Dancing the line between the refined and the relaxed, the choreographed and the candid, photographer Bayleigh Vedelago is a true master of balance. Known for her light-filled aesthetic and effortless approach to capturing luxury weddings, Bayleigh’s method lies in harmonizing the honest and the stylistic, producing imagery awash in authentic beauty.
Based in Australia but shooting destination weddings across the globe, Bayleigh’s frames are elegant, creatively composed and spilling with natural light. Real and refreshing, there’s a beautiful nonchalance to her work that is so captivating, a brightness and contemporary appeal. Bayleigh’s frames are sophisticated yet informal, and that’s wholly part of their charm. Her eye for fashionable detail is instinctual, and her background in the documentary-style allows her to distil the emotive, ephemeral moments that pass by so quickly.
Enamoured with Bayleigh’s chic aesthetic and unfeigned approach to shooting weddings, we take five with the talented photographer to discover more…
“Weddings started to become really infused with fashion and style and began to offer me an opportunity to travel the world for work. I found it was becoming a really incredible career path and a way to merge my love for fashion and editorial work, while at the heart still being rooted in documentary storytelling principles.”
Tell us….where did your story begin? Why weddings?
I always had a love for photography but wasn’t sure how or in what way I could make it into a career. I studied photography at the College of Art and found a love for documentary photography and portraiture. I always imagined moving into editorial work, however, while I was doing my degree I began shooting weddings on the side, and it seemed to naturally evolve from there. Weddings started to become really infused with fashion and style and began to offer me an opportunity to travel the world for work. I found it was becoming a really incredible career path and a way to merge my love for fashion and editorial work, while at the heart still being rooted in documentary storytelling principles.
Your frames are sophisticated and stylish, yet coincidingly, are effortless and relaxed. How do you master the balance between the two?
I have been photographing weddings for nearly 10 years now, and feel that with time and experience, I started to really find my own style, aesthetic and approach. My background in documentary taught me a lot about being with people, and how to help them feel comfortable with the camera. For a long time, I thought I had to be a quiet observer when capturing a wedding, but over the years I realised it can be more of a collaborative experience. I’ve learnt when to step back and let a moment unfold, and when to give a little guidance or interact. It’s a balance that changes according to each wedding, couple and moment.
Your ability to shoot fashionable detail and your chic editing aesthetic has caught the eye of many high profile and artistic couples. How do you work closely with your couples to ensure every element of a wedding is creatively captured?
I think it helps to really understand what each couple is inspired by and what is important to them. While I have my signature style and distinctive aesthetic that they are drawn to, I can then work that into how I capture it all to best represent their vision for the day.
With so much experience capturing destination weddings, what advice would you give to couples looking for the perfect photographer to shoot their nuptials abroad?
Choose a photographer who you feel completely comfortable with and whose work you love and trust. A lot of Australian couples who book me for their destination wedding say that having a fellow Aussie on board was so comforting and calming, both in the lead-up and on the day. There’s a nice familiarity and connection, and it also just makes things logistically much easier when we speak the same language.
“I thought I had to be a quiet observer when capturing a wedding, but over the years I realised it can be more of a collaborative experience. I’ve learnt when to step back and let a moment unfold, and when to give a little guidance or interact. It’s a balance…”
Where is your favourite location to photograph weddings, or where do you dream of shooting next?
I have been lucky to spend the past few years shooting the summer season in Europe which I absolutely love, but right now I dream of shooting a wedding in the deserts of California. Amangiri in Utah would also be the ultimate dream.
Where do you draw your creative inspiration from?
Film, travel, art, time in nature, experiencing the world, people. Photography wise, the classic greats like Arthur Elgort, Slim Aarons, Peter Lindbergh, and Roxanne Lowit.
A moment behind an image you’ll never forget…
It was during an intimate wedding held earlier this year. Originally the couple had planned a large celebration but the groom’s mum was quite unwell, so they fast-tracked the wedding and moved it 12 months ahead. The couple’s biggest priority was to have beautiful moments captured with his mum and family. I remember being there with just the three of them capturing some portraits before the ceremony. The words they spoke and the way they gently and lovingly held each other was so moving and beautiful. It was such a humbling moment of love to witness and capture. A couple of days after the wedding his mum passed. To have been able to capture these moments for them was really special, and a reminder of what matters above all else.
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