A few months ago, I stumbled upon a French photographer with a fresh approach to wedding photography - Yun Smith of The Dandy Smiths.
Yun managed to sum it up perfectly as:
''A new and unique aesthetic where 'Fashion' and 'Wedding' photography can merge together.''
FINALLY!... Someone who was able to articulate the direction that modern wedding photography is going in.
Naturally, I was hooked, not least because this sums up the essence of THE UN-WEDDING - breaking the traditional mould carved out by the 'wedding industry' and redefining the rules in order to come up with something beautiful and up-to-date.
Suffice to say, we hit it off as a result of our mutual quest of 'not being the same'. I spoke to Yun about his journey so far and his new unique wedding photography movement - The Dandy Smiths.
Who are The Dandy Smiths?
TDS is the fusion of a former designer, dancer and professional photographer, mixed together to create an explosive cocktail!
Blending the boundaries that exist between art, fashion and music is what inspired me to create The Dandy Smiths.
There is a huge gap in wedding photography between what was happening 15 years ago and what is happening now. Every good wedding photographer wants to create real stories and capture real emotion. This can't be done through frozen poses, forced smiles and the repetitive compositions that we see time and time again.
What sets you apart from other photographers?
For my part, I like to create a new gender... something raw, crazy, free, sensual.... still with that all important touch of elegance.
I like to mix medias. I love using my film camera to get that grain and those colours... be wild and free.
I work with the awesome Carmencita Film Lab. The lab was founded by photographers for photographers and I know with these guys, I will get the best results.
What are your favourite techniques?
I open the back of my camera for barely a second to let the daylight in, thus creating a light leak.
I also like a double exposure, but I try not to over do it with any one technique as it can get boring.
For me, the more simple the better... a camera, a lens, some film and a couple... see what happens.
I'm dying to know who or what influences you the most?
If I had to mention one photographer I'd say, Tim Walker, Story Teller.
His images are crazy, poetic and insane in every sense. I love his creative process, cutting images from books and magazines and drawings in a notebook before translating it through his lens. A story from start to finish.
Other influences include movies, cartoons, music videos.... I could talk about this for hours over dinner or a drink!... the framing, the movement, the sounds...
I love the old movies from Wong Kar-wai when he teamed up with Christopher Doyle, an old photography director. You have all his colours, his moods and neon lights on the face... WOW... This atmosphere is what I try to channel through my pictures.
What has been your most exciting venture to date?
Establishing The Dandy Smiths.
In between traveling and shooting I have been lucky enough to meet the most awesome people in so many awesome places. I love the human aspect of it all. It's a true reflection of me.
As a photographer, what advice do you have for modern couples who want to achieve unique images?
Firstly, come and have a drink with me so we can discuss this...
... seriously, for those of you who are crazy and free, don't like to follow trends or traditions, find someone who will let you be 'you'. That's all you need.
I'm ready ;-)
Find out more about The Dandy Smiths or get in touch with Yun directly here!
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