Our “SLR Lounge Artist Feature” articles highlight some of the very best photographers in the world. This article features Lyndah Wells of Lyndah Wells Photography (Grand Bahama Island, The Bahamas). Lyndah Wells is a premier wedding and lifestyle photographer in The Bahamas and has been featured all over, from blackbride.com to The BBC to Huffpost Weddings. Lyndah took time to talk with us about her journey into photography and what it’s like traveling throughout The Bahamas as a photographer.
We’d love for you to tell us about how you first got into photography, Lyndah.
After meeting my husband, I moved to The Bahamas from London in 2005. At the time, I worked for a multimedia company. Initially, I worked as a graphic designer and then a video editor. One day, they asked me to assist on a shoot. I remember not even knowing how to fold the reflector at that time. After about a year of assisting, they gave me one of the studio’s cameras so I could work as a second photographer. I remember really enjoying the long days, and creating images. In 2008, I bought my first camera, a Nikon D80. From there, I started covering local community events.
After a trip to New York in 2009, I came back home inspired, decided to focus on fashion photography, and worked for various magazines for a few years. I got into wedding photography by accident. I met a young couple from Canada on the beach, who mentioned they wanted to get married in The Bahamas. My best friend, who I was with at the time, told them I was an amazing wedding photographer, despite the fact that I had never photographed a wedding! In the end, they booked me as the photographer for their wedding, and the rest is history!
That’s an awesome story, Lyndah! What do you love the most about being a photographer in The Bahamas?
Hands down it’s the great light here! There’s just something about it that makes me happy to shoot and makes my images pop. I love that I get to photograph mostly on location. Also, the backdrops are amazing, either our aquamarine waters or lush landscapes or stunning sunsets add such an element of beauty.
From your posts on social media, we noticed that you travel around The Bahamas a lot! Planes, water taxis, helicopters … What’s that like?
It’s perfectly suited to my adventurous spirit, and I really do love it. Sometimes, jumping on these puddle jumpers, I’m in the co-pilot seat! Every island has a different way of getting there. At times, I’ll take two planes, a water taxi, and then ride around via a golf cart. I’ve definitely learned how best to navigate all the quirky island transportation. I actually travel least by car to weddings. Most of the staff at the airports know me really well. And, as some airports are rather tiny, I’ve been known to make a call or two to hold the plane a bit if we’re running late!
Awesome to have that “hold-the-plane-status” for sure! Lyndah, you seriously have some of the best client reviews! To what do you attribute how much your clients adore you?
Overall, I think that when I began photographing weddings here, there weren’t many female wedding photographers, and the style of images were quite formal. I think I bring a touch of femininity and romanticism to my images. Also, I am more relaxed in my posing. And I have always done things in a different way: I would take my couples and bridal party out into the streets. We have such amazing, colorful buildings here, so that’s where we’d photograph. This got a lot of attention, and led to online publications and the ability to build a referral base. I’m also fun and excitable, and that feeds into my relationships with my clients.
Loads of people traveling to The Bahamas are bring cameras, no doubt. And we’d imagine that professional photographers head there for destination weddings now and then. Ha! What are some tips for photographing in The Bahamas?
First, if you know me well, you’ll know that my no. 1 tip is to use a circular polarizer filter, and make sure it’s a good brand. This helps cut down on the glare of the sun, and it reduces the highlights on skin. They also help make the colors pop! Second, come with everything charged. You never know when the electricity will go out! (I have many stories about that!) Finally, things here are very relaxed, so you have to remember that you’ll definitely be on ‘Island Time.’
You’ve been doing quite a bit of education lately. Where can photographers connect with you for workshops, educational events, etc.?
I offer online mentoring, where I work with photographers to help them see and anticipate moments and also work on the business aspect of their photography. I love helping photographers with their businesses because I learned so many things on my own, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m also excited to be a ‘Team Leader’ for Teshorn Jackson’s Resolve Workshop (Los Angeles, Feb. 2–5, 2020). And I just got back from speaking at the Fearless Conference in Aachen, Germany. The Fearless Conference was an amazing experience and the highlight of my career so far.
Before you go … Any shout outs? Anything else you’d like to share wit the SLR Lounge community?
Shout out to Team MagMod. I am a MagMod Ambassador, and I’m so thankful for their support and their lighting modifiers. I use a variety of them, especially the MagGrid and MagSphere. Additionally, I recently added the MagBox to my lineup. I was fortunate to speak at their booth at WPPI this year and spoke about about how I use their products to create my images. You can also find me on their YouTube channel, where I did an episode of ‘How I Shot It.’
I also want to say that I used to think it would be impossible for my work to be seen from a little island in The Bahamas with less that 40,000 people. However, consistent hard work and putting myself out there (entering photography competitions, attending shows like WPPI, taking workshops, and joining communities like Fearless Photographers) made it happen! Share your work, and know that it’s totally possible to build a successful business, even from a small base.
Check out the latest SLR Lounge Award Winners here. Don’t forget to submit by the April 30 deadline to be considered for SLR Lounge’s April 2019 awards competition. Finally, remember that anyone can sign up for an SLR Lounge account for free and submit. However, Premium Members are able to submit up to three photographs each month!