It’s all in that ‘moment’
“It’s important to capture moments, not create them,” Lipton Jayawickrama comments on the exact art of wedding photography. “Unfortunately, this is something most of our photographers-and couples-happily forget!” It’s quite common to hear a photographer instructing the unsuspecting couple to gaze adoringly at an inanimate object, he grins, shaking his head.
“But you know what’s worse? Seeing these beautiful moments completely ruined by intrusive photographers and videographers, who wouldn’t hesitate to jump into the middle of a ceremonial proceeding to ‘take a picture’,” adds his partner in business, Lucy Llewellyn Byard.
Their style is different. Take for example, the couple who were photographed in their wedding finery at the Galle Face zebra crossing, smack in the middle of rush hour traffic! “I kept telling them, don’t look at the policemen,” Lucy recalls with a naughty grin. “If you look at the policemen, they will come over! Fortunately for us they didn’t, and everyone caught up in the traffic didn’t say a word-they were just enthralled with the moment.”
This ‘moment’ is what they pursue; that ultimate capture which will define the couple’s memories. The two photographers who now form the company Shade Tree Productions are enthralled with that moment themselves, which makes them all the more committed to pinning it down.
They’ve hit upon it quite often, as proven by the many beautiful shots that adorn the walls of their premises. Now those photographs will be on display on August 18 and 19 at the Park Street Mews Gallery Warehouse.
“There are so many beautiful pictures that we’ve taken over the years, and we wanted to show them off,” smiles Lipton.”The idea came quite suddenly, and the next thing you know we were running about booking venues, framing pictures and getting ready!”
When they started Shade Tree Productions in 2006, they wanted a partnership that made its business by capturing the most beautiful moments of a wedding-without the frills and the drama. Together they’ve captured wedding ceremonies of all faiths and cultures, from brief nuptials to ones that stretched for a couple of days.
It was at such a wedding that Lucy and Lipton forged their alliance. Lucy, an American who settled down in Sri Lanka a decade ago quite accidentally (following a work assignment to the island, she fell irrevocably in love and decided to stay on), had taken Lipton (at that time in the hotel industry and quite the amateur) under her wing.
One such wedding down south saw Lucy exhausted towards midnight and surrendering the camera to Lipton, with instruction to take some pictures. The shots turned out beautifully, and eventually led to their collaboration as business partners.
Together, they’ve done some interesting shots that have captured the imagination of their clients. Lucy remembers the series of photo shoots they did for the Colombo Art Biennale in 2009, titled ‘Camera Shy?’ of Biennale curator Saskia Fernando, founder Annoushka Hempel and Christina Jayawardena (photographed atop a bright red fire brigade!).
“We also wanted to show photographs from all kinds of weddings,” Lucy says. “Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Tamil…it’s a multi-cultural country after all.”
Visit the two photographers’ work on August 18 and 19 at the Park Street Mews, in Captured Moments. The exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
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