We think that photography is painting a picture not with a brush, but with images. And photographers put as much of themselves into your photographs as an artist does into a painting. In Sarah Moore Photography’s images, you can see the painterly quality, the particular way the light shines on the skin or through a dress, the shadows. And that’s what draws you into the photographs – because the images tell a story of a moment in time. You start to form a picture of the moment, imagining the story behind the image. And that’s what we love about photography – no matter what style, whether it’s in colour or black and white, there is always that elusive mystery of the moment – only known to the people in the shot. Sarah shares her thoughts behind her images – what a great read!
Why did you choose photography as a career path?
Photography was a natural progression from Graphic Design and Fashion Design, which I had spent my 20s and 30s pursuing. Having children meant that I needed something that was flexible and yet still with that creative flair that I crave, so I turned my focus to the camera applying my design skills to my craft.
Did you have an early influence/mentor on your career?
I had a couple of photographers who I spent a lot of time with, watching and learning their craft. I also have a passion for the arts, so draw a lot on the old masters in my portraiture.
What does photography mean to you?
I am passionate about photography, I love that I get to provide my clients with such special moments, works of art that they can keep forever, that become part of their lives.
What’s it like working with children and animals? Do they always steal the show?
It is so much fun!! Sometimes it can be a challenge, especially if the little person is intimidated by my camera, but that is part of the challenge, creating a connection with them, getting to know their little personalities and capturing that personality.
With both kids and animals you have to shoot quickly, be on your toes and not expect too much from
You like using the light in your photographs. Is this simply being in the right place at the right time, or do you work deliberately to get the best lit shots?
I love light!!! Any type of light, midday sun, morning rays, golden afternoon light. I watch the light, how it plays across the lace of a wedding dress, the face of a bride, I watch for dust motes floating through the sun, and my favourite time of day is just before sunset where the light is deep and rich.
So I work towards the perfect light. Every time!
What affects the way you photograph weddings – your photography style?
I love the intimate moments, the connection between my couples, the emotion of the day, the laughter. I think that is the biggest influence. I get teary at every wedding!! Totally hopeless. Light is also a massive influence.
I am also obsessed with black and white photography, taking colour out of the image enhances the emotion of the moment. It takes away any distractions. As a photographer it is actually quite difficult to shoot well in black and white.
How have you seen your style evolve over the years?
If I look back at some of my first weddings, I can still see my style peeking through but technically it wasn’t as perfect. I also did a lot of camera tilt J but that was the style 15 years ago!
What are some tips you can give to bridal couples when choosing their photographer?
Do lots of research, ask lots of questions, find a style that you like and then meet the photographer, ensure that you connect with them. Make sure that you see a full wedding (from start to finish), it is easy to show a couple of your best shots on the internet, shooting an entire wedding well from the bridal prep through to the first dance is much harder!
How can couples relax in front of the camera so that you can get the best shots?
I advise my couples to do an engagement session prior to the wedding. It takes about 40 minutes to relax in front of a camera and if we can get this out of the way prior to the wedding, we are going to get the best photos we can on the day! It is a great way for us to all get to know each other, for the couple to realise that they will barely know that I am there.
Do you pre-plan your shots, or do your know instinctively where to be and how to shoot to get the best images?
It’s a little bit of both, I like to do a recce of the venue or location before the wedding – but if that’s not possible I do a quick scout as we arrive looking for textures, backgrounds, and light.
Without giving too much away, have you had to do some strange or funny things to get a good shot?
Goodness yes!! I am constantly crawling around on the ground, hiding in bushes, or walking backwards off piers into water. I have even been taken out by a massive wave at a wedding at Bradleys Head just to get the perfect shot (being wet and sandy for the remainder of a wedding is not a lot of fun!).
Are you the sort of person to always have a camera in your hand even in your downtime?
I adore macro nature photography, and of course taking photos of my kids, so yep there is always a camera in my hand. I live in the Blue Mountains and we love walking, and I always take my camera with me.
Do you photograph weddings anywhere and everywhere? And where is a favourite location ?
I adore that I travel to so many different places for weddings – I have travelled all over Australia. My favourite though are Country weddings – I grew up in the country so I feel very connected to the land.
How do you feel when you’ve finally completed the photographs and can show the couple the final edit?
I am always so excited to get home and go through the images. I can’t help sharing at least one image with the couple as soon as I can. Once the gallery is completed though there are always a few nerves sending it off – I invest so much emotionally in my images!
How do you relax after a long wedding day?
Sundays are my family day – I don’t shoot at all on a Sunday. My partner and I usually head out for breakfast together (we have a favourite spot up in Medlow Bath overlooking the Megalong Valley) – we then spend the day hanging with kids, pottering around home, or going for a bush walk!
Thank you Sarah for sharing your story. Isn’t it so very interesting to see what makes a photographer tick – it allows us to get to know the person behind the lens! To find out more about Sarah Moore Photography visit the website.
Headshot via Sarah Moore Photography.