We recently caught up with Keryn Sweeney to have a chat about all things photography and get to know a little more about the woman behind the lens. Keryn is based in Auckland, New Zealand where she lives with her partner and two young daughters. She has a passion for capturing the soulful, grand as well ad little in-between moments, shared between a couple and loved ones on their special day. Keryn has a background in fashion photography which filters through her work and gives her images a distinct editorial feel. 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.
What motivates you to do what you do?
I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to document love for a career! It is pretty addictive : the travel, the people, the cultures and experiences, I will never stop learning and loving what I do.
If you could describe your business in 3 words what would they be?
Editorial, storytelling and personal.
How long have you been at the helm of your business for?
It has really gone so fast! I have been shooting under my brand for 12 years. I started my own business when I was really just a baby at the age of 23 - and I haven’t looked back! I was lucky enough to have a wonderful mentor and boss at the time, who was really encouraging and helped me set myself up.
What has been the hardest thing about starting your business?
Definitely saying no to work that doesn’t resonate with me, in order to make room for the work that does! It’s so important for me to love what I do, and I’m incredibly proud to finally be at the point where I’m excited about every job I do.
What has been the most rewarding?
The most rewarding part of being a photographer has been recording the candid moments and the range of emotions that my clients experience on their wedding day. It is such a privilege to be able to document such intimate moments.
Tell us more about what you do!
My work sways between bridal editorials and weddings. I particularly love that my wedding clients want their images to have an editorial feel - meaning I am able to combine both my loves. I also love that each client is unique and I am able to work with a different art direction each time that I shoot.
What is next on the cards for your business?
Well... it appears that everyone has been holding off getting married until next season! Therefore, I will have many lovely couples to document - which I’m thrilled about! I also have a lot of editorials in the planning as well as personal projects. I’m so excited to be back shooting film and back in the dark room once again, which brings yet another element to my work.
What is your favourite aspect of working in the bridal industry?
The authentic, unexpected moments that surprise on a wedding day. Also, I am a huge fan of bridal fashion and am so fortunate that I get to document so many incredible gowns and bridal outfits.
Who is your dream client?
I have actually documented two weddings this season where the father of the bride was a photographer. They both expressed how important it was to them to have great imagery of their daughters' day. It was pretty special that I was able to photograph their daughter's wedding day.
If you’re not working, where can we find you?
The beach with my little family - be it in summer or winter!
What inspires you?
I studied Art History and found it helped immensely with my photography, from leading lines by the Renaissance artist to studying the way light falls by the Dutch Golden Age masters. Also, Christopher Nolan - every frame in Dunkirk is perfection.
My peers also inspire me. I’m so lucky that New Zealand has so many talented wedding photographers that are very open with what they share and are so inspiring. It’s a great community to be a part of! Lastly, I draw a huge amount of inspiration from the fashion industry.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words what would they be?
Definitely chatty, chilled and creative!
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know?
My partner Jamie and I have two little girls Miller and Thea. They are loads of fun, very strong willed and will most definitely keep us on our toes in their teens!
Have you always lived where you do now?
I have always lived in New Zealand however, I have travelled the world pretty extensively.
If you didn’t live where you do now, where would you be?
Somewhere close to the beach where it’s warmer all year around!
What is your favourite travel destination?
It would have to be Paris! I am so in love romanticism and Paris' history. I honestly can't wait to travel again and go back!
What languages do you speak?
Sadly, only English at the moment. However, we are learning Māori in our household.
What is your advice to couples getting married?
I’m such an advocate pre-planning! I believe the more planning you do, the more relaxed you are on the day (boring advice I know)! I also suggest that my clients do whatever they can to lower their stress levels on their wedding day. This really helps you enjoy the day and be present. I also highly recommend doing sunset photoshoots on your wedding day - my clients love to take the time out to do these. My couples usually stay on for little moment of stillness after, which ends up being a beautiful memory for life!