Seattle documentary photographer Sancii lives by three Japanese aesthetic principles: Shizen meaning naturalness, Fukinsei meaning asymmetry or finding beauty in imperfection - and Shibui, the concept of understated beauty. Sancii travels to capture weddings worldwide.
Tells us about your business!
Sancii is a documentary wedding photographer for the modern couple based in Seattle, traveling worldwide to capture intimate and raw moments. We are a husband and wife team of two: Michelle is our main photographer and Sean does everything-in-between. The name 'Sancii' came from Michelle’s maiden name (Sanchie). The two i’s in the name symbolize two people (the dot on the top is the head) and we picked it symbolizes our passion in capturing the connection between two people.
We're college sweethearts and love meeting people from all sorts of different cultures and walks of life. We don't just love weddings, we love marriage. From the mountains in Switzerland, the jungles in Bali to the streets of Chicago, our couples trust us to capture emotions and to tell an honest story about their most special day. We hope that the pictures we take can remind you of the love and commitment you have promised each other at the beginning of your journey.
What would you like couples to know about Sancii?
Michelle asked her parents for her first camera as a Christmas gift in 2004. At that time, her 4.1 MP Fujifilm digital camera was a hot item at school because digital cameras were a new phenomenon. Michelle started to take interest in wedding photography in 2007 and photographed her first wedding in 2016. Weddings have a special place in our heart because it is one of the few times in our lives where we get to experience a huge range of emotions.
Where are you based?
Do you travel for weddings?
Absolutely. We travel to Asia at least once a year, and are always available to go to adventurous and new places we have not been to. Bring us somewhere interesting and we may even waive travel fees.
How would you describe your style?
Our style is documentary, which means that we like capturing things as is and telling an honest story about your day. Every time we shoot, we focus on four main things: Light (because photography is the art of capturing light), Emotions (the center subject of my photos), Authenticity (the space in front of my camera is a safe space for my couples to show up unapologetically) and Tension (the balance between tradition and modernity, light and dark, old and new). We also gravitate towards modern, clean and contrasting aesthetics.
What is your most memorable career moment?
We shot a wedding at Zermatt, Switzerland and got to shoot at the top of the Matterhorn (better known as the “Toblerone Mountain”). This was our first destination wedding and it was the trip that made us fall in love with small European towns and all the charm it has to offer.
What inspires you?
People who think out of the box and are trailblazers in their industry: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michael Schumacher, Jeff Bezos and Anne Leibovitz. One of our favorite things to do is to go to museums to see the history of how things came to be. We’re inspired by people who seem to be able to see things from a different, fresh and new perspective.
What motivates you to do what you do?
We love the thought of being a significant part of someone’s life history. The thought that someone’s grandchildren may one day see our pictures makes my work feel extra important and special. Especially during tough times, pictures of good memories keep us going and remind us that brighter days are ahead. We love that about this field of work.
How would you describe your working style?
Michelle is the introvert in our relationship and loves her quiet moments behind the camera. Sean is the extrovert and loves talking about all sorts of topics. As a team, we hold a high regard for professionalism and excellence. We work as a team and we always go above and beyond what is expected of us.
Do you shoot digitally, on film or both?
We shoot on both digital and film!
Do you have custom packages according to individual needs?
Yes. We believe that every wedding is unique, and we are always ready to offer custom packages that fit your needs.
What is a favourite product or service that you offer and why?
We love it when couples book both a wedding and engagement with us; it gives us an opportunity to thoroughly get to know our couple’s personalities and preferences and also time to build a relationship.
Where would you love to travel to for work?
We would love to travel to Japan for work. We have deep admiration for Japanese culture (its food included) and we think that Japan is a beautiful country, especially during the fall!
Who is your dream client?
Someone who carries a piece of world history with them or has contributed to society in meaningful ways. Other than that, our dream clients are those who trust us completely with our work.
What is your advice to couples getting married?
Just remember that your pictures should be about the wedding, the wedding should not be about the pictures. Your wedding is just one tiny fraction of your entire history together. Your marriage is more important than your wedding. Prioritize each other always, during wedding planning and otherwise.