We grab five minutes with one of our favourite wedding photographers and ask him to answer a few questions on your behalf. Meet the incredible Duane Smith.
Tell us a little more about your company and the service that you offer…
For the past seven years I have had the immense pleasure of witnessing some of the most beautiful and honest moments that life has to offer. My goal is to capture those moments in the most honest way possible while following the natural flow and movement of the day. I am always looking for the enthusiasm and raw feel that brings to life the connection that exists between people because of the love they share. I believe that these moments, frozen in time, will be what lingers in your hearts for the years to come.
How long have you been working in the industry?
Full time since 2012. I began photographing weddings part time in 2010.
What price range is your service?
My packages start at R18 000.
How many weddings do you estimate you have been involved in?
After the past weekend I am on just under 240 weddings. It’s been a journey and a wonderful privilege witnessing all sorts of unions and sharing of vows between people.
What is one of the challenges you face in your industry?
Good question! The wedding industry is packed with so many talented people. I find it rather hard to “put myself out there” in order to promote myself via networking and being social across all platforms. I am naturally a very quiet, private person but have had to learn to grow out of my shell. Being a father and husband, I also need to ensure I’m always prioritising my time well, especially when I am in peak season!
What makes your service unique?
I am very passionate about giving my couples a great experience – one that is stress free. I like to play a role in their wedding that is easy going and allows them to just be themselves.
Tell us about a wedding that you remember and why…
Wow, how do I choose? I had the chance to fly all the way to Seattle, USA in 2016. Going to Seattle was already on my bucket list so to shoot a wedding there was just the cherry on the cake. The ceremony was held in a big, stunning cathedral. Once my couple were married there was a moment where everyone gathered around to lay hands on them. The presence of love and emotion during that moment was so intense. To this day it remains one of my all-time favourite images. You can see the image here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BzdL_iepB2i.
What piece of advice would you most like to offer brides and grooms reading this?
I try to be involved in creating a timeline for the day that allows the bride and groom to feel calm and not in a rush. Split your portrait session on the day into two parts. I’ve found that this gives room to enjoy time with your guests during pre-drinks as well as have great photos. The first session can be done after the ceremony as normal but then aim for sunset for the second session. Ideally, once the MC has asked guests to enter to reception and find their seats. This always takes at least twenty minutes so I’ve found that this is a great opportunity to grab a second set of photos.
What is your service mission statement?
My approach is simple, non-directive, observant and personal. I capture the heart of a wedding.
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