Fo­lio | Chasewild

New Zealand D-Photo - - CONTENTS - Words | Adrian Hatwell

As two males work­ing in an in­dus­try that leans heav­ily to­wards its fe­male de­mo­graphic, the pho­tog­ra­phers have found that their own style speaks to a seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion that isn’ t as well served by the con­ven­tional ap­proach

Cameron Thorp and James Broad­bent, the ded­i­cated duo be­hind the des­ti­na­tion wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy brand Chasewild, have turned their in­di­vid­ual pas­sions into a prof­itable joint pur­suit. Now highly sought af­ter for their au­then­tic and ad­ven­tur­ous doc­u­men­ta­tion, they travel long dis­tances to record the most im­por­tant days of many cou­ples’ lives

Wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phers live in mo­ments of con­nec­tion, doc­u­ment­ing both the rit­u­al­ized and hon­est scenes of two peo­ple com­ing to­gether in union. And how bet­ter to un­der­stand that process than for pho­tog­ra­phers to come to­gether them­selves, in cre­ative union? That’s the col­lab­o­ra­tive spirit which has pro­pelled lo­cal wed­ding brand Chasewild to rapid suc­cess. In just over two years, Cameron Thorp and James Broad­bent have cre­ated an ex­tremely pop­u­lar wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy busi­ness un­der the Chasewild ban­ner. Thriv­ing in the dy­namic en­ergy that the name sug­gests, the duo are highly sought af­ter for their au­then­tic and ad­ven­tur­ous doc­u­men­ta­tion of wed­ding days, both lo­cally and around the world. It is their ea­ger­ness to con­nect mean­ing­fully with peo­ple and their pen­chant for ex­plor­ing the nat­u­ral world that helps Chasewild of­fer cou­ples some­thing unique, Cameron ex­plains. “Those con­nec­tions, along with work­ing ex­tremely hard to shoot in good light and great lo­ca­tions, is the back­bone of what we do.” James echoes that com­mit­ment to au­then­tic­ity, and his love for doc­u­men­tary pho­tog­ra­phy pro­vides an aes­thetic foun­da­tion for the duo’s work. “It’s those un­posed can­did mo­ments through­out the day that are so much more cher­ished than an im­age of you look­ing into the cam­era while pos­ing,” he says. Like many of the cou­ples they shoot, Cameron and James have a story of first meet­ing that in­volves dif­fer­ent back­grounds, chance en­coun­ters, and mu­tual in­ter­ests. The for­mer was work­ing with young peo­ple, the lat­ter trav­el­ling from In­dia to Europe, be­fore they met at univer­sity — nei­ther study­ing pho­tog­ra­phy. They ended up flat­ting to­gether, and both dis­cov­ered a pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy at around the same time.

Hav­ing learned pho­tog­ra­phy es­sen­tially in tan­dem, both shoot­ers re­al­ized that they could of­fer a co­he­sive aes­thetic and ex­pe­ri­ence to their clients, while help­ing each other over­come all the in­evitable pit­falls of a new en­ter­prise

“Through this, we spent many hours shoot­ing to­gether as we learned our skills,” James re­calls. “We both had friends pho­tograph­ing wed­dings, and we each had the op­por­tu­nity to shoot a wed­ding with friends in 2013. Af­ter this, we were both hooked, and we knew that it was some­thing we wanted to pur­sue.” Af­ter a year of shoot­ing wed­dings sep­a­rately, the two in­di­vid­ual ca­reers dove­tailed into the shared Chasewild brand. Hav­ing learned pho­tog­ra­phy es­sen­tially in tan­dem, both shoot­ers re­al­ized that they could of­fer a co­he­sive aes­thetic and ex­pe­ri­ence to their clients, while help­ing each other over­come all the in­evitable pit­falls of a new en­ter­prise. Although their back­ground makes col­lab­o­rat­ing on the brand easy, as both artists have a shared vi­sion for the Chasewild look, it’s im­por­tant to proac­tively main­tain con­nec­tion with each other, Cameron says: “We are in­ten­tional about check­ing in with each other in what we do, new tricks we are learn­ing, and, when it comes to edit­ing, we sit be­side each other in the of­fice and are of­ten in­volved in the edit­ing process of the other as we push and de­velop our colours and aes­thet­ics.” Yet ev­ery re­la­tion­ship goes through its rocky patches, and that’s as true of a cre­ative busi­ness part­ner­ship as any other. As any­one who has gone into busi­ness with a friend will know, dif­fer­ences in work­ing style and un­com­mu­ni­cated as­sump­tions can strain a friend­ship — while the Chasewild duo could eas­ily split their wed­ding work­load, bound­aries for the busi­ness side were not so clear.

