Simeon Quarrie is a name I have only somewhat recently become acquainted with, and it’s now one that’ll roll off the tip of my tongue with the familiarity of an old friend, or a celebrity. He’s the owner of the wedding production company Vivida, and the only person I’ve come across yet that’s made me rethink my allergy to wedding photography. His behind the scenes pre-wedding video called ‘Released By Love’ is nothing short of brilliant.
Quarrie’s style is unique and thoughtful. The average wedding photographer I meet, or whose work I see, doesn’t really strike as having either of those two attributes, and their work is largely as original as a reflection. Often they begin the business to prop up a small household economy – a rival for a 9 to 5 – with an approach that’s more financially routed instead of creative. That’s fine. The prices are the compromise, and that can make them more attractive to some, but the lack of compromise makes the more thoughtful creatives, like Quarrie, better photographers with more inspiring produce.
In ‘Released By Love,’ he shares a look at what goes into a shoot that’s blessed with an attention to detail that would make the IRS dizzy with envy. From seeing what gear is being used, to hearing why certain locations were chosen, how involved a photographer can be in all aspects of the shoot, and also how to be engaging in order to get the most from your clients/subjects, it’s all here. The photos speak for themselves, but seeing how he planned the shoot by sketching shots, and materialized this idea of love cutting away any restrictions on life, is truly valuable.
Quarrie seems to pull inspiration from all around him, and it’s clear his area of interest and knowledge are varied. Unlike the cookie cutter photos of most, he sees the value in picking and mixing ideas rather than buying a sort of standard compilation album. The effect is great, and unexpected.
His willingness to share his thoughts and ideas, his methods and his materials, is very good of him. A lot of artists can be very unwilling to share what they’ve learned over their experience, not understanding, as Quarrie does, that a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
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I really have become a fan of Quarrie’s work, and I’ll consider my next trip to the UK wasted should I not try to steal 15 minutes of his time. The largest takeaway I have from this, and his work in general, is the power of being a good communicator, and storyteller. Great storytelling, like great speaking, isn’t simply about the content alone, but about context, timing, and tone. It’s about details and the ability to recognize a spot of interest, capturing it and building it into something.