When someone has passion for their profession, it certainly is the difference between wanting to strive to be the best you can be and being mediocre. With this passion for his chosen profession shining through, Kevin of Kevin Lue Photography has a strength to his images, at the same having a ‘being in the right place at the right time’ quality, that appeals for its storytelling feel. An image that is a moment in time, but tells us more about that moment than words ever can. Writing the story of your day in pictures is always a priceless gift to yourself, and one that you’ll treasure long after the wedding day is over. Here, Kevin tells us his story.
What led you to photography as your profession?
I’ve always been a story teller, even at school I was good at writing creative stories through my own imagination. I was also very hands on in visual arts but I never really thought the two would go hand in hand. It wasn’t until I started playing with my dad’s retro film SLR. I thought, what if I could tell stories through my eyes by taking pictures? That’s what I have been doing ever since and never looked back. My brother was my first guinea pig where I took his engagement session (brave man he was!) They turned out well and he loved them so he decided to showcase the shots on the projector on his wedding day. That was definitely the turning point for me as it got people talking.
How long have you been photographing weddings?
Weddings? Since 2009 professionally. But in terms of general photography I started earlier than that, around 2002.
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I’m still learning! Technology always changes and I will never stop learning. However the fundamentals and principals never change. They were mainly self taught with lots and lots of reading! I read many photography magazines, visited other photographer’s websites, Youtube and Google. Having said that, I did learn the basics in my university days and I took short courses later on to build up my skills. It didn’t stop there. I always love to photograph in my own time, practice makes perfect!
How would you describe your photographic style?
Natural, reportage and photojournalistic. I really want to capture the story naturally the way it was unfolded.
Has anything in particular influenced your photographic style?
My style has always been casual, relaxing and natural. With the help of knowing the personalities of the couple, it helps shape my style as I go, so it is important to listen and know their story.
Do you have a mentor, or someone you admire who has guided your work?
I don’t have a mentor as such but I have good friends who are also photographers and we support each other in that sense. Before my wedding photography started, Florent Vidal was the photographer for my brother’s wedding and I witnessed his craftsmanship and photojournalistic style and we kept in contact ever since. I have teamed up with him on a few jobs before as his second photographer and it was a huge learning curve for me. Another person I need to mention is Daniel Brannan. We have maintained our friendship for some time and we credit each other’s work, supporting each other to chase our photography dreams. He is amazingly talented and his work definitely inspires me to push harder.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you want to do something, give it your all and it is ok to make mistakes because that helps shape you to do better next time. Don’t know where I got this from but it’s stuck in my head.
Do you most like to shoot a wedding when you have been given complete creative freedom and what planning, if any, do you do?
Creative freedom would be the most ideal! Its rare but it does happen. Given creative freedom, I’m not restricted to shoot what is required, but depending on situation. If the situation does not allow me to shoot in a particular way, I won’t force myself. It’s hard to plan, you can’t control whether that day will be sunny or raining but you can see how others do it and how you can do it better and differently. There are things you can plan such as research the location and scout.
Do you like to keep your finished images natural as possible or do you like the added challenge of post production work?
Absolutely – I keep it as natural as possible, this also reflects on my natural photography style. I do most of the work on camera and little touch ups on the computer. I believe less is more and there is a fine line as to how much editing you should do before you begin to ruin the image.
Please describe a working day in your life. What does a working day look like for you?
This is a tricky questions as there isn’t a day the same! OK, let’s talk about a typical wedding working day. I pack the day before and on the day, I would get up early in the morning assuming it’s a full day wedding and I would shoot the getting ready part, head to the ceremony and finish there with some group shots. This then leads to the bridal party shots and then the remainder of the night at the reception. Yep, its a long day, I’ve even had 16 hour days and as you could imagine, by the end of that, I’m totally shattered.
Photographers are by nature ‘visual’ people, How has this influenced you in your everyday life?
I definitely see things differently than what my wife sees! She is a practical person and I’m a creative person. For instance, I love to look at the latest homeware trends and she would think they take up too much space.
Do you have a ‘feeling’ about each bride & groom and try to bring out their personalities in their photographs?
Yes, in most cases I ask the couple what they are like around each other and I will try to bring that characteristic out of them because it does get awkward with a camera in their face all the time.
Do you travel anywhere in Australia (or the world) to photograph a wedding?
Yes I do! I’d love to travel and I’m not restricted to Sydney only. I have done a Fiji wedding and I look forward to many overseas shoots!
What is in the future for Kevin Lue Photography? Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
It’s very hard to say but photography is my number one passion and this will not fade no matter what happens. I will, with my ability to further strengthen my business by adapting to trends and continue to capture as many moments as I possibly can. Ideally I would like more exposure to my brand and be well recognised and respected in the industry.
What is your favourite thing to do when relaxing?
Absolutely nothing! I enjoy a bit of quiet time whether its by the beach, a patch of grass for a lie down or watching the tennis.
What do you love about living in Sydney?
You have to love the food. It must be one of he most international cities in the world and you can basically eat anything from any country.
What (or who) inspires you?
Roger Federer – He is such a graceful player and humble to his opponents. He is so talented and has been playing for so long and still has what it takes to win big majors and enjoys what he does. He is one of the most respected players in the history of tennis and is a pleasure to watch. He inspires me to do my best and to keep going. Results will show and respect will be earned.
Thank you Kevin for sharing your story. Such evocative images where the love of each couple shines. To find out more about Kevin Lue Photography visit the website.