“No doubt this is some­thing that most busi­ness part­ners deal with and need to work through,” James says. “Af­ter al­most split­ting up over this is­sue, we man­aged to es­tab­lish a new busi­ness model that al­lows each of us to give as much or as lit­tle to the busi­ness as we are able to give at the time, while keep­ing things fair.” With the re­la­tion­ship on solid foun­da­tions, the pho­tog­ra­phers have been able to cre­ate a brand of wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy that com­bines a nat­u­ral­is­tic, gen­uine ap­proach to por­trai­ture with the thrill of ex­plo­ration and a love of the out­doors. You’ll find their cou­ples perched atop moun­tains or me­an­der­ing along bush streams as of­ten as in a chapel or func­tion hall. The ad­ven­tur­ous re­sults have helped spread the Chasewild name not just through­out Aotearoa but all around the globe. “I re­mem­ber the first wed­ding we shot over­seas: it was in a small town just out­side of Lyon, in France,” Cameron rem­i­nis­cences. “I re­mem­ber con­stantly pinch­ing my­self, not be­liev­ing that I could be in­vited around the world to be a part of such an in­ti­mate and spe­cial day in an­other cul­ture. That was pretty spe­cial.” Since then, Chasewild has shot wed­dings in Aus­tralia, Swe­den, Croa­tia, Eng­land, Canada, Italy, Scot­land, Morocco, Ire­land, In­dia, the Cook Is­lands, and the Faroe Is­lands. The duo has de­vel­oped a di­vi­sion of labour that works best for their re­spec­tive sit­u­a­tions: James loves to travel and spends at least four months in the year on the road, so he han­dles most of the in­ter­na­tional shoots; Cameron has put in his trav­el­ling miles, and now prefers to shoot mostly at home or in closely neigh­bour­ing coun­tries. As two males work­ing in an in­dus­try that leans heav­ily to­wards its fe­male de­mo­graphic, the pho­tog­ra­phers have found that their own style speaks to a seg­ment of the pop­u­la­tion that isn’t as well served by the con­ven­tional ap­proach. These cou­ples ap­pre­ci­ate a raw ap­proach to shoot­ing and edit­ing, and what could be thought of as more mas­cu­line tones and light­ing sit­u­a­tions. “This doesn’t mean that we don’t know how to make our brides look ab­so­lutely stun­ning, but, rather, that the gen­eral look and ap­proach may be slightly dif­fer­ent to the more fem­i­nine clas­sic wed­ding pho­tog­ra­phy style you see so of­ten.” Af­ter all these wed­dings, the pair still feel priv­i­leged to be a part of one of the most im­por­tant days in any cou­ples’ lives. But they know that it’s not just the ‘moun­tain­top mo­ments’ but the every­day com­mu­ni­ca­tion, mu­tual re­spect, and open­ness that make a re­la­tion­ship work. And hav­ing a ball along the way doesn’t hurt.

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CANON EOS 5D MARK IV, CANON EF 35MM F/1.4L II USM LENS, 35MM, 1/1000S, F/3.5, ISO 100

CANON EOS 5D MARK IV, CANON EF 35MM F/1.4L II USM LENS, 35MM, 1/160S, F/2, ISO 250

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