Chris Prestidge is the owner and principle photographer of At Dusk Photography which is based in Sydney. Chris has developed an impressive portfolio of work capturing special moments at weddings and other lifestyle events. His work is highly regarded in several popular magazines and online blogs.
The philosophy behind his success is to focus not on just capturing static images but the emotional experiences unique to the most special moments in life.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up choosing the photography field.
A: I have been an award winning photographer for 10 years and stepped into wedding + lifestyle photography full time 7 years ago – I adore everything about the love between two people and capturing the best day of their lives – their wedding.
The art of photography has always been something I wanted to master. Every profession is always more than what it seems on the surface and this is no different with photography.
For me anyway, it’s so much more than simply taking pretty pictures, it’s about using a tool to capture moments that invoke emotions. It’s like being an artist except your canvas is the real world and the live interactions people have with their surroundings.
Q: What would you say was the biggest challenge you faced when first starting your business?
A: The wedding photography market has changed a lot the last 5 years and become a lot more competitive. This has required me to stay on the front page of every search to gain attention and maintain a good frequency of bookings.
It’s great that more and more couples are seeing the value of professional wedding photography and the increase in competition only motivates me to work harder.
Starting any business is always a daunting task but like anything it gets easier with time. Once I had stuck out the uncertainty and built a portfolio of work, the rest became easy.
Q: Do you have any particular occasions that you like the photograph the most?
A: All stages of a wedding is equally as important to me but the moment the couple say I do is when the real emotive moments appear for me to capture. As I mentioned, photography is an art form that captures real life moments and I find that moment of commitment between two people to be the most emotionally profound.
At that point the couple seems unaware of the elaborate surroundings and ceremony taking place, they are totally absorbed in each other.
Q: How much do you think technology has changed the photography industry? Do you believe that technology will continue to have such a major impact on the industry in the future?
A: The cameras get better and better every year and I generally upgrade all my cameras every 3 years to the latest and best canon cameras. Since technology is what determines the quality of tools a photographer uses, it’s crucial that I stay ahead of the curb.
Relatively new features such as 3D, 360 degree and panoramic photos are available because of technological improvements. While the basics of taking a photo are unlikely to change in a drastic way, the options we have in molding and editing those photos continue to develop with technology.
Q: What was the biggest challenge you encountered when being the photographer at a wedding?
A: The weather is generally always on your side but the difficult moments arise when the rain pours down and the challenge for me is to continue capturing all the beautiful moments rain hail or shine.
Another challenge will depend on the sheer volume of attendees at a wedding. Shots that you want crowded can be hard to fill up or shots that you want sparsely populated can be overcrowded.
Like any event involving large numbers of guests a photographer has to be vigilant and flexible to not lets the crowd or lack thereof affect their work.
Q: Name 3 people who inspire you the most in your industry.
A: Jonas Peterson, Benj Haisch, Elizabeth Messina would be my main inspirations in photography.
Q: What advice would you give to any amateur photographers?
A: Follow your heart, tell your own story and be true to yourself. Don’t get caught up trying to follow trends and maintain consistent, timeless story telling. Like any career the most important part is that you make sure you enjoy the journey.
You can read more about Mr. Chris Prestidge at www.atdusk.com.au