We spoke with wedding photographer Nadia Meli about how she become involved with Nikon's Wedding Collective Look Book, and how you can apply these classic, current and emerging trends to your own photography…
The Nikon Wedding Collective Look Book is a photography trends collection focusing on classic, current and emerging wedding photography trends. The series is hosted on the Nikon Europe website and includes information from all members of the Nikon European Wedding Collective – including photographers and influencers from France, the UK, Italy and the Czech Republic. There are lots of photographs to illustrate our trends, as well as top tips for how to recreate certain trends.
• Learn essential wedding photography tips (opens in new tab)
Nikon got in touch with me almost a year ago to see if I wanted to be part of this project, and as a Nikon user and Nikon Ambassador I couldn’t say ‘yes’ quick enough! It’s been great to connect with photographers and influencers from across Europe and learn about wedding traditions and photography trends in other countries.
The Look Book project was especially important because wedding photography has evolved so much, especially in the past few years. I think it’s really important to show that evolution.
All of my shots featured within the Nikon Wedding Collective Look Book came from my wedding portfolio – so it was great to include a variety of different shots from different weddings. I don’t usually get a lot of time to scout out a location before shooting on the Big Day, since most of my work is abroad, so I have to act fast on the day of the wedding – I have to be creative with what I have. Most locations I shoot at end up being very spontaneous choices, depending on where I have good light in that moment or what is happening on the day – wedding photography is all about being flexible after all!
Gallery: three of Nadia Meli's wedding trends
As soon as I had the briefing by Nikon I knew almost instantly which images would work and for what category. The photographs were taken over a period of about three years, and were shot on a D750 or D850 with my favourite lenses, the AF-S 35mm f/1.4G and AF-S 85mm f/1.4G. Both cameras are fast and precise, the ISO is phenomenal (great for wedding photography) and the lenses are my favourites because they just are! I can’t even explain why, but I adore how the 35mm gives an image just the right amount of energy without being too wide-angled.
I loved contributing to the Look Book because I care about showing that wedding photography is so different from, say, 10 years ago. It’s moved on from being quite editorial and is much more natural and documentary these days – the emphasis is more on the organic course of the day and not on posing clients in a park or in a studio.
Shooting a wedding is both physically and mentally very demanding. Not only are you on your feet for 10-plus hours at a time, but you’re also more than a photographer. Often you take on the role of the event planner; have to manage time schedules; have to be a friend to the bride or a psychologist dealing with difficult family members; and have to smile throughout doing it all and still manage to capture the day creatively!
You must stay focused and sharp all day in order to not miss the little serendipitous moments in-between – the moments that not everyone sees but are exactly the things that people will be wanting to see when the day is done.
Another challenge, not directly related to the wedding itself, is that you miss out on having a social life here and there. This is because you’re away at the weekends when people usually meet. I’ve missed birthday parties, family weddings and general social events which is a hard to deal with… but you’ve got to keep in mind what it’s about: two people’s special day!
To see the latest trends in wedding photography from leading Nikon pro photographers, Check out the Wedding Collective Look Book
Interview: Andy Smith (opens in new tab)