When a photographer says they produce images that are relaxed, real and rad, you know you’re on to a winner. Fran Jorgensen of Fran Jorgensen Photography is all about chasing emotions and un-staged moments, and building connections with her couples. She wants them to feel as if they are transported back in time to their big days so they can feel all the feels again! Today we chat about what a typical day on the job looks like for Fran, how her background in family and lifestyle photography helps her in her wedding photography, and what stages of the wedding day she most likes to shoot.
Where are you based?
I am based in Victoria.
What are your favourite local spots to take wedding photos?
I just love the beach. I grew up in a city two hours away from the beach, so the beach has always been my happy place, in winter and summer, there is something about the ocean that I find soothing and it keeps me calm.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
I have been a wedding photographer for three years but a lifestyle family photographer for five, my kids are now a bit older and that means that I can be away from them for longer periods of time.
How would you describe your photography style?
I am a sucker for emotions and wild laughs. I love connection and relaxed vibes, that sometimes can be hard to find in a wedding day. I work really hard to make my couples feel at ease and connected on the day. I want my couples to remember what the day felt like.
What sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
I have been told by my couples that my flexibility is a great bonus, sometimes plans change and we have to make do with what we have, I love to be challenged and create great images in common places, so just when something looks boring I think that with a different point of view or perspective it can be turned into a great image.
What’s a typical work day look like for you?
ALWAYS START WITH A COFFEE and most likely a coffee in my car while I drive at 5am for some ocean rowing training, winter and summer. The ocean is what keeps me going, and having a crew rowing as one while the sun rises is just an incredible feeling, even if some winter days we have to scrape the dew from our seats and I wonder why I do that to myself. I am back at home by 7am when everyone I starting to rise and the manic process of getting everyone to school on time starts. Once back from drop off I would catch up with socials and I go into my editing cave. I will emerge at around lunch time to have a break, and in the afternoon it will be all about content creation and blogging.
How early should a couple book you in?
The early bird catches the worm! Probably six months to a year in advance is ideal, it allows us to get to know each other better in the process. I am always thinking of how I can help my couples in the planning process.
How do you make a connection with your couples? Why is it so important?
To me photography is ALL ABOUT connection and storytelling. I believe that connection only comes when people are authentic but not only #authentic, more like when you are relaxed and in a happy place and you can see that everyone is letting their guards down, and the only way of doing that is when everyone is relaxed. This is exactly why I recommend having an engagement session, it doesn’t have to be corny, it’s a way for me to be able to get to know you and to know you story that way later on your wedding I am not a stranger that just showed up.
You also do family photography. Do you find that helps with your wedding photography, perhaps in making connections with people?
Family photography to me it’s like going to the gym, it’s for me a way to keep pushing my creativity, there is nothing like managing to connect with a two year old that just had a tantrum … one of the most challenging situations! Over the years, I have also learned that time seems to accelerate when you have little ones, some days seem to last forever but when you look back, they are only little for such a short time and photography is the only way I have found to try and keep them little for a little longer.
What are your favourite weddings to shoot?
MEANINGFUL weddings and weddings with a great story. I feel that we spend so much time thinking about the ins and outs and the logistics. It’s important to remember why we are doing this to start with and what are the challenges we have had to go through to get this far in our relationship.
Are there parts of the wedding day that stand out – that you particularly enjoy photographing?
I love photographing the first look, that moment when the couple sees each other for the first time on the day, the time seems to stop.
Are you available for destination weddings?
Yes please! I have just done an elopement in Greece and a wedding in France late last year. I am fluent in French and Spanish so anything I can do to help with the logistics I will!
Favourite place you’ve travelled for a wedding?
France and Chile, they are both part of my story so I have a soft spot for them.
Top three wedding venues?
I love beer so I will have to say a great brewery or distillery, my favourite for weddings are: Colonial Brewing Co, Stomping Ground Brewing Co, and The Craft and Co.
The best thing about shooting weddings is…
THE PARTY! I also love the moments before leaving for the ceremony, that’s when everything starts to sink in and where you can find great stories.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about wedding photographers?
That it can get very lonely! It’s great to have the flexibility and not being stuck to the 9 to 5 daily grind, but editing days can get very long. Over the years, I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing creatives in my area, and we have become some great friends.
When you’re not shooting weddings, where would we find you?
In my editing cave! Or if I am lucky enough, running near the beach or rowing!
Thank you Fran for letting us into your world and sharing your style and approach to wedding photography. Building connections is so important but you’re obviously a pro at this as your work really shows the love and happiness felt by your couples. To find out more about Fran Jorgensen Photography, head to their website or check them out on the Polka Dot Directory.
Headshot by Lives on Love Street