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Personal Interview With Marcus Bell

How did you first get involved with wedding photography?

A friend of mine got married and they had hired a professional. At the time I had started doing a photography course, so I took a few snaps on the day. It just worked out that they preferred my images to the official photographers. It seemed I had captured them and their day as it was, rather than doing the usual poses. I had also been assisting other wedding photographers and realised that what I offered was, at the time, different. Plus, I really enjoyed it. It was after this wedding that I had the ‘light bulb’ moment when I realised this was my passion.

You were recently named by American Photo as one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world? how did it feel to receive this accolade? And how do you move forward from this?

It feels amazing to be considered one of the best in the world, especially alongside the other people on this list whose work I admire. To know that this list is compiled through a peer nomination process is even more special. I always want my clients to love my work, but to know that other photographers love it too and recognise the effort I put into what I do, is personally very rewarding. To be honest though, it simply lets me know that I’m heading in the right direction. It doesn’t really change my approach. It will just help me to strive to be even better than ever before…

You’ve been named Australian Wedding Photographer of the Year three times, could you tell us how you achieved your most recent award winning shot?

This image, taken at Zoe and Simon’s wedding, was awarded the coveted Ilford Trophy for ‘The Print of the Year’ and highest scoring print at the 2009 AIPP National Photography Awards. It also just happened to be the image American Photo chose to introduce to the Top 10 Wedding photographers in the World. It is kind of funny, because if the wedding day and location shoot had gone to plan, this image would never have happened. Simon had organised to take his new bride for a short cruise down the Noosa River after their ceremony so that they could celebrate their marriage privately before greeting their guests at the reception. They arrived at the dock to find no yacht and an apologetic skipper who explained that the boat had somehow been locked in a canal loch and wouldn’t make it for their sunset cruise. This is when your job turns from photographer to co-ordinator, and you have to do all you can to turn a bad situation into a good one… The moment is pure and personal, so my technique just needed to complement and simplify the scenery to draw attention to the couple and this moment. I captured the image in the available low light with my Nikon D3s using a 24-70mm lens at f/2.8. It was shot at 1/125th of a second on f/4. This meant I could keep my distance and not spoil their moment together. To enhance the image I used Instant Effect Jazz Envey in post-production to highlight the couple.

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