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PHOTOGRAPHER | Keryn Sweeney

Keryn Sweeney has a background in fashion photography which filters through her work. Her experience behind the camera allows her to approach each environment in a relaxed and informal manner, encouraging spontaneous moments that result in beautiful, authentic images. Keryn Sweeney has a passion for capturing the soulful in-between moments, shared between a couple on their special day.

Tell us about your business!

I offer documentary style photography packages for weddings of all sizes and styles, from big celebrations to elopements or micro-weddings. My busiest time of year is the summer wedding season in NZ (Nov – March) and I also do at least a few weddings overseas each year.

Destination weddings are one of the reasons I do what I do, traveling is incredibly important to me. New destinations, meeting new people, documenting different cultures is such a wonderful aspect of my job.

Where are you based?

I live with my partner and two girls in Auckland, New Zealand. I shoot weddings around NZ and worldwide. I’m so excited to have weddings coming up in Bali, Mexico and the Hamptons over the next year.

How long have you been a photographer?

I’ve been working as a photographer for over 16 years now. I started in a film a lab and doing work experience on editorial shoots and have evolved my business over the years. I feel so lucky to be in a place where I am now focused exclusively on weddings and selected editorial shoots.

How would you describe your style?

I have a background in fashion photography which filters through in my style. My experience behind the camera allows me to approach each event in a relaxed, informal manner encouraging spontaneous moments that result in beautiful authentic images.

I’m also a huge fan of shooting on film, I always shoot a few rolls on the side but I do offer the whole day shot purely on film for those film lovers.

What is your most memorable career moment?

So many memorable days with lovely couples all over the world, it’s impossible to pick one. But a recent highlight was an absolute whirlwind, amazing few days in New York after such a long stint of not been able to travel. I shot a beautiful elopement and a few editorials including one in Central Park. Every shoot there felt very surreal, the city has such an energy it gave me so much creative fulfilment.

What motivates you to do what you do?

Honestly, it’s really all about love. I truly just love everything about photography. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do for a job, after being gifted a camera for Christmas as a kid. The chance to capture the celebration of love for my couples brings me so much satisfaction, and being able to travel to some incredible locations is a pretty good cherry on top.

What is a favourite product that you offer and why?

I offer three packages of varying lengths to suit your celebration, but I have to say I really love a destination wedding. This package can be made very bespoke, and I’ve created an option to add on a couple of hours pre or post wedding to take photos of you and your guests mingling at the post wedding brunch or welcome drinks. I love the casual and intimate vibe we can capture at these events, they’re always a lot of fun.

What is your ideal work destination?

New York – the energy of the city makes an ideal vibe for a shoot, and it really does feel like the centre of the creative and fashion world, definitely an inspiring destination for me.

Who is your dream client?

I’ve made many good friends over the years who started off as clients, and I often feel like the end result of the images have been somewhat a collaboration – a clients own self and sense of style is incredibly inspiring. I love that no wedding is like no other, diversity keeps me so passionate for what I do.

I am always open to a chat with couples first too– be it over a coffee, a wine, or a zoom call. It’s such a big decision and I want clients to feel comfortable that we will click before they make any commitments.

If you could describe your business in three words, what would they be?

Inspired, authentic, passionate.

What inspires you?

My girls! They’re 6 and 3 and full of energy, enthusiasm for life and a little bit of sass.

Creatively, I studied Art History and found it helped immensely with my photography, from the leading lines by the Renaissance artist to studying the way light falls in the work of the Dutch Golden Age masters. I will always love Annie Leibowitz’s style, it is timeless – something I always want my wedding shoots to be for couples. And I’m also constantly inspired by my peers in the NZ industry, it’s a very open and supportive community here with some incredibly talented people.

If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

Creative, approachable, and chatty!

What is your favourite travel destination?

Bali holds a special place in my heart as I’ve spent a lot of time there, I’ll be living there a few months next year with my little family and can’t wait. But I also can’t go past Paris, one thing New Zealand is missing is historical architecture, and the art galleries of Paris are a must-see.

What is your advice to couples getting married?

My advice is to do whatever you can to lower your stress levels on the day! Drink the champagne, eat the food, have fun. Enjoy the party you have spent months planning.

Don’t look at the camera. It’s not about smiling on cue, it’s about having an amazing time with your forever person, your family and friends, and capturing that. My experience allows me to help ease camera anxiety by knowing when to push or step back.


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