light can be completely different on the day and it’s not going to work, so you still have to think on the spot. So I like to have ideas of nice places but not having to be tied to them. I think spontaneity lends itself to creativity.
How would you like your couples to feel when looking at their photographs in five year’s time?
I’d love them to remember the adventure that was had on the day and for those photos to transport them back to the emotion, excitement and love that they had for each other on that day.
Wedding photography is a labour intensive business. How do you ensure a work/life balance?
Without a doubt! And I don’t think I have found that good balance yet either. As living on a farm I’ve got work to do there, but I guess that sort of runs into the next question too. But rumour has it I need to set work hours and have days off.. I’ll get there 😉
What do you like doing for relaxation?
I enjoy adventuring in the bush and going camping and things outdoors with my family. Our favourite days off are spent in the veggie garden with our son Bud and our border collie Joey. Nature is where I like to be!
Thank you Magnus for sharing your story. Such beautiful images to treasure for a lifetime and beyond. To find out more about Magnus Agren Photography visit the website.
All images from Magnus Agren Photography.