Wedding photography is an art, and Austin Trenholm mastered it perfectly! For 15 years, the Florida-based photographer has been documenting incredible love stories around the US and beyond. Austin creates timeless photographs full of sincere emotions and honest feelings. With his camera, he skilfully captures the most intimate and special moments, without overlooking even the smallest detail. In an interview with us, Austin talked about where he finds his inspiration, what makes the best wedding shot, and why having no backup plan is, actually, a great plan.
How did you become a wedding photographer?
I started photography in high school when I was 15 years old. At the time, I lived in New Hampshire, in the northeast US. I quickly started working for wedding photographers during the summer for some extra money. Once I graduated, I moved to California to attend school for commercial and fashion photography. But I realized right away that school wasn’t for me and that I enjoyed weddings much more than any other type of photography. So I dropped out and moved back to New Hampshire, where I started my own company.
Where do you find your inspiration?
These days I enjoy art and photo books that are not on the topic of weddings. Jamie Beck’s "An American in Provence" and Martijn Doolaard’s "Two Years on a Bike” are recent favorites that help me think more as a storyteller with a fine art mindset. I also love watching Paul Thomas Anderson's films to find visual inspiration.
How would you describe your style?
At the moment, my style is a bit more photojournalistic than it has ever been before. I direct my clients a lot for portraits, but for the rest of the day, I’m trying to have an intuition of when certain moments will arise and be ready for them. It’s a mix of emotional moments and classic composition.
How do you make your couples feel comfortable?
I talk to them and keep my camera away from my face as much as possible. I really try to appeal to them as people and make sure they are happy before I start directing them or shooting a lot. Sometimes couples can feel obligated to please everyone else during the wedding. I’m there as someone who gives them a break from that.
What, in your opinion, makes the perfect wedding shot?
Anything that makes you feel something! Anything that makes you stop scrolling and look longer than 2 seconds. For me, this usually means emotional expression, but it can also be the way light is coming through a window. Oftentimes, the perfect shot is not perfect at all and requires a bit of luck.
Do you have a backup plan in case of unexpected weather?
I think plans never really lead to creative photography. I prefer to make a plan as I go. If bad weather comes I can find new inspiration from the changing light. It's easy enough to move photos into a hallway or hotel suite and just focus on more dramatic light. Rain can be quite romantic and makes for more spontaneous reactions. Rain drops on a window, for instance, can really convey a special intimacy.
What trends in wedding photography are your favorite lately?
I’m loving direct flash and the less shallow depth of the field. This is helping us [wedding photographers] become better storytellers and not just rely on pretty bokeh all day. It also makes us have to be more present to be ready for those impossible-to-recreate moments. This is my favorite right now.