Monterey Bay Wedding Photographer
Hi there! I'm the owner and photographer behind Picturist Photography, based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. Born and raised in South Africa during Apartheid, I experienced firsthand the transformative power of a single photograph. This, coupled with my love for Fine Art, led me to my true passion - wedding photography. I've been fortunate enough to capture love stories in beautiful locales, from Cape Town to Monterey and even Utah, relishing in the excitement of destination wedding photography. Since 2014, I've been creating timeless memories and unique works of art for my couples. Honestly, I can't see myself doing anything else. I simply love what I do, and I can't wait to share that love with you!
What inspired you to become a wedding photographer?
A. So you’re wondering, “Why wedding photography?” Well, it’s a journey that began in Apartheid-era South Africa, where I grew up. I first realized the power of photography there, thanks to Sam Nzima’s poignant photo of Hector Pieterson. This image, raw and evocative, changed my life and showcased the transformative impact of a single snapshot.
I flirted with the idea of becoming a photojournalist, but after hearing a photojournalist from Cape Town share his wild adventures, I knew it wasn’t my path. After high school, I fell head over heels for Fine Arts amidst the art-laden streets of Amsterdam. That year was filled with hidden galleries and remarkable museums, igniting a passion that led me back to the realm of photography. My love for art persisted, especially for the enchanting Art Nouveau movement. I wanted to emulate its mission, to infuse everyday life with delight through art.
And that’s how I found my true calling: wedding photography! It’s the perfect combo of photojournalism and Fine Art. Since 2014, I’ve been capturing genuine moments for amazing people, transforming their wedding memories into artistic keepsakes. To be honest, I can’t see myself doing anything else!
How would you describe your photography style?
A. My photography style is a unique blend of photojournalism and fine art, with a keen focus on light. I am drawn to the authenticity of photojournalism, capturing those candid, heartfelt moments that truly tell your story. At the same time, I bring in the creativity and aesthetic allure of fine art to create distinctive, artistic images.
But what truly sets my photography apart is my expert use of light. I firmly believe that photography is all about light, and I go above and beyond to ensure the best lighting for every shot. This might mean scheduling time for those magical sunset photos or setting up the perfect lighting for your reception.
By doing so, I can transform any moment into a beautifully lit work of art. My ultimate goal is to embody the Art Nouveau ethos, blending everyday joy and beauty into unforgettable keepsakes. In short, I aim to provide photos that are as unique, special, and beautifully lit as the couples I’m fortunate to work with!
How do you ensure that your clients feel comfortable and relaxed during the photo shoot?
A. Making sure my clients feel comfortable and relaxed during the photo shoot is a top priority for me. It all starts with fun! I do my best to keep the atmosphere light and enjoyable, ensuring the session feels more like a great time with a friend than a formal photo shoot.
Before we dive in, I share some helpful tips for posing that work well in any photography context. I explain my posing method, and we even establish a unique language of words and phrases that we both understand. Gone are the awkward instructions like “move that hand there, no there”!
I also make it a point to really listen to my couples. Do they want help with posing, or do they prefer to simply be themselves in front of the camera? I tailor my approach to their preferences, making sure they feel at ease.
And truth be told, when you’re fresh off saying “I do”, being in love and radiant with happiness makes the photo magic happen almost on its own! At that point, my role is to guide you a bit and find the perfect spot for capturing your joy. My ultimate aim is to make the entire experience feel as natural and enjoyable as possible, so your genuine emotions shine through in every shot.
How do you ensure that you capture all of the important moments on the wedding day?
A. Ensuring that all the important moments of the wedding day are captured comes down to two vital elements: planning and communication. I take pride in working closely with my couples or their planner, carefully crafting the day’s timeline to ensure there’s enough time for all the special shots they cherish.
Before the big day, I take the time to connect with the couple on a deeper level through questionnaires and casual chats. This process helps me understand their priorities and the elements they value most in their wedding photos.
In addition, I collaborate with fantastic second shooters. This not only doubles the fun, but it also guarantees comprehensive coverage of every aspect of the wedding day. We work as a committed team, capturing every significant moment, from the laughter-filled preparations to the emotional first dance and everything in between.
By establishing a solid connection with my couples, understanding their needs, and meticulously planning the day, I ensure that no important moment goes uncaptured. With my second shooter by my side, you can rest easy knowing your special day will be beautifully captured in all its unique glory.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day and why?
A. My favorite part of the wedding day? It’s all about those authentic, unscripted moments when the couple and their loved ones forget there’s even a camera around. It could be the heartfelt exchange between a father and his daughter just before he walks her down the aisle, or the shared look of pure joy between the bride and groom when they finally steal a moment to sit, relax, and savor those delicious appetizers and signature cocktails. Often, it’s these spontaneous, genuine moments that become the most cherished snapshots of the day.
These are the interactions that truly make my heart sing. They create timeless memories that couples will relive for years to come, diving back into the joy and love of their special day every time they see their photos. These moments aren’t just my favorite part of the wedding day; they’re the very reason I picked up a camera and stepped into the world of wedding photography!