Today we’re joined by the owner of leading Sydney photography studio gm photographics. Founded by Graham Monro, gm photographics has long been a favourite of mine with the elegant, beautiful photography the studio produces. I’m honoured to have Graham join us today on Polka Dot Wisdom so we can learn a little about him and his love of the lens!
Did you grow up with a camera in your hand, or did photography develop as an interest later in your life?
My dad Jim gave me my first camera when I was 12. I had my first photo published at 14. At 16 I was getting stories and photos published regularly in a motorcycle newspaper. I started off with action photos then into lifestyle photos and design, advertising and magazine photography. Then I got in to wedding and family portraits. So photography has always been my first love and hobby and life.
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I assisted lots of advertising photographers and then the best one was Greg Barrett a great fashion and lifestyle photographer. Greg was a spontaneous shooter, well prepared and really fresh and engaging. He was a quick thinker and very adaptive with light and chaos on a shoot. He taught me to shoot with instinct. I continually go to photography seminars, enter awards and go to exhibitions. I get my photographers to do this too.
Do you have a mentor, or someone who you admire who has influenced your work?
Photographers Greg Barrett , Simon Harsent and Yervant , my studio manager Lauren Bootland and my designer Nicole Santos.
What is your mission statement for gm photographics?
To give our clients the best photographs and experience and customer service possible. To really capture the story of their lives.
Are you known for a particular style of photography? Do the members of your team shoot in the same style, or do you encourage them to have their own styles? How do they differ from your style?
We have a fresh photojournalistic style of photography with a hint of glamour! We all tend to have a similar photo style and tell a complete story of the whole wedding day and couple portrait photo sessions.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
Couples often tell us how much fun they have with us as their photographers. They are amazed at how many photos we take and that we capture so much of their day that they can’t even remember or did not see. I think it’s that we work so hard at a wedding capturing all the details and family and friends and then so many good shots at the location shoot that become big blowups in their wedding album and framed art prints for their home.
Where do you find inspiration to keep your photography cutting edge and your interest in it fresh?
By going to lots of art exhibitions , buying heaps of photography books , trawling through Polka Dot Bride’s blog and on my days off finding new locations to shoot at.
Do you have a ‘feeling’ about each bride you photograph and then plan the photo shoot accordingly?
Yes every bride is different and we listen to what they love and locations of where they like. We encourage them to bring in printed tearsheets of photos that they love that could be from wedding blogs and mags, fashion mags or old family photos . Anything that is a visual record of a feeling or emotion that they love.
Is there a special ‘Australian’ quality about brides from this country?
Actually yes there is – it would be their ability to have fun and let themselves go on the wedding day. Our photo shoots are always filled with laughter and love. And it’s amazing as so many of our couples are from so many diverse heritages and customs.
What services do you offer brides?
We offer a Portrait Couture session that is photographed by Hair and Makeup/Photographer Simona Janek in her studio and a couples portrait shoot on location with our main photographer Simon Gorges. With wedding photography collections we offer beautiful fine art albums, parent albums, thank you cards and framed art prints.
How can a bride look her best in front of the camera?
Either do a portrait Couture session with Simona or do a couple’s portrait shoot with Simon. It’s a great way to learn how to be in front of a camera and it’s a great opportunity to get photos in more casual attire at such a wonderful stage in their lives as they are moving towards their wedding day.
What does Graham Monro like to do when he doesn’t have a camera in his hand?
Hang out with my family that’s number one. See my friends, go kayaking, go mountain biking and wander the city streets with my camera.
What is your dream for gm photographics?
To bring fantastic photographic memories to all our clients and to be their photographer for life as the move through the wedding day buildup to the wedding then pregnancies and children and life’s many celebrations. Maybe my children and my photographers’ children can photograph their children’s weddings!
Thank you for joining us on Polka Dot Wisdom today Graham! Visit the GM Photographics website to see more of Graham’s work!