Simon Taylor of Simon Peter Taylor is a Brisbane based photographer whose photography is seemingly simple, but tells your story, chapter by chapter, of the unfolding wedding day. Clear, uncluttered shots to treasure forever as you flick through your wedding album, remembering that moment, that look, that feeling – the joy of which will stay with you forever down the years that follow. That’s timeless photography in a nutshell! Simon tells us his story…..
Where are you based?
When did your interest in photography start?
About 5 years ago when I picked up a Lomography camera (Diana F+) in London while travelling.
Did you go to a school to learn your craft?
I’m entirely self-taught.
How long have you photographed weddings?
How would you describe your photography style?
I think most people would describe it as “modern photojournalistic” but it also involves portraiture and perhaps even a bit of conceptual / art inspired photography. I enjoy using various film emulation editing techniques.
At any wedding, my main focus is to simply record the events as they unfold – essentially candid photography. However, I also love to push the boundaries of what might be considered traditional wedding photography. Taking those quirky / arty shots usually involves something more than merely being an observer but generally involves a lot of fun.
For me, it’s really about finding that balance between candid moments, portraiture and art. The balance is always going to change depending on environmental factors and the personality of my clients. Some couples are excited to do a location shoot and try out lots of different ideas and others just want to party and have me as a fly on the wall.
Is your photography style different from when you started and how has it evolved?
I think the basic idea has remained the same – photojournalistic, unobtrusive and candid. My post production skills are always developing and I’m constantly on the hunt for new and creative techniques.
Perhaps the biggest change in my shooting style is the manner in which I deal with light. I was previously obsessed with perfect light and generally aimed to overexpose but I’m more willing now to experiment with darker shadows and more moody tones.
To the untrained eye, your photography looks simple and effortless. How do you prepare for a wedding shoot to maintain that soft quality?
Why thankyou! To be honest, I generally don’t prepare too much (other than basic timing and locations). I guess its pretty obvious but I’ve found that the most important aspect in shooting a wedding is to build a rapport with the people you’re shooting. Weddings can be a bit stressful at the best and they don’t necessarily evolve the way it was originally intended (thanks to Mother Nature). But once you have your clients’ trust and you’ve put them at ease the results will show.
Is using the natural light and raw backgrounds (to contrast with the bride and groom) a special aspect of your photography?
Yes to some extent. I particularly love finding harsh landscapes or interesting architectural backgrounds to create a juxtaposition of sorts … the aim is not to provide an entire conceptual shoot but rather to add a few unusual elements to the usual mix.
I shoot a lot of basic and beautiful portraits but I also encourage my clients to do some pretty unique things – some of which work and others not so much. Although the misadventure is half the fun.
Working with beautiful natural light is always a bonus but it’s something which obviously can’t be controlled. Some of my favourite shots were taken in low light during (literally) cyclonic conditions!
What is it that you are most proud of with your photography?
Happy couples! It’s so worthwhile when newlyweds see their photos and are blown away – it’s nice to capture that moment in time which was a whirlwind for them and give them something beautiful to remember and show to their friends, family and maybe future kids!
You mention that you are a destination photographer who travels anywhere in Australia, or the world. Do you see a difference in the way we celebrate weddings in Australia, to those in Europe?
European weddings are generally at a holiday destination as generally the guests have travelled so far to get there. Generally the celebrations go over a few days and atmosphere is much more relaxing. The bride and groom get to spend more quality time with their guests rather than just the 1 day.
Other than Australia, of course, what is a favourite country you have been to?
Italy is probably my favourite so far. The diversity of landscapes packed into a small country from the dramatic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, the rustic hills of the Tuscan countryside and the majestic Lake Como make for beautiful photographs.
What would be your dream wedding photography assignment?
New York City – there are so many cool laneways and architectural details that would be amazing for a wedding location shoot.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love reading magazines and blogs to get inspired creatively. And playing with my daughter Sophie, she makes me laugh a lot.
Any tips for a great honeymoon destination in Queensland?
Raes on Wategos at Byron Bay would be my pick – a small luxury hotel for the gypset.
Thank you Simon for sharing your thoughts with us. To find out more about Simon of Simon Peter Taylor, please visit the website.
All images courtesy of Simon Peter Taylor.