Is there anything like the magic of travel? It’s a wonderful, strange existence. It creeps into your soul, slowly then all at once, never leaving you, the ephemeral becomes deeply etched into your physic, the summer days everlasting, the story magical. Played on repeat, over and over, as we can only re-imagine in our minds what it was like to be in that place, in that moment.
For a nomadic soul a wedding that blends an innate love of travel with destination celebrations is the only option. For those planning their wedding in a land far away, a special kind of storyteller is needed. One who will tell this story of travel, of anticipation, of culture and scenery and of raw love with a soulful eye. Hauntingly beautiful and candidly intimate, one who will emotionally invest themselves in your trip and every tiny detail of your wedding, your personalities, your story (those seen and those secret), to create a nostalgically beautiful, almost visual diary-like account of your wedding. One much like videographer Joseph (Joey) Willis. A sometime afterthought to coordinating the many logistical requirements of a destination wedding (and although on paper it may appear a more affordable option to forgo a film or choose a local based videographer), if you are investing in a destination wedding the beauty will be in the entire story, the scenery, the culture and the seemingly insignificant moments of the trip. The ceremonial rituals just one part of a much larger story to be told. The cost of flying someone like Joey (based between Australia and Indonesia) to your wedding, paid for a hundred times over in the personalised, emotive story you’ll have to rewatch and remember.
When we first met Joey we knew we had found someone special, someone who understood, someone who got it. Someone just as inspired by fashion and art and making magic in the sometimes-crazy world of weddings as us. Someone who made us forget every stigma attached to the idea of a wedding video. With a passion for editing his films in the rawest possible way, there’s a realness to his work and watching his documentation of weddings and his storytelling of couples in their realest moments, it’s hard to explain the feeling that envelopes. It’s this hauntingly beautiful blend of an honest, raw and organically evolving narrative with a little bit of magic. It’s the dramatic scenery of a location and his instinct for anticipating what comes next. It’s the instrumental music chosen and the way the tiniest and most delicate details dance on the screen. It’s the capturing of that unexplainable energy of a wedding day and the way he makes you feel every emotion. But mostly, it’s the way documents and tells what it felt to be in that place, at the wedding, in that moment.
(article continued under photo gallery / watch videos in the gallery below)
While a good videographer will retell the story of a wedding day, Joey through his cinematic style, artistic direction and complete understanding of and investment in those couples he chooses to work with, beautifully crafts films to suit the mood and aesthetic of the wedding and the personalities of the couple. Unlike others who will often book a mass of weddings each year, there’s an emotional investment to his storytelling. He’s an artist, traveling to strange lands and far corners of the world with couples and their guests. Capturing the wedding day in its entirety, but often (at the request of the couple) documenting those real and candid moments of the entire trip to tell a more complete story. He makes the ephemeral everlasting and where words fail he leaves you with a story that will transport you back to these moments of your destination captured against dramatic scenery, awe-inspiring views, the silence of vast landscapes, endless skies and wild shores.
It’s a background in fashion photography (Joey is behind some of our favourite frames of actress Margot Robbie) and this instinct for real moments that has created a completely unique and unexpected film aesthetic, that is a beautiful blend of both fashion and weddings. Fashion is his soul and it creeps into his work in the most magical of ways. You can see it in the way the light catches the fabric, the movement of ethereal tulle in slowed dramatic sequences, the focus and framing of the most intricate fashion and styling details and the way these delicate details dance. Translated with artful framing these captures, extending right through the wedding day with an eye for the bridal party and guests alike, create a story rich in layers, and textures, told frame by frame in beautiful compositions, almost editorial in nature. For those investing a significant amount of money in the artist details of a wedding day like a dress, florals and styling elements, the feeling of seeing their beauty reflected on film is unexplainable.
While Joey’s focus is on film, chances are those dreamy images you’ve repined to your Pinterst boards, the breathtakingly beautiful ones, the ones basked in light, ethereally enchanting, immortalising the fleeting, those of couple that look almost editorial in natural are his as well. Also one of our favourite wedding photographers, documenting the preparatory rituals of a wedding morning, the applying of make up, the getting dressed, the with the same fly-on-the-wall style a fashion photographer utilises backstage at a runway show, his frames portray both the energy and emotion in the room, as well as the exquisite textures and details. These are photographs that have you wanting to reach out and touch the surface of lace or folds of a silk gown, documenting the act of buttoning, of stepping into a shoe, of wisps of hair falling across faces and of jewellery adorning hands and wrists.
Joseph Willis is currently based in South East Queensland Australia, relocating to Indonesia in June (available for weddings interstate and overseas at request).