Every time I prepare an interview from a photographer I’m struck by the subtle differences in the style of their images. Sometimes it is obvious but more often it is the differences in the way they use the light, or the landscape to give a sense of time and place, or the way the couple ‘fits’ into the image. Sometimes it’s just a feeling that the images are just right – and strike a cord in your heart. Simone of Simone Addison Photography has a style of photography that is artistic and fresh, yet somehow there are so many subtleties in her images that you have to look again to take in the full impact of the image. Each of her images gives you a different feeling of the day – and the story of that moment. How lucky are brides in the West having Simone available to photograph their weddings! Here’s her story.
How long have you been photographing weddings?
I’ve been photographing weddings for over 6 years.
Where are you based?
Perth, Western Australia.
What does winning awards mean for you and your photography?
I like to challenge myself and try to create something interesting with my everyday clients. Entering competitions encourages me to push myself and my photography to new and exciting levels. It’s nice to win but it’s the overall process that is the most rewarding.
How has preparing your images for awards influenced your photography?
Preparing images for awards takes a lot of time and attention to detail. Some of the skills that I’ve learned over the years of competitions has definitely transferred to my everyday work. Getting rid of small things in the image that are distracting can help make the image really shine.
What does this mean for your wedding clients?
I’m fortunate enough that my clients are ready for a bit of adventure and go along with my ideas. I always make sure I get the shots that are ‘required’ for a wedding day (the first kiss, family photos etc.) but I also like to throw in a few artistic or graphic images for something different.
You mention ‘fine art wedding photography’. What does this mean for the bridal couple?
For me, ‘fine art wedding photography’ means looking for a slightly different way of telling the wedding day story. It’s a nice mix of candid and traditional portraits, but also taking photos from different angles, using reflections or even making interesting compositions.
Before I became a photographer, I studied fine art, so some of my images are inspired from paintings or have a graphic element to them.
When photographing your bridal couples how important is the landscape or surroundings to your photographs?
Having a pretty background is nice, but not a necessity. The connection between the bride and groom is my main focus. Weddings are about two people in love taking that next step together, so I want to capture that genuine connection between them.
While I’d be more than happy to climb mountains to get those amazing shots you see so much on Instagram, I’ll always love photographing couples with a genuine connection to each other.
Do you believe in posing your bridal party, or do you find the shots you are most pleased with – are natural?
I believe in a healthy mix between the two. I don’t like to use the word ‘posed’ since it can sometimes give couples the wrong idea.
I give bridal parties ‘guidance’ on what to do in front of the camera. I might ask them to play word games or tell stories to each other and that way you get the genuine laughs and reactions.
How would you describe your photographic style?
Rich. Romantic. Honest. Colourful.
You have some beautiful shots taken from the dark looking into the light. Are these shots appealing for their mysterious quality?
I like to throw in a few moody or darker shots to keep things interesting. People read into them differently, but I believe couples like them because they want something imaginative.
There are so many great photographers out there, I believe that by creating artistic images can help set you apart from others.
How many weddings do you shoot each year?
Since I do all the editing myself, I limit my weddings to 35 per year. If I take on too much, I’ll burn out and the quality of work would suffer.
Keeping to a limit ensures that every one of my couples gets the same amount of care and attention to their wedding day and photos, that they deserve.
What does providing excellent service to your wedding clients mean to you?
Providing excellent service to my clients means that I am available for assistance in the lead up to their wedding (answering any questions or providing advice to help their day run smoothly), being organized and friendly on the wedding day, and delivering high-quality products on time after their big day.
How does travelling to photograph weddings expand your horizons?
I’d love to do a bit more travelling (especially overseas), as it allows me to explore new places and I can be creative in different ways.
I currently travel to the South West region of WA every few months for weddings which is a refreshing change from being in Perth most of the year.
Do you have some tips for the wedding day that brides/grooms may not have thought of?
- If you’re booking a genuine vintage car, ask the car company if there is a speed maximum that the car can go. Some older cars can only go up to 80km/h which will make a difference to travel time if you’re travelling on a freeway for long distances.
- Have a mini-sewing kit handy. You never know if a dress or suit pants will need a quick repair.
- Always have a plan B in case of rain. Always. Even if that plan is ‘Bring an umbrella’.
- On your invitations, put a slightly earlier time that the ceremony is due to start. For example; if your ceremony starts at 3pm, write 2.45pm on the invite. It allows guests a bit of leeway if they’re running late.
As far as planning a schedule/timeline for the wedding day – what should a couple allow for?
Always add extra time for travel. Things often take longer on a wedding day (getting in and out of the car) and limos can’t turn around in a hurry.
After the ceremony, you’ve also got the guest congratulations or ‘receiving line’ and the family photos. That time varies depending on how many guests you’ve got at your wedding, but you’ll need at least 30 minutes for both.
What do you most enjoy about being the photographer at a wedding?
It’s hard to say what my favourite part is, since each event of the day is special in its own right. But if I had to pick one it would be the fun location photos after the ceremony.
By that stage the pressure is off the bride and groom because they’ve signed the paperwork, and they’re having a laugh with their best friends. That’s when I’m in my element as I guide them through the photos and get those awesome ‘just married’ expressions.
How do you celebrate the end of a working day?
Once I get home from a wedding, I back everything up, have a shower and a nice cup of tea. Sometimes I’ll go to have a nice breakfast the next day.
What are your other interests outside of photography?
Photography is a bit of a way of life for me since I love it so much. But on my one day off a week I’ll spend it with my two German Shepherds; Axel and Pippa, and my husband. We’ll often go hiking or find new restaurants to try. I also enjoy video games, baking and binge watching TV shows J
Thank you Simone for sharing your story. Amazing shots for your album to relive your day time and again – full of precious memories. To find out more about Simone Addison Photography visit the website.
All images in this post – as well as the headshot by Simone Addison Photography.