Balance Photography offer award winning photography for your wedding in Spain. Today we were invited to get to know a little more about the dynamic duo, husband and wife Oliver and Racheal, and find out how they create their breathtakingly beautiful wedding images.
Both Oliver and myself have always had an interest in creative arts. Oliver started his career in Musical Theatre which led him to have a successful 10-year career performing in many West End shows.
I was inspired artistically by my eldest brother who is also a professional photographer. He used film cameras and I was entranced by the magic of watching the photos develop into prints.
We opened our photographic studio in the UK in 2004 working mainly on studio based shoots. After 5 years we felt we wanted to explore more variety with our photography. My brother had been a wedding photographer for many years and at first, we shadowed him on a few weddings to experience the reality of being a wedding photographer. We loved every second of it. It was so exciting seeing all the different locations and meeting new people. It’s not something that everyone can do as it also requires the ability to be creative under pressure, be organised, experienced and patient. For us that is all part of the fun, we love seeing the story unfold through our photos and the reactions from our couples when we deliver them.
Whilst we love the fine art aspects of our work we also adore capturing the moment and immortalising memories. Every wedding is unique and we tailor our services to each couple’s requirements. We send our clients a dedicated form in order to have a clear understanding of their preferences. This enables us to optimise their photographic coverage and ensure their personal story is documented and tailored to their needs.
We are equipped with the correct long lenses to ensure that we are not intrusive, as so many beautiful moments are captured discreetly. Similar to lenses used for wildlife photography.
The correct equipment is extremely important for wedding photography to ensure we can blend into the background and capture the emotion of the day without being noticed.
Experience is also key, watching body language from a distance, waiting patiently for the moment with anticipation and then discreetly capturing the laughter, the tears and the story of the day.
Many of our couples have been gripped with emotion once they have received their photos as they have been overwhelmed by all the moments we have captured without them being aware we were even there. That’s when we know we have done our job properly.
Witnessing so many wonderful moments and knowing that after the wedding day our photos will be shared through generations. It really is an honour. We have captured such a wonderful array of cultures and traditions such as English, Greek, Asian, Jewish, African etc. A beautiful diverse collection of memories captured.
Also, the wonderful places around the world that our job has taken us to such as, Dubai, Maldives, New York, Tampa, Italy, France and our favourite place that we now call home…. Spain. If it was not for our job and the increasing demand for our services over here we may never have left the UK. Being a photographer has opened so many doors for us and we have met so many amazing people along the way, We are eternally grateful for our success and love every single part of being a wedding photographer.
Experience and back up contingency plans. We have an array of professional lighting and up to date equipment to ensure that the weather does not affect our photos. Whilst we love the use of natural light, we are always prepared in the case that it may not be available, thus ensuring that the weather does not affect the quality of the photos that we take.
Describe your wedding photography style in less than 6 adjectives
Artistic, Journalistic, Timeless, Elegant, Glamorous and Cinematic
Our main inspiration comes from the amazing testimonials we have had from our couples, making people happy is the most heart warming feeling. We can honestly say that we have loved every single couple we have worked with and many still remain friends. Some of the most special times have been when we have been invited back to capture the memories of their growing family. One couple has booked us for a family session every year since their wedding day six years ago and we still fly back to England each year to keep up the tradition.
What do you enjoy about living and working in on the Coast?
Working on the coast is truly a dream come true. Before we moved to Spain we used to visit at least 5/6 times a year until eventually it just felt like home. It was a risk to move as we had been running our business from the UK successfully for around 15 years. So leaving our comfort zone and embarking on the adventure to move here three years ago was both exciting but scary!
Everyone just seems happier in the sunshine which also makes for beautiful documentary photography. Any couples getting married here are also on holiday with everyone they love so there are so many special moments to capture. Photography is painting with light and the light here is just beautiful to work with.
A tip or two for couples who are looking for their perfect wedding photographer?
Make sure your photographer is experienced. Ask for full weddings to view so you can get an idea of the quality of the final collection of photos that you would receive, make sure your photographer is legal to work here & insured.
Check their reviews, social media pages etc and most importantly be confident in who you choose as after the wedding day your photos are one of the only memories you have to remember it.
Invest wisely as your wedding memories are so precious. We have heard many awful stories over the years because unfortunately anyone with a camera can call themselves a photographer. but it doesn’t mean that they are professional.
Remember what the day is about, spending time with your loved ones and saying your vows, Don’t allow yourself to get so swept away by the finer details that you forget about the moments. Choose your suppliers wisely, make sure you feel comfortable and trust them to meet your expectations so you can relax and enjoy your day.
