Interview: Kat & Scout of It’s Beautiful Here

Words by Julia Jones / Images by It's Beautiful Here
July 28, 2016

Artful yet unpretentious, the work of photography duo It’s Beautiful Here catches our eye again and again. Born and bred Melbournians, Kat and Scout are a passionate pair, driven equally by the love of their craft and the joy of telling their couples’ stories. We caught up with these Nouba faves to get a little insight into what makes them tick.

Bang Bang Boogaloo wedding magenta dahlia bouquets

Bang Bang Boogaloo wedding

Kali and Adam’s wedding at Melbourne’s Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo. Images by It’s Beautiful Here. See their day in full here.

Kat and Scout – tell us a little about your backgrounds and the path that brought you to wedding photography.

We met at photography school. We were still shooting film back then. It was so easy, shoot on film, get the film developed, pass on the negs and prints. Done! Family and friends would ask us to shoot their weddings so it was a nice way to earn a little extra while at uni! We love documentary, art and fashion and we realized about five years ago we could play with these themes within wedding photography. Working directly with couples gives you creative license, and genuine collaboration, which is kind of impossible when working on other commercial jobs!

How would you describe your photography style?

That’s a difficult question for visual nerds but I think it’s contemporary documentary photography with influence from art and film.

Like most wedding photographers we are attracted to the in between moments, the intimacy and genuine emotion of the day. We photograph both the couple and their family and friends equally and in this way. This is another way that 2 togs works well.

As well as the beautiful documentary moments we always ensure we make a beautiful and memorable portrait of the couple. A photo like our parents have – that one framed shot on the mantle piece. When I imagine my parents’ wedding its that one shot in the gold frame that comes to mind. We try to reference that, and I guess that is our ode to the tradition of the genre. Plus, a portrait is the way the couple chooses to present themselves to the world. The session becomes very much a collaboration and there’s an honesty and vulnerability that transcends the doco moments.

Melbourne garden wedding | Photography by It's Beautiful Here

vibrant bouquet with roses and billy buttons

Chace and Helen’s Australian Native Garden wedding. Images by It’s Beautiful Here.

Do you always shoot weddings together? Can you give us a little insight into the Kat/Scout dynamic?

Yes, in a nutshell. We sometimes take on a wedding on our own but we find most people want the both of us. There is something that goes on when we work together – more fun, more angles and perspectives. We enjoy ourselves and couples respond to our genuine interest. I think we bounce off each other creatively. One of us might suggest something, the other take off and photograph it There is no question of defined roles, as long as our couples get the best results. So we constantly touch base whilst working whether with a look or a quick chat, about what we are seeing (lots of pop cultural, film and photographic references) and somehow it is distilled into our photos.

Are you originally from Melbourne? What do you love about the city?

Yes we are. And we love to shoot city weddings. We love urban aesthetics and enjoy great food, booze and dancing. We love that we live in a city that’s so culturally diverse and all our couples bring something unique to their day.

We often choose locations in collaboration with our couples, these spots might be of sentimental value or aesthetic significance. Or just for the adventure of a new space. We know so many hidden places and love matching them with our couples’ tastes and stories.

We also love Melbourne venues such as The George Ballroom in St Kilda – a stunningly atmospheric space steeped in rock/ punk history! Like Nick Cave was here and Lydia Lunch and so on.

We are often introduced to some amazing restaurants in Melbourne, such as Lee Ho Fook. Seriously the best food we have ever had and true hospitality! If you love food, it’s a great way to go! Why not ask your fave restaurant if they could accommodate you?

The Substation in Newport is a fantastic blank canvas to weave magic in! One of our all time fave couples were wed there and we have some upcoming weddings which we’re really excited about. It’s just such a fantastic venue to have the ceremony at and stay for the reception with plenty of space for dancing.

We also think warehouse spaces are amazing blank canvases to have a wild party at (without a curfew or other imposed time frames from traditional wedding venues) and there are many in Melbourne. Like who wants to go home at 11pm when the party’s in full swing?

Newport Substation Wedding | Photography by It's Beautiful Here Newport Substation Wedding | Photography by It's Beautiful Here

Newport Substation Wedding | Photography by It's Beautiful Here

Emma and Steve’s Newport Substation wedding. Images by It’s Beautiful Here. Catch their day in full here.

Who are some wedding vendors that you love working with?

There are so many wonderful people that we have worked with, it would be hard to list just a few. Perhaps the most giant decision might well be the celebrant? The person you choose to tell your story on the day. We have worked with some lovely ones such Melissa Fahey, Jon Von Goes, Meriki Comito and Marry Me Megan… and guess what? They don’t stand in between the couple!! It helps us photographically but more importantly it gives the couple an opportunity to connect in what is a momentous and intimate occasion, instead of constantly looking at the celebrant.

What kind of weddings do you get excited about?

We have connected with each of our couples, so they always tend to be fun, with lots of vulnerability, love and laughter. That’s probably what we get excited about, weddings that are just big parties and a great reason for family and friends to get together and dance. We love the fashion that comes with it too but at the end of the day it matters not where, when or how, it’s the who – who these people are to each other. That means a lot to us. We’re definitely not the good taste police and we show pics from each and every wedding on our social media pages, which we think makes us different. There is a school of thought that you only blog what you want to get more of… well we love all our couples for all their choices and decisions, and we want more of these people!

Stones of the Yarra Valley wedding Stones of the Yarra Valley wedding

modern green and white wedding bouquet

Lisa and Rob’s Stones of the Yarra Valley wedding. Images by It’s Beautiful Here.

Any memorable stories from weddings you’ve captured?

Every wedding has been memorable, but three stories immediately come to mind…

Gabe and Blake’s portrait session in Euroa. We were photographing outside a beautiful old pub and noticed the door of an abandoned hotel was open so we all snuck in and took the best photos! Pastel walls, magic carpet, an empty and decrepit bar and piano room and 70’s wallpaper for miles. This family is particularly special as we went on to photograph the weddings of three other family member and counting.

Penny and Andrew’s portrait session. We had planned a beautiful dusk shoot in a maze on the Peninsula, but the rain was torrential this day – like flash floods so bad that they had to change their venue last minute. The sun finally broke just before dusk so we all jumped in the car and bolted to the maze in the hope of a couple of shots. We ended up spending half and hour there in gum boots in the dark and have some of our favourite night portraits.

Emma and Steve’s fabulous party was like a hospitality wonderland. The best food, the best espresso martinis, the best nonna’s limoncello, the warmest couple with the most amazing family and friends all united in celebrating the love of these two genuine people. And shall we mention the dance floor? Grandparents lighting it up and partying as hard as the teenagers. Multi-generational, pagan, frantic, uninhibited, ridiculous fun.

St Kilda Botanical Gardens wedding protea floral wedding arch

Melbourne wedding at The George Ballroom

Shannon and Craig’s wedding at The George Ballroom. Images by It’s Beautiful Here.


Images It's Beautiful Here | |

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