A great lover of both photography and weddings, it seems Tim Frawley was always destined to make a career out of his two passions. A storyteller at heart, Tim captures a couple’s big day in the most natural and candid way possible – by completely blending in as a guest. Chatting with Tim, it’s easy to see how any couple who choose him as their wedding photographer turn from employers to friends with a few clicks of the camera.
Tell us a bit about yourself – where you’re from, where you studied and where you are in the world right now…
I’m Tim, and I am a self-confessed photo nerd. I love to travel and I'm obsessed with anything that involves adventures and a camera. I was born and raised in southern Sydney, and I have spent several years living abroad in California and London. I’m now back living in Australia, and am happy to call Sydney home.
What led you down the path of wedding photography?
I’ve always loved taking photos, and whilst I was living in London and working as a designer on travel magazines I was exposed to some amazing work which motivated me to try and take my photography skills to the next level. So it was then I decided to focus on my photography, getting creative on weekends abroad, and in grimy back-street London ally's and over time I formed my own style. When I eventually moved home to Sydney, some of my friends had been married, and when I saw their photos, part of me was a little disappointed as I felt that the photos didn't do their big day the justice they deserved. It was then I realised that I wanted to pursue photography as a career, and that my eye for detail and perfectionist traits were a great asset – and here I am today!
Tell us about your process – from the day you meet with the couple to the day of the wedding.
I like to meet all my clients in person before they book me, to me it's important that they feel comfortable with me, that way on their big day they can relax and are able to let their real emotions shine through. I want them to think of me as a mate, and enjoy their day because that’s what weddings are all about! Having fun!
Once a couple has booked me in for their big day, I’m always on hand to answer questions they may have whether they need advice, help or vendor suggestions. Once we get closer to the date we’ll meet up again and have a chat through the day, we'll talk about their timings and if they like we can go and check out the venue/photo location. I will generally scope out some nice spots for their photos, and I like to make sure the couple are happy with the suggestions I make, and to also have an opportunity to speak to me about any ideas they might have.
What in your opinion sets you apart from other wedding photographers?
It's a tough question because there are so many talented photographers who I admire. But, if I had to say something it would be that I like to really blend in at a wedding, I like to see myself as a guest or friend with a camera. I find that this makes everyone relax and the photos end up being more natural and real. I like to capture the day in its rawest and truest form. I can capture those small moments that the bride and groom may miss during the excitement of the day, and give them that opportunity to feel like they didn't miss a thing each time they look through their photos.
Where do you find inspiration?
I stalk photographer's like Nordica, Gabe McClintock, James Day, Land of the White Deer, Mitch Pohl and many others on Facebook and Instagram. Seeing their work just motivates me to try new things and push my boundaries.
Congratulations on your recent nuptials! Who shot your wedding and what was the day like?
Thank you! Scott Surplice shot our big day and he was incredible. I know Scott personally as my sister went to school with him and my wife Gemma and I both know his younger brother, so we already felt very comfortable with him, which made our day so easy and fun.
As for our wedding, my wife and I both love to travel so we opted for a small wedding and big honeymoon approach. We had an intimate church ceremony in Engadine (in the Sutherland Shire) and then we had our reception at Table for 20 in Surry Hills. It was very chilled and low key. All we wanted was a big family-style dinner with lots of good food and booze with 40 of our closest friends and family. To us, our day was perfect.
Two days later we embarked on our four month honeymoon adventure that led us through China, Mongolia and Russia on board the Trans-Siberian Railway, then Chernobyl, Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Scandinavia to see the Northern Lights, the UK and we finished off with some sun and relaxation on Koh Tao in Thailand.
Do you have a favourite memory from the big day?
When people say it’s the best day of your life, they really aren’t lying, it was amazing. There is one piece of advice that we were given, and it is a stand out for us. We were told to take a quiet moment, just the two of us, and stand in the corner of the room and just allow ourselves to watch. In that moment we saw all the people that we loved together in one room, there to celebrate us and our love. No words were needed. Your wedding day goes so fast and although this was a short minute of our day, it gave us a chance to really absorb everything. It was honestly the best piece of advice, and it's now something I like to tell all my couples to do on their big day.
Do you have any favourite venues?
Picking one favourite is tough, but I would have to say my top three are Merribee and Tocal Homestead in NSW and Thurbly Domain in New Zealand.
What advice would you give brides/grooms that are camera shy?
If your budget permits, book an engagement shoot. We get to hang out and have some fun and they’ll see that having their photo taken isn’t so daunting and can actually be fun. If not, just relax and pretend I’m not there (I’m pretty good at being stealth). I have little games and silly things I do that help them relax and have a laugh, which gets people out of their shells and produces some of the best candid moments.
What is your absolute favourite thing about what you do?
The amazing people I get to meet. At every wedding I meet so many incredible and interesting people and I get to share in one of the most special days of their lives.
Tim Frawley http://www.weddingsbytim.com.au