Hong Kong is a mecca for wedding vendors. Just looking at the sheer volume of planners, photographers and decorators online can make any normal human-being want to give up! This is why it is so important to ask your planners or decorators their preferred partners... and we're letting you in on a little secret today, as Justin Lim is one of ours!
We've asked Justin what matters to him at weddings and what makes a beautiful photo... here he is giving us some wonderful tips on making that memory last forever!
You moved away from fashion photography to go into weddings. What makes you love weddings so much?
There is something personal and real about weddings that really excites me. Meeting and working with so many wonderful, loving couples is also really gratifying, especially when we live in such a culture of immediacy which sometimes doesn't allow us to appreciate the little pockets of beauty in a relationship. For me, capturing an amazing happy moment at a wedding makes the whole day's exertions disappear!
I really appreciate that my style of photography means that I am not just someone who drops in on the day of the wedding, I have an important role to play with styling, location scouting and input in the lead-up to a wedding day. That is a big responsibility, but one I relish.
What is the most memorable wedding you went to and why?
As a photographer, I really enjoyed the wedding I shot in a 200 year family home in Thailand. That sense of authenticity can't be replicated in a drab, generic, hotel ballroom. Recently, I also enjoyed a wedding I shot on a rooftop on Broadwood Road, Hong Kong - it was a 3 day event which included a banquet at the Mandarin Oriental and I really loved the couple's simple-yet-elegant aesthetics. We really seemed to "click" which is a key component of what makes a wedding great!
What is important to you in wedding photography? What are the elements you look for to make a beautiful picture?
My whole ethos revolves around not "forcing" the moment. Of course I sometimes suggest locations for portraits, and make little adjustments, but it's important not to interrupt the flow of a wedding or get too intrusive. My style is to be surreptitious but always get my shots. In terms of elements I look for, I always want the backgrounds and accessories to bring the focus on a couple, rather than be a dramatic distraction. I love simple elements which bring out a natural, soft beauty.
Any tips for future brides?
Never feel forced into picking something you don't want for yourself or your celebration. It's your big day and time to shine, but remember - it will fly by so quickly, so always enjoy the moment.
In terms of photography, I always appreciate a bride who has suggestions as to potential locations which might have a particular significance. The best shoots rightly rely on a degree of collaboration!