“We are coming down the aisle together. With a swing band. Is that your kinda thing?”
HELL YES my dude.
I caught up with these guys a few months before the wedding, when I was down for another shoot in Melbourne. We had burgers and beers and hung out with their dog.
Here's the thing.
My couples tend to trust me, know me, so when I rock up on the day all their friends ask "so are you mates with the guys?"
I always have to reply “that I am now”.
I think this process is pretty unique to wedding photography, like, it's a strange mix of art, trust, technical, a pretty intimate access to people on an important day... and a little bit of luck and other special sauce. But that key element is the access. Making new relationships and new friends.
"Every single time I look through our wedding photos I get goosebumps, I laugh and I cry! Such an amazing day that was captured spectacularly by Morgs. His style of photography and the way he captures all of those special moments is second to none. We wanted wedding photos that were real, raw and captured the emotions of the day - this is exactly what we got.. We couldn't have dreamt of a better photographer. And aside from his extraordinary talents, he's great to hang out and have a beer with! If he's booked out for your wedding day, move the date of the wedding! He's seriously that good!!!"
Boxing Day, 2017.
Josh Withers and I get in a plane, as I recall, too early, and tried to check out a really sweet hipster instagrammable venue, but it was closed. So we went to the chemist instead and also got Starbucks. Because, Boxing Day isn't Boxing Day unless you engage in consumerism, right?!?
So, a pretty normal, beige start to the day.
Tom was waiting for us when we got to the chapel at Little Bay. A little nervous. The family trickled in and then Aleesha arrived.
And then this happened.
Kicking of January like this was pretty amazing. Claudia (Cloud) and Sam found me at the last minute before they moved overseas, and on a hot January afternoon by the river, they married each other. I'm so amazed how "me" they were. There's a photo in here of Cloud getting her earring caught in someones necklace, mid embrace, and her friend remarked "oh don't shoot this!"
She replied "Nope, we hired Morgs so he could shoot this"
Once again, I had found my people.
Last year when the legislation passed, I felt a little bit of a mania come over the wedding industry. And the wedding industry loves mania. I've never seen anybody get that excited about fucking chair covers, for starters. Anyway, it really bothered me and I realised that some people were becoming fixated on same sex marriage for all the wrong reasons.
There were entire magazines being produced. There were deals being run, specials, offers. All done, I'm sure, with the best of intentions. I mean, not many people are going out of their way in this industry to be difficult, but we've all got different perspectives.
Careful about bandwagons.
You see... I believe that being a champion for something also means not fetishising it, not “othering” it even more. It’s very easy to run around in circles shouting out what needs to happen - and loud is ok - but It’s ok to quietly put out in to the world what one values, without trying to elevate one thing up over another. And I hope that this counts as quiet - and not too self aggrandising - but do not mistake this as gentle politics.
This is a strong opinion.
I’ve been asked so much this year if I’m any busier following the changes to the marriage act last year. At the risk of stepping on some toes, I’m actually happy to say that I’m not. I can’t suddenly have more time to photograph weddings. I can, however, take on awesome couples to make images with. Just like I did least year, and the year before that, and I will continue to do that.
We have to be careful as an industry to not shout so hard that we simply create more boxes and categories.
This is Sam and Cloud, proudly making their day their own.
I often go on about couples who really make their day theirs. Emma and I got married in her parents backyard, surrounded by family and friends. Charlie and Emily did the same. There always seems to be a wonderful sense of calm, a sense of place around weddings like this one.
It's just meant to be here.
We're just meant to be here.
I find it so crazy sometimes that people could fly me all over this country to make photographs. Whenever I'm having a week that's not as great, snowed under with work or other stuff, there happens a conversation with someone who I've only recently met, where they're surprised that people fly me around the joint to do this job.
"That must be such a great feeling though, you know?", they say. "That they loved your work so much they went to that extra expense. Must feel good".
It always seems to happen at just the right time.
This was a good place to be.