Jack Chauvel isn’t just a guy with a friendly face. He’s also an extraordinary Sydney wedding photographer who’s been known to move mountains to ensure his couples love not only their wedding pics, but the entire wedding experience. In Mr. Chauvel’s own words, “the role of the photographer is so much more than just the final images produced.”
Here we chat to him about lighting (something he knows a lot about – we’ve shared his knowledge on how to time the lighting for your wedding photos here), what goes on behind the scenes and why he thinks elopements will be the next big thing.
Tell us a bit about what you do…
I am a wedding photographer based in Sydney who loves to travel and document weddings. I feel very lucky to do what I love and capture the world as I see it. I am drawn to telling these unique stories. I am also an avid landscape, travel and film photographer and I am always honing my craft. I enjoy taking my ongoing development and style and putting this back into how I capture weddings.
Whilst I have always considered Sydney my home, I am always on the go and exploring Australia and the world. Being able to tell stories in many different places has allowed me to grow as a photographer and I very much enjoy the connections and friendships I have made in many places.
What is the main advantage for couples who work with you?
A relationship that allows me to capture a great story. I treasure the relationships that I have with my clients and the friendships that I have developed over the years. I work extremely hard to get to know my clients in the lead up to their wedding and to help with the planning process in any way I can so that on the day we can make the most of our time together and enjoy producing beautiful images and a story to look at for many years to come.
Can you share some of the things that go on behind the scenes?
Where to start?! There is always so much that goes on behind the scenes in the lead up to and after a wedding. From the very first point of contact, to the meeting, an engagement shoot, wedding planning, the day itself and then hand picking the images, editing and delivering them in person. I put a lot of myself into the way I work with my clients from the very beginning to the very end.
Do you think there are any preconceptions about the wedding industry?
I think the industry has gotten a little too big for it’s own boots. There is simply so much information, so many vendors and so many opinions about what a wedding should be, it is easy to get lost in the noise of it all. This noise can often make out the industry as being purely about making money, which is far from the truth.
Within the industry there are many lovely and genuine vendors and parties who are doing wonderful things. They are putting their clients first, working with other industry vendors and creating not only fantastic weddings but experiences for couples.
I think the trick is to find people who you will enjoy working with and who understand what you are looking for. Just like picking your friends in life, those that share your philosophy, enthusiasm and give you support will work with you and make the whole process enjoyable. You should fondly look back at the experience and the day that it was.
What are some of the main questions couples ask you? And what are the answers?
The majority of questions asked is around timing and light. The short answer is that you can never have enough time and warm, soft light is beautiful. A day that is scheduled to the minute becomes stressful and takes away from letting it unfold as it should. The only firm times of the day is the ceremony start time and the reception start time. Everything else can flow from there, and I am always happy to share my thoughts and experience about timings.
Light is king when it comes to photos. Those warm, soft and glow-y bridal photos 99% of the time occur during golden hour, towards the end of the day. It is good to have a plan of being able to be in that light, whether it is before your reception starts or if you need to duck out during your reception to be in that light. Every photographer loves shooting in this light and will want to make time for it. The same rule of having abundant, soft and pretty light applies to all aspects of the the wedding day. A lovely well lit house/room to get ready in with yield some fantastic photos. As will a ceremony spot with adequate shade or cover that gives you a little protection from the sun or the elements.
Can you describe what sets your business apart?
My dedication to my craft and my clients. Photography is a visual medium but I feel that the role of the photographer is so much more than just the final images produced. I am very involved throughout the planning process and in fact spend the most time with the bride and groom out of anyone else on the wedding day. I very much love creating the photographs that I do and telling a story; however the experience is created by the end of the wedding day (before any photographs are even seen).
All of the hard work that has gone into the lead up to, and then on the day itself is what creates that experience. The final story and set of photographs is then the cherry on top. This is also why I love delivering these photographs in person wherever possible, as it allows us the opportunity to reminisce about the wedding and experiences we have shared over the course of the planning and day. We get to chat about life, the future and all of the good things that come from a milestone such as a wedding. It is one of the best parts of this job, and I would not change it.
What’s your next predicted wedding trend?
Intimate weddings and elopements will be the next big trend I think. I have seen more and more people shy away from the traditional locations and sizes of weddings with a focus on what matters to them and creating an intimate atmosphere. I think this is an important trend because it is easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of what the real meaning behind the celebration is. Once that balance is found then the result is one with a lot of sentimental value and a greater experience of what the wedding truly means. I am all for this.