Today’s Photographer’s Spotlight Interview features the jaw-dropping work of Switzerland based Philippe Wiget Photography. You may recognize his work from our Best of the Best Wedding Photography contest this past year, but his incredible work speaks for itself. If you don’t believe me, just keep scrolling! I hope you enjoy this Photographer Spotlight Interview!
How did you get into wedding photography? Wedding photography came to me rather unexpectedly. During high school, I was known as the photography geek and my main focus was all about landscape and travel photos and maybe a concert here and there. But one day a friend asked me to photograph his sister’s wedding, and I did. This experience made me realize how precious wedding photos are and how they can keep those once-in-a-lifetime moments for the years to come. In the coming years I photographed a few weddings every year. Among them, this friend’s very own wedding, which was a great honor for me. And about 15 years later, after a career in science and the pharmaceutical industry, I turned my love and true passion for wedding photography into my profession.
What is your favorite moment or tradition at weddings? It’s the real, true moments that I love a lot, so it’s quite hard to name a single favorite moment or a tradition. But then I also love to give the couple their’s own moment during portrait sessions. It’s those moments of intimacy that make great, natural photos possible. Combine it with a beautiful location and we all have a wonderful time together.
What really gets to you at weddings? Makes you cry? Makes you laugh? I love being right in there, in the middle of the wedding as it happens. Being close makes me feel the moment – sometimes so intensely, that I have to squint to prevent tears and get goose bumps instead.
Describe your wedding photography style in less than 6 adjectives. As a visual person, that’s an exercise, but let’s try: story telling, true, vivid, scenic.
What’s your favorite camera or lens? I like it simple and light. The classic reportage 35mm lens is perfect. I use it in combination with Canon 5D Mark III cameras. At the moment, this camera offers the ideal quality, size, speed and resolution combination, ideal for my way of working.
What are your favorite wedding locations in your area? Being based in Switzerland is wonderful – I love the mountain scenery and the beautiful lakes, both in winter and in summer. So basically all locations in the mountains or nearby are in a way my favorites.
Favorite image you’ve taken lately? This past winter I’ve photographed a wedding in St. Moritz. Normally in winter, the lake in St. Moritz is completely covered with snow. Past December that was not the case and we had the rare occasion of a black frozen lake. Breathtakingly beautiful! (See above.)
What are your favorite destinations locations? Destination weddings are not that common here in Europe, but I had the chance to travel to some great locations like Abu Dhabi, Venice and Athens. They all offer unique cultures and amazing scenery under beautiful warm sunshine, something I really like a lot.
Where do you want to shoot next? It would be so exciting to shoot a wedding in some very unique landscapes like Tuscany or Cinque Terre, Italy or in Extremadura, Spain. And I am actually very much looking forward to shoot in Santorini later this season.
A tip or two for couples on how to look amazing and feel comfortable in their photographs? Enjoy your day!
What makes you give yourself a mental high five? Choosing the photos of a wedding day and feeling the mood and story in them is such a great feeling. And very obviously, when I hear from a wedding client how their photos made them remember and emotionally feel the day again.
How has being a wedding photographer made you a stronger photographer over all? You can only be a great wedding photographer if you like what you do and, most importantly, you need to connect with your couple and the entire wedding. I like people, I like all my wedding couples and I make this feeling part of my mood before and on every wedding day. This has a great impact on my work and it actually is essential for every kind of photography to connect with your subject.
What three photographers do you admire or who has inspired you, either in the past or right now? Classic, Henry Cartier Bresson inspired me a lot in my high school years. I’ve studied his work a lot and many of the other Magnum photographers. Another genre of photography I follow is landscape photography and if I had to name one photographer, then that could be Art Wolfe. And a third area that I get more and more fascinated with is portrait photography like for example Platon’s iconic portraits.
A tip or two for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer? Wedding photography is such a personal choice. Treat it as that and look around until you find photos that connect with you. Make sure you see more than just a great portfolio. You should see and feel the wedding photos of individual weddings. And if possible, meet in person with the photographer or get in touch via Skype. You need to like both, the photos as well as the person. This is a once in a lifetime situation and great wedding photos are a precious treasure that gains personal value over time.
Best advice you’ve ever received about being a business person? Don’t think as a business person, think as a client. Yes, one should be following visions and goals, but what we ultimately want is clients that love their wedding photos and rave about them.
Stunning work Philippe Wiget Photography!