Leave a fingerprint of you in all of your work

I had a great conversation at a wedding recently with the aunt of the bride who told me that she could tell the artist of a tapestry simply by looking at it.  As appreciators of fine artists, we are drawn into their worlds and find ways to see expressions of those that create artworks.   As we fall into these worlds we soon grow to appreciate, and love the fine details that separates one artist from another.  As she said, we leave a fingerprint of ourselves in our work.  To hear this of tapestry fascinated me.  I am not one that follows the tapestry world (I even had to google ‘tapestry’ just to confirm that what I thought tapestry was, was tapestry).  But that is the beauty of following our own creative interests and passions. There is a world of expression out there for everyone, no matter what appeals to them.

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S + J | Wedding - This time its personal

It's amazing how quickly you can enter reminiscing mode.  To think that by exisiting both in the present and the past, we are creating bonds and ideals for our families in the future. It just goes to show how important families built on togetherness, love and connections flourish, and how I see the future for my daughter shaped to be.   :)

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Husband. Father. Carer.

I was 17. The final year of my schooling.  It was announced that as a part of my high school requirements I had to complete 40 hours community service. My grandmother lived in town and I could visit her and have her sign off the hours-  too easy or so I thought.  Oh how I was wrong.  My grandmother, with her eye site failing' called my mum one day and said 'isn't it wonderful that Matthew is doing this community service- now I can get him do to all these jobs for me.' My grandmother put me to work,  gardening, shopping and reading.  My master plan had failed...  

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Gaining comfort in front of the camera

There seems to me that there is nothing more uncomfortable than the opening moments of an engagement session. An orchestrated dance of awkwardness, as photographer and (til that point) blissful couple in the throes of a contorted limbs and facial expressions.

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Am I white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?

The great existential question for many photographers is the question "what am I,  am I a wedding photographer that shoots portraiture, or a portraiture photographer that shoots weddings?"   These last couple of months have seen such questions raised that perhaps we specialise in "life's moments" photography - capturing family moments in a variety of fashions  and locations (including requests for headshot so, sporting portraits and birthday celebrations).

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Connecting past memories with new moments

There I stood, mind pacing in a uncomfortable state of excitement, anticipation, and nervousness.  Questions running through my mind - would she pick up the phone? Would she still sound the same?  Would we still have that connection that we had when we were still young?  What was that connection any way?

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An ode to Phillip

All it took was one phone call.  

As I sat on the couch and absorbed the news, that the Elders had lost a member of the family,  a tiny hole opened up in my pining heart. Emma had only seen him that morning.  How does any of this make sense? Phillip was gone, and he was never coming back.  

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Equality for all

On a day that should be one of the most joyous and celebrated occasions of my (clients) life, to hear them utter that one disheartened phrase, "but its not a real wedding"  hits me deep.  I write this down so much as to reflect that this is a common statement, but a reflection that even though two individuals have stood in front of family members and friends, and committed their life's together, their marriage is not recognised in the country is which they are stand. 

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Service for a Lifetime

As my mother lay in the throes of labour,  my father and the doctor stood over her, deep in a conversation about pigs.  Now much to the credit of my father, these were not his pigs.  He, at the time, was a ‘wheat and sheep’ farmer.  These pigs, were the proud property of the doctor.  

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If you want to be a better photographer...

"If you want to be a better photographer, be a better person" - Jerry Ghionis (http://www.jerryghionis.com/)

It was an amazing experience to sit in the presence of one of this generations wedding photographers, and hear the passion that he exudes about the work that he captures.  He lives for this, and his family and friends.

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I'm a good guy, you're a good guy

In the case of a fire I would grab my phone  (which isn’t too far away) then go with my wife and daughter to safety.  I imagine standing outside the building, waiting helplessly for the fire brigade to  arrive, and using the last part of my wifi signal before the router becomes a big hunk of melted plastic.  Which wouldn’t be the end of the world in the end as our internet is sooooo slow that the 4G network may be a light relief.

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Testimonials for the Introvert

In the grand scheme of things I'm a relatively reserved guy. I am touched every time I receive glowing correspondence from our brides (its nearly always the brides) and always feel a bit uncomfortable about posting on social media personal letters that were sent to me.

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Striving for Excellence

Striving for Excellence

What a great time I had this last weekend rubbing shoulders with some of the best photographers in the state, and nation for that matter.  The first morning started with me catching a lift down to the judging rooms with four time Australian photographer of the year Ryan Schembri (http://ryanschembri.com/)  and concluded with me saying good bye to new friend Dave, who as I would find out a day later, runs Society Photography (www.societyphotography.com.au) - a studio whose images I absolutely stand in awe of!

 
pyrmont sydney wedding photography
 

Every year the AIPP invites members to submit images for judging which are judged by their peers. For the second year running I submitted three images, and was awarded a Silver award (my first) for one in the wedding category (image of the bride walking down the sandstone staircase).  What blew me aware was there was a challenge on the scoring of the print (one judge out of five scored it a bit higher than the others). This meant that all judges had to say what they liked, and didnt like about the print and their feedback was frank.  Letting you in on one of the comments - they picked up that the bride had lines from the sandstone running through her head.  The feedback that I’ve walked away was invaluable. It was a great experience working behind the scenes and having the chance to hold so many amazing images.  

 

Working behind the scenes I handled in excess of 400 images, looking up close to the quality that the best of the photographers across the state are producing. All this is great pushing me further ahead to produce work of the highest standard in this state. Look out the next couples we work with here at Matthew Elder Photography, we're shooting for the stars!  

 

Overall award winners can be seen here:  http://www.stateawards.aippblog.com/index.php/2014-nsw-aipp-epson-photographer-of-the-year-winners-gallery-congratulations-jennifer-stocks/

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