Interview: 2 Brides
Photographer Interview: 2 Brides
Isabelle Hesselberg is just one of those lovely people you occasionally are lucky enough to meet in life. I had the opportunity to second shoot with Isabelle in Italy a few years ago and I jumped at the opportunity. Her film based, light filled work is beautiful and her timing is superb, she travels anywhere for weddings.
Can you briefly tell us a little about your life, where were you born and raised?
Born and raised in Stockholm Sweden, mixed heritage, and with family from all corners of the world, I feel very un-Swedish, haha. Married with my love since 2005 and we have been blessed with two amazing kids.
Have you always been a photographer? What was your path to photography and specifically to shooting weddings?
No, not at all. It was never in my plan to be a photographer, it kind of happened. I've worked in a tattoo parlor, as a makeup artist, and at one point I was sure I was going to be a priest. I fell into photography when I met a fantastic documentary photographer and eventually became his assistant. I then went on to study commercial photography and after my graduation, I freelanced for years working with food photography and I worked as a professional retoucher for almost 6 years. Weddings were my hobby, something I did for fun on weekends but it eventually turned into a full-time gig and I quit my retouch daytime job back in 2013.
Do you remember the first moment or time a camera/photography jumped out at you as something different/interesting/worth pursuing?
I first fell in love with photography, developing film and darkroom printing when I started my assistant position. However, I've always been interested in creating imagery, wheater is was painting, drawing or photography.
Do you have a style or widely understood approach to shooting weddings ie fine-art, documentary?
I'm not keen on labels, I just aim to create authentic images of significant moment for my clients.
What/who do you look at for visual inspiration? It could be a favourite photographer or blog? movies? etc
I read a lot. Anything from biographies to historical book or crime novels. I also spend a lot of time looking at art, visiting museums and I love being inspired by architecture and old historic European towns. Love movies, and often forget the plot since I focus on the lighting and framing, haha.
What would a perfect day shooting a wedding look like for you?
Any wedding without stress and genuine love and loads of emotional display is a good day!
Do you have any sort of routine before a wedding to get yourself into the right frame of mind to achieve that perfect day?
Go to sleep early the day before and start the wedding morning with a large breakfast and many cups of espresso!
Generally speaking, what do you focus on when you are shooting a wedding, by which I mean, what about a wedding is important for you to prioritise while your shoot?
The big picture is what matters, the story of the day and the people who have joined my couple in the celebration. I love formulating a comfortable vibe my couples can relax during portraits but also making sure it's fun! Laughing people photographs better and I think a wedding day is all about big smiles, having fun and feel the love.
I often think peoples experiences of marriages, theirs or their parents, can have an impact on their involvement in working in the world of weddings. Can you explain what weddings mean to you personally?
Definitely! I think I'm so drawn to photographing weddings because it serves as a band-aid on my own separation anxiety and scarred soul. My parent divorced when I was young I've been through a lot of other types of separations. Marriage to me is warmth, trust and stability, something I'm drawn to very much. I'm happily married for 13 years and my family is absolutely everything to me.
In the feedback you've received from wedding clients over the years, would there be one word that keeps popping up again and again?
That I look so happy while working. I hear this from my couples, guests and family members on almost every wedding. And it's true when shooting a wedding I'm at my happy place. They also often tell me that I come with a good vibe, making them relax and feel taken care of and I often get feedback that could never even have imagined that their photos would be so gorgeous, which is a pretty great thing to hear :)
Having seen lots of weddings, what would your advice be to a beloved family member if they came to you and said they were getting married and asked for (any) advice on how to approach their wedding day?
Surround yourself with a team you can't live without! Find vendors who's work you not only adore but also connect with, on a deeper level. Could you imagine yourself having a cocktail with his person? If yes - great!
What three pieces of advice would you give young photographers starting out?
Get a thorough understanding of light, work hard and play nice!
How can couples get in touch with you?