Capturing Love: An Exclusive Interview with Wedding Photographer Tom Irwin

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Fuelled by his passion for authentic storytelling and a keen eye for detail, Tom Irwin is making waves in the wedding photography industry. His unique ability to capture raw, unfiltered moments has endeared him to couples worldwide. In this exclusive interview, we delve into Tom’s insights on the latest trends, artistic inspirations, and invaluable advice for brides-to-be.

Trends in Wedding Photography

Q: What trends do you see emerging in wedding photography this year and rolling into next?

Tom Irwin: This year, we’re seeing a lot of direct flash being used, especially during evening hours, to capture standout moments. It’s also utilised during the day to fill in the scene and remove shadows, often in backlight situations. Parasol-styled umbrellas are becoming popular, adding texture and providing shade for direct sunlight ceremonies. Guests are starting to embrace pops of colour, reflecting current fashion trends. Additionally, the film is making a significant comeback. As a hybrid photographer, I love seeing this paired with the growing interest in Super 8 videos.

PEARLS! Pearls are back, and they are everywhere. Everyone loves an excellent timeless pearl; we’ve seen them used as accessories on veils, earrings, necklaces, and table settings. They add a sense of elegance and are a lovely complement to anything they are paired with. Another accessory I’m seeing this year is bows. These can be any size, from big, beautiful statement pieces on the back of wedding dresses to small accents on the tops of stylish shoes and glassware. They can add a fun texture and shape to anything you put them on.

The Charm of Film Photography

Q: Can you elaborate on the resurgence of film photography in weddings?

Tom Irwin: The reintroduction of film allows everyone to slow down and savour the moment a bit longer. It adds a sense of nostalgia and a painting-like quality that evokes deep emotions. Digital photography often tries to emulate film’s perfect imperfection but can never truly replicate it. Film is a big part of one’s day of coverage and holds a timeless appeal.

Pre-Wedding Shoots: Building Connections

Q: How do pre-wedding shoots benefit the couple and the photographer?

Tom Irwin: Pre-wedding shoots have become quite popular. They allow couples and vendors to bond before the big day and understand each other’s working styles. As photographers, it’s our job to make clients feel comfortable and calm. Even if someone is uncomfortable in front of the lens, we work on cues to make things feel more natural and authentic. While this additional coverage comes at a cost, it significantly enhances the overall experience.

Fashion and Aesthetics

Q: How does the fashion world influence wedding attire for brides, grooms, and guests?

Tom Irwin: Fashion trends play a massive role in wedding attire. Brides incorporate more lace and unique textures into their dresses and beautiful veils that complement their gowns. The trend of having separate ceremony and reception gowns is also gaining traction. Grooms opt for classic looks with clean tuxedos and wide shawl collars, often forgoing boutonnieres to highlight personal details like watches and cufflinks. Guests enjoy playful pops of colour in their attire, reflecting the current fashion trends.

Capturing the Perfect Moment

Q: How do you ensure couples enjoy their dinner time while still capturing intimate moments?

Tom Irwin: It’s essential to give couples space during their dinner. I use a zoom lens or longer focal length to capture close, intimate moments from a distance without being intrusive. Higher ISO settings and ambient lighting, especially with candlelit tables, help avoid distracting flashes while still getting beautiful shots.

Lighting and Colors

Q: What role does lighting play in your photography, and how do you manage different lighting conditions?

Tom Irwin: Lighting is everything in photography. Even the most beautiful scene can look flat or overly bright without proper lighting. I practice shooting in all lighting conditions to be ready for anything. For harsh sunlight, shadow play can be tasteful when done right. Direct flash can be used effectively for receptions, but I often crank up the ISO and use ambient light to avoid distracting guests.

Q: What are your favourite colour palettes and themes for weddings?

Tom Irwin: Earth tones are always a favourite because they blend seamlessly with natural surroundings and venues. Black-and-white black-tie events are classic and timeless. Recently, bridesmaids have embraced champagne spray palettes with shades of cream, beige, and tan. Using colour to brighten a day, especially with floral patterns in summer, is also popular.

Practical Advice for Brides

Q: What advice would you give brides when choosing their wedding photographer?

Tom Irwin: When deciding on your wedding coverage, ask yourself what’s most important: the wow photo moments, the comfort your vendor brings, or their ability to get along with you on the dance floor. Connecting with your photographer is crucial as they’ll be part of memorable moments. Schedule video calls or meet in person to build that connection. Communication is critical, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. Remember, this is not just our job but your life; we want everyone to be happy.

Personal Insights

Q: What inspired you to become a wedding photographer?

Tom Irwin: I started in fashion and editorial photography, but it became transactional and lacked emotion. I’m a hopeless romantic and believe everyone has a story to tell. Wedding photography allows me to capture the love and emotions of two people surrounded by their friends and loved ones. It’s a beautiful experience that I cherish.

Q: Can you share a memorable moment from a recent wedding?

Tom Irwin: Recently, I had the honour of capturing a dear friend’s wedding in Mexico. Being part of their day was incredibly tender and felt like a blessing. I arrived knowing some wonderful people and left with lasting memories shared with old and new friends.

Are you ready to capture your wedding day with the same passion and authenticity as Tom Irwin? Subscribe to our newsletter for wedding tips and a free planning checklist delivered to your inbox. Follow us on Instagram @thebridaljourney, listen to our podcast, shop and buy preloved on Reveiled, and follow us on TikTok for more inspiration and ideas!