It is very hard to pick a favourite image as we have worked with so many wonderful couples and have captured thousands of magical moments. Moments such as the tear in a fathers eye as he gives his little girl away, to the beautiful lighting setups we create for our fine art images.
We love the challenge of unexpected weather and one image this year we adore is a black and white image of Cara and Will stood under umbrellas sharing a moment as the rain comes down around them.
Another is James and Michelle in an image called “Dancing in the moonlight.” We used some of our night lighting techniques for this to create something that would not be possible without our knowledge, equipment and creative minds. When we see our ideas come to life it is truly magical, There are also many favourites that we have waited patiently for to capture the moment, yet sometimes the most wonderful photos are taken when people don’t even know we are taking them.
There have been countless wonderful moments that we have had through our work. Being flown to the Maldives is defiantly up there as one of the most incredible memories.
Brooke and Elizabeth chose to fly us to the Maldives with their thirty wedding guests. We felt so honoured that they chose us to capture their wedding day. Brooke and Elizabeth are keen divers and we wanted to create a very special image for them. Before we left for the Maldives we sketched out a drawing of them on a boat in the ocean but capturing her dress floating underneath them. We obviously did not want to get the brides wedding dress wet so we took with us a piece of organza silk to give the illusion of her dress hanging over the side of the boat. We also took underwater housing for the camera and had to wait patiently with the camera partially submerged and being splashed by the waves for the perfect moment.
Seeing this image come to life through the photo on the day was so rewarding. It’s so wonderful when you can bring your ideas to life through photography.
Last year we had two very special weddings for different reasons. When the owners of designer Ariella Couture chose us to cover their beautiful daughter’s wedding day we felt overwhelmed and honoured. We were exhibiting at the destination wedding show at Kensington Olympia when our bride Lana and her Mother stopped at our stand. Her Mum started crying and said: “Oh my this is exactly what we have been looking for”. Their wedding was a Greek celebration full of glitz and glamour, everything you would expect for such a high profile occasion. We will never forget the moment Lana and her Groom Tas entered their wedding breakfast at The Grosvenor Park Lane as husband and wife to the song by Ellie Goulding “Love me Like you do.” It was like something from a fairytale. Every time we hear that song we think of them. That day marked a very special moment in our photographic career and to this day we still keep in touch with their beautiful family.
In May last year, we were flown to Italy to capture the celebrations of Francis and Nicky who had booked us based on a recommendation two years prior. In February before their wedding day, Francis had a fall and ended up badly breaking his leg. Nikki phoned us to let us know that he will be in a wheelchair for the wedding, they were devastated. But as if by a miracle a few weeks before their wedding he managed to walk. He was on crutches but the fact he was able to stand whilst he took his vows was an emotional moment to witness. He even managed to stand without the crutches for the couple photos too. Francis and Nikki are the most wonderful and positive people and to see their happiness after months of worrying was very special.
Don’t let moments pass you by and always be grateful for those around you. We have witnessed some very happy times but also some very sad times too. Shortly after our couple Brook and Elizabeth said their wedding vows in the Maldives we had a call from Elizabeth to say her mother had passed away. Her Mum did not like having photos taken so we had captured many moments naturally of her. Elizabeth expressed how special those memories are for her and thanked us for the beautiful photos of her Mum. Since then we have heard of four other mothers and fathers passing away and each time we look back through the couples photos to reminisce on the happy times shared. It makes you put things into perceptive, most things can be replaced but memories last a lifetime.
Both Oliver and I love walking with our dogs, there are so many breathtakingly beautiful places to see here in Spain. We find ourselves always saying to each other things like “wow look at that beautiful light/ tree /sky” I guess it works because we are both photographers so we can share that passion together in seeing the beauty in everything.
In my spare time, I love cooking, I never use recipes and I get a lot of enjoyment out of creating my own flavours and serving people. We have a wonderful bunch of friends and family and there is nothing more we love than hosting and spending time with them. Oli and I make a great team as he is also a keen baker and makes the most amazing sourdough bread. We are both drawn to the simple things really. We are best friends so we genuinely find whatever we do together becomes fun. It is great to have a partnership that works for both business and pleasure.
We are also both animal lovers and try to do our best where we can to help/feed strays here, rescue etc. There is nothing quite like the gratitude and love you receive by looking in the eyes of a dog you have helped. We originally moved here with two dogs, our Boxer and jack Russell but 3 years later we now have four fur babies. One was our local stray and one was a puppy we found in a box. We often wonder how their lives would have been if we hadn’t moved here. It’s lovely knowing the risk we took has enabled our fur babies to have a forever home. We feel grateful every day for the life we have here.