James Cunningham from House of Love Weddings shoots alongside his wife Kirsty as a photography and video team based between Adelaide and Sydney, Australia and travels worldwide for weddings. The couple have each been shooting for well over a decade, with James being a 5th generation photographer in his family. The couple decided to combine their brands into one after their two children were born. Being able to capture weddings together was their way of spending more time together, and being able to share what they both love to do.
James captures and curates authentic love stories. He takes a documentary approach to capturing your day, letting the events unfold naturally whilst staying true to his editorial and fine art background considering light and using what is available to shape, enhance, and invoke emotion. "My inspiration comes in many forms. I want to capture timeless love stories. I love to let my mind escape into a film, much like looking through a photo album or magazine, it’s always interesting to see things through the eyes of another, and how they interpret a situation or emotion. I’m also hugely inspired by my couples, their love story, their family connections, their cultural backgrounds and significant events, traditions and people in their lives. These are all tools that help me connect the dots and create cohesive stories."
James and Kirsty pour themselves entirely into everything that they do, including getting to know their couples as well as planning and capturing their love stories. "Having been on the other side of the lens, we know too well how it feels - the work involved in planning a wedding, the complexities of family dynamics, and the importance of telling your story authentically and being your support through this journey. We have our business because we love it - we love our couples, we love the journey, and we want to share that with you."
James has always loved being a guest at weddings. "The feeling of community and family coming together, the abundance of love in the air. There’s something about getting dressed up in your best, telling yourself 'this is going to be an amazing day'. Every emotion is accepted and embraced. You dance together, eat together, cry together, and laugh together. The vulnerability, the cultural, religious, or family traditions - whether they are generations old, or just beginning. It really is a special time, and as an observer, I get to show these moments through my eyes and freeze them in time for generations to come."
When James was a teenager, he realised the creative power he had with photography. "Being someone who was not always great with words, being able to create an emotion, or show the world how things appeared through my eyes was a new voice for me, and a new way to communicate. Through this time I also learned how to develop my own film and make prints in the darkroom, which at the time felt like a superpower, as well as an escape from the outside world. These days I find myself going back to the early days in the dark room and developing my own film once again. Whilst evolution and progression in your skill set is so important, being able to go back to the start, remind yourself of your roots and what ignited that fire in the first place is, in my opinion one of the most powerful things to harness and draw inspiration from."
James' advice to couples getting married? "Whether you’re having an intimate micro wedding, a destination elopement, or the biggest wedding of the year - the most important thing, and the sole reason you are there, is because of each other. Make sure you take time out on the day for just the two of you to sit back, reflect, soak it all in and enjoy. And get your photos printed! These memories will last beyond our lifetime, and this love story will be told long after we are gone. That is one of my favourite things about what we do, and why printing your photos is so important!"