March 23, 2021 | Awards
Gareth Lima-Conlon is the other half of an IPPVA photography power-couple — we interviewed his wife, Lidi, last week — and this is his second time claiming 1st prize in the Overall Wedding Photographer of the Year, having previously won it in 2018.
The IPPVA breaks down the wedding photography awards into three sub-categories. This year, Gareth came first in Documentary Wedding, second in Classic Wedding, and third in Creative Wedding.
What draws me most to this job is the story and connections that will unfold on your wedding day. For me, having a front-row seat to witness and document the history being made is something that honestly makes me pinch myself every day. Marriage is all about love and family and I look to convey that narrative throughout all my images.Gareth Lima-Conlon
Would you share with us a little bit of background on the awarded work?
Being awarded Wedding Photographer of the Year is an incredible honour for me and it’s certainly been great for marketing my business but most of all I feel it pushes me to create better images.
I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some amazing couples and although being a wedding photographer has taken me to some spectacular locations my biggest inspiration still comes from the people that I’m photographing and the moments that I’m witnessing. It’s a process that very much involves my clients having complete trust in what I do.
Most of my approach on a wedding day is in a documentary style but there are certain parts of the day that might require a small bit of direction so having willing and trusting clients really helps to create natural-looking images.
We know a lot of our readers will love to hear more about gear, equipment and post-treatment. Tell us more.
I haven’t made the jump to mirrorless yet but will probably do so at some stage next year. Right now though, I’m quite happy with my current setup although I do love the idea of a flip screen!
In post-production, I use Lightroom to correct colour, exposure, and any local adjustments necessary. Occasionally I might need to take an image to Photoshop to remove something but I mostly try to get it right in camera. It saves me so much time.
What are you working on at the moment? Any personal projects or commissions you want to share with us?
To be honest I’ve been trying to make the most of the “downtime” and just get through this lockdown! I took lots of personal shots last summer when all this was still a bit of a novelty so hopefully, as the weather picks up again I’ll get back to it.
I gave some older cameras and lenses to my 5-year-old son so he has been busier than me shooting around the house. It’s actually inspiring to see him exploring and noticing things like some lovely light that might start to appear through the window in the evening. I’ll give I’m another couple of years before I put him to work.
Is there a particular image or artist that has inspired/moved you?
Oh god, the list is endless. I’m always discovering new artists and images that move me. I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from things outside of wedding photography funnily enough.
Recently every image by Michael Sidofsky (@Mindz.Eye) really seems to stop me in my tracks. I love cinematic movies and especially TV shows like Better Call Saul, The Handmaid’s Tale & The Crown, just to name a few. The lighting and composition is just incredible to watch.
Have you had any other professions before becoming a photographer? Did you study photography or are you self-taught?
I worked as a manager in hospitality before this but as soon as we had our first child I knew it was time for me to find a new career as the late nights were never going to work for us.
My wife Lidi was just starting off her photography career so I came on board to work behind the scenes and manage the business side of things. She had aspirations of also doing weddings before she really found her feet and hone in on her passion for newborn photography.
During that time she got booked for her first wedding and she needed a second photographer so she managed to teach me some of the camera basics and how to use manual control. I guess I must have been subconsciously picking up things as she spent many evenings listening to online workshops because it seemed to make sense to me from early on and after shooting the first wedding with her, that was it, I was hooked!
Our business soon evolved into me taking over the wedding photography side of things and Lidi focusing on her passion for newborn photography.
What would be your 3 main tips for a photographer with a strong portfolio of personal work wanting to start a business?
What would you most love to photograph right now if Covid restrictions weren’t a reality? What do you miss the most?
I’d actually love to photograph a music festival, especially one of the first ones back after the restrictions have been lifted. Just floating around capturing people reconnecting. I’m sure it would be beyond emotional!
Behind The Image — Elaine Barker, First Place in IPPVA Classic Wedding Photographer of The Year 2021