Destination wedding photographer, Adam Alex, feels right at home traveling around the world to capture documentary images with a timeless, ethereal flair. We recently welcomed him to our World’s Best Wedding Photographers Hotlist, and we’re thrilled to share his work and his thoughts with you today.
Junebug: Can you tell us what being an artist/ photographer means to you?
Adam Alex: To me, being an artist/photographer is many things, but I believe there is one underlying factor that all artists possess and that is that we all have this natural intuition to want to communicate. As an artist, I am being commissioned to tell a couple’s story through my version of their wedding day. I am always reminded that I am the lucky one, to be commissioned for my vision. Having creative freedom at a wedding is a blessing for both myself and my clients. The more my clients trust me, the more creatively I am able to tell their story.
With all of that in mind, I really follow my natural intuition to communicate through the medium of photography. For me, photography is about a visual language and visual communication. How you tell a story is the key to truth of it, and that holds the biggest value in anyones life. I have a philosophy that I stick to and it is called fridge philosophy. This is a philosophy that is based on the fact that most people stick their most valuable pictures to a fridge. It is not about the quality of the image or the print, but rather it is about the value that image has. It is not about how it is retouched or printed, it is on the fridge because it deserves to be viewed everyday by everyone passing by it. The fact we can print on fine art paper and have so many options for beautiful albums now is just a bonus, but as artists, we can focus on the value of an image. This is what attracts me to weddings.
Junebug: Please tell us about where you live, what you like to do when you aren’t shooting, and what inspires you.
Adam: Currently I am based out of London UK. I love London. Sure, its not the Seychelles but it is beautiful and rich in its unique culture. I love London fashion, style and history; it is always an experience walking through London.
When I am not shooting, I am generally spending time with my family and my son who has just started to walk…exciting times. I love his age now, he is like a little sponge and I love being with him teaching him things. I also produce music and although I neglected this for a few years, I am back producing music now. Making music is easier now than ever before. My laptop on a long distance flight is all I need. Many songs have been produced with just my laptop, some airline peanuts and my headphones. Making time for me is so important to keeping me inspired. My family comes first in everything, they are my drive and my first priority, so spending time with them when I am in the UK is always a blessing.
Junebug: How did you start shooting destination photography? What do you love about destination weddings?
Adam: For me, a destination wedding is more than a wedding. I agree that I am blessed to shoot in amazing locations across the globe but this is just a bonus as the same Fridge Philosophy applies no matter where you get married. I started to shoot destination weddings a few years back after being commissioned to shoot 3 in one year. I felt at home when shooting destination weddings because most couples who plan weddings away from home tend to focus more on detail of the experience, and as a story-teller, I want those clients. The attention to detail and experience really allows me to flow with my style of story telling.
I love that with destination weddings I can document a family over 3 or 4 days. I join the couple and their family on day 1 and after day 4, I leave as family. Pre-wedding trips with family members, wedding day celebrations on beaches in the Indian Ocean, followed by day after shoots and family gatherings tell a strong, broad story. They want the experience, the time with the family, the climate, the culture and the landscape, thats their dream and I get to share that with them.
Junebug: As a destination photographer, what are your favorite locations and where are you looking forward to shooting next?
Adam: I genuinely love and appreciate most countries. The Mediterranean has a special place in my heart. The Greek islands are just stunning in their beauty and culture. Boat trips in the Mediterranean are amazing. I also love the city life of New York for example, it is equally beautiful in its own way. Some of the locations I have been blessed to work in and love to shoot in are the South of France, Athens, Mykonos, Ios, Santorini, Crete, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Zurich, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, USA and Holland. I am also looking forward to shooting in the Seychelles this year and South Africa, both will be epic and new to me.
Junebug: What should a couple know about hiring a photographer for a destination wedding?
Adam: Hiring a destination-wedding photographer in many ways is the same as hiring any wedding photographer. A client should invest into the man/woman behind the lens and not be sold into trends or packages. Their choice of photographer is as important as selecting the right tattoo artist to make you a tattoo. It is a permanent mark, it cannot be erased and there are different artists with different styles. If the photographer is familiar with the location that is always a good thing, but I think it is more important to find that connection with the photographer no matter where they are based and if that involves flying them in to the country, then that is the best thing to do.
Junebug: What things should couples know about getting married in a new country? Any complications that might arise or things to prepare for?
Every couple has a different reason for having a destination wedding. Some couples base it on a memory or emotional connection and some base the decision on the landscape beauty. So regardless of the reason, not all couples officially get married at the time of the event. Some get legally married before in their home country and then have a blessing after. Every wedding is different but I would investigate the legal requirements for marriage in your choice of country. I once documented a wedding in Barcelona for an Australian couple living in Australia and they had some issues with the legal elements of the wedding in Spain due to Spanish law. For example, the Spanish town hall could not give them confirmation on the wedding date until 6 months before their wedding date. This naturally frustrated the couple because they had to organize a destination wedding including logistics and guests from Australia to Spain in less than 6 months…but it was all abot getting married so every thing turned out perfect, needless to say.