If a photographer’s task was limited to saying “smile” and pushing a button, being a wedding photographer would be the easiest job in the world. But as we all know, this is not the case. On the contrary, creating memorable wedding images can be difficult, since many weddings appear similar on the surface, and the photographer has to dig deeper to reveal the unique personalities behind the white dresses and rented tailcoats.
Swedish wedding photographer Mickael Tannus knows this as well as anyone.
“I don’t have a problem with stepping outside the box,” says Mickael. “I love to take two or three or perhaps ten step away from it. Not in every picture, obviously. Then it just gets silly. But on some, for sure.”
Mickael has a background in advertising and art direction, but a couple of years ago, he decided to pursue his dream and start his very own photo business.
“This spring I decided to invest in serious equipment,” says Mickael. “I thought: it’s now or never. I wanted quality. I wanted something I could truly rely on.”
“You don’t need the best equipment to take great pictures. I mean, you can take a fantastic picture with your phone. But to continuously produce great material, to be sure to always be able to deliver pure quality, you need to know that you can trust your equipment.”
It’s kind of unusual to use the Beauty Dish and the Magnum Reflector for wedding photography.
“I know,” laughs Mickael. “That’s why I bought them.”
How do bridal couples react when you pull out gear like that?
“They think it’s cool. I think it makes them feel like they participate in a professional photo shoot.”
During the shoots, Mickael usually tries to intervene as little as possible. During the wedding day, he does his best to blend in, mingle and join the fun. During the portrait shoots, he keeps the instructions to a minimum.
“I don’t want to control too much. I just tell them to relax and focus on each other. Stay close. Enjoy yourself. Stuff like that. At first, they are usually tightened up, and I seize the opportunity to shoot some more traditional pictures. For grandma and grandpa, you know. They usually soften up after about half an hour. That’s when I shoot the relaxed and more personal images.”
You’ve sent us a couple of your personal favorites. What can you tell us about them?
“Well, the first one was shot at Ellinge Castle. There was this beautiful natural light coming in from the left, which I softened with the AcuteB2 and the Beauty Dish. I used a shutter speed of 1/8 s, I believe. I really like the humor that springs from the contrasts in the image. The groom makes this really stiff expression, while she’s looks at him really sweet.”
“The second one is sort of a modern version of the caveman. Again, I like how he serious he look, while she is just laughing.”
“The third one was shot at Hovs Hallar in southern Sweden. We were on a cliff, and I asked the groom to jump as high as he possibly could. It’s a great ice breaker that sometimes results in great pictures. I used the AcuteB2 with a softbox, since I wanted to capture both the groom and the light in the background.”
“The last one is a slightly more traditional image, shot in September amongst ripe apples in Kivik. I talked and joked with the couple for a while, until they relaxed. It was shot in backlight, so I decided to go for the AcuteB2 with a Softbox on fairly low effect, since I wanted to lighten up the shadows without creating new ones in the opposite direction.”
Is there any common denominator in the images you like the most?
“It usually depends on two things, really. It’s the light, and it’s the wedding couple – if their chemistry shines through in the image. But there isn’t any definitive recipe to a great wedding picture. In the end, it all boils down to how the image makes you feel.”
Written by Fredrik Franzén
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