Interview – Paris Hawken Photography

  • I’m a lover of the ocean and outdoors, and am not adverse to a red wine or any kind of dog. I love Black Books (if you know, you know) and indoor plants. I live in the little laid back town of Margaret River, and I love capturing real and raw moments.  I’m drawn to this place because it suits my laid back nature, time moves a little slower and the people really know how to live.

    I love starting my mornings with cold water, bare feet and salty hair, followed by a long black or almond milk flat white depending on the mood. I’m a very calm and easy going person, except if there’s a spider/cockroach in the house. I spend a great deal of time trying not to kill my house plants, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job lately. I love cooking, and will pop out the champagne any time it looks like there’s something to celebrate (like making it to Wednesday).

    I’m passionate about capturing people’s legacies, their memories, the one thing that will stick around for years and not go out of fashion or fade away.

    I like to capture moments quietly, with a relaxed, photo journalistic approach.  I’ll capture real emotions , all the big moments, and all the little moments too. The little moments sometimes speak more loudly than the big moments.

    I will steer clear of the traditional, posed wedding photography, and instead focus on documenting your day as honestly as I can, not working to a shot list – rather capturing things as they happen.

  • Do you find that living in the South West provides enough material for you to capture as a photographer? What keeps you living here?

    More than enough! You basically can’t take a bad photo down here! Golden hour by the coast down here is like no where else in the world – beautiful honey toned light and no one else around, perfect. I love how beautiful everything is down here – I can be driving into town to do the most mundane task, but my route into town takes me right past the ocean and through beautiful big trees. It’s pretty hard to be anything other than happy and relaxed.

  • Is your style of photography fluid and evolving or do you have a classical style that makes your work recognisable as being you?

    I think that my style has definitely evolved over the years as I was learning who I was as a photographer, but it’s definitely settled now and I’d like to think it’s recognisable! I’d say it’s candid, soft and real, with a sense of quietude.

  • What would be your dream photo shoot location or subject?

    I’d love to shoot bridal dress campaigns in the Greek Islands, or in a desert somewhere!

    When photographing weddings, how do you find a connection with the people you are capturing?

    I best connect with the people I’m shooting during the prep photos before the ceremony. It’s where everyone is just being themselves, getting ready and I really get to see how everyone interacts with each other as friends and family. I take a lot of time during this phase to actually just put down my camera and chat to people, and get to know them before I start taking photos of them. This makes it a whole lot more natural, and they can then actually be allowed to forget that they’re having photos taken of them.

  • Where is a place that you never tire of photographing?

    I think it’s more of a feeling than a place for me – I think it’s the feeling of having really amazing light. Whether it’s golden and glowing, or playing around with shadows, it’s something I just love experimenting with.

    What are the challenges when photographing events with lighting installations?

    In receptions, if there are lighting installations directly behind where the bride and groom are sitting it can be tricky to properly focus on them – as it’s such low light, the cameras focus will jump to the brightest thing and if that’s right behind their head it can be a little tricky.

  • When photographing people you don’t know well, how do you reveal their true selves?

    I chat heaps to them whilst I’m taking the photos. This opens them up, and makes it feel like they’re not just having photos taken of them – they’re also just hanging out with me. With bride and grooms, I always try to keep them moving as well, whether that’s walking around, doing a little slow dance, pushing the hair out of each others faces or a good old tickle, it always gets people more relaxed and comfortable to just be themselves.

  • “Something you will see in the images I capture……”

    People being their real selves.