Getting to know what makes a wedding industry professional tick is one of the joys of working at Polka Dot Bride. Today we’re joined by photographer Tigs Macallan who, based out of Melbourne loves everything about shooting weddings!
Tell me a little about yourself….
From a young age I can remember being fascinated by cameras. My Grandfather was a very successful photographer in Cape Town and I remember very distinctly the smell of all the chemicals and all the cameras lying around in his darkroom at the back of his house in the studio. I guess very early on I understood the concept of photography and the basics of how it all worked. My mum is a very creative spirit and she always encouraged me in the arts and celebrated fresh perspectives. Having been surrounded by her brother and Father’s work most of her life, she has been the best judge of my work, always telling me lovingly and honestly her critique of it all.
Why did you become a photographer? Do you have a mentor?
I found myself at a cross roads about 3 years ago where I knew I didn’t want to go back to the fashion industry. Photography has always been in the wings, just there, helping me express myself and be creative alongside life. I read a book called : “The Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell where he talks about looking to your ancestry for a clue to how you may uniquely see the world. It was one of those light bulb moments! My family goes back with 5 generations of photographers. I made the decision to buy my first digital SLR and begin the journey and I’ve never looked back.
How has your background in fashion and design influenced your photography?
Hugely! Having an eye for quirky details and interesting lines and form has pushed me into a specific style of photography I think. I have developed many products over the years and in some ways, a wedding is one huge personal product. The end result of heaps of thought and planning tailored around someone’s preferences and tastes. I just love that I get to document it all.
What else inspires you in your photography?
Beautiful light; my kids and their crazy passion for life; the stories of the clients that partner with me – I’m a sucker for stories:)
Do you try to get to know the couple so that you can capture their unique personalities in your photography?
I meet them and hear their story over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. We nut out ideas and inspiration and the run of the day. Often we do an engagement shoot or a pre-wedding shoot so we know each other a little better.
How do you plan your shots so that each bride and groom has a unique ‘story’ of their wedding?
To be honest, I go with the day and see what details catch my eye. I observe the light and try use it to express what I think is going on. That’s not always that easy, especially when it’s raining but then you have beautiful reflections to play with.
Do you have a ‘story telling’ approach to your photography, and if so, is this a conscious thing?
I like to think of myself as a story teller. My girls often sit and read a whole book to me, just taking their cue from the pictures. I love that! It’s so naive and simple. It’s so important for us to have those visual stories of our own lives and so having the privilege of telling the story of a couple’s wedding day is just great, I feel honoured!
You seem to have a ‘non intrusive’ approach to your photography. What are you trying to achieve by doing this?
I guess there is a documentary element to my photography style. Wherever possible I prefer to leave things to run their own course. There are times where I am directional but even then I’m hoping to capture the in-between moments. I seek to tell as much of the truth about a couple and their love as possible.
Landscape and the way the light shines through the trees is a feature of your photography. Is that an inspiration of yours?
I am very inspired by lines and light. The way people stand in relation to the landscape is something that I always have my eye on. And then there is the light too. I remember my Mum saying that one should never shoot into the light. Well that became a small rebellion for me. The light often wraps around people and does unique things in relation to the landscape and it fascinates me.
What are your favourite things to capture during a wedding day?
I’d have to say the ceremony, the couple’s shoot and the decor. Well all of it really! The ceremony is a very sacred and special time and so much emotion is exchanged. That’s when my story teller instinct kicks. The couple shoot is great too because there is wonderful flexibility with lighting and landscape and that excites me too. Then there’s all the beautiful detail and hard work put into the decor. I enjoy the variety I think.
What do you love about Australian Brides?
They are just so down to earth. I am yet to experience the bridezilla effect. I thought for a while that maybe I just attracted a particular type of person but I think that Australian culture has a wonderful ease about it and that over flows into the weddings I see.
What was your most memorable wedding moment?
Apart from my own there have been a few since. There are heaps of WOW moments where the light is beautiful and everything seem just right, but I think it’s the relational stuff that I remember the most from the day. I had this one bride called Michelle a few months ago who was the most beautiful, secure, uninhibited person. The whole day was just an inspiring free, fun time where I learnt so much about myself and had a ball.
What is your dream for Tigs Macallan Photography?
I guess to keep on keeping on:) To continue to love what I do and never do so much of it that I stop loving it. I really enjoy developing ideas into something substantial and so I think I’ll continue to add to the extra bits and features that I offer alongside my work.
Thanks for joining us today Tigs! Find more of Tig’s work and how to contact her by visiting her website!