So, you want your wedding day documented just how it happens, but you also want some dramatically beautiful shots of you and your love to showcase how incredibly hot you both look on your big day, right? I get it. There’s something about the way you’re both looking at one another, too- even if you’ve been together for a really long time, weddings bring out the most intimate and gorgeous little moments between couples.
That’s why, when I first saw Lee Calleja Thomas’ work on Instagram, I realised that she had a truly unique gift for bringing out that intimacy in photographs. Not only are the images of the wedding and reception perfectly full of emotion and candor, but those quiet portrait style shots are full of moodiness and richness.
I asked Lee to talk a little about her process and how it works on a wedding day to work with a couple to bring that romantic connection out.
In Lee’s words, “As we chat before the wedding I learn about the couple and their individual personalities and style. If the couple are playful and carefree then I try to make it as much fun for them as possible. We have a laugh together as we walk around the venue, making the most of the light we are given on the day ... generally having a lot of fun creating memories to look back on.”
So that is how Lee approaches her photographic practice- gauging your vibe and working with it to capture you and your partner as your most authentic selves.
Lee continues, “I also have couples that want the more serious and dramatic images which are just as beautiful as the candid images, but more personal. This I when I can whisk them away from the crowd to steal some precious quiet moments just on their own without the bridal party or guests to interrupt. Here is where they get their chance to really stop and soak up the fact that they just got married to one another.”
I wanted to know how Lee gets those beautiful moments if a couple is camera shy, or downright embarrassed at the idea of public displays of affection. “Even though I’m capturing them having some gorgeous moments and loved up cuddles, I’m making sure I’m not intrusive or annoying while I’m doing it haha. There is such value in letting a couple be themselves, even if it is shy. In these moments that I capture for them I hope to give them images that will make their children cry in years to come. And if I’m honest, sometimes just watching them and giving them the space to take these moments makes me cry too - seriously!”
I asked Lee for some tips, too. Because what sort of blog would this be if I didn’t?
Choose a photographer you can relate to and feel comfortable with
Consider the time of day you will be shooting your bridal photos. It’s always better to
shoot later in the day, about 40 minutes or so before the setting sun. This creates a gorgeous golden light for your images. Bright 12 pm shadows are not pretty, and you will be squinting into the lens!
Go with your photographer out to your venue just before the wedding and walk through together. The photographer will pin point great spots to use on the day to suit the style you are after
Don’t be too self conscious! Have lots of cuddles and most of all enjoy your day!! Have fun together and the photographs will reflect it
Do a makeup and hair trial so you’re completely happy on the day with your look which will help put you at ease for the rest of the day
Consider what you want from your photos when choosing your wedding venue- are there lots of places to steal quiet moments? Or is it mostly guest-focussed with lots of open space and dancing room?
Most of all, on the day soak up the atmosphere. Soak up all the love you’re surrounded by, and don’t forget about the reason you’re there. You are marrying your soul mate and we as photographers are privileged to share in and capture your story ....
To see more of Lee’s work or to contact her for availability for your wedding date, visit her website here