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Interview with Amanda Thomsen
Describe your wedding photography style in less than 10 words.
How did you get into wedding photography?
I studied photography at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, now known as the University for the Creative Arts, in England.
When I graduated I had never considered wedding photography as a career path. I wanted to work in film — my dissertation was about Win Wenders and I wanted to work with independent filmmakers like him or Jim Jarmusch.
But when I returned to Denmark I had no network and I was way too shy! I also thought about working for magazines, but I was terrified of the fashion world so didn’t dare try. Then I opened my own photo studio and, after having photographed hundreds of people, I started to come out of my shell.
I was asked by a friend to photograph her wedding, and it was then I realized that many of the things I loved to work with could be fulfilled by documenting two people in love. So I became a professional creative photographer documenting love stories, where the couple are the main characters and we are all three directors. It’s up to the three of us how we want to make it and what result we want out of it.
What inspires you as a wedding photographer?
Life in general and the people I meet on my way. The ups and downs and the surprises.
I think it’s good to move on and try new things. I try not to be restricted by my own style or to have any norms as such. I often seek the visual world – photography books, independent magazines, films, music and things that can inspire me for my next shoot.
I always ask my couples to send me a picture of themselves, some text telling me about them and what they will be wearing. The more I know the more I can visualise the shoot and the more ideas I can get for when the actual day comes.
Most people think that the best pictures are the candid ones, the ones that were taken spontaneously, but to be honest it’s not always the case. The best ones are often those that look candid, but are actually well thought out in my mind before, or while, I shoot. In order to have natural-looking pictures I need my couples to trust me and feel like playing with me; let themselves loosen up and dare a little extra.
This is when the magic happens and creates the most natural, creative and honest pictures.
What are you favourite types of places to shoot pictures of a couple?
I love shooting in apartments, houses or private, wild gardens. It makes it all a bit more intimate and personal.
Other than that I don’t have any particular favourite place, but it’s always interesting to shoot and explore new streets and areas.
Anywhere I can play with the light, the forms, and dynamics of a location.
Which is your favourite picture of yourself and who took it?
What tricks do you use to help nervous couples relax for their pictures?
What do you feel are the key things that make the perfect wedding portrait?
What is your dream location for a wedding shoot?
What do you like to do when you’re not working on photography?
What is the most important advice you would give to your younger self just starting out it photography?
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