Q&A with Photographer Keryn Sweeney

Keryn Sweeney is an Auckland-based wedding and editorial photographer with a passion for capturing the soulful, grand to little in-between moments shared between a couple, their friends, and family on their special day.

Keryn’s background in fashion photography has allowed her to document wedding stories and moments in beautiful, unrehearsed editorial frames. Her relaxed and informal approach encourages spontaneous moments that result in intimate and authentic images that remain forever classic. Read below as we learn more about Keryn’s experiences and inspirations as a photographer…

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you love?

I’m an editorial and wedding photographer based in Auckland, New Zealand. I live with my fiancé Jamie, and our two lively gorgeous girls who keep us on our toes. At present I’m loving heading away for weekends in a campervan with the girls, exploring some of my favourite spots in NZ.

Photography has always been a huge part of my life both personally and professionally. I have fifteen+ years of experience, with a background in fashion photography that filters through in the style of my work.

I love to capture images that tell stories in a captivating, creative and authentic way. Images that transport you right back to a single moment; that first look or the first dance as a married couple. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than documenting the beauty of a couple on their wedding day.

How long have you been in photography and what made you take up this career?

I always knew I wanted to be a photographer. When I was 9 years old, I was gifted a camera for Christmas and knew from then on that this was what I wanted to do. I took photography classes in high school, but even before that, I was always asking teachers about techniques and how to make it into a career. It really is a lifelong passion, and I am so lucky to be able to do it as a job. Over the years my style has evolved and I think that’s what I love about it most – that I’m still learning and growing as an artist.

What is one of your most memorable experiences as a photographer?

I photograph weddings across the world, from stunning spots like Queenstown and Waiheke Island in my home country New Zealand, to tropical locations in the Pacific Islands, or city elopements on the streets of New York and Paris. I feel incredibly lucky that my work allows me to pursue my love of travel and my passion for photography. I’ve had some incredible moments!

I often travel to Bali, Indonesia where the culture is so beautiful and unique. Daily prayers are accompanied by colourful offerings called ‘Canang sari’ made from palm leaf baskets and decorated with coconut leaves and flower petals among other items. It’s an integral part of Balinese Hindu-culture and as a tourist, it’s an honour to experience. One particularly warm, quiet morning a young girl allowed me to photograph her offerings under a Banyan Tree. Neither of us spoke the other one’s language, but we still seemed to communicate so well. And that’s something special about photography – it allows me to connect with people from all around the world through the lens.

Any artists, musicians, writers, creatives etc. who inspire or influence your work? Or what kind of things inspire you as a photographer?

I’ve definitely been inspired by other documentary photographers like Brassai and Annie Leibovitz. This sort of style really cemented my love of photography. I have always been drawn into the timelessness of it, no matter the era or the subject. It’s the same with wedding photography. A great image should be timeless, so that twenty years from now you can relive your wedding day as if it were yesterday.

I studied art history and cinematography alongside photography and found it helped with my work immensely, from leading lines by the Renaissance artist to studying the way light falls by the Dutch Golden Age Masters. While every wedding is unique, I draw inspiration from these mediums to create a rich and varied collection of photographs.

Any plans or ideas for the future that you would like to share?

I have a busy summer season in NZ which is always crazy but so much fun. I spend time really getting to know my clients before their day so by the time I’m shooting their wedding day it’s really special and personal. And now that travel has opened up I’m thrilled to have several overseas weddings booked over the next year. I’ve just returned from a whirlwind few days in New York for a stunning elopement shoot and some editorial work. Next up are weddings in Fiji, Mexico and the Hamptons.

Learn more at Keryn Sweeney Weddings or visit Keryn Sweeney’s Instagram to check out her works.