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James Simmons

We welcome wedding photographer James Simmons on board as one of our 6 judges for the 2021 International Wedding Photographer of the Year Awards!

James Simmons was the winner of the International Wedding Photographer of the Year in 2020, was a judge in the Inaugural Awards in 2017, is a Canon Australia Ambassador, has more awards to his name than we’ve had hot dinners and is also an all-round stand-up gentleman. We are very grateful to have James Simmons’ wealth of experience on board as a judge again this year!

From James..

On my first ever wedding, I was walking backwards shooting the couple coming down the aisle and tripped over the flower girl. Yup, tripped over the Flower Girl. The Flower Girl was howling and I pretty much wanted to die at that moment. That was 13 years ago, I’ve stuck with it and learnt a few tricks since then… Still walk backwards a lot though.

I’m pretty much allergic to rich blue skies, mowed green lawn and people looking at the camera smiling unnaturally.

I have an unhealthy obsession with BBQ and brewing craft beer, but it’s a fun distraction. And randomly for some reason I always seem to tear up in movies when I’m on a plane, it gets pretty awkward when I’m traveling by myself.

I became a photographer so I could enjoy what I do, so the same goes for the experience with my couples. I’m all about the good times. Natural expression and interaction are what I like to explore and often gets me excited like a 5-year-old on red cordial at a birthday party but mostly I’m chill. I dig the adventure, engagement and the connection you need to tell people’s story, I’m attracted to a moody, dramatic lighting, and love to Break The Rules. (of photography, not in general, like I’m not a criminal, a grammar criminal maybe)

I love giving people the confidence to enjoy being photographed, I’m all about capturing natural expression and real emotion. Getting couples to relax and be themselves in front of the camera is my Jam. It’s such an awkward and intimidating thought, being photographed, but it’s almost an addiction for me to see people become vulnerable and be present with each other. I think it feeds my own confidence as an individual, it seriously makes me feel great. I believe everyone deserves amazing images that they can be proud of to preserve their history and it gives my photography a purpose to help them remember how they felt at the time, not just what they looked like.

My major influences have been from studying photojournalism and inspired by the engagement that is required from your subject. The need to tell a story is paramount and capturing all the photographic elements is challenging. The fundamentals of a successful photojournalistic image are based on visual impact, how the graphical elements work in a composition, how the lighting enhances the composition, the information about the subject, and human emotion or mood.

I am fascinated with the lead shot in an assignment, as it needs to encapsulate the entire story in one image. I think deep down that became a bit of an obsession, to be able to tell an entire story in one image. The thought of capturing iconic images excites me.

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