© Lennox Weddings 2023
Sam Wyper is one of our fabulous photographers. He beautifully captures weddings all up and down the East Coast of Australia, so when we reached out to him to see if he’d be interested in joining our Lennox Weddings launch team, we were stoked when he said Yes!
He expertly captured the black and white hero image on the website, from Jonathan and Louise’s Lennox Wedding last year. He’s been part of two pre-launch weddings that we worked on together so watch out for them coming soon within our Real Weddings section on the blog.
We recently sat down with him to find out a little more about him.
Have you always lived in the Northern Rivers?
No. Most of my life has been spent living in Sydney. My schoolies consisted of a month of camping under the Byron Bay lighthouse and hitch hiking to various locations in the Byron hinterland. I absolutely fell in love with the region and always knew I would end up living in the area.
Covid caused a bit of a delay in my family’s moving process to the Norther Rivers but we finally made it to the beautiful coastal town of Pottsville a few year ago and recently settled in the picturesque hinterland town of Burringbar early last year.
My family and I love living in the Northern Rivers and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
How long have you been a wedding photographer and what made you take on this gig professionally?
I’ve been a wedding photographer for five years now. It’s been one heck of a journey, especially with the massive hurdle Covid brought upon the business, right at a time where I was establishing myself as a Northern Rivers wedding photographer.
I remember attending a friend’s wedding and being blown away by the fact that they had paid a photographer to capture their special day. “What a dream job that must be” I remember saying to my fiancee. Fast forward a year later and after making it through a life or death situation, I found myself with a renewed conviction that life is extremely precious and I should damn well follow my dream job if I could.
For better or worse, I have an all or nothing approach to my life pursuits, so I dedicated myself to learning the craft of wedding photography with maximum bravado. Of course, being a wedding photographer entails much more hard work than many might assume, but I have honestly never looked back. I live and breathe photographing weddings and my enthusiasm only keeps growing.
How did you meet your beautiful wife Corinne?
A couple of friends knew Corinne and I would be the prefect match. It was just a matter of placing us in the same space (which happened to be indoor soccer at the time) and letting the magic happen.
What’s far more interesting (and extremely romantic), is our proposal story. Corinne took me away for my birthday weekend at a time when a meteor shower was passing over. It was 4am and we were snuggled up in our sleeping bags outside watching the meteor shower, when Corinne suddenly presented me with a piece of meteorite and said “let’s turn this meteorite into wedding rings and get married.” Of course I said yes!
Can you tell us about your wedding?
Our wedding was pretty low key. After Corinne’s epic proposal we decided we couldn’t wait to get married. A couple of weeks later we found a venue that doubled up as a wildlife sanctuary, and four months later we tied knot with emus walking around our ceremony and dingoes howling in the background. It was very us!
Do you have one particular photo you’ve taken that you love?
Now that’s a tough one. Thankfully, for me and my couples, I have more than one photo I love. But the below photo of a bride having an emotional moment with her grandfather post ceremony really tugs at my heart. It was a very difficult photo to capture as I had to act really quickly to capture the angle and light I wanted whilst framing this moment. I ended up having to crouch down on a lomandra plant to capture the moment. Anyone who is familiar with our local native plants will know just how spiky the leaves of a lomadra are. It was definitely not the most comfortable photo I have ever taken. But what can I say – such is my dedication to my couples!
Do you have a funniest moment captured on film (or digital)?
I have two. I always make a big effort to capture kids at weddings. They tend to wear their personalities on their sleeves and are very unpredictable. All of which makes them great photographic subjects. This first image shows the marrying couple’s daughter taking her shoe off mid ceremony. The look of determination on her face and her parents reaction says it all.
The second is one of the most epic reception entrances I have ever seen. I think the photo speaks for itself. It cracks me up every time I look at it.
Do you have any bad moments captured on film (or digital)?
To be honest, I have a tonne of bad images from every wedding I photograph. Thankfully my bad photos never see the light of day after they are taken 😉
Do you often get contacted by other photographers asking for advice, or mentoring? Have you made some fun friendships that way?
Definitely. I regularly take on apprentices who contact me and I let them experience the rollercoaster ride that is photographing a wedding. In fact, mid last year I photographed a wedding and the groom asked me could he tag along to some weddings with me to get experience. He ended up accompanying me on two weddings where I mentored him throughout the day, and now he has booked a destination wedding in Costa Rica. Go figure, huh!
If you weren’t a photographer what would you be?
The ego part of me says I would proceed David Attenborough and document the natural world in all it’s beauty (and not so beautiful aspects). The less egoic part of me acknowledges that I would still be a school teacher (my past career before wedding photography). For the most part I really enjoyed being a school teacher, but unlike being a wedding photographer, school teaching wasn’t necessarily my dream job.
What’s your favourite time of day, tell us why?
It would have to be a quiet moment in the reception when I sneak up to the wedding cake and down a mouthful when no one is looking (jokes!).
On a more serious note, my favourite time isn’t necessarily my most rewarding time. My favourite would be sneaking off at sunset with my couple and capturing some beautiful moments in epic light.
My most rewarding time would be the immediate time proceeding the ceremony, in what I call the hugs and fives time. I find this is a time when the energy is really high and people tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves. I can capture really raw and unguarded moments at this time. The image I discussed earlier with the bride and her grandfather was taken at the time. It’s definitely not my favourite time to capture. As a photographer, I find it a really chaotic time with people moving about in tight spaces left, right and centre. But as the saying goes, “there is much beauty to be found in chaos and magnificence in the uncontrollable.” And embrace the chaos I will continue to do so long as I continue to photograph weddings.
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