Phoebe started working as a wedding photographer at seventeen. She has photographed for Vogue, The New York Times Magazine and her portraits have been displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in London.
HOW I APPROACH PHOTOGRAPHING A WEDDING
I. Documentary photography: your wedding as it really is.
I am constantly moved by glimpsing into the lives of those I photograph. I try to capture images that show real moments in these lives, images that represent real people, real emotions, real stories. A wedding is not a photo shoot and I don't want to treat it as such. Most of my work at a wedding is far closer to reportage or documentary photography than it is to fashion or editorial. The photographs that represent an authenticity of the event and the people involved are the ones that will remain most meaningful in the future. Fashions in wedding photography come and go but a wedding is far too transcendent of an event in life to prioritise these. My priority is to come away with beautiful and evocative images of the wedding as it really is.
II. Portraits of you, your family and friends: some natural, some directed.
Portraits are at the heart of my wedding photography and the majority I take are entirely un-posed. I am constantly scanning the surroundings in search for these natural shots that seventeen years of experience has taught me how to find. These are the shots that you will treasure in years to come; of the proud grandfather watching the bride come down the aisle, of the mother moved to tears by a speech, of reunited friends in hysterics at a remembered story. I try to make the 'posed' photographs simple, beautiful and timeless. I always talk to the couple beforehand to fully understand what they want. I tend to choose a few spots (for their light and background) away from the rest of the wedding and then give a small amount of direction. It is often the case that when the bride and groom are on their own, these shots compose themselves naturally. For the group and family portraits my approach is similar. A wedding can be a unique occasion in which a family comes together and it is certainly symbolically when two families become one. The group photographs can be a testament and celebration of this.
III. Stunning images: photographs that show the individual beauty of your wedding.
On top of everything else, it should go without saying that I aspire to get stunning photographs. The wedding may be in a spectacular location and therefore the surroundings should play a large role in the photography. My aim is to document the multiple aspects of a wedding so that your photographs depict the occasion in all its glory.
SOME WEDDING LOCATIONS IN MEXICO
San Miguel de Allende
The first wedding I photographed in Mexico was in San Miguel de Allende. The ceremony was held in the distinctive pink parish church (known as La Parroquia) and the reception was down the hill in the exquisite Casa Hyder. Central San Miguel is made up of steep cobbled streets lined with old wooden doors that open to beautifully restored houses with courtyards, gardens, shady pools and terraces. Its churches, plazas, gardens and colonial houses are a delight to photograph in and its celebratory atmosphere is unique. I don't think I will ever tire of working in San Miguel.
Merida and the Yucatan
I have been lucky enough to shoot weddings in stunning haciendas throughout Mexico, but Merida and Campeche are home to some of my favorites. The intoxicating heat of the Yucatan, the lush smells and hum of insects emanating from the foliage, all add to the enchanting effect the decadent setting of a hacienda has on one. Hacienda Uayamon (in Campeche) is perhaps my favourite of all; its roofless chapel, vast central tree and the faded facades of its outbuildings with encroaching nature just beyond, make a wedding there a truly enchanting experience. I have attended several weddings there and photographed a couple and am dying to shoot another there soon!
Tulum and the Riviera Maya
Tulum lies at the southern end of the Riviera Maya, Mexico’s own stretch of Caribbean coastline. The coast's many hotels vary hugely, from the upscale elegance of the Rosewood Mayakobá through the refined tranquility of Be Tulum to the low key charm of a simple cabaña amongst the palms. Before moving to Mexico it had not crossed my mind that my job as a wedding photographer could involve working on the beach - I am delighted that it now does. The sand between everyone's toes and a salty breeze blowing through the bride's hair makes for a gorgeously tranquil environment for a wedding.