It always amazes and delights me that within a wedding profession – photographers, cakes, flowers for example – there are as many different styles in capturing the essence of the day as there are professionals. Karen Buckle has her own distinctive style – capturing images which show the beauty of the event with the special quality that Australian light can give an image. I never tire of looking at beautiful images, and with these, you can feel the sun and warmth on your face and the smell of salty air in the breeze. It’s almost like being there, and in the years to come, it’s the feelings your images evoke that will stir your soul.
Where are you based?
We are based on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland, we have lived here for ten years and just love it here!
How would you describe the style of your photography?
Light, bright, natural photos!
What do you try to achieve when photographing a wedding?
I want to tell a story full of life and colour and detail. I want my couples to have a wedding day, not a photo shoot! I try as much as possible to allow and create time for the day to unfold as naturally as possible, and our job is to capture it all without being intrusive!
How you plan the shots for a wedding?
There are a lot of really spectacular locations here on the Sunshine Coast! Often couples request and I am happy to oblige, but I am super excited when I am given the license to do something different. I don’t want to recreate the exact same images as anybody else or anyone else’s wedding. Even when photographing repeatedly in the same locations I love to mix up the compositions to create something unique. We are totally spoilt for choice here on the beautiful Sunny Coast. Also I find that my couples trust me to make great pictures even if the location doesn’t look so great in person! They know I can see something special even if they can’t.
Take us through a typical working day?
My husband Shannon is working with me now! We love to get up and get our kids off to school, then we go for an 8klm walk along the headland and usually finish with a Boost Juice or a coffee depending on the season. Working from home, it’s essential to schedule in some exercise and this suits us perfectly! My husband then cooks us a beautiful breakfast and then it’s time to work! Desk time goes from around 11 till 3 then we do afternoon activities with our son, sport, swimming etc
A lot of us don’t like having our photo taken. How do you help people to relax so that the shots don’t look ‘posed’?
I find that if I am relaxed then so are my couples. I ask them if they have had photos taken before and we talk through their experience. I reassure them that with me they cannot do anything wrong, there is nothing to worry about and I encourage them to relax and have fun. Once the session starts I give them direction on where to stand or what to do, I find that movement naturally creates smiles and laughter, we play games, I ask them to run and jump and walk and kiss and a few other games so it really does feel like fun! Towards the end when they are totally comfortable I will get the intimate romantic shots, simply asking them to come close together and close their eyes! They are usually very happy to do that after all the activity ! Lol
How does the landscape and the light inform your photography?
Again we have SO much beauty here, I am completely inspired by colour and lines and textures and the light is the essential ingredient!
What is your favourite time of the day to take photographs?
Like most photographers I like sunset but I really love full sun on the beach! I just love the bright colours and high key look we can achieve. It is slightly trickier to work in full sun but I am in love with the results! I never look for safe light, I always look for that magic of sunlight, the brighter the better!
What is the most enjoyable aspect of wedding photography?
Hands down it’s the people! I am fortunate to attract the most amazing, interesting and kind couples! I feel completely blessed by our beautiful couples!
Is it the wedding guests and their natural expressions that attract you – or the other 101 little details that you love to capture?
Ooh both! WE have to have both! The candid moments are pure gold but the details are what ties everything together and creates a comprehensive story! Both!
How do you remain unobtrusive on the wedding day, so that people are not conscious of you and your camera?
I keep moving around, I kneel down during the ceremony and I never go too close during a ceremony. I stay fairly quiet and my natural presence is relaxed so I don’t tend to draw too much attention anyway.
Flowers by Green and Bloom
If you could shoot a wedding anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Anywhere Sunny! The Carribean, Mexico, California or closer to home anywhere on or near the beach! We have been to Thailand a couple of times now and would love to go back there anytime!
What is the best piece of advice you have received – business or otherwise?
You don’t have to do everything yourself! I have an amazing assistant, Ashley, she helps me keep up with the day to day running and has been the most valuable asset to our business so far!
What would you tell your younger self – knowing what you know now?
Dream big because anything is possible. I didn’t travel until I was 37 and now I have enjoyed several overseas trips due to photography and I am writing this interview poolside in Seminyak, Bali. I really feel like it is a dream come true and I am always grateful for every opportunity that comes my way!
What are your dreams and aims for the future?
I am very excited to continue on the path I am on, I have really enjoyed watching the wedding industry evolve and most of all, am excited for all the beautiful couples I get to work with. I am always just marveling at all the beautiful interesting people I get to meet and be part of their biggest day!
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Weekends off are usually spent at the beach! We also have quite a lot of sport going on! Right now I’m also renovating and creating a little tropical oasis in our garden! Life is amazing!
Thank you Karen for sharing your story. To find out more about Karen Buckle visit the website.