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PHOTOGRAPHER | Ed Summerhays

Born and bred on the Central Coast and Sydney-residing for the last decade, Ed Summerhays believes in simple, honest images that tell your unique story. He is a documentary style photographer who has a calm and gentle-natured approach and believes couples should be captured authentically on their wedding day. Whilst Ed Summerhays primarily shoots in and around Sydney and the Blue Mountains in NSW, he is also available for bookings worldwide.


Tell us about your business!

My business, and love of photography, came from capturing those everyday moments of friends and family enjoying life in the moment. I was drawn to weddings as there is a unique joy in the air, both from couples and guests, that is so much fun to capture.

What would you like couples to know about you?

It’s just me. From prep, capturing, culling, and editing. It’s a very personal thing inviting a person into your life during the journey of planning and execution of your wedding day, so I like to be the one who goes through everything myself, to ensure my couples are receiving the quality that they were drawn to when hiring me.

Where are you based?

I live in the inner-west of Sydney with my very supportive wife, and three children.

Do you travel for weddings?

Absolutely. I am always keen to experience a new landscape, whether that’s here in Australia, or abroad.

How would you describe your style?

I have a candid, documentary style approach. The day is not about me orchestrating moments; it’s about the couple authentically living through their day. The best photos are when the couple are truly present, so my goal is to allow that space for them. 

The ideal approach is different for everyone. You’re feeling like fire and want to move between a few spots for a glam editorial shoot? Perhaps you just want to get away from all the guests for 20 minutes with your new spouse and grab a drink with them? I do my best to blend in during the formalities to allow everyone to feel at ease, so I capture those joyful moments.

What is your most memorable career moment?

A few years after shooting their wedding, a couple reached out to me to tell me two grandparents had sadly passed away in the space of a year. They expressed their appreciation for capturing photos of their grandparents on the wedding day; they told me that these photos were some of the most joyful ones they had of them, and chose to use them in proceedings. I felt a great sense of honour to have been able to give those memories to them, and it reminded me that all the work is worth it.

What inspires you?

Visually, a unique architectural detail, or visual that complements the couple. Emotionally, the love in the air. I might tear up during your speeches, so apologies in advance!

What motivates you to do what you do?

I really enjoy the experience of delivering the memories captured to the couple, or hearing that I made them feel at ease throughout the day. As someone that isn’t particularly comfortable in front of the camera, it’s paramount that I make the couple feel comfortable and safe when being photographed.

How would you describe your working style?

Calm, gentle-natured. I aim to blend into the background, but will give guidance and direction when needed. A lot of couples initially warn me that they’re not good in front of the camera, and I am always told afterwards that they appreciated the way I made them feel at ease during the process.

Do you shoot digitally, on film or both?

I only shoot digitally, but the most common question I get of my photography is “Are these shot on film?”. My approach – from camera settings chosen in the moment, through to editing – are very much film-inspired. I want my photos to have that familiar film feeling, without costing the couple an arm and a leg!

Do you have custom packages according to individual needs?

Yes. I have pricing for three packages available on my website, so no need for you to do the whole ‘reach out for pricing’ dance. I also can tailor to a specific number of hours, as well as offer shorter shoots for elopements.

Where would you love to travel to for work?

I’d love to shoot in a landscape completely different to Australia. Whether that's metropolitan Seoul, or the Italian countryside. I am up for the creative challenge.

Who is your dream client?

This sounds corny, but I have had my dream client many times. I love working with couples who bring their own creative spins to their wedding day. Whether that’s a fun idea they have that I am tasked to execute (ie hitting up Timezone after getting married!) or throwing the ball in my court and being up for some unique suggestions.

What is your advice to couples getting married?

Make it your own. It’s your day. Skip the tradition you're not drawn to. Borrow the tradition from elsewhere that you might love. Invite everyone, or just a select few of your most cherished loved ones. Accept help from family and friends so you can be present on your day.


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