From youthful visions of shooting for National Geographic, Luke Going’s photography career took an unexpected turn when he discovered a passion for capturing weddings.
The Sunshine Coast lens man documented his first wedding in 2011, when photography styles and trends were thankfully evolving from the over-polished, mainstream portraits that had become the status quo. Before long, Luke was hooked on the creative versatility and potential for expression that wedding photography afforded. Over 180 weddings later, he hasn’t looked back.
Luke’s sensitive and cinematic style has had him firmly on our radar from the get go, and we’ve featured a number of his weddings over the years. We recently caught up with Luke to discover a little more about the man behind the camera.
Tell us a little about your background and the path that brought you to wedding photography.
I discovered Photography in high school and fostered the passion for about 15 years before deciding to give it a crack as a career. Wedding photography wasn’t really on my radar when I first started, but I was pretty much open to anything that came my way. Once I realised the potential of weddings to fulfill me creatively – each one being completely unique and a place where I could translate my own way of seeing things into images – it started to become a viable option and a way to make a living in the creative arts.
How would you describe your photography style?
It’s a really hard thing to do as I feel my style is constantly evolving, but for all intents and purposes I guess I would say my style fits into a ‘cinematic documentary’ genre. Each couple has a spark, a special something that is only triggered off by the presence of the other person. This chemistry is the very thing that I strive to find when I’m shooting. Sometimes it is naturally present and sometimes it needs a little coaxing. But it is always there and when it comes to the surface that is when the most magical images evolve.
Was wedding photography always the passion? What other personal photography projects keep you busy?
My original dream was to work for National Geographic, documenting the peoples and places of the earth. I also had a strong interest in portraiture and abstract landscapes, so my interests were pretty broad. I think what made me pay attention to weddings was that it was an event that was always going to present something different to me each time. So with each wedding, I had an opportunity to find the unique and the arcane with every location and couple I shot. This really did satisfy me creatively as I felt weddings gave me all the opportunities I needed to express myself visually.
I now find myself very interested in pursuing other creative mediums, and am currently fulfilling a life long interest in ceramics by getting my hands dirty and my mind away from a computer screen. I find the best way to keep me inspired as a photographer is to diversify my creative endeavours and do my best to satisfy my insatiable appetite for making things.
When did you shoot your first wedding? How do you feel the industry has changed since then?
I shot my first wedding at the beginning of 2011. This was a time when the industry was really making new roads, especially in the photographic arena. It was spearheaded by artists who had a strong urge to shoot in a journalistic style, moving away from the cringe-worthy trends of the past. Suddenly wedding photography was being reinvented as a platform for true artistic expression, and out of the woods came some of the most incredible and talented photographers of our time. I think it was just great timing for me to get into wedding photography and launch my business.
Who are some other photographers you admire?
One of those early pioneers I was speaking of that inspired me was Jonas Peterson. I don’t think there is a wedding photographer around that hasn’t been moved by his imagery. Especially those who started around the same time I did. He basically inspired a whole generation of photographers to go out there and find their own voice. To create images that could be hung on a wall and not be considered a wedding portrait. And I think most importantly he invigorated the industry by rejecting industry trends and focusing wholeheartedly on the couple’s story, the love story at the centre of everything. That central narrative meant each part of the day had a crucial role in completing that narrative, illustrating that chemistry, giving the photographer the role of the director and making that love story really come alive. And that is a major reason why I admire the guy.
What are some of your go-to sources of inspiration and/or professional development?
As I mentioned, I am currently getting into ceramics. Yet I have many other passions and interest’s other than photography, and I find myself attracted to mediums that evoke the polarity between passion and stillness. This dualistic force is influential right throughout my life and I can see its effect on all of my creative endeavours. So I guess my go-to source of inspiration is Life itself. In my experience, professional development and personal development are synonymous and interdependent. If one is neglected, the other suffers.
What’s the most memorable wedding you’ve captured?
It’s pretty hard to forget a winter elopement in New York City. A ceremony in Central Park, then walking the streets taking photos in the most vibrant city on earth just hit the spot for me. My wife Rosie came with me and we pretty much had the best week of our lives – which might have had something to do with leaving our four kids at home?!
Finally, do you have any tips for couples planning their wedding?
Just do it YOUR way. Don’t sweat the small stuff, make sure you prioritise the things that are important to you as a couple and as individuals. Don’t let other people (traditions/trends) force you into doing anything you don’t wholeheartedly want to have on your wedding day. The more relaxed you are, the more fun you’re going to have and the more memorable it is going to be.
Images Luke Going Photography |