Based in the Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in Australia, When Elephant Met Zebra are wedding photographers specialising in professional fine art film and editorial wedding photograph. They love travelling to photograph weddings all over Australia and right across the world. We caught up with Brian to learn more about his business and his love for wedding photography.
1. Tell us a little about yourself I love photographing people or animals with raw beautiful film—that is my absolute passion, it does not feel like work ever! My day job is working on my business; there is so much that happens behind the scenes to run a successful photography business, especially in today’s saturated market. We are still very young so we have so much room to grow. When I am not working you will find me with my beautiful wife driving somewhere in my beloved Jeep, or at the beach, in the garden, playing with our dog, or in the garage building something.
2. How did you get into photography? I can’t tell you when I got my first film camera, but I can tell you that as a young boy I would spend hours flipping through all those yellow cover National Geographic magazine only looking at the pictures. In that dirty old storage cupboard my passion for imagery was born. I’ve always had a camera and an interest in taking pictures, but it was only when I felt burnt out working as an accountant that I decided to take the leap into professional photography.
3. What is it about wedding photography that you love in particular? I love the creative freedom, which you seldom get as a commercial photographer. I also love the challenge. Wedding photography is one of the hardest photography jobs because you have to create beautiful images in so many different lighting situations with very little time. You also get to photograph everything from still life, landscapes, architecture, young and old people to food and even animals. Also, your clients are always happy, dressed to impress and ready to party!
4. Describe your aesthetic Fine art film photography—using an approach that combines fine art and editorial fashion styles. I like to capture beautiful, romantic, honest and timeless images. We shoot film for its romanticism and timelessness, which bestows itself perfectly to fine art and of course wedding photography.
5. Are there any wedding trends we should know about? I am loving the rich dark reds and mustard tones along with the off white/light grey wedding gowns. I will always love the navy blue suit. I cannot get enough of calligraphy and the use of gold foils or lettering in stationery. People are getting creative with their food these days, which excites me as I love shooting food! I also adore long silk ribbon tied around bouquets and can’t wait for the day it becomes a trend with Australian brides.
6. What does a typical day look like? Olive, our little Maltese puppy, wakes us up at 5am, which gives us an early start to the day. Work-wise, every day is different as I am either by myself or will have Caitlin and/or Kerri in working. My work is also split up between When Elephant Met Zebra and The Photo Booth Collective. When the team are in, we are usually working on photographs, blog posts or social media. When I am by myself I am usually running around going to meetings, posting film, picking up supplies or doing general admin stuff. We don’t get much done past 3pm unless we are doing a shoot. My afternoon is either a gym session or riding to the dog park with Olive. In the evenings, I usually work on the business from home.
7. What is your most memorable project? I recently did an editorial in Africa with the theme of an African Safari Elopement, which was absolutely amazing and we cannot wait to share those images!
8. What is your favourite aspect of your job? Being behind the lens taking pictures.
9. What advice would you give to potential clients when choosing a photographer? Besides visually loving the images, you have to be comfortable with the photographer as a person as you are spending most of your special day with them by your side. After my weddings, I always feel like I have become friends with my couples—I hope they feel the same way too!
10. I am happiest when… Either having a chill session with the people I love or game viewing in the African bush.
11. What’s next for When Elephant Met Zebra? When Elephant Met Zebra has some exciting things in the pipeline of which include film photography workshops and the most exciting… photo safari tours!