Australian Wedding Photographer Shoots Couple From The Car Park Following New Rules
This past weekend, a Sydney couple said 'I do' in front of the groom's 90-year-old grandmother -- there to capture the moment was a photographer with an extraordinary lens and an ingenious plan.
James Day has photographed 700 weddings. But never before has he, and never again will he, experience anything even close to what happened on Saturday.
The Sydney-based photographer has built his portfolio by capturing the most intimate, blink-and-you'll-miss-it moments of couples.
Recently, on the 28th of March, he once again did exactly that. But this time, far away, from a car park, with a 400 millimeter lens -- the kind designed to shoot sport or wildlife.
"I’m being forced to adapt," Day told 10 daily. "It does mean that there is potential for the photography I'm creating to be more valuable, for not just the couple but everyone who loves them."
Under the new law-enforced social distancing measures in Australia, weddings are now restricted to five attendees. That includes the couple and the celebrant.
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For Day's latest wedding, the exclusive guest list included a 90-year-old woman. She's the grandmother of the groom, a man who works in the Intensive Care Unit, dealing directly with COVID-19 patients.
To honour the couple's wishes and uphold the restrictions, Day stepped back from the wedding, literally. He shot the entirety of the ceremony from the car park, using a sophisticated camera lens to capture the intimacy from afar.
In the only photo released from the event, Day caught on camera a striking photo of a grandmother witnessing with her own eyes the moment her grandson and his new wife exchanged rings.
"I won't be doing others like this," Day told 10 daily. The long lens was a once-off for the photographer, who wanted to give one couple something they could treasure forever.
As one of the country's most in-demand photographers, Day has seen up-close the way the wedding industry has been pulled apart at the seams due to the coronavirus outbreak.
One of the most peculiar things, he notes, is the sound of near-silence when the couple embrace, as compared to the familiar whoops and cheers from the 100 guest-strong crowds of yesteryear.
"I don’t think it makes the commitment they’re making to each other any less special," said Day.
If anything, it’s showing that we’re not doing this for the audience, we're doing this for each other.
"The emotion that I saw on Saturday was no less intense than any other wedding I’ve ever photographed. And in some ways, because they knew that a whole crowd of people weren’t there watching, they were able to be even more real."
At many modern weddings, guests are encouraged to snap their own photos of the proceedings. A quirky couple hashtag has become as essential as a 'something blue'.
But now, in a situation so small, intense and utterly compelling, the only photos to be taken at all were taken by Day.
We’re recording a moment in history that none of us have ever seen before. It’s really a moment in history that needs to be captured.
This week, a couple has welcomed him as one of their witnesses in order to give him the opportunity to photograph their nuptials. But after that, he's disheartened to say there is nothing else in the pipeline.
"I have zero work for the foreseeable future. I feel like I have no options left to provide for my family," Day said.
Day is one of the many Australians who has had their livelihood snatched by the pandemic and the consequent economic impacts.
We're living in eerie, uncertain times. Making last Saturday's wedding all the more powerful. It was a display of love, pulled off with pragmatism.
Love is adapting and transforming, but it shines as bright as ever before.
Featured Image: Instagram